Phadrus an Epicurean philosopher, and contemporary of Cicero, became acquainted with the great orator in his youth at Rome, and during his residence in Athens (B.C. 80) Cicero renewed his acquaintance with him. Phaedrus was at that time an old man, and was president of the Epicurean school. He was also on terms of friendship with Velleius, whom Cicero introduces as the defender of the Epicurean tenets in the De Nat. Deor. (1:21, § 58). He occupied the position of head of the Epicurean school till B.C. 70, and was succeeded by Patron. Cicero (Ad Att. 13:39) mentions, according to the common reading, two treatises by Phaedrus, Φαίδρου περισσῶν et ῾Ελλάδος. The first title is corrected on MS. authority to Περί θεῶν. Some critics (as Petersen) suppose that only one treatise is spoken of, Περὶ θεῶν καὶ Παλλάδος. Others (among whom is Orelli, Ononm. Tull. s.v. PhIedrus) adopt the reading et ῾Ελλάδος, or, at least, suppose that two treatises are spoken of. An interesting fragment of the former work was discovered at Herculaneum in 1806, and was first published, though not recognised as the work of Phiedrus, in a work entitled Herculanensia, or A rchceological and Philological Dissertations; containing a Manuscriptfound among the Ruins of Herculaneum (Lond. 1810). A better edition was published by Petersen (Phcedri Epicurei, vulgo Anonymi Herculanensis, de Nat. Deor. Fragm. Hamb. 1833). Cicero was largely indebted to this work of Phaedrus for the materials of the first book of his De Natura Deorusm. Not only is the development of the Epicurean doctrine (c. 16, etc.) taken from it, but the erudite account of the doctrines of earlier philosophers put in the mouth of Velleius is a mere translation from Phaedrus. See Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. 3:608; Krische, Forschungen auf dem Gebiete der alten Phil. 1:27, etc.; Preller, in Ersch and Gruber's Encykl. Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Biog. and Mythol. s.v.

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