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13. Of Alexandria, surnamed Chennus, flourished under Trajan and Hadrian.


His works were, περὶ παραδόξου ἱστορίας; an historical drama, entitled Σφίγξ; an epic poem, in twenty-four rhapsodies, entitled Άνθόμηρος, and some others. (Suid. s. v.) We still possess in the Bibliotheca of Photius (Phot. Bibl. 190) an epitome of the work of Ptolemy, περὶ τῆς εἰς πολυμαθίαν καινῆς ἱστορίας, in seven books, which there can be little doubt is the same work as that which Suidas mentions by the title περὶ παραδόξου ἱστορίας. Photius commends the work as containing in a small space information which a whole life might be spent in collecting from other books; but he adds, that it contains many things which are marvellous and absurd, and badly put together. It is in fact a farrago of the most heterogeneous materials. It is addressed to a certain learned lady named Tertulla.


Suidas and Photius speak of Ptolemy as Ἡφαιστίωνος, which is naturally interpreted the son of Hephaestion; but there is some doubt whether it ought not rather to be understood as meaning the fawer or teacher of Hephaestion (see Ionsius, de Script. Hist. Philos. 1.2.5, and Villoison, Proleg. ad Apollon. Lex. Hom. p. iv.). Tzetzes calls him Ptolemy Hephaestion.

Confusion with Ptolemy of Cythera

Suidas mentions a Ptolemy of Cythera. an epic poet, who wrote a poem about the virtues of the plant called psalacantha ; but this statement is perhaps the result of some confusion, since the work of Ptolemy Chennus contains various marvellous statements respecting that very plant.


The work of Ptolemy has been edited, with commentaries, by And. Schottus and Dav. Hoeschelits in Gale's Historiae Poeticae Scriptores, p. 303, &c. Paris, 1675, 8vo., with a dissertation upon Ptolemy; by L. H. Teucher, with Conon and Parthenius, Lips. 1794, 8vo.; and by Westermann, in his Mythographi, p. 182, &c. Brunsv. 1843, 8vo.

Further Information

Vossius, de Hist. Graec. p. 256, ed. Westermann ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. v. pp. 295, 296, vol. vi. pp. 377, 378).

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