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Guido Schepens and Jan Bollanséé

Edited by Schepens

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 Bollanséé, Guido Schepens, Johannes Engels and Theys

This fascicle, presenting fragmentary biographical texts of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. is the first in a series of eight which will deal with all surviving fragments of ancient Greek biographical writing.
Before Greek biography emerged as a literary genre of its own at the beginning of the Hellenistic period, biographical interest already found expression in various other forms of literature. The testimonia and fragmenta edited, translated and commented in this fascicle illustrate the roots of the biographical genre.
In view of the themes which became prominent in later biographical writing, the fragments have been arranged thematically: traditions on the 'Seven Wise Men', on lives of philosophers, poets and politicians.

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.