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1. Aelius Dionysius, a Greek rhetorician of Halicarnassus, who lived in the time of the emperor Hadrian. He was a very skilful musician, and wrote several works on music and its history. (Suid. s. v. Διονύσιος. It is commonly supposed that he was a descendant of the elder Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the author of the Roman Archaeology. Respecting his life nothing further is known.


Lost works attributed to Dionysius by the ancients

The following works, which are now lost, are attributed to him by the ancients :

1. A Dictionary of Attic words (Ἀττικὰ ὀνόματα

In five books, dedicated to one Scymnus. Photius (Bibl. Cod. 152) speaks in high terms of its usefulness, and states, that Aelius Dionysius himself made two editions of it, the second of which was a great improvement upon the first. Both editions appear to have existed in the time of Photius. It seems to have been owing to this work that Aelius Dionysius was called sometimes by the surname of Atticista.

2. A history of Music (

In 36 books, with accounts of citharoedi, auletae, and poets of all kinds. (Suid. l.c.

3. Ῥυφμικὰ ὑπομνήματα

In 24 books. (Suid. l.c.

4. Μουσικῆς παιδεία διατριβαί

In 22 books. (Suid. l.c.

5. A work in five books on what Plato had said about music in his

Meursius was of opinion that our Dionysius was the author of the work περὶ ἀκλίτων ῥημάτων και ἐγκλινομένων λέξεων.


This was published by Aldus Manutius (Venice, 1496) in the volume entitled " Horti Adonidis;" but there is no evidence for this supposition. (Comp. Schol. Venet. ad Iliad. 15.705; Villoison, Prolegom. ad Hom. Il. p. xxix.)

Further Information

Suid. l.c.; Eudoc. p. 131.

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