Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus)

Last updated

The Bibliotheca (Ancient Greek: Βιβλιοθήκη, Bibliothēkē, 'Library'), also known as the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus, is a compendium of Greek myths and heroic legends, arranged in three books, generally dated to the first or second century AD. [1]

Contents

The author was traditionally thought to be Apollodorus of Athens, but that attribution is now regarded as false, and so "Pseudo-" was added to Apollodorus.

The Bibliotheca has been called "the most valuable mythographical work that has come down from ancient times." [2] :296, 300 An epigram recorded by the important intellectual Patriarch Photius I of Constantinople expressed its purpose: [lower-roman 1]

It has the following not ungraceful epigram: 'Draw your knowledge of the past from me and read the ancient tales of learned lore. Look neither at the page of Homer, nor of elegy, nor tragic muse, nor epic strain. Seek not the vaunted verse of the cycle; but look in me and you will find in me all that the world contains'.

The brief and unadorned accounts of myth in the Bibliotheca have led some commentators to suggest that even its complete sections are an epitome of a lost work. [3]

Pseudo-Apollodorus

A certain "Apollodorus" is indicated as author on some surviving manuscripts. [4] This Apollodorus has been mistakenly identified with Apollodorus of Athens (born c. 180 BC), a student of Aristarchus of Samothrace, mainly as it is known—from references in the minor scholia on Homer—that Apollodorus of Athens did leave a similar comprehensive repertory on mythology, in the form of a verse chronicle. The text which did survive to the present, however, cites a Roman author: Castor the Annalist, a contemporary of Cicero in the 1st century BC. The mistaken attribution was made by scholars following Photius' mention of the name, though Photius did not name him as the Athenian and the name was in common use at the time. [5] Since for chronological reasons Apollodorus of Athens could not have written the book, the author of the Bibliotheca is conventionally called the "Pseudo-Apollodorus" by those wishing to be scrupulously correct. Traditional references simply instance "the Library and Epitome".

One of his many sources was the Tragodoumena (Subjects of Tragedies) a 4th-century BC analysis of the myths in Greek tragedies by Asclepiades of Tragilus, [6] the first known Greek mythographic compilation. [7]

Manuscript tradition

The first mention of the work is by Photius in the 9th century. It was almost lost in the 13th century, surviving in one now-incomplete manuscript, [8] which was copied for Cardinal Bessarion in the 15th century; the other surviving manuscripts derive from Bessarion's copy. [lower-roman 2]

Although the Bibliotheca is undivided in the manuscripts, it is conventionally divided into three books. Part of the third book, which breaks off abruptly in the story of Theseus, has been lost. Photius had the full work before him, as he mentions in his "account of books read" that it contained stories of the heroes of the Trojan War and the nostoi , missing in surviving manuscripts. Sir James George Frazer published an epitome of the book by conflating two manuscript summaries of the text, [9] which included the lost part.

Printed editions

The first printed edition of the Bibliotheca was published in Rome in 1555, edited by Benedetto Egio (Benedictus Aegius) of Spoleto, who divided the text in three books, [lower-roman 3] but made many unwarranted emendations in the very corrupt text. Hieronymus Commelinus  [ fr ] published an improved text at Heidelberg, 1559. The first text based on comparative manuscripts was that of Christian Gottlob Heyne, Göttingen, 1782–83. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

In Greek mythology, Celaeno referred to several different figures.

Hippolyta queen of the Amazons in Greek mythology

In Classical Greek mythology, Hippolyta, or Hippolyte "was a daughter of Ares and Otrera, queen of the Amazons, and a sister of Antiope and Melanippe. She wore, as an emblem of her dignity, a girdle given to her by her father." Hippolyta figures prominently in the myths of both Heracles and Theseus. The myths about her are varied enough that they may therefore be about several different women. The name Hippolyta comes from Greek roots meaning "horse" and "let loose".

In Greek mythology, Coeus was one of the Titans, the giant sons and daughters of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth). His equivalent in Latin poetry—though he scarcely makes an appearance in Roman mythology—was Polus, the embodiment of the celestial axis around which the heavens revolve.

Deidamia of Scyros

In Greek mythology, Deidamia was a princess of Scyros as the daughter of King Lycomedes.

Phocus was the name of the eponymous hero of Phocis in Greek mythology. Ancient sources relate of more than one figure of this name, and of these at least two are explicitly said to have had Phocis named after them.

In Greek mythology, Tenes or Tennes was the eponymous hero of the island of Tenedos.

Agrius in Greek mythology, is a name that may refer to:

In Greek mythology, Antiphus or Ántiphos is a name attributed to multiple individuals:

Tisamenus, in Greek mythology, was a son of Orestes and Hermione, daughter of Menelaus, or Erigone, daughter of Aegisthus who were first cousins twice over, so Tisamenus had only five great-grandparents, instead of the usual eight. Tisamenus succeeded his father to the thrones of Argos, Mycenae and Sparta.

In Greek mythology, Bias may refer to the following characters:

In Greek mythology, Pylaemenes was the king of the Eneti tribe of Paphlagonia. He claimed to be related to Priam through Phineus, as the latter's daughter Olizone was married to Dardanus. He led his Paphlagonian forces to the Trojan War, as a Trojan ally. Pylaemenes was killed in battle by Menelaus of Sparta. He had a son named Harpalion who was killed by Meriones, son of Molus. Homer provided no parentage for Pylaemenes, but other mythographers name his father as Bilsates or Melius.

In Greek mythology, the name Chalcodon may refer to:

In Greek mythology, Hippothous is the name of seven men:

Strymon (mythology)

For the river, see Strymon/Struma

In Greek mythology, Prothous (Πρόθοος) may refer to:

In Greek mythology, the name Hemithea refers to:

In Greek mythology, Adrasteia, Adrastea, Adrestea or Adrestia (Ἀδρήστεια) may refer to:

In Greek mythology, Alcyone was the name of the following personages.

In Greek mythology, Aegyptus or Ægyptus may refer to the following related characters:

In Greek mythology, Telegonus was the youngest son of Circe and Odysseus and thus, brother to Agrius and Latinus or Nausithous.

References

Notes

  1. Victim of its own suggestions, the epigraph, ironically, does not survive in the manuscripts. For the classic examples of epitomes and encyclopedias substituting in Christian hands for the literature of Classical Antiquity itself, see Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae and Martianus Capella.
  2. Bessarion's copy, deposited in the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, found its way into the Greek manuscripts of Archbishop Laud and came with them to the Bodleian Library in 1636. (Diller 1935:308, 310).
  3. He based his division on attributions in the scholia minora on Homer to Apollodorus, in three books. (Diller 1935:298 and 308f).

Citations

  1. Perseus Encyclopedia, "Apollodorus (4)"; Simpson, p. 1.
  2. 1 2 Diller, Aubrey. 1935. "The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus." Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 66:296–313.
  3. Frazer, J. G.; Apollodorus (2017-06-21). The Library of Greek Mythology. Independently Published. ISBN   9781521558911.
  4. Diller, Aubrey. 1983. "The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus." Pp. 199–216 in Studies in Greek Manuscript Tradition, edited by A. Diller. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert.
  5. Aldrich, Keith (1975). The Library of Greek Mythology. Lawrence, Kansas: Coronado Press. p. 1. ISBN   0872910725.
  6. Smith, R. Scott; Trzaskoma, Stephen M., eds. (2007). "Introduction". Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae: Two Handbooks of Greek Mythology. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing. pp. xxii–xxiii. ISBN   978-0-87220-820-9.
  7. Graf, Fritz. Greek Mythology: An Introduction. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. p.  193. ISBN   978-0-8018-5395-1.
  8. Bibliothèque nationale, Paris.
  9. Frazer, James G. 1913. Apollodorus. Loeb Classical Library.

Works cited