Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors]

philosophy. The latter was at first unwilling to giving a magnificent dinner to some friends, receive him, driving him rudely from his door, and Diogenes entered unbidden, and, stamping and threatening him with his staff

. “Strike," with his dirty feet on the carpets, exclaimed: said Diogenes; "you cannot find a stick so hard “Thus I trample on the pride of Plato.” “ But as to compel me to go away, while you speak that with greater pride, O Diogenes,” replied Plato. which I wish to hear." Diogenes soon gained a Surly, independent, constantly grumbling at the reputation superior to that of his master for vices of mankind, a voluntary outcast among rough and caustic wit. The anecdotes related his fellow-men, he lived on to a great age, and of him, whether they are all true or not, will help died in his 90th year. According to Diogenes us to form a judgment of the character of the Laërtius, he wrote several works, but nothing man. One day at Athens the citizens saw him has come down to us with the exception of with a lantern in his hand, although it was some sayings preserved by the above-menbroad day, apparently searching for something. tioned author, and it is even doubted by some On being asked what he was seeking, he replied: whether he ever wrote any thing. He did not “A man.” He had found children, he said, in teach by lectures, but uttered his philosophy in Sparta, and women in Athens, but men he had short, pithy sentences, as occasion offered.

At another time he called out: DIOGENES OF APOLLONIA, a Greek philosoApproach, all men;" and when the citizens pher, born at Apollonia in Crete, flourished in drew near, beat them back with a stick, saying: the 5th century B. O. Very little is known “I called for men, but ye are excrements." He of his life. He was at Athens probably about used to carry a small drinking vessel with him, 460, and became involved in some trouble but broke it on seeing a boy drink from the there, perhaps in consequence of his philosophhollow of his hand. He slept either under the ical speculations. These latter were develportico of some building, or in a tub, which oped in his work IIepe Duoews, “On Nature,” was his ordinary dwelling, and which he car- which was still extant in the 6th century, ried about with him. The truth of this popular but of which we have at present only a few statement, however, has been much disputed fragments, preserved in the works of Aristotle, both by ancient and modern critics. He taught Diogenes Laertius, and Simplicius. His great in the streets and public places, speaking with the object was to find the first principle of the atmost plainness, often with rudeness, and was world, out of which all things were evolved. altogether insensible to reproaches and insults. Like his master Anaximenes, he came to the His wit was ready and severe. Plato defined conclusion that this great first principle was air. man as a two-legged animal without feathers; Air of various degrees of condensation formed whereupon Diogenes, having stripped a fowl of the atmosphere, fire, water, and earth, and ont its plumage, threw it among the scholars of the of these every thing else was evolved. But he great academician, bidding them behold one of went beyond his master in endowing this subtle Plato's men. Being asked which is the most first principle with a certain intelligence, predangerous animal, he answered: “Of wild ani- siding over the arrangement of the universe, mals, the slanderer; of tame, the flatterer.” On the marks of which are visible in the order and a voyage to the island of Ægina, he was cap- beauty of creation. The brutes, he says, are tured by pirates, and afterward sold as a slave. inferior to man, because they inhale an air less While in the market place, waiting for a pur- pure, holding their heads near the ground. The chaser, being asked what he could do, he an- world, too, he supposed to be animated, and he swered that he knew how to govern men, and imagined the stars to be its organs of respiration. bade the crier to ask: "Who wants to buy & The fragments of Diogenes which have come master ?" He was purchased by Xeniades, a down to us were published by Panzerbeiter Corinthian, who carried him home, and after- (Leipsic, 1830). ward set him at liberty, intrusting to him the DIOGENEŚ LAËRTIUS, an ancient historian education of his children. The rest of his of philosophy, who probably lived toward the days Diogenes divided between Athens and end of the 2d century, though the dates of his Corinth, and it was at the latter place that his birth and of his death are alike unknown, and celebrated but apocryphal interview with Alex- his life has been placed as early as the tine ander the Great is said to have taken place. The of Augustus, and as late as that of Constantine king of Macedon, surprised at the indifference the Great. He is supposed to have been born with which he was regarded by the ragged phi- in Laërte, in Cilicia, but of his life we know losopher, who was comfortably basking in the absolutely nothing. He wrote a history of phisun before his tub, said to him: “I am Alexan- losophy in Greek, divided into 10 books, and givder." “And I," was the reply, “ am Diogenes.” ing an account of the philosophers, anecdotes of Alexander desired him to ask a favor; but all their lives, and illustrations of their teachings. that the Cynic wished was, that Alexander He considers Grecian philosophy not to have would not stand between him and the sun. been derived from without, but to have been Struck with this extraordinary insensibility to indigenous, and he divides it into two schools: the usual weaknesses of humanity, the Macedo- the Ionic, commencing with Anaximander and nian remarked: “Were I not Alexander, I would ending with Clitomachus, Chrysippus, and be Diogenes.” He loved to display his contempt Theophrastus, and of which the Socratic school of the common courtesies of life. Plato was forms a part; and the Italian, whose founder is Pythagoras, and whose last master is Epicurus, though previously savage, became tame after and which includes in its comprehensive em- eating their master's flesh. brace Heraclitus, the Eleatics, and the Sceptics. DION OF SYRAOUSE, a disciple of Plato, celeThe account of these two schools comprises the brated for having overthrown the power of whole of the work, with the exception of the Dionysius the Younger, tyrant of that city, born first book, which contains the history of the toward the close of the 6th century B.C., killed 7 wise men of Greece, whom he considers ra- in 353. Under Dionysius the Elder, who was ther as precursors to Grecian philosophy than married to his sister Aristomache, he enjoyed the as properly belonging to it. The work of Dio- favor of the court, and amassed great wealth; genes is valuable for information which we but when the younger Dionysius succeeded to could obtain from no other source; but it is ill- the throne, Dion, whose austere manners were digested, written without critical judgment, and & constant rebuke of the royal debaucheries, often inaccurate. Diogenes is supposed to have fell into disgrace, and at last was banished from written some other works, among which was a Sicily: He found refuge and a friendly recepvolume of epigrams, but, judging from the speci- tion in Greece, where he lived for a while in mens of his talent in this sort of composition affluence, his income being still allowed to reach which are found interwoven with his philosoph- him. Soon, however, this was cut off, and to ical history, we have no cause to regret their complete his disgrace, his wife Arete was comloss. A good edition of his history is that of pelled to marry another man. Dion knew that H. G. Habner (2 vols. 8vo., Leipsic, 1828–'31). the Syracusans hated their tyrannical ruler, A translation into English was published (2 and he now resolved to avenge himself and vols. 8vo., London, 1688). There is another his country at the same time. Having assemtranslation by 0.D. Yonge in Bohn's "Classical bled a body of about 800 troops, he sailed from Library."

never seen,


Zacynthus, landed in Sicily, and easily obtained DIOMEDES. I. One of the most famous of possession of Syracuse in the absence of Dionythe Grecian heroes at the siege of Troy, and, sius. The troops of the tyrant, however, still after Achilles, considered the bravest of all thé held the citadel on the neighboring island of Greeks. According to Homer, his father Ty- Ortygia, whence they made a sally soon after deus was one of the leaders in the memorable the arrival of Dion, and were sed only expedition of the seven against Thebes, and was after a fierce combat, during which Dion himkilled before the walls of that city, while Dio- self displayed great courage. He was at first medes was still a boy. The latter, however, received by the citizens with enthusiasm, and having arrived at the age of manhood, joined the on his entry into the city he proclaimed liberty second expedition against Thebes, and avenged to Syracuse. But irritated by his harsh manhis father's death. With 80 ships he sailed in ners, suspecting his designs, and incited by the the great Grecian armament to the siege of demagogue Heraclides, the people afterward exTroy, where, beside a multitude of victories over pelled him and his troops. The Syracusans soon heroes of less note, he engaged and put to flight had reason to repent of their conduct, for the Hector and Æneas, and also wounded both Ve- soldiers of Dionysius, aware of their dissensions, nas and Mars, the divine defenders of the city. made a sally, regained part of the city, set fire He was also famed for his wisdom in council, to the houses, and began a fearful massacre. and when Agamemnon, dispirited by adversity, The banished philosopher was entreated to reproposed to abandon the siege, Diomedes de- turn, and marching immediately, he succeeded clared that he with his friend Sthenelus would after a hard contest in obtaining full control of remain, at all events, until Troy should fall. Syracuse. It is not improbable that he intended According to later legends, he carried off with to establish an oligarchical government, though Ulysses the palladium from Troy. Of his his- he has been suspected of an intention to retain tory after the fall of Troy Homer gives us no the supreme power in his own hands. He account, but later writers tell us that, having caused his opponent Heraclides to be put to returned to Argos and found his wife unfaithful, death. This act greatly injured his popularity, he abandoned his native country, and sought a already damaged by his repellant and austere home elsewhere. Traditions differ with regard manners; a conspiracy was formed against him, to his after life. According to some accounts, and he was not long after assassinated. he went to Ætolia, and afterward returned aud DION CASSIUS COCCEIANUS, an ancient gained possession of Argos. Another relates historian of Rome, born in Nice in Bithynia that, in attempting to return to Argos, he was about A. D. 155, went to Rome about 180, driven by a storm upon the coast of Italy, where where he was made senator. He was after he was kindly received by King Daurus, whom ward appointed to many offices of trust by difhe assisted in a war against a neighboring ferent emperors, and was twice raised to the tribe, and whose daughter Euippe he received consulship. Having become odious to the proin marriage. II. A king of the Bistones in torian guards, because, it is said, of the severe Thrace, son of Mars and Cyrene, celebrated for discipline which he had imposed, he obtained his mares, which he fed upon human flesh. To permission from the emperor Alexander Severus, obtain possession of these mares was one of the in 229, to retire to his native city of Nice, 12 labors of Hercules. The hero slew Diomedes, where he spent the remainder of his days. His whose body he gave to the mares, and they, great work was a history of Rome (Pwuaikn 'lotopia), written in Greek, divided into 80 books, smooth, with fibrous roots, and a cluster ofspread. and containing an account of the rise and pro- ing yellowish green leaves, traversed by a strong gress of the state from the landing of Æneas in midrib bearing on its apex an orbicular herbaItaly until A. D. 229, giving only a slight sketch ceo-coriaceous lamina, emarginate at both ends, of events down to the time of Julius Cæsar, but fringed with a row of bristles, the 2 sides condwelling with more minuteness on the history duplicate, the upper surface dotted with minnte of later times, and especially on that of the glands, in which the sensitiveness of the leaf author's own' age. Of this work, which is chiefly resides. The lobes or sides of the lamiwritten with clearness, diligence, and general na are folded at night, but spread during the accuracy, but in a faulty style, 20 books (from day, when if the glands be roughly touched, or the 36th to the 54th) remain entire. Fragments an insect alights upon them, the sides suddenly of the first 35 have been collected, and there close on the intruder. After remaining conare abridgments of the last 25 and of the entire tracted for some time, the trap again opens, ready work. One of the best editions of Dion Cas- to enclose a new intruder ; but by repeated irrisius is that of Sturz (9 vols. 8vo., Leipsic, 1824- tation at short intervals its movements become "25–43). An English translation of Xiphilin's languid, and its sensibility is for the time entireabridgment was published in London (2 vols. ly exhausted. The best popular description of 8vo., 1704).

this singular plant is given by Curtis in bis enuDÍON CHRYSOSTOMUS (i. e., Dion the meration of plants growing spontaneously around golden-mouthed), a Greek rhetorician, born in Wilmington, N. o., communicated to the Boston Prusa (now Broussa), in Bithynia, about the society of natural history in 1834, and published middle of the 1st century, died in Rome about in the proceedings of that society. "The leaf," A. D. 117. In the practice of his art at Rome, he remarks Mr. Curtis, “which is the only curious incurred the hostility of the emperor Domitian, part, springs from the root, spreading upon the and in consequence of a decree of the senate ground or at a little elevation above it. It is he was obliged to flee from Italy. In the habit composed of a petiole or stem with broad mar. of a beggar, with Plato's “Phædon" and De- gins like the leaf of the orange tree, 2 to 4 mosthenes's “Oration on the Embassy” in his inches long, which at the end suddenly expands pocket, he wandered through Thrace and the into a thick and somewhat rigid leaf, the 2 sides countries bordering on the lower Danube, and of which are semi-circular, about į of an inch on receiving intelligence of the death of Domitian across, and fringed around the edge with some(96) used his influence and his oratorical powers what rigid ciliæ or long hairs like eyelashes. It with the army stationed on that frontier in fa- is very aptly compared to 2 upper eyelids joined vor of Nerva. It is probable that he returned at their bases. Each side of the leaf is a little to Rome on the accession of this emperor, from concave on the inner side, where are placed 3 whom as well as from his successor Trajan he delicate hair-like organs in such an order that received tokens of marked kindness. About an insect can hardly traverse it without interA. D. 100 le returned to Prusa, but remained fering with one of them, when the 2 sides sudbut a short time, and then went back to Rome. denly collapse and enclose the prey with a force He was an essayist rather than an orator, and surpassing an insect's efforts to escape. The his writings are distinguished for elegance of fringe or hairs of the opposite sides of the leaf style. Of his orations 80 have come down to interlace, like the fingers of the 2 hands clasped

There is a very good critical edition of together. The sensitiveness resides only in these them by Reiske (2 vols. 8vo., Leipsic, 1784). hair-like processes on the inside, as the leaf may

DIONÆA (D. muscipula, Ellis), Venus's fly be touched or pressed in any other part withtrap, a plant inhabiting the savannas around Wil- out sensible effects. The little prisoner is not mington, N. C., and extending N. as far as New- crushed and suddenly destroyed, as is somebern, N. 0. Elliott, on the authority of Gen. times supposed, for I have often liberated capPinckney, says that it grows along the lower tive flies or spiders, which sped away as fast as branches of the Santee in South Carolina. Mr. fear or joy could hasten them. At other times Audubon informed Mr. Curtis, with the plant be- I have found them enveloped in a fluid of a fore him, that he had seen it in Florida of enor- mucilaginous consistence, which seems to act mous size. Specific characters: calyx herbaceous; as a solvent, the insects being more or less conpetals 5, hypogynous on the margin of the dilated sumed by it. This circumstance has suggested receptacle, alternate with the sepals; stamens the possibility of their being made subservient to 10 to 20, hypogynous within the petals, shorter the nourishment of the plant, through an apthan they; filaments filiform; anthers oblong, paratus of absorbent vessels in the leaves." of 2 parallel cells without connection; pollen The discovery of this plant has led naturalists of pretty large grains, composed of 4 united; to make experiments upon plants with the view ovary depressed, ovoid, one-celled, 5 lobes, the of ascertaining the possibility of their approprilobes alternate with the petals ; style colum- ating animal matter to their own nourishment, nar, pretty large, undivided; stigmas 5, corre- with such success as to lead to the belief that sponding with the lobes of the ovary; ovules the form and organization of the dionea musciindefinite, erect, sessile on and uniformly cover- pula is really intended to entrap its insect prey, ing the nearly flat basilar placenta, which occupies for the purpose of furnishing a kind of food to the whole bottom of the cell; herb acaulescent, the plant, which, although not essential to its


[ocr errors]





existence, performs an important part in its is sympathizing with some one who is suffereconomy.

He was converted by the preaching of DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, saint and Paul, about A. D. 50; is mentioned in the Acts bishop of the church, born in Alexandria, in of the Apostles (xvii. 34), and was the first bishEgypt, in the last years of the 2d century, died op of Athens, having been appointed to that in that city, A. D. 265. He was of a noble and office, it is said, by St. Paul himself. It is probwealthy family. His parents were pagans; but able that he suffered death by martyrdom, but in the course of his early philosophical studies in what year is not known. It is not certain his attention was turned to the Christian sacred that Dionysius the Areopagite ever wrote any writings, especially the epistles of Paul, and he thing, but his name has been given to several became a convert. He left the heathen schools, theological treatises, iinbued with the mystical became a pupil of Origen, was ordained priest, doctrines of the Alexandrian Platonism. These and in 232 was chosen to succeed Heraclas as works, 4 in number, are first mentioned in the chief of the Alexandrian school of theology. In 6th century, contain allusions to facts and quo248 he was raised to the office of bishop, made tations from authors subsequent to the apostolic vacant by the death of Heraclas. Shortly after age, and were probably written by some Neothis, violent persecutions broke out against the Platonic Christian of the 4th or 5th century. Christians. The populace of Alexandria had They exercised a great influence upon the debeen stirred up against them by a certain velopment of Christian doctrine in the middle heathen false prophet, and the edict of Decius, ages, were translated into Latin by Scotus Eriwhich reached that city A. D. 250, put arms in gena, and gave the first impulse to that theology the hands of the enraged enemies of the Chris- which the combined efforts of mystics and tian name. Dionysius, who had taken an active schoolmen maintained for centuries. The fact part in preparing the Christians for the coming that this Dionysius became confounded with the trial, was marked for a victim, was arrested, sent patron saint of France perhaps invested these to be put to death, rescued by a band of pease writings with an importance which they would ants, and he remained concealed more than a not have acquired from their intrinsic merits. year in the Libyan desert, sending continual DIONYSIUS THE ELDER, tyrant of Syracuse, messages meanwhile to his brethren in the city. son of Hermocrates, born in 430 B. C., died in In the persecution under Valerian in the year 367. While a clerk in a public office, he came 257, Dionysius was again

exiled from his see. forward in the popular assembly as the accuser After his restoration (A. D. 260), he was more of the unsuccessful Syracusan commanders, who than once called to mediate on occasions of pub- had suffered Agrigentum and other foremost lic strife.—The writings of Dionysius were nu- cities of Sicily to be taken by the Carthaginians. merous, but most of them have been lost. They He displayed so much vigor of character, and were mainly controversial. In opposition to the condition of Syracuse was so critical, that Nepos, bishop of Arsinoë, who preached the even men like the historian Philistus saw in millennial earthly reign of the Saviour at bis him the only safety for the country. He sucsecond coming, Dionysius wrote 2 books re- ceeded in obtaining a decree for deposing the futing the theory. In opposition to Sabellius, obnoxious generals, and for appointing others who denied the distinct personality of the mem- in their stead, and was himself elected among bers of the Trinity, he wrote several books the new officers. He then brought false accuand epistles, caused the heresy to be condemned sations against his associates, and the people by a council

, and insisted upon the distinction determined to depose them, and appointed him, between the Son and the Father so strongly, 405 B. C, sole general, with full powers, and that it brought upon him the charge of deny- allowed him to protect himself by a body guard. ing the divinity of Christ, against which he de- He now began those measures which made him fended himself. According to Basil, he also proverbial in antiquity as a tyrant; and concerndefended the doctrine of the divinity of the ing himself no longer for the deliverance of Sicily Holy Spirit. In opposition to Paul of Samo- from the Carthaginians, aimed only to subdne sita, Dionysius maintained the consubstantial his native city. He induced the Syracusans to nature of the Son and the Father. The frag- double the pay of the soldiers, appointed offiments of his writings were collected by Simon cers who were in his own interest, and, by marde Magistris (Rome, 1796) in a folio, and are rying the daughter of the patriot Hermocrates, also contained in the 3d volume of the Biblio- secured the support of the partisans of that theca Patrum.

leader. He was received as commander-inDIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE, an Athenian, chief of the Sicilians, who had concentrated styled by Suidas a master of Greek erudition, their forces at Gela, and he offered battle to the and who was one of the council of the Areo- Carthaginians in so unskilful a manner as to pagus when St. Paul appeared before that make it probable that he did not regret the detribunal. He is said to have studied first at feat in which it resulted. He withdrew the Athens, and afterward at Heliopolis, in Egypt. inhabitants of Gela and Camarina to Leontini, There is a legend that when he observed in and left the whole of the western coast to the Egypt the darkening of the sun which occurred Carthaginians. This reverse gave a shock to during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he ex- his popularity, and enabled bis enemies to raiso claimed: “Either God himself is suffering, or a revolt in Syracuse, where he was now looked




upon as a manifest traitor. They gained pos- type of cruelty, has doubtless transmitted some session of the city, but their plans being discon- unauthenticated stories concerning him; but even certed by the sudden return of Dionysius, they a legend like that of Damocles and the sword were driven out, though not until his wife had shows his mind always alarmed, and his hand fallen a victim to their cruelty. The Cartha- always raised to defend his imperilled life. ginian generals now besieged Syracuse, but the Dionysius was long engaged in ambitious proplague having broken out in their camp, they jects against the Greek cities of southern Italy. were satisfied with the immense advantages He formed an alliance with the Locrians, and offered them by Dionysius without storming after suffering some reverses besieged and conthe place. He was recognized as ruler of quered Rhegium. Italy was now open to him, Syracuse, and of a district of land around the and he sought by establishing colonies upon the city, but was to resign all claim to dominion Adriatic to secure for himself a way into Greece. over the island. He availed himself of the Already his name was known in the Peloponnepeace to establish his tyranny on firmer foun- sus, where he had contracted an alliance with dations; and having fortified the isle of Or- the Lacedæmonians. He was now the recog. tygia, and excluded from it all but his imme- nized master of southern Italy, interfered in the diate dependants, he built upon it a citadel affairs of the Illyrians, sent av army into Epirus, which might serve as an impregnable asylum. and received an offer of friendship from the The Carthaginians lost the advantages of the Gauls, who had burned Rome. His settlements peace through negligence. Syracuse had in 6 upon the Adriatic increased his wealth and years recovered her strength, and Dionysius strengthened his power, but they were his last undertook the recapture of the cities which he great undertakings, and henceforth be disappears had surrendered. The immense preparations from history. He was so detested in Greece, which he made form an epoch in ancient mili- that the auxiliaries which he sent to his allies tary history. His machinists invented engines the Spartans only drew upon the latter the bafor throwing missiles, and especially devised the tred of all their countrymen. His reign lasted catapult, which may be termed the artillery of 38 years, and became milder toward its latter the

ancients. He also constructed ships having 4 part. He left an immense military force and a or 5 banks of rowers, instead of the old triremes. powerful empire, and though he had governed He gained at first great success in the war, and as a tyrant, the old republican forms remained. conquered Motya, the ancient seat of the Car- Niebuhr affirms that a republic was as great an thaginian dominion. His fleet, however, was impossibility at Syracuse under Dionysius as at defeated by that of the Carthaginians, which Rome under Cæsar, and blames him therefore for then ravaged the northern coast of the island, not having given to his countrymen institutions overpowered Messana and Catana, and laid suited to them, instead of allowing the old siege to Syracuse. But the plague, or some democratic forms to exist in all their impotent malady resembling it, breaking out in the camp absurdity, merely for the purpose of enabling him of the enemy, proved the safety of the city. to carry out his will. Dionysius had a singular Nearly the whole Carthaginian army was lost passion for literature, wrote lyrics and tragedies, by the fearful pestilence, and the remainder par- and it was necessary for every one who sat at chased from Dionysius the privilege of a free his table to praise not less the poet than the departure. In the treaty which followed, the warrior. It is said, probably as a sarcastic jest, restrictions which had been imposed by the last that Philoxenus, one of his guests, chose the treaty upon the government of Syracuse were penalty of being sent to work in the quarries removed. Dionysius carried on also a 3d and rather than listen complacently to some of the 4th war with Carthage, the results of which tyrant's verses. seem to have been only to reestablish the terms DIONYSIUS EXIGUUS (the Little), so namof the former peace. The intervals between ed from his small stature, a Roman monk in the these wars were harassed by the revolts of his early part of the 6th century. He was origi. subjects, which he avenged with cruelties; and nally from Scythia, but became abbot of a monthe frequent attempts upon his life made him astery in Rome, where he died in A. D. 540, suspicious. He dared not trust even his rela- during the reign of Justinian. He is praised by tives, and his body guard was formed of for. Cassiodorus, the best authority of the time, for eigners. No one was admitted to his presence his great erudition, writing in Greek or Latin till after being searched, and often an innocent with equal facility, and having profoundly studpleasantry of conversation was punished as a ied theology. He gave to the western church

His palace was surrounded by a the first regular collection of ecclesiastical laws, ditch, which was crossed by a drawbridge, comprising the canons of the apostles and of and when he harangued the people it was from several councils, and the decrees of some of the the top of a lofty tower. He built the terrible popes. But his chronological labors have given prison of the lautumiæ, cut deep into the solid him greater celebrity. He is reputed the founder rock, and another of his prisons was so arranged of the era which for more than 10 centuries has that every word spoken within it was reěchoed been observed by Christian nations. Before him into his chamber; and he is said to have passed the Christian era had been calculated from the entire days listening to the complaints of his death of Christ; he first fixed the year of the victims. "Tradition, in making of Dionysius the incarnation in the 753d year of Rome, and this,


« PředchozíPokračovat »