Maximus Of Tyre

, usually called Maximus Tyrius, to distinguish him from several other Maximuses of antiquity, though chiefly distinguished by his eloquence, has obtained some degree of celebrity as a philosopher. According to Suidas, he lived under Commodus; according to Eusebius and Syncellus, under Antoninus Pius, in the second century; perhaps he flourished under Antoninus, and reached the time of Commodus, in both whose reigns he is said to have made a journey to Rome, but spent his life chiefly in Greece. We have extant of Maximu> Tyrius forty-one “Dissertations, upon various arguments;” a manuscript copy of which was first brought out of Greece into Italy by Janus Lascaris, and presented to Lorenzo de Medici. From this copy a Latin translation was made, and published by Cosmus Paccius, archbishop of Florence, in 1519. The work was then published in Greek by Henry | Stephens, in 1557 in Greek and Latin by Daniel Heinsius, in 1607 byJ. Davies, of Cambridge, in 1703; by Markland in 1740, 4to; and by Reiske, in 1774, 8vo. The French have two good translations by Formey, 1764, and by Dounous, 1802. Isaac Casaubon, in the epistle dedicatory of his “Commentaries upon Persius,” calls Maximus Tyrius “mellitissimus Platonicorum;” and Peter Petit (in his “Misc. Observat.” lib. i. c. 20.) represents him as “auctorem imprimis elegantem in Philosophia, ac disertum.” He has spoken a good deal of himself in his thirtyseventh dissertation, and seemingly in a style of panegyric. Upon this account his editor Davies has accused him of vanity, but Fabricius has defended him by observing, that Davies did not sufficiently attend to Maximus’s purpose in speaking thus of himself; “which was,” he says, “not at all with a view of praising himself, but to encourage and promote the practice of those lessons in philosophy, which they heard from him with so much applause.” These dissertations are for the most part written upon Platonic principles, but sometimes lean towards scepticism.

Some have confounded Maximus Tyrius with Maximus Ephesus, the preceptor of Julian the apostate, who wrote a poem upon astrology entitled “Hep xarafxov;” which is published, with a Latin version by another hand, by Fabricius, in the twenty-fifth chapter of the fifth book of his “Bibliotheca Graeca.” It is imperfect at the beginning. 1


Fabric. Bibl. Grace. Bruckcr. —Saxii Onomast.