1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Christodorus

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CHRISTODORUS, of Coptos in Egypt, epic poet, flourished during the reign of Anastasius I. (A.D. 491–518). According to Suidas, he was the author of Πάτρια, accounts of the foundation of various cities; Λυδιακά, the mythical history of Lydia; Ίσαυρικά, the conquest of Isauria by Anastasius; three books of epigrams; and many other works. In addition to two epigrams (Anthol. Pal. vii. 697, 698) we possess a description of eighty statues of gods, heroes and famous men and women in the gymnasium of Zeuxippus at Constantinople. This ἔκφρασις, consisting of 416 hexameters, forms the second book of the Palatine Anthology. The writer’s chief models are Homer and Nonnus, whom he follows closely in the structure of his hexameters. Opinions are divided as to the merits of the work. Some critics regard it as of great importance for the history of art and a model of description; others consider it valueless, alike from the historical, mythological and archaeological points of view.

See F. Baumgarten, De Christodoro poëta Thebano (1881), and his article in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, iii. 2 (1899); W. Christ, Geschichte der griechischen Litteratur (1898).