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

or DEI'MACHUS (Δαΐμαχος or Δηΐμαχος), of Plataeae, a Greek historian, whose age is determined by the fact, that he was sent as ambassador to Allitrochades, the son of Androcottus or Sandrocottus, king of India (Strab. ii. p.70), and Androcottus reigned at the time when Seleucus was laying the foundation of the subsequent greatness of his empire, about B. C. 312. (Just. 15.4.) This fact at once shews the impossibility of what Casaubon (ad Diog. Laert. 1.1) endeavoured to prove, that the historian Ephorus had stolen whole passages from Daimachus's work, since Ephorus lived and wrote before Daimachus. The latter wrote a work on India, which consisted of at least two books. He had probably acquired or at least increased his knowledge of those eastern countries during his embassy; but Strabo nevertheless places him at the head of those who had circulated false and fabulous accounts about India. (Comp. Athen. 9.394; Harpocrat. s. v. ἐγγυθήκη; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. 1.558.) We have also mention of a very extensive work on sieges (πολιορκητικὰ ὑπομνήματα) by one Daimachus, who is probably the same as the author of the Indica. If the reading in Stephanus of Byzantium (s. v. Λακεδαιμών) is correct, the work on sieges consisted of at least 35 (λέ) books. (Comp. Eustath. ad Hom. Il. 2.581.) The work on India is lost, but the one on sieges may possibly be still concealed somewhere, for Magius (in Gruter's Fax Artium, p. 1330) states, that he saw a MS. of it. It may be that our Daimachus is the same as the one quoted by Plutarch (Comparat. Solon. cum Publ. 4) as an authority on the military exploits of Solon. In another passage of Plutarch (Plut. Lys. 12) one Laimachus (according to the common reading) is mentioned as the author of a work περὶ εὐσεβείας, and modern critics have changed the name Laimachus into Daimachus, and consider him to be the same as the historian. In like manner it has been proposed in Diogenes Laertius (1.30) to read Δαΐμαχος ὁ Πλαταιεύς instead of Δαίδαχος ὁ Πλατωνικός, but these are only conjectural emendations.