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1*— M>J>*«- -WI



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THE SOCIAL LIFE OF THE GREEKS, II



GREEK LIFE AND THOUGHT

323-146 B.C.



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GREEK
LIFE AND THOUGHT

FROM THE DEATH OF ALEXANDER TO
THE ROMAN CONQUEST



^ BY

Jf Pr MAHAFFY

PBLLOW ETC OF TRINITY COLLBGB, DUBLIN ; HON. FELLOW OF

queen's COLLEGE, OXFORD ; KNIGHT OF THE ORDER OF THE REDEEMER ;

CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF tHE ACADEMY OF VIENNA ;

AUTHOR OF

PROLEGOMENA TO ANCIENT HISTORY'; ' KANT'S PHILOSOPHY FOR ENGLISH READERS*

'SOCIAL LIFE IN GREECE FROM HOMER TO MENANDSR'; 'tHB GREEK WORLD

UNDER ROMAN SWAV': 'RAMBLES AND STUDIES IN GREECE';

'a history OF CLASSICAL GREEK LITERATURE'; ' THE

EMPIRE OF THE PTOLEMIES*; EDITOR OF

THE PBTRIE PAPYRI, ETC.



SECOND EDITION, CORRECTED AND CONSIDERABLY ENLARGED



7^6'



iotrlrcn

MACMILLAN AND CO., Ltd.

NEW YORK : THE MACMILLAN CO.
1896



All rights reserutd



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GIFT



1>F

11



First Edition 1887
Second Edition 1896



• I \

•••••• • • <



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^ AMICO

rv^^ EDGARDO VINCENT

>-,* AMICUS AUCTOR



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PREFACE

As the text of the former edition of this book is in
the present ^volume rehandled in many places, and
enriched with new materials, the former preface has
become antiquated, and is therefore not here reprinted.
This volume is the second of the series which I have
written on the social life of the Greeks, and its natural
sequel is the volume entitled The Greek World
under Roman Sway, A fourth volume yet remains
to be written, which will be devoted to the period of
Greek thought and letters from Hadrian to Julian.
But even if this work be never accomplished, the
other three volumes stand independently as studies
of three distinct periods of great importance and
interest The special title of the present volume
means to include all the life of Greek-born or Greek-
speaking people, wherever they dwelt. I should
have called it Hellenistic Life and Thought, but that
the proper force of this adjective, as distinguished



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GREEK LIFE AND THOUGHT



from Hellenic, requires explanation, and moreover,
the book does not exclude later Hellenedom, or
strictly Greek society, as distinguished from the
Hellenism of foreigners, such as Persians and Jews.

In the second place, as this book was not in-
tended exclusively for scholars, it became necessary
to introduce some account of the history and litera-
ture of the age as the background for the estimate
of life and manners, which is my main object. I
might possibly have assumed a knowledge of this
history and literature in the scholar, though, even for
scholars, the epoch is one of great complication and
obscurity, lying outside the bounds of ordinary
classical reading ; but, in the general reader, this
special knowledge could not possibly be expected.
Hence there is more actual history in the present
volume than in its predecessor, and its limits are
marked, not by great authors, but by great political
events.

So much I may preface in vindication of the
title. Those who desire a compendious review of
the events of the period over which we are about to
travel will now find it in my Story of Alexander's
Empire (F. Unwin), where the main facts and
dates are set down with some brief hints of the
topics expanded in the present volume. At the



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PREFACE ix

same time I have added a chronological table to
the present volume.^

I am not ashamed to confess that as I had no
predecessor on this subject, and was obliged to gather
materials from many scattered sources, some evidence
of importance had escaped me. It was not likely to
happen in those portions of the book where I had the
advantage of using Droysen*s History of Hellenism^
or Hertzberg's History of Greece under the Romans.
But the former of these books stops with the battle
of Sellasia and the death of Antigonus Doson, while
the latter confines itself to the direct relations of Rome
with Greece, and therefore begins far on in the epoch
I have chosen, nor does it even then touch on Asiatic
or Egyptian Hellenism. Moreover, since the publi-
cation of both, a mass of new material in inscriptions
and on papyri has come to light. Again, the Jewish
reaction had to be sought in a wholly different field of
literature — Josephus,*Aristeas,' Clemens Alexandrinus,
and the theological historians who have in recent times
studied the Apocrypha. Polybius, of course, is our
main source for the latter chapters, and the reader
will find him largely quoted from Hultsch's edition.

^ It must be remembered that many of the dates in this period are
disputed, and many not to be accurately determined. Fortunately,
approximate dates are sufficient for a study of social life.



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GREEK LIFE AND THOUGHT



But the main alterations in this edition arise
from the utilisation of new texts concerning Perga-
mum, the Fayyum in Egypt, the cities of Greece and
Asia Minor recently searched by explorers, and from
the suggestions and corrections which have been
offered to me by learned men in Germany, in Italy,
and in France. The volumes of the Bulletin de corre-
spondance helldnique {BCH) and the Mittheilungen des
kaiser liclien deutschen Instituts zu A then {MDI or
Mitth,) have afforded me much material, and my
study of the later authors for my volume on the
Roman period of Greek life (Plutarch, Strabo, Dion)
has often given me hints to use in the present book.
An ample index has been prepared by my friend,
Mr. J. E. Healy. Many minor faults detected by
my critics have been corrected.

But there is one larger question wherein many of
them differed from me, on which I will here add a
few words of justification. For the most careful con-
sideration of their strictures has not persuaded me to
change this one distinctive feature in the book — the '
illustrating of social and political conflicts in Hellen-
istic days by those which occupy us in the present
day. I was told that I was degrading ancient
history by these modern parallels, that I was intro-
ducing the heat of modern disputes into the calm



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PREFACE



atmosphere of classical learning, that I was introducing
new controversies into subjects "hitherto free from
this disturbing element I will not lay stress upon
the fact that the journals which made this complaint
were those to whom the historical parallels I had
drawn were very inconvenient. The proper ground
for me to occupy is far higher. My conception of
the Hellenistic world is that of a complex society
containing almost all the features of our most modern
life. The same problems, the same controversies, the
same jealousies, were agitating men's minds then
that agitate them now. Is it right or is it wrong
for the historian of Hellenism to point out these
analogies, and to illustrate the conflicts of that day
by those which the modern reader can appreciate in
the world around him ? Is it a crime to make
what we call the old world revive in the imaginations
of men, and assume life and colour, by translating
the policy of an Aratus or a Ptolemy into its
modern equivalents? Is it worth anybody's while
to sit down and endeavour to unravel the tangled
skeins of Hellenistic history if he cannot find there
a single lesson for life, a single corroboration of the
adage that human nature is the same in all places
and in all times ?
) '• What my critics are therefore invited to do.



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GREEK LIFE AND THOUGHT



is to see that the comparisons here instituted
are just, that the analogy really holds ; not to
complain that such comparisons are out of place,
and such analogies disagreeable. An angry poli-
tician might very easily strain, such parallels; he
might convey unjust reflections upon the party he
disliked by odious comparisons. This was the error
which I sought carefully to avoid, by giving full
credit for good motives to both sides, by making full
allowance for political mistakes, and by distinguish-
ing them from political crimes. But to banish all
this large and fruitful field of illustration from our
studies of ancient history would be to play into the
hands of the pedant or of the partisan.

The proper duty of the critic is not therefore
to prescribe to the author what method he should
adopt, but to weigh carefully his arguments, and,
in the particular case before us, to test the illus-
trations and point out where the analogies do not
hold. For it need hardly be argued that in societies
widely different, not only in date, but in locality
and in race, there are many real differences,
to which due importance must be assigned. The
desire of finding likenesses may amount to a passion,
and may blind us to the contrasts, which may
more than counterbalance them. It is only by



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PREFACE



giving due weight to all these considerations, that
an honest and a living sketch of any ancient society
can be accomplished.

As far as I am personally concerned, it were
indeed late in the day for me to argue the general
question. From the beginning of my studies on
the great subject of social life in Greece, it was
the modern, the essentially human, and therefore
universal, features of the Hellenic race which in-
terested me, and which have interested so many
readers. The present volume is a corrected, en-
larged, improved instalment framed upon the same
principles.



Trinity College, Dublin,
4/A September 1896.



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CONTENTS

PAGB

Chronological Table xvii

Introduction xxxvii

CHAP.

I. The Immediate Effect of Alexander's Conquests

ON Social Life in Greece i

II. The Revolution in Hellenic Life made by

Alexander 19

III. The Diadochi as Executors of Alexander's Ideas 36

IV. The Younger Generation of Diadochi, and the

Princesses of their Day 55

V. Home Politics during the Wars of the Diadochi 78
VI. The Relation of Art and Literature to the

Social Life of the Period 108

viL The Serious Side of Greek Society — The Re-
ligion OF THE Day 140

VIII. The Golden Age of the Hellenistic World . 162

IX. Alexandria and its Rivals 172

X. The Alexandria of Philadelphus ; Anitoch, etc. 214
XI. The Literature of Alexandria under the First

AND Second Ptolemies 239

xiL Alexandrian Literature— c(7«/w«^</. . . . 280



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GREEK LIFE AND THOUGHT



CHAP. PAGE

XIII. The City Life of the Third Century b.c., and

ITS Effects upon the Civilisation of the Age 311

XIV. Pergamum and its Position in the Hellenistic

World 331

XV. The Mercantile Aspects of Hellenism— Leagues

AND Federations— Arbitration— Public Credit 355

XVI. The Greece of Aratus and his League . . 381
xviL The Inner Life of the Period .... 397

xvin. The Crisis of Hellenism 420

XIX. The Gradual Subjection of Hellenism to Rome
—The Crisis in Greece and the Settlement

OF Asia Minor 466

XX. Decaying Hellenism in Syria — Its Collision

with Judaism 494

XXI. Decaying Hellenism in Egypt . . . .532

XXII. PoLYBius and HIS Age 555

xxiii. The Importation of Hellenism to Rome . . 597

APPENDICES—

A. ITHYPHALLUS ON DEMETRIUS POLIORCETES . . 619

B. DiosESfEiAy 922-954, OF Aratus (compared with

Virgil Georgics i. 356-382) 620

C. Prologue to the Phaenomena of Aratus . . 622

D. Fragment from Phanocles on the death of

Orpheus (compared with Virgil Georgics iv.
464-527) 622

E. Fragment of Hermesianax 625

F. Fragment of the sixth Hymn of Callimachus:

THE Story of Erysichthon 628

G. Fragment of the Hecale of Callimachus . . 629
H. Fragment of Rhianus 630

I. On the Boundary- dispute between Samos and
Prirne 631

Index 635



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CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE



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Online LibrarySir John Pentland MahaffyGreek life and thought from the death of Alexander to the Roman conquest → online text (page 1 of 56)