free ebooks

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Plutarch sive anonymus in Vit


of Plato afforded an annual

rent, which, in eight centuries, was gradually increased from three to one thousand pieces of gold. [147] The schools of Athens were protected by the wisest and most virtuous of the Roman princes. The library, which Hadrian founded, was placed in a portico adorned with pictures, statues, and a roof of alabaster, and supported by one hundred columns of Phrygian marble. The public salaries were assigned by the generous spirit of the Antonines; and each professor of politics, of rhetoric, of the Platonic, the Peripatetic, the Stoic, and the Epicurean philosophy, received an annual stipend of ten thousand drachmae, or more than three hundred pounds sterling. [148] After the death of Marcus, these liberal donations, and the privileges attached to the thrones of science, were abolished and revived, diminished and enlarged; but some vestige of royal bounty may be found under the successors of Constantine; and their arbitrary choice of an unworthy candidate might tempt the philosophers of Athens to regret the days of independence and poverty. [149] It is remarkable, that the impartial favor of the Antonines was bestowed on the four adverse sects of philosophy, which they considered as equally useful, or at least, as equally innocent. Socrates had formerly been the glory and the reproach of his country; and the first lessons of Epicurus so strangely scandalized the pious ears of the Athenians, that by his exile, and that of his antagonists, they silenced all vain disputes concerning the
nature of the gods. But in the ensuing year they recalled the hasty decree, restored the liberty of the schools, and were convinced by the experience of ages, that the moral character of philosophers is not affected by the diversity of their theological speculations. [150]

[Footnote 143: The life of Isocrates extends from Olymp. lxxxvi. 1. to cx. 3, (ante Christ. 436--438.) See Dionys. Halicarn. tom. ii. p. 149, 150, edit. Hudson. Plutarch (sive anonymus) in Vit. X. Oratorum, p. 1538--1543, edit. H. Steph. Phot. cod. cclix. p. 1453.]

[Footnote 144: The schools of Athens are copiously though concisely represented in the Fortuna Attica of Meursius, (c. viii. p. 59--73, in tom. i. Opp.) For the state and arts of the city, see the first book of Pausanias, and a small tract of Dicaearchus, in the second volume of Hudson's Geographers, who wrote about Olymp. cxvii. (Dodwell's Dissertia sect. 4.)]

[Footnote 145: Diogen Laert. de Vit. Philosoph. l. v. segm. 37, p. 289.]

[Footnote 146: See the Testament of Epicurus in Diogen. Laert. l. x. segm. 16--20, p. 611, 612. A single epistle (ad Familiares, xiii. l.) displays the injustice of the Areopagus, the fidelity of the Epicureans, the dexterous politeness of Cicero, and the mixture of contempt and esteem with which the Roman senators considered the philosophy and philosophers of Greece.]

[Footnote 147: Damascius, in Vit. Isidor. apud Photium, cod. ccxlii. p. 1054.]

[Footnote 148: See Lucian (in Eunuch. tom. ii. p. 350--359, edit. Reitz,) Philostratus (in Vit. Sophist. l. ii. c. 2,) and Dion Cassius, or Xiphilin, (lxxi. p. 1195,) with their editors Du Soul, Olearius, and Reimar, and, above all, Salmasius, (ad Hist. August. p. 72.) A judicious philosopher (Smith's Wealth of Nations, vol. ii. p. 340--374) prefers the free contributions of the students to a fixed stipend for the professor.]

[Footnote 149: Brucker, Hist. Crit. Philosoph. tom. ii. p. 310, &c.]

[Footnote 150: The birth of Epicurus is fixed to the year 342 before Christ, (Bayle,) Olympiad cix. 3; and he opened his school at Athens, Olmp. cxviii. 3, 306 years before the same aera. This intolerant law (Athenaeus, l. xiii. p. 610. Diogen. Laertius, l. v. s. 38. p. 290. Julius Pollux, ix. 5) was enacted in the same or the succeeding year, (Sigonius, Opp. tom. v. p. 62. Menagius ad Diogen. Laert. p. 204. Corsini, Fasti Attici, tom. iv. p. 67, 68.) Theophrastus chief of the Peripatetics, and disciple of Aristotle, was involved in the same exile.]


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us