A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

2. A tragic poet, whom Plutarch (Vit. X. Orat. p. 833), Philostratus (Vit. Soph. 1.15.3), and others, confound with the Attic orator Antiphon, who was put to death at Athens in B. C. 411. Now Antiphon the tragic poet lived at Syracuse, at the court of the elder Dionysius, who did not assume the tyranny till the year B. C. 406, that is, five years after the death of the Attic orator. The poet Antiphon is said to have written dramas in conjunction with the tyrant, who is not known to have shewn his passion for writing poetry until the latter period of his life. These circumstances alone, if there were not many others, would shew that the orator and the poet were two different persons, and that the latter must have survived the former many years. The poet was put to death by the tyrant, according to some accounts, for having used a sarcastic expression in regard to tyranny, or, according to others, for having imprudently censured the tyrant's compositions. (Plut., Philostr. ll. cc.; Aristot. Rh. 2.6.) We still know the titles of five of Antiphon's tragedies: viz. Meleager, Andromache, Medeia, Jason, and Philoctetes. (Bode, Gesch. der Dram. Dichtk. der Hellen. i. p. 554, &c.)