1. Of Athens, an eminent Platonic philosopher, and for some time the head of the Academy, was the son of Philostratus, a man of wealth and political distinction.
In his youth, Polemon was extremely profligate; but one day, when he was about thirty, on his bursting into the school of Xenocrates, at the head of a band of revellers, his attention was so arrested by the discourse, which the master continued calmly in spite of the interruption, and which chanced to be upon temperance, that he tore off his garland and remained an attentive listener, and from that day he adopted an abstemious course of life, and continued to frequent the school, of which, on the death of Xenocrates, he became the head, in Ol. 116, B. C. 315.
According to Eusebius (Citron.
) he died in Ol. 126. 4, B. C. 273. Diogenes also says that he died at a great age, and of natural decay.
He esteemed the object of philosophy to be, to exercise men in things and deeds, not in dialectic speculations; his character was grave and severe; and he took pride in displaying the mastery which he had acquired over emotions of every sort.
He was a close follower of Xenocrates in all things, and an intimate friend of Crates and Crantor, who were his disciples, as well as Zeno and Arcesilas ; Crates was his successor in the Academy.
In literature he most admired Homer and Sophocles, and he is said to have been the author of the remark, that Homer is an epic Sophocles, and Sophocles a tragic Homer.
He left, according to Diogenes, several treatises, none of which were extant in the time of Suidas.
There is, however, a quotationn made by Clemens Alexandrinus, either from hint or from another philosopher of the same nnme, ἐν τοῖς περὶ τοῦ κατὰ φύσιν βίου
vii. p. 117), and another passage (Strom.
ii. p. 410), upon happiness, which agrees precisely with the statement of Cicero (de Fin.
4.6), that Polemon placed the summum bonum
in living according to the laws of nature. (D. L. 4.16
; Suid. s.v. Plut. de Adul. et Ameic.
32, p 71, e.; Lucian. Bis Accusat.
16, vol. ii. p. 811; Ath. ii. p. 44e.; Cic. Ac. 1.9
, de Orat.
3.18, de Fin.
2.6, 11, 4.2, 6, 16, 18, 5.1, 5, 7, et alib.;
2.3. 253, fol. ; V. Max. 6.9
; Menag. ad Diog. Laert. l.c. ;
Fabric. Bibl. Gratec
. vol. iii. p. 183; comp. p 323, n. hhh.