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

1. A son of Sophocles by Theoris. (Suidas, s. v. Ἰοφῶν.) He had a son of the name of Sophocles, who is said to have brought out, in B. C. 401, the Oedipus in Colonus of his grandfather Sophocles. (Argum. ad Soph. Oed. Col. p. 12, ed. Wonder.) Whether he is the same as the Ariston who is called a writer of tragedies (D. L. 7.164), and one of whose tragedies was directed against Mnesthenus, cannot be said with any certainty, though Fabricius (Bibl. Gr. ii. p. 287) takes it for granted.

2. A friend of Aristotle, the philosopher, to whom he is said to have addressed some letters. (D. L. 5.27.)

3. A Peripatetic philosopher and a native of the island of Ceos, where his birthplace was the town of Julis, whence he is sometimes called Κεῖος and sometimes Ἰουλιήτης. He was a pupil of Lycon (D. L. 5.70, 74), who was the successor of Straton as the head of the Peripatetic school, about B. C. 270. After the death of Lycon, about B. C. 230, Ariston succeeded him in the management of the school. Ariston, who was, according to Cicero (de Fin. 5.5), a man of taste and elegance, was yet deficient in gravity and energy, which prevented his writings acquiring that popularity which they otherwise deserved, and may have been one of the causes of their neglect and loss to us. In his philosophical views, if we may judge from the scanty fragments still extant, he seems to have followed his master pretty closely.

4. Of Alexandria, likewise a Peripatetic philosopher, was a contemporary of Strabo, and wrote a work on the Nile. (D. L. 7.164; Strab. xvii. p.790.) Eudorus, a contemporary of his, wrote a book on the same subject, and the two works were so much alike, that the authors charged each other with plagiarism. Who was right is not said, though Strabo seems to be inclined to think that Eudorus was the guilty party. (Hubmann, l.c. p. 104.)

5. Of Pella in Palestine, lived in the time of the emperor Hadrian or shortly after.

6. Of Alaea (Ἀλαιεύς), a Greek rhetorician who wrote, according to Diogenes Laertius (7.164) scientific treatises on rhetoric. Another rhetorician of the same name, a native of Gerasa, is mentioned by Stephanus of Byzantium. (s. v. Γέρασα.)

The name of Ariston occurs very frequently in ancient writers, and it has been calculated that about thirty persons of this name may be distinguished ; but of most of them we know nothing but the name. They have often been confounded with one another both by ancient and modern writers, particularly Ariston of Chios and Ariston of Ceos. (Sintenis, ad Plut. Themist. 3, and especially the treatise of Hubmann referred to above.)