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Headword: Πολέμων
Adler number: pi,1888
Translated headword: Polemon, Polemo
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Son of (?)Euegetes,[1] of Ilion,[2] from a village called Glykeia, but was enrolled as a citizen at Athens;[3] for this reason he was given the title "Helladikos";[4] the so-called Periegete, a historian. He was born [or: lived] in the reign of Ptolemy (V) Epiphanes.[5] According to Asklepiades of Myrleia[6] he was a contemporary of Aristophanes the grammarian[7] and also attended the lectures of Panaetius of Rhodes.[8] He wrote a Description of Ilion in 3 books, Foundations of the cities in Phokis and about their kinship with the Athenians, Foundations of the cities in the Black Sea, About the cities in Lakedaimon; and very many others; among them even a Universal Description, otherwise known as Geography.
Greek Original:
Πολέμων, Εὐηγέτου, Ἰλιεύς, κώμης Γλυκείας ὄνομα, Ἀθήνησι δὲ πολιτογραφηθείς: διὸ ἐπεγράφετο Ἑλλαδικός: ὁ κληθεὶς Περιηγητής, ἱστορικός. γέγονε δὲ κατὰ Πτολεμαῖον τὸν Ἐπιφανῆ. κατὰ δὲ Ἀσκληπιάδην τὸν Μυρλεανὸν συνεχρόνισεν Ἀριστοφάνει τῷ γραμματικῷ καὶ διήκουσε καὶ τοῦ Ῥοδίου Παναιτίου. ἔγραψε Περιήγησιν Ἰλίου ἐν βιβλίοις γ#, Κτίσεις τῶν ἐν Φωκίδι πόλεων καὶ περὶ τῆς πρὸς Ἀθηναίους συγγενείας αὐτῶν, Κτίσεις τῶν ἐν Πόντῳ πόλεων, Περὶ τῶν ἐν Λακεδαίμονι πόλεων: καὶ ἄλλα πλεῖστα: ἐν οἷς καὶ Κοσμικὴν περιήγησιν ἤτοι Γεωγραφίαν.
Notes:
First quarter of the C2 BCE; see further in the notes below.
V. brief summary in OCD4 Polemon(3); for more detail see the works cited in the Bibliography below.
Pfeiffer calls P. 'an immensely learned antiquary', Habicht '[t]he most famous periegetic writer'. He also had a taste for scholarly polemic, against e.g. Eratosthenes (epsilon 2898) and Timaios (tau 602). Lamentably, none of his many works -- the present biographer mentions only a sample -- survives complete.
[1] This patronymic is called into question by one of the entries in a catalogue of proxenoi of Delphi between 197/6 and 149/8 BCE (Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum #585); under 177/6 'Polemon Milesiou Ilieus' is listed. Some regard him as a relative of our P. If, instead, they are identical (as the larger consensus holds), one or the other patronymic must be wrong.
[2] OCD(4) Ilium, founded on or very near the site of Troy
[3] M.J. Osborne, Naturalization in Athens, vols. 3-4 (Brussels 1983) 99 #T112. The contextual material surrounding some of the "fragments" of P. suggests that he had other honorific citizenships too.
[4] The term means Greek or Hellenic (see LSJ s.v.), so this reasoning as it stands is less than pellucid. But note the indications elsewhere (Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 11.479F [= 11.59 Kaibel] and 13.606B-C [= 13.84 Kaibel]) that 'Helladikos' was in fact the title of one of the more compendious of P.'s works.
[5] As king of Egypt: 210-180 BCE. See further in the next three notes.
[6] See generally FGrH 697; OCD4 Asclepiades(4). In the present instance it is unclear whether he is being cited for information that conflicts with the preceding sentence, or simply for an alternative type of dating-fix.
[7] a.k.a. Aristophanes of Byzantium (alpha 3933), c.257-180 BCE. This would fit with the preceding sentence if gegone there means 'lived', but see the next note.
[8] If this is "the" Panaetius (pi 184), c.185-109 BCE, Asklepiades' two data seem incompatible with one another. For the chronology to make sense, this teacher would have to be pi 183 -- if he existed.
References:
Until P. appears in one of the (post-Jacoby) fascicles of Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker vol.IV, he is available only in two nineteenth-century editions:
Ludwig Preller, Polemonis periegetae fragmenta (Leipzig 1838, reprinted Amsterdam 1964).
Carl Mueller, Fragmenta historicorum graecorum III (Paris 1849) 108-148. [This is the (plain) text on the TLG]
Small additions were made in H.J. Mette, 'Die 'kleinen' griechischen Historiker heute', Lustrum 21 (1978) 5-43, at 49-41.
See also (e.g.):
R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship from the Beginnings to the end of the Hellenistic Age (Oxford 1968) 246-251.
C. Habicht, Pausanias' Guide to Ancient Greece (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1985) 3 and appendix 2.
W.E. Hutton, Describing Greece. Language and Literature in the Periegesis of Pausanias (Cambridge 2005)
Mariachiara Angelucci, 'Polemon's contribution to the periegetic literature of the II century BC', Hormos 3 (2011) 326-341 (on line)
Keywords: biography; chronology; geography; historiography; philosophy
Translated by: William Hutton on 2 April 2000@00:38:43.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented headword; added notes, bibliography, keyword) on 31 March 2001@04:32:38.
William Hutton (Augmented bibliography) on 31 March 2001@08:59:34.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; tweaks and cosmetics) on 7 October 2013@08:39:04.
David Whitehead (updated 2 refs) on 10 August 2014@06:04:26.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 17 August 2014@10:58:31.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 15 January 2015@21:54:08.
David Whitehead (name correction, prompted by Prof John D Morgan) on 31 May 2015@04:00:39.
David Whitehead (tweaks to tr; augmented notes and bibliography) on 11 July 2017@05:09:10.

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