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4. ANTONIUS, a highly celebrated sophist and rhetorician, who flourished under Trajan, Hadrian, and the first Antoninus, and was in high favour with the two former emperors. (Suid. s.v. Philostr. Vit. Soph. p. 532.) He is placed at the sixteenth year of Hadrian, A. D. 133, by Eusebius (Chron.). His life is related at considerable length by Philostratus (Vit. Sophist. 2.25, pp. 530-544). He was born of a consular family, at Laodiceia, but spent the greater part of his life at Smyrna, the people of which city conferred upon him at a very early age the highest honours, in return for which he did much to promote their prosperity, especially by his influence with the emperors. Nor, in performing these services, did he neglect his native city Laodiceia. An interesting account of his relations with the emperors Hadrian and Antoninus is given by Philostratus (pp. 533, 534).

Among the sophists and rhetoricians, whom he heard, were Timocrates, Scopelianus, Dion Chrysostom and Apollophanes. His most celebrated disciple was Aristeides. His chief contemporaries were Herodes Atticus, Marcus Byzantinus, Dionysius Milesius, and Favorinus, who was his chief rival. Among his imitators in subsequent times was S. Gregory Nazianzen. His style of oratory was imposing rather than pleasing; and his character was haughty and reserved. During the latter part of his life he was so tortured by the gout, that he resolved toput an end to his existence; he had himself shut up in the tomb of his ancestors at Laodiceia, where he died of hunger, at the age of sixty-five. The exact time of his death is not known; but it must have been some time after A. D. 143, as he was heard in that year by Verus.


Funeral Orations

The only extant work of Polemon is the funeral orations for Cynaegeirus and Callimachus, the generals who fell at Marathon, which are supposed to be pronounced by their fathers, each extolling his own son above the other. Philostratus mentions several others of his rhetorical compositions, the subjects of which are chiefly taken from Athenian history, and an oration which he pronounced, by command of Hadrian, at the dedication of the temple of Zeus Olympius at Athens, in A. D. 135.


His λόγοι ἐπιτάφιοι were first printed by H. Stephanus, in his collection of the declamations of Polemon, Himerius, and other rhetoricians, Paris, 1547, 4to., afterwards by themselves in Greek, Paris, 1586, 4to.; and in Greek and Latin, Tolosae, 1637, 8vo. The latest and best edition is that of Caspar and Conrad Orelli, Lips. 1819, 8vo.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Gracec. vol. vi. pp. 2-4 ; Clinton, Fasti Romani, s. a. 133, 135, 143.) There is a coin of Hadrian, bearing the inscription Πολεμων. ανεθηκε. ξμυρναιοιξ. (Rasche, Lexicon Rei Num. s. v. Polemnon ; Eckhel, Doctr. Numt. Vet. vol. ii. p. 562). This coin belongs to a class which Eckhel has explained in a dissertation (vol. 4.100.19, pp. 368-374). The question respecting the identity of the sophist with the writer, who forms the subject of the following article, is discussed by Fr. Passow (Ueber Polemon's Zeitaeter, in the Archiv. far Philologie und Paedagogik, 1825, vol. i. pp. 7-9, Vermischte Schriften, p. 137.


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