1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Apellicon

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APELLICON, a wealthy native of Teos, afterwards an Athenian citizen, a famous book collector. He not only spent large sums in the acquisition of his library, but stole original documents from the archives of Athens and other cities of Greece. Being detected, he fled in order to escape punishment, but returned when Athenion (or Aristion), a bitter opponent of the Romans, had made himself tyrant of the city with the aid of Mithradates. Athenion sent him with some troops to Delos, 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 B.C.

Apellicon’s chief pursuit was the collection of rare and important books. He purchased from the family of Neleus of Skepsis in the Troad manuscripts of the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus (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 Pergamum, and were in a very dilapidated condition. Apellicon filled in the lacunae, and brought out a new, but faulty, edition. In 84 Sulla removed Apellicon’s library to Rome (Strabo xiii. p. 609; Plutarch, Sulla, 26). Here the MSS. were handed over to the grammarian Tyrannion, who took copies of them, on the basis of which the peripatetic philosopher Andronicus of Rhodes prepared an edition of Aristotle’s works. Apellicon’s library contained a remarkable old copy of the Iliad. He is said to have published a biography of Aristotle, in which the calumnies of other biographers were refuted.