THEOPOMPUS (380 B.c.), Greek historian and rhetorician, was born at Chios about 38o B.C. In early youth he seems to have spent some time at Athens, along with his father, who had been exiled on account of his Laconian sympathies. Here he became a pupil of Isocrates, and rapidly made great progress in rhetoric. We are told that Isocrates used to say that Ephorus required the spur but Theopompus the bit (Cicero, Brutus, 204). At first he appears to have composed epideictic speeches, in which he at tained to such proficiency that in 352-351 he gained the prize of oratory given by Artemisia (q.v.) in honour of her husband, although Isocrates was himself among the competitors. It is said to have been the advice of his teacher that finally determined his career as an historian—a career for which he was peculiarly qualified owing to his abundant patrimony and his wide knowl edge of men and places. Through the influence of Alexander, he was restored to Chios about 333, and figured for some time as one of the leaders of the aristocratic party in his native town. After Alexander's death he was again expelled, and took refuge with Ptolemy in Egypt, where he appears to have met with a somewhat cold reception. The date of his death is unknown.
The works of Theopompus were chiefly historical, and are much quoted by later writers. They included an Epitome of Herodo tus's History (the genuineness of which is doubted), the Hellenics (`EXX7m,K6., 'EXXnvocal laroplat), the History of Philip (ch. Xorruca.), and several panegyrics and hortatory addresses, the chief of which was the Letter to Alexander. The Hellenics treated of the history of Greece, in 12 books, from 411 (where Thucydides breaks off) to 394—the date of the battle of Cnidus (cf. Diod. Sic., xiii. 42, with xiv. 84). Of this work only a few fragments were known up till 1907. The papyrus fragment of a Greek historian of the 4th century B.C., discovered by B. P. Gren
fell and A. S. Hunt, and published by them in Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. v. (1908), has been recognized by Ed. Meyer, U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and G. Busoit as a portion of the Hel lenics. This identification has been disputed, however, by F.
Blass, J. B. Bury, E. M. Walker and others, most of whom attri bute the fragment, which deals with the events of the year 395 B.C. and is of considerable extent, to Cratippus (q.v.). A far more elaborate work was the ckstXL7r7rudt in 58 books. In this Theopompus narrated the history of Philip's reign (36o-336), with digressions on the names and customs of the various races and countries of which he had occasion to speak, which were so numerous that Philip V. of Macedon reduced the bulk of the history from 58 to 16 books by cutting out those parts which had no connection with Macedonia. It was from this history that Trogus Pompeius (of whose Historiae Philippicae we possess the epitome by Justin) derived much of his material.
in C. Muller, Frag. Hist. Graec., i.; monograph by A. J. Pflugk (1827), and a good account in W. Mure, Language and Literature of Ancient Greece (1850-57), v. pp. 509-529. See also GREECE: Ancient History, Authorities. A complete edition of the fragments of Theopompus and of Cratippus has been published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1909), containing the fragment of the new historian. For a discussion of the authorship of this fragment see Oxyrhynchus Papyri (1908), vol. v., pp. 110-242; G. Busolt, Hermes (1908), pp. 255-285 (Der Neue Historiker and Xenophon) ; E. M. Walker, Klio (1908) ("Cratippus or Theo pompus") ; W. A. Goligher, English Historical Review, vol. xxiii. pp. 277-282 ("The New Greek Historical Fragment") ; A. von Mess, Rheinisches Museum (1908), pp. 37o-391 ("Die Hellenica von Oxy rhynchos"). (E. M. WA.)