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Didymus

Δίδυμος). A famous grammarian, the son of a seller of fish at Alexandria, who was born in the consulship of Antonius and Cicero, B.C. 63, and flourished in the reign of Augustus. Macrobius calls him the greatest grammarian of his own or any other time (Saturn. v. 18, 9). According to Athenaeus (iv. 139), he published 3500 volumes, and had written so much that he was called “the forgetter of books” (βιβλιολάθας), for he often himself forgot what he had written; and also “the man with brazen bowels” (χαλκέντερος), from his unwearied industry. He wrote, among other things, commentaries on Hesiod, Homer, Pindar, Bacchylides, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Cratinus, Eupolis, Aristophanes, Menander, Antiphon, Isaeus , Hyperides, Aeschines, Demosthenes, and Thucydides; on Ion; and also on the plays of Phrynichus; several treatises against Iuba, king of Mauretania; a book on the corruption of style; and a great number of historical and antiquarian treatises. The most important production of Didymus was his very learned treatise on the edition of Homer by Aristarchus (q.v.), parts of which are preserved in the Venetian scholia on Homer. His lexical works, in fact, were the source of innumerable lexica, scholia, etc. The collection of proverbs extant under the name of Zenobius was partly taken from a previous collection made by Didymus. The fragments of Didymus may be found in the collection by M. Schmidt (Leipzig, 1854). See the account of Didymus in Wilamowitz, Eurip. Heracles, i. 157-168; and Susemihl, Geschichte d. griech. Lit. ii. 195-210, 688 foll. (1892). See Didascalia; Scholium.

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