Apellicon of Teos

Apellicon of Teos

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Apellicon (died c. 84 BCE), a wealthy native of Teos
Teos or Teo was a maritime city of Ionia, on a peninsula between Chytrium and Myonnesus, colonized by Orchomenian Minyans, Ionians, and Boeotians. The city is situated on a low hilly narrow strip of land connecting two larger areas of land . Teos ranked among twelve cities comprising the Ionian...

, afterwards an Athenian
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 citizen, was a famous book collector
Book collecting
Book collecting is the collecting of books, including seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever books are of interest to a given individual collector. The love of books is bibliophilia, and someone who loves to read, admire, and collect...

 of the 1st century BCE.

He not only spent large sums in the acquisition of his library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

, but stole original documents from the archives of Athens and other cities of Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

. Being detected, he fled in order to escape punishment, but returned when Athenion (or Aristion
Aristion was a philosopher and tyrant of Athens from 88 BC to 86 BC. Aristion joined forces with Mithridates against the Romans under Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the First Mithridatic war, but to no avail. On March 1, 86 BC, Athens was conquered by Sulla and Aristion was executed...

), a bitter opponent of the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, had made himself tyrant of the city with the aid of Mithradates
Mithridates VI of Pontus
Mithridates VI or Mithradates VI Mithradates , from Old Persian Mithradatha, "gift of Mithra"; 134 BC – 63 BC, also known as Mithradates the Great and Eupator Dionysius, was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia from about 120 BC to 63 BC...

. Athenion sent him with some troops to Delos
The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

, to plunder the treasures of the temple, but he showed little military capacity. He was surprised by the Romans under the command of Orobius (or Orbius), and only saved his life by flight. He died a little later, probably in 84 BCE.


Apellicon's chief pursuit was the collection of rare and important books. He purchased from the family of Neleus of Scepsis
Neleus of Scepsis
Neleus of Scepsis, was the son of Coriscus of Scepsis. He was a disciple of Aristotle and Theophrastus, the latter of whom bequeathed to him his library, and appointed him one of his executors...

 in the Troad manuscripts of the works of Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 and Theophrastus
Theophrastus , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age, and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and...

 (including their libraries), which had been given to Neleus by Theophrastus himself, whose pupil Neleus had been. They had been concealed in a cellar to prevent their falling into the hands of the book-collecting princes of Pergamon
Pergamon , or Pergamum, was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, today located from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus , that became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC...

, and were in a very dilapidated condition. Apellicon filled in the lacuna
Lacuna (manuscripts)
A lacunaPlural lacunae. From Latin lacūna , diminutive form of lacus . is a gap in a manuscript, inscription, text, painting, or a musical work...

e, and brought out a new, but faulty, edition. In 84 Sulla
Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix , known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the rare distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as that of dictator...

 removed Apellicon's library to Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. Here the manuscripts were handed over to the grammarian Tyrannion of Amisus
Tyrannion of Amisus
Tyrannion was a Greek grammarian brought to Rome as a war captive and slave.Tyrannion was a native of Amisus in Pontus, the son of Epicratides, or according to some accounts, of Corymbus...

, who took copies of them, on the basis of which the peripatetic philosopher Andronicus of Rhodes
Andronicus of Rhodes
Andronicus of Rhodes was a Greek philosopher from Rhodes who was also the eleventh scholarch of the Peripatetic school.He was at the head of the Peripatetic school at Rome, about 58 BC, and was the teacher of Boethus of Sidon, with whom Strabo studied...

 prepared an edition of Aristotle's works.

Apellicon's library contained a remarkable old copy of the Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

. He is said to have published a biography of Aristotle, in which the calumnies of other biographers were refuted.