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1. A Syrian who lived in the time of the emperor Trajan. He was educated at Babylon, and did not become acquainted with the Greek language till a late period of his life. After having lived at Babylon for a number of years, he was taken prisoner and sold as a slave to a Syrian, who, however, appears to have set him free again. He is said to have acquired such a perfect knowledge of Greek, that he even distinguished himself as a rhetorician. (Suidas, s.c. Ἰάμβλιχος; Schol. ad Phot. Bibl. Cod. 94, p. 73, ed. Bekker.)



Iamblichus was the author of a love story in Greek, which, if not the earliest, was at least one of the first productions of this kind in Greek literature. It bore the title Βαβυλωνικά, and contained the story of two lovers, Sinonis and Rhodanes. According to Suidas, it consisted of 39 books; but Photius (Bibl. Cod. 94), who gives a tolerably full epitome of the work, mentions only 17. (Comp. Phot. Bibl. Cod. 166; Suid. s. vv. γάρμος, φάσμα.)

A perfect copy of the work in MS. existed down to the year 1671, when it was destroyed by fire. A few fragments of the original work are still extant, and a new one of some length has recently been discovered by A. Mai. (Nov. Collect. Script. Vet. vol. ii. p. 349, &c.)


The epitome of Photius and the fragments are collected in Chardon de la Rochette's Mélanges de Critique et de Philologie, pp. 18, &c., 34, &c., 53, &c., and in Passow's Corpus Erotic. vol. i..

Further Information

Comp. Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. viii. p. 152, &c.; Vossius, De Hist. Graec. p. 275, ed. Westermann.

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