5. A native of Ephesus. the author of a romance, still extant, entitled Ephesiaca,
or the Loves of Anthia and Abrocomas (Ἐφεσιακὰ
, τὰ κατὰ Ἀνθίαν καὶ Ἀβροκόμην
The style of the work is simple, and the story is conducted without confusion, notwithstanding the number of personages introduced.
The adventures are of a very improbable kind. Suidas is the only ancient writer who mentions Xenophon.
The age when he lived is uncertain. Locella assigns him to the age of the Antonines. Peerlkamp regards him as the oldest of the Greek romance writers, and thinks that he has discovered in other writers of this class traces of an imitation of Xenophon.
He also maintains that Xenophon was not the real name of the author, and that, with the exception of Heliodorus, no Greek romance writer published his productions under his real name.
Since Suidas, Angelus Politianus (in the 15th century) was the first writer who mentioned the Ephesiaca
But although he had quoted a passage from the work, its existence was doubted or denied by several scholars of the 17th century. Even after an Italian translation by A. M. Salvini had been published (in 1723)
, and the Greek text had been printed in 1726
, Lenglet du Fresnoy, in 1734, denied the existence of the original.
There is but a single manuscript of the work known (in the monastery of the Monte Cassino). The Greek text was first published by Ant. Cocchi, with a Latin translation (London, 1726).
This edition contains numerous errors. A still worse edition was published at Lucca (1781)
, containing, besides the Latin translation of Cocchi, the Italian version of Salvini, and the French version of Jourdan. Xenophon was still more unfortunate in his next editor, Polyzois Kontu (Vienna, 1793).
A very excellent and carefully prepared edition was published by Baron de Locella (Vienna, 1796).
He procured a fresh collation of the manuscript, and availed himself of the critical remarks of Hemsterhuis, D'Abresch, and D'Orville (Miscellaneae Observationes, vols. iii.--vi.), and the labours of F.J. Bast, who had made preparations for editing the work. Locella also prepared a new translation and a commentary. The Ephesiaca was reprinted by C. W. Mitscherlich, in his Scriptores Erotici Graeci. Another good edition is that of P. Hofmann Peerlkamp (Harlem, 1818). The most recent edition is that of F. Passow (Lips. 1833, in the Corpus Scriptorum Eroticorum Graecorum).
There are German translations by G. A. Bürger
, E. C. Reiske (or rather his wife)
, in his collections entitled Zur Moral
(Dessau and Leipzig, 1782, and Hellas,
Leipzig, 1791), and Krabinger, besides one that appeared anonymously.
In French there are translations by P. Bauche (Paris, 1736)
, and J. B. Jourdan (Paris, 1748). A translation of the Ephesiaca also forms the seventh volume of the Bibliothèque des Romans traduits du Grec (Paris, 1797). An anonymous translation, with notes, was published at Paris in 1823.
The Italian translation of Salvini has several times been republished.
There is also an English translation by Rooke, London, 1727.
Comp. Schöll, Geschichte der Griech. Lit.
vol. ii. p. 520, &c.; Hoffmann, Lexicon Bibliographicum, s. v.