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Stephanus of Byzantium

Stephanus Byzantinus (Stephanus of Byzantium), the author of a geographical dictionary entitled Εθνικα (Ethnica), of which, apart from some fragments, we possess only the meagre epitome of one Hermolaus.

This work was first edited under the title Περι πολεον (Peri poleon, "On Cities") (Aldus, Venice, 1502); the best modern editions are by W Dindorf and others (4 vols., Leipzig, 1825), A Westermann (Leipzig, 1839), and A Meineke (vol. i., Berlin, 1849). Hermolaus dedicates his epitome to Justinian; whether the first or second emperor of that name is meant is disputed, but it seems probable that Stephanus flourished in the earlier part of the 6th century, under Justinian I.

The chief fragments remaining of the original work (which certainly contained lengthy quotations from classical authors and many interesting topographical and historical details) are preserved by Constantine Porphyrogennetos, De administrando imperio, ch. 23 and De thematibus, ii. Io (an account of Sicily); the latter includes a passage from the comic poet Alexis on the Seven Largest Islands. Another respectable fragment, from the article z~un to the end of Io, exists in a manuscript of the Seguerian library.

See the editions of Westermann, Dindorf and Meineke, above noticed; the article "Stephanus Byzant.," in Smith's Dictionary of Ancient Biography, vol. iii.; EH Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, i. 102, 135, 169; ii. 669?671 (London, 1883); Riese, De Stephani Byzant. auctoribus (Kiel, 1873); J Geffcken, De Stephano Byzantio (Göttingen, 1886); Paul Sakolowski, Fragmenta d. S. von B.;

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.