Apollodorus of Athens (Greek: Ἀπολλόδωρος ὁ Ἀθηναῖος; born ca. 180 BCE, died after 120 BCE) son of Asclepiades, was a Greek scholar, historian and grammarian. He was a pupil of Diogenes of Babylon, Panaetius the Stoic, and the grammarian Aristarchus of Samothrace. He left, or fled, Alexandria around 146 BC, most likely for Pergamum, and eventually settled in Athens.

Literary works

  • Chronicle (Χρονικά), a Greek history in verse from the fall of Troy in the 12th century BCE to roughly 143 BCE (although later it was extended as far as 109 BCE), and based on previous works by Eratosthenes of Cyrene. Its dates are reckoned by its references to the archons of Athens. As most archons only held office for one year, scholars have been able to pin down the years to which Apollodorus was referring. The poem is written in comic trimeters and is dedicated to the 2nd century BCE king of Pergamon, Attalus II Philadelphus.
  • On the Gods (Περὶ θεῶν), a detailed history of Greek religion, heavily depended on by later writers, such as Philodemus.
  • A twelve-book essay about Homer's Catalogue of Ships, also based on Eratosthenes of Cyrene and Demetrius of Scepsis, dealing with Homeric geography and how it has changed along the centuries. Strabo relied greatly on this for books 8 through 10 of his own Geographica.
  • Other possible works include an early etymology (possibly the earliest by an Alexandrian writer), and analyses of the poets Epicharmus of Kos and Sophron.
  • Apollodorus produced numerous other critical and grammatical writings, which have not survived.
  • His eminence as a scholar gave rise to several imitations, forgeries and misattributions. The encyclopedia of Greek mythology called Bibliotheca, or Library, was traditionally attributed to him, but it cannot be his; it cites authors who wrote centuries later. Today the author of the Bibliotheca is called Pseudo-Apollodorus.


  • Hornblower, Simon (1996). "Apollodorus (6) of Athens". The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 124. 
  • Smith, W. (1861). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1, p. 234. London: Walton & Maberly. pp. 1093.,M1. 
  • Bravo, Benedetto, La Chronique d'Apollodore et le Pseudo-Skymnos: érudition antiquaire et littérature géographique dans la seconde moitié du IIe siecle av. J.-C. (Leuven: Peeters, 2009) (Studia Hellenistica, 46).
  • Μανόλης Παπαθωμόπουλος (ed.), Απολλόδωρου Βιβλιοθήκη / Apollodori Bibliotheca, post Richardum Wagnerum recognita. Εισαγωγή - Κείμενο - Πίνακες (Αθήνα: Εκδοσεις Αλήθεια, 2010) (Λόγος Ελληνικός, 4).

External links

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