Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/451

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435
SOSIGENES—SOTO

statue has been erected in the Piazza, was born in the town in 1544.

SOSIGENES, Greek astronomer and mathematician, probably of Alexandria, flourished in the first century B.C. According to Pliny (Nat. Hist. xviii. 25), he was employed by Julius Caesar in the reform of the Roman calendar (46 B.C.), and wrote three treatises, which he conscientiously corrected. From another passage of Pliny (ii. 8) it is inferred that Sosigenes maintained the doctrine of the motion of Mercury round the sun, which is referred to by his contemporary Cicero, and was also held by the Egyptians.

The astronomer is to be distinguished from the Peripatetic

philosopher of the same name, who lived at the end of the 2nd century A.D. He was the tutor of Alexander of Aphrodisias, the most famous of the commentators on Aristotle. He wrote a work on Revolving Spheres, from which some important extracts have been preserved in Simplicius's commentary on Aristotle's De caelo (the subject is fully discussed by T. H. Martin, “Sur deux

Sosigène,” in Annales de la fac. des lettres de Bordeaux, i., 1879).

SOSITHEUS (c. 280 B.C.), Greek tragic poet, of Alexandria Troas, a member of the Alexandrian “ pleiad.” He must have resided at some time in Athens, since Diogenes Laërtius tells us (vii. 5, 4) that he attacked the Stoic Cleanthes on the stage, and was hissed off by the audience. As Suïdas also calls him a Syracusan, it is conjectured that he belonged to the literary circle at the court of Hiero II. According to an epigram of Dioscorides in the Greek Anthology (Anth. Pal. vii. 707) he restored the satyric drama in its original form. A considerable fragment is extant of his pastoral play Daphnis or Lityerses, in which the Sicilian shepherd, in search of his love Pimplea, is brought into connexion with the Phrygian reaper, son of Midas, who slew all who unsuccessfully competed with him in reaping his corn. Heracles came to the aid of Daphnis and slew Lityerses.

See O. Crusius s.v. Lityerses in Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen

und römischen Mythologie. The fragment of twenty-one lines in Nauck's Tragicorum graecorum fragmenta apparently contains the beginning of the drama. Two lines from the Aëthlius (probably the traditional first king of Elis, father of Endymion) are quoted

by Stobaeus (Flor. li. 23).

SOTADES, Greek satirist, of Maronea in Thrace (or of Crete), chief representative of the writers of coarse satirical poems, called κίναιδοι,[1] composed in the Ionic dialect and in a metre named after him “sotadic.” He lived in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy II. Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.). For a violent attack on the king, on the occasion of his marriage to his own sister Arsinoë, Sotades was imprisoned, but escaped to the island of Caunus, where he was afterwards captured by Patroclus, Ptolemy's admiral, shut up in a leaden chest, and thrown into the sea (Athenaeus xiv. p. 620; Plutarch, De educatione puerorum, 14).

Only a few genuine fragments of Sotades have been preserved

(see J. G. Hermann, Elementa doctrinae metricae, 1816); those in Stobaeus are generally considered spurious. Ennius translated some poems of this kind, included in his book of satires, under the

name of Sota.

SOTER, pope from about 167 to 174. He wrote to the Church of Corinth and sent it aid. His letter is mentioned in the reply given by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, and Harnack thinks it can be identified with the second so-called epistle of Clement to the Corinthians.

SOTHEBY, WILLIAM (1757-1833), English author, was born in London on the 9th of November 1757. He was educated at Harrow, and subsequently procured a commission in a cavalry regiment. In 1780 he retired from the army on his marriage and devoted himself to literature, becoming a prominent figure in London literary society. His ample means enabled him to play the part of patron to many struggling authors, and his friends included Scott, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Hallam and Tom Moore. He himself soon acquired a considerable reputation as a translator, his verse translation of Virgil's Georgics (1800) being specially praised by contemporary critics, while in later life he published translations of the Iliad and Odyssey. He also wrote several historical tragedies for the stage, of which one was acted, and some poems. He died on the 30th of December 1833.

SOTHERN, EDWARD ASKEW (1826-1881), English actor, was born in Liverpool on the 1st of April 1826, the son of a merchant. He began acting as an amateur, and in 1849 drifted into a professional engagement with a dramatic company at St Heliers in Jersey, where he appeared as Claude Melnotte in Bulwer Lytton's Lady of Lyons. Between then and 1858 he played in various companies without particular success, in Birmingham and in America, where he went in 1852. On the 12th of May 1858 Tom Taylor's Our American Cousin, a play of no special merit, was brought out in New York, with Sothern in the small part of Lord Dundreary, a caricature of an English nobleman. He gradually worked up the humour of this part so that it became the central figure of the play. In 1861, when it was produced at the Haymarket Theatre, in London, he made such a hit that the piece ran for nearly five hundred nights: “Dundreary whiskers” became the fashion, and Dundreary this, that or the other made its appearance on every side. At various times Sothern revived the character, which retained its popularity in spite of all the extravagances to which he developed its amusing features; and his name will always be famous in connexion with this rôle. In T. W. Robertson's David Garrick (1864) he again had a great success, his acting in the title-part, which he created, being wonderfully effective. He won wide popularity also from his interpretation of Sam Slingsby in Oxenford's Brother Sam (1865). Sothern was a born comedian, and off the stage had a passion for practical joking that amounted almost to a mania. His house in Kensington was a resort for people of fashion, and he was as much a favourite in America as in the United Kingdom. He died in London on the 21st of January 1881.

Sothern had three sons, all actors, the second of them, Edward H. Sothern (b. 1859), being prominent on the American stage.

SOTHIC PERIOD, in ancient Egyptian chronology, the period in which the year of 365 days circled in succession through all the seasons. The tropical year, determined as it was in Egypt by the heliacal rising of Sirius (Sothis), was almost exactly the Julian year of precisely 365¼ days (differing from the true solar year, which was 11 minutes less than this). The sothic period was thus 1461 years.

See Egypt, Ancient, § F. “Chronology.”

SOTO, FERDINANDO [Fernando, or Hernando] DE (1496?-1542), Spanish captain and explorer, often, though wrongly, called the discoverer of the Mississippi (first sighted by Alonzo de Pineda in 1519), was born at Jeréz de los Caballeros, in Estremadura, of an impoverished family of good position, and was indebted to the favour of Pedrarias d'Avila for the means of pursuing his studies at the university. In 1519 he accompanied d'Avila on his second expedition to Darien. In 1528 he explored the coast of Guatemala and Yucatan, and in 1532 he led 300 volunteers to reinforce Pizarro in Peru. He played a prominent part in the conquest of the Incas' kingdom (helping to seize and guard the person of Atahualpa, discovering a pass through the mountains to Cuzco, &c.), and returned to Spain with a fortune of 180,000 ducats, which enabled him to marry the daughter of his old patron d'Avila, and to maintain the state of a nobleman. Excited by the reports of Alvaro Nuñez (Cabeza de Vaca) and others as to the wealth of Florida (a term then commonly used in a much wider extension than subsequently), he sold great part of his property, gathered a force of 620 foot and 123 horse, armed four ships, and obtained from Charles V. a commission as “adelantado of the Lands of Florida” and governor of Cuba. Sailing from San Lucar in April 1538, he first went to Havana, his advanced base of operations; starting thence on the 12th of May 1539 he landed in the same month in Espiritu Santo Bay, on the west coast of the present state of Florida. For nearly four years he led his men in fruitless search of gold hither and thither over the south-east of the North

  1. The word is also used of the dancers in indecent ballets, to which such poems were probably written as an accompaniment. In Greek and Latin authors κίναιδος (cinaedus) generally means “catamite.”