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Scylax of Caryanda, pseudo-scylax, and the Paris Periplus: reconsidering the ancient tradition of a geographical text

Ivan Matijašić


The Periplus preserved in the manuscript Parisinus suppl. gr. 443, and erroneously ascribed to Scylax of Caryanda (sixth century BC), is the oldest extant specimen of ancient Greek periplography: it belongs to the second half of the fourth century. In the present article, all the testimonies on the ancient tradition of both Scylax and the Paris Periplus are carefully evaluated. The aim is to determine when and why the Paris Periplus was mistakenly ascribed to Scylax and to clear any doubts on the alleged authorship of this ancient geographic work. The confusion, or the wilful falsification, is evident in Strabo: he knew of Scylax’s voyage in the East and at the same time was acquainted with the text of the Paris Periplus, which he ascribed to this famous ancient seafarer. Greek and Latin authors of the Roman Imperial age knew the Paris Periplus, but many followed slavishly the erroneous ascription to Scylax of Caryanda. When Marcianus of Heraclea in the early Byzantine age collected his corpus of ancient Greek geographers he also ascribed the Paris Periplus to Scylax, thus handing down the error to the copyist of the Paris. suppl. gr. 443


Ancient Greek geography; periplography; Scylax of Caryanda; Marcianus of Heraclea; Paris. suppl. gr. 443

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11606/issn.2177-4218.v7i7p1-19

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