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“But, said the accuser, the association of Critias and Alcibiades with Socrates brought manifold misfortune upon the city. For Critias was the most covetous and violent of all the oligarchs, and Alcibiades the most incontinent and wantonly wicked of all the democrats.1Xenophon Memorials of Socrates
“It is said that in the presence of a large company including Euthydemus, Socrates once remarked that Critias was like a pig because he desired to use Euthydemus as little pigs use stones. From that time forth Critias hated Socrates, so much so that when he and Charicles became legislators for the Thirty, he bore the rebuke in mind and included in the code a law forbidding the teaching of the art of words —this by way of doing him the ill turn, when he had no means of laying hands on him, of bringing him under the general prejudice against all philosophers and thus damaging him in the eyes of the world.” Xenophon Memorials of Socrates
“In the following year (404 B.C.) .. the people decreed that thirty men should be elected to make laws by which they should conduct the government, and the following citizens were chosen: Polychares, Critias, Melobius, etc.” Xenophon Hellenica
“There perished (at Munychia, fighting against Thrasybulus and the exiles), of the Thirty, Critias and Hippomachus.2Xenophon Hellenica
“Well? would it not have paid the Carthaginians to take Critias or Diagoras at the outset to make their laws, and believe in neither Gods nor spirits nor offer the sacrifices they offered to Cronus?” Plutarch On Superstition
“Solon had a brother Dropides ... ancestor of Critias the member of The Thirty.3Diogenes Laertius Lives of the Philosophers

“ According to Chamaeleon of Heraclea in the book entitled Protrepticus , the Spartans and Thebans all learn to play the flute, .. and the most famous Athenians, such as Callias son of Hipponicus and Critias son of Callaeschrus.

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner

“Socrates and Charmides: —S. The fame of your father's family, the house of Critias son of Dropides, has come down to us crowned with the praises accorded it by Anacreon, Solon, and many other poets.” Plato Charmides
“... the author of the Peirithous, whether it is Critias the Tyrant or Euripides.4Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“He too is almost as stately as Antiphon, being exalted and also frequently declaratory, but he is purer in style, and discriminates in his comparisons, so that he is not only grand but clear and well-arranged; and in many of his works, particularly in the Exordia to Public Speeches, he is at once truthful and convincing.5Hermogenes [on Critias]
“Others, as for instance Critias, have pronounced the soul to be blood.” Aristotle On the Soul
“Drinking-customs differ in the various cities; compare Critias' Constitution of Sparta : ‘The Chian and the Thasian drink in turn out of large cups, the Athenian out of small cups, the Thessalian,’ etc.6Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“Critias was a well-bred fine-grown man who nevertheless moved in philosophical circles, and thus was called a layman among philosophers and a philosopher among laymen.7Scholiast on Plato

Aelian Historical Miscellanies

(see Archilochus fr. 149).8

“Critias became a tyrant and a murderer in the worst senses, and so both brought great trouble upon his country and died a detested man.9Aelian Historical Miscellanies

See also Arist. Rhet. 1375b 32, 1416b 26, Them. Or. 20. 239, 26. 328, Lycurg. 113, Plat. Criti. 108a, Charm. 317e, Tim. 19c, Prot. 316, Eryx. 392, Cic. De Or. 2. 23. 93, Phot. Bibl. 101b 4, Plut. Lyc. 9, Cim. 16, Vit. Or. i. 1, Sext. Emp. Dogm. 3. 54, Hypot. 3. 218, Philostr. Ep. 73.

Elegiac Poems

“Critias' catalogue of things peculiar to each city is this:

To Sicily belongs that rare fine thing the cottabus, which we set up to be the target of wine-drop arrows; Sicily's too is the wain that is best and cheapest.10 .. Of Thessaly is the chair that gives most comfort to the limbs; Miletus, and Chios, sea-girt city of Oenopion, have the best wool-coverlets of beds for our lying; Tuscany hath the pre-eminence in the gold-wrought jar, and in all bronze that adorns the house for any use; the Phoenicians invented letters, those helpers of discourse, Thebes first made the chariot, the Carian stewards of the brine light merchant-ships;11 and the offspring of wheel and clay and furnace, that useful keeper of the house, the most renowned pot, is hers that set up the fair trophy at Marathon.12

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner

Constitutions in Verse

“It was not the custom of the Spartans to pledge healths at their banquets as we do at ours, or to drink from the loving-cup in doing so. This is shown by a passage from the Elegiac Poems of Critias:

This too is a custom and practice at Sparta, to drink from one and the same cup of wine, and not to give the cup when thou namest thy toast nor [to pass the cup] round the company.13 'Twas a Lydian hand, Asian-born,14 that invented pitchers, and the offering of toasts in turn around the board with the naming beforehand of the toast to be drunk. Moreover after such drinking the tongue is loosened15 unto foul tales, and the body gropeth; a darkling mist settles on the eye, oblivion melts the memory from the wits, and the arrows of the mind go wide; the serving-men become out of hand, and ruinous expenditure befalls. But at Sparta young men drink only so much as to bring all hearts into a merry confidence, and all lips into goodfellowship and moderate laughter. Such drinking advantageth alike body, understanding, and estate; it well befitteth the works of Aphrodite and sleep that's our haven after toil, befitteth also Health the God most pleasing unto man, and Piety's neighbour Discretion.

And immediately afterwards he says again:

For toastings beyond due measure make present delight only to bring lasting pain afterward, whereas the Spartan manner lieth evenly, namely to eat and drink proportional to keeping thy wits and the power to act; there's no day appointed16 for making the body drunk with immoderate drinking.


Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner

On Alcibiades

“But it is rare in heroic verse; so that Critias in his Elegy on Alcibiades considered it impossible to get his friend's name into the metre, saying:

And now will I crown the Athenian Alcibiades son of Cleinias with a new style of eulogy; for 'twas not possible to fit his name to elegias verse, and so, to save the metre, he shall stand in an iambic line.17

Hephaestion Handbook of Metre [on synizesis]
“The decree for his recall had been ratified earlier on the proposal of Critias son of Callaeschrus, as Critias has himself recorded in his Elegies, where he reminds Alcibiades of the good turn he did him, in the following lines:

The decision that brought thee home, ‘twas I that spake it among them all, and by my own proposing did the deed; upon these words the seal of my tongue is set.18

Plutarch Life of Alcibiades
“More, according to Gorgias of Leontini Cimon made money to spend it, and spent it to win credit; and when Critias became one of the Thirty Tyrants he wished, as we may read in his Elegies , for

the wealth of the Scopads, the greatmindedness of Cimon, and the victories of Arcesilas of Sparta.19

Plutarch Life of Cimon

More men are good20 by practice than by nature.

Stobaeus Anthology [on industry and practice, and that hesitation is inexpedient]
“To one of the Seven Sages belongs the maxim ‘Moderation in all things’’; it is ascribed to Cheilon; compare Critias:

Wise was the Spartan Cheilon, who said ‘Moderation in all things’; all that is good belongeth unto good measure.21

Scholiast on Euripides

Epic Poems

22Love is the almost constant theme of the wise Anacreon who is so familiar to us all. Compare the excellent Critias:

Teos brought thee unto Greece, thou sweet old weaver of womanish song, rouser of revels, cozener of dames, rival of the flute, lover of the lyre, the delightful, the anodyne; and never shall love of thee, Anacreon, grow old or die, so long as servinglad bears round mixed wine for cups and deals bumpers about board, so long as maiden band does holy night-long service of the dance, so long as the scale-pan that is daughter of bronze sits high upon the summit of the cottabus-pole ready for the throwing of the wine-drops.

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“Critias declares that this metre was invented by Orpheus.23Mallius Theodorus On Metres [on the dactylic hexameter]

“In Critias we find λογεύς


for ῥήτωρ ‘orator.’24

Pollux Onomasticon

1 cf. Ibid. 13, 14, 16, 24, 29, 31, Andoc. i. 47, Dem. 58. 67

2 cf. Ibid. 3. 15, 18, 36, 4. 8, 10, 11, Lys. 12. 43

3 Plato's mother belonged to the same family

4 for the fragments of C.'s dramas see Diels Vorsokr. 2. 316 ff.

5 cf. Philostr. Vit. Soph. i. 16, 2. i. 14, Dion. Hal. Lys. 2

6 i.e. in succession round the table; cf. Ath. 12. 527b, and for C.'s other prose-works see Diels Vorsokr. 2. 322 ff.

7 cf. Plat. Tim. 20a, d, 21a

8 cf. Plut. Fort. Alex. i. 5, Ael. V.H. 2. 13, 10. 13, 17

9 cf. Sch. Aeschin. i. 39

10 one line lost

11 prob. sailing-ships as opposed to ships driven by oars

12 i.e. Athens; cf. Ath. 15. 666b (1-2)

13 at least one line lost

14 possibly corrupt; if so, perh. ‘swift-handed Asian-born,’ omitting ‘Lydian’

15 the unknown grammatical subjt. was supplied from the lost line or lines above; it can hardly be the (apparently Athenian, cf. l. 14) guests

16 apparently a colloquial phrase meaning ‘you ought not’

17 line 2 containing the name is an iambic instead of a pentameter

18 cf. Theogn. 19

19 twice in the horse-race, cf. Paus. 6.2.1; his son Lichas won it in 420, cf. Ibid. and Thuc. 5.50.4

20 including excellence other than moral

21 cf. Diog. L. i. 41 (1-2)

22 written in hexameters

23 perh. from a drama or a prose-work; for other fragments see Diels Vorsokr. 2. 316 ff.

24 perh. from a drama or a prose-work; for other fragments see Diels Vorsokr. 2. 316 ff.

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