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2. An Epicurean philosopher, a contemporary of Cicero, who became acquainted with him in his youth at Rome (Cic. Fam. 13.1, 2).

During his residence in Athens (B. C. 80) Cicero renewed his acquaintance with hint. Phaedrus was at that time an old man, and was the president of the Epicurean school (Cic. Phil. 5.5.13, de Nat. Deor. 1.33.93, de Fin. 1.5.16). He was also on terms of friendship with Velleius, whom Cicero introduces as the defender of the Epicurean tenets in the De Nat. Deor. (1.21.58; comp. Madvig. aid Cic. de Fin. p. 35), and especially with Atticus (Cic. de Fin. 1.5.16, 5.1.3, &c.). He occupied the position of head of the Epicurean school till B. C. 70 (Phot. Bibl. 97, p. 84, ed. Bekker), and was succeeded by Patron [PATRON]. Cicero especially praises his agreeable manners. He had a son named Lysiadas.


Cicero (Cic. Att. 13.39) mentions, according to the common reading, two treatises by Phaedrus, Φαίδρου περισσῶν et Ἑλλάδος. The first title is corrected on MS. authority to Περὶ δεῶν. Some critics (as Petersen) suppose that only one treatise is spoken of, Περὶ θεῶν καὶ Παλλάδος. Others (among whom is Orelli, (Onom. Tull. s.v. Phaedrus) adopt the reading et Ἑλλάδος, or at least suppose that two treatises are spoken of.

Cicero was largely indebted to this work of Phaedrus for the materials of the first book of the De Natura Deorum. Not only is the development of the Epicurean doctrine (100.16, &c.) taken from it, but the erudite account of the doctrines of earlier philosophers put in the mouth of Velleius, is a mere translation from Phaedrus.


An interesting fragment of the former work was discovered at Herculaneum in 1806, and was first published, though not recognised as the work of Phaedrus, in a work entitled Herculanensia, or Archaeological and Philological Dissertations; containing a Manuscript found among the ruins of Herculaneum, London, 1810. A better edition was published by Petersen (Phaedri Epicurei, vulgo Anonymi Herculanensis, de Nat Deor. Fragm. Hamb. 1833).

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. iii. p. 608; Krische, Forschungen anf dem Gebiete der allen Phil. vol. i. p. 27, &c.; Preller, in Ersch and Gruber's Encyklopäie.)


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