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*Trufio/dwros), a Greek grammarian, was born in Egypt. Nothing more is known of his personal history. All that is known of the time when he lived is that he was later than Nestor of Laranda [NESTOR], whom he imitated. Some place him as late as the fifth century.


Of the grammatical labours of Tryphiodorus we have no records. He is known to us only as a versifier.

Various Poems

Tryphiodorus wrote a poem called Μαραθωνιακά : another entitled Τὰ καθ̓ Ἱπποδάμειαν; a third called Ὀδύσσεια Λειπογράμματος. This was so called, according to Eustathius (Proleg. ad Odyss. p. 4), because no word was admitted into it which contained the letter ς. It is difficult however to conceive of the composition of an Odyssey from which the name of Odysseus must have been excluded. The account of the matter given by Hesychius is more probable, that from the first book the letter a was excluded, from the second Β, and so on (Hes. s. v. Νέστωπ). In any case it must have been a miserable exercise of ingenunity. A fourth work of Tryphiodorus was Παράφρασις τῶν Ὁμήρου παραβολῶν. All these, and others not more distinctly named, have perished.

Sacking of Troy
(Ἰλίου ἅλωσις

The only effort of the muse of Tryphiodorus which has come down to us is his Ἰλίου ἅλωσις, a poem consisting of 691 lines. From the small dimensions of it, it is necessarily little but a sketch. It is not, like the poem of Quintus Smyrnaeus, a continuation of the Iliad; it is an independent poem. After a brief indication of the subject, there follows a meagre recapitulation of some of the chief events since the death of Hector, given in the clumsiest and most confused manner, without any indication of the mode in which they were connected together. The proper subject of the poem begins with the account of the building of the wooden horse. Tryphiodorus describes minutely the painting and other adornments of the work, and enumerates the heroes who took their places in it; not forgetting to mention the ambrosial food with which Athene provided them. In his account of Sinon Tryphiodorus agrees more with Virgil. not with (Quintus, who represents him as mutilated by the Trojans before he would tell then the purpose of the wooden horse. The episode of Laocoon is entirely omitted. After the horse had been brought into the temple of Athene, Venus, assuming the form of an old Trojan woman, discloses to Helen the trick of the Greeks, and informs her that Menelaus is among the heroes inside. Intending to bring about their detection, she goes to the temple, and within the hearing of the warriors talks of their wives in Greece. Stifled sighs and tears escape from the heroes. Anticlus is on the point of betraying the whole scheme by speaking aloud, but Ulysses claps his hands over his mouth, and holds them so tight that he smothers him. Athene appears and sends Helen home again. This scene is the only part of the poem which has much merit. A somewhat lengthy, though otherwise tolerably good description of the scenes which ensued upon the sack and destruction of the city, is followed by a meagre notice of some of the chief special incidents.


The poem of Tryphiodorus was first published in connection with those of Quintus Smyrnaeus and Coluthus. A separate edition, accompanied by a Latin translation in verse, was published by F. Jamot (Paris, 1557). Frischlin and Rhodomann published a critical edition with Latin versions in prose and metre. (Frankfurt, 1588.) An improved edition of Triphiodorus was published by J. Merrick (Oxford, 1741), in which several omissions were supplied from fresh MSS. Merrick also published an English translation and a treatise on Tryphiodorus (Oxford, 1739). The edition of Bandini, (Florence 1765) contained a collection of the various readings of two new MSS. He did little for the text however. His critical apparatus was applied to that object by Thomas Northmore in his edition of the poet (Cambridge 1791, London, 1804). A splendid folio edition was printed by Bodoni at Parma in 1796. An equally imposing edition, and one more correct, was published by Tauchnitz (Leipzig 1808) under the superintendence of G. H. Schaefer. A critical edition with the notes of Merrick, Schaefer, and others, and some of his own, was published by F. A. Wernicke (Leipzig 1819).


Besides the Latin and English translations, there is one in German by B. Thiersch.

Further Information

Suidas, s.v. Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. i. p. 526 ; Schöll, Gesch. der Griechischen Litteratur, vol. iii. p. 73, &c.


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