Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Anthemius

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ANTHEMIUS, a Greek mathematician and architect of great genius, who produced, under the patronage of Justinian (532 A.D.), the original and daring plans for the church of St Sophia, in Constantinople, which strikingly displayed at once his knowledge and his ignorance. He was one of five brothers―the sons of Stephanus, a physician of Tralles―who were all more or less eminent in their respective departments. Dioscorus followed his father's profession in his native place; Alexander became at Rome one of the most celebrated medical men of his time; Olympius was deeply versed in Roman jurisprudence; and Metrodorus was one of the distinguished grammarians of the great Eastern capital. There appears to be good grounds for believing that Anthemius anticipated Buffon in the invention of burning glasses; he has also been credited, though on very dubious authority, with a knowledge of gunpowder, or some similar compound, and with a certain acquaintance with the force of steam. Some portions of his περὶ παραδόξων μηχανημάτων were published by Dupuy in 1777, and also appeared, in 1786, in the forty-second volume of the Hist. de l'Acad. des Inscr. (See Gibbon's Dec. and Fall, vol. vii. cap. xl; Procopius, de Aedific.)