Hierocles

, a Platonic philosopher of Alexandria, flourished about A. D. 450. He was cruelly scourged at Constantinople for his adherence to the Pagan superstitions; and it is said that, in the midst of his torture, when he received some of the blood into his own hand, he threw it upon the face of his judge, repeating, from Homer,

"Cyclops since human flesh has been thy feast,

Now drain this goblet, potent to digest." Pope.

It appears, however, that notwithstanding this unjust treatment by the Christians at Constantinople, he afterwards philosophized at Alexandria in his usual manner; and hence we may infer, that the severities with which the Gentile people, and particularly their learned men and philosophers, were treated, were not extremely rigorous. Hierocles wrote a treatise “On Providence,” of which Photius has given large extracts, and in which he appears to be an advocate for the Eclectic philosophy, labouring to reconcile the doctrines of Plato and Aristotle concerning providence, the origin of the world, the immortality of the soul, and other subjects. He pursues the same method of philosophizing in his book “On Fate,” and in his *‘ Commentary on the Golden Verses of Pythagoras,“which is still extant. Besides these, there are large fragments of other works preserved in Stobaeus, and generally published together with the works above-mentioned. All these’ are valuable, tending to recommend and promote virtue; but not with that force which flows from revelation, enjoining every part of moral righteousness by divine authority, and with the assurance of recompences in a future state. The first edition of the” Golden Verses" was published at Paris, Gr. and Lat. 158.3. The best is that of Ashton and Warren, Gr. and Lat. Lond. 1742. From this an English translation was published by the rev. William Rayner, vicar of Calthorpe, Norwich, 1797, 8vo. 2

2

Brucker. Gen. Dict. Lardner’s Works. Saxii Oaoaaast.

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