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*Nu/mfis), the son of Xenagoras, a native of the Pontic Heracleia, lived in the middle of the second century, B. C., and was a person of distinction in his native land, as well as an historical writer of some note. He was sent as ambassador to the Galatians to propitiate that people, when the inhabitants of Heracleia had offended them by assisting Mithridates, the son of Ariobarzanes, with whom the Galatians were at war. (Memnon, 100.24, ed. Orelli.) As Ariobarzanes was succeeded by this Mithridates about B. C. 240, we may refer the embassy to this year. (Clinton, F. H. sub anno.)

Confusion with a later Nymphis

Memnon likewise mentions (100.11) a Nymphis, as one of the exiles in B. C. 281, when Seleucus, after the death of Lysimachus, threatened Heracleia; but notwithstanding the remark of Clinton (sub anno 281) the interval of forty-one years between the two events just mentioned, leads to the conclusion that the latter Nymphis was a different person from the historian, more especially as Memnon, in the former case, expressly distinguishes Nymphis by the epithet ἱστορικός.


Nymphis was the author of three works, which are referred to by the ancient writers: --

1. Περὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ τῶν Διαδόχων καὶ Ἐπιγόνων,
concerning Alexander, his successors, and their descendants

In twenty-four books. This work ended at the accession of the third Ptolemy, B. C. 247. (Suid. s. v. Νύμφις; Aelian, Ael. NA 17.3.)

2. Περὶ Ἡρακλείας

In thirteen books, gave the history of his native city to the overthrow of the tyrants in B. C. 281. (Suid. l.c.; Athen. xii. pp. 536, a. 549, a. xiv. p. 619e.; Schol. ad Apoll. Rhod. 2.650, 729, 752, 4.247; Steph. Byz. s. v. Ὕπιος, φρίξος; Plut. Moral. p. 248d.; Schol. ad Aristoph. Av. 874.).

3. Περίπλους Ἀσίας.

Athen. 13.596e.)


The fragments of Nymphis are collected by J. C. Orelli, in his edition of Memnon, Leipzig, 1816, pp. 95-102.

Further Information

Voss. de Hist. Graecis, p. 140, ed. Westermann; Clinton, F. H. vol. iii. p. 510.

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281 BC (2)
247 BC (1)
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    • Aelian, De Natura Animalium, 17.3
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