Python of Byzantium

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Python of Byzantium was an ancient Greek statesman and former student of Isocrates. In 346 BC, he appears to have participated in negotiations at Pella that resulted in the Peace of Philocrates. In 343 BC, Python represented Philip II of Macedon in Athens with an offer to alter the overall treaty. Hegesippus remarked that Python oratorically adhered to the instructions of his teachers in Athens (implying that Isocrates was a supporter of Macedon since he retained some influence over Python).[1] Based on Demosthenes's Against Aristocrates, Python of Byzantium was identified with Python of Aenus the latter of which killed King Cotys I of the Odrysian Kingdom. However, it is highly unlikely that both names are attributed to one individual.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Natoli, Anthony Francis. The Letter of Speusippus to Philip II: Introduction, Text, Translation and Commentary ; with an Appendix on the Thirty-first Socratic Letter Attributed to Plato. Franz Steiner Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-515-08396-0, p. 54. "Among the pupils and former pupils of Isocrates three are known to have been associated with Philip. The first was Python of Byzantium, who appears to have been at Pella in 346 and may have played a role in the negotiations around the Peace of Philocrates. Then in 343, as we have seen, Python represented Philip in Athens with an offer to revise the Peace of Philocrates. On this occasion Hegesippus remarked pointedly that the orator was following the instructions of his 'schoolmasters' in Athens. It is clear from this remark that Isocrates could be portrayed to the Athenian public as an outright supporter of Philip who retained some influence with his former pupil, Python."
  2. ^ Natoli, Anthony Francis. The Letter of Speusippus to Philip II: Introduction, Text, Translation and Commentary ; with an Appendix on the Thirty-first Socratic Letter Attributed to Plato. Franz Steiner Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-515-08396-0, p. 54. [Footnote] "On the basis of Demosthenes Against Aristocrates 127; 119, Python of Byzantium has been identified with Python of Aenus, the slayer of the Odrysian king Cotys I, but this is highly unlikely."