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Bust of Panyassis.
Bust of Panyassis.
Native nameΠανυάσις
Born5th-century BC
Halicarnassus, Caria, Asia Minor, Persian Empire
Died454 BC
Cause of deathExecuted
Notable work
  • Heracleia
  • Ionica
RelativesHerodotus (nephew or cousin)

Panyassis of Halicarnassus, sometimes known as Panyasis (Ancient Greek: Πανύασις), was a 5th century BC Greek epic poet from Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey).


Panyassis wrote in the Ancient Greek language, but is thought to have been of mixed Greek and Carian heritage because his name is linguistically Carian.[citation needed] In any case, his family was an educated and notable one - the pioneering historian Herodotus was either his nephew or his cousin. The historian Duris of Samos claimed that Panyasis was the son of Diocles (Ancient Greek: Διοκλῆς) and from Samos.[1]

In 454 BC, Panyassis was executed for political activities by the tyrant of Halicarnassus and grandson of Artemisia, Lygdamis ΙΙ (Λύγδαμις), after an unsuccessful uprising against him.[2]


Panyassis enjoyed relatively little critical appreciation during his lifetime, but was posthumously recognised as one of the greatest poets of archaic Greece. His most famous works are: the Heracleia about the hero Heracles, written in epic hexameter, and the Ionica about the histories of the Ionian cities of Asia Minor, reportedly written in pentameter. These works are preserved today only in fragments. It is believed that he also wrote other works which have since been lost.[3]


  1. ^ Priestley, Jessica (April 2014). Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture: Literary Studies in the Reception of the Histories. Oxford University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0199653096.
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 - Panyasis
  3. ^ Matthews, V. J. (1974). Panyassis of Halikarnassos: text and commentary. Leiden: Brill.