in arranging for the celebration of the victory. In 478 or 477 Aristides was in command of the Athenian squadron off Byzantium, and so far won the confidence of the Ionian allies that, after revolting from the Spartan admiral Pausanias, they offered him the chief command and left him with absolute discretion in fixing the contributions of the newly formed confederacy (see Delian League). His assessment was universally accepted as equitable, and continued as the basis of taxation for the greater part of the league’s duration; it was probably from this that he won the title of “the Just.” Aristides soon left the command of the fleet to his friend Cimon (q.v.), but continued to hold a predominant position in Athens. At first he seems to have remained on good terms with Themistocles, whom he is said to have helped in outwitting the Spartans over the rebuilding of the walls of Athens. But in spite of statements in which ancient authors have represented Aristides as a democratic reformer, it is certain that the period following the Persian wars during which he shaped Athenian policy was one of conservative reaction. (For the theory based on Plutarch, Aristid. 22, that Aristides after Plataea threw open the archonship to all the citizens, see Archon.)
He is said by some authorities to have died at Athens, by others on a journey to the Euxine sea. The date of his death is given by Nepos as 468; at any rate he lived to witness the ostracism of Themistocles, towards whom he always displayed a generous conduct, but had died before the rise of Pericles. His estate seems to have suffered severely from the Persian invasions, for apparently he did not leave enough money to defray the expenses of his burial, and it is known that his descendants even in the 4th century received state pensions. (See Athens; Themistocles.)
ARISTIDES, of Miletus, generally regarded as the father of Greek prose romance, flourished 150–100 B.C. He wrote six books of erotic Milesian Tales (Μιλησιακὰ), which enjoyed great popularity, and were subsequently translated into Latin by Cornelius Sisenna (119–67 B.C.). They are lost, with the exception of a few fragments, but the story of the Ephesian matron in Petronius gives an idea of their nature. They have been compared with the old French fabliaux and the tales of Boccaccio.
ARISTIDES, of Thebes, a Greek painter of the 4th century B.C. He is said to have excelled in expression. For example, a picture of his representing a dying mother’s fear lest her infant should suck death from her breast was much celebrated. He also painted one of Alexander’s battles. One of his pictures is said to have been bought by King Attalus for 100 talents (more than £20,000).
ARISTIDES, AELIUS, surnamed Theodorus, Greek rhetorician and sophist, son of Eudaemon, a priest of Zeus, was born at Hadriani in Mysia, A.D. 117 (or 129). He studied under Herodes Atticus of Athens, Polemon of Smyrna, and Alexander of Cotyaeum, in whose honour he composed a funeral oration still extant. In the practice of his calling he travelled through Greece, Italy, Egypt and Asia, and in many places the inhabitants erected statues to him in recognition of his talents. In 156 he was attacked by an illness which lasted thirteen years, the nature of which has caused considerable speculation. However, it in no way interfered with his studies; in fact, they were prescribed as part of his cure. Aristides’ favourite place of residence was Smyrna. In 178, when it was destroyed by an earthquake, he wrote an account of the disaster to Aurelius, which deeply affected the emperor and induced him to rebuild the city. The grateful inhabitants set up a statue in honour of Aristides, and styled him the “builder” of Smyrna. He refused all honours from them except that of priest of Asclepius, which office he held till his death, about 189. The extant works of Aristides consist of two small rhetorical treatises and fifty-five declamations, some not really speeches at all. The treatises are on political and simple speech, in which he takes Demosthenes and Xenophon as models for illustration; some critics attribute these to a later compiler (Spengel, Rhetores Graeci). The six Sacred Discourses have attracted some attention. They give a full account of his protracted illness, including a mass of superstitious details of visions, dreams and wonderful cures, which the god Asclepius ordered him to record. These cures, from his account, offer similarities to the effects produced by hypnotism. The speeches proper are epideictic or show speeches—on certain gods, panegyrics of the emperor and individual cities (Smyrna, Rome); justificatory—the attack on Plato’s Gorgias in defence of rhetoric and the four statesmen, Thucydides, Miltiades, Pericles, Cimon; symbouleutic or political, the subjects being taken from the past history of free Greece—the Sicilian expedition, peace negotiations with Sparta, the political situation after the battle of Leuctra. The Panathenaicus and Encomium of Rome were actually delivered, the former imitated from Isocrates. The Leptinea—the genuineness of which is disputed—contrast unfavourably with the speech of Demosthenes. Aristides’ works were highly esteemed by his contemporaries; they were much used for school instruction, and distinguished rhetoricians wrote commentaries upon them. His style, formed on the best models, is generally clear and correct, though sometimes obscured by rhetorical ornamentation; his subjects being mainly fictitious, the cause possessed no living interest, and his attention was concentrated on form and diction.
ARISTIDES, QUINTILIANUS, the author of an ancient treatise on music, who lived probably in the third century A.D. According to Meibomius, in whose collection (Antiq. Musicae Auc. Septem, 1652) this work is printed, it contains everything on music that is to be found in antiquity. (See Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyc. ii. 894.)
ARISTIDES, APOLOGY OF. Until 1878 our knowledge of the early Christian writer Aristides was confined to the statement of Eusebius that he was an Athenian philosopher, who presented an apology “concerning the faith” to the emperor Hadrian. In that year, however, the Mechitharists of S. Lazzaro at Venice published a fragment in Armenian from the beginning of the apology; and in 1889 Dr Rendel Harris found the whole of it in a Syriac version on Mount Sinai. While his edition was passing through the press, it was observed by the present writer that all the while the work had been in our hands in Greek, though in a slightly abbreviated form, as it had been imbedded as a speech in a religious novel written about the 6th century, and entitled “The Life of Barlaam and Josaphat.” The discovery of the Syriac version reopened the question of the date of the work. For although its title there corresponds to that given by the Armenian fragment and by Eusebius, it begins with a formal inscription to “the emperor Titus Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius”; and Dr R. Harris is followed by Harnack and others in supposing that it was only through a careless reading of this inscription that the work was supposed to have been addressed to Hadrian. If this be the case, it must be placed somewhere in the long reign of Antoninus Pius (138–161). There are, however, no internal grounds for rejecting the thrice-attested dedication to Hadrian his predecessor, and the picture of primitive Christian life which is here found points to the earlier rather than to the later date. It is possible that the Apology was read to Hadrian in person when he visited Athens, and that the Syriac inscription was prefixed by a scribe on the analogy of Justin’s Apology, a mistake being made in the amplification of Hadrian’s name.
The Apology opens thus: “I, O king, by the providence of God came into the world; and having beheld the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, the sun and moon, and all besides, I
- Codex Venet. ann., 981, and Codex Etchmiaz. of the 11th century.