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Zoilus of Amphipolis, or Homeromastix

Aelian, Varia Historia 11.10

Of Zoilus.

Zoilus the Amphipolitan, who wrote against Homer, Plato and others, was Disciple of Polycrates. This Polycrates wrote an Accusation against Socrates. Zoilus was called the Rhetorical Dog ; his Character this, He wore a long Beard, he shaved his Head close, his Gown reached not to his knees, his whole employment was to speak ill and sow dissension ; this unhappy man was wholly given to Detraction. A learned person asked him why he spoke ill of all : he answered, “Because I would doe them hurt, but cannot.”

Suda, Alpha 1989

Anaximenes. Son of Aristocles, of Lampsacus, rhetor; pupil of Diogenes the Cynic and the grammarian Zoilus of Amphipolis, who abused Homer; teacher of Alexander of Macedon, and accompanied him on his campaigns. When king Alexander was angry with the people of Lampsacus, this man got round him by the following trick. The people of Lampsacus were pro-Persian; Alexander was furiously angry, and threatened to do them massive harm. They, trying to save their women, their children and their homeland, sent Anaximenes to intercede. Alexander knew why he had come, and swore by the gods that he would do the opposite of what he asked; so Anaximenes said, 'Please do this for me, your majesty: enslave the women and children of Lampsacus, burn their temples, and raze the city to the ground.' Alexander had no way round this clever trick, and because he was bound by his oath he reluctantly pardoned the people of Lampsacus. Anaximenes also retaliated against Theopompus, son of Damostratus, in an ingenious though malicious way. Since he was a sophist and could imitate the style of the sophists, he wrote a book addressed to the Athenians and Spartans, a defamatory treatise, exactly imitating him. He attached Theopompus' name to it, and sent it to the cities. As a result, hostility to Theopompus was increased throughout Greece. Moreover, no one before Anaximenes had invented improvised speeches.

Suda, Zeta 130

Zoilus Of Amphipolis. He was nicknamed 'Scourge of Homer' [Homeromastix], because he made fun of Homer - for which reason the people in Olympia chased him and threw him off the Scironian rocks. He was a rhetor and philosopher, but he also wrote a number of grammatical works: Against the Poetry of Homer, 9 speeches; a History from the birth of the gods to the death of Philip, 3 books; On Amphipolis; Against the Rhetor Isocrates; and very many other works, including an invective against Homer.

cynics/zoilus_of_amphipolis_nicknamed_homeromastix.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/14 23:19 (external edit)