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My Favourite Planet > English > People > Hieronymus of Tlos

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Marble relief frieze from the funerary monument for Hieronymus of Tlos at My Favourite Planet

Marble relief frieze from the funerary monument for Hieronymus of Tlos.

See larger photo below.
Hieronymus of Tlos

Hieronymus of Tlos (Ἱερώνομος, circa 290-230 BC), also known as Hieronymus of Rhodes, was a Peripatetic philosopher and historian of literature from Tlos, Lycia [1].

Hieronymus was a philosopher the Peripatetic school founded by Aristotle at the Lyceum in Athens (see Digging Aristotle at The Cheshire Cat Blog), although his opinions appear to have divurged from those of the Peripatetics of his time, provoking the hostility of other philosophers, including Lyco of Troas, the head of the Peripatetics, and the Academic philosopher Arcesilaus. He left Peripatetics and founded an eclectic school, defining the goal of life as freedom from pain and trouble, and refuting the notion of pleasure as an end in itself.

His best known book was a work on ethics, but he also wrote about literature, history, and rhetoric. The known works include: On suspension and judgement, On drink, Symposium, On not being angry, On poets, On Isocrates, Historical memoranda, Miscellaneous memoranda, Letters.

None of his works have survived, and the little that is known of them and his life has been gleaned from mentions and quotations by later authors, particularly Cicero, as well as Athenaeus, Diogenes Laertius and Plutarch. Most of these writers refer to him as Hieronymus of Rhodes. Many of the fragments reveal his penchant for literary gossip, as for example in this anecdote related by Athenaeus:

Euripides the poet, also, was much addicted to women. At all events Hieronymus, in his Historical Commentaries, speaks as follows: "When someone told Sophocles that Euripides was a woman-hater, 'He may be,' said he, 'in his tragedies, but in his bed he is very fond of women.' "

Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists, Book 13, Pages 551-571.
Translated by C.D.Yonge, 1854. At attalus.org.

There is no known statue or portrait of Hieronymus; the best known ancient artefact associated with him is the relief from a funerary monument, discovered on Rhodes, dedicated to "Hieronymos, the son of Simylinos, from Tlos" (see photo below).
 
 
Hieronymus
of Tlos
Notes, references and links  

1. Tlos, Lycia

Tlos (Lycian, Tlawa; Hittite, Talawa) was a city in the Xanthos valley, Lycia, southwestern Anatolia (Asia Minor), today in the Antalya Province of Turkey, near the resort town of Kalkan.

The site is believed to have been first settled as early as 2000 BC. It became one of the six cities of the Lycian federation and one of the most important cultural and religious centres of the ancient Lycians. Their language, culture and art were quite distinct from those of the Greeks, although influenced by them; the two cultures came into contact from at least the 11th-10th centuries BC, when Greeks settled in Caria to the north and on islands (such as Kastellorizo) off the Lycian coast.

A fiercely independent people, protected by their remote, mountainous lands, they apparently repelled the expansion of the Hittites and subsequent invaders. Lycia was occupied by the Persians and then conquered by Alexander the Great.
 
 
 
 
 
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Marble relief frieze from the funerary monument for Hieronymus of Tlos in the Altes Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet
  Hieronymus debating
with other philosophers
Hermes (left) introduces Hieronymus to
Pluto (enthroned, right) in the underworld
Hieronymus in the underworld  
Marble relief frieze from the funerary monument for Hieronymus of Tlos,
depicting philosophers debating and scenes in the underworld.
Signed by the sculptor Damatrios. 3rd - 2nd century BC.
Found in 1900 at Trianta (Τριάντα, ancient Ialysos, Ιαλυσός), northern Rhodes, Greece.
Yellowish, crystalline marble.
Height 32 cm, width 100 cm, depth 10 cm.

Inscription above the frieze:

Ἱερωνύμου
τοῦ Σιμυλίνου Τλώιου

[Grave] of Hieronymos,
the son of Simylinos from Tlos

Inscription below the frieze:

Δαμάτριος ἐποίησε

made by Damatrios


Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 1888.
Inscription SEG 51, 1018.
Purchased 1901 from F. Hiller von Gaertringen in Alexandria, Egypt.

The frieze was damaged by fire during the Second World War, and following its return to Berlin in 1958 it was broken into two pieces. It was restored and has been on display at the Altes Museum (Room 11) since Februar 2011.
Photos and articles © David John

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