previous next


or PHAE'NIAS (Φανίας, Φαινίας ; the MSS. vary between the two forms, and both are given by Suidas).

1. Of Eresos in Lesbos, a distinguished Peripatetic philosopher, the immediate disciple of Aristotle, and the contemporary, fellow-citizen, and friend of Theophrastus, a letter of whose to Phanias is mentioned by Diogenes (5.37; Schol. in Apollon. 1.972; Strab. xiii. p.618). He is placed by Suidas (s. v.) at Ol. 11l, B. C. 336 Compp. Clem. Alex. Stromn. i. p. 145, Sylb.).


Phanias does not seem to have founded a distinct school of his own, but he was a most diligent writer upon every department of philosophy, as it was studied by the Peripatetics, especially logic, physics, history, and literature. In fact he was, for the extent of his studies, the most distinguished disciple of Aristotle, after Theophrastus. His writings may be classified in the following manner :--

I. On Logic.

Of this class of his writings we have but little information, probably because, being only paraphrases and supplements to the works of Aristotle, they were, in after generations, eclipsed by the writings of the master himself. In a passage of Ammonius (ad Catey. p. 13; Schol. A rist. p. 28a. 40, ed. Brandis) we are told that Eudemios, Phanias, and Theophrastus wrote, in emulation of their master, Κατηγορίας καὶ περὶ ἑρυηνἰίας καὶ Ἀναλυτικήν. There is also a rather important passage respecting ideas, preserved by Alexander of Aphrodisias, from a work of Phanias, πρὸς Διόδωρον(Schol. Arist. p. 566a. ed. Brandis), which may possibly be the same as the work πρὸς τοὺς συφιστάς from which Athenaeus cites a criticism on certain musicians (xiv. p. 638).

II. On Natural Seience.

A work on plants, τὰ φυτυξά, or τὰ περὶ φυτῶν, is repeatedly quoted by Athenaeus, and frequently in connection with the work of Theophrastus on the same subject, to which, therefore, it has been supposed by some to have formed a supplement. (Ath. ii. p. 54f, 58 d, ix. p. 406. c. &c.) The fragments quoted by Athenaeus are sufficient to give us some notion of the contents of the work and the style of the writer. He seems to have paid especial attention to plants used in gardens and otherwise closely connected with man; and in his style we trace the exactness and the care about definitions which characterize the school of Aristotle.

III. On History.

Phmanias wrote much in this deapartment. He is spoken of by Plutarch, who quotes him as an authority (Themistocles, as ἀνἠρ φιλόφοφος καὶ γραμμάτων οὐκ ἀπειρος ἱστορικῶν. He wrote a sort of chronicle of his native city, under the title of Πρυτάνεις Ἐρέσιο, the second book of which is quoted by Athenaeus (viii. p. 33.3, e. ; pp. 144, 145, Sylb.; Plut. Sol. 14, 32, Themist. 1, 7, 73; Suid. and Etym. Mag. s. v. Κύρβεις ; Atli. ii. p. 48d.). It is doubtful, however, whether all these citations refer to one work or to more. From the references to Solon and Themistocles, some suppose that Phanias wrote a distinct work on Athenian history; but, on the other hand, as the Πρυτένεις Ἐρέσιο. is the only chronological work of his of which we have the title, it may be supposed that this work was a chronicle of the history of Greece, arranged under the several years, whieh were distinguished by the name of the Prytanes Eponymi of Eresos. Most of the quotations refer to some point of chronology. He also busied himself with a department of history, which the philosophers of his time particularly cultivated, the history of the tyrants, upon which he wrote several works. One of these was about the tyrants of Sicily (περὶ τῶν ἐν Σικελίᾳ τυράννων, Ath. i. p. 6e., vi. p. 232c.). Another was entitled Τυράννων ἀναίρεσις ἐκ τυμωρίας, in which he appears to have discussed further the question touched upon by Aristotle in his Politic (5.8, 9, &c.). We have several quotations from this work, and among them the story of Antileon and Hipparinus. (Ath. iii. p. 90e., x. p. 438c.; Parthen. Erot. 7.

It is not clear to which of the works of Phanias the passages cited by Athenaeus (i. p. 16e.) and Plutarch (de. Defect. Orac. 23) ought to be referred. They evidently belong to the historical class.

IV. On Literature.

In the department of literary history two works of Phanias are mentioned, Περὶ ποιητῶν and Περὶ τῶν Σωκρατικῶν. The second hook of the former is quoted by Athenaeus (viii. p. 352), and the latter is twice referred to by Diogenes (2.65, 6.8). In the former work he seems to have paid particular attention to the Athenian musicians and comedians.

Further Information

Vossius, de Hist. Graec. p. 84, ed. Westermann; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iii. p. 502; Voss. Diatr. de Phania Eresio, Gandav. 1824; Plehn, Lesbinea, pp. 215, &c.; Ebert, Diss. Sic. pp. 76, &c.; Böckh, Corp. Inscr. vol. ii. p. 304, &c.; Preller, in Ersch and Gruber's Encyklopädie, s. v.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
336 BC (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: