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 DA'PHIDAS (Δαφίτας or Δαφίδας), a grammarian and epigrammatist of Telmessus, of whom Suidas says, that he wrote against Homer, accusing him of falsehood in saying that the Athenians went to the Trojan war. He was a reviler of all men, and did not spare even the gods. He put a trick upon the Delphian oracle, as he thought, by inquiring whether he should find his horse. The answer was, that he should find it soon. Upon this, he declared that he had never had a horse, much less lost one. But the oracle proved to be true, for on his return home he was seized by Attalus, the king of Pergamus, and thrown headlong from a rock, the name of which was ἵππος, horse. (Suid. s. v. Δαφίτας; comp. Cic. de fat. 3; V. Max. 1.8, ext. § 8.) Strabo, in speaking of Magnesia, mentions a mountain over against it, named Thorax, on which it was said that Daphitas was crucified for reviling the kings in two verses, which he preserves. He also mentions the oracle, but, of course, as playing upon the word φώραξ instead of ἵππος (xiv. p. 647). The distich preserved by Strabo is also included in the Greek Anthology. (Brunck, Anal. iii. p. 330; Jacobs, ii. p. 39.)