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From Oppian, Colluthus and Tryphidorus, with an English translation by A. W. Mair, D. Litt.,London: William Heinemann LTD, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; 1928, pps. 573-633.





FOR the life of Tryphiodorus we have a notice in Suidas s. v. Τρυφιόδορως of Egypt, grammarian and epic poet; wrote Marathoniaca, Capture of Ilios (Ἰλίου ἂλωσις), The Story of Hippodameia (τὰ καθ᾿ Ἱπποδάμειαν), an Odyssey leipogrammatos — this being a poem on the labours (κάματοι) of Odysseus and myths concerning him and other things.

A second entry in Suidas under the name of Tryphiodorus merely says that he "wrote various things in epic verse; a paraphrase of the similes (παραβολαί) of Homer; and very many other things."

As to the nature of the logogrammatic Odyssey we have two notes:

(1) Suidas s.v. Νέστορ of Laranda in Lycia, epic poet; . . . Ἰλιάδα γράψας λειπογράμματον ἢτοι ἀστοιχείωτον; in similar fashion Tryphiodorus wrote an Odyssey; for in the First Book (ά) the letter α is not found; and so in each rhapsody its (denoting) letter is wanting."

(2) Eustathius, Hom. Od. prooem. 1379, in referring to freak variations on Homer mentions that one Timolaos "of Larissa or Macedon or both," wrote a Troica, which he composed by inserting a line of his own alternately with a line of Homer's Iliad (παρενέβαλε τῇ Ἰλιάδι στίχον πρὸς στίχον), and he goes on to say: "it is said that Tryphiodorus wrote an Ὀδύσσεια λειπογράμματος, from which he banished sigma."

Similarly we are told by Suidas s.v. Ἰδαῖος ῾Ρὀδιος that Idaios (παρεμβαλὼν στίχον στίχῳ ἐδίπλασε τὴν ποίησιν Ὁμήρου, 576 and s.v. Πίγρης that Pigres of Halicarnassus, brother of the famous Artemisia, τῇ Ἰλιάδι παρενέβαλε κατὰ στίχον ἐλεγεῖον, οὔτω γράψας· Μῆνιν ἂειδε, θεά, Πεληïάδεω Ἀχιλῆος, Μοῦσα, σύ γάρ πάσης πείρατ᾿ ἒχεις σοφιης. Cf. K. Lehrs, Kleine Schriften, p. 2, who mentions that Joshua Barnes published at Loudon in 1679 a Greek poem entitled Susias, containing the story of Esther in hexameters "presse ad Iliadis exemplar factis," thus: Μῆνιν ἂειδε, θεά, Ἀμαληχιάδεω Ἀμανῆος | οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾿ Ἑβραἰος ἂλγε᾿ ἒθηκε | Περσέων δ᾿ ιφθίμους κεφαλάς Ἄïδι προΐαψσεν.). See Sandys, H. C. S. ii. P. 357 f. for this and Bentley's verdict that "Barnes had as much Greek, and understood it about as well, as an Athenian blacksmith."

The above is the sum of our meagre information about Tryphiodorus. For the rest it is inferred from the fact that Tryphiodorus imitates Nonnus (circ. A. D. 400?), and is himself imitated by Colluthus, that he lived about the middle of the 5th century.

It has been inferred that he was a Christian on the very insufficient ground that in v. 604 f. he uses the phrase καὶ οὐ νοέοντα τοκήων ἀμπλακίας ἀπέτινον. But there is nothing specifically Christian about this language.

From the occurrence of the name of the Egyptian goddess Triphis or Thriphis only in a couple of inscriptions (one of the time of Tiberius, the other of the time of Trajan) from the district Athribis it has been argued by Letronne that he belonged to that district and that the correct spelling of his name is Triphiodorus.


1. The best MS. is F = Laurentianus xxxii. 16, written in A. D. 1280, which once belonged to Franciscus Philelfus who bought it in Constantinople on 4th January A. D. 1423 from the wife of Johannes Chrysoloras. It contains, among other things, Nonni Dionysiaca, Apollonius Rhodius, Theocritus, Hesiod, Oppian, Moschus, Nicander, Tryphiodorus, Gregorius Nazianzenus.


2. Inferior MSS. (fifteenth-sixteenth cent.) are:

Ambrosianus Q 5 sup.

Hauniensis 60 (= Reimerianus = Putschianus).

Laurentianus xxxi. 27.

Neapolitanus ii. F. 17.

Parisinus 2600.

Parasinus suppl. 109.


Editio princeps: Aldine, Venice (no date, 1521? with Colluth. and Q. Smyrn.). Renatus Perdrierius, Basel, 1555 (Lat. trans.). F. Jamotius, Paris, 1557, 1578. Η. Stephanus (in Poet. Gr. princ. eroici carminis), Paris, 1566. Sixtus Henricpetri, Basel, 1569. Michael Neander in Part II. of his Opus Aureum, Leipzig, 1577. W. H. Xylander, Basel, 1578 (Lat. verse trans. in his Lat. trans. of Diodorus Siculus). Nicodemus Frischlin, Frankfort, 1588. Lectius, in Corpus Poet. Gr., Collon. Allobr. 1606. Claus. Dausqueius, Annot. in T., Frankfort, 1614.

J.    Merrick, Oxford, 1739 (English trans. in rhymed verse), Oxford 1741 (notes and Frischlin’s Lat. verse trans.)

T.    Northmore, London, 1791, 1804. G. H. Schaefer, Leipzig, 1808. Wernicke, Leipzig, 1819.

Translations: — (Besides those mentioned above): Trifiodoro "Lo Sterminio di Troia" by Carlos Lanza (in Atti dell' Accademia Pontaniana 14), Naples, 1881.

Trojas Intagning. En sand af Tryfiodoros i svensk öfversättning af Carl A. Melander, Progr. Umea, 1894.

Other Literature: — H. Koechley, Beiträge zur Kritik u. Erklärung des Tryphiodor, Opusc. Philol. 2, Leipzig, 1882.

H.    v. Herwerden, Ad Poetas graecos, Mnemosyne xiv. (1886). Jo. Petersen, Tryphiod. Exc. Tr. 2 in Genethliacon Gottingense, Halle, 1888. F. Noack, 578

Die Quellen des Tryphiod., Hermes xxvii. (1892). A. Ludwich, Tryphiodorea, Progr. acad. Regimontii, 1895.

W.    Weinberger, Studien zu Tryphiodor u. Kolluth., Wiener Studien xviii. (1896.)

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