), a female historian of considerable reputation, who lived in the reign of Nero.
According to Suidas she was an Epidaurian (s. v. Παμφίλη
), but Photius (Phot. Bibl. 175
) describes her as an Egyptian by birth or descent: the two statements, however, may be reconciled by supposing that she was a native of Epidaurus, and that her family came from Egypt.
She related in the preface to her work, for an account of which we are indebted to Photius (l.c.
), that, during the thirteen years she had lived with her husband, from whom she was never absent for a single hour, she was constantly at work upon her book, and that she diligently wrote down whatever she heard from her husband and from the many other learned men who frequented their house, as well as whatsoever she herself read in books. Hence we can account for the statement of Suidas, that some authorities ascribed her work to her husband.
The name of her husband is differently stated.
In one passage Suidas (s.v. Παμφίλη
), speaks of her as the daughter of Soteridas and the wife of Socratidas, but in another passage he describes her (s.
) as the wife of Soteridas.
The passage in Photius (cod. 161, p. 103a., 35, ed. Bekker), where we read ἐκ τῶν Σωτηρίδα Παμφίλης ἐπιτομῶν
,leaves the question undecided, as Soteridas may there indicate either the father or the husband.
The principal work of Pamphila is cited by various names; sometimes simply as ὑπομνήματα
, and at other times as ὑπομνήματα ἱστορικά
, but its fill title seems to have been the one which is preserved by Photius, namely, συμμίκτων ἱστορικῶν ὑπομνημάτων λόγοι.
The latter title gives a general idea of the nature of its contents, which are still further characterized by Photius.
The work was not arranged according to subjects or according to any settled plan, but it was more like a commonplace book, in which each piece of information was set down as it fell under the notice of the writer, who stated that she believed this variety would give greater pleasure to the reader. Photius considers the work as one of great use, and supplying important information on many points in history and literature.
The estimation in which it was held in antiquity is shown, not only by the judgment of Pliotius, but also by the references to it in the works of A. Gellius and Diogenes Laertius, who appear to have availed themselves of it to a considerable extent. Modern scholars are best acquainted with the name of Pamphila, from a statement in her work, preserved by A. Gellius (15.23
), by which is ascertained the year of the birth of Hellanicus, Herodotus, and Thucydides respectively. [HERODOTUS, p. 431b.] But this account, though received by most scholars, is rejected by Kriiger, in his life of Thucydides (p. 7), on account of the little confidence that can be placed in Pamphila's authority.
The history of Pamphila was divided into many books. Photius speaks only of eight, but Siidas says that it consisted of thirty-three.
The latter must be correct, since we find A. Gellius quoting the eleventh (15.23) and twenty-ninth (15.17), and Diogenes Laertius the twenty-fifth (3.23) and thirty-second (5.36). Perhaps no more than eight hooks were extant in the time of Photius.
The work is likewise referred to by Diogenes Laertius in other passages (1.24, 68, 76, 90, 98, 2.24). Comp. Vossius, De Historicis Graecis,
p. 237, ed. Westermann.
Besides the history already mentioned, Pamphila wrote several other works, the titles of which are given by Suidas. 1. An Epitome of Ctesias, in three books. 2. Epitomes of histories and of other works, ἐπιτομαὶ ἱστοριῶν τε καὶ ἑτερῶν βιβλίων
, from which world Sopater appears to have drawn his materials (Phot. cod. 161, p. 103).
It is, however, not impossible that this work is the same as the ὑπομνήματα
, and that Suidas has confounded the two. 3. Περὶ ἀμφισβητήσεων.
4. Περὶ ἀφροδισίων.