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August 26    Scripture



People - Ancient Greece: Zenodotus
Ancient Greek grammarian, literary critic, and Homeric scholar.

Zenodŏtus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898) (Ζηνόδοτος). A celebrated grammarian of Ephesus, superintendent of the great library at Alexandria, who flourished under Ptolemy Philadelphus, about B.C. 308. Zenodotus was employed by Philadelphus, together with his two contemporaries, Alexander the Aetolian and Lycophron the Chalcidian, to collect and revise all the Greek poets. Alexander, we are told, undertook the task of collecting the tragedies, Lycophron the comedies, and Zenodotus the poems of Homer and of the other illustrious poets. Zenodotus, however, devoted his chief attention to the Iliad and Odyssey. Hence he is called the first reviser (διορθωτής) of Homer, and his recension (διόρθωσις) of the Iliad and Odyssey obtained the greatest celebrity. The corrections which Zenodotus applied to the text of Homer were of three kinds: 1. He expunged verses; 2. he marked some as spurious, but left them in his copy; 3. he introduced new readings and transposed or altered verses. The great attention which Zenodotus paid to the language of Homer caused a new epoch in the grammatical study of the Greek language. The results of his investigations respecting the meaning and the use of words were contained in two works which he published under the title of a glossary (Γλῶσσαι), and a dictionary of barbarous or foreign phrases. See Düntzer, De Zenodoti Studiis Homericis (Göttingen, 1848); Römer, Ueber die Homerrecension des Zenod. (Munich, 1885); and the article Textual Criticism.

Zenodotus in Wikipedia Zenodotus (Ancient Greek: Ζηνόδοτος), was a Greek grammarian, literary critic, and Homeric scholar. A native of Ephesus and a pupil of Philitas of Cos, he was the first librarian of the Library of Alexandria. He lived during the reigns of the first two Ptolemies, and was at the height of his reputation about 280 BC. Zenodotus was the first superintendent of the Library of Alexandria and the first critical editor (διορθωτής diorthōtes) of Homer. His colleagues in the librarianship were Alexander of Aetolia and Lycophron of Chalcis, to whom were allotted the tragic and comic writers respectively, Homer and other epic poets being assigned to Zenodotus. Although he has been reproached with arbitrariness and an insufficient knowledge of Greek, his recension undoubtedly laid a sound foundation for future criticism. Having collated the different manuscripts in the library, he expunged or obelized doubtful verses, transposed or altered lines, and introduced new readings. It is probable that he was responsible for the division of the Homeric poems into twenty-four books each (using capital Greek letters for the Iliad, and lower-case for the Odyssey), and possibly was the author of the calculation of the days of the Iliad in the Tabula Iliaca. He does not appear to have written any regular commentary on Homer, but his Homeric γλῶσσαι (glōssai, "lists of unusual words, glosses") probably formed the source of the explanations of Homer attributed by the grammarians to Zenodotus. He also lectured upon Hesiod, Anacreon and Pindar, if he did not publish editions of them. He is further called an epic poet by the Suda, and three epigrams in the Greek Anthology are assigned to him. There appear to have been at least two other grammarians of the same name: 1. Zenodotus of Alexandria, surnamed ὁ ἐν ἄστει (ho en astei, "the one from the city", i.e. Alexandria) 2. Zenodotus of Mallus, the disciple of Crates, who like his master attacked Aristarchus of Samothrace

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