Didymus Chalcenterus

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Didymus Chalcenterus (Latin; Greek Δίδυμος χαλκέντερος Didymos chalkenteros, "Didymus bronze-guts"), ca. 63 BCE to 10 CE, was a Hellenistic Greek[1] scholar and grammarian who flourished in the time of Cicero and Augustus.



The surname "bronze-guts" came from his indefatigable industry: he was said to have written so many books that he was unable to recollect what he had written in earlier ones, and so often contradicted himself. (Athenaeus records that he wrote 3500 books; Seneca gives the figure of 4000.)[2] As a result he acquired the additional nickname βιβλιολάθης "book-forgetter".

He lived and taught in Alexandria and Rome, where he became the friend of Varro. He is chiefly important as having introduced Alexandrian learning to the Romans.


He was a follower of the school of Aristarchus, and wrote a treatise on Aristarchus' edition of Homer entitled On Aristarchus' recension (περὶ τῆς Ἀριστάρχου διορθωσέως), fragments of which are preserved in the Venetus A manuscript of the Iliad.

He also wrote commentaries on many other Greek poets and prose authors. He is known to have written on Greek lyric poets, notably Bacchylides and Pindar, and on drama; the better part of the Pindar and Sophocles scholia originated with Didymus. The Aristophanes scholia also cite him often, and he is known to have written treatises on Euripides, Ion, Phrynichus,[3] Cratinus, Menander,[4] and many of the Greek orators including Demosthenes, Isaeus, Hypereides, Deinarchus, and others.

Besides these commentaries there are mentions of the following works, none of which survives:

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