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date: 24 January 2021

Alexander (11) 'Polyhistor'locked

, Greek polymath and ethnographer
  • Christopher Pelling


Born c.105 bce at *Miletus, he was captured in the Mithradatic Wars (see mithradates vi) and came to Rome as a slave of an unidentifiable Cornelius Lentulus; he was freed and given Roman citizenship by *Sulla (c.80 bce). He later taught C. Iulius Hyginus (see hyginus (1)). His vast literary output (FGrH273) included compilations of geographical material and wonder-stories of various lands and peoples, including five books on Rome and works on Delphi, Egypt, the Chaldaeans, and the Jews. He also wrote works on the history of philosophy, and commentaries on the place-names in *Alcman and possibly on *Corinna. His encyclopaedic industry is evident; nothing suggests any concern for originality.

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