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Apollodorus

Apollodorus

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Apollodorus of Athens son of Asclepiades, was a Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 scholar and grammarian. He was a pupil of Diogenes of Babylon, Panaetius the Stoic
Panaetius
Panaetius of Rhodes was a Stoic philosopher. He was a pupil of Diogenes of Babylon and Antipater of Tarsus in Athens, before moving to Rome where he did much to introduce Stoic doctrines to the city. After the death of Scipio in 129, he returned to the Stoic school in Athens, and was its last...

, and the grammarian Aristarchus of Samothrace
Aristarchus of Samothrace
Aristarchus of Samothrace was a grammarian noted as the most influential of all scholars of Homeric poetry. He was the librarian of the library of Alexandria and seems to have succeeded his teacher Aristophanes of Byzantium in that role.He established the most historically important critical...

. He left, or fled, Alexandria around 146 BC, most likely for Pergamum, and eventually settled in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

.

Literary works

  • Chronicle (Χρονικά), a Greek history in verse from the fall of Troy
    Troy
    Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

     in the 12th century BCE to roughly 143 BCE (although later it was extended as far as 109 BCE), and based on previous works by Eratosthenes of Cyrene
    Eratosthenes
    Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, poet, athlete, geographer, astronomer, and music theorist.He was the first person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography as we understand it...

    . Its dates are reckoned by its references to the archons of Athens. As most archons only held office for one year, scholars have been able to pin down the years to which Apollodorus was referring. The poem is written in comic trimeter
    Trimeter
    In poetry, a trimeter is a metre of three metrical feet per line—example:...

    s and is dedicated to Attalus II Philadelphus
    Attalus II Philadelphus
    Attalus II Philadelphus was a King of Pergamon and the founder of modern-day Turkish city Antalya...

    .
  • On the Gods (Περὶ θεῶν), a detailed history of Greek religion, heavily depended on by later writers, such as Philodemus
    Philodemus
    Philodemus of Gadara was an Epicurean philosopher and poet. He studied under Zeno of Sidon in Athens, before moving to Rome, and then to Herculaneum. He was once known chiefly for his poetry preserved in the Greek anthology, but since the 18th century, many writings of his have been discovered...

    .
  • A twelve-book essay about Homer's Catalogue of Ships
    Catalogue of Ships
    The Catalogue of Ships is a passage in Book 2 of Homer's Iliad , which lists the contingents of the Achaean army that sailed to Troy...

    , also based on Eratosthenes of Cyrene
    Eratosthenes
    Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, poet, athlete, geographer, astronomer, and music theorist.He was the first person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography as we understand it...

     and Demetrius of Scepsis
    Demetrius of Scepsis
    Demetrius of Scepsis was a Greek grammarian of the time of Aristarchus and Crates . He was a man of good family and an acute philologer . He was the author of a very extensive work which is very often referred to, and bore the title Τρωικὸς διάκοσμος. It consisted of at least twenty-six books...

    , dealing with Homeric geography and how it has changed along the centuries. Strabo
    Strabo
    Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

     relied greatly on this for books 8 through 10 of his own Geographica
    Geographica (Strabo)
    The Geographica , or Geography, is a 17-volume encyclopedia of geographical knowledge written in Greek by Strabo, an educated citizen of the Roman empire of Greek descent. Work can have begun on it no earlier than 20 BC...

    .
  • Other possible works include an early etymology (possibly the earliest by an Alexandrian writer), and analyses of the poets Epicharmus of Kos
    Epicharmus of Kos
    Epicharmus is thought to have lived within the hundred year period between c. 540 and c. 450 BC. He was a Greek dramatist and philosopher often credited with being one of the first comic writers, having originated the Doric or Sicilian comedic form. Aristotle writes that he and Phormis invented...

     and Sophron
    Sophron
    Sophron of Syracuse was a writer of mimes.Sophron was the author of prose dialogues in the Doric dialect, containing both male and female characters, some serious, others humorous in style, and depicting scenes from the daily life of the Sicilian Greeks. Although in prose, they were regarded as...

    .
  • Apollodorus produced numerous other critical and grammatical writings, which have not survived.
  • His eminence as a scholar gave rise to several imitations, forgeries and misattributions. The encyclopedia of Greek mythology
    Greek mythology
    Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

     called Bibliotheca
    Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus)
    The Bibliotheca , in three books, provides a comprehensive summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends, "the most valuable mythographical work that has come down from ancient times," Aubrey Diller observed, whose "stultifying purpose" was neatly expressed in the epigram noted by...

    , or Library, was traditionally attributed to him, but it cannot be his; it cites authors who wrote centuries later. Today the author of the Bibliotheca is called Pseudo-Apollodorus.

Other sources