Demetrius of Phalerum

Demetrius of Phalerum (also Demetrius of Phaleron or Demetrius Phalereus; Greek: Δημήτριος ὁ Φαληρεύς; c. 350 – c. 280 BC[1]) was an Athenian orator originally from Phalerum, a student of Theophrastus, and perhaps of Aristotle, and one of the first Peripatetics. Demetrius was a distinguished statesman who was appointed by the Macedonian king, Cassander, to govern Athens, where he ruled as sole ruler for ten years, introducing important reforms of the legal system while maintaining pro-Cassander oligarchic rule. He was exiled by his enemies in 307 BC, and he went first to Thebes, and then, after 297 BC, to the court of Alexandria. He wrote extensively on the subjects of history, rhetoric, and literary criticism. He is not to be confused with his grandson, also called Demetrius of Phaleron, who probably served as regent of Athens between 262 and 255, on behalf of the Macedonian King Antigonos Gonatas.[2]

Statue of Demetrius at the entrance of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina


Demetrius was born in Phalerum, c. 350 BC. He was the son of Phanostratus, a man without rank or property, and was brother to the anti-Macedonian orator Himeraeus.[3] He was educated, together with the poet Menander, in the school of Theophrastus.[4] He began his public career about 325 BC, at the time of the disputes concerning Harpalus, and soon acquired a great reputation by the talent he displayed in public speaking. He belonged to the pro-oligarchic party of Phocion; and he acted in the spirit of that statesman. When Xenocrates was unable to pay the new tax on metics (foreign residents) c. 322 BC, and the Athenians threatened him with slavery, he was only saved (according to one story) when Demetrius purchased his debt and paid his tax.[5] After the death of Phocion in 317 BC, Cassander placed Demetrius at the head of the administration of Athens. He filled this office for ten years, instituting extensive legal reforms. The Athenians conferred upon him the most extraordinary distinctions (almost all of which were revoked after his later expulsion from Athens), and no fewer than 360 statues were erected to him.[6] However, Demetrius was unpopular with the lower classes of Athenians and with pro-democratic political factions, who resented the limitations he placed on the democratic franchise and viewed him as little more than a pro-Macedonian puppet ruler.[7]

According to Stephen V. Tracy, the story about the statues was not historical; also he argues that Demetrius later played a big role in the foundation of the Library of Alexandria.[8]

He remained in power until 307 BC when Cassander's enemy, Demetrius Poliorcetes captured Athens, and Demetrius was obliged to take to flight.[9] It was claimed that during the latter period of his administration he had abandoned himself to every kind of excess,[10] and we are told he squandered 1200 talents a year on dinners, parties, and love affairs. Carystius of Pergamum mentions that he had a lover by the name of Diognis, of whom all the Athenian boys were jealous.[11] After his exile, his enemies contrived to induce the people of Athens to pass the death sentence upon him, in consequence of which his friend Menander nearly fell a victim. All his statues, with the exception of one, were demolished.

Demetrius first went to Thebes,[12] and then (after Cassander's death in 297 BC) to the court of Ptolemy I Soter at Alexandria, with whom he lived for many years on the best terms, and who is even said to have entrusted to him the revision of the laws of his kingdom.[13] During his stay at Alexandria, he devoted himself mainly to literary pursuits, ever cherishing the recollection of his own country.[14]

On the accession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Demetrius fell into disfavour (he apparently supported the wrong candidate, Ptolemy Keraunos),[15] and was sent into exile to Upper Egypt. According to one account a statue at Memphis Saqqara was attributed to him.[16] He is said to have died from the bite of a venomous snake.[17] His death appears to have taken place soon after the year 283 BC.

Works and legacy

Literary works

Demetrius was the last among the Attic orators worthy of the name,[18] after which the activity went into a decline. His orations were characterised as being soft, graceful, and elegant,[19] rather than sublime like those of Demosthenes. His numerous writings, the greater part of which he probably composed during his residence in Egypt,[20] embraced a wide range of subjects, and the list of them given by Diogenes Laërtius[21] shows that he was a man of the most extensive acquirements. These works, which were partly historical, partly political, partly philosophical (e.g. Aisopeia, a collection of Aesopic Fables), and partly poetical, have all perished. The work On Style (Περὶ ἑρμηνείας) which has come down under his name, is the work of a later writer, c. 2nd century AD.

Education and arts

The performance of tragedy had fallen into disuse in Athens, on account of the great expense involved.[22] In order to afford the people less costly and yet intellectual amusement, he caused the Homeric and other poems to be recited on the stage by rhapsodists.[23]

According to Strabo,[24] Demetrius inspired the creation of the Mouseion, the location of the Library of Alexandria, which was modelled after the arrangement of Aristotle's school. The Mouseion contained a peripatos (covered walkway), a syssition (room for communal dining) and a categorized organization of scrolls.

According to the earliest source of information, the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas composed between c180 and 145 BC,[25] the library was initially organized by Demetrius of Phaleron,[26] under the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (c.367 BC—c.283 BC). Other sources claim it was instead created under the reign of his son Ptolemy II (283–246 BC).[27]

References to Demetrius

Diogenes Laërtius

Diogenes Laërtius devotes a section of his The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers to Demetrius Phalereus.[28]


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, in the Lectures on the History of Philosophy, says of Demetrius Phalereus that "Demetrius Phalereus and others were thus soon after [Alexander] honoured and worshipped in Athens as God."[29] What the exact source was for Hegel's claim is unclear. Diogenes Laërtius does not mention this.[28]

Apparently Hegel's error comes from a misreading of Plutarch's Life of Demetrius which is about Demetrius Poliorcetes and not Demetrius of Phalereus.[30] But Plutarch describes in the work how Demetrius Poliorcetes conquered Demetrius Phalereus at Athens. Then, in chapter 12 of the work, Plutarch describes how Demetrius Poliorcetes was given honours due to the god Dionysus. Somehow this account by Plutarch was confusing not only for Hegel, but for others as well.[31]


  1. ^ Dorandi 1999, pp. 49-50.
  2. ^ C. Habicht, Athens from Alexander to Anthony (London, 1997), 151-154.
  3. ^ Laërtius 1925b, § 75; Aelian, Varia Historia, xii. 43
  4. ^ Strabo, 9.1.20; Diog.Laert.5.36
  5. ^ Laërtius 1925, § 14.
  6. ^ Laërtius 1925b, § 75; Diodorus Siculus, xix. 78; Cornelius Nepos, Miltiades, 6.
  7. ^ Green, Peter (1990). Alexander to Actium. University of California Press. p. ..
  8. ^ Tracy, Stephen V. (2000). "Demetrius of Phalerum: Who was He and Who was He Not?". Demetrius of Phalerum,. Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities. IX Zlocation=New Brunswick, NJ. pp. 331-345..
  9. ^ Plutarch, Demetrius 8; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Dinarchus 3.
  10. ^ Athenaeus, vi., xii.; Aelian, Varia Historia, ix. 9; Polybius, xii. 13.
  11. ^ Athenaeus, xii.
  12. ^ Plutarch, Demetrius 9; Diodorus Siculus, xx. 45
  13. ^ Aelian, Varia Historia, iii. 17.
  14. ^ Plutarch, De Exilio
  15. ^ Bagnall 2002, p. 348.
  16. ^ Ph. Lauer and Ch. Picard (1957). "Reviewed Work: Les Statues Ptolémaïques du Sarapieion de Memphis". Archaeological Institute of America. doi:10.2307/500375. JSTOR 500375.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  17. ^ Laërtius 1925b, § 78; Cicero, Pro Rabirio Postumo 9.
  18. ^ Cicero, Brutus 8; Quintillian, x. 1. § 80
  19. ^ Cicero, Brutus 9, 82, De Oratore ii. 23, Orator 27; Quintillian, x. 1. § 33
  20. ^ Cicero, de Finibus, v. 19
  21. ^ Laërtius 1925b, § 80, etc.
  22. ^ See Liturgy for background information.
  23. ^ Athenaeus, xiv; Eustathius of Thessalonica, Ad Homeri
  24. ^ Strabo, 13.608, 17.793-4
  25. ^ Lindberg, David C. (15 March 1980). Science in the Middle Ages. University of Chicago Press. pp. 5–. ISBN 978-0-226-48233-0. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  26. ^ Letter of Aristeas, 9–12.
  27. ^ Phillips, Heather (2010). "The Great Library of Alexandria?". Library Philosophy and Practice. University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  28. ^ a b Laërtius 1925b, § 75–85.
  29. ^ Hegel,, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1995). "Plato and the Platonists". Lectures on the History of Philosophy. 2. Translated by Haldane, E. S.; Simson, Frances H. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. p. 125..
  30. ^ Plutarch. "Life of Demetrius".
  31. ^ Scott 1928, p. 148.



Further reading

External links

3rd century BC

The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period.

In the Mediterranean Basin, the first few decades of this century were characterized by a balance of power between the Greek Hellenistic kingdoms in the east, and the great mercantile power of Carthage in the west. This balance was shattered when conflict arose between ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic. In the following decades, the Carthaginian Republic was first humbled and then destroyed by the Romans in the First and Second Punic Wars. Following the Second Punic War, Rome became the most important power in the western Mediterranean.

In the eastern Mediterranean, the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Kingdom, successor states to the empire of Alexander the Great, fought a series of Syrian Wars for control over the Levant. In mainland Greece, the short-lived Antipatrid dynasty of Macedon was overthrown and replaced by the Antigonid dynasty in 294 BC, a royal house that would dominate the affairs of Hellenistic Greece for roughly a century until the stalemate of the First Macedonian War against Rome. Macedon would also lose the Cretan War against the Greek city-state of Rhodes and its allies.

In India, Ashoka ruled the Maurya Empire. The Pandya, Chola and Chera dynasties of the classical age flourished in the ancient Tamil country.

The Warring States period in China drew to a close, with Qin Shi Huang conquering the six other nation-states and establishing the short-lived Qin dynasty, the first empire of China, which was followed in the same century by the long-lasting Han dynasty. However, a brief interregnum and civil war existed between the Qin and Han periods known as the Chu-Han contention, lasting until 202 BC with the ultimate victory of Liu Bang over Xiang Yu.

The Protohistoric Period began in the Korean peninsula. In the following century the Chinese Han dynasty would conquer the Gojoseon kingdom of northern Korea. The Xiongnu were at the height of their power in Mongolia. They defeated the Han Chinese at the Battle of Baideng in 200 BC, marking the beginning of the forced Heqin tributary agreement and marriage alliance that would last several decades.

4th century BC

The 4th century BC started the first day of 400 BC and ended the last day of 301 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period.

This century marked the height of Classical Greek civilization in all of its aspects. By the year 400 Greek philosophy, art, literature and architecture had spread far and wide, with the numerous independent Greek colonies that had sprung up throughout the lands of the eastern Mediterranean.

Arguably the most important series of political events in this period were the conquests of Alexander, bringing about the collapse of the once formidable Persian Empire and spreading Greek culture far into the east. Alexander dreamed of an east/west union, but when his short life ended in 323 BC, his vast empire was plunged into civil war as his generals each carved out their own separate kingdoms. Thus began the Hellenistic age, a period characterized by a more absolute approach to rule, with Greek kings taking on royal trappings and setting up hereditary successions. While a degree of democracy still existed in some of the remaining independent Greek cities, many scholars see this age as marking the end of classical Greece.

In India, the Mauryan Empire was founded in 322 BC by Chandragupta Maurya who rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India, taking advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by the armies of Alexander.

China in the 4th century BC entered an era of constant warfare known as the Warring States period. The period saw the rapid rise of large states (such as Chu) over smaller ones thanks to technological advancement. Though the period has usually been characterized by historians as being excessively violent compared to the Spring and Autumn period, it was also punctured by several cultural and social growths through the expansion of several different sects of Confucianism and Taoism, and the formulation of Legalist thought.


Aesop ( EE-sop; Greek: Αἴσωπος, Aisōpos; c. 620 – 564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics.

Scattered details of Aesop's life can be found in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called The Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly slave (δοῦλος) who by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. Older spellings of his name have included Esop(e) and Isope. Depictions of Aesop in popular culture over the last 2500 years have included many works of art and his appearance as a character in numerous books, films, plays, and television programs.

Alcimachus (son of Alcimachus of Apollonia)

Alcimachus, also known as Alcimachus of Apollonia (Greek: Ἀλκίμαχος, flourished 4th century BC) was an Ancient Macedonian nobleman and a relative of Lysimachus.Alcimachus was a son of Alcimachus of Apollonia by unnamed Greek woman and had a brother called Philip. He was the namesake of his father, perhaps his paternal great, grandfather and his known grandparent was his paternal grandfather Agathocles. His father served as an official, and as an active diplomat and administrator in the latter reign of King Philip II of Macedon who reigned 359 BC–336 BC and the first years of his son, King Alexander the Great reigned 336 BC–323 BC.Alcimachus appears to have been born and raised in Apollonia and is known from surviving inscriptional evidence. From an inscription dated from late 319 BC, reveals honors that Alcimachus received from the state. The inscription reveals he was granted similar honor to those held by his father. This honor that Alcimachus received may refer to granted property.According to another inscription found on the Greek island of Ios reveals that Alcimachus had a son called Lysippus. Lysippus was honored in this inscription as Proxenos of Ios and the inscription refers to Alcimachus’ eunoia toward the state.

Amphicrates of Athens

Amphicrates of Athens (Greek: Ἀμφικράτης) was a sophist and rhetorician (of the Asiatic school).


Artemidorus Daldianus (Greek: Ἀρτεμίδωρος ὁ Δαλδιανός) or Ephesius was a professional diviner who lived in the 2nd century AD. He is known from an extant five-volume Greek work, the Oneirocritica or Oneirokritikon (English: The Interpretation of Dreams).

Atthis (Philochorus)

The Atthis of Philochorus was a local history of Attica and Athens. The full text of the Atthis, which extended to 17 books, has been lost, but the surviving fragments (mostly from the first seven books) give a good idea of its format. Philochorus covered the whole of Athenian history, from the earliest legendary times down to the capture of Athens by the Macedonians in 261 BC, which happened shortly before his death. The large number of references to it by other ancient writers shows how influential the work was.

Demetrios Chloros

Demetrios Chloros was a 14th-century physician, astrologer, and priest who was tried for possessing magic books.Chloros was a protonotarios, or secretary of the patriarch, and former kanstresios, supervisor of offerings. He was put on trial by the patriarchate at Constantinople because he had transcribed texts with content pertaining to magical practices, including the Coeranis, a portion or all of the Cyranides. Chloros defended the texts on the basis of their medical value. Other physicians who were witnesses against him called Chloros a disgrace to the art of medicine and said he insulted Hippocrates and Galen by regarding them as magicians. Chloros was subsequently sentenced to live as a monk under surveillance in the monastery of the Peribleptos.Chloros is known to have vacillated between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. The synodal decree that condemned him gives equal weight to recounting his ecclesiastic career and his movements between Constantinople and the papal court. Since other churchmen advertised themselves as knowledgeable occult practitioners, the mere possession of magic texts is not likely to have been the true or primary cause of action against him.Evidence in a later case against a physician named Gabrielopoulos included the discovery at his home of a book of spells by Chloros and the Cyranides. Chloros's notebook was said to be "filled with all manner of impiety including incantations, chants, and names of demons."Stephanus of Byzantium and the Nicander Scholia refer to Chloros.


Demetrius is the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek male given name Dēmḗtrios (Δημήτριος), meaning "devoted to Demeter." Alternate forms include Demetrios, Dimitrios, Dimitris, Dmytro, Dimitri, Demitri, Dhimitër, and Dimitrije, in addition to other forms (such as Russian Dmitri) descended from it.

Demetrius and its variations may refer to the following:

Demetrius of Alopece (4th century BCE), Greek sculptor noted for his realism

Demetrius of Phalerum (c. 350–280 BCE)

Demetrius I of Macedon (337–283 BCE), called Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, King of Macedonia 294–288 BCE

Demetrius II Aetolicus, son of Antigonus II, King of Macedonia 239–229 BCE

Demetrius, son of Philip V of Macedon

Demetrius the Chronographer (late 3rd century BCE), Jewish chronicler (historian)

Demetrius I Soter (185–150 BCE), king of Syria

Demetrius I of Bactria (d. 180 BCE), Greek king of Bactria

Demetrius II of India (fl. early 2nd century BCE), possible relative of the above

Demetrius II Nicator (d. 125 BCE), son of Demetrius I Soter

Demetrius III Aniketos, Indo-Greek king c. 100 BCE

Demetrius III Eucaerus (d. 88 BCE), son of Antiochus VIII Grypus, Seleucid King

Demetrius the Cynic (1st century), Cynic philosopher

Pope Demetrius I of Alexandria, ruled in 189–232

Demetrius of Thessaloniki (d. 306), Christian martyr and saint

Demetrius Zvonimir (died 1089), King of Croatia 1075–1089

Demetrius I of Georgia, son of David IV of Georgia the Great, (1125–1156)

Demetrius the Neomartyr (1779–1803), Orthodox Christian martyr and saint

Pope Demetrius II of Alexandria, ruled in 1861–1870

Demetrios Trakatellis (born 1928), Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America and Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In office since 1999.

Pseudo-Demetrius I, also known as False Dimitry I, Tsar of Russia, ruled 1605–1606

Demetrius, a main character in Friedrich Schiller's dramatic fragment of the same name, as well as in Alexander Pushkin's blank verse drama Boris Godunov and several other works of literature; the figure is modelled after False Dimitry I, short-time Tsar of Russia, claiming descent of Ivan the Terrible

Demetrius, a main character in William Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Demetrius is also a villainous character in Shakespeare's revenge tragedy, Titus Andronicus

Demetrius, a character in Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala

Demetrius, a Greek slave in the Lloyd C. Douglas Christian novel The Robe and its film sequel below

Demetrius and the Gladiators, a 1953 20th Century Fox film

Demetri, a fictional character in the Twilight fantasy series

Demetri Martin, American comedian

Demitri Maximoff, a vampire from the Capcom video game series Darkstalkers

Demetri McCamey, American basketball player

Dimitrij, an opera by Antonín Dvořák

Dmitry Donskoy (1350–1389), Russian prince

Dmitri Kissoff, a character in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia

Dmitri Mendeleev Russian chemist, creator of the first periodic table

Dimitri Petrenko, a character in the first-person shooter Call of Duty: World at War

Dmitri Shostakovich Russian composer

Dimitri Kitsikis Greek Geopolitician

Dimitrios Salpingidis Greek footballer

Dimitrios Papadopoulos Greek footballer

Dimitrios Siovas Greek footballer

Dimitar Berbatov Bulgarian footballer

Dimitrije Tucović Serbian politician

Dimitrije Injac Serbian footballer

Dimitrije Ljotić Serbian politician

Dimitrije Pejanović Serbian handballer

Dimitrije Mitrinović Serbian writer

Dimitri Davidović Serbian footballer

Dositej Obradović Serbian writer

Demetrius Rhaney (born 1992), American football player

Dimitrije Ruvarac Serbian writer

Dimitrije Banjac Serbian actor

Dome Sztojay Serbian politician

Dimitrije Avramović Serbian painter

Dimitrije T. Leko Serbian architect

Serbian Patriarch Dimitrije of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Dimitrije Bašičević Serbian painter

Dimitri Nanopoulos Greek Physicist

Demetrious Johnson (born 1986), American mixed martial arts fighter

Demetrius Treadwell (born 1991), American basketball player for Hapoel Gilboa Galil of the Israeli League Liga Leumit

Lucia Demetrius, Romanian writer

Vasile Demetrius, Romanian writer

Demetrius I of Macedon

Demetrius I (; Ancient Greek: Δημήτριος; 337–283 BC), called Poliorcetes (; Greek: Πολιορκητής, "The Besieger"), son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Stratonice, was a Greek Macedonian nobleman, military leader, and finally king of Macedon (294–288 BC). He belonged to the Antigonid dynasty and was its first member to rule Macedonia.


Himeraeus or Himeraios (Ancient Greek: Ἱμεραῖος), of the borough of Phalerus in Attica, was son of Phanostratus, and brother of the celebrated Demetrius of Phalerum.

We know but little of his life or political career, but it seems certain that he early adopted political views opposed to those of his brother, and became a supporter of the anti-Macedonian party at Athens. He is first mentioned as joining with Hypereides and others in prosecuting before the court of the Areopagus all those who were accused of having received bribes from Harpalus, Demosthenes among the rest.During the Lamian War he united in the efforts of the Athenians to throw off the yoke of Macedonia, and was in consequence one of the orators whose surrender was demanded by Antipater after his victory at the Battle of Crannon. To escape the fate that awaited him, he fled from Athens to Aegina, and took refuge, together with Hyperides and Aristonicus, in the temple of Aeacus; but they were dragged from this sanctuary by Archias of Thurii, and sent as prisoners to Antipater, who immediately put them all to death in 322 BCE.Lucian speaks very disparagingly of Himeraeus, as a mere demagogue, indebted to the circumstances of the moment for a temporary influence.

Lamia of Athens

Lamia of Athens (fl. 300 BC) was a celebrated courtesan, and mistress of Demetrius Poliorcetes.

Library of Alexandria

The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The Library was part of a larger research institution called the Mouseion, which was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts. The idea of a universal library in Alexandria may have been proposed by Demetrius of Phalerum, an exiled Athenian statesman living in Alexandria, to Ptolemy I Soter, who may have established plans for the Library, but the Library itself was probably not built until the reign of his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The Library quickly acquired a large number of papyrus scrolls, due largely to the Ptolemaic kings' aggressive and well-funded policies for procuring texts. It is unknown precisely how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, but estimates range from 40,000 to 400,000 at its height.

Alexandria came to be regarded as the capital of knowledge and learning, in part because of the Great Library. Many important and influential scholars worked at the Library during the third and second centuries BC, including, among many others: Zenodotus of Ephesus, who worked towards standardizing the texts of the Homeric poems; Callimachus, who wrote the Pinakes, sometimes considered to be the world's first library catalogue; Apollonius of Rhodes, who composed the epic poem the Argonautica; Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who calculated the circumference of the earth within a few hundred kilometers of accuracy; Aristophanes of Byzantium, who invented the system of Greek diacritics and was the first to divide poetic texts into lines; and Aristarchus of Samothrace, who produced the definitive texts of the Homeric poems as well as extensive commentaries on them. During the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes, a daughter library was established in the Serapeum, a temple to the Greco-Egyptian god Serapis.

Despite the widespread modern belief that the Library was burned once and cataclysmically destroyed, the Library actually declined gradually over the course of several centuries, starting with the purging of intellectuals from Alexandria in 145 BC during the reign of Ptolemy VIII Physcon, which resulted in Aristarchus of Samothrace, the head librarian, resigning from his position and exiling himself to Cyprus. Many other scholars, including Dionysius Thrax and Apollodorus of Athens, fled to other cities, where they continued teaching and conducting scholarship. The Library, or part of its collection, was accidentally burned by Julius Caesar during his civil war in 48 BC, but it is unclear how much was actually destroyed and it seems to have either survived or been rebuilt shortly thereafter; the geographer Strabo mentions having visited the Mouseion in around 20 BC and the prodigious scholarly output of Didymus Chalcenterus in Alexandria from this period indicates that he had access to at least some of the Library's resources.

The Library dwindled during the Roman Period, due to lack of funding and support. Its membership appears to have ceased by the 260s AD. Between 270 and 275 AD, the city of Alexandria saw a rebellion and an imperial counterattack that probably destroyed whatever remained of the Library, if it still existed at that time. The daughter library of the Serapeum may have survived after the main Library's destruction. The Serapeum was vandalized and demolished in 391 AD under a decree issued by Coptic Christian Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, but it does not seem to have housed books at the time and was mainly used as a gathering place for Neoplatonist philosophers following the teachings of Iamblichus.

Magnificence (history of ideas)

The word magnificence comes from the Latin “magnum facere”, which means to do something great. The Latin word draws on the Greek “megaloprépeia”. This noun conveys the meaning of doing something great which is fitting or seemly to the circumstance. Magnificence is a philosophical, aesthetic and socio-economic notion deeply rooted in Western culture since classical antiquity. It regards the greatness of actions, courage, excellence, honour, generosity, and splendour of lifestyles of noble purposes.

Nicanor (Antipatrid general)

Nicanor (; Greek: Nικάνωρ Nikā́nōr; executed 317 BC) was a Macedonian officer who served the Diadochus Cassander and the son in law of Aristotle. He campaigned on Cassander's behalf in Attica and Hellespont during the early Wars of the Diadochi, but was executed by Cassander after the latter suspected him of plotting a coup.

Palaio Faliro

Palaio Faliro (Greek: Παλαιό Φάληρο, pronounced [paleˈo ˈfaliro] (listen); Katharevousa: Palaion Faliron, Παλαιόν Φάληρον, meaning "Old Phalerum") is a coastal district and a municipality in the southern part of the Athens agglomeration, Greece. At the 2011 census it had 64,021 inhabitants.


Phalerum (Ancient Greek: Φάληρον, Phálēron; Modern Greek: Φάληρο, Fáliro) was a port of Ancient Athens, 5 km southwest of the Acropolis of Athens, on a bay of the Saronic Gulf. The bay is also referred to as Bay of Phalerum (Greek: Όρμος Φαλήρου Ormos).

The area of Phalerum is now occupied by the towns Palaio Faliro, Kallithea, Moschato and Neo Faliro, all of which being part of the Athens agglomeration.

Phalerum was the major port of Athens before Themistocles had the three rocky natural harbours by the promontory of Piraeus developed as alternative, from 491 BC. It was said that Menestheus set sail with his fleet to Troy from Phalerum, as so did Theseus when he sailed to Crete after the death of Androgeus.Recently, archaeologists have uncovered what appear to be traces of ancient Athens’s first port before the city’s naval and shipping centre was moved to Piraeus. The site, some 350 m from the modern coastline, contained pottery, tracks from the carts that would have served the port, and makeshift fireplaces where travelers waiting to take ship would have cooked and kept warm.

The Park of Maritime Tradition, a collection of preserved historic ships, is located at the site. At the southern tip is the permanent anchorage of the armored cruiser HS Averof (now a floating museum), which was the admiralty ship of the Hellenic Navy during the Balkan Wars and World War I. Other museum ships include the Hellenic Navy destroyer HS Velos (D16), the old cable ship Thalis o Milisios (Thales of Miletos) and Olympias, a modern reconstruction of an ancient trireme naval ship.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The Boy Who Cried Wolf is one of Aesop's Fables, numbered 210 in the Perry Index. From it is derived the English idiom "to cry wolf", defined as "to give a false alarm" in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and glossed by the Oxford English Dictionary as meaning to make false claims, with the result that subsequent true claims are disbelieved.

Peripatetic philosophers
Greek era
Roman era


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