IV. Biography and Antiquarian Literature, A. Biography. Fasc. 3. Hermippos of Smyrna [No. 1026]


The literary activity of Hermippos of Smyrna (2nd half 3rd century B.C.) covered various fields, but he mainly gained fame as a biographer of celebrities in the cultural and literary sphere: legislators, the Seven Sages, philosophers, rhetoricians, poets.
The present study (edition, translation and commentary) of the fragmentary remains of his biographical and other historical works shows Hermippos firmly entrenched in the Alexandrian intellectual milieu of his time, as exemplified by his derivative method and his juxtaposition of sensational stories and pinacographical material (lists of writings, pupils); his aim can best be described as 'infotainment'.
No other biographer has been cited more often by later writers in antiquity, and Suetonius singled him out as an influential predecessor, so Hermippos stands as a key figure in the history of ancient biography.

Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker is available in print, and now also online as part of the online reference work Jacoby Online. Please click here for more details.

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Jan Bollansée, Ph.D. (1996) in History, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, is a member of the Leuven team participating in the continuatio of F. Jacoby's Fragmente der griechischen Historiker.
Students of ancient biography, historiography and the history of ancient philosophy, as well as anyone interested in ancient literature, history and culture in general.
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