Pollux, Iulius, of Naucratis, scholar and rhetorician, 2nd cent. CE

Peter Barr Reid Forbes, Robert Browning and Nigel Wilson

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics

Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI:

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His Onomasticon was composed in the lifetime of *Commodus, to whom are addressed epistles prefixed to each of its ten books: that introducing book 8 indicates that the author's appointment to a chair of rhetoric at Athens (not before 178 ce) preceded the completion of the work. Books 8–10 may be a reply to *Phrynichus (3)'s criticism of points in 1–7. As an example of Atticism (see asianism and atticism) and other profitable vices of the age he comes under Lucian's lash in Ῥητόρων διδάσκαλος (Rhetorum Praeceptor, a Teacher of Rhetoric): cf. ch. 24—οὐκέτι Ποθεινὸς ὀνομάζομαι ἀλλ' ἤδη τοῖς Διὸς καὶ Λήδας παισὶν ὁμώνυμος γεγένημαι (‘I am no longer called Potheinos—the Desired One—but have become the namesake of the children of Zeus and Leda’; i.e. the *Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux). Like his other works, the Onomasticon in its original form has perished: the extant manuscripts are derived from four incomplete, and interpolated copies, all descending from an early *epitome possessed (and interpolated) by Arethas, archbishop of Caesarea, c.

Article.  400 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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