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Hege'sias

*(Hghsi/as).

1. A native of Magnesia, who addicted himself to rhetoric and history. There is some reason for supposing that he wrote not later than Timaeus of Tauromenium, and lived about the time of Ptolemaeus Lagi, in the early part of the third century B. C.


Assessment

Strabo (xiv. p.648) speaks of him as the founder of that degenerate style of composition which bore the name of the Asiatic, though he professed to be an imitator of Lysias and Charisius [CHARISIUS]. Cicero and Dionysius of Halicarnassus agree in thinking the man himself a thorough blockhead, and in describing his style as utterly destitute of vigour and dignity, consisting chiefly of childish conceits and minute prettinesses. (Cic. Brut. 83, Orat. 67, 69 ; Dionys. de Compos. Verb. 4, 18.) Specimens of his style are given by Dionysius and by Photius (Phot. Bibl. 250. p. 446, ed. Bekker.) Varro had rather an admiration for it. (Cic. Att. 12.6.) The history of Alexander the Great was the theme which he selected to dilate upon in his peculiar fashion.


Works

As regards the subject-matter of his history, Gellius (9.4) classes him with those writers who deal rather plentifully in the marvellous. Plutarch (Plut. Alex. 3) makes rather a clumsy pun in ridicule of a joke of his about Diana not being at liberty to come to the protection of her temple at Ephesus, when it was set on fire on the day on which Alexander the Great was born.


Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iii. p 43, vol. ii. pp. 762, 873; Voss. de Hist. Gr. p. 115, &c., ed. Westermann; Ruhnken, ad Rutil. Lup. 1.7.

hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 12.6
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 9.4
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 3
    • Cicero, Brutus, 83
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