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Philochorus

Philochorus, of Athens, Greek historian during the 3rd century BC, was a member of a priestly family. He was a seer and interpreter of signs, and a man of considerable influence.

He was strongly anti-Macedonian in politics, and a bitter opponent of Demetrius Poliorcetes. When Antigonus Gonatas, the son of the latter, besieged and captured Athens (261), Philochorus was put to death for having supported Ptolemy Philadelphus, who had encouraged the Athenians in their resistance to Macedonia.

His investigations into the usages and customs of his native Attica were embodied in an Atthis, in seventeen books, a history of Athens from the earliest times to 262 BC. Considerable fragments are preserved in the lexicographers, scholiasts, Athenaeus, and elsewhere. The work was epitomized by the author himself, and later by Asinius Pollio of Tralles (perhaps a freedman of the famous Gaius Asinius Pollio).

Philochorus also wrote on oracles, divination and sacrifices; the mythology and religious observances of the tetrapolis[?] of Attica; the myths of Sophocles; the lives of Euripides and Pythagoras; the foundation of Salamis, Cyprus. He compiled chronological lists of the archons and Olympiads, and made a collection of Attic inscriptions, the first of its kind in Greece.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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