Hyginus Mythographus

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De astronomia 3, 30–31 in Codex Laurentianus , Pluteus 89 sup 43 of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana , around 1450–1500

Two mythographic handbooks in Latin have come down to us under the author's name Hyginus . One is called Genealogiae and is also known under the title Fabulae , the other is astronomical-mythographic and bears the title De astronomia . The identity of the author is unclear, so he was called "Hyginus Mythographus". Possibly he is to be equated with Gaius Iulius Hyginus , a contemporary of the emperor Augustus . The works circulating under the name of 'Hyginus', in particular the Genealogiae , are, however, only dated to the 2nd century AD from part of the research .

The Genealogiae consist of three parts: Family trees of the gods and heroes , 220 fables (individual legends) and so-called indices (list-like compilations). The “all known genealogy of Hyginus” was (back) translated into Greek in 207 (“in the consulate year of Maximus and Aper”). The author apparently used a Greek mythological handbook, comparable to the library of Apollodorus , as well as Greek tragedies ( Aeschylus , Sophocles , Euripides ) and epics ( Homer , Hesiod ) as sources .

The astronomical-mythological handbook De astronomia in four books was a first-rate source for the ancient constellation legends in the Middle Ages and was therefore copied a lot; Since the 9th century, copies have been made, some of which are elaborate and art-historically important.

Editions and translations


  • Peter Kenneth Marshall (Ed.): Hygini fabulae . 2nd Edition. Saur, Munich / Leipzig 2002, ISBN 3-598-71237-5 (critical edition)
  • Franz-Peter Waiblinger (Ed.): Hyginus: Fabulae. Ancient legends. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-423-09350-1 (uncritical edition with German translation)
  • Jean-Yves Boriaud (Ed.): Hygin: Fables. Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1997, ISBN 2-251-01403-9 (critical edition with French translation)
  • Herbert Jennings Rose (Ed.): Hygini fabulae. 3rd, unchanged edition. Sijthoff, Leiden 1967 (1st edition 1933; critical edition)
  • Stephen M. Trzaskoma, R. Scott Smith (Eds.): Apollodorus 'Library and Hyginus' Fabulae. Two Handbooks of Greek Mythology. Hackett, Indianapolis 2007, ISBN 978-0-87220-821-6 , pp. 95-182 (annotated English translation).

De astronomia

  • Ghislaine Viré (ed.): Hygini de astronomia. Teubner, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-519-01438-6 (critical edition)
  • André Le Bœuffle (Ed.): Hygin: L'astronomie. Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1983, ISBN 2-251-013-21-0 (critical edition with French translation)


Web links

Commons : Hyginus mythographus  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Hyginus Mythographus  - Sources and full texts (Latin)
Wikisource: Hyginus Mythographus  - Sources and full texts


  1. ^ So Peter Lebrecht Schmidt, Helmuth Schneider: Hyginus, C. Iulius. In: Der Neue Pauly (DNP) , Vol. 5, Stuttgart 1998, Col. 778 f .; André Le Bœuffle (Ed.): Hygin: L'astronomie , Paris 1983, pp. XXXI-XXXVIII; Jean-Yves Boriaud (Ed.): Hygin: Fables , Paris 1997, pp. VII-XIII; Mariagrazia F. Vitobello (Ed.): C. Giulio Igino: L'astronomia , Bari 1988, pp. VII-XI.
  2. ↑ Holding on to a date in the 2nd century, for example: Marc Huys: Euripides and the 'Tales from Euripides': Sources of the Fabulae of Ps.-Hyginus? In: Archives for Papyrus Research and Related Areas . Volume 42, 1996, pp. 168-178, here: p. 169; Marc Huys: Review: Hygin. Fables; texts établi et traduit by Jean-Yves Boriaud. In: Mnemosyne . Volume 53, 2000, pp. 615-620, here: p. 616; Alan Cameron : Greek Mythography in the Roman World (= American Classical Studies. Volume 48). Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York 2004, p. 11 with note 36; Patrizia Mascoli: Igino bibliotecario e gli Pseudo-Igini. In: Invigilata lucerni. Volume 24, 2002, pp. 119–125 assumes that the corpus circulating under the name Hyginus includes works by at least two authors of the same name.