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Dionysius Periegetes (literally, Dionysius of The Description) was the author of a description of the habitable world in Greek hexameter verse written in a terse and elegant style. His lifedates, and indeed his origins, are not known, but he is believed to have been from Alexandria and to have flourished around the time of Hadrian, though some put him as late as the end of the 3rd century. The work enjoyed a high degree of popularity in ancient times as a schoolbook. It was translated into Latin by Rufus Festus Avienus, and by the grammarian Priscian. The commentary of Eustathius of Thessalonica is valuable.

The best editions are by Gottfried Bernhardy (1828) and Carl Müller (1861) in their Geographici Graeci minores. See also EH Bunbury (Ancient Geography, Vol. 2, p. 480), who regards the author as flourishing from the reign of Nero to that of Trajan, and Ulrich Bernays in his Studien zu Dionysius Periegetes (1905). There are two old English translations: Thomas Twyne (1572, black letter), J Free (1789, blank verse).

References

  • Geographici Graeci minores ... 1. Dionysius Periēgētes Graece et Latine cum vetustis commentariis et interpretationibus ex recensione et cum annotatione Godofredi Bernhardy. Lipsiae [Leipzig], 1828
  • Geographici Graeci minores e codicibus recognovit prolegominis annotatione instruxit tabulis aeri incisis illustravit Carolus Mullerus ... 2. Orbus descriptio ... Parisiis [Paris]: Didot, 1861 (Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum; v. 26)

These were reprinted Hildesheim: Olms, 1974 ISBN 3-487-04910-4 (v. 1) and ISBN 3-487-04911-2 (v. 2)

  • The surveye of the world, or, Situation of the Earth, Englished by T. Twine [sic, i.e., Twyne]. London, 1572
  • John Free: Tyrocinium geographicum Londinense, or, The London geography, consisting of Dr. Free's Short lectures, compiled for the use of his pupils, to which is added by the editor, translated from the Greek into English blank verse, the Periegesis of Dionysius ... from the edition of Dr. Wells, containing the antient and modern science. 2 pts. London, 1789 (with another edition in 1790). Note that the editor to whom the title refers was in fact B.D. Free.
  • E. H. Bunbury: A history of ancient geography among the Greeks and Romans from the earliest ages till the fall of the Roman Empire. 2 v. London, 1879

This edition has appeared twice in reprint: Amsterdam: Gieben, 1979 (ISBN 90-70265-11-7) and Osnabrück: Kuballe, 1985 (ISBN 90-6041-110-2). The second edition (1883) was reprinted in 1959 (New York: Dover).

  • Ulrich Bernays: Studien zu Dionysius Periegetes. Heidelberg: Winter, 1905
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DIONYSIUS PERIEGETES, author of a IIEptimuts Tfis oieov,u&ns, a description of the habitable world in Greek hexameter verse, written in a terse and elegant style. Nothing certain is known of the date or nationality of the writer, but there is some reason for believing that he was an Alexandrian, who wrote in the time of Hadrian (some put him as late as the end of the 3rd century). The work enjoyed a high degree of popularity in ancient times as a school-book; it was translated into Latin by Rufus Festus Avienus, and by the grammarian Priscian. The commentary of Eustathius is valuable.

The best editions are by G. Bernhardy (1828) and C. Muller (1861) in their Geographici Graeci minores; see also E. H. Bunbury, Ancient Geography (ii. p. 480), who regards the author as flourishing from the reign of Nero to that of Trajan, and U. Bernays, Studien zu Dion. Perieg. (1905). There are two old English translations: T. Twine (1572, black letter), J. Free (1789, blank verse).


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