Pseudo-Scymnus is the name given by Augustus Meineke to the unknown author of a work on geography written in Classical Greek, the Periodos to Nicomedes. It is an account of the world (periegesis) in 'comic' iambic trimeters which is dedicated to a King Nicomedes of Bithynia. This is either Nicomedes II Epiphanes who reigned from 149 BC for an unknown number of years or his son, Nicomedes III Euergetes.
The Periodos to Nicomedes was first published at Augsburg in 1600. Because it was found together with the Epitomes of Marcianus of Heraclea it was first published under his name. Because this was clearly a mistake Lucas Holstenius and Isaac Vossius were the first to attribute it to Scymnus of Chios, a writer cited more than once by late grammarians as the author of a periegesis. It continued to pass under his name until 1846 when Augustus Meineke, in republishing the extant fragments, showed clearly that there were no grounds for ascribing them to that writer. The real work of Scymnus of Chios appears to have been in prose and the few statements cited from him are not in accordance with those of Pseudo-Scymnus.
Content of the Periodos to Nicomedes
The work contains material on the coasts of Spain, Liguria, the Euxine (Black Sea), data on various Greek colonies, as well as information about the ancient Umbrians, Celts, Liburnians and other peoples.
- Hunter, Richard (2006). "The Prologue of the Periodos to Nicomedes ('Pseudo-Scymnus')". In Harder, M. A.; Regtuit, R. F.; Wakker, G. C. Groningen Workshops on Hellenistic Poetry: Beyond the Canon. Hellenistica Groninga 11. Leuven: Peters Publishers. pp. 123–140. ISBN 9789042918139.
- Bunbury, E. H. (1879). A History of ancient geography among the Greeks and Romans from earliest ages till the fall of the Roman Empire 2. London: John Murray. pp. 69–74.
- Diller, Aubrey (1955). "The Authors Named Pausanias". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 86: 268–279.
- Bravo, Benedetto (2009). La Chronique d'Apollodore et le Pseudo-Skymnos: Érudition antiquaire et littérature géographique dans la seconde moitié du IIe siècle av. J.-C. Studia Hellenistica (in French) 46. Leuven: Peeters Publishers. ISBN 9789042921450.