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Dionysius of Halicarnassus on the first Greek historians.

In his critical treatise On Thucydides the Hellenistic scholar Dionysius of Halicarnassus discussed the historians preceding Thucydides so that he could better illustrate the originality and genius of his subject.(1) Since only fragments of those writers' works survive, Dionysius' brief discussion is important testimony for understanding the nature of their literary activity. His account is in fact the most extensive discussion of these authors preserved from antiquity. It is therefore necessary to assess the accuracy of Dionysius' account by comparing his testimony with what little information other ancient sources provide. Such a study is especially needed to evaluate Felix Jacoby's skepticism regarding the validity of Dionysius' remarks. Jacoby considered Dionysius' testimony to be inaccurate, on the basis of both his interpretation of Dionysius' statements and his hypothetical reconstruction of the development of Greek historiography. Comparison of Dionysius' remarks about the early historians with fragments and other ancient testimony confirms that Jacoby's assessment requires revision. Dionysius' statements can be shown to be in agreement with other ancient testimony about these early writers and their works. Dionysius did not regard the "ancient historians" (archaioi sungrapheis) as "local chroniclers," as Jacoby supposed. Indeed the term "chronicler" does not adequately describe their literary activity, for their primary concern was the telling of heroic myths and genealogies, rather than determining chronology. Reconsideration is therefore especially necessary concerning Jacoby's thesis that Hellanicus of Mytilene played a pivotal role in the development of chronography as a genre of Greek historiography.

Let us begin with a summary of Jacoby's objections to Dionysius' testimony. Jacoby claimed that Dionysius misrepresents the content of works by some authors whom he lists as archaioi sungrapheis and incorrectly dates others. According to Dionysius, the archaioi sungrapheis, prior to the Peloponnesian War, all produced separate historical accounts of cities and nations. Jacoby equated this brief description of these authors' works with his own definition of "horography," which he regarded as a distinct genre of Greek historical writing. Horographers, he maintained, composed local chronicles which were arranged annalistically, beginning with the foundation of the city in the Heroic Age and recording in succession the name of the eponymous city official and the important events for each year (horos). According to Jacoby, Dionysius in his enumeration of the archaioi sungrapheis incorrectly lumps together local chroniclers (such as Hellanicus of Mytilene) with writers (such as Hecataeus of Miletus and Acusilaus of Argos) who - on Jacoby's definition of the genre - were not. Jacoby classified the latter two as genealogists who recorded heroic myths and genealogies. Dionysius thus had failed to perceive the different subject matters treated by these authors when he placed them all in a single category as archaioi sungrapheis.

Jacoby's understanding of Dionysius' description of these authors' works also led him to reject Dionysius' date for the literary activity of the early historians: Dionysius' dating of the archaioi sungrapheis before the Peloponnesian War was wrong in regard to the development of the local chronicle, whose emergence Jacoby thought first occurred toward the end of the fifth century B.C. The earliest local chronicles postdated the publication of Herodotus' Histories (ca. 430 B.C.), as there was insufficient evidence to indicate that Herodotus consulted any such works while conducting his research.(2)

To explain Dionysius' apparent misconceptions about the development of Greek historiography, Jacoby speculated that he had been misled by the theoretical approach to Greek historiography taken by Theophrastus, who had written a treatise on historical writing. According to Jacoby, Dionysius in On Thucydides was following Theophrastus in distinguishing the works of Herodotus and Thucydides from those of other fifth-century historians on the basis of literary style. Theophrastus had transformed this stylistic difference into a historiographical development whereby the local chroniclers preceded writers of universal history such as Herodotus and Thucydides, just as the simple style of the archaioi sungrapheis existed prior to the more complex styles of Herodotus and Thucydides. In Jacoby's view the basis for this theory was the Peripatetic concept that the subspecies (the local chronicle) was an earlier stage in the development of the species (universal history). Because of this theoretical outlook, Theophrastus and Dionysius had incorrectly placed genealogists among the ranks of the local chroniclers and dated the local chroniclers too early.(3)

Jacoby justifiably rejected the existence of local chronicles prior to Herodotus,(4) but his criticism of Dionysius was unnecessary, for Dionysius' remarks concerning the archaioi sungrapheis have no bearing on either the date or the origin of the local chronicle.(5) Dionysius' account of the archaioi sungrapheis is trustworthy, both in regard to his characterization of their literary activity and on their date, as we shall now see.

Dionysius states five characteristics of the archaioi sungrapheis which distinguish them from Herodotus and Thucydides as well as from later historians. (1) They lived either before the Peloponnesian War or a little earlier than Thucydides. (2) They composed separate histories of both Greek and barbarian nations and cities, instead of linking their histories together into a single narrative. (3) They related silly myths from the ancient traditions of different peoples. (4) They based their accounts on such local traditions. And (5) They wrote in a plain and simple prose style. He was undoubtedly speaking in general terms, and his remarks may not hold true for every one of these authors. Like other Hellenistic scholars, Dionysius was accustomed to classifying writers broadly into different literary genres.(6) Yet there is no reason to doubt that he was a reliable critic and that he was well acquainted with the works of the early historians, which were still extant in his day.(7) We can vindicate the reliability of his account by examining these five points in conjunction with other ancient sources concerning these writers and their fragments.

(1) Dionysius' comments on the time of these writers are in accord with information provided by other ancient authors. He dates all the archaioi sungrapheis before the Peloponnesian War, but in listing them he makes a chronological distinction between those who were contemporaries of Thucydides (ca. 470-400 B.C.) and those who preceded him.(8) Dionysius is the only ancient writer who gives dates for some of the writers that he lists, but his chronology for Hecataeus, Acusilaus, and Charon (who flourished prior to Thucydides) and Hellanicus, Damastes, and Xanthus (who were Thucydides' contemporaries) is in agreement with other ancient testimony.

According to Herodotus (5.36), Hecataeus advised Aristagoras of Miletus at the time of the Ionian Revolt in 499 B.C. Hecataeus' acme (fortieth year), according to the Suda, was the 65th Olympiad (520/17 B.C.).(9) Josephus (C. Ap. 1.16) says that Acusilaus wrote his histories shortly before the Persian invasion in 480/79. The Suda provides two dates for the floruit of Charon: during the reign of Darius I of Persia before the 75th Olympiad (480/77), and in the 79th Olympiad (464/1).(10) The testimony of Plutarch (De Herod. Mal. 859a) supports this chronology; he reports that Charon was older than Herodotus, whose own reported acme was 444.(11) According to Apollodorus of Athens (second century B.C.), Hellanicus was born sixty-five years before the Peloponnesian War, thus in 497/6;(12) the Suda states that Hellanicus was born at the time of the Persian War;(13) Pliny reports (NH 1.7) that Hellanicus lived a very long life. Hellanicus was thus reportedly an older contemporary of Thucydides, as Dionysius noted. Damastes was supposedly a student of Hellanicus, according to the Suda; ancient scholars therefore must have dated him to the second half of the fifth century as well.(14) Xanthus was reportedly an older contemporary of Herodotus; the historian Ephorus (fourth century B.C.) declared that Xanthus was more ancient than Herodotus, who had been influenced by Xanthus' work.(15)

Dionysius most likely consulted the authoritative work of earlier scholars for the dates of these writers, which would explain the unanimity of the ancient sources concerning chronology. One possible source for his account of the archaioi sungrapheis would have been the treatises on historia written by the Peripatetics Theophrastus and Praxiphanes of Mytilene.(16) Another possible source would have been the Pinakes, a massive work of 120 books compiled by Callimachus and his students in the third century B.C., which not only listed writers and their respective works under different categories but also provided brief biographies.(17) Hellenistic scholars at the Pergamene Library prepared similar catalogues.(18) In his work on famous orators, Dionysius does refer to the opinions of Callimachus and the Pergamene grammarians (in their respective Pinakes) concerning the authenticity of certain speeches.(19) It is thus not unlikely that he obtained his list of the archaioi sungrapheis and their dates from such catalogues.

The Hellenistic scholars who compiled these catalogues apparently collected biographical data about earlier writers by searching their works and those of contemporaries for references to current events and personal experiences.(20) We can be sure that Hellenistic scholars conducted such research on the archaioi sungrapheis, for two famous Alexandrian scholars, Callimachus and Eratosthenes, did consider these authors' works as worthy of study.(21) The fragments of some of these authors indicate that they made personal observations which later Hellenistic scholars could use to establish a chronology for their literary activity.(22) These later scholars could estimate the lifetime of an earlier writer by connecting certain personal comments in their works with historical events.(23) Because Dionysius and others had access to a great deal more ancient literature than we possess today,(24) we should not be too critical of their dating of the archaioi sungrapheis and should accept their chronology as at least a rough approximation.(25)

(2) We also need not reject Dionysius' generic definition of the works of these writers. The premise underlying Jacoby's criticism was his assumption that Dionysius' definition refers only to the authors he expressly names as having composed local chronicles and as being "horographers." On closer examination, however, we can see that Dionysius' account applies to all these early writers' works, including those of Hecataeus and Acusilaus, whom Jacoby identified as "genealogists." After enumerating some of the archaioi sungrapheis, Dionysius declares:

All of these showed a like bent in their choice of their subjects and there was little difference in their ability. Some wrote treatises dealing with Greek history, others deal with non-Greek history. And they did not blend together these histories (into one work), but subdivided them by nations and cities and gave a separate account of each.(26)

These words are not necessarily an apt description of dusty local chronicles, but instead refer to the prose works of Hecataeus, Acusilaus, and Hellanicus, whose organization and content resembled the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women - for all of those works provided separate accounts of the history of Greek and barbarian cities and tribes.

The Catalogue, attributed to Hesiod in antiquity, was more likely drawn together from existing Hesiodic heroic genealogies in the mid-sixth century B.C. by some anonymous poet who intended the work to be a continuation of Hesiod's Theogony. Whereas the Theogony recounted the genealogy of the gods, the Catalogue listed their mortal offspring who were heroic kings. In its arrangement and content the Catalogue was similar to the Bibliotheke of Apollodorus, a prose work of the first or second century A.D.(27) Both were organized around the great families of Greek myth such as the Deucalionids, Inachids, and Atlantids. Both were divided into sections which recorded the members of each mythical clan, beginning with the patriarch of the family, such as Deucalion or Atlas, and listing his descendants down to the time of the Trojan War.(28) These heroes were also the rulers of specific cities and tribes: in the Catalogue, for example, Aeolus, the grandson of Deucalion, is said to have fathered six sons who became "kings ministering law" (themistopoloi basilees).(29) Thus the Catalogue not only recorded the genealogies of mythical heroes but also listed the ancient kings of various areas of Greece during the Heroic Age. In providing a separate account of each mythical family it also subdivided the history of the Heroic Age into separate histories of different cities and regions, just as Dionysius' archaioi sungrapheis did.(30)

The histories of the early prose writers closely resembled the Hesiodic Catalogue in their content and organization. Acusilaus began his work with a theogony and then related the heroic descendants of Inachus and Deucalion.(31) Hecataeus did not compose a theogony, but he did discuss such mythical families as the Deucalionids and the Inachids in different sections of his Genealogiai.(32) Hellanicus devoted an entire prose work to each of several heroic families: his Deukalioneia, Atlantis, Asopis, and Phoronis related respectively to the descendants of Deucalion, Atlas, Asopus, and Phoroneus (the son of Inachus).(33)

But these prose writers identified heroes as ancient kings, founders of cities, and eponymous heroes to a much greater extent than was done in the Catalogue. Hecataeus' Genealogiai related, for example, that Orestheus, the son of Deucalion, was the king of Aetolia and listed his descendants for three generations down to Aetolus, the eponymous hero of the region.(34) According to Acusilaus, Phoroneus, the first man, was the father of Niobe, who became the consort of Zeus and mother of Argos. Another child of Phoroneus, Sparton, fathered Myceneus. Argos, Sparton, and Myceneus were eponymous heroes of renowned Greek cities.(35) Hellanicus in his Phoronis included a history of the legendary Pelasgians and enumerated their kings.(36) Thus, by recording heroic genealogies, Hellanicus and these other writers related the history of cities and nations with whom specific heroes were associated. Jacoby maintained that Hellanicus' works (Argolika, Boiotiaka, and Peri Arkadias) were local chronicles. But the fragments suggest that Hellanicus instead covered the myths and heroic genealogies of these regions.(37) That is to say, by recording the genealogies of heroes from all over Hellas, Acusilaus, Hecataeus, and Hellanicus thus happened to have catalogued the local history of Greek cities during the Heroic Age.

Other writers listed by Dionysius only wrote about certain Greek cities or barbarian peoples; but these histories too were genealogical narratives which often discussed the birth and adventures of eponymous heroes. Xenomedes of Ceos, for example, in his history of his native island reported that the mythical magicians, the Telchines, were hurled off the island into Tartarus by the gods for their arrogance - with the exception of Demonax, his wife Macelo, and their daughter Dexithea. The union of Dexithea and King Minos produced Euxanthius, the ancestor of the Euxantiadae, a powerful, aristocratic clan on Ceos in the fifth century B.C.(38) Fragments from Deiochus' On Cyzicus concern the adventures of the island city's eponymous hero, a son of Apollo, and his encounter with the Argonauts.(39) Charon of Lampsacus wrote the history of his city, fragments of which discuss the legendary Bebrycians and their king's struggle with the Argonauts. The first Greek colonists, he says, named their city after Lampsace, daughter of a later Bebrycian king who had allowed them to settle in the area.(40) Although Lampsacus was not settled by Greeks until the seventh century B.C., Charon's tale of the eponymous heroine links the foundation of the city with people and events of the Heroic Age.

The archaioi sungrapheis also related heroic genealogies when writing about barbarian peoples. Hellanicus' Persika reported that Perses, son of the Greek hero Perseus and Andromeda, was the ancestor of the Persians and that Cepheus, the father of Andromeda, was the ancestor of the Chaldaeans, who were once known by the name of Cephenes.(41) The narrative of Xanthus' Lydiaka was also genealogical: the Lydians were descended from the Lydus, the son of Atys. Xanthus also recorded the deeds of the ancient kings of Lydia who were descended from the hero Heracles.(42)

Dionysius' description of the subject matter treated by the early historians is thus accurate and applicable to all the writers whom he listed. The fragments indicate that these writers composed genealogical narratives concerning the ancient heroes and kings of different Greek and non-Greek cities and nations. Some of these authors, such as Hecataeus, recorded the genealogies of many heroes, recounting the local history of different regions with which these heroes were associated. Others, such as Xanthus, related the heroic genealogies of a single region.

(3) Dionysius also correctly states that the archaioi sungrapheis related myths which seemed silly in his day. Other ancient writers made a similar observation and labeled the early historians "mythographers" along with the poets. Their fragments substantiate this assessment.

Thucydides was the first to accuse these writers of lacing their narratives with myths. After summarizing the history of Hellas from the time of Deucalion down to the Persian War, he advises his readers (1.21) to accept his account of the past rather than those of the poets and the so-called logographoi, for those authors exaggerated and told myths rather than the truth. It is reasonable to conclude that Thucydides' logographoi are identical with Dionysius' archaioi sungrapheis.(43)

Other Hellenistic historians than Dionysius also repeat Thucydides' criticism of the early historians and poets. According to Strabo (1.2.8), both the early poets and the first historians interwove myths into their accounts of the past so as to entertain the uneducated masses and to draw their attention to edifying elements in their narratives. Strabo also observes (8.3.9) that the archaioi sungrapheis, such as Hecataeus of Miletus, and the poets, such as Homer, intermixed false myths with the truth and thus often contradicted one another in their accounts of the deeds of heroes. His testimony suggests that the "ancient historians" and the poets both related tales about the Heroic Age.

This conclusion is supported by the testimony of Diodorus Siculus. In his preface to book 4 Diodorus states that the mythographers' conflicting accounts concerning the ancient heroes presented the greatest obstacle to compiling such legends. "Later" historians - Ephorus, Callisthenes, and Theopompus - had consequently avoided the task of retelling these stories. Diodorus' description of those fourth-century historians as "later" indicates that earlier historians had indeed recounted the myths and legends. These historians were none other than the archaioi sungrapheis.(44) And Diodorus (4.56.3) does in fact cite the opinion of the archaioi sungrapheis specifically concerning a heroic myth, the voyage of the Argonauts.

The fragments of these writers show their strong interest in heroic myths. Hecataeus, Acusilaus, and Hellanicus related the adventures of the heroes Heracles, Perseus, and Jason as well as those of the heroes who fought at Troy and Thebes.(45) In his Periegesis Hecataeus related the geographical location and customs of cities and nations while limiting his discussion of the past to listing the mythical origins of these places.(46) Xanthus in his Lydiaka largely confined his account of his nation's past to the Heroic Age and ignored the reigns of more recent Lydian kings such as Gyges and Croesus.(47)

Even in their histories of Persia, these writers discussed myths and heroes and did not treat events of the Persian Wars in great detail. Hellanicus, for example, composed a Persika which Hellenistic editors divided into two books. In book 1 and perhaps book 2 he discussed the heroic ancestors of the Persians as well as the legends about Queen Semiramis and the hedonistic King Sardanapalus.(48) It is therefore unlikely that he could have discussed in detail the Persian Wars or even historic Persian rulers in that part of Persika's two books which was not mythical in content. He did mention information about Cyrus, Darius, and the battle of Salamis, but such historic figures and events were evidently not the focus of his work to the extent that they are in Herodotus' Histories.(49) Charon was also reputedly the author of a Persika, whose fragments are fewer than those of Hellanicus'. In that work Charon did mention historical events, yet considering his discussion of the legendary Bebrycians and the Argonauts in his history of Lampsacus, he could have also similarly recounted heroic myths about the Persians, as Hellanicus did.(50)

Thucydides indicates other historians' disinterest in contemporary events when he notes (1.97) that Hellanicus alone, in his Attic History, had touched upon events after the Persian Wars; other historians had only discussed prior Hellenic history or the war era itself. Even so, he says, Hellanicus' account of the postwar period was too brief and chronologically inaccurate.(51) This testimony from Thucydides and the focus of the fragments of the archaioi sungrapheis on the Heroic Age both show that those authors concerned themselves with recounting myths and heroic genealogies rather than historical events of the recent past.

Jacoby, however, maintained that Hellanicus was a chronicler who in his Priestesses of Hera at Argos and Attic History did indeed record contemporary history.(52) In his view Hellanicus' Priestesses was a "universal chronicle" which in three books covered the history of the Hellenic world from the Heroic Age down to the time of the Peloponnesian War, recording the events that had occurred while each priestess held office; Attic History was a "local chronicle" which in two books related the history of Athens from the Heroic Age to the Peloponnesian War. He further asserted that Hellanicus had organized his history annalistically, recounting the events of each successive year under the heroic kings (in book 1) and then eponymous archons after 683/2 B.C. (in book 2).

The evidence for this position is weak; alternative reconstructions are possible for both works. The fragments of Priestesses do not necessarily indicate that it was a chronicle. Six of the eleven extant concern eponymous heroes, and one relates an event of the Heroic Age; of the remaining four, three provide only geographical information, and one fragment does record a historical event, the foundation of Naxos on Sicily.(53) As more than half of these fragments recount the foundation of cities and nations, this work could have been a collection of ktiseis which Hellanicus dated according to the year of the Argive priestess. Two of the lengthier fragments tell how King Sicelus settled the island which bore his name and how the heroes Aeneas and Odysseus together founded the city of Rome.(54)

Ancient grammarians indeed cited from writings by Hellanicus variously entitled Ktiseis (Foundings), Ktiseis Ethnon kai Poleon (Foundings of Nations and Cities), Ethnon Onomasiai (Names of Nations), Peri Ethnon (On Nations), and Barbarika Nomina (Foreign Customs). All these supposedly different works were actually alternative titles of a single work; all the fragments discuss the customs and geographical location of various Scythian, Thracian, and Lydian tribes.(55) Ancient scholars cited Hellanicus' Skythiaka, Aiolika, Kypriaka, Thettalika, Lydiaka, and Peri Chiou Ktiseos (On the Foundation of Chios), all of which could also be merely alternative titles for a general work on ktiseis.(56) In scope this work was identical with Priestesses, for the fragments of both recount the ktiseis of both Greek and barbarian cities and nations. Priestesses perhaps was organized not chronologically but topically, in the form of a periegesis in which Hellanicus described the geography, customs, and origins of different peoples, just as Hecataeus had in his Periodos.(57) The great Hellenistic scholar Eratosthenes recognized Hellanicus as one of the early geographers after Hecataeus, yet no ancient authority ever attributed to Hellanicus the composition of a Periodos.(58) The silence of the ancient sources could be explained if such a work by Hellanicus was known in antiquity under the title Ktiseis or Priestesses of Hera at Argos.

Hellanicus' Attic History, like Priestesses, was not a chronicle. There are a number of problems with Jacoby's reconstruction of the work along those lines. First, the evidence for the work's supposed annalistic organization is as questionable as it is thin. Jacoby based his supposition on two citations of Hellanicus in the scholia to Aristophanes' Frogs, for events occurring in the archonship of Antigenes (407/6 B.C.).(59) The validity of those two citations is uncertain. The scholia cite Hellanicus for events in 407/6, but according to various ancient reports, Hellanicus lived from 496 to 411. The source of this information is the Chronicle of Apollodorus of Athens (second century B.C.), whose work was used as a reference work by later scholars.(60) Admittedly the dates assigned by Hellenistic scholars are not very accurate, but they did base their chronologies for early writers more or less on the information in those writers' works. If Hellanicus had discussed in his Attic History events that had occurred during the archonship of Antigenes in 407/6, Apollodorus would not have dated his death to 411.(61) It is more likely that the scholiast who cited Hellanicus was confused or mistaken. It is not impossible that an error in transmission occurred in the course of the many redactions which separate the current text of the scholia from Didymus' original commentaries to Aristophanes.(62) The conspicuous absence of any other citation of Hellanicus for an archon date certainly strengthens the possibility that the two fragments are spurious. The actual source of the archon date could be the Atthis of Philochorus (third century B.C.), who was cited along with Hellanicus and who did organize his work annalistically.(63) Moreover, one ancient commentator on Thucydides states that historians had not structured their works in this manner prior to Thucydides.(64)

Another problem with Jacoby's reconstruction of Hellanicus' Attic History is the lack of evidence in support of it from the fragments. Fragments from book 2 do not relate any information about the period from 683/2 to the Peloponnesian War; instead they mention heroic genealogies and myths.(65) Jacoby insisted that these fragments stem from digressions in book 2. Yet by positing the existence of such digressions he contradicted his initial position that Attic History was a chronicle which only briefly summarized the event of each year.(66)

The weight of the evidence from the fragments of Hellanicus' Attic History and other works suggests that he did not compose annals but rather recounted heroic myths and genealogies. He did discuss historical people and events, as Thucydides' testimony (1.97) indicates; but that information appears to have occurred in the context of enumerating the descendants of heroes. Two of the handful of Hellanicus' fragments concerning historical people trace back the ancestry of the family of the elder Miltiades to Ajax and that of the orator Andocides to Odysseus.(67) Here too he has focused on the ancient heroic past rather than the present generation of men.(68) In his Attic History Hellanicus recorded Attic genealogies and myths, just as he had done for other areas of Greece in his Deukalioneia and Phoronis. In Priestesses of Hera at Argos he recounted the ktiseis of various peoples. In so doing he wrote local histories, inasmuch as heroes were ancient kings who founded cities and nations.

Because most of the fragments of Hellanicus and other archaioi sungrapheis are preserved by scholiasts and lexicographers, one could of course argue that the portions of their works dealing with historical rather than mythical events have been lost. Yet the focus of these fragments on heroes certainly points to the conclusion that those early authors were generally unconcerned with relating contemporary history and devoted their efforts to telling ancient myths which in a later age Dionysius deemed silly.

(4) According to Dionysius the archaioi sungrapheis preserved traditions (mnemai) which were contained in "written records" (graphai) stored in places both sacred and profane. If indeed those authors focused on the Heroic Age, graphai could not possibly refer to archival material, as some modern historians have supposed.(69) Dionysius further defines the nature of mnemai by stating that the archaioi sungrapheis recorded oral traditions (akousmata) which had been passed down from one generation to the next since ancient times. His description of akousmata is reminiscent of the local traditions which Pausanias later consulted when he recounted the ancient myths from various localities in his periegesis of Hellas.(70) Dionysius' mnemai refer to these very same epichoric traditions.(71) For his Priestesses Hellanicus did not obtain the names of priestesses in the Heroic Age from some ancient archive in Argos; instead he extracted the names from heroic genealogies derived from such mnemai. In the one fragment from that work in which a priestess's name is recorded, Hellanicus reports that Sicelus settled in Sicily in the third generation before the Trojan War, in the twenty-sixth year of the priestesshood of Alcyone. Alcyone is none other than the daughter of King Sthenelaus of Mycenae, the granddaughter of the heroes Perseus and Pelops, and the sister of Erytheus, Heracles' enemy (Bibl. 2.4.5-6). If the graphai mentioned by Dionysius were not archives, what in fact were they? The answer could lie in the attested circulation of ancient epics and oracles ascribed to mythical bards in the late sixth and fifth centuries. Because the early prose writers were publishing their works at that time, and because these oracles and epics recounted heroic myths and genealogies, the archaioi sungrapheis could have declared that they had consulted such works, which are thus identical with the graphai discussed by Dionysius.(72)

There is evidence to indicate that the early prose writers did at least cite the opinions of earlier authors. Hecataeus and Acusilaus both stated their disagreements with Hesiod concerning the heroic past; Hellanicus likewise voiced criticism of Acusilaus.(73) Charon identified the author of the epic Naupaktia, and Acusilaus mentioned the descendants of Homer on Chios, which suggests that both writers discussed the works of these two poets.(74) It is thus not unlikely that these authors reported the opinions of mythical bards such as Orpheus and Musaeus besides historical figures such as Hesiod.

The late sixth century B.C. witnessed the production of works which were ascribed to mythical poets. Herodotus (7.6) reports that the Athenian chresmologist Onomacritus "edited" the oracles of Musaeus when the Peisistratids were in power in Athens. Onomacritus also reportedly first "edited" the poems of Orpheus.(75) In the middle of the fifth century Pythagoras, a contemporary of Onomacritus, was accused by Ion of Chios of attributing his own poems to Orpheus.(76) Herodotus is possibly subtly referring to the works credited in his day to such bards as Orpheus and Musaeus when he declares (2.53) that the poets believed to be more ancient than Homer and Hesiod actually lived later. Like his contemporary, Ion, Herodotus denies the authenticity of poems ascribed to mythical authors.

These poems treated such subjects as heroic myths and genealogies. In the late fifth century the sophist Hippias of Elis announced his intention of presenting an account drawn from what had already been said by Orpheus, Musaeus, Hesiod, Homer, other poets, and in prose works (sungrapheis).(77) He evidently found the supposed works of Orpheus and Musaeus quite useful in his work as a mythographer. His other fragments relate information about the myth of the Golden Fleece, the names of the Oceanids, and the number of Hyades who nursed Dionysus.(78) According to Plato (Hipp. Mai. 285b), Hippias gave public lectures on such topics as heroes and the founding of cities, the study of which he termed archaiologia. Such subjects, as we have seen, were also treated by the early prose writers. Hippias' mention of "prose works" (sungrapheis) in the company of the ancient poets as sources of myth could be a reference to the works of the archaioi sungrapheis enumerated by Dionysius. Thucydides, a contemporary of Hippias, similarly lumped together the poets and the logographoi as sources of the archaiologia of Hellas. The testimony concerning Hippias demonstrates that in the fifth century the poems of Orpheus and Musaeus were authoritative sources for stories about gods and heroes and were cited by at least one mythographer. It is quite possible that Hippias was not the only such prose writer to do so.

The content of epics and oracles often overlapped in that they both related information about the Heroic Age. The poets Musaeus and Orpheus were regarded by the Greeks as composers of ancient oracles.(79) In the fifth century the oracles of Bacis, the Sibyl, and Epimenides were also in circulation.(80) Herodotus (5.43-44) mentions the oracles of Laius. In accordance with these oracles, Herodotus tells us, Doreius of Sparta, the brother of King Cleomenes, set out to found a colony at Heracleia in Sicily after the chresmologist Antichares of Eleon had advised him to do so. These oracles must have provided some information about genealogies and myths. According to one heroic myth, Doreius' ancestor Heracles wrestled with Eryx, a local king in Sicily, at the invitation of the latter. Victorious, the hero turned over the land of the defeated king to the local people on the condition that they return the land to one of his own descendants.(81) The oracles of Laius undoubtedly recounted this myth as well as the descent of the Spartan royal houses from Heracles, thus justifying Doreius' colonial ambitions at the end of the sixth century.

Herodotus (5.90) relates that the Peisistratids kept their collection of oracles on the Acropolis. One is immediately reminded of Dionysius' statement that the archaioi sungrapheis recorded traditions found in writings stored in both profane and sacred places. It is possible that these writers, like Hippias, made use of epic poems as well as such oracles, or at least claimed to do so. Dionysius observed this practice in his reading of the works of the archaioi sungrapheis and noted it.

(5) Dionysius also recognized similarities in the literary style of these early prose writers: all composed their works in the same dialect in a style which was simple, clear, and unembellished. Here again, both the fragments of these authors and other ancient testimony attest to the accuracy of Dionysius' information. The dialect in the fragments is Ionic, even in those of Hellanicus and Acusilaus, who were not Ionians.(82) It is also clear from the fragments that these writers frequently repeated words and phrases in their narratives, preferred a simple, paratactic as opposed to a complex, hypotactic sentence structure, and often employed the historic present tense.(83) Such tendencies in a prose style certainly verify the observation, by Dionysius and by Cicero (De Or. 2.53) as well, that the style of the earliest Greek historians was clear, simple, and unadorned.

Dionysius makes a clear distinction between the literary style of the archaioi sungrapheis and local chroniclers. He informs us (AR 1.8.3) that the Atthidographers wrote chronicles which quickly bored their readers. The works of the archaioi sungrapheis, by contrast, possessed both charm and grace, while enchanting audiences with fabulous myths (De Thuc. 5-6). Evidently in Dionysius' opinion the style of the chroniclers lacked such attributes.(84)

Thorough examination of Dionysius' account of these early prose writers in conjunction with the fragments of their works and other ancient sources substantiates the accuracy of his report and allows for the following conclusions. (1) The archaioi sungrapheis flourished in the late sixth century and the fifth century B.C. (2) These writers composed basically genealogical narratives relating the founding of cities as well as the genealogy and deeds of eponymous heroes. (3) They recorded the myths of the Heroic Age, while ignoring relatively historical events of the recent past. (4) They cited oracles and epics as sources and sometimes criticized their inaccuracy. (5) All wrote in the Ionian dialect in a simple and clear prose style which was charming.

If these writers' primary concern was to recount the myths and genealogies of the Heroic Age, the term "chronicler" is not appropriate to describe their literary activity. There is little evidence to suggest that any of these writers mentioned by Dionysius set out only to establish a chronological scheme for Hellenic history. Hellanicus, for example, was content merely to note that certain heroes lived a number of generations apart, without being too specific.(85) It is unlikely that he left behind a complete list of the priestesses of Hera accompanied by dates; otherwise, later Hellenistic chronographers would have preserved such a valuable list, just as they recorded the list of Spartan kings which was known to Herodotus (7.204).(86) The archaioi sungrapheis certainly did alter heroic genealogies so as to synchronize heroes from different mythical families.(87) But we would be mistaken to assume that this particular activity was their sole purpose for producing their works. The heroic myths and genealogies themselves motivated these writers to tell these tales and delight audiences, as Thucydides and later Dionysius would testify.(88)


1 Dion. Hal. De Thuc. 5-7. For an introduction, translation, and commentary to this work see Pritchett, Dionysius: On Thucydides. For alternative translations and editions of the text see Usher, Dionysius: Critical Essays 463-633; Aujac, Denys: Opuscules rhetoriques 44-125.

2 For Jacoby's discussion of Dionysius' remarks in On Thucydides see Atthis 178 n. 13. For his classification of fifth-century historiography into different genres see "Uber die Entwicklung" 84-96, 110-23. On the content of local chronicles see Atthis 86-128. On the work of the genealogists see FGrHist 1 (Hecataeus) with commentary and 2 (Acusilaus) with commentary. Jacoby's classification of fifth-century historiography into different genres has influenced subsequent studies of those authors. Cf. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 25-106, 152-233 and Local Historians of Attica 1-26; von Fritz, Geschichtsschreibung 77-103, 476-522; Fornara, Nature of History 1-23.

3 Jacoby, Atthis 178 n. 13. Jacoby directed his criticism of Dionysius toward Wilamowitz and R. Laqueur, who both maintained that the local chroniclers were the first Greek historians. Both held that these chroniclers copied down public, preliterary chronicles which local officials maintained as a public record. Laqueur cited Dionysius as key testimony in support of his position, as Dionysius in On Thucydides declares that the archaioi sungrapheis did preserve traditions (mnemai) and writings (graphai), graphai being the preliterary chronicles which Laqueur posited. See Wilamowitz, Aristoteles und Athen 260-90; Laqueur, "Lokalchronik." Jacoby demonstrated that there was insufficient evidence for the existence of such preliterary chronicles. There is as yet no epigraphic evidence for such public records. See Jacoby, Atthis 1-70, 176-88. Cf. Momigliano, "Tradition" 23-25; Lassere, "L'historiographie grecque" 118-19.

4 Recent studies of Herodotus have agreed that Herodotus did not consult written works in his research, with the notable exception of the ethnographic and geographical work of Hecataeus of Miletus and possibly others. Cf. Marincola, "Herodotean Narrative"; Gould, Herodotus 19-41; Lateiner, Historical Method 59-108.

5 Recent studies have seen Dionysius' remarks as a description of local chroniclers. See Fornara, Nature of History 16-20; Detienne, Creation of Mythology 76-79; Evans, Herodotus 108-10.

6 In his research Dionysius consulted Callimachus' Pinakes. See De Din. 1. The Pinakes were lists of writers and their works, all arranged in different categories (e.g., epic poets, playwrights). For a discussion of the Pinakes see Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship 123-31.

7 Dionysius arrived in Rome in 30 B.C., where he thereafter resided and published his works. See Bowersock, Augustus and the Greek World 122-23. Dionysius' acquaintance with the works of the archaioi sungrapheis is evident from his quotations in his work of the writers Pherecydes, Hellanicus, Antiochus of Syracuse, and Xanthus of Lydia, all of whom he designates archaioi sungrapheis. See AR 1.12, 1.13, 1.22, 1.28. On Dionysius' ability as a literary critic see Pritchett, Dionysius: On Thucydides xviii-xxiii.

8 For a discussion of the textual problems of this list see Pritchett, Dionysius: On Thucydides 50-53. On the lifetime of Thucydides see FGrHist 244 F7 with commentary.

9 Suda s.v. Hekataios. Although riddled with numerous errors in transmission, the Suda, a Byzantine lexicon, presents information drawn from the research of Hellenistic scholars such as those who compiled the Pinakes in Pergamum and Alexandria. See Rohde, "geyove in Suidas."

10 Suda s.v. Charon.

11 For the acme of Herodotus see Apollodorus, FGrHist 244 F7 with commentary. Cf. Tertullian De An. 46.

12 FGrHist 244 F7 with commentary.

13 Suda s.v. Hellanikos.

14 Suda s.v. Damastes.

15 Ephorus, FGrHist 70 F180 = Athen. 12.515d. Ephorus stated that Xanthus gave to Herodotus tas aphormas. Pearson (Early Ionian Historians 109) translated tas aphormas as "model" and concluded that Ephorus saw Xanthus' work as the inspiration for Herodotus' own narrative style. Drews (Greek Accounts 102) translated tas aphormas as "starting point" and maintained that Xanthus' account of Lydian history ended where Herodotus began his account.

16 Fornara, Nature of History 19 n. 38. Diogenes Laertius (5.47) included On History on his list of Theophrastus' works. Cf. Praxiphanes F18 Wehrli.

17 Callimachus F429-52 Pfeiffer. The Alexandrian scholar Aristophanes of Byzantium, a student of Callimachus, wrote a treatise On the Pinakes of Callimachus, which supplemented Callimachus' work. See Slater, "Aristophanes of Byzantium." See also Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship 123-31. Cf. Fornara, Nature of History 18 n. 37.

18 Athen. 8.336d; Dion. Hal. De Din. 1 = Callimachus F439, 447 Pfeiffer. See Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria 305-35, 465-73; Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship 121-31.

19 Dion. Hal. De Dem. 13, De Din. 1, De Is. 6.

20 The Alexandrian biographer Satyrus (ca. 200 B.C.) in his biography of Euripides derived information from the poet's plays and from references to Euripides in Aristophanes' comedies. See POxy IX 1176. See also Lefkowitz, Lives of the Greek Poets 25-116.

21 Eratosthenes in his geographical work cited both Damastes and Xanthus. (Strabo 1.3.1 = Damastes, FGrHist 5 F8; Strabo 1.3.4 = Xanthus, FGrHist 765 F12). Callimachus and Eratosthenes disagreed concerning the authenticity of Hecataeus' Asia (Strabo 1.1.11; Athen. 2.70a). On this disagreement see Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 31-32. Cf. Jacoby, "Hekataios" 2673-74.

22 Xanthus reported seeing seashells in dried riverbeds far from the sea during the reign of Artaxerxes (465-425 B.c.) (FGrHist 765 F12). Damastes related geographical information obtained from his conversation with a certain Diotimus, who had led an Athenian embassy to the Great King just prior to the Peloponnesian War (FGrHist 5 F8 with commentary).

23 This procedure is illustrated in Dionysius' biography of the orator Dinarchus (De Din. 1-4), where Dionysius states that he investigated the orator's life because neither Callimachus nor later scholars had done so. He provides an estimated date by associating personal events in one of Dinarchus' speeches with historical events recorded in Philochorus' Atthis.

24 By the late first century B.C. Dionysius' adopted city Rome had become an international center of literature and scholarship. See Sacks, Diodorus Siculus 184-91.

25 Jacoby rejected Hellenistic scholars' dates for both Charon and Hellanicus and assigned them both to the end of the fifth century. (FGrHist 323a with commentary; Abhandlung 178-92). Other historians have been less willing to dismiss entirely the testimony of Hellenistic scholars: cf. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 139-50; Drews, Greek Accounts 22-27; Pritchett, Dionysius: On Thucydides 50-54; Starr, Greek Historical Spirit 115-17.

26 Dion. Hal. De Thuc. 5. For the translation of this passage see Pritchett, Dionysius: On Thucydides 3.

27 West, Hesiodic Catalogue 31-50, 164-71; Renehan, "A New Hesiodic Fragment."

28 West, Hesiodic Catalogue 31-50, 164-71.

29 Hesiod F9, 10(a), 25-28 West.

30 West has observed that the myths and genealogies in the Catalogue are centered around ancient cities such as Iolkos, Pylos, Troy, Thebes, and Argos (Hesiodic Catalogue 137-54).

31 Acusilaus, FGrHist 2 F1, 6, 23, 34, 35 with commentary.

32 Alexandrian editors placed the section on the Deucalionids in book 1 and that on the Inachids in book 2 (Hecataeus, FGrHist 1 F2-5, 6, 13, 15 with commentary). Cf. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 157-93.

33 Hellanicus, FGrHist 4 F1-22 with commentary. Cf. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 157-93.

34 Hecataeus, FGrHist 1 F15 = Athen. 2.35a.

35 Acusilaus, FGrHist 2 F24, 25 with commentary.

36 Hellanicus, FGrHist 4 F4 with commentary. These Pelasgians lived in Thessaly. Cf. Hdt. 1.57; Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 157-61.

37 Jacoby, "Hellanikos" 132 and FGrHist IIIb, 12-13, 63-64, 151. Pearson (Early Ionian Historians 157-70) suggested that Boiotiaka and Argolika were alternative titles for books 1 and 2 of Phoronis, because the fragments associated with all three titles concern the same mythical material. The only fragment from Peri Arkadias mentions the Arcadian hero Cepheus, son of Poseidon and ancestor of the hero Parthenopaeus (Hellanicus, FGrHist 4 F37, 99 with commentary). Hellanicus' stemma for Parthenopaeus resembles that of the Bibliotheke for this hero (3.6.3, 3.9.2). Considering the similarities between Peri Arkadias, the Bibliotheke, and Hellanicus' other genealogical works, we may conclude that Hellanicus in this work discussed Arcadian heroic genealogies just as he recorded the genealogies of other local heroes in other works.

38 Xenomedes, FGrHist 442 F1 = Callimachus F75.53-69 Pfeiffer with commentary. Callimachus refers to Xenomedes as archaios - an indication that the classification of the archaioi sungrapheis already existed.

39 Deiochus, FGrHist 471 F2-10 with commentary.

40 Charon, FGrHist 262 F7-8 with commentary.

41 Hellanicus, FGrHist 4 F59-60.

42 Xanthus, FGrHist 765 F16. Cf. Hdt. 1.7; Drews, Greek Accounts 100-103.

43 To equate Dionysius' archaioi sungrapheis with Thucydides' logographoi is not to say that every reference to a logographer in ancient literature concerns the authors discussed by Dionysius. Logographos is simply a generic term for "prose writer." The specific meaning of the word depends on the context in which it is used. See von Fritz, Geschichtsschreibung, Anmerkungen 337-47.

44 In his summary of Greek historians in the Orator (2.53) Cicero contrasts the early historians such as Acusilaus and Hellanicus with Thucydides and Herodotus,just as Dionysius does. He then mentions later historians such as Philistus, Theopompus, Xenophon, Ephorus, Callisthenes, and Timaeus, a list that overlaps with the "later" historians enumerated by Diodorus (4.56.3). Diodorus also refers to Timaeus as another of the "later" (metagenesteron) historians in relation to the archaioi sungrapheis.

45 Hecataeus, FGrHist 1 F18, 21, 24-27, 32; Acusilaus, FGrHist 2 F29, 37, 40; Hellanicus, FGrHist 4 F98, 100, 104, 106, 109-10, 129-30, 141-42, 152.

46 Drews, Greek Accounts 11-16. Cf. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 27-96; Jacoby, "Hekataios" 2683-84.

47 Drews, Greek Accounts 100-103. Historians have debated whether Nicolaus of Damascus (first century B.C.) borrowed from Xanthus for his account of the reigns of Gyges and Croesus. Cf. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 122-23; Toher, "On the Use of Nicolaus' Historical Fragments."

48 Hellanicus, FGrHist 4 F59-60, 63. Cephalion (FGrHist 93 F1, second century A.D.) states that his sources for his accounts of the legendary rulers Ninus, Semiramis, and Sardanapalus were Herodotus, Ctesias, and Hellanicus. For the legendary history of Asia known to the Greeks see Diod. Sic. 2.1-28.

49 See Hellanicus, FGrHist 4 F180, 182-83.

50 For Charon's account of Persian rulers and the Persian War see FGrHist 262 F3, 9, 10, 11, 14. Drews (Greek Accounts 22-32) has argued that the Persikas of Hellanicus and Charon preceded Herodotus' work but provided Herodotus with little information on account of their brevity and their interest in legend. Cf. Marincola, "Herodotean Narrative" 130-36.

51 Scholars have argued that Thucydides inserted his remarks about Hellanicus into his work after completing his account of the Pentekontaetia, because Hellanicus supposedly published his Attic History after 407/6. For a summary of the arguments for and against this position see Lenardon, "Thucydides and Hellanikos." The publication date for Hellanicus' work is based on the citation of Hellanicus for events occurring in 407/6. On the authenticity of these fragments see below.

52 Jacoby, FGrHist IIIb (supplement) 1-21.

53 The eponymous heroes listed include Macedon, Phaeax (Phaeacians of Corcyra), Siculus, Nisus (Nisaea in the Megarid), Chaeron (Chaeronia in Boeotia), and the Trojan woman Rome (FGrHist 4 F74, 75, 77, 79, 81, 84). One fragment (F78 with commentary) refers to the exploits of King Minos. F76, 80, and 83 relate only geographical information. Hellanicus (F82) reported that Theocles founded Naxos on Sicily; cf. Thuc. 6.3. According to Ephorus (FGrHist 70 F137) the Athenian Theocles lived ten generations after the Trojan War.

54 FGrHist 4 F79, 84.

55 FGrHist 4 F66-70, 72-73 with commentary; of. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 197-99.

56 FGrHist 4 F32, 52-55, 57, 58, 64, 65, 71. Cf. Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 193-203. The single fragment from Aiolika concerns a ktisis, for it tells of the Aeolian migration led by the hero Orestes. The one fragment from Kypriaka concerns the foundation of the Cyprian city Carpasia by Pygmalion. The two fragments from Skythiaka identify the tribes and geographical features of Scythia. Such information also appeared in Peri Ethnon and Ktiseis Ethnon kai Poleon. All three titles could therefore refer to the same work. The title Peri Chiou Ktiseos indicates that it could belong to a general work on ktiseis. The fragments from Thettalika and Lydiaka relate only topographical information. Such data also appeared in the work by Hellanicus concerning ktiseis. Pearson maintained that Aigyptiaka was a work separate from Ktiseis, but Hellanicus could have discussed Egyptian geography and customs in Ktiseis, which would have treated the customs, geography, and ktiseis of both Greeks and barbarians.

57 Dionysius (De Thuc. 9) states that Hellanicus and other writers before Herodotus organized their histories around regions (topois) where events took place.

58 See FGrHist 1 T12 (= 4 T13) with commentary. Cf. Pliny NH 1.4-6; Avien. Or. Mar. 41; Suda s.v. Hellanikos.

59 See FGrHist 4 F171 (schol. Aristoph. Ran. 694), 172 (schol. Vet. Aristoph. Ran. 720) with commentary. Jacoby's reconstruction of this work has influenced subsequent studies of Hellanicus. See Pearson, Local Historians of Attica 1-26; von Fritz, Geschichtsschreibung 490-506; Fornara, Nature of History 16-23; Ambaglio, L'opera storiographica 43-57; Smart, "Thucydides and Hellanicus."

60 Apollodorus, FGrHist 244 F7 with commentary.

61 The procedure used by Hellenistic scholars to determine an author's date is illustrated by Dionysius in his effort to determine the chronology of the life of the orator Dinarchus. In one of his speeches Dinarchus mentioned his recent return to Athens from exile. Dionysius dated this speech by consulting Philochorus' Atthis, which mentioned that Athens had sent men into exile during the archonship of Anaxicrates in 307/6 B.C. and had allowed them to return in 292/1 during the archonship of Philippus. (De Din. 2-4; Philochorus, FGrHist 328 F66-67). We can be sure that Apollodorus followed this same procedure to determine dates. If Hellanicus had discussed events during the archonship of Antigenes, it is unlikely that Apollodorus would have dated Hellanicus' death prior to that time.

62 On the scholia to Aristophanes see Gudeman, "Scholien" 672-80.

63 Lenardon, "Thucydides and Hellanikos" 66 n. 27. See Philochorus, FGrHist 328 F141. There has been considerable debate concerning the authenticity of these two fragments, and some scholars have suggested emending the text of the scholia because of the chronological problem that they pose. For discussion of these proposed emendations as well as objections to such efforts see Pearson, Local Historians of Attica 5-6; Drews, Greek Accounts 23 n. 14; Mosshammer, "The Apollodoran Akmai" 5.

64 Dionysius (De Thuc, 9) criticizes Thucydides for not organizing his work like those who wrote local history and structured their histories annalistically around a succession of priests, kings, Olympiads, or annual magistrates. The author of the Oxyrhynchus Commentary on Thucydides (POxy VI 853) declares that Dionysius' criticism of Thucydides was unjustified, because historians then were not using a system of dating by archons or Olympiads. For a translation of the commentary, and bibliography, see Pritchett, Dionysius: On Thucydides 59-60, 147.

65 FGrHist 4 F42, 43, 46. F42 states that Minyans from Orchomenos in Boeotia settled at Mounychia in Attica to find refuge from invading Thracians. Other ancient writers dated the Thracian invasion of Boeotia to the time of the Trojan War (cf. Strabo 9.2.3; Thuc. 1.12). F43 concerns the hero Hippothoon, whose grandfather Cercyon was one of the bandits killed by Theseus (see Plut. Thes. 11; Diod. Sic. 4.59.5). Hellanicus told the story of Theseus in his Attic History (FGrHist 4 F164-68). F46 mentions an Attic hero named Stephanephorus.

66 FGrHist 323a F5, 6, 9 with commentary. Cf. FGrHist IIIb (supplement) 12-13.

67 FGrHist 4 F22, 170. Scholars disagree whether Hellanicus provided the genealogy of the orator Andocides, or of the orator's grandfather. Cf. FGrHist 323a F24 with commentary; Pearson, Local Historians of Attica 25-26; Drews, Greek Accounts 23. On the genealogy of the elder Miltiades see Thomas, Oral Tradition 161-73; Davies, Athenian Propertied Families 294-302.

68 Cf. Hdt. 3.122. Although Plutarch did consult Hellanicus' Attic History for his biography of the hero Theseus, there is no evidence which suggests that he consulted this same work in his biographies of Themistocles or Pericles. See Stadter, Commentary on Plutarch's Pericles lxxvii; Frost, Plutarch's Themistocles 13-15. The absence of any citation of Hellanicus in these two works indicates that Attic History contained little information about fifth-century history.

69 Laqueur, "Lokalchronik" 1090; Pritchett, Dionysius: On Thucydides 54; cf. Evans, Herodotus 107-8.

70 Veyne, Did the Greeks Believe 95-102. Thucydides notes that he had obtained information about the heroes Minos (1.4) and Pelops (1.9.2) from oral traditions such as those described by Dionysius.

71 Callimachus (F75.55 Pfeiffer) describes the work of the "ancient" (archaios) Xenomedes as a mneme muthologe. On Xenomedes see above.

72 The question whether the archaioi sungrapheis knew the content of such works by word of mouth, or actually consulted written works, is debatable. In any case Dionysius in the Hellenistic period would naturally have assumed that these writers were referring to graphai.

73 Hecataeus, FGrHist 1 F19; Acusilaus, FGrHist 2 T6 = Jos. C. Ap. 1.16.

74 Acusilaus, FGrHist 2 F2; Charon, FGrHist 262 F4.

75 Tatian Adv. Graec. 41; Suda s.v. Orpheus. The earliest attested Orphic cosmology dates to the late sixth century B.C., around the time of the Peisistratids. See West, Orphic Poems 68-70, 88-90.

76 Ion, FGrHist 392 F25.

77 Hippias, FGrHist 6 F4.

78 FGrHist 6 F9-11.

79 Hdt. 7.6; Philochorus, FGrHist 328 F77.

80 Parke, Sibyls and Sibylline Prophecy 100-107; West, Orphic Poems 45-53.

81 Diod. Sic. 4.23.

82 Pearson, Early Ionian Historians 19-20.

83 Lilja, Earliest Greek Prose 4-49, 73-116.

84 Dionysius did not confuse genealogists with local chroniclers because of the similarities in their style, as Jacoby supposed. He notes (De Dem. 2) that those who published genealogies (genealogias) and those who wrote local histories (topikas historias) both employed a simple and plain prose style. He recognized (De Thuc. 9) the authors of topikas historias as chroniclers. The genealogists he alludes to in De Dem. 2 are identical with the archaioi sungrapheis.

85 Hellanicus recorded that the trial of Daedalus occurred three generations before Orestes' trial at the Areopagus (FGrHist 4 F169). Sicelus lived in the third generation before the Trojan War (FGrHist 4 F79).

86 See Apollodorus, FGrHist 244 F62 with commentary.

87 Pearson, Local Historians of Attica 9-12; Thomas, Oral Tradition 173-95.

88 I thank Frank Frost, Harold Drake, David Hood, and the Friends of Ancient History in Southern California, and the editor and referees at AJP for reading earlier drafts of this essay and offering helpful suggestions.


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Author:Toye, David L.
Publication:American Journal of Philology
Date:Jun 22, 1995
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