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1. Of Ephesus, a person of great distinction, but was expelled by his fellow-citizens, for which Heracleitus censured them very severely. (D. L. 9.2; Cic. Tusc. 5.36.) He is said to have gone to Rome to have explained to the decemvirs the Greek laws, and thus assisted them in drawing up the laws of the Twelve Tables, B. C. 451. (Pompon. de Orig. Jur. Dig. 1. tit. 2. s. 4.) Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.11) further states, that the Romans expressed their gratitude towards him, by erecting a statue to him in the comitium. This story of his having assisted the decemvirs has been treated by some modern critics as a fiction, or at least has been modified in a manner which reduces his influence upon that legislation to a mere nothing. But, in the first place, it would be arbitrary to reject the authority of Pomponius, or to doubt the merits of Hermodorus, which are sufficiently attested by the statue in the comitium, and, in the second, there is nothing for at all improbable in the statement, that a distinguished Greek assisted the Romans in the framing of written laws, in which they were surely less experienced than the Greeks. In what his assistance consisted is only matter of conjecture: he probably gave accounts of the laws of some Greek states with which he was acquainted, and we may further believe with Niebuhr (Hist. of Rome, vol. ii. p. 310), that the share he took related only to the constitution. (Ser. Gratama, de Hermodoro Ephesio vero XII. Tabularum Auctore, Groningen, 1818, 4to.)

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451 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Diogenes Laertius, Vitae philosophorum, 9.2
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 34.11
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