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Tzetzes


1.

Ioannes (Ιωάννης Τζέτζης). A Greek grammarian and poet of the second half of the twelfth century A.D. He lived in Constantinople, and though for his time he may be called learned, his erudition is wholly superficial, as is amply proved by his existing writings. Besides commentaries on Homer, Hesiod, Aristophanes, and other classical writers, which are valuable for the authorities quoted in them, he composed, in 1676 feeble hexameters, an epic poem entitled Iliaca, containing the legend of Troy from the birth of Paris till the opening of the Iliad, the incidents of the Iliad in detail, and the further course of the war up to the return of the Greeks. It is in three parts: (a) Ante-Homerica; (b) Homerica; (c) Post-Homerica. Besides this he wrote a book of histories in 12,661 “political verses”— i. e. verses based on accent rather than on syllabic quantity. (See Politici Versus.) These are commonly but wrongly called “chiliads” from an arbitrary division of the work into thirteen books of 1000 lines each. He is also the author of a collection of stories partly mythical, partly historical, worthless in themselves, but valuable as including numerous items of information which would otherwise have been unknown to us. The Iliaca is edited by Bekker (Berlin, 1816) and Lehrs (1840); the Chiliades by Kiessling (Leipzig, 1826).


2.

Isaac Tzetzes, brother of the preceding, was the author of a valuable commentary on Lycophron usually printed in editions of that author. See Hart, De Tzetzarum Nomine, Vita, Scriptis (1880).

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