Monday, April 11, 2011

National Library Week Library Heroes: Zenodotus

Born approximately 325 B.C., Zenodotus was a Greek scholarly writer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt under the reign of Ptolemy  Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphus. He became the first director of the Alexandrian Library around 284 B.C., directing the preliminary classification of its books and becoming the first editor of the Iliad and the Odyssey. 
Zenodotus also prepared editions of Hesiod's Theogony and the poems of Pindar and Anacreon, and produced Foreign Terms, a collection of non-Greek expressions found in literary texts, as well as a Homeric Glossary, which laid the foundation for later scholarly linguistic study. Zenodotus was also the earliest person known (so far) to have employed alphabetical order.
You can find a more detailed version of this profile, originally from Greek and Latin Authors 800 B.C. - A.D. 1000, in Biography Reference Bank, and the picture of the ruins of the Alexandrian Library in Art Museum Image Gallery.


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