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Φλέγων), a native of Tralles in Lydia, was a freedman of the emperor Hadrian, and not of Augustus, as has been erroneously asserted by some writers, on the authority of Suidas (comp. Phot. Bibl. 97; Spartian. Hadr. 16, Sever. 20; Vopisc. Saturn. 7). Phlegon probably survived Hadrian, since his work on the Olympiads came down to Ol. 229, that is, A. D. 137, which was the year before the death of this emperor.


The following is a list of the writings of Phlegon.

1. Περὶ θαυμασίων

A small treatise on wonderful events, which has come down to us, but the beginning of which is wanting. It is a poor performance, full of the most ridiculous tales, and with the exception of the work of Paellus, the worst of the Greek treatises on this subject.

2. Περὶ μακροβίων

Περὶ μακροβίων, which is likewise extant, consists of only a few pages, and gives a list of persons in Italy who had attained the age of a hundred years and upwards. It was copied from the registers of the censors (έξαυτῶν τῶν ἀποτιμήσεων), is a bare enumeration of names, and is not worthy to be compared with the work on the same subject ascribed to Lucian. At the end there is an extract from the Sibylline oracles of some sixty or seventy lines. These are the only works of Phlegon which have come down to us.

3. Ὀλυμπιονικῶν καὶ χρονικῶν συναγωγή

Ὀλυμπιονικῶν καὶ χρονικῶν συναγωγή, which is sometimes quoted under the title of χρυνογραφίαι or Ὀλυμπιάσες, was in seventeen books, and gave an account of the Olympiads from Ol. l (B. C. 776) to Ol. 229 (A.D. 137). It was dedicated to Alcibiades, who was one of the body-guards of Hadrian. This was by far the most important of the works of Phlegon. The commencement of the book is preserved in the manuscripts of the other works of Phlegon, and an extract from it relating to the 177th Olympiad is given by Photius (Phot. Bibl. 97); but with these exceptions, and a few references to it in Stephanus Byzantinus, Eusebius, Origen, and others, the work is entirely lost. The tyle of it is characterized by Photius as not very mean, but at the same time as not pure Attic; and he blames likewise the excessive care and attention bestowed by the author upon oracles.

4. Ὀλυμπιάσες ἐν βιβλίοις ή

Ὀλυμπιάσες ἐν βιβλίοις ή, was on the same subject as the preceding work, and must be re garded as a sort of abridgement of it : Clinton has remarked, with justice, that Photius probably quoted from this shorter work in eight books, and not from the larger work in sixteen. Photius tells us that the fifth book completed Olympiad 177; now we learn from other quarters that Phlegon in his 13th book described Ol. 203; and it is therefore not likely that he employed 8 books (lib. 6-13) on 26 Olympiads, and 5 on 177. But if Photius quoted the epitome in eight books, the first five might contain 177 Olympiads, and the last three the remaining 52. Photius himself did not read further than Ol. 177.

5. Ἐπιτομὴ Ὀλυμπιονικῶν ἐν βιβλίοις β́

The Epitome is expressly mentioned by Suidas as an epitome, and probably differed from the preceding abridgment in containing no historical information, but simply a list of the Olympic conquerors.

6. Ἔκφρασις Σικελίας.

7. Περὶ τῶν παρὰ Ῥωμαίοις ἑοθτῶν βιβλία γ́.

8. Περὶ τῶν ἐν Ῥώμῃ τόπων καὶ ῶν ἐπικέκλην ται ὀνομάτοων.

These works are mentioned only by Suidas.

A Life of Hadrian

The Life of Hadrian was really written by the emperor himself, though published as the work of Phlegon. (Spartian. Hadr. 16.)

10. Γυναῖκες ἐν πολεμικοῖς συνεταὶ καὶ ἀνδρεῖαι

A small treatise, first published by Heeren (in Bitl d. Allen. Literat. und Kunst, part vi. Gittingen, 1789), by whom it is ascribed to Phlegon; but Westermann, who has also printed it, with the other works of Phlegon, thinks that it was not written by him.


The Editio Princeps of Phlegon was edited by Xylander, along with Antoninus Liberalis, Antigonus, and similar writers, Basel, 1586. The next edition was by Meursius, Lugd. Batav. 1620, which was reprinted by Gronovius, in his Thesaurus of Greek Antiquities, vols. viii. and ix. The third edition was by Fr. Franz, 1775, of which a new edition appeared in 1822, Halle, with the notes of Bast. The most recent edition is by Westermann in his Παραδοξογράφοι, Scriptores Rerum Mirabilium Graeci, Brunsvig. 1839. The fragments on the Olympiads have also been published in the edition of Pindar published at Oxford in 1697, fol., and in Krause's Olympia, Wien 1838.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. v. p. 255; Voss. de Hist. Graec. p. 261, ed. Westermann; Clinton, Fasti Romani, vol. i. p. 127; Westermann, Praefatio ad Παραδοξογράφους, p. xxxvii. &c.

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