TIMON, of Athens, the noted misanthrope, celebrated in Shakespeare's play, lived during the Peloponnesian War. He is more than once alluded to by Aristophanes and other comedians. Plutarch introduces a short account of his life in his biography of Mark Antony (ch. 70), who built a retreat called Timonium (Strabo xvii. 794) at Alexandria. Timon also gave his name to one of Lucian's dialogues. Shakespeare probably derived his knowledge of Timon mainly from Plutarch; but the Timon of Shakespeare so resembles the Timon of Lucian that Shakespeare (or whoever wrote the first sketch of the play) may have had access to the dialogue.
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