Dionysius of Alexandria (geographer)

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This is how Dionysius imagined the world.

Dionysius of Alexandria (also Dionysios Periegetes ) was a Greek geographer who possibly came from Alexandria in the 2nd century AD. He is the author of the Periegesis tes oikumenes ( Περιήγεσις τής οἰκουμένης ), a description of the then known world in 1186 hexameters, published around 124 .

His work, which is characterized by the purity and elegance of the language, was used by Avienus in the 4th century AD for his work Descriptio orbis terrae and was translated into Latin hexameters by Priscian . Eustathios of Thessalonica wrote a comment. The work remained a valued and often commented textbook until the Middle Ages .

The author's life data and identity have long been the subject of uncertainty and discussion. Jacob Burckhardt identified Dionysius (probably wrongly) with the author of the Bassarika , an epic about the deeds of Dionysus . Due to an entry in Suda , Dionysius was also identified with Dionysius of Byzantium . Gottfried Bernhardy assumed that he was writing at the end of the 3rd or the beginning of the 4th century.

Due to recent studies by Ulrich Bernays , the origin from Alexandria and the time of creation around 124 can be considered certain. Two acrostic names name of the poet and homeland (verse 109-134), as well as the time of the creation ("when Hadrian was eponymous king in Samothrace ", verse 513-532).

Editions and translations

  • Orbis descriptio . Jakob von Breda, Deventer around 1497. ( digitized version )
  • Gottfried Bernhardy (Ed.): Geographici Graeci minores… 1. Dionysius Periēgētes Graece et Latine cum vetustis commentariis et interpretationibus ex recensione et cum annotatione Godofredi Bernhardy . Leipzig 1828. Reprint: 2 volumes, Olms, Hildesheim 1974, ISBN 3-487-04910-4 (volume 1) and ISBN 3-487-04911-2 (volume 2)
  • Karl Müller (Ed.): Geographici Graeci minores e codicibus recognovit prolegominis annotatione instruxit tabulis aeri incisis illustravit Carolus Mullerus… 2. Orbus descriptio… Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum Volume 26. Didot, Paris 1861.
  • Dionysius of Alexandria: The Song of the World. Greek and German. Edited by Kai Brodersen . Olms, Hildesheim 1994, ISBN 3-487-09893-8
  • Ceporinus, Jacobus [eds.], Linacre, Thomas [ transl .]: Dionysiu Oikomenes Periēgēsis . - Basileae: Johann Bebel, 1523. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Christian Jacob: Le Description de la terre habitée de Denys d'Alexandrie ou la leçon de geographie . Albin Michel, Paris 1990, ISBN 2-226-03958-9 (French translation with introduction)


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jacob Burckhardt: Collected works. WBG, Darmstadt 1955ff., Volume 7, p. 116
  2. Among other things, Bernhardy points to a mention of the Huns in verse 730.