, pronounced by Cicero to be by far the greatest of all the Peripatetic philosophers he ever heard, was of Mitylene, and taught philosophy there. He went afterwards to Athens, where he followed the sa’riie profession; and amongst his disciples had Cicero’s son. Cicero had an high esteem for him, and prevailed upon Ca;sar to grant him the freedom of Rome; and afterwards engaged the Areopagus to make a decree, by which Cratippns was desired to continue at Athens, as an ornament to the city, and to read lectures to the youth there. These lectures were probably interesting, as Brutus went to hear them when he was preparing for the war against Marc Antony. Cratippus had the art of making himself agreeable to his disciples, and of pleasing them by his conversation, which was free from austerity. This appears from a letter of young Cicero, where there is the following passage: “Know then that Cratippus loves me not as a disciple, but as a son; and as I am very well pleased to hear his lectures, so I am extremely delighted with the sweetness of his temper. I prevail with him whenever I can to sup with me; and this being now customary, he comes often to us unawares, when we are at supper; and, laying aside his philosophic gravity, he is so kind as to laugh and joke with us.” There are other proofs beside this, that Cratippus was a man who understood life as well as philosophy. After the battle of Pharsalia, Pompey went to Mitylene, where the inhabitants paid their respects to him, and Cratippus among them. Pompey complained, as Plutarch tells us, and disputed a little upon divine providence; but Cratippus gently yielded to him, giving him hopes of better times, lest he should have tired and vexed him with answering and refuting his objections. Cratippus wrote some pieces about divination; and is supposed to he the same with him whom Tertullian, in his book “De Anima,” has ranked among the writers upon dreams. 2


Gen. Dict.