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Diogenianus (Greek: Διογενειανός, Διογενιανός) was a Greek grammarian from Heraclea in Pontus (or in Caria) who flourished during the reign of Hadrian.[1] He was the author of an alphabetical lexicon, chiefly of poetical words, abridged from the great lexicon (Περὶ γλωσσῶν) of Pamphilus of Alexandria (AD 50) and other similar works. It was also known by the title Περιεργοπένητες (for the use of "industrious poor students"). It formed the basis of the lexicon, or rather glossary, of Hesychius of Alexandria, which is described in the preface as a new edition of the work of Diogenianus. We still possess a collection of proverbs under his name, probably an abridgment of the collection made by himself from his lexicon (ed. by Ernst von Leutsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Schneidewin in Paroemiographi Graeci, i. 1839). Diogenianus was also the author of an Anthologion of epigrams about rivers, lakes, cliffs, mountains and mountaintops (Επιγραμμάτων ανθολόγιον περί ποταμών λιμνών κρηνών ορών ακρωρειών), and of a list (with map) of all the towns in the world.[2]

Erasmus attributed the origins of this Latin parable to Diogenianus — piscem nature doces (teach fish how to swim).[3]


  1. ^ Dickey 2007, pp. 88-90.
  2. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Diogenianus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 282. 
  3. ^ Erasmus, Desiderius et al. (1974). Collected Works of Erasmus, p. 134., p. 134, at Google Books; διδάξουν ένα ψάρι για να κολυμπήσετε


  • Dickey, Eleanor. (2007). Ancient Greek Scholarship: a Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195312928; ISBN 9780195312935; OCLC 64770944
  • Erasmus, Desiderius. (1974). Collected works of Erasmus (Richard J Schoeck and Beatrice Corrigan, eds.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9780802019813; ISBN 9780802061904; OCLC 1201194