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Ma'ximus Ty'rius

a native of Tyre, a Greek writer of the age of the Antonines, was rather later, therefore, than Maximus the Rhetorician, mentioned by Plutarch (Symp. ix. probl. 4), and rather earlier than the Maximus mentioned by Porphyry (apud Euseb. Evang. Praep. 10.3) as having been present at the supper given by Longinus at Athens in honour of Plato. It is disputed whether Maximus of Tyre was one of the tutors of the emperor Aurelius. The text of the Chronicon of Eusebius, in which he is mentioned, being lost, we have to choose between the interpretation of his translator Jerome, according to whom Maximus is not mentioned as tutor to the emperor, and the reading of Georgius Syncellus [GEORGIUS, No. 46], who appears to have transcribed Eusebius, and according to whom Maximos held that office in conjunction with Apollonius of Chalcedon [APOLLONIUS, No. 11], and Basileides of Scythopolis [BASILEIDES, No. 2]. Even if we accept the reading of Syncellus, as representing the genuine text of Eusebius, it is not improbable that the statement may have arisen from the latter confounding Claudius Maximus, the Stoic, with Maximus of Tyre. Tillemont contends earnestly (Hist. des Empereurs, vol. ii. p. 550, note 11, sur l'Emp. Tite Antonin.) for the identity of the two persons, following in this the judgment of Jos. Scaliger, Jac. Cappellus, Dan. Heinsius, and Barthius. According to Suidas (s. v. Μάξιμος Τύριος) Maximus resided at Rome in the time of the emperor Commodus, and the title of the MS. of the Dissertationes Maximi, in the King's Library at Paris, used by Heinsius, Μαξίμου Τυρίου πλατωνικοῦ Ἐπιδημίας τῶν ἐν Ῥώμῃ διαλέξεων τῆς πρώτης ἐπιδημίας λόγοι μά, Maximi Tyrii Platonici Philosophi Dissertationum Romae, quum ibi primo versaretur, compositarum, &c., gives reason to believe that he resided there at least twice. Davis, indeed, disputes this, and conjectures from intimations contained in the work itself that only a few of the dissertations (five or perhaps seven) were written at Rome, that others were written in Greece, in which country he thinks Maximus passed a longer period of his life than at Rome. Certainly, while his works contain abundant allusions to Grecian history, there is scarcely a single reference to that of Rome. In one passage (Dissert. 8.8), Maximus states that he had seen the sacred rivers Marsyas and Maeander at Celaenae in Phrygia. He probably also had visited Paphos, in the isle of Cyprus, Mount Olympus, in Asia Minor, and perhaps Aetna, in Sicily, with which he contrasts Olympus; and as lie had seen also the quadrangular stone which the Arabs worshipped as an image or emblem of their deity, it is most likely that he had been in Arabia. (Maxim. Dissert. ibid.) But he does not appear to have resided in these places, but only to have visited them in the course of his travels, which must have been extensive. The time of his death is not known.


Διαλέξεις (

The title of his only extant work is variously given as Διαλέξεις, Dissertationes, or Λόγοι, Sermones. It consists of forty-one dissertations on theological, ethical, and other philosophical subjects. Heinsius thinks that the author arranged them in ten Tetralogia, or sets of four each, according to the subjects; and in one of his notes he conjecturally gives what he regards as their correct order. The Dissertatio Ὅτι πρὸς πᾶσαν ὑπόθεσιν ἁρμόσεται τοῦ Φιλοσόφου λόγος, Omni subjecto philosophiam convenire, he considers to have been the pröem or introduction to the whole work.

Other works

The works Περὶ Ὁμήρον κὰ τίς παῤ αὐτῷ ἀρχαία φιλοσοφία, De Homero et quae sit apud eum antiqua Philosophia, and Εἰ καλῶς Σωκράτης οὐκ ἀπελογήσατο, Rectene Socrates feceril, quod accusatus non responderit, mentioned by Suidas (l.c.), appear to be two of the Dissertationes, Nos. 16 and 39, in the editions of Heinsius and first of Davis, and Nos. 32 and 9 in Davis's second and Reiske's editions.

Some Scholia in Cratylum Platonis, by Maximus of Tyre, were formerly extant in the Palatine Library.


The Dissertationes were first printed in the Latin version of Cosmus Paccius, archbishop of Florence, made from a MS. of the original which Janus Lascaris had brought from Greece into Italy to Lorenzo de' Medici. This version was published fol. Rome, 1517, by Petrus Paccius, the translator's brother: again, fol. Basil. 1519, and in a smaller form at Paris, 1554.

The Greek text was first printed by Hen. Stephanus, 8vo. Paris, 1557, accompanied, but in a separate volume, by the version of Paccius. The edition of Heinsius, from a MS. in the King's Library at Paris (with the title quoted above), with a new Latin version and notes by the editor, was printed 8vo. Leyden, 1607 and again 1614, and without the notes, A. D. 1630. It has been reprinted once or twice since then. In the first edition the Latin version and the notes formed separate volumes. Heinsius did not follow either the arrangement of his MS. or his own suggested arrangement in Tetralogia. The first edition of Davis, fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, with the version of Heinsius, whose arrangement he adopted, and short notes, was published, 8vo. Cambridge, 1703; the second and more important edition, in which the text was carefully revised and a different arrangement of the Dissertationes was adopted, was published after the editor's death by Dr. John Ward, the Gresham professor, with valuable notes, by Jeremiah Markland, 4to. London, 1740. This second edition of Davis was reprinted with some corrections and additional notes by Jo. Jac. Reiske, 2 vols. 8vo. Lips. 1774-5.

Another possible reference to Maximus

Fed. Morellus conjectured, but on insufficient grounds, that Maximus was the Tyrian sophist mentioned by Libanius (Orat. xix. pro Saltatoribits) as having written an Ἐντάφιος λόγος, Oratio Funebris, for the Trojan Paris.

The merits of Maximus of Tyre have been variously estimated. Reiske, who undertook the charge of the Leipzig edition, at the request of the bookseller, when worn down by increasing years and long literary labours, especially in editing Plutarch, speaks of Maximus as a tedious, affected writer, who degraded the most elevated and important subjects by his trivial and puerile mode of treating them. But Markland, while admitting and blaming the haste and inaccuracy of Maximus, praises his acuteness, ability, and learning. He thinks that Maximus published two editions of his Dissertationes; in the second of which by the version of Paccius, the Parisian MS. followed by Heinsius, and the Harleian MS., one of those employed by Davis for his second edition) he corrected the errors in argument of the first edition, but left uncorrected the numerous errors as to historical facts. (Fabric. Biblioth. Graec. vol. i. p. 516, vol. iii. p. 77, vol. v. p. 515, &c.; Heinsius, Davis, Markland, alii, Praefat. Notae &c. ad Opera Maximi Tyrii.)


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