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Article

John Francis Lockwood and Robert Browning

Zoïlus (Ζωΐλος) of *Amphipolis (4th cent. bce), the *Cynic philosopher, pupil of *Polycrates (2) and teacher of *Anaximenes(2) of Lampsacus; is described by the Suda as ῥήτωρ καὶ φιλόσοφος (rhetorician and philosopher), by Aelian, VH 11. 10, as κύων ῥητορικός and ψογερός, a ‘cynic rhetorician’ and ‘censorious’. He was notorious for the bitterness of his attacks on *Isocrates, *Plato(1), and especially *Homer. He probably visited *Alexandria(1) when the Library and *Museum were being established.

(1) Against Isocrates. (2) Against Plato, favourably mentioned by Dion. Hal.Pomp. 1. (3) Against Homer (Καθʼ Ὁμήρου or Κατὰ τῆς Ὁμήρου ποιήσεως ‘Against Homer's poetry’ or perhaps Ὁμηρομάστιξ ‘scourge of Homer’, which became the author's nickname). This work was chiefly devoted to severe, though often captious, criticism of the poet's invention, of the credibility of incidents (e.g. Il.

Article

A commander of the body-guard and imperial secretary, he was probably forced to retire into monastic life after the failure of the conspiracy to make Anna Comnena empress in 1118 ce. Living in exile on an island far from the capital he devoted himself to writing. He composed an authoritative commentary to Byzantine canon law, commentaries on the poems of *Gregory(2) of Nazianzus and on the terminology of religious poetry. Various other exegetic books and lives of saints go under his name; he is also the author of at least one religious poem. As a historian he wrote a universal history from the creation to ce 1118. Zonaras never claimed to be more than a compiler. For Greek history he mainly used *Herodotus(1), *Xenophon(1), *Plutarch, and *Arrian. For Roman history to the destruction of *Carthage he excerpted Plutarch and the first twenty-one books of *Cassius Dio, for which he is our only important source.

Article

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron

Zonas of *Sardis, author of nine *epigrams in the Greek *anthology from the Garland of Philip. If the Diodorus Zonas of Strabo 627–8, then he lived about 80 bce (see Page in GLP 2. 263–4). He writes on humble folk and rural themes, ‘among the most attractive of the imitators of *Leonidas, far superior to their model’ (GLP413).

Article

Zopyrus  

Zopyrus, writer on *physiognomy, known from his judgement on Socrates' appearance.

Article

Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and W. F. M. Henkelman

Zoroaster, Ζωροάστρης (Ζαθραύστης, Ζαράτας), is the Greek form Old Iranian Zarathuštra. He is considered by Zoroastrian tradition as prophet of a new religion; the revolutionary nature of his teachings is, however, debatable. In the oldest part of the Avesta, the Gāthā, he is called a ma̢thrān, ‘he who possesses the sacred formulas’. The Gāthā, ritualistic hymns, portray a dualistic system in which Aṣ̌a (truth, rightness) is opposed to Druj (lie, deceit) with *Ahura Mazdā is the supreme deity. They are dated, on linguistic grounds, to c.1000 bce. Whether Zoroaster was a historical figure, lived around this date, and wrote the Gāthā is debated; his persona certainly served as focal point of an emergent religious community. A date in the 6th cent. bce is suggested by late Zoroastrian tradition, but not supported by conclusive historical evidence. The Greeks knew of Zoroaster by the 5th cent. bce (*Xanthus(2) of Lydia in Diog.

Article

Zosimus  

John F. Matthews

Zosimus, Greek historian. Little is known of his life except that he had been advocatus fisci (see fiscus) and obtained the dignity of comes (see comites). His identification with either the sophist Zosimus of Ascalon or the sophist Zosimus of Gaza is very unlikely (see second sophistic). He wrote a history (Historia nova) of the Roman empire from *Augustus reaching as far as ce 410, where his extant text terminates just before the sack of Rome by *Alaric. He completed his work after 498, if indeed he refers to the abolition of the auri lustralis collatio (2. 38; see collatio lustralis), and c.518, since the work is quoted in the chronicle of Eustathius of Epiphania, written apparently in the early years of Justin II. Book 1 summarizes the history of the first three centuries of the empire (the section of *Diocletian is lost); in books 2–4 he gives a more precise account of the 4th cent.