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Apollonius Dyscolus (fl. 2nd century AD) is considered one of the greatest of the Greek grammarians. He was born at Alexandriamarker, son of Mnesitheus. The dates for his life are not known. His son Aelius Herodianus was born c. 185, which places Apollonius in the middle to late 2nd century.

Nicknamed , meaning "the Surly or Crabbed or Hard to please", because of his irascible and heavily analytical personality, he lived in the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. He spent the greater part of his life in his native city of Alexandriamarker, where he died; he is also said to have visited Rome and attracted the attention of Antoninus. He was the founder of scientific grammar and is styled by Priscian grammaticorum princeps. He wrote extensively on the parts of speech. Of twenty books named in the Suda, four are extant: on syntax, ed. I. Bekker, 1817, and three smaller treatises: on adverbs, on conjunctions, and on pronouns, ed. Schneider, 1878.

He and his son Aelius Herodianus had an enormous influence on all later grammarians. His name is remembered today in the Apollonius Institute of Language and Linguistics.


External links


  • Andreas U. Schmidhauser, "Apollonius Dyscolus. De pronomine pars generalis", PhD thesis, University of Genevamarker, 2007.
Comprehensive critical text with English translation.

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