In 500 B.C. he persuaded the Persians to join him in an attack upon Naxos, but he quarrelled with Megabates, the Persian commander, who warned the inhabitants of the island, and the expedition failed. Finding himself the object of Persian suspicion, Aristagoras, instigated by a message from Histiaeus, raised the standard of revolt in Miletus, though it seems likely that this step had been under consideration for some time (see Ionia). After the complete failure of the Ionian revolt he emigrated to Myrcinus in Thrace. Here he fell in battle (497), while attacking Ennea Hodoi (afterwards Amphipolis) on the Strymon, which belonged to the Edonians, a Thracian tribe. The aid given to him by Athens and Eretria, and the burning of Sardis, were the immediate cause of the invasion of Greece by Darius.
ARISTANDER, of Telmessus in Lycia, was the favourite soothsayer of Alexander the Great, who consulted him on all occasions. After the death of the monarch, when his body had lain unburied for thirty days, Aristander procured its burial by foretelling that the country in which it was interred would be the most prosperous in the world. He is frequently mentioned by the historians who wrote about Alexander, and was probably the author of a work on prodigies, which is referred to by Pliny (Nat. Hist. xvii. 38) and Lucian.
ARISTARCHUS, of Samos, Greek astronomer, flourished about 250 B.C. He is famous as having been the first to maintain that the earth moves round the sun. On this account he was accused of impiety by the Stoic Cleanthes, just as Galileo, in later years, was attacked by the theologians. His only extant work is a short treatise (with a commentary by Pappus) On the Magnitudes and Distances of the Sun and Moon. His method of estimating the relative lunar and solar distances is geometrically correct, though the instrumental means at his command rendered his data erroneous. Although the heliocentric system is not mentioned in the treatise, a quotation in the Arenarius of Archimedes from a work of Aristarchus proves that he anticipated the great discovery of Copernicus. Further, Copernicus could not have known of Aristarchus’s doctrine, since Archimedes’s work was not published till after Copernicus’s death. Aristarchus is also said to have invented two sun-dials, one hemispherical, the so-called scaphion, the other plane.
ARISTARCHUS, of Samothrace (c. 220–143 B.C.), Greek grammarian and critic, flourished about 155. He settled early in Alexandria, where he studied under Aristophanes of Byzantium, whom he succeeded as librarian of the museum. On the accession of the tyrant Ptolemy Physcon (his former pupil), he found his life in danger and withdrew to Cyprus, where he died from dropsy, hastened, it is said, by voluntary starvation, at the age of 72. Aristarchus founded a school of philologists, called after him “Aristarcheans,” which long flourished in Alexandria and afterwards at Rome. He is said to have written 800 commentaries alone, without reckoning special treatises. He edited Hesiod, Pindar, Aeschylus, Sophocles and other authors; but his chief fame rests on his critical and exegetical edition of Homer, practically the foundation of our present recension. In the time of Augustus, two Aristarcheans, Didymus and Aristonicus, undertook the revision of his work, and the extracts from these two writers in the Venetian scholia to the Iliad give an idea of Aristarchus’s Homeric labours. To obtain a thoroughly correct text, he marked with an obelus the lines he considered spurious; other signs were used by him to indicate notes, varieties of reading, repetitions and interpolations. He arranged the Iliad and the Odyssey in twenty-four books as we now have them. As a commentator his principle was that the author should explain himself, without recourse to allegorical interpretation; in grammar, he laid chief stress on analogy and uniformity of usage and construction. His views were opposed by Crates of Mallus, who wrote a treatise Περί Ανωμαλίας, especially directed against them.
ARISTEAS, a somewhat mythical personage in ancient Greece, said to have lived in the time of Cyrus and Croesus, or, according to some, ca. 690 B.C. We are chiefly indebted to Herodotus (iv. 13-15) for our knowledge of him and his poem Arimaspeia. He belonged to a noble family of Proconnesus, an island colony from Miletus in the Propontis, and was supposed to be inspired by Apollo. He travelled through the countries north and east of the Euxine, and visited the Hyperboreans, Issedonians and Arimaspians, who fought against the gold-guarding griffins. An important historical fact which seems to be indicated in his poem is the rush of barbarian hordes towards Europe under pressure from their neighbours. Twelve lines of the poem are preserved in Tzetzes and Longinus. Wonderful stories are told of Aristeas. At Proconnesus, he fell dead in a shop; simultaneously a traveller declared he had spoken with him near Cyzicus; his body vanished; six years afterwards, he returned. Again disappearing, 240 years later he was at Metapontum, and commanded the inhabitants to raise a statue to himself and an altar to Apollo, whom he had accompanied in the form of a raven, at the founding of the city. According to Suidas, Aristeas also wrote a prose theogony. The genuineness of his works is disputed by Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
ARISTEAS, the pseudonymous author of a famous Letter in which is described, in legendary form, the origin of the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint (q.v.). Aristeas represents himself as a Gentile Greek, but was really an Alexandrian Jew who lived under one of the later Ptolemies. Though the Letter is unauthentic, it is now recognized as a useful source of information concerning both Egyptian and Palestinian affairs in the 2nd and possibly in the 3rd century B.C.
ARISTIDES [Άριστείδης] (c. 530–468 B.C.), Athenian statesman, called “the Just,” was the son of Lysimachus, and a member of a family of moderate fortune. Of his early life we are told merely that he became a follower of the statesman Cleisthenes and sided with the aristocratic party in Athenian politics. He first comes into notice as strategus in command of his native tribe Antiochis at Marathon, and it was no doubt in consequence of the distinction which he then achieved that he was elected chief archon for the ensuing year (489–488). In pursuance of his conservative policy which aimed at maintaining Athens as a land power, he was one of the chief opponents of the naval policy of Themistocles (q.v.). The conflict between the two leaders ended in the ostracism of Aristides, at a date variously given between 485 and 482. It is said that, on this occasion, a voter, who did not know him, came up to him, and giving him his sherd, desired him to write upon it the name of Aristides. The latter asked if Aristides had wronged him. “No,” was the reply, “and I do not even know him, but it irritates me to hear him everywhere called the just.”
Early in 480 Aristides profited by the decree recalling the post-Marathonian exiles to help in the defence of Athens against the Persian invaders, and was elected strategus for the year 480–479. In the campaign of Salamis he rendered loyal support to Themistocles, and crowned the victory by landing Athenian infantry on the island of Psyttaleia and annihilating the Persian garrison stationed there (see Salamis). In 479 he was re-elected strategus, and invested with special powers as commander of the Athenian contingent at Plataea; he is also said to have judiciously suppressed a conspiracy among some oligarchic malcontents in the army, and to have played a prominent part