Phlegon

, sirnamed Trallianus, from Tralles, a city of Lydia, where he was born, was one of the emperor Adrian’s freedmen, to whom he gave a liberal education, and lived at least to the eighteenth year of Antoninus Pius, as appears from his mentioning the consuls of that year. He appears to have been a man of great talents, and the contemporary of Epictetus, Florus, Arrian, and other eminent men who adorned the court of Adrian. Of his works, however, we have nothing left but fragments. The titles of | them were an “History of the Olympiads;” “A Treatise of long-lived Persons;” and another of “Wonderful Things;” the short and broken remains of which Xylander translated into Latin, and published at Basil in 1568, with the Greek and with notes. Meursius gave a new edition of them* with his notes at Leyden, in 1622. The titles of part of the rest of Phlegon’s writings are preserved by Suidas; but the “History of Adrian,” published under Phlegon' s name, was written by Adrian himself.

What has made Phlegon’s name more familiar among the moderns, is his being cited, though a heathen, as bearing witness to the accomplishment of prophecies, and to the miraculous darkness which prevailed during our Lord’s passion. This last was the origin of a controversy in the early part of the last century, although the immediate cause was the omission of the passage from Phlegon in an edition of Clarke’s Boyle’s Lectures, published soon after his death, at the persuasion of Dr. Sykes, who had suggested to Clarke, that an undue stress had been laid upon it. Whiston, who informs us of this affair, expresses great displeasure against Sykes, and calls “the suggestion groundless.” Upon this, Sykes published “A Dissertation on the Eclipse mentioned by Phlegon; or, an Enquiry, whether that Eclipse had any relation to the Darkness which happened at our Saviour’s Passion,1732, 8vo. Sykes concludes it to be most probable that Phlegon had in view a natural eclipse, which happened Nov. 24, in the first year of the 202d olympiad, and not in the fourth year of the olympiad in which Christ was crucified. 1

1 Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Lardner’s Works. Notes to Gabriel Seigneux de Correvon’s translation of Addison’s Evidence*. Whiston’g Life.