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Ζηνόδοτος). A celebrated grammarian of Ephesus, superintendent of the great library at Alexandria, who flourished under Ptolemy Philadelphus, about B.C. 308. Zenodotus was employed by Philadelphus, together with his two contemporaries, Alexander the Aetolian and Lycophron the Chalcidian, to collect and revise all the Greek poets. Alexander, we are told, undertook the task of collecting the tragedies, Lycophron the comedies, and Zenodotus the poems of Homer and of the other illustrious poets. Zenodotus, however, devoted his chief attention to the Iliad and Odyssey. Hence he is called the first reviser (διορθωτής) of Homer, and his recension (διόρθωσις) of the Iliad and Odyssey obtained the greatest celebrity. The corrections which Zenodotus applied to the text of Homer were of three kinds:


He expunged verses;


he marked some as spurious, but left them in his copy;


he introduced new readings and transposed or altered verses. The great attention which Zenodotus paid to the language of Homer caused a new epoch in the grammatical study of the Greek language. The results of his investigations respecting the meaning and the use of words were contained in two works which he published under the title of a glossary (Γλῶσσαι), and a dictionary of barbarous or foreign phrases. See Düntzer, De Zenodoti Studiis Homericis (Göttingen, 1848); Römer, Ueber die Homerrecension des Zenod. (Munich, 1885); and the article Textual Criticism.

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