Ephraim Chambers, an English cyclopaedist, born at Kendal, Westmoreland, in the latter half of the 17th century, died in London, May 15, 1740. He was the son of a Presbyterian freeholder, and while apprentice to the mechanician Senex, who encouraged his scholarly tastes, he began to prepare a cyclopaedia, which after many years of arduous labors, in his chambers at Gray's Inn, was published by subscription (2 vols., 1728; 2d enlarged ed., 1738; 5th ed., 1746). Subsequently this work was enlarged by Mr. Scott and Dr. Hill, and eventually served as a basis for Rees's Cyclopaedia (4 vols., 1781 - '6; new and enlarged, ed., 45 vols., 1803-'19). Chambers contributed to the "Literary Magazine," and prepared with John Martyn an abridged translation of the philosophical history and memoirs of the French academy of sciences (5 vols., 1742). He was elected fellow of the royal society, and was buried in Westminster abbey.
A Greek Dramatic Poet Epicharmus, born on the island of Cos about 540 B. C, died in 450, or according to Lucian in 443. He went to Syracuse about 483, and there passed the remainder of his life. He conceived the idea of transforming the loosely constructed farces of which the Sicilian comedy consisted into pieces as regular and correct as the Athenian tragedies. He effected as great a reform in comedy as AEschylus in tragedy, diminishing the number of the actors, and introducing a more elegant and poetic language and a more elaborate plot. He was the author of 52, or according to some of 35 comedies, of which only the titles remain. His works were especially esteemed by Plato, who makes' many quotations from them.
Epigoni (Gr. descendants), the seven sons of the seven Argive heroes who, under command of Adrastus, made an unsuccessful expedition against Thebes, in which all but the leader lost their lives. At the suggestion of Adrastus, the sons made war on Thebes ten years later, to avenge the death of their fathers. Their names are not the same in all the accounts, but as usually given they are Alcmaeon, AEgialeus, Diomedes, Promachus, Sthenelus, Thersander, and Euryalus. Under command of Alcmaeon, the Argive forces attacked and defeated the Thebans, who lost their leader, Laodamas; while of the Epigoni, AEgialeus, the son of Adrastus, was slain. The Thebans then abandoned their city and sued for peace, but the Argives razed it to the ground. This war of the Epigoni was celebrated in verse, and statues of the seven heroes were erected at Delphi.
Epimenides, a poet and hero of Cnossus, in the island of Crete, flourished in the 7th century B. C. He was a contemporary of the seven wise men of Greece, among whom he is sometimes counted in place of Periander. He was principally occupied with politics and legislation, but of his treatises on these subjects nothing remains. He also wrote a poem on the Argonautic expedition, which is lost. There are many fabulous accounts of his life. He is said to have passed 57 years in profound sleep in a cavern, and to have possessed the marvellous power of separating himself from his body. The Athenians suffering from a plague invoked his aid, and he removed the scourge. His life was prolonged, according to some, to the age of 154, 157, or even 299 years.