or PHORMUS (Φόρμις, Ἀριστοτ.
, Athen. Suid.). Bentley is of opinion that the former is the correct mode of spelling (Dissert. upon Phalaris,
vol. i. p. 252, ed. 1836). In Themistius he is called Ἄμορφος
He came originally from Maenalus in Arcadia, and having removed to Sicily, became intimate with Gelon, whose children he educated.
He distin-guished himself as a soldier, both under Gelon and Hieron his brother, who succeeded, B. C. 478.
In gratitude for his martial successes, he dedicated gifts to Zeus at Olympia, and to Apollo at Delphi. Pausanias (5.27
) gives a description of the former of these -- two horses and charioteers; and he describes a statue of Phormis engaged in fight, dedicated by Lycortas, a Syracusan. Though the matter has been called in question, there seems to be little or no doubt that this is the same person who is associated by Aristotle with Epicharmus, as one of the originators of comedy, or of a particular form of it. We have the names of eight comedies written by him, in Suidas (s. v.
), who also states that he was the first to introduce actors with robes reaching to the ankles, and to ornament the stage with skins dyed purple--as drapery it may be presumed. From the titles of the plays, we may safely infer that he selected the same mythological subjects as Epicharmus. They are, Ἄδμητος, Ἀλκυόνες, Ἰλίου Πόρθησις, Ἵππος Κηφεὺς
, or Κεφάλαια, Περσεύς, Ἀταλάντη.
(Aristot. Poet. c. 5
; Paus, Suidas, ll. cc. ; Athen. 14.652
a; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. ii. p. 315.)