Dionysius Periegetes
Dionysius Periegetes was the author of a description of the habitable world in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

Hexameter is a metrical line of verse consisting of six feet. It was the standard epic metre in classical Greek and Latin literature, such as in the Iliad and Aeneid. Its use in other genres of composition include Horace's satires, and Ovid's Metamorphoses. According to Greek mythology, 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
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

 and to have flourished around the time of Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 (r. 117–138 CE), though some put him as late as the end of the 3rd century.

The work enjoyed popularity in ancient times as a schoolbook. It was translated into Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 by Rufus Festus Avienus, and by the grammarian Priscian
Priscianus Caesariensis , commonly known as Priscian, was a Latin grammarian. He wrote the Institutiones grammaticae on the subject...

. There is a commentary by Eustathius of Thessalonica
Eustathius of Thessalonica
Archbishop Eustathius of Thessalonica was a Greek bishop and scholar. He is most noted for his contemporary account of the sack of Thessalonike by the Normans in 1185, for his orations and for his commentaries on Homer, which incorporate many remarks by much earlier researchers.- Life :After being...


Further reading

  • Geographici Graeci minores ... 1. Dionysius Periēgētes Graece et Latine cum vetustis commentariis et interpretationibus ex recensione et cum annotatione Godofredi Bernhardy. Lipsiae [Leipzig], 1828; edition by Gottfried Bernhardy
    Gottfried Bernhardy
    Gottfried Bernhardy , German philologist and literary historian, was born at Landsberg an der Warthe in the Neumark....

  • 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); edition by Carl Müller
    Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Müller
    Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Müller is best known for his still-useful Didot editions of fragmentary Greek authors, especially the monumental five-volume Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum , which is not yet completely superseded by the series Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker begun by Felix...


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., Thomas Twyne
    Thomas Twyne
    Thomas Twyne was an Elizabethan translator and a physician of Lewes in Sussex, best known for completing Thomas Phaer's translation of Virgil's Aeneid into English verse after Phaer's death in 1560, and for his 1579 English translation of De remediis utriusque fortunae, a collection of 253 Latin...

    . 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
    Edward Wells
    Edward Wells was an English mathematician, geographer, and controversial theologian.-Life:He was the son of Edward Wells, vicar of Corsham, Wiltshire. He was admitted to Westminster School in 1680, and elected to a scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1686. He graduated B.A. in 1690 and M.A...

    , containing the antient and modern science
    . 2 pts. London, 1789 (with another edition in 1790). The editor to whom the title refers was in fact Beckwith Dodwell 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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