, an eminent architect of the sixth century, was born at Tralles in Lydia. His father had five sons, Olympius, a lawyer, Dioscorus and Alexander, physicians, Metrodorus, a grammarian, and our Anthemius, who was an excellent mathematician, and availed himself of that science in the works which he erected. It appears likewise that he was acquainted with the more modern secrets of philosophy and chemistry, as historians inform us that he could imitate thunder and lightning, and even the shock of an earthquake, In consequence of a trifling dispute with Zeuo, his neighbour, respecting the walls or windows of their contiguous houses, in which Zeno appeared to have the advantage, Anthemius played him a trick, which is thus described: he arranged several vessels or cauldrons of water, each of them covered by the wide | bottom of a leathern tube which rose to a narrow top, and was artificially conveyed among the joists and rafters of the adjacent building. A fire was kindled beneath the cauldron, and the steam of the boiling water ascended through the tubes: the house was shaken by the efforts of the imprisoned air, and the trembling inhabitants wondered that the city was unconscious of an earthquake which they felt. At another time the friends of Zeno, as they sat at table, were dazzled by the intolerable light which flashed in their eyes from the reflecting mirrors of Anthemius; they were astonished by the noise which he produced from a collision of certain minute and sonorous particles: and Zeno declared to the senate, that a mere mortal must yield to the power of an antagonist who shook the earth with the trident of Neptune, and imitated the thunder and lightning of Jove himself. But the genius of Anthemius appeared to most advantage in the erection of the new church of St. Sophia at Constantinople. This he undertook by order of the emperor Justinian, and was assisted by ten thousand workmen, whose payment, we are told, doubtless as a hint to modern surveyors, was made in fine silver, and never delayed beyond the evening. It was completed in five years, eleven months, and ten days. Gibbon has given a splendid description of this edifice, now the principal Turkish mosque, which continues to excite the fond admiration of the Greeks, and the more rational curiosity of European travellers. Anthemius died about the year 534. He is said to have written on the subject of machinery, and Dupuy, secretary to the French academy of inscriptions, published a fragment of his in 1777, on mechanics and dioptrics, in which Anthemius endeavours to explain the burning mirrors employed by Archimedes in destroying the Roman ships. 1


Biog. Universelle. Gibbon’s Roman Hist, and —Saxii Onomasticon.