Secundus (2nd cent.)

Pythagorean philosopher (perhaps fictional) in the time of Hadrian. He is the subject of a ‘Life’, written in Greek, but translated into Syriac, as well as several other languages. The Syriac, which is alluded to by Isḥaq of Nineveh in his Homily 57, survives in an incomplete form. The work has two parts, a frame story and a set of answers to 20 philosophical questions beginning ‘What is ... ?’. These are put to him by Hadrian on a visit to Athens to consult him. Only one question (‘What is death?’) survives in Syriac, but a number of extra answers for this, not found in the Greek, are given.

Sources

  • G. W.  Bowersock, The Greek Sophists in the Roman Empire (1969), 118–9. (identifies him with the sophist Secundus mentioned by Philostratus)
  • S. P.  Brock, ‘Secundus the Silent Philosopher: some notes on the Syriac tradition’, Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 121 (1978), 94–100. (On allusion by Isḥaq, with ET; repr. in Studies in Syriac Christianity [1992], ch. IX)
  • S. P.  Brock, ‘Stomathalassa, Dandamis and Secundus in a Syriac monastic anthology’, in After Bardaisan, ed. Reinink and Klugkist, 35–50, esp. 46–7.
  • B. E.  Perry, Secundus the Silent Philosopher (1964). (includes a reproduction of the Syriac text, originally published in E. Sachau, Inedita Syriaca [1870], 84–8).


How to Cite This Entry

Sebastian P. Brock , “Secundus,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Secundus.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Sebastian P. Brock , “Secundus,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Secundus.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Brock, Sebastian P. “Secundus.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Secundus.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Secundus/tei.

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