, an ancient Gretik orator and philosopher, whose eloquence procured him the name of | Euphrades, was of Paphlagonia, and flourished in the fourth century His father, Eugenius, was a man of noble birth, and educated his son under his own care. After teaching philosophy twenty years at Constantinople, and acquiring a great reputation, he went to Rome, where the emperor offered any conditions if he would fix himself in that city; but he returned soon, and settled at Constantinople, where he married, and had children. Themistius was a peripatetic, and tells us in one of his orations that he had chosen Aristotle for the arbiter of his opinions, and the guide of his life; yet he was not so bigotted to this master, but that he was well versed in Plato, and was particularly studious of the diction and manner of this philosopher, as appears from his works. He had a great opinion of the necessity of sacrificing to the graces; and he says in another oration, “I often converse with the divine Plato, I live with Aristotle, and I am very unwillingly separated from Homer.

He had great interest with several succeeding emperors. Constantius elected him into the senate in the year 355, ordered a brazen statue to be erected to him in 361, and pronounced his philosophy “the ornament of his reign.Julian made him prefect of Constantinople in the year 362, and wrote letters to him, some of which are still extant. Jovian, Valens, Valentinian, and Gratian, shewed him many marks of esteem and affection, and heard him with pleasure haranguing upon the most important subjects. Valens in particular, who was inclined to favour the Arians, suffered himself to be diverted byThemistius from persecuting the orthodox; who represented to him the little reason, there was to be surprised at a diversity of opinions among the Christians, when that was nothing in comparison of the differences among the heathens; and that such differences ought never to terminate in sanguinary measures; and by such arguments he is said to have procured universal toleration. Though himself a confirmed heathen, he maintained correspondences and friendship with Christians, and particularly with Gregory of Nazianzen, who, in a letter to him, still extant, calls him “the king of language and composition.” Lastly, the emperor Theodosius made him again prefect of Constantinople in the year 384; and, when he was going into the west, placed his son Arcadius with him as a pupil. He lived to a great age; but the precise time of his death is not recorded. He has | Sometimes been confounded with another Themistius, who was much younger than he, a deacon of Alexandria, and the founder of a sect among Christians.

More than thirty orations of Themistius are still extant> eight of which were published at Venice in 1534, folio, but the best edit on of the whole is that, with a. Latin version by Petavius, and notes by father Hardouin, at Paris, 1684, in folio. He wrote also commentaries upon several parts of Aristotle’s works; which were published in Greek at Venice, in 1534, folio; Latin versions were afterwards made by Hermolaus Barbarus, and others. 1


Fabricii Bibl. Græc.—Brucker.—Saxii Onomast.