Duris of Samos
, Greek historian
, according to his own account a descendant of Alcibiades
, was born about 340 BC. He must have been born and passed his early years in exile, since from 352 to 324 Samos
was occupied by Athenian cleruchs
, who had expelled the original inhabitants. When quite young, he obtained a prize for boxing at the Olympic Games
; a statue by Hippias
was set up in commemoration of his victory (Pausanias vi.13.5). He was for some time despot
of his native island. Duris was the author of a comprehensive historical work on Hellenico-Macedonian
history, from the battle of Leuctra
(371 BC) down to the death of Lysimachus
(281 BC), which was largely used by Diodorus Siculus
. Other works by him included a life of Agathocles of Syracuse
, the annals of Samos chronologically arranged according to the lists of the priests of Hera
, and a number of treatises on literary and artistic subjects. Ancient authorities do not appear to have held a very high opinion of his merits as a historian. Plutarch
, 28) expresses doubt as to his trustworthiness, Dionysius of Halicarnassus
(De compos. verborum
, 4) speaks disparagingly of his style, and Photius
(cod. 176) regards the arrangement of his work as altogether faulty. Cicero
vi.I) accords him qualified praise as an industrious writer. Only fragments of his works survive.
He was the brother of Lynceus of Samos. It is sometimes said that Duris studied under Theophrastus at Athens, but this statement depends on a conjectural emendation (by Adamantios Korais) of the text of the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus. If the manuscript reading is retained, the text says that Lynceus, not Duris, was Theophrastus's pupil.
- Andrew Dalby, "The curriculum vitae of Duris of Samos" in Classical quarterly new series vol. 41 (1991) pp. 539-541.