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The Corinthian statesman and general Timoleon, defender of Greek democracy in Sicily against tyrants and their Carthaginian allies, has never been one of the top ten ancient Greeks that I am inclined to take an interest in.
Yet his qualities are such that he makes an ideal biographical subject for Plutarch: he was a virtuous man who was also a lucky, a man whose virtue was rewarded with luck, and whose luck was furthered by his virtue. As Plutarch himself tells us: My method … is, by the study The Corinthian statesman and general Timoleon, defender of Greek democracy in Sicily against tyrants and their Carthaginian allies, has never been one of the top ten ancient Greeks that I am inclined to take an interest in.
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As Plutarch himself tells us: My method … is, by the study of history, and by the familiarity acquired in writing, to habituate my memory to receive and retain images of the best and worthiest characters. I thus am enabled to free myself from any ignoble, base, or vicious impressions, contracted from the contagion of ill company that I may be unavoidably engaged in, by the remedy of turning my thoughts in a happy and calm temper to view these noble examples.
Of this kind are those of Timoleon the Corinthian …. Timoleon defeated Dionysius and Hicetes ably and honorably, and, after becoming master of the city of Syracuse, returned it to its democratic traditions.
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Modern historians suspect Timoleon of being a benevolent tyrant, ruling under the mere forms of democracy. Plutarch thought otherwise: this life is both a biography and a tribute.
Is this a classic picture of indolence? Or is it a portrait of cunning instead? Such behavior on his part was variously criticized.
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He was thought by many to act thus out of pure compliance with his own natural indolent and vicious inclinations; while finer judges were of opinion, that in all this he was playing a politic part, with a design to be contemned among them, and that the Corinthians might not feel any apprehension or suspicion of his being uneasy under his reverse of fortune, or solicitous to retrieve it; to avoid which dangers, he purposely and against his true nature affected an appearance of folly and want of spirit in his private life and amusements.
Mar 26, David Sarkies rated it it was ok Shelves: biography. In fact, I suspect that he may be the only record of his existence and I notice that the Wikipedia article is basically a cut down version of this biography. The events in his life obviously occurred prior to the first Punic wars, but it seems as if the Cartheginians were on the rise during this period, since they were starting to come into conflict with the Greek colonies in the Western Mediterranean.
Timoleon also appeared on the scene around the end of the life of Dionysus, the Tyrant of Syracuse, who at the time was imprisoned on a small island in the harbour.
Plutarch's Life Essay -- historian, greek scholar
Like a lot of tyrants, when Timoleon arrived, Dionysus was given the option of living in exile, an offer that he readily accepted. It is interesting to note how many politicians seem to be able to escape prosecution from their time in office, even if they had done something that us plebs would have been imprisoned for in the same way whereas something we do would be considered criminal, to a bank it is just the normal course of business. I suspect the reason is that once one group starts doing it, then the other group will respond in kind, and suddenly you are on the slippery slope towards tyranny.
However, I did read a really bad historical fiction once about him, and have wondered ever since where the story actually come from. However, taking footnotes and fleshing them out does tend to give the author a much greater scope in which to write a story. Now, basically the rule was that whoever controlled Sicily pretty much controlled the Mediterranean, which is why the Catheginians kept on trying to take it for themselves though being across the straits also helped. Basically it allowed you to project your power over both sides of the sea, and with Rome and Carthage being on opposite sides, it eventually come down to whether we would have a European empire or an African empire.
As for the Greeks, one thing that they were really good at was establishing colonies, which is why there was such an interest here from that quarter as well. For quite a while much of the focus was to the east, as that was where the empires lay.
However, the rise of Carthage and the Greek city states was starting to swing the foci around to the West. Then again, Carthage was also a colony, though it was actually a Phonetician as opposed to a Greek — another reason why conflict arose. You're getting a free audiobook. Click to Try Audible Free.
Cancel anytime. Best Sellers. Harrison Length: 41 hrs and 4 mins Unabridged Overall. Harrison Length: 41 hrs and 4 mins Release date: Language: English. Add to Cart failed. Please try again later. Add to Wish List failed. Remove from wishlist failed. As most archons only held office for one year, scholars have been able to pin down the years to which Apollodorus was referring.
Ad 46 120 greek essayist
Philostephanus of Cyrene Philostephanus Cyrenaeus was a Hellenistic writer from North Africa, who was a pupil of the poet Callimachus in Alexandria and doubtless worked there during the 3rd century BC. Ovid depended on the account by Philostephanus for his dramatised and expanded version in Metamorphoses, through which the Pygmalion myth was transmitted to the medieval and modern world. Scattered brief quotes of Philostephanus on islands refer also to Sicily, Calauria off the coast of Troezen and Stryme, off the Thracian coast.
The Suda says only that he lived in the times of Marcus Aurelius, but the contempt with which he speaks of Commodus, who died in , shows that he survived that emperor. He was a contemporary of Adrantus.