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Pampre'pius

*Pampre/pios), an Egyptian, eminent for his literary attainments and his political influence, in the latter half of the fifth century. Our knowledge of him is derived from Suidas (s. v. Παμπρέπιος), who has embodied in his article three or four distinct accounts of him, not, however, very consistent with each other. One of these fragments is transcribed in the Ἰωνιά, Violetum, of the empress Eudocia (apud Villoison, Anecdota Graeca, vol. i. p. 357). Suidas has also preserved (s.v. Σαλούστιος φιλόσοφος) an anecdote of Pamprepius, and some further notices are obtained from the abstracts of the Historia of Candidus and the Vita Isidori of Damascius, preserved in the Bibliotheca of Photius (codd. 79, 242). Of the accounts preserved in Suidas, one states that he was born at Panopolis, another at Thebes in Egypt. The former is more probably correct. The third account states generally that he was an Egyptian, of which there can be no doubt. The year of his birth is not known. He was remarkable for the swarthiness of his complexion and the ugliness of his features ; but the endowments of his mind were of superior nature. Having devoted himself to literature, especially poetry, in which he acquired considerable reputation in his native country, he proceeded to Greece, where he spent a long time, chiefly, perhaps wholly, at Athens. Here he was chosen to a professorship, and appears to have studied philosophy at the same time, under the direction of Proclus. The expression used in one of the accounts preserved by Suidas, that his residence in Greece was the result of a marriage connection (κατ᾽ ἐπιγαμίαν), intimates that he was married; but we have no account of his wife, and the circumstances of his life make it probable that he lost her before leaving Athens. His departure front that city was occasioned by some insult or ill-usage which he received from Theagenes, a leading citizen, probably a magistrate of Athens, who had been prejudiced against him by some calumnies, propagated possibly by his brother philosophers, all of whom, except Proclus, he exceeded in reputation.

From Athens he removed to Constantinople, where he was introduced to Illus, at that time allpowerful with the Byzantine emperor Zeno [ILLUS], by one Marius or Marsus. Having attracted the admiration of Illus, either by a discourse on the soul, or by reading one of his poems, he received, through his instrumentality, an appointment as professor, with a salary, partly from the private liberality of Illus, partly from the public purse. But notwithstanding this powerful patronage, his open avowal of heathenism created many enemies; and the prejudice against him was increased by the belief that he practised magic. It is probable also that his intimacy with Illus, and his influence over him, led all who were jealous of that powerful person to be hostile to Pamprepius. The subsequent history and fate of Pamprepius are related elsewhere. [ILLUS.]


Works

Suidas ascribes to Pameprepius two works :-- Suidas states that the latter work was in prose. Its title leads to the conjecture that it was a history of Isauria, the native country both of Zeno and Illus. Both works are lost.


Further Information

Photius ll. cc. ; Suidas, l.c.; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. vi. pp. 375, 601.

[J.C.M]

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