1. A Greek grammarian, a native of Amisus in Pontus, the son of Epicratides, or, according to some accounts, of Corymbus.
He was a pupil of Hestiaeus of Amisus, and was originally called Theophrastus, but received from his instructor the name of Tyrannion on account of his domineering behaviour to his fellow disciples.
He afterwards studied under Dionysius the Thracian at Rhodes. In B. C. 72 he was taken captive by Lucullus, who carried him to Rome.
At the request of Murena Tyrannion was handed over to him, upon which he emancipated him, an act with which Plutarch (Lucullus,
19) finds fault, as the emancipation involved a recognition of his having been a slave, which does not seem to have been the light in which Lucullus regarded him. At Rome Tyrannion occupied himself in teaching.
He was also employed in arranging the library of Apellicon, which Sulla brought to Rome. (Plut. Sull. 26
.) Cicero employed him in a similar manner, and speaks in the highest terms of the learning and ability which Tyrannon exhibited in these labours. (Cic. Att. 4.4
, b. 1. 8, a. 2). Cicero also availed himself of his services in the instruction of his nephew Quintus (ad Quint. Fratr.
2.4.2; comp. ad Att.
2.6.1, 12.6.1, 2.2, 7.2, ad Quint. Fr.
3.4.5). Strabo (xii. p.548
) speaks of having received instruction from Tyrannion.
The geographical knowledge of Tyrannion seems to have been considerable; at any rate Cicero thought highly of it. (Cic. Att. 2.6
.) Tyrannion amassed considerable wealth, and according to the scarcely credible statement of Suidas (s. v.
) collected himself a library of 30,000 volumes. Tyrannion died at a very advanced age of a paralytic stroke.
Cicero alludes to a small work of his (ad Att.
12.6), but we do not learn the subject of it.