Aphthonius of Antioch

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Aphthonius of Antioch (Greek: Ἀφθόνιος Ἀντιοχεὺς ὁ Σύρος)[1] was a Greek sophist and rhetorician.


He flourished in the second half of the 4th century, or even later. Nothing is known of his life, except that he was a friend of Libanius and of a certain Eutropius, perhaps the author of the epitome of Roman history. We possess by Aphthonius the Προγυμνάσματα, a textbook on the elements of rhetoric, with exercises for the use of the young before they entered the regular rhetorical schools. They apparently formed an introduction to the Τέχνη of Hermogenes of Tarsus.[2]

Aphthonius' style is pure and simple, and ancient critics praise his "Atticism." The book maintained its popularity as late as the 17th century, especially in Germany. A collection of forty fables by Aphthonius, after the style of Aesop, is also extant.[2]

According to Rowe and Rees, an Aphthonius, the Greek rhetorician of Antioch visited Serapeum about A.D. 315.[3]


  1. ^ Argyropoulos, Joannes, Prolegomena in Aphthonii progymnasmata
  2. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Aphthonius". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 168.
  3. ^ Alan Rowe & B. R. Rees (1956). "A Contribution To The Archaeology of The Western Desert: IV - The Great Serapeum Of Alexandria" (PDF). Manchester.

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