Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
(of Phalerum, on the coast S.W. of Athens). He was born about 345 B.C., was a pupil of Theophrastus, and an adherent of the Peripatetic school. He was distinguished as a statesman, orator and scholar. His reputation induced Cassander to put him at the head of the Athenian state in 317 B.C. For ten years he administered its affairs, and so thoroughly won the affection of his fellow-citizens that they erected numerous statues to him, as many as 360, according to the accounts, On the approach of Demetrius Poliorcetes in 307 B.C., he was deposed, and through the efforts of his opponents condemned to death by the fickle populace. On this he fled to Egypt, to the court of Ptolemy the First, who received him kindly and availed himself of his counsel. Thus Demetrius is credited with having suggested the foundation of the celebrated Alexandrian library. But Ptolemy withdrew his favour from him and banished him to Upper Egypt, where he died in 283 B.C. from the bite of a venomous snake. He was very active as, a writer, and his stay in Egypt gave him plenty of leisure to indulge his taste; but only a few fragments of his works have survived. An essay On Rhetorical Expression, formerly attributed to him, was in reality from the hand of a Demetrius who lived in the 1st century A.D. As an orator Demetrius is said to have been attractive rather than powerful. He was supposed to have been the first speaker who gave rhetorical expression an artificial character, and also the first who introduced into the rhetorical schools the habit of practising speaking upon fictitious themes, juristic or political.
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