1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aphthonius

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APHTHONIUS, of Antioch, Greek sophist and rhetorician, flourished in the second half of the 4th century A.D., or even later. Nothing is known of his life, except that he was a friend of Libanius and of a certain Eutropius, perhaps the author of the epitome of Roman history. We possess by him Προγυμνάσματα, a text-book on the elements of rhetoric, with exercises for the use of the young before they entered the regular rhetorical schools. They apparently formed an introduction to the Τέχνη of Hermogenes. His style is pure and simple, and ancient critics praise his “Atticism.” The book maintained its popularity as late as the 17th century, especially in Germany. A collection of forty fables by Aphthonius, after the style of Aesop, is also extant.

Spengel, Rhetores Graeci, ii.; Finckh, Aphthonii Progymnasmata (1865); Hoppichler, De Theone, Hermogene, Aphthonioque Pro-gymnasmatum Scriptoribus (1884); edition of the fables by Furia (1810).