|3. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 5.76, 5.78-5.82, 5.84-5.85 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)
| 5.76. For he was one of Conon's household servants, according to Favorinus in the first book of his Memorabilia; yet Lamia, with whom he lived, was a citizen of noble family, as Favorinus also states in his first book. Further, in his second book Favorinus alleges that he suffered violence from Cleon, while Didymus in his Table-talk relates how a certain courtesan nicknamed him Charito-Blepharos (having the eyelids of the Graces), and Lampito (of shining eyes). He is said to have lost his sight when in Alexandria and to have recovered it by the gift of Sarapis; whereupon he composed the paeans which are sung to this day.For all his popularity with the Athenians he nevertheless suffered eclipse through all-devouring envy. 5.78. And in the official list the year in which he was archon was styled the year of lawlessness, according to this same Favorinus.Hermippus tells us that upon the death of Casander, being in fear of Antigonus, he fled to Ptolemy Soter. There he spent a considerable time and advised Ptolemy, among other things, to invest with sovereign power his children by Eurydice. To this Ptolemy would not agree, but bestowed the diadem on his son by Berenice, who, after Ptolemy's death, thought fit to detain Demetrius as a prisoner in the country until some decision should be taken concerning him. There he lived in great dejection, and somehow, in his sleep, received an asp-bite on the hand which proved fatal. He is buried in the district of Busiris near Diospolis. 5.79. Here are my lines upon him:A venomous asp was the death of the wise Demetrius, an asp withal of sticky venom, darting, not light from its eyes, but black death.Heraclides in his epitome of Sotion's Successions of Philosophers says that Ptolemy himself wished to transmit the kingdom to Philadelphus, but that Demetrius tried to dissuade him, saying, If you give it to another, you will not have it yourself. At the time when he was being continually attacked in Athens, Meder, the Comic poet, as I have also learnt, was very nearly brought to trial for no other cause than that he was a friend of Demetrius. However, Telesphorus, the nephew of Demetrius, begged him off.In the number of his works and their total length in lines he has surpassed almost all contemporary Peripatetics. For in learning and versatility he ha 5.80. no equal. Some of these works are historical and others political; there are some dealing with poets, others with rhetoric. Then there are public speeches and reports of embassies, besides collections of Aesop's fables and much else. He wrote:of Legislation at Athens, five books.of the Constitutions of Athens, two books.of Statesmanship, two books.On Politics, two books.of Laws, one book.On Rhetoric, two books.On Military Matters, two books. 5.81. On the Iliad, two books.On the Odyssey, four books.And the following works, each in one book:Ptolemy.Concerning Love.Phaedondas.Maedon.Cleon.Socrates.Artaxerxes.Concerning Homer.Aristides.Aristomachus.An Exhortation to Philosophy.of the Constitution.On the ten years of his own Supremacy.of the Ionians.Concerning Embassies.of Belief.of Favour.of Fortune.of Magimity.of Marriage.of the Beam in the Sky.of Peace.On Laws.On Customs.of Opportunity.Dionysius.Concerning Chalcis.A Denunciation of the Athenians.On Antiphanes.Historical Introduction.Letters.A Sworn Assembly.of Old Age.Rights.Aesop's Fables.Anecdotes. 5.82. His style is philosophical, with an admixture of rhetorical vigour and force. When he heard that the Athenians had destroyed his statues, That they may do, said he, but the merits which caused them to be erected they cannot destroy. He used to say that the eyebrows formed but a small part of the face, and yet they can darken the whole of life by the scorn they express. Again, he said that not only was Plutus blind, but his guide, Fortune, as well; that all that steel could achieve in war was won in politics by eloquence. On seeing a young dandy, There, quoth he, is a four-square Hermes for you, with trailing robe, belly, beard and all. When men are haughty and arrogant, he declared we should cut down their tall stature and leave them their spirit unimpaired. Children should honour their parents at home, out-of-doors everyone they meet, and in solitude themselves. 5.84. (8) the sophist who lived at Alexandria, author of handbooks of rhetoric; (9) a grammarian of Adramyttium, surnamed Ixion because he was thought to be unjust to Hera; (10) a grammarian of Cyrene, surnamed Wine-jar, an eminent man; (11) a native of Scepsis, a man of wealth and good birth, ardently devoted to learning; he was also the means of bringing his countryman Metrodorus into prominence; (12) a grammarian of Erythrae enrolled as a citizen of Lemnos; (13) a Bithynian, son of Diphilus the Stoic and pupil of Panaetius of Rhodes; 5.85. (14) a rhetorician of Smyrna. The foregoing were prose authors. of poets bearing this name the first belonged to the Old Comedy; the second was an epic poet whose lines to the envious alone survive:While he lives they scorn the man whom they regret when he is gone; yet, some day, for the honour of his tomb and lifeless image, contention seizes cities and the people set up strife;the third of Tarsus, writer of satires; the fourth, a writer of lampoons, in a bitter style; the fifth, a sculptor mentioned by Polemo; the sixth, of Erythrae, a versatile man, who also wrote historical and rhetorical works.