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Who Was ‘Kratippos’?

  • A. W. Gomme (a1)

My inverted commas are intended; I mean, of whom are Schwartz and Jacoby thinking when they say that the History which was called Kratippos' was a forgery of the second or of the first century B.C. ? The reason for the question is this: most forgeries are of the form, ‘Here is an epigram by Simonides, a new chapter by Thucydides’; or ‘I, a humble scholar or an unknown person, X, have discovered the lost books of Livy, or a hitherto unknown painting by Vermeer, or a privately printed edition of Sonnets from the Portuguese’; that is, the work forged is said to be by a famous person, the discoverer a relatively obscure one. Schwartz and Jacoby, however, say, or imply, that ‘Kratippos’ was the name of the forger, a man who lived, probably, in the first century B.C., and who deceived Dionysios of Halikarnassos (de Thuc. 16) and Plutarch (de glor. Ath. 345d ); but what did he assert that his history was ? Did he say, ‘I, Kratippos, have discovered a lost history dating from a generation after the end of the Peloponnesian war which is a continuation of Thucydides; authorship unknown’? Clearly not, for Dionysios says, and Plutarch quite plainly implies, that they took ‘Kratippos’ to be an author of the early fourth century.

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The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
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