The Ancient Library
 

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ALEXANDRINE PERIOD. 371

They have been carefully collated with the MSS. in the " Bibliotheque Nationale," and some portions have been hitherto unedited.

DIDACTIC POETS NOT EPIC.

The didactic poets of the period under review did not always confine themselves to hexameter versification, but employed likewise other meas­ures. The iambic trimeter, for instance, was adopted by two who remain to be noticed by us, namely, Apollodorus and Scymnus.

I. apollodorus ('ATroAAJSco/m),1 a grammarian of Athens, was a pupil of Aristarchus, and flourished about B.C. 140, a few years after the fall of Corinth. Farther particulars are not mentioned respecting him. He is best known by his prose work entitled Bi0\ioO-fiKii, and he will, therefore, more properly be noticed by us among the prose writers of this period. At present we will merely consider some of his poetical productions. Among his other works, Apollodorus wrote, 1. 1% irepiotios, KtafjuKy |ue-rp^j, that is, a Universal Geography, in iambic verse (trimeters), such as was afterward written by Scymnus of Chios, and by Dionysius. 2. Xpoviicd, or XpoviK$) <riWa£fs, a Chronicle, in iambic trimeters, comprising the history of 1040 years, from the destruction of Troy (B.C. 1184) down to his own time, B.C. 143. This work was a sort of continuation of the Bibliotheca. Of how many books it consisted is not quite certain. In Stephanus Byzantinus the fourth book is mentioned; but if Syncellus refers to this work, it must have consisted of at least eight books. The loss of this work is one of the severest that we have to lament in the historical literature of antiquity.

II. scymnus (^KtJjwos),8 of Chios, wrote a Periegesis, or description of the earth, which is referred to in a few passages of Stephanus Byzanti­nus,3 and other later writers. A brief Periegesis, written in iambic metre, and consisting of nearly 1000 lines, has come down to us under his name. This poem, as appears from the author's own statement, was written in imitation of the similar work in iambic verse, composed by the Athenian Apollodorus, and already alluded to. It is dedicated to King Nicomedes, whom some modern writers suppose to be the same as Nicomedes III., king of Bithynia, who died B.C. 74; but this is quite uncertain. A por­tion of this poem was first published by Hoeschel, under the name of Marcianus Heracleotes, along with other Greek geographers, Augsburg, 1600,8vo; and again by Morell, also under the name of Marcianus, Paris, 1606, 8vo. But Lucas Holstenius and Is. Vossius maintained that the poem in question was written by Scymnus of Chios, and is the work re­ferred to in the passages of the ancient writers mentioned above. Their opinion was adopted by Dodwell, and the poem was accordingly printed under the name of Scymnus by Hudson and by Gail, in the Geographi Graci Minor es, as well as by B. Fabricius, in his recent edition of the work, Leipzig, 1846. Meineke, however, maintains, and, in the opinion of some, has proved, in his edition of the poem, published shortly after that of Fabricius (Berlin, 1846), that the Periegesis of Scymnus of Chios,

1 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Id. ib. 3 Steph, fii/z., s, v, TTapo?, 'Ep/ctaWfrcra, 'Aya&j, &c,

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