Stephanus of Byzantium
Get Stephanus of Byzantium essential facts below. View Videos or join the Stephanus of Byzantium discussion. Add Stephanus of Byzantium to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Stephanus of Byzantium

Stephenus or Stephan of Byzantium (Latin: Stephanus Byzantinus; Greek: , Stéphanos Byzántios; fl. 6th centuryAD), was the author of an important geographical dictionary entitled Ethnica (). Of the dictionary itself only meagre fragments survive, but we possess an epitome compiled by one Hermolaus, not otherwise identified.


Byzantium during Stephanus lifetime

Nothing is known about the life of Stephanus, except that he was a grammarian at Constantinople, and lived after the time of Arcadius and Honorius, and before that of Justinian II. Later writers provide no information about him, but they do note that the work was later reduced to an epitome by a certain Hermolaus, who dedicated 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 Byzantium in the earlier part of the sixth century AD, under Justinian I.

The Ethnica

Even as an epitome, the Ethnica is of enormous value for geographical, mythological, and religious information about ancient Greece. Nearly every article in the epitome contains a reference to some ancient writer, as an authority for the name of the place. From the surviving fragments, we see that the original contained considerable quotations from ancient authors, besides many interesting particulars, topographical, historical, mythological, and others. Stephanus cites[1]Artemidorus, Polybius, Aelius Herodianus, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Strabo and other writers.

The chief fragments remaining of the original work are preserved by Constantine Porphyrogennetos, De administrando imperio, ch. 23 (the article ? ) and De thematibus, ii. 10 (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 ? to the end of ?, exists in a manuscript of the Fonds Coislin, the library formed by Pierre Séguier.

The first modern printed edition of the work was that published by the Aldine Press in Venice, 1502. The complete standard edition is still that of Augustus Meineke (1849, reprinted at Graz, 1958), and by convention, references to the text use Meineke's page numbers. A new completely revised edition in German, edited by B. Wyss, C. Zubler, M. Billerbeck, J.F. Gaertner, was published between 2006 and 2017, with a total of 5 volumes.[2]


  • Aldus Manutius (pr.), 1502, . ? (Peri pole?n) = Stephanus. De urbibus ("On cities") (Venice). Google Books
  • Guilielmus Xylander, 1568, . ? = Stephanus. De urbibus (Basel).
  • Thomas de Pinedo, 1678, . ? = Stephanus. De urbibus (Amsterdam). Contains parallel Latin translation. Google Books
  • Claudius Salmasius (Claude Saumaise) and Abraham van Berkel, 1688, ' ? = Stephani Byzantini Gentilia per epitomen, antehac De urbibus inscripta (Leiden). Contains parallel Latin translation. Google Books
  • Lucas Holstenius, 1692, Notae & castigationes in Stephanum Byzantium De urbibus (Leiden). Google Books
  • Thomas de Pinedo, 1725, Stephanus de urbibus (Amsterdam). Google Books
  • Karl Wilhelm Dindorf, 1825, Stephanus Byzantinus. Opera, 4 vols, (Leipzig). Incorporating notes by L. Holsteinius, A. Berkelius, and T. de Pinedo. Google Books
  • Anton Westermann, 1839, Stephani Byzantii ethnikon quae supersunt (Leipzig). Google Books
  • Augustus Meineke, 1849, Stephani Byzantii ethnicorum quae supersunt (Berlin). Google Books
  • Margarethe Billerbeck et al. (edd), Stephani Byzantii Ethnica. 5 volumes: 2006-2017. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 43/1)[2][3][4]


  1. ^ J. S. Richardson, Hispaniae: Spain and the Development of Roman Imperialism, 218-82 BC: "In four places, the lexicographer Stephanus of Byzantium refers to towns and ... Artemidorus as source, and in three of the four examples cites Polybius.; From political architecture to Stephanus Byzantius
  2. ^ a b de Gruyter
  3. ^ Reviewed by C. Neri in
  4. ^ Reviewed by Martin L. West


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Stephanus Byzantinus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 25 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 880. (The Britannica page as a TIFF scan[permanent dead link])

Further reading

  • Smith, W., Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. 3, s.v. "Stephanus" (2) of Byzantium.
  • Diller, Aubrey 1938, "The tradition of Stephanus Byzantius", Transactions of the American Philological Association 69: 333-48.
  • E.H. Bunbury, 1883, History of Ancient Geography (London), vol. i. 102, 135, 169; ii. 669-71.
  • Holstenius, L., 1684 (posth.), Lucae Holstenii Notae et castigationes postumae in Stephani Byzantii Ethnika, quae vulgo Peri pole?n inscribuntur (Leiden).
  • Niese, B., 1873, De Stephani Byzantii auctoribus (Kiel)
  • Johannes Geffcken, 1886, De Stephano Byzantio (Göttingen)
  • Whitehead, D. (ed.), 1994, From political architecture to Stephanus Byzantius : sources for the ancient Greek polis (Stuttgart).

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes