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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

Author(s): H. B. Gottschalk
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Hermes, 100. Bd., H. 3 (1972), pp. 314-342
Published by: Franz Steiner Verlag
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4475745 .
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NOTES ON THE WILLS OF THE PERIPATETIC SCHOLARCHS


I

The documents

Among the more important documents preserved by Diogenes Laertius are


the wills of six leading philosophers, Plato (3, 4I-3), Epicurus (io, I6-2I),
and the first four heads of the Aristotelian school, Aristotle himself (5, II-i6),
Theophrastus (5, 5I-7), Strato (5, 6I-4 = fr. IO WEHRLI) and Lyco (5, 69 to
74 = fr. I5 WEHRLI); Aristotle's will has also been preserved in two Arabic
versions containing some variant readings'. While those of Plato and Aristotle
are purely personal, the remaining wills contain more or less detailed provisions for the continuation and endowment of the Epicurean and Peripatetic
schools, which throw a good deal of light on their organisation and the conditions in which they operated. The Peripatetic wills are particularly instructive, forming as they do a continuous series dating from 322 to 228/5 BC. Yet
there has been no comprehensive study of these documents since the eighties of
the last century, and the discussions published then concentrated mainly on
their legal aspects 2, The aim of this paper is rather to extract as much historical
information as possible about the Peripatos and its members. I shall press the
evidence hard and some of my conclusions are more speculative than I like.
But none of my results conflict with any reliable ancient testimony, and I hope
at least to succeed in dispelling some misconceptions and in clarifying the nature
of our sources and the limits of our knowledge.
Diogenes tells us that Strato's will came to him (directly or indirectly)
from the collection of Ariston of Ceos, an eminent Peripatetic who probably
1 See below,

p. 3I5ff-

C. G. BRUNS, Die Testamente der gr. Philosophen, Ztschr. d. Savigny-Stiftung, Romanistische Abtlg. i, i88o, 1-52; A. HUG, Zu den Test. d. gr. Philos., Festschr. zur Begrilf3ung der Vers. deutscher Philologen u. Schulmanner, Zfirich I887, 1-22.
WILAMOWITZ,Antigonos v. Karystos, Berlin i88i, 263ff., deals with the historical problems. Aristotle's will has come in for a great deal of individual attention. An English translation of
the Arabic version of Usaibia is printed by I. DiURING, Aristotle in the Biographical Tradition,
Goteborg 1957, P. 2i9f., and both the Arabic and the Greek text are discussed on pp. 6i ff.
and 238 ff.; this work will be referred to as AB. Another edition of the Greek text, with the
chief Arabic variants (in a Latin translation) given in an apparatus, is in M. PLEZIA,Arist.
Epistulae cum Testamento, Warsaw I96I. Discussions by A. GRANT, Aristotle, London
I877, 26ff.; G. GROTE, Aristotle, London 2i880, I7ff.; E. ZELLER, Ph. d. Gr. II 23, I879,
4Iff.;
Legend

W. W. JAEGER, Aristoteles,

Berlin

of Ar., Class. Quart. 20, I926,

1923 etc., 343 ff.; C. M. MULVANY, Notes


157ff.;

M. PLEZIA, in Meander

2, I947,

on the

215ff.

(in

Polish; not available to the present writer); A.-H. CHROUST,Ar. 's Last Will and Testament,
Wien. Stud. 8o, I967, 90ff. includes English translations of the Greek and Arabic versions
in parallel columns. DURING, PLEZIAand CHROUSTbreak the text up into short numbered
sections; in this paper references will be given to Diogenes' paragraphs and sections in the
numeration

of DURING and PLEZIA, e.g. Diog.

5. I5, ? 2e D.-P.

differs from that of the other editors and will not be given here.

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CHROUST'S numeration

Noteson the Willsof the PeripateticScholarchs

3I5

succeeded Lyco as head of the school in 228/5'. It has been plausibly assumed
that the remaining Peripatetic wills, together with much of the material for
Diogenes' first four Peripatetic lives, were taken from the same source2. Aristotle's will was also quoted by Hermippus and may have been included in his
life of Aristotle . It was published again by Andronicus of Rhodos, from whose
text the Arabic versions are derived4. The Arabic and Greek texts agree very
closely on the whole, except that the Arabic versions omit the final paragraph
(Diog. 5, I5-6) and in several places have short sentences not found in the Greek.
DURING, who is inclined to regard most of these additions as genuine, has suggested that the text published by Andronicus was more complete than that
of Ariston and Hermippus, and was based on a copy he found among Aristotle's
papers; the last paragraph, he thinks, was omitted by the Arabs because it contains provisions for setting up statues of some relatives of Aristotle's and cultstatues of Zeus and Athena, which would have offended Muslim sensibilities.
This is certainly possible, but it is equally possible that the Arabic writers
used an incomplete text 5. A few other small omissions in the Arabic versions
are probably the result of ordinary textual corruption, e.g. of the words O'C&
xocaocaro5xocal
uiiv at the end of the second sentence of ? I2 (i b D- . The
, are
words at the end of the following sentence, cG xOl 7rOT-p cOVxal aXOAcp6
cd
(i.e. Strato's) &LA0xxat,x0co&7rou
1Diog. 5, 64 Koalod8e ,iv etLatvalep6[voL
ocCroTOi
auvisycay xoc 'Aparcov o Ketog. This is the reading of BFP and the modern editions; cf.
W. KNOGEL, Der Peripatetiker Ariston v. Keos bei Philodem, Leipzig I933, 75 n. 4. The
inferior manuscripts and most of the older editions have 'A. 6ootxeto, but the right reading is found in the FROBEN edition (1533) and was conjectured by CASAUBON and independently by ZELLER P. 4I n. 4. On the question of Ariston's scholarchate see F. WEHRLI,
Die Schule des Aristoteles 6, Basel 1952 etc., p. 49.
2 See P. MORAUX,Les Listes Anciennes des Ouvrages d'Aristote, Louvain 195I, 244ff.,
with references to earlier literature in n. 138. Since Diogenes also names Ariston as an
authority for his life of Epicurus (io, I4 = Ariston fr. 32 WIEHRLI; unfortunately the text
is corrupt and Ariston's name has been restored conjecturally), it is not impossible that
Epicurus' will was transmitted by him as well. At least one can say that an interest in such
documents is characteristically Peripatetic. Whether Ariston wrote a life of Aristotle has
been disputed, cf. PLEZIA Eos 5I, 196I, 246.
3 Ap. Ath. 589c = AB T I2C.
4 Vita Ar. Marc. 43, Elias in Categ. 107, 13 = AB T 75 P 3; the intermediate link was
a life of Aristotle by an otherwise unknown Ptolemy. On the relationship of the Arabic
to the Greek text and the very small differences between the two Arabic versions, see AB
p. 6i ff., 238 ff., PLEZIA Ar. Epist. p. I53 ff., and CHROUST P. 9I ff.
5 If Andronicus did find a previously unpublished document, it could have been a rough
draft; if Aristotle had more than one authorised copy of his will made, we should expect
the fact to be mentioned in the will itself, as it is in Theophrastus' will ? 57. Cf. PLEZIA,
Eos 5I, I95I, 247ff.
6 P. 202 lines 4-5
LONG. Perhaps these words underly the phrase *)It is our last will
and testament that... e at the beginning of the following sentence in the Arabic, which does
not correspond to anything in the Greek.

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H. B. GOTTSCHALK

3I6

found in the text of Usaibia, but not in the Fihrist of Ibn an-Nadim. Of the Arabic additions, the words 'equivalent to I25 Roman Librae' after 'one talent'
in Diog. 5, I3 ? i e D-P are certainly interpolated'. Other apparent additions
are really transpositions due to faulty sentence-division; a clear example occurs in Diog. 5, I5, where the words xal To
7a6 ov ocuToi5have been detached
from the end of the second sentence (? 2 e D-P) and joined to the third (? 2 f
D-P); another possible instance has been noticed in note i above. Most of the
rest are unimportant and could have been inserted by the translator to clarify
real or imagined obscurities. Only three add anything of substance. At the beginning of ? Id D-P (Diog. 5, I3) the circumstances in which Theophrastus is
to have the option of marrying Pythias are more precisely defined by the clause
#If Nicanor dies intestate((; at the beginning of ? 2 a D-P (Diog. 5, I4 med.) the
Arabic texts have a sentence about Nicomachus which will be fully discussed
later; in ? 2b D-P (Diog. 5, I4 ad fin.) the bequest of five hundred drachmae
and a maidservant to Ambracis are made conditional on her remaining in Pythias' service until her marriage. The third at least could well be genuine, since
it improves the sense although Diogenes' text is not difficult enough to tempt
an editor or translator to tamper with it. But whatever the truth of this, one
thing is clear. While the Arabic text may be better in some instances, there
is no fundamental superiority which would make it necessary to suppose that
Andronicus had a different and better text than was available to Diogenes'
source. Both versions will have suffered a certain amount of damage in the
course of transmission, and our choice of which variants to accept must be
guided by the merits of each particular case.
In the case of Theophrastus the position is more difficult. Here we have
only one complete text, but in addition there are at least two references in later
Greek writers purporting to be to Theophrastus' will which do not correspond
to anything in the version preserved by Diogenes. Athenaeus (i86a), in a passage in praise of wine as an aid to social intercourse, says that Theophrastus
left money for symposia. Harpocration quotes Theophrastus' will as evidence
that groups of men meeting to honour dead persons were known as opy?c,v?s2;
the implication is that he knew a version of Theophrastus' will in which some
kind of 'Commemoration of Benefactors' was instituted and the celebrants,
presumably all or some members of the school, were referred to by this title.
On the other hand, the text of Diogenes shows no signs of any omissions. Probably Athenaeus and Harpocration are mistaken; they may have been think1 If DtRING
is right in supposing that they were put in by Andronicus, our faith in
his editorial competence would have to be re-examined. In reality they look like an ordinary intrusive gloss.
2 S.v. 6pye&vocq
ad fin., copied by Photius and the Suda: 'Tuore8A 5atepov vev6jitat1L
so6 -7r1=tLt -va tcv &ro0oav6voYTv OuvLkfXL xocl 6pyecooc;6toocq dvoct&aooL, 5 g
auvL8UtV ?x TYv ?9COp&a'OU

axOqXrov.

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

3I7

ing of an endowment made during Theophrastus' lifetime or simply have given


a wrong reference. The wills of Strato and Lyco are not mentioned by any writer
except Diogenes.
In spite of these complications there can be no doubt about the authenticity of the wills 1.The evidence here is cumulative. There is the plentiful domestic
detail, uninfluenced by later scandalous stories like the one that Aristotle's
estate included a large amount of expensive plate 2, and the mixture of famous
and little-known names among the persons named as beneficiaries or witnesses.
One circumstance which might appear to support the opposite view, in fact
does nothing of the kind: there is no mention of a school in Aristotle's will because he died in exile and probably did not expect that his former teaching
activity would be renewed by his successors, but a forger would probably have
inserted some reference to the Peripatos. The language of the wills also favours
this conclusion. There are slight but noticeable differences, and the style of
Theophrastus' will in particular is close to that of his other writings3. Such impressions are inevitably subjective, but they are confirmed by at least one
objective observation: there is a steady increase in number of third person
plural imperatives in -coaov in the later wills. This form does not occur at all
in the wills of Plato and Aristotle, who use jussive infinitives instead. Theophrastus, who died in 288/6, has 6aTXc6aCvtwice, but jussive infinitives in all
other cases4. Strato, who died c. 270, has six -oaov imperatives, including one
but no jussive infinitives; his contemporary Epicurus
instance of "a-ICOGOCv,
(died 268) has twelve -X6oCv imperatives. Lyco, who died in 226/4, has six,
and like Strato uses this form in all cases where he wants to express a third
person plural imperative. This progression is exactly what we should expect ,
but no Hellenistic forger could have reproduced it so precisely.
The form and content of Aristotle's will are quite different from those of
Theophrastus, Strato and Lyco. Made when Aristotle was an exile in Chalcis,
it contains detailed provisions for the members of his household but says nothing about a school; the books and teaching equipment, maps, anatomical
drawings, etc., which we know he must have possessed, are not mentioned.
The others were all heads of an established school when they died, and all remained unmarried. So the personal element is less prominent in their wills,
but all include more or less detailed provisions for the endowment and continuation of the school. The formal structure of these wills is uniform, except for
details.
1 It was last challenged rather tentatively by GRANT l.c, and is generally accepted today.
2 Diog. 5, i6.
3 See e.g. the second sentence of ? 54, beginning IIo[ur7iAcXq
g? xccl Opfwr. The same
holds true of Epicurus' will with its involved periods, e.g. Diog. IO, I7.
' E.g. ? 53 ad fin. 7[Lk;XILov 7rotd1ac tou tpea3ut&tou7 . . . &4aou. a xccl r a,.
Gramm. d. gr. Spr. I. 28, p. 5I; BLASS-DEBRUNNER, Gramm. d.
5 Cf. KtHNER-BLASS,
neutest. Gr. ? 84, with references to earlier literature.

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3I8

H. B.

GOTTSCHALK

i. They begin with a clause leaving all the testator's property in his hometo his natural heirs, brothers' in the case of Lyco
town (tc o'Lxot,r' &'vo'L'Xc)
and probably nephews in the case of Theophrastus and Strato, since in each
case one of the heirs has the same name as the testator's father 2. This is the equivalent of the formal heredisinstitutio of a Roman will3; there is nothing which
corresponds in Aristotle's will, presumably because Aristotle left legitimate
issue. The later scholarchs each name two heirs, and in the wills of Strato and
Lyco the one named last seems to have a certain pre-eminence4. These features
are probably accidental, but it is worth noting that none of the scholarchs
left the property he had inherited from his forebears to anyone but the natural
heirs. This would have been too great an infringement of the rights of their
families.
2. Next come clauses dealing with the testator's obligations and providing
for the payment of various expenses, including those of the burial (Thphr.
?5I fin.-52; Str. ? 6i fin.; Lyco ? 69 fin.-70 init.). In Theophrastus' will,
this section includes provisions for repairs and embellishments to the school
buildings, while his funeral is only mentioned later (? 53 fin.), almost as an afterthought. In Lyco's will, more provisions of this kind are inserted in ? 7I-72
init., after the clauses dealing with the school. The expenses arising from these
provisions are mostly met from the testator's liquid assets in Athens and fall
ultimately on the chief heirs".
3. Next come arrangements for the school (Thphr. ? 53, Str. ? 62, Lyco
? 70). Theophrastus and Lyco leave it to a group of ten xoLv&vOUi5-V('Fellows') or yv(pLjioL,Strato to a single man, Lyco; but all include a short exhorta-

I Or perhaps half-brothers? One of them was also named Lyco and was young enough
to be described by the scholarch as ulou ai&vl &aix6toc (? 70).
2 Melantes, Diog. 5, 5I and 36; Arcesilaus, Diog. 5, 6i and 58. Leon, the father of Melantes and Pancreon, will have been Theophrastus' brother and an Eresian. This is preferable to JACOBY'S view (F.Gr.H. I32 T i Comm.) that he was identical with Leon of Byzantium, the historian and pupil of Aristotle.
3There is a complication in Theophrastus' case. Most of his liquid assets seem to have
been in the hands of a certain Hipparchus, who was himself financially embarrassed at the
time of Theophrastus' death. In order to avoid unprofitable disputes, Theophrastus left
the residue of his Athenian property to Hipparchus on condition that he paid all the minor
bequests, including certain repairs and improvements to the school buildings, and a talent
to each of the two natural heirs, Melantes and Pancreon. On these facts HUG concludes
(p. 4f.) that Hipparchus was the chief heir; but in view of the formal parallels in the other
wills and Theophrastus' apology for the course he had decided to take (? 55 fin.), this is very
questionable.
4 In Strato's will, Arcesilaus is to decide which slave is to be given to Epicrates,
to
negotiate with the steward Heraios and the chief executor Olympichus, and so on (? 63 f.);
in Lyco's, the younger Lyco, described as ULOU
t&iv &aXjx6tXoc
(? 70), is left the property
in Aegina, made responsible for paying sundry debts, and named as a 'fellow' of the school.
5 Cf. HUG P. 7ff. for further details.

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

3I9

tion to all members of the school to co-operate for the good of the whole '. The
and buildings, including
school property consisted of the school park (x%ptoq)
a shrine of the Muses, an altar (presumably in the courtyard outside the shrine),
at least two colonnades (atoocL),and several houses adjoining the park; some
teaching equipment, such as the wall-maps fixed in one of the stoai, and a certain amount of furniture, including the statues in the shrine, were also included.
The library however is treated as a separate item in the wills of Theophrastus
and Strato, and evidently was not at that time part of the ordinary school
property.
4. Books are mentioned in each of the wills but treated differently each
time. Theophrastus gives them only half a sentence at the end of section two
(i.e. before he comes to the school property), in which he leaves 'all the books'
to Neleus of Scepsis (? 52 ad fin.); his reason will be considered later. Strato
deals with them immediately after the school (? 62 fin.); he leaves all the books,
except those he had written himself, together with the dining equipment needed
for the school's common meals, to Lyco. The books written by Strato are not
mentioned again and presumably went with the residuary estate to his nephews.
Lyco does not refer to any books except those he himself had written, and these
are only mentioned among the miscellaneous bequests near the end of the will
(? 73); they are divided into two groups, those previously published (avyvCOa,tieov),which are left to Chares, a freed slave, perhaps Lyco's secretary2, and
the unpublished manuscripts (xVorX3Toc),which are left to Callinus, one of the
Fellows, for editing. The absence of any separate provision concerning the
books he had inherited from Strato can only mean that Lyco regarded these as
an integral part of the school property.
5. The last part of each will, amounting to more than half the total length,
is taken up by bequests to friends and slaves and by technical matters such as
lists of witnesses (Ar. ? I4-I6,
Thphr. ? 54-7, Str. ? 62 fin.-64, Lyco ? 72
to 74). These minor legacies, like the obligations mentioned under (2) above,
are paid from the testator's liquid assets outside his home town; the responsibility for carrying them out is laid on the chief heirs, who inherit the residue,
if any. These sections contain little of importance to the historian.
1 See further below, p. 330ff. The members seem to be named roughly in order of seniority; at least the first two on Theophrastus' list, Hipparchus and Neleus, were quite old,
while the last on Lyco's list, Lyco o & poi56, was obviously junior to the rest.
2 CAPELLE'S
suggestion (RE XIII, 2307) that Chares and Mikros, another slave freed
by Lyco's will (? 72), were natural sons of Lyco is quite without foundation. Mikros was
a young boy; Lyco junior is made responsible for his education and keep for six years.
His mother is freed in the following paragraph, together with several other slaves, but no
further provision is made for her. Chares is provided with maintenance for life, which suggests that he had already reached pensionable age. If Lyco senior had had a concubine
or concubines among his slaves, we should certainly have heard about it.
21

Hermes 100,3

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H. B. GOTTSCHALK

320

In spite of this uniformity the wills reveal something of the character of


the testators and the circumstances in which they wrote'. Many scholars have
remarked on the nobility of Aristotle's will as a document showing the concern
he felt for his family and other dependents; a different aspect will be considered
later 2. Solicitude for the welfare of their dependents, including slaves and former
slaves, is something we also find in the wills of the later scholarchs, but even
more important is their concern for the future of the Peripatetic school. Theophrastus, whose will displays the most meticulous draftsmanship of the four ,
lays down with great precision the terms on which the members of the school
were to enjoy its facilities, and gives a detailed list of repairs and other work
which were to be paid for out of the estate; he even remembers to confirm the
caretaker in his office (? 54). We learn that the school buildings had suffered
considerabledamage, which had not been fully repairedwhen the will was drawn
Up 4. This was probably a result of the siege of Athens by Demetrius Poliorcetes
in 296-4. But the gloomy picture drawn by WILAMOWITZ
of the state of the
Peripatos at this time needs to be modified. There were ample funds available
for repairs, in spite of the losses caused by Hipparchus' bad luck or mismanagement; the chief sufferers from these were Melantes and Pancreon, and even
they received a talent apiece in addition to the property in Eresos5. Theophrastus had established the Peripatos physically and overcome the hostility which had forced Aristotle to leave the city and had dogged Theophrastus
himself in earlier days 6. He seems to have been confident that the school would
continue to flourish.
Strato's will is much more concise and contains no details about buildings;
it does not even enumerate the new Fellows separately, their names have to be
inferred from the list of
s?;C?oa which immediately precedes the clause
appointing Lyco as head of the school7. But his words make it clear that he was
faced with a new problem, manpower. Student numbers, we know, had been
declining8, and when Strato looked round for a potential successor, he found
1 Cf. HUG I7ff.
2 Below, p. 328.
3 It is the only one of which several copies were made and the only one to specify where
the copies were to be deposited; presumably it was prepared some time before Theophrastus' death. BRUNS (P. 24) sees in this a reflection of Theophrastus' known interest in the
philosophy of law.
4 ? 5I; note especially t& &vocOx-qax6ao 7rp6pov
6cpX?v and so atot&ov o1xo8o[LOIVCXL. .. Xp? x OpOV 7tpO6tepov.

5 Cf. WILAMOWITZ 267 n. 4. The rest of the note is equally

inaccurate,

and WILAMO-

WITZ'assertion that all the philosophical schools abandoned their suburban camp-,ses after
the Macedonian invasion of Attica in 200 is disproved by Cicero Fin. 5, 4. In general, Antigonos is rather a bad book, and it is time historians stopped using it as an authoritative
source.
6 Cf. Diog. 5, 37f. 4I.
7 ? 62. ot XoL7m0o
in the following sentence must refer to these men.
8 Plut. 472 e

Str. fr. 8 WEHRLI.

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

32I

that most members of his school were either too old or too busy to undertake
this task'. He reacted in what one suspects was a characteristic way by appointing the only candidate who seemed suitable, without awaiting an election
by the remaining members of the school. His choice of Lyco has often been
criticised and there can be no doubt that his philosophical achievements turned
out of be undistinguished and the intellectual vigour of the Peripatos fell off
sharply under his scholarchate. But the same symptoms of decline are found
at this time in all the schools excepts the Stoic, and Lyco seems to have done
at least one of the things expected of him. In a world where students increasingly wanted a liberal education and some guidance on moral principles rather
than radical thinking, he found a place for his school on the middle ground
between the rigid dogmas of Stoics and Epicureans.
Lyco's will is the longest and most personal, as well as the most muddled,
of the four. The provisison for his burial is mentioned twice (?69 and 7I), and
in the second place it is not immediately clear who is to be ultimately responsible for the cost2. The residue of the estate in Attica is also disposed of before
the minor bequests have been dealt with (? 70 init.). Lyco's fussy good-nature
and his egotism are both clearly revealed. At the very outset we are told that
the will was made because Lyco was suffering from an illness which he thought
he might not survive. Like his predecessors, he urges the surviving members
to work together, but his words contain a personal note not found before: they
'ou -corou xZap (?70). While the school
are asked to co-operate zaxpoi5xcoxd
property is only referred to very briefly, the minor bequests are specified in
great detail. They range from an endowment to supply oil for students to anoint themselves after exercise to the gift of a pair of drinking-cups to Callinus'
young son; Lyco's fondness for athletics and high living are well attested by
other sources3.
II

Aristotle's Family

Apart from the ordinary household servants Aristotle left three dependents
at his death, a daughter Pythias, a son Nicomachus, and Herpyllis. Pythias
is the only one of the three whose status is certain. She was Aristotle's daughter
by his wife or, as some authorities say, his first wife, who was also named Py1 Diog. 5, 62 O'L&LiVeOL 7rpea6$trpOL,
ot ai &axoXoL. This does not mean, as CAPELLE
(RE XIII 2307) seems to think, that the younger men were too preoccupied with research,
but that they were trying to advance their careers in the outside world, perhaps even that
they were too poor; Lyco was certainly a wealthy man. Cf. J. L. STOCKS, EzoB, Class.
Quart. 30, I936, I77ff.
2 WILAMOWITZ
263 n. i takes &pipo-rpotqin ? 7I fin. as referring to Boulon and Callinus, and inferred that Lyco had made a separate will in his home-town leaving some of his
property there to these friends; in reality he left all this property to his brothers (? 69),
and &'pupo0poLq must refer to them.
3 Diog. 5, 67; Ath. 547d = Lyco fr. 7 WEHRLI.
21*

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322

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

thias, the sister, niece or daughter' of Hermias, the ruler of Atarneus at whose
court Aristotle spent the years 348-5 and whom he commemorated after his
death by a memorial at Delphi and an ode which has survived to the present.
No separate financial provision was made for the younger Pythias in the will,
but Aristotle appointed a guardian, Nicanor, for her and the other members
of the family and arranged that he should marry Pythias when she reached
the proper age; he also made various alternative provisions in case Nicanor
should die prematurely. Nicanor was probably a relative. Later in the will
(Diog. 5, I5 = ? 3 a D-P) his mother is included in a list of relatives whose
portrait-statues Aristotle had commissioned, and there is much to be said for
MULVANY'S conjecture that he was the son of Aristotle's sister Arimneste and
Proxenus2; the further statement of the Vita Marciana (? 3) that Aristotle had
adopted Nicanor is very doubtful3. The traditional identification of this Nicanor with Alexander's general who announced the recall of exiles at the Olympic
Games in 324, fought for Cassanderagainst Polyperchon in 3I8 and was subsequently executed by Cassanderafter a quarrel4,has been doubted by MULVANY
and DtURING (11.cc.). The trouble Aristotle took to provide for the possibility
that Nicanor should die before he could marry Pythias suggests that she was
still some years below the marriageable age. Since the minimum age of marriage for girls at Athens seems to have been fourteen5, she cannot have been
I See AB T IO and ZELLER
P. 20. She is described as Hermias' sister and adopted daughter
by Aristocles, who may be following Apellicon (ap. Euseb. PE I5, I3ff. = AB T 58j, 1);
as his niece by Strabo I3, 57, as his 'daughter or niece' by Demetrius Magnes ap. Diog.
Laert. 5, 3, and as his daughter by Vita Menag. 2. It is not easy to choose between these
variants. If Aristocles' statement goes back to Apellicon, it would represent our most ancient authority; but Strabo's authority is almost as good and Aristocles could have misread his source. Two points are in Strabo's favour: it is intrinsically more likely that Hermias should have adopted a niece than a sister, and Pythias must have been much younger
than he; she was a good deal younger than Aristotle, who was about fifty years old when
his daughter was born (see below) and who was himself probably some years younger than
Hermias. It is even possible that Pythias was Hermias' daughter, as the Vita Menagiana
says, and that the other stories were a consequence of the invention that Hermias was
a eunuch, on which see MULVANY I55.
2 MULVANY 159, accepted by DtRING AB P. 27I. It is stated as a fact by CHROUST P. 98.
3 It may be based on the words of Aristotle's will (Diog. 5, 12 = ? i b D-P) eL7&VXsECaOGo
but nothing can be ina&Ncx&vwpxao '4 7=ALq65. . . coG xocd wcri]p'wv xocl &M8eXcp6,
ferred from this expression; cf. DtRING, PLEZIA and CHROUST ad loc.
4 GROTE,Arist.2, p. II; ZELLER P. 5f.; BERvE RE XVII 267; PLEZIA P. IS5. On BERVE'S
attempt to identify him with the Nicanor who wrote a Life of Alexander the Great see JACOBY, F.Gr.H. I46 Comm.
5 A. R. W. HARRISON, The Law of Athens I, Oxford I968, 2I n. I, combines Demosth.
27, 4 and 29, 43; cf. Arist. Ath. Pol. 56, 7, WILAMOWITZ, Arist. u. Athen I, 334 n. 31. In the
Gortyn Code (Col. I2 line i8) the earliest age at which heiresses (rn'Crpc.oXot)are allowed
to marry is twelve years. CHROUST'S guess that Pythias was born about 338 (p. 103) is quite
unsubstantiated.

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more than twelve years old at the time of Aristotle's death. Her later career
is known from Pliny and Sextus Empiricus . She was married three times,
first to Nicanor, then to a certain Procles by whom she had two sons, Procles
and Demaratus, and finally to a physician Metrodorus2, a pupil of Chrysippus
and teacher of Erasistratus, by whom she had one son, Aristotle the younger;
thus her last marriage forged a personal link between Aristotle, the Peripatos
and the most distinguished medical circles of the period. Two of her sons ultimately joined the Peripatos. Demaratus is included in the list of xotvovOiv-rs4
in Theophrastus' will (? 53) and later in the same paragraph the younger Aristotle is given the right to join them and commended to the special care of the
older members; presumably he was still too young to hold a fellowship.
Nicomachus and Herpyllis will unfortunately have to be consideredtogether.
Most of our sources say that Herpyllis became Aristotle's mistress after the
death of his wife and that Nicomachus was her son, and this story is embellished
in various ways. Sources derived from Hermippus describe her as a oatLpoc
(AB T I2c), Timaeus calls her a Oep&1t7rLvm
and 7XXocx' (AB T I2b, 9c),
and the Vita Menagiana 4 adds that Aristotle obtained her from Hermias after
the death of Pythias-a silly invention, for Hermias died shortly after 343
while Pythias was alive to give birth to her daughter around 334. Aristocles
( =AB T 58m) claims that Aristotle married Herpyllis, but this looks like a
belated attempt to whitewash his memory 3. Most modem writers have followed
the majority tradition4; the exceptions are MULVANY (P. I57f.) and DURING
(AB p. 266, 269f.), who regard Nicomachus as the son of Aristotle and Pythias,
but disagree about the position of Herpyllis. According to MULVANY she was
a servant who became Aristotle's wife, while DURING concludes that she #managed Aristotle's household as head of his servants<<
(AB p. 264). This is certainly
on the right lines, but perhaps makes too little allowance for the very large difference in the provision Aristotle made for her and for the ordinary servants.
Since DURING'S conclusion has not been universally accepted, a new examination of the evidence may not be superfluous. Three questions have to be de1 AB T iia-b.
2

There is a slight doubt about his name. The manuscripts of Diog. Laert. 5, 53 give it
as MeL8LoU
or M,8Mou,but it is corrected to M-Tpo&6poiu(from Sextus) in the modern editions. Cf. W. KROLL, RE XV, 1482f. and R. HELM, Hermes 29, I894, i6i ff.
3 While Aristocles' intention was praiseworthy, his methods could be clumsy. Thus he
tried to defend Aristotle against the charge of marrying Pythias for unworthy motives
by quoting a spurious letter attributed to him by Apellicon; see below, p. 34I f.
4 ZELLER P. 22 n.; WILAMOWITz
Antig. 264 n. i, Ar. u. Ath. II, 3I6; HUG 3; JAEGER
341; K. v. FRITZ, RE XVII, 1936, 462f.; H. H. SCHMITT, RE XXIV, I96I, 548f.; PLEZIA,
Class. et Med. 22, I96I, 27 (but in his edition of Aristotle's letters, p. IS6, he accepts DtRING'S
view that Nicomachus was Pythias' son); CHROUST Iioof. GROTE P. 17 and BRUNS I7ff.
think it probably that Aristotle married Herpyllis; CHROUST p. io8 argues that he
adopted or otherwise legitimised Nicomachus, without marrying Herpyllis.

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324

H. B.

GOTTSCHALK

cided: did Nicomachus rank as Aristotle's legitimate son (and heir) when the
will was made? Was he the son of Pythias or Herpyllis? What was Herpyllis'
position in Aristotle's household?
Two difficulties have been raised against the view that Nicomachus was
legitimate. The very wide powers over Aristotle's estate given to Nicanor, including the provision that any arrangementshe might make concerning Pythias
and Nicomachus should be binding even if he died before he could marry Pythias or before any children were born of the marriage, would appear a serious
infringement of Nicomachus' rights, if he was the legitimate heir'. Secondly,
Theophrastus' guardianship of Aristotle's children and estate in case of Nicanor's death seems to be made dependent on his marrying Pythias (Diog. 5, I3
= ? id D-P); this would imply that Pythias was the heiress (rctxknpoq) of
the estate and Aristotle had no legitimate male descendants. The first objection can be met by the consideration that if the very wide powers granted Nicanor ever became operative, Nicomachus would still be a minor; in fact these
powers amount to no more than the right to continue as Nicomachus' guardian
if Pythias died early, or to appoint a new guardian if Nicanor himself should
die. As to the second, Pythias' betrothal to Nicanor resulted from a decision

of Aristotle,not from the rule of (X&crxaLG


x, under which the nearest male
agnate on the father's side was entitled, and in some cases obliged, to marry
a brotherless heiress2. Theophrastus later became Nicomachus' guardian without marrying Pythias3, and in his own will bequeathed an estate in Stagira
to a certain Callinus. The suggestion that this was Aristotle's old house, left to
Theophrastus by Nicomachus (who was killed in battle as a youth) is a plausible
one4; it is not easy to see how else he should have acquired property there".

Diog. 5, 12 = ? i c D-P. Cf. HUG 3; F. SCHULIN, Das gr. Testament verglichen mit d.
rbmischen, Basel I882, 28.
2 This point is made by WILAMOWITz,
Antigonos 264 n. i. On the law concerning heiresses, see HARRISON 9ff. 132 if. I58 ff. Similar provisions are found in the Gortyn code 7, 15ff.
(cf. R. F. WILLETS, The Law Code of Gortyn, Berlin I967, 23ff.) and must have existed
in most Greek states.
3 Aristocles ap. Euseb. PE I5. I5 = AB T 58m.
4 MULVANY I58; DtRING AB P. 266.
5 The view that he bought it when staying at Stagira with Aristotle at some time after
345 (JAEGER ii6 n. I; REGENBOGEN RE Suppl. VII, 1357) is ill-founded. There is considerable doubt whether Aristotle ever stayed at Stagira except for short visits; Apollodorus
F.Gr.H. 244 F 38, reprinted in AB p. 253 f., does not allow for a prolonged stay there in his
chronology of Aristotle's life (cf. A. MANSION, Rev. Philos. de Louvain 56, 1958, 628).
There is no real evidence that Theophrastus accompanied him, if he did; the slight acquaintance with the flora of Stagira implied by HP 3, II, i and 4, I6, 3 could have been gained
on a short holiday, or even at second hand from Aristotle's description. And if Theophrastus
did join Aristotle at Stagira, it is more likely that Aristotle would have put him up than that
he should have gone to the expense of buying a house of his own.

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325

If these arguments are inconclusive, some more general considerations favour Nicomachus' legitimacy. He was named after his paternal grandfatherI,
and except in the passages referring to Pythias' marriage, the children are
always mentioned together in Aristotle's will. No separate financial provision
is made for either of them. This can be explained in one of two ways. Either
Pythias was the heiress and Nicomachus was cut off with nothing (the money
left to Herpyllis would go to the children of any marriageshe might subsequently
contract), or Nicomachus was the heir and a dowry for Pythias had been arranged before the will was drawn up; this would imply, what is in any case
likely, that her betrothal to Nicanor had been agreed some time previously.
The second alternative is much the more likely. In DURING'S view it is confirmed
by a sentence found only in the Arabic versions of the will; this sentence comes
after the section dealing with Herpyllis and runs: >>Asto my estate and my
son, there is no need for me to be concerned about testamentary provisions<(2.
Unfortunately it is certainly spurious. Not only it is in the wrong place-Nicomachus was mentioned several times at the beginning of the will, and any further
clauses concerning him should have come before the ones dealing with Herpyllis3; it is either redundant or wrong in law. If Nicomachus was legitimate, it
is redundant, for legitimate sons were not and did not need to be named in wills,
since their right of succession was fixed by law 4. If he was illegitimate it is wrong
in law, for where there was legitimate issue, bastards would inherit nothing
that had not been bequeathed to them by will5.
While Aristotle's will says little about Nicomachus, its provisions concerning Herpyllis are more detailed than any others (Diog. 5, I3f. -= ? i e D-P).
Like the children, she is placed under the protection of Nicanor, and Aristotle
enjoins him and the other executors to take good care of her )>inmemory of me
and because she has been good to mea(6.He then provides for her as follows.
(I) If she wants to marry, she is to be married >ina manner not unworthy of mea7.
' Cf. MULVANYI58, who
quotes Demosth. 39, 27.
2 ? 2 a DtRING (AB P. 220), ? I5 CHROUST, n. 3 in PLEZIA'S apparatus; it would stand
in the middle of Diog. 5, I4. DURING P. 239 and CHROUST P. io8 accept it as genuine.
3 DtRING i.c. has seen this point and argues that an interpolator would have been unlikely to insert it here. But probably the interpolator thought that Nicomachus was the son
of Herpyllis.
4 Cf. Isaeus 6. 27f., where the fact of a boy's being mentioned in his putative father's
will is treated as evidence of his illegitimacy.
5 Cf. HARRISON p. 67ff. In Athens at least the amount which could be left to v600L
was strictly limited.
6
aL
8Ll
royq etL'rpo6nouq xcxl Ntx&vopa [v7Ja v-rfi &0po5 xacl 'Ep7uXXE8oq, O'rt
oxoukovcx 7rlpL &E? kykvE'ro The Arabic version is slightly different: ))For judging from what
I saw of her earnestness in rendering service to me and her zeal for all that was becoming
for me, she has deserved well of me<x(tr. DtRING, AB p. 2I9).
7 Reading o>ux&voctcoc 'uv. The Arabic version has )>Sheshall be given to a man of
good repute<(, and COBETaltered Diogenes' text to okvocEq.

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326

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

In addition to what she has already, she is to receive one talent in cash,
four maids and a man-servant. (3) She is offered the choice of Aristotle's father's
house in Stagira or one of the guest-wings' of his house in Chalcis to inhabit;
whichever she chooses, the executors are to furnish it to her satisfaction. The
last provision clearly shows that Aristotle expected Herpyllis to have a separate
household, even if she should decide to live in the same house as Nicanor and his
household (who were presumably going to inhabit the main part of the house
in Chalcis). The children, however, were to remain with Nicanor. This is surely
decisive. Aristotle would hardly have envisaged such an arrangement if Nicomachus had been Herpyllis' son2.
Of course it does not follow that Herpyllis could not have been Aristotle's
mistress or even his wife, but this is unlikely for a number of reasons. In spite
of the care Aristotle takes for her welfare, the way in which he speaks of her
in his will would appear cold and inappropriateif she had been his wife3, and his
request for his remains to be buried besides those of Pythias suggests
that Herpyllis had not supplanted Pythias in his affections. MULVANY has
pointed out (p. 158) that it would have been highly indecorous for Aristotle
to establish a former mistress in his father's house-it would certainly have
been a grave infringement of the rights of his legitimate heirs-while the notion
of a woman being married off by her dead lover's executors ))ina manner worthy
of the lover# is hardly conceivable outside the world of Feydeau's plays. We
must also bear in mind that at the time of Pythias' death Aristotle was in his
fifties, in moderate health and engaged in intellectual work of an intensity
which most of us can hardly even imagine. In these circumstances he would
have needed a sympathetic nurse and housekeeper more than a mistress.
On the other hand, Herpyllis must have been more than a servant. The most
that any slaves receive in Aristotle's will, apart from their freedom, is five
hundred or a thousand drachmai and one or two young slaves. From Lyco's
will we learn that even a century after Aristotle's death five hundred drachmai,
together with the remittance of his purchase-money, was enough to enable a
(2)

1 These guest-wings are described by Vitruvius 6, 7, 4; they were self-contained and had
separate entrances. There is no reason to suppose that the house in Chalcis had come to Aristotle from his mother (so DfURING, RE Suppl. XI, 173, etc.); she was descended from one
of the leaders of the Chalcians who colonised Stagira (Dion. Hal. Amm. I, 5, 527 = AB
T I d), but it does not follow that she ever lived at Chalcis or owned property there. Houses
with self-contained guest-wings belong to a late period of Greek architecture, cf. FIECHTER,
RE VII, 2546.
2 It is true that a widow might return to her father's house, leaving her children in the
house of their guardian (HARRISON 38, III). But Herpyllis does not seem to have had any
living male relatives and remained under Nicanor's tutelage.
3 This would become quite obvious if we could accept the Arabic text as truly representing the original at this point. The Arabic versions also refer to her as 'my servant Herpyllis' in ? i a DtRING (Diog. 5, I2), but this looks like an interpolation.

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

327

freedman to retire in comfort'. Herpyllis however received as much as a very


rich man might be expected to provide for a widow or unmarried daughter.
Dowries of a talent or more are not unknown, but half that amount was much
more usual, and the furniture and slaves she was left (which would not have
been regarded as part of the dowry) were also worth more than was normal2.
These bequests imply the existence of a closer relationship between Aristotle
and Herpyllis than that of master and servant. A clue to the correct explanation is contained in Aristocles' statement that Herpyllis came from Stagira3.
MULVANY and DURING dismiss it as nothing more than an inference from
Aristotle's will, but even if this is so, he may well have hit upon the truth. Stagira was a dead-and-alive place on the frontiers of the civilised world, and
Aristotle certainly did not expect that Nicanor or any other member of his
immediate family would want to live there. Why then did he think that Herpyllis might? The answer must be that Stagira was her home.
This is not enough, however, to account for her presence in Aristotle's
household or the size of his bequests to her; since Aristotle had left Stagira
as a boy and probably only returned there for short visits, he would not normally
have obtained his staff from there. The simplest explanation is that Herpyllis
was a relation of some kind who had come to Aristotle as his ward and managed
his household after his wife's death; her relationship to Aristotle would then be
similar to that of the boy Myrmex mentioned in the next clause of the will
(Diog. 5, I4 = ? 2a D-P), who is to be sent back to his relatives 'in a manner
worthy of us', together with the property Aristotle had received with him, the
difference being that Herpyllis had no other relatives to go to4. It may be no
accident that the passage about Myrmex comes immediately after the ones
dealing with Herpyllis and before the clauses dealing with the slaves and freedmen. This suggestion is, of course, speculative, and involves discardingthe whole
of the ancient tradition concerning Herpyllis; but it does fit in with the only
documentary evidence we possess, and the tradition is in any case vitiated
by the gross and obvious libels it contains ". There is little profit in trying to disI Diog. 5, 72
A7),0)Tptcp . . . &qPb%ttla )Tpo

xal aOat
ntvtre tvacqxod 14-tov
xodt
XCTCvC,ZVM
Tov0iBX6q 7rO?X&
p?T' &kio)3
fOV et'Gx7)OCV
Mxr
2 Figures of known dowries are most conveniently assembled by WYSE on Isaeus 2, 3,
6; cf. W. S. FERGUSON, Hellenistic Athens, London I9II, 68f., H. J. WOLFF, RE XXXII,
136ff. 139ff., and M. I. FINLEY, Studies in Land and Credit in Athens, London I95I, 79.
266ff. Larger dowries occur in New Comedy, e.g. Menander Dysk. 843f., cf. HANDLEY ad
loc. But in this genre wealth was subject to the same inflationary laws as in Hollywood
films.
3

Ap. Euseb.

PE I,

I5 = AB T 58m;

Cf. MULVANY

P. 157; DURING

AB P. 270.

At an earlier period of his life Aristotle had been responsible for the upbringing of
Callisthenes, the son of his cousin Hero (Plut. Alex. 55 = AB T 28c).
5 To mention only a few examples: we are told that Herpyllis was a concubine whom
Aristotle took over from Hermias, that Aristotle was Hermias' 7trLCLx&,that Hermias was
a eunuch but begot a daughter in spite of his disability (Vit. Menag. 2-4; Diog. 5, 3 says
4

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328

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

cover the origin of this legend'; probably Herpyllis' presence in Aristotle's


house and the provision he made for her were enough. One possible objection
remains to be considered: it has been held that Herpyllis' name indicates a
servile origin2. But as MULVANY admits this argument is by no means conclusive.
While the majority of names of this type known to-day belonged to slaves or
prostitutes, there are many exceptions. In Aristotle's own circle one could
point to Myrmex and even to Aristotle's mother Phaestis. Chamaileonthe Peripatetic was a prominent citizen of Heraclea. In assessing the significance of
these names, we must bear in mind that we are dealing with bourgeois from
provincial towns, not with Athenian Eupatrids3.
Muchhas been written about the nobility of this will as a human document 4.
While this is perfectly true, it should not be allowed to obscure another characteristic: its pessimism. This is not only a feeling of loneliness, as JAEGERsuggests,
but a deep-seated fear of what the future held in store for Aristotle's family
and friends. Nicanor was on a journey, and Aristotle felt some doubt about
his safe return (Diog. 5, i6 = ? 3d D-P). He made elaborate provision for Pythias, not only in case of his own death, but in case of Nicanor's (he even suggested Theophrastus, then about fifty years old, as a possible alternative husband for her), and for the estate in case of Pythias' death. He apparently did
not expect his family to return to Athens and must have despaired of the continuation of the school he had started during his stay there. In part this mood
was no doubt due to ill-health and the shock of his sudden exile. But it was
not completely unjustified. Nicanor in fact died quite soon after his marriage
to Pythias. Theophrastus became the guardian of Nicomachus and succeeded
in restarting the school at Athens, but its activity was interrupted by political
disturbances several times in the following decades.
III

The Ozwnership
of the School

Who was the legal owner of the Peripatetic school, its buildings and equipment? The problem can be stated as follows: Theophrastus (and later Lyco)
left the school to a group of men to hold jointly, and Theophrastus expressly
forbade its alienation (? 52 f., cf. 70); nevertheless it figures in the wills of Strato
that Aristotle married a former concubine of Hermias, but seems to be thinking of Pythias);
Athenaeus 589 c includes Aristotle in a list of philosophers who loved concubines, in company
with Socrates, Plato and Antisthenes; the Suda (=AB T gb) claims that Nicomachus became the 7cCLLIXO&
of Theophrastus. For more of the same kind see AB pp. 352 and 373ff.
1 MULVANY'S explanation (p. 18f.),
accepted by DtURING AB P. 266f., could be right,
but is rather complicated.
2 MULVANY
P. I57; cf. FICK-BECHTEL, Die gr. Personennamen 2i894, pp. 321 f. 327ff.
3 Parallels can be found in Athens. The Prosopographia Attica lists four women called
Melitta, one at least (no. 9838) the sister of a knight, Dexileos. Conversely Alcibiades had
a slave called Andromachus (Andoc. Myst. I2). Epicurus had a girl-slave called Phaedrion,
and male slaves named Mys, Nicias and Lycon (Diog. IO, 2I).
4 See especially JAEGER 34I ff.; most recently CHROUST I 3 f.

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329

and Lyco as if it were their personal property. To say that it belonged to the
scholarchs, without further qualification1, is clearly too simple. But WILAMOWITZ' other assertion, that the Peripatos and other philosophical schools were
organised as O'xoL in honour of the Muses2, also needs to be qualified, for the
property of such bodies belonged to the oLvo6v;its officers administered it
for a limited period, but could not dispose of it unilaterally, by will or in any
other way. In fact, the situation of the Peripatos does not exactly match any
of the typical forms of common ownership which modern historical scholarship has recognised. If it differed from a oca6oq, neither was it an ordinary
case of the joint ownership and use of assets by individuals, inasmuch as the
rights of members could only be enjoyed under specified conditions and expired at death; they were not a property which they could pass to their heirs
or anyone else3.
The problem does not arise until Theophrastus' death. There can be no doubt
that during his lifetime Theophrastus was the sole legal owner of the Peripatos.
As a metic, Aristotle was debarredfrom owning real property in Athens, and although the group of students and fellow-teachers which gathered around him
functioned like a school for most purposes, legally it had no corporate existence
and it met in public halls or hired rooms. Theophrastus too was a metic, but
with the help of Demetrius of Phalerum, another follower of Aristotle, he was
granted the right of `yxz-r6mqand acquired a 'garden' of his own as the site
of his school4; probably this happened fairly soon after 3I7, when Demetrius
was appointed governor of Athens by Cassander. Thus Theophrastus became
the founder of the Peripatos as an institution. He must have paid for the site
and the erection of the school buildings out of his own resources, with perhaps
some help from friends, and his will (? 5If.) provides for the cost of repairs
and improvements to be met from his estate. After his death, however, the
1 As do WILAMOWITZ, Antigonos 268, and BRINK, RE Suppl. VII, 907.
Antigonos 263ff., followed by BRINK 9o6f. and most other writers on the subject.
The inconsistency of WILAMOWITZ' assertions seems to have gone unnoticed. On the organisation of 4oaooL see E. ZIEBARTH, Das gr. Vereinswesen, Leipzig I896, 33ff. I44 ff., and F.
POLAND, Das gr. Vereinswesen, Leipzig I909, 330ff.
3 Cf. A. BIsCARDI, Vber die Regelung d. Miteigentums im attischen Recht, in E. BERNEKER, Zur gr. Rechtsgeschichte, Darmstadt I968, 564ff. 571ff. 590 (original publication
in Studi Paoli, Florence I955); HARRISON 239ff. BIsCARDI distinguishes six main types
of common ownership, MxocaoL
being type 4, while the Peripatos and other XOLVCOVEOL
of the
same kind are grouped under type 2; this class is, according to BIsCARDI, modelled on the
case where brothers left their paternal inheritance undivided and held it in common, the
most ancient and archetypal form of joint ownership in Greece. But as BISCARDI has shown
(6o8ff.), in these xo0VCOcxvL
the share of each owner not only passed to his heirs at death,
but was subject to distraint to meet the owner's liabilities, whether to the state or to
other individuals.
4 Diog. 5, 39 ?iye'raL 8' Oczi6v xcx' i&oV x o
Cxv
tvr'TA v 'ApLta-o X09ougreX?u'V,
. . . to5to autpcaro
ATh%t.ptou 'ro5 DopX%o
2

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H. B. GOTTSCHALK

330

situation changed. Theophrastus did not leave the school to an individual but
to several of his associates jointly as a place of study; the relevant passage
of his will runs (? 52f.):
TOV 8'? XTMOV XOal '0 TVe=p'LTCOTOVXOaL'70t

atacopu '76V yeypac..lwVCdv

XOCO(p?V?V OUT04, ??L81?p

OV3UVCVTV 7ZaLV

Ouaz:X0o?

X-7OTWX
Na6aG

LV xocl

aucptt-

OVOp&)7roLq&eL VrLapLVV,

IT'

RX?&4av 'LpoV XOLVfXeXTJVkVOL4,


'EtcilLo4tLVou pBa?v64,

?EXXO',pLO5aL

xoal sa Tpo

OLXLCaG
TOq 7'POq TX

X
TO0L
rozq PoQVOLq
YDLX(V &?L

a&?XoUo

xpo
vo,
O'Xe'LWxOl ?C0q
6a7rcp 7rpo6XOV xal
XO Xrp&'rcv,
KocXXtvoq,
ITrmapZoq,NI)?k,
,oc. ?LVaXL
6Tp0Lp0OA,
A^&popoq4,
KocALa60?Vn, M?)&Vr,
Ioyxp?'wv,
Nx'
pX oao9eLv xal 'ApLcrTOT?XeL
-Co Mnrpoac'pou xcA HuOLa0to'8oq
8? PouAoVlvy
?
ut
XOCL
OCTOU
XOaL
TOVTI)V,
ThXav
?V
70L6LaOt
TOU
P
ep?6YVTaOU4,
[??X?LV

a
&a6t&aoxv
XOCLOV.

OL XOLV6VOVrq4

67Mq OTL LOXCLaT79MA

XX

(pL?
?LXaO0?pV.

The legatees are the group of ten 'fellows' (XOLvwvo5vTre) who are to hold the

property as a joint trust for the benefit of all resident members of the group.
The enjoyment-obviously-and
probably the right to a voice in the control
of the property was limited to those who were resident at any time1; a fellow
who went away and subsequently came back to Athens would resume his rights
on his return. Theophrastus says nothing about the future organisation of the
school and does not choose a new head. The emphasis is entirely on the group
and when Strato later became its head, it was as a result of a free election by
his colleagues. The same tendency is found in Lyco's will, where the bequest
is accompanied by a strongly-worded appeal to the members of the school to
co-operate for the common good (? 70):
TOV

X0tC? L7CG)V
r?eptlnoc'rov XYVCOPL0tUoV

TOL4 f3OUXo[LeVOL4,
Bo6Xcovt,

KacX-

X'vo, 'ApLarWvt,'A,ucovL, Ai5xCv, HluOovL,


Auxo'APLaTO,lXy, 'lHpoczX?;Lt,
.
A'X&VL
MeL,
X?pL?
BeX
7rPOaTa0'Ca&a%
V 8'OCUTO7
OVXV '7OrX0C[v66
e7r0L
TOU7pOky~toc-TOq
Xal
&LOC,UZVLV
auvocuiLv ti.LSTac 3UV7aeaOC0L.
GuyxxoXasuOLXOL7MO'
U
xoiL TOV
TOi6 XPoV.
M(,eCMaCVa? XOCL
YV)PLV.OL XOC.LOU
Unlike the other scholarchs, Strato did not bequeath the Peripatos to its
senior members jointly but to one man, Lyco, who thereby became his successor as head of the school. This undoubtedly infringed the collegiate principle.
But Strato added a rider in which he explained the reason for his decision and,
like Lyco, appealed to the other members to support their new head; in fact the
wording used by both is so similar that it looks as if Lyco was deliberately echoing Strato 2. The explanation he gives, that the other men who might have been
I This would accord with the principle stated by Seneca Rhetor Controv. 7, 4, 4, which
probably reflects Greek legal thinking (cf. BIsCARDI 592; HARRISON 24I): an quotiens duobus communio esset, potestas eius totafieret qui praeseits esset.
1 ? 62 X0tr-LXXe1L7r 8 r'V 1ALv8&ocpLfrnVAU'xcwL,b7reL&8?
t5v &XXov oL ,UV r?LC 7rpCaG$-

TIPOL, OL8ACxoxot

XO( ot ?Otooi ayx tacxCovt


8' asV 7OLOLCV
XOC(?45q

The word auyxotmaxeuauo,


up the school.

sout.

used by both Strato and Lyco, implies active help in building

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

33I

considered were too old or too preoccupied with affairs outside the school,
correspond to the instruction Lyco left for the choice of his successor: the
Fellows were to elect the man who, in their opinion, would give his full attention
to his duties and best be able to build up the school. Evidently Strato and Lyco
had the same attitude to the government of the school and the same intentions, and only differed in the means they used to realise them. Although Strato
overrode the collegiate principle in his will, he did not mean to abrogate it
altogether.
This is not easy to reconcile with the scholarch'sright to dispose of the school
by testamentary provision. BRUNS(P. 3I) and HUG(p. i6) try to overcome the
difficulty by supposing that as the original Fellows left Athens or died, the
ownership of the school was concentrated in the hands of those who remained,
until Strato was left as the sole proprietor;but their view is open to fundamental
objections. It would imply that when the last of the original Fellows was dead,
there would be no recognisable body to which ownership of the Peripatos could
revert; this would in effect nullify Theophrastus' provision making the school
property inalienable. At a more practical level it would mean that any members
of the Peripatos other than those named in Theophrastus' will, however great
a share they might take in the teaching and administration of the school, were
excluded from its government as long as any of the original Fellows were present; as their number was reduced by death or withdrawal from Athens, all
power would be concentrated in the hands of those who remained. While such
a constitution might have won the approval of Richard Bentley, it would not
have been conducive to the smooth running of the school, and HUG,who saw
the difficulty, suggests that this may have been what induced Strato to choose
his own successor and leave the school to him alone. But the difficulty is more
fundamental. If any organisation is to have a permanent existence independent
of the individuals comprising it at any time, it is essential that its membership should be more or less constant and that all full members should have
much the same rights and obligations1; an institution which must die out in
order to renew itself is a monstrosity. It is not likely that Theophrastus, with
the example of the Academy before his eyes, should have intended to create
such a thing.
The alternative is to suppose that the Fellows themselves vested the legal
ownership of the school in the head whom they had appointed. This would
have secured the administrative advantages of one-man control without destroying the principle of ultimate collective responsibility. There were many
reasons which would have made such a step desirable. The times were difficult
and most of Theophrastus' Fellows were unable or unwilling to remain as active members of the Peripatos. Hipparchus was a businessman who had a position analogous to that of the Bursar in a College to-day, but his affairs seem
1

This principle was generally recognised in Greek MLxaoLand clubs, cf.

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POLAND

277.

332

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

to have been in a parlous state. Melantes and Pancreon are not known to have
had any philosophical ambitions and probably returned to their native place
quite soon'. Demaratus and the younger Aristotle, and perhaps Callisthenes,
who owed their fellowships to their family connection with Aristotle, probably
only stayed long enough to complete their education. Neleus was elderly and
is said by our sources to have returned to his home town, Scepsis, soon after
Theophrastus' death 2. The rest, except for Strato, are unknown. Furthermore
the school had no endowments providing a cash income, and its maintenance
seems to have been paid for by the scholarch3. That this was so during Theophrastus' lifetime is proved by a clause in his will which says that the fee charged
by the sculptor who was making the statue of Nicomachus had already been
paid (? 52). The scholarch for his part might receive help from outside sources,
in the Hellenistic age especially from kings and their ministers, and this would
depend very much on his personality and skill. The usual practice was to make
gifts to the scholarch personally, sometimes in payment for services rendered,
and not to the school as such-a significant difference from mediaeval and
modern practice, which seems to reflect the difficulty the Greeks had in conceiving of a legal personality4. The importance of such patronage can be judged
by the frequency of Diogenes' references to it. Theophrastus, as we have seen,
acquired his 'garden' with the help of Demetrius; in this case the assistance
will have been legal rather than financial, but the latter is not necessarily excluded. Strato spent some years at Alexandria as tutor to the young Ptolemy
Philadelphos and according to Diogenes (5, 58) received eighty talents from
him in return; even if the figure is exaggerated it must still have been a substantial sum of money. Lyco was helped by Eumenes and Attalus of Pergamum,
who also supported Arcesilaus5; and so on.
Greek notions of ownership were more differentiated, and in many cases
more restricted, than modern ones. In particular, there was a widespread feeling,
often embodied in legislation, limiting the right of individuals to bequeath
inherited property outside their family; a husband's ownership of his wife's
dowry was subject to even greater restrictions6. The scholarch's relation to
1 Their appointment may have been partly motivated by Theophrastus' desire to secure
their acquiescence in his substantial bequests to the school.
2 But see below, p. 342.
3 In Lyco's time the students paid a contribution of nine obols to the monthly common
meals (Ath. 547d = Lyco fr. 7 WEHRLI), but this barely covered the cost and we do not
hear of any charge being made for attendance at lectures. Even the dinner-contributions
could be remitted to the poorer students, and the excess cost was borne by the brl r~q
euxoasdmocwho presided over the feast. Not surprisingly, this office rotated every month.
4 Cf. BRUNS P. 32 ff. Another factor may have been that mediaeval teachers were usually
monks who had taken a vow of property.
5 Diog. 5, 67 = Lyco fr. II WEHRLI; Diog. 4, 38.
6 Cf. HARRISON I25, 52ff., and above, p. 318.

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

333

the school property seems to have been analogous. Although he exercised full
control over it during his lifetime, he was bound by the terms of Theophrastus'
will to make it available to students of Peripatetic philosophy, and morally,
if not legally, obliged to ensure that it remained with the school after his death.
Assets newly acquired by the scholarch, however, were in a different category:
he could dispose of them as he liked and leave them to the school or to his natural
heirs according to his own sense of fitness. If he bequeathed them to the Fellows
jointly or to the new scholarch in his official capacity, they became part of the
recognisedschool property from that time. This is what happened with the school
library. Theophrastus separated his books, including probably most of Aristotle's, from the school and bequeathed them to Neleus, leaving Strato with the
task of building up a new collection for the school I. Strato in turn left all his
books, except those he had written himself, to Lyco. Lyco's will only refers to
books written by Lyco himself, which are left to Charesand Callinus; the collection he had inherited from Strato is not mentioned at all, but simply included
in the school property. If this procedure seems odd, it was in fact the only way
in which a scholarch could make anything over to the school. Since he was its
legal owner, a gift by a living scholarch to the school would legally have been
a gift to himself. Only at his death did it become possible to distinguish
formally between school and personal property in his estate.
Before we leave these clauses it is worth while to note the use of the word
-rrpMo04 in the wills of Theophrastus (? 52) and Lyco (? 70). In Lyco's will
it simply designates the school, being virtually synonymous with 8La-pLf in
the corresponding passage of Strato (? 62), and this seems to be its earliest
certain occurrence in this sense; it is not entirely clear whether it is used as a
common noun or proper name, but the former seems more likely 2. Theophrastus
has the phrase -ov Xipov XLv
xac TGpV7orEov xoO0X-X&oCxqoo
LXcX -pCMq
tovxrO 11ovto designate the whole of the school property; here TcpXroq
must denote some particular feature which later gave its name to the Peripatetic school.
Most historians believe that a building of some kind is meant, and those willing
to commit themselves further describe it as a covered walk or colonnade3. To
1 See below p. 342, where I shall argue that Strato succeeded in acquiring most of
Theophrastus' books from Neleus.
2 Antigonus Carystius ap. Ath. 547d (=Lyco fr. 7 WEHRLI) uses it as a proper name;
this instance could be slightly earlier, if the word was really used by Antigonus and not
inserted by Athenaeus. 7rpt7orcog and 8L&opLP1 also appear as synonyms in Philochorus
ap. Index Acad. Herc. 6, 4o and 7, 9 (=AB T 3), were they refer to the Academy, not the
Aristotelian school, as DURING (AB P. 405) says; other passages where nepLvrov'o means
'school' are given in AB T 68. In all these passages Hellenistic authors are quoted by much
later writers, and there is a real doubt whether the word 7rpbtoqog occurred in the original
texts. On the origin of the name Peripatetic, see BRINK goof., DURING AB P. 404 ff. and A.
BUSSE, Hermes 6I, I926, 335ff.
a #Hallen, die als Peripatos bezeichnet sindx WILAMOWITZ 267; ))Wandelhalle oder jeden
gr6l3eren hallenartigen Raum# BRINK 899; WProbablya colonnade,, R. E. WYCHERLEY,

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334

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

this there is a major objection: the regular Greek word for 'colonnade' was
al.o1 We know that the buildings of Theophrastus' school included at least
two of these; it could be argued that a peripatos might be a series of stoai
grouped round a square, but the stoai mentioned in Theophrastus' will seem
to have been detached buildings. The literary occurrences of 7rpL'4cToq suggest that the word was associated with parks rather than buildings 2. Hesychius
glosses it by xiTcoq3, and his view is supported by a good deal of earlier evidence.
Peripatoi are mentioned in connection with gymnasia by Xenophon (Mem. i,
i, io) and Cimon is said to have turned the Academy into a #grove adorned
does not think that this
with clean paths and shady peripatoi<(;even WYCHERLEY
refers to colonnades . Elsewhere Plutarch (Alex. 7) speaks of the X
xLO7rLpof the Nymphaeum at Mieza where Aristotle taught the young AlexoWaroL

ander. Later the Museum at Alexandria had a peripatos, as did Lucullus' park
in Romer. One of the few passages where peripatoi are mentioned in a definitely urban context is Plutarch's Praecepta Gerendae Reipublicae (8i8d),

where we are told that Cimon &x6'apa -sv &xyop&v


7Zotr0v&V

yu-etacu

xox

excavations have yielded no trace of any buildings to which this


remark can refer, and it seems clear that the eptortoL were avenues of trees 6.
One piece of archaeological evidence points in the same direction: a mosaic from
Pompeii representing seven philosophers discussing a problem of astronomy
shows them seated under a tree; in the background are a sun-dial and two columns bearing an epistyle topped by four cauldron-like objects whose function
is unclear, but which are certainly not part of a colonnade7. The evidence is
7rpl7roCToL;

Greece and Rome n.s. 9, I962, IO; o)Coveredwalk4( DURINGAB P. 404; on P. 405 he says
that )>Thehouse Theophrastus built was an ordinary nepo7rcr0o<.But ZELLER 29 speaks
of 'Baumgange' and J. DELORME,Gymnasion, Paris 1960, 334f. of 'allees' and 'plantations'.
I Cf. DELORME 335.
2 I am here only concerned with the connotations of the word when it functions as a
concrete noun meaning s)aplace to walk in#. It is also used as an abstract noun meaning
>a walk taken for pleasure or exercise<, German 'Spaziergang'. Used thus it carries no implications about where the walking takes place; it can be in a stoa (Dicaearchus fr. 29
WEHRLI), a garden (P1. Epist. 7, 348c) or simply in the open country (PI. Phaedr. 227a.
228b).
3 Vita Ar. (Menagiana) = Suda A 3929 ? 5 jpie (Aristoteles) . . . 'I
eptxrtxcx
XX kCLrq

CpLOsOcagE

8L& T6 'V 71rpL7rCX

%T0L

X'7rC

ta.

4 Plut. Cimon 13 fin., WYCHERLEYP. 3. Later (p. 2I, n. 2) WYCHERLEYsays in critic-

ism of DELORMEthat ))Any place where people walk about is in fact a peripatos4. True,
but this is beside the point. The question at issue is whether a statement of the form *X
established a peripatos(( means >X built a colonnade(( or ))X planted an avenue of trees*.
5 Strabo I3, 793, Plut. Luc. 39.
6 I am indebted to Prof. H. A. THOMPSON
for this information.
7 See G. W. ELDERKIN,AJA 39, I935, 92 ff. and pI. 22, who believes that it is derived
BC which hung in Theophrastus' school and shows a group
from a painting of 3I7-07
of Peripatetics, including Theophrastus, Demetrius of Phalerum and Menander. WVhether
we accept this or not makes no difference to my present argument.

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335

Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

not entirely conclusive and there is some which would support a different conclusion; e.g. in Plato's Euthydemus the sophists and their pupils take their
walk on the covered track of the Lyceum 1. But on balance it is probable that
Peripatos meant a formal garden-walk rather than a building.
IV

Aristotle's Library

When Theophrastus left the school and most of its equipment to the ten
Fellows jointly, one important item was excepted. His collection of books was
bequeathed to Neleus of Scepsis, whose name stands second in the list of Fellows, immediately after that of Hipparchus.This gave rise to one of the strangest
stories in the history of Greek Literature2. Neleus is said to have returned to his
home town soon after Theophrastus' death, taking with him the books he had
inherited which, if our authorities are to be believed, included all the writings
of Aristotle as well as those of Theophrastus himself. After Neleus' death they
passed to his heirs, uneducated people who neglected them; later when the
Attalid kings established the Pergamene library they were hidden in a cellar
in order to escape the attention of their agents. There they remained, a prey
to damp and worms, until Apellicon of Teos, a rich bibliophile educated in the
Peripatos, bought them and took them back to Athens. He had fresh copies
made and tried to fill in some of the gaps in the damaged originals, but since
he was more bibliophile than philosopher, with little success; the edition he
published was full of mistakes. Apellicon died shortly after the Mithridatic
war and Sulla's conquest of Athens (86 BC); his library was seized by Sulla
and taken to Rome, probably in 84. There various booksellers had copies made
for sale, but the scribes they employed were incompetent. In 7I Tyrannio, a
famous grammarianof Amisos, was brought to Rome as a prisonerafter the capture of his home-town; he was soon freed and settled in Rome. An admirer
of Aristotle, he at last succeeded in putting the papers in order and making
1 P1. Euthyd. 273a
ae5X66vte TrepL ?torv &v'rep xcxrmat&ycp 8p6Fcq; note that the
noun 7rpE7toc'oqis not used. The gymnasium described by Vitruvius 5, ii has covered
and open-air tracks, the latter lined with trees. But these elaborate structures belong to
a later age than the one with which we are concerned, cf. J. JU1THNER, SBA Wien 249, I,
I965, I59.
2 Strabo I3, 6o8, Plut. Sulla 26 = AB T 66b-c;
for other relevant material see AB
pp. 383f, 4I2ff. The modern literature on this question is vast and my quotations very
selective. See further ZELLER Ph. d. Gr. II 23, I879, I39ff.; Kleine Schr. I, igiff.; F. Suall these with references
SEMIHL, Gesch. d. gr. Lit. i. d. Alexandrinerzeit II, I892,
296ff.,
to earlier discussions. GERCKE, RE II, I027ff.;
BRINK, RE Suppl. VII, 939ff.; REGENBOGEN
ibid. I370ff.; DtRING, RE Suppl. XI, I93ff.; P. MORAUX, Les Listes anciennes des Ouvrages d'Ar., Louvain I951, iff.; F. LITTIG, Andronikos v. Rhodos I, Muinchen I890, 8ff.;
M. PLEZIA, De Andronici Rhodii Studiis Aristotelicis, Cracow I946, 46ff. H. USENER, KI.
Schr. III, Iso ff. builds a far-reaching hypothesis on this story; contra C. WENDEL RE VII
A, I948, I8I3.
22

Hermes 100,3

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336

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

proper copies; these he passed to Andronicus of Rhodes to use as the basis


of a new edition of Aristotle's works which became the standard edition for later
times. Meanwhile the remaining Peripatetics, being deprived of Aristotle's
writings, except for a few mainly 'exoteric' works, and so unable to continue
serious philosophical studies, were reduced to composing rhetorical essays 1,
and this is the reason for the decline of the school after Theophrastus' death.
Several attempts have been made to explain Theophrastus' action. It has
been suggested that he disliked some of the tendencies which had appeared
in the thinking of the younger Peripatetics, or that he wanted Aristotle's books
removed from war-torn Athens to a safer place2. But the situation in Athens
during the third century was not desperate enough to justify wholesale evacuation-in fact, the philosophical schools flourished and there was a good deal
of public building-and the solicitude for the school shown in the other provisions of Theophrastus' will gives no support to the idea that he disapproved
of the way things were going or wished to chastise his followers. If he was dissatisfied with their work or philosophical attitude, depriving them of Aristotle's
writings would have been unlikely to improve matters. A more plausible view
is that he wanted Neleus to succeed him and left the books to him as a strong
hint to the others3. But if Theophrastus had really wanted this, it would have
been simpler and safer to bequeath the school to Neleus directly; Theophrastus
was its undisputed legal owner and there would have been sufficient precedents
for such a course4. Nor is it easy to believe that Theophrastus was blind to Strato's claims to the succession, by reason both of his intellectual pre-eminence
and his earlier career as tutor to Ptolemy, with its financial rewards and promise of future patronage. Neleus could claim greater seniority. He was the son
of Coriscus, Aristotle's companion at Assos, a pupil of Aristotle and a foundermember of the Peripatos, the only one, as far as we can tell, still remaining
at Athens. But in thirty-five or more years at the school he had not uttered a
single word, in speech or writing, which posterity thought worthy of preservation; he was growing old and does not appear to have had any connections
which could have been of benefit to the school. It would be at least equally
plausible to argue that Theophrastus' motive for not choosing the new scholarch himself was to avoid the need to pass an adverse judgment on an old friend.
He must have had a different reason for leaving his books to Neleus, and Lyco's
will makes it possible to see what it was.
Both Strato and Lyco, as we have seen, excluded the books they themselves
had written from their bequests to the school. Strato says nothing more about
1 OkazLq
kqxuO'L7etv; for the expression cf. Plut. Alex. Fort. 328 a, with WYTTENBACH'S
note, and J. G. BUHLE, Arist. Opera I, Biponti 179I, I17n.
2 WILAMOWITZ,
Glaube der Hellenen II3, 1959, 28If.; REGENBOGEN I363.
3 H. v. ARNIM, Hermes 63, I928,
I05; BRINK 931.
4 Cf. ZELLER., Ph. d. Gr. II. I4, i889, 986f.

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337

Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

them and we neither know his reason nor who was to have them. Lyco left
his books to Charesand Callinus. The bequest to Charesis of no further interest
to us. It consisted of the personal copies of his published works, of which other
copies will have been freely available to all members of the school who wanted
them, and was probably nothing more than a token of appreciation to the slave
who had written them out. But the case of Callinus is different. Like Neleus,
he was a senior Fellow of the Peripatos-his name stands second in the list
given in Lyco's will-and an old personal friend of the scholarch; among his
miscellaneous bequests are two Thericlean cups to Callinus' son, and two Rhodian cups, two rugs, a coverlet and two cushions to his wife (? 72). Callinus
himself was given Lyco's unpublished papers, with instructions to prepare them
carefully for publication'. It is reasonable to conclude that Theophrastus too
intended Neleus to be his literary executor. His lack of originality would have
been no serious handicap, and he had shared with Theophrastus the experience
of Aristotle's lectures and knew the development of his ideas as no-one else
could. Unlike the later scholarchs, Theophrastus left Neleus all the books he
had, including those he had obtained from Aristotle, but the reason is not far
to seek. Theophrastus' work was so closely linked with Aristotle's that the
authorship of many books was later disputed between them. At the time of
Theophrastus' death their papers must have formed a single mass which it
would have been impossible to divide quickly-indeed, this would have been
Neleus' first task-and even if Theophrastus' work could have been separated,
it would have been impossible to edit without constant reference to his copies
of Aristotle's writings.
In making this arrangement Theophrastus presumably did not feel that
he was depriving the other members of the school of material they needed for
their studies. Yet Strabo and Plutarch claim he did precisely this. There can be
no doubt that their claim is at best wildly exaggerated. This has been demonstrated over and over again by the writers already mentioned and many others,
who have shown that most if not all of Aristotle's works were known and used
in the Hellenistic period, although probably only the dialogues, which alone
were finished literary works, were available in commercial editions for the general reader2. The only question remaining is how much or how little we should
believe. Only one fact is corroborated,that Theophrastus bequeathed his books
to Neleus. Tyrannio is often mentioned in Cicero's letters and was employed
1 07CO;
"rX84
? 73. From the list of witnesses in ? 74 we learn that Calacxs
V4SUXq
linus came from Hermione in the Argolid. He may have been the grandson of the Callinus
who is named in fourth place (after Neleus and Strato) in Theophrastus' list of Fellows
mentioned in Lucian. Adv.
identification with the f3LPXLoyp&cpoq
(? 53). Of WILAMOWITZ'
Indoct. 2 and 24 (Einl. i. d. gr. Trag. 149 n. 47), the less said the better.
2 USENER,
Kl. Schr. III, I5I was the last scholar of note to accept Strabo's tale more
or less in its entirety. Of more recent scholars REGENBOGEN I.C. is willing to accept the most.

22*

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338

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

by Cicero to arrange his library, and his lectures were attended by Strabo at
some period. But Cicero says nothing about Tyrannio's working on Aristotelian manuscripts, and this is all the more surprising because he had access to
Sulla's library'. Of Andronicus we know that he made a catalogue of the writings of Aristotle and Theophrastus and edited at least some of Aristotle's works2.
The rest is unconfirmed.
Strabo and Plutarch agree on the facts which both report, but Strabo only
takes the story down to Tyrannio; we hear of Andronicus' edition from Plutarch alone, and it is an open question whether his information came from Strabo 3. It has been suggested that both drew on Andronicus'book about Aristotle's
writings4, but if this were true, Strabo's failure to mention Andronicus' edition
would be very strange. Perhaps Plutarch alone used this work. Strabo could have
obtained his information at first hand; he had attended Tyrannio's lectures, presumably on grammarand literary subjects, and had studied Peripatetic philosophy with Boethus of Sidon, himself a pupil of Andronicus5. Since Strabo knew
Tyrannio personally and Plutarch should have been able to find out the facts, it
is reasonable to accept their account of what happened to Apellicon's library at
Rome, in spite of Cicero'ssilence. It is important, therefore,to be quite clear about
what they really say. This is (a) that when Tyrannio came to Rome, he gained
access to Apellicon's (now Sulla's) library by cultivating the librarian, and put
Aristotle's papers in order6; (b) that certain booksellers made poor copies of the
Aristotle papers for sale; and (c) that Tyrannio made copies (good ones, presumably) which he gave to Andronicus, who published them and wrote the catalogues (of Aristotle's and Theophrastus' works) current in Plutarch's day7.
L See

the texts quoted in AB T 74c-d, and add Epist. ad Att. 4, IO, I; there seem to be
no grounds for SHACKLETON BAILEY's assertion (ad loc.) that Cicero bought the library
off the Dictator's son.
2 AB T 75 a-g.
Not the Geogyaphy, of course, but the tatoptx& UTo[M[Lovaoa. A fragment of this
work, dealing with Sulla's gout, comes immediately after the story of Apellicon's library
in Plutarch's work = F. gr. H. 9I F 8. That Plutarch owed his account to Strabo has often
been asserted (e.g. ZELLER I39 n. 2, DtRING AB p. 394 f.), but denied by HEITZ, Die verl.
Schr. d. Ar., Leipzig I865, Io, and JACOBY ad loc.
4 USENER, KI. Schr. III, ISO; PLEZIA I4ff.; DtRING AB P. 383f.
5 Strabo I2, 548. i6, 757 = AB T 74d, 75b; cf. ZELLER III, I4, I909, 6o8n. For Boethus, see ibid. 646ff.; note that (a) it is not certain that Strabo was his pupil, as BRINK
(939 line 63) and others say; his own words are B6-Ooq 46 mvep9ioaoc?aouVe "%, to&
'ApLatoti?Lx;
(b) Strabo says nothing about Andronicus being of their company, as DuRING claims (on AB T 74d).
6 Tupovvov -'s 0 yp'[L,Cxo
&sd'ris
&LeZXLpla'ro (?LXpLaTOTNXs 6v, ?hp(7cc'UaCqT
PtLMo&x7q (Strabo l.c.). Anybody who has used Italian libraries will know what the last
expression means.
7 Plutarch b.c.X6yvrou... Tupovvovoc TOMV
t
TX6V 6VaXeU&aGa4XL2XTOXM
, xocl iCOap'
YPa,
ocu'roGr6v 'P6Lov 'Av8p6vtxov emopasvo
T&v&VTLypcayC)V Fa0ov 41LiVOC
xOaL
&vocypcJoct
7rLvocxq. Plutarch does not say that Andronicus used Apellicon's
ro6q vt5v popdvouq

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

339

And that is all. Everything else that modern historians have said or written
about Tyrannio is pure fabrication, interesting only as illustrations of how
learned myths increase and multiply 1.
So far we have dealt with matters about which Strabo could have had firsthand information, but the same is no longer true of events before Apellicon's
library was brought to Rome. This point is vital, for the story about Aristotle's
books owes what credibility it has to the authoritative names of Strabo and Plutarch. It makes no difference whether Strabo's information goes back to Tyrannio or Andronicus; Tyrannio came to Rome at least fifteen years after the
seizure of the library and can have known no more about the provenanceof the
books than any of his contemporaries. The only person who knew that was
Apellicon, who died before his library was seized. If the story of the books being
found in a cellar at Scepsis was not concocted by Sulla's librarian or someone
else at Rome 2, its source must have been Apellicon; we cannot tell, and it makes
no difference, whether it was transmitted orally (by library-slaves, perhaps)
or came from a book or a note found among Apellicon's papers after his death.
Our acceptance of it will therefore depend on our view of Apellicon's credibility, but before examining his character it will be best to consider the inherent
likelihood of his story and any other relevant evidence.
Athenaeus gives a different account of what happened to Theophrastus'
books after Neleus took them to Scepsis. According to his version Ptolemy
bought them off Neleus for the library at Alexandria, together with others
from Athens and Rhodes 3. His story is much less circumstantial than its rival,
partly no doubt because it comes from the first book, of which only an epitome
has survived, but it is reasonably clear that Athenaeus knew Strabo's story
and deliberately contradicted it. He also knew an alternative tradition, according to which Ptolemy Philadelphos bought books by Aristotle and Theophrastus
at Athens and Rhodes, and combined the two. What he says is corroborated
by the known fact that there was a large body of Aristotelian and Theophrastean writings at Alexandria in the third century BC, when Hermippus comlibrary himself. This means that he could have done his part of the work in Athens,
and there is no need to reject the Neoplatonist tradition that he was scholarch there (AB
T 75j,p); although it is unconfirmed, the writer of the original Neoplatonist Life (Ptolemyel-Garib) used Andronicus' catalogue, and the information may have come from the preface of that work.
1 The most important casualty is the edition of Aristotle's works often ascribed to Tyrannio, e.g. by BRINK 939; cf. DURING AB P. 394. Note also that Tyrannio never had charge
of Sulla's library, as DtRING suggests (AB p. 421).
2 F. GRAYEFF, Phronesis I, 1956, io6f., argues that it was invented by Andronicus to
support his claim for the superior authenticity of his own edition.
3 Ath. I, 3a = AB T 42d 7ap' o? (sc. N-)Xkcoq)7rTvrX 7tpL&l9VO; 0 7?8eg05
PocaL
pL?&8??4oq 8' InExX2v, j.r& 'Cv 'AO'v-qOevxad 'rCv &ObCTP6ou ?t5 Av XmXTv
fIlroXetL&o5,
'A? b&v8petmv
?rtymye. Note the 7rv'ro.

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340

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

piled a catalogue of their works'. The usual way of reconciling these accounts
is to suppose that Neleus sold the greater part of the library he had inherited
to Alexandria, retaining only the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus themselves, or perhaps only their unpublished works, notes and personal drafts 2.
If this means that Neleus kept those papers which did not interest Ptolemy's
agents because they were too unimportant or duplicated material already at
Alexandria3, that is enough to falsify most of Strabo's claims. But if Neleus
or his heirs were willing to sell the largerpart of the collection, why not the whole?
Is it likely that the agents sent out to buy books for Alexandria would have
been satisfied with a part, if they had reason to believe that they had come
upon something important, or that they would have stopped to sort the valuable pieces from the rest at Scepsis? From what we know of their methods,
they were quite omnivorous, buying all the material they could find and leaving it to the librarians at Alexandria to separate the wheat from the chaff.
However we look at it, the reports of Athenaeus and Strabo-Plutarch are mutually exclusive.
The story is implausible enough; let us now turn to the man who originated
it 4. Though a native of Teos, Apellicon had obtained Athenian citizenship
and been adopted into a distinguished Athenian family5; he was rich, and while
we do not hear of his holding any magistracy, his name has been found on two
series of coins, dating from around IOOBC, as that of the epimeletes in charge
of the mint. He was a member of the Peripatos and a bibliophile, with a special
interest in Aristotelia-Poseidonius says that he had bought Aristotle's library,
but nothing about Scepsis-and in public records; this last is something char-

1 Cf. AB T 75 c-d and p. 466; REGENBOGEN


I366ff.; MORAUX,Listes, passim. The relationship of Hermippus' catalogue to the lists preserved by Diogenes Laertius is a difficult question which fortunately does not have to be decided here.
2 E.g. DURING, in Classica et Medievalia I7, 1956, I3.
3 Cf. REGENBOGEN I377. Such a view derives some support from the Arabic catalogue
of Aristotle's writings, which includes a heading )>Hisbooks found in the library of Apellicont among the miscellaneous items at the end of the list (AB p. 230 no. 92; cf. ibid. p.
245; MORAUXP. 303); but this heading may only have included items found in Apellicon's
library and nowhere else.
4 Sources: Poseidonius ap. Ath. 5, 2I4d = F. gr. H. 87 F 36; other passages under AB
T 66; CIA II, I049; J. KIRCHNER, Prosopogr. Att. no. 1343. Coins: B. HEAD, Historia
Nummorum2, Oxford 19II, P. 384 and fig. 2I6. M. THOMPSON, The New-Style Silver
Coinage of Athens (New York I96I) I 364, 389, 55I; II 125f, I4i. THOMPSON dates the
issues bearing Apellicon's name to I2I/0 and 94/3, but this has been challenged by
D. M. LEWIS, Numism. Chr. 7, 2, I962, 275 ff and H. B. MATTINGLY, ibid. 9, I969, 327ff.
and JHS 9I, 1971, 85ff., who date the first issue to 88/7 or 89/8 respectively and agree
in dating the later issue after the Sullan period and giving it to different Apellicon.
5 Oddly enough his adoptive father, Apolexis of Oion, was the son of a man named Aristotle; cf. Prosopogr. Att. no. I36I (with family tree) and 2066.

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Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs

34I

acteristically Peripatetic'. Unfortunately he tried to satisfy it by stealing documents from the city archives at Athens and elsewhere, was found out and had
to leave Athens; this must have happened in the late nineties. After his return
he joined Athenion, another former student of the Peripatos, who made himself
ruler of Athens in 88, and was put in command of an expedition against Delos
which ended in disaster, largely owing to his own negligence; he lost his army
and saved himself by precipitate flight. We hear no more of Apellicon except
for his death (probably between 86 and 84) and the seizure of his library.
This colourful and unstable character is the source of the story about Aristotle's books being found at Scepsis. As a witness he looks unpromising,and what
we know of his historical methods does little to restore our confidence. One of
his books dealt with Aristotle's relationship with Hermias; in it he tried to defend Aristotle against the charge of having married Pythias for unworthy motives by quoting an alleged letter of Aristotle to Antipater in which Aristotle
was supposed to have explained that he only married her after Hermias' death
because she was in distress and out of regardfor her modest and noble character2.
It is not easy to believe that Aristotle, whose will gives proof of genuine love for
his wife, should have paid her such a back-handed compliment3, and in fact
the letter is a clumsy forgery, based on some sentences in the (possibly spurious)
Aristotelian dialogue 7rcp' uyeveox, where the same explanation served to
excuse Socrates' alleged bigamous marriage to Myrto; in a later age it was
used by Porphyry to justify his own marriage . We cannot be certain that
Apellicon forged the letter himself 5, but at any rate his background was not one
of severe historical scholarship.
1 Cf. R. PFEIFFER,Hist. of Class. Scholarship I, Oxford I968, pp. 67f. 8i ff., on the different bias of Peripatetic and Alexandrian scholarship.
2 Quoted by Aristocles ap. Euseb. PE I5. 2. 14 = AB T 581 = Arist. Epist. fr. 12 PLEZIA.
3 Cf. WILAMOWITZ, Arist. u. Athen I, 328, who argues that this would have been less
offensive to Greek feeling than to ours, but does not consider the evidence available for the
particular case of Aristotle; he accepts the letter as genuine, as do DtRING and PLEZIA.
It is rejected by SCHMITT RE XXIV, 548. PLEZIA (Arist. Epist. p. 89) suggests that the
quotation came from a collection of Aristotle's letters made by Artemon about 306 as a
reply to the attack of Demochares and his associates, but it is difficult to see how anybody
in Athens could have obtained genuine copies of private letters to Antipater at this time.
4 Arist. Epist. fr. I2 PLEZIATe4Ve0TO4 Y&p'Ep.iLou 8t&C
'ri)v rnp6 RXeLVOV
e'U'VOLOCV
gyT?v
&&
tok
OusTv,&?ow [V adoqpovoc
okmnv, 'rXiUXUC;0Cv
sct a&yc0orsV
xvCorCXCaPv0UsC
tLivTOL
aupLp(opat6v&o8e)6Vmou'6-.
Hept &yeveLocx fr. 3 WALZER-Ross (93 RosE3) taropo5at MupTr CuyctxLav 'ApLat'rrou
a0UVOLXwaocL, yuvozxc
pEV erpav
@XpAlEt cc aocpcp
7pE60UM
gXzovL, txcunv a, &VoX50C6V'L
8L6 rEv(ocv XOOttCv
XvoxyxcxLwv
evaeopkv-v; fr. 2 (92) ML&y&p Av 'Aptard8ou &peHqv xoct
'r v &uyocrkpm
oc&roi5
?voc(. Cf. Porph. ad Marc. 3. On Socrates' marriage see now
yevvwataov
J. W. FITTON, Class. Quart. 64, I970, 56ff.
5 PLEZIA(Arist. Epist. p. I29) suggests that Apellicon forged the spurious letters of
Aristotle and Alexander quoted by Aulus Gellius 20, 5 = AB T 76f.

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342

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

Taking all the known facts into account, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Apellicon's story is pure invention. If he bought any books at Scepsis, they must have been quite unimportant, but probably he did not get any
from there at all. It is even possible to guess that he may have had a motive
for lying other than the book-collector's love for a tall story. While a determined man with enough money would have been able to amass a large number
of the more popular works of Aristotle through normal trade channels, the more
technical writings would only have been accessible in a few libraries. If Apellicon possessed any of these unusual tracts he must either have had copies made
to order-something not very exciting to a bibliophile-or he had stolen them,
and the tale of his find at Scepsis would have been a cover for his theft. The most
obvious place to steal them from would have been the Peripatos.
Whether this be accepted or not, there are sufficient grounds for rejecting
Apellicon's claim and none for believing that the books Neleus inherited from
Theophrastus were ever taken to Scepsis. They must have remained at Athens
to form the nucleus of the collection Strato later bequeathed to Lyco; we must
suppose that when Neleus returned to Scepsis-if he really did; this is part
of Apellicon's story-he came to an arrangement with Strato similar to the one
by which Theophrastus had acquired Aristotle's books from Nicomachus. We
do not know when this happened, or how long Neleus lived. All we can say with
certainty is that he was unable to complete the task of arranging and editing
the papers entrusted to him, although he presumably began the work which
was completed two centuries later by Andronicus. At some time during Strato's
scholarchate copies of some of the books were made for the Alexandrian library,
and perhaps some older manuscripts were sold as well; Ptolemy was worth
cultivating. He may also have bought up the books taken to Rhodes by Eudemus, mostly no doubt duplicates of books in the Athenian school library, when
his school came to an end at his death. In the meantime, however, the main
current of Peripatetic thought was taking a new direction, and when Theophrastus' papers, still in considerable disorder, reverted to the school, few or
none of its members showed much interest. No doubt the works they required
for their own use were still copied, either from these exemplars or from others
stemming from the private collections of other early Peripatetics, but by and
large the books once owned by Theophrastus lay neglected until Apellicon
rescued them from oblivion. For all his impudence, he may have done a real
service to philosophy.
Leeds University

H. B. GOTTSCHALK

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