Dionysius’ Works

  • Jeffrey S. Rusten
Part of the Papyrologica Coloniensia book series (ARAW, volume 10)


The progress of modern scholars in recovering the outlines of Dionysius’ Libyan Stories and Argonauts has already been described in the Introduction; we must now concern ourselves with several difficulties presented by the testimonia on these and other works, particularly by the Suda and the scholia to Apollonius of Rhodes.


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  1. 1.
    See the Introduction, pp. 11-13.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    MvruArlvaioç is generally acknowledged as the only correct spelling, but Mirvî-is soGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    The lexicon Eudokia, which is derived solely from the Suda (but may have had access to better manuscripts than now exist, see H. Schultz, RE VIII.2,1325) reads here avvé417xs rajv diovvaov xal ’A$-nvâç azea-relay.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    On énonoudç see below p. 81; on the epithet Exv-roßeaxicov see Chapter vi,pp. 91-92.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See the Introduction, p. 12.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See the table in Chapter iv, p. 66.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See Chapter iv, p. 67 n. 8. The lexicon Eudokia (see n. 3 above) has here ’Aeyovavruxp.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See the table in Chapter iv, p. 66.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See Chapter iv p. 71 above.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Of course Diodorus’ arrangement here need not reflect Scytobrachion’s, but it is difficult to imagine that the story of Phrixos and the origin of the öéeoç were not recounted, at the latest, shortly after the Argonauts’ arrival in Colchis.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schol. A.R. 2.963-965c (= F 1, from the Libyan Stories) supplies a book number that is particularly suspect. See p. 79 below.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Already recognized by Hermann according to Bethe, Quaestiones 29 n. 34. On Diod. 3.71.3 see also Appendix 2, p. 119.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Diod. 3.54.1, 3.71.3 (Appendix 2 p. 119) and schol. A.R. 2.963-965c = F 1 (see below).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See Jacoby’s Commentary on FGrHist 32 F 4 (following Müller, FHG II p. 9). Wendel (Theokrit-Scholien p. 101 n. 1), Welcker (Ep. Kykl. I, 79), Susemihl (II, 49 n. 79), and Schwartz (RE V.1, 931) have seen the truth.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schol. A.R. 2.963-965 c is in fact so close to Diodorus’ account that it might even be suspected of having been derived directly from his work. The book number given in the scholion is probably an invention (see below), and is therefore no hindrance to this view; but the presence of Dionysius’ name rather than Diodorus’ and ’At2avrtx6v 10voç (Diodorus calls them the ’Ax)4vaaol) suggest an independent source.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    It is also possible that the title has been lost or corrupted into the book number.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Another testimonium on these stories is examined in Appendix 1, but it too omits a title.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    I avoid calling it Libyca because this implies a Greek title (and a type of work) which was clearly not the actual one; I also avoid such terms as „Dionysosroman“—there are certainly novelistic elements in Scytobrachion’s stories, but these can be found in earlier authors as well; there is also no reason to isolate Dionysus as the hero of all the Libyan Stories, even though (for Diodorus) his career is the culmination of the line of Atlantians.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    See Welcker, Ep. Kykl. I, 71-72, Ada Adler, RE IV.A.1, 707, line 44ff. so See n. 27 below.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    See Bernhardy’s edition of Dionysius Periegetes, II, pp. 491ff, Müller FHG II p. 6.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    See Welcker, Ep. Kykl. I, 71, Jacoby’s Commentary to FGrHist 15 T 1.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tzetzes, Chiliades 12.179ff (= Diod. 7 fr. 1 = FGrHist 15 F 8) has been thought to imply that Diodorus used Dionysius the cyclographer for the Trojan war; but Sieroka, Myth. Quellen 32 showed that this is a misinterpretation of Tzetzes’ words.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cf., e.g., the Mv$ixd of Neanthes (FGrHist 84) or of Alexander of Myndos (FGrHist 25).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    ne6ç in such a title could mean either „dedicated to“ or „against“; Parmenon himself might be simply an imaginary figure. There is no compelling reason either to assign the Mvthlxd to another Dionysius (with Gutschmid) or to detach nedç Haep:vcovra from it (with Bernhardy).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    See however Welcker Ep. Kykl. I, 77. Bethe, in Quaestiones 15 and in Die griechische Dichtung (Handbuch der Literaturwissenschaft ed. O. Walzel, vol. IX, Potsdam, 1924) 342, calls Dionysius a „prose poet“ (cf. also Susemihl II, p. 47 n. 68); but this means only that he did not hesitate to invent new versions of myths. It is not intended to account for énonoidç in the Suda.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    There is already considerable confusion among the lives of Dionysii there on the attribution of the IleetOr/acç oixovp vriç, which is listed under Dionysius of Corinth (no. 1177 Adler), of Miletus (no. 1180), and of Rhodes or Samos (no. 1181; in the first and last articles notes expressing doubt about the attribution are added); the Mytilenean’s designation éronocdç may be related.—The biographies in question are derived ultimately from the ’Ovoµaro26yoç of Hesychius „Illustrios“ of Miletus through an intermediate source. G. Wentzel (Die griech. Übersetzung der Viri Illustres des Hieronymus [Texte and Untersuchungen zur altchristlichen Literatur, XIII.3, Leipzig, 1895] pp. 61-2) has shown that the intermediate source (followed by the Suda) arranged the lives alphabetically, whereas Hesychius—whose order is preserved only among the homonymous authors—had arranged them according to profession. Thus, since the life of Dionysius of Mytilene is found with those of epic poets, the e’ onocdç (and probably the ob27 jection ravra 6i éare ned) will go back to Hesychius.—Gutschmid ap. Flach, Hesychii Milesii Onomatologus (a work unavailable to me) had suggested deleting É2rorcoedç.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    Even if this is so, the theory of an invented epic poet Dionysius of Miletus (see above pp. 67ff) finds no support from it, for the Mytilenean and Milesian are clearly distinguished in the Suda.Google Scholar
  28. 29.
    It is not necessary or even reasonable to assume that the Mvtcxd were therefore in verse (as does Welcker, Ep. Kykl. I 77, cf. Susemihl II, p. 45 n. 66); the normal way of indicating prose writings in the Suda is to add to the title xaraAoyd677v, for hexameters to add bc’ bran/. Probably the source of this biography could only certify that the Argonauts and the Libyan Stories were in prose, because he had no knowledge of the Mvtcxd beyond its title.Google Scholar
  29. 30.
    Fortasse d’6 Exvr., aut sic certe intellegendum“, Kaibel ad loc.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    See Jacoby’s Commentary to FGrHist 90, p. 233, lines 41ff.Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    Various other suggestions listed by Jacoby (in his Commentary to FGrHist 32 T 6) and Herter (1356), such as a reedition or reworking of Xanthus to which Scytobrachion added false material, are not impossible, but neither the known work of Xanthus and Scytobrachion nor the nature of Artemon’s accusation as preserved here can be said to recommend them.Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    Compare the three reports preserved on the controversy surrounding Neophron and Euripides’ Medea, Suda s. NedgQwv (TrGF 15 T 1), Diog. Laer. 2.134 (T 3), and the hypothesis to Eur. Medea (T 2); the first two give a totally false impression of the actual charge, which is not that Neophron forged a work of Euripides, but that Euripides plagiarized Neophron.Google Scholar
  33. 34.
    Bethe Quaestiones 10-11, followed by Susemihl II, p. 48 n. 72.Google Scholar
  34. 35.
    Bethe Quaestiones 10-11, who compares the verse which Scytobrachion evidently claimed was to be found after II. 3.40 (schol. [A Eustathius] Il. 3.40 = F 39a—b). This is perhaps on the whole the most likely solution; such a claim by Artemon does not properly belong to a work „on book collecting“ (Ionsius’ dvaywyfç for avvaywyfiç, accepted by Bethe loc. cit., is not necessary; Müller [FHG IV, p. 340 note 1] gives parallels), but the title could be a catch-all for all sorts of literary studies.Google Scholar

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 1982

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  • Jeffrey S. Rusten

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