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*Dou=ris), of Samos, a descendant of Alcibiades (Plut. Alc. 32), and brother of Lynceus, lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus. The early part of his life fell in the period when the Athenians sent 2000 cleruchi to Samos, by whom the inhabitants of the island were expelled, B. C. 352. During the absence from his native country, Duris, when yet a boy, gained a victory at Olympia in boxing, for which a statue was erected to him there with an inscription. (Paus. 6.13.3.) The year of that victory is unknown, but it took place previous to the return of the Samians to their island, in B. C. 324. He must have been staying for some time at Athens, as he and his brother Lynceus are mentioned among the pupils of Theophrastus. (Athen. 4.128.) After his return to Samos, he obtained the tyranny, though it is unknown by what means and how long he maintained himself in that position. He must, however, have survived the year B. C. 281, as in one of his works (ap. Plin. Nat. 8.40) he mentioned an occurrence which belongs to that year.


Duris was the author of a considerable number of works, most of which were of an historical nature, but none of them has come down to us, and all we possess of his productions consists of a number of scattered fragments. His principal work was--

A history of Greece

A history of Greece, τῶν Ἑλληνικῶν ἱστορία (Diod. 15.60), or, as others simply call it, ἱστορίαι. It commenced with the death of the three princes, Amyntas, the father of Philip of Macedonia, Agesipolis of Sparta, and Jason of Pherae, that is, with the year B. C. 370, and carried the history down at least to B. C. 281, so that it embraced a period of at least 89 years. The number of books of which it consisted is not known, though their number seems to have amounted to about 28. Some ancient writers speak of a work of Duris entitled Μακεδονικά, and the question as to whether this was a distinct work, or merely a part of or identical with the ἱστορίαι, has been much discussed in modern times. Grauert (Histor. Analect. p. 217) and Clinton maintain, that it was a separate work, whereas Vossius and Droysen (Gesch. d. Nachfolg. Alex. p. 671, &c.) have proved by the strongest evidence, that the Macedonica is the same work as the ἱστορίαι.

2. Περὶ Ἀγαθοκλέα ἱστορίαι

in several books, the fourth of which is quoted by Suidas. 3. Σαμίων ὧροι, that is, Annals of the history of Samos, is frequently referred to by the ancients, and consisted of at least twelve books.

4. Περὶ Εὐριπίδου καὶ Σοφοκλέους

Athen. 4.184), seems to be the same as περὶ τραγῳδίας. (Athen. 14.636.)

5. Περι νόμων

(Etym. M. p. 460. 49.)

6. Περὶ ἀγώνων

(Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 613; Photius, s. v. Σελίνου στέφανος.)

7. Περὶ ζωγραφίας

D. L. 1.38, 2.19.)

8. Περὶ τορεντικῆς

(Plin. Elench. lib. 33, 34), may, however, have been the same as the preceding work.

9. Λιβυκα

(Phot. s. v. Δαμία; Schol. ad Aristoph. Vesp. 1030.)


Duris as an historian does not appear to have enjoyed any very great reputation among the ancients. Cicero (Cic. Att. 6.1) says of him merely homo in historia satis diligens, and Dionysius (de Compos. Verb. 4) reckons him among those historians who bestowed no care upon the form of their compositions. His historical veracity also is questioned by Plutarch (Plut. Per. 28; comp. Demosth. 19, Alcib. 32, Eum. 1), but he does not give any reasons for it, and it may be that Plutarch was merely struck at finding in Duris things which no other writer had mentioned, and was thus led to doubt the credibility of his statements.


The fragments of Duris have been collected by J. G. Hulleman, " Duridis Samii quae supersunt," Traject. ad Rhen. 1841, 8vo.

Further Information

Comp. W. A. Schmidt, de Fontib. vet. auctor. in enarrand. expedit. a Gallis in Maced. et Graec. susceptis, p. 17, &c.; Panofka, Res Samiorum, p. 98, &c.; Hulleman, l.c. pp. 1-66.


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