1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Harpocration, Valerius

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HARPOCRATION, VALERIUS, Greek grammarian of Alexandria. He is possibly the Harpocration mentioned by Julius Capitolinus (Life of Verus, 2) as the Greek tutor of Antoninus Verus (2nd century A.D.); some authorities place him much later, on the ground that he borrowed from Athenaeus. He is the author of a Λεξικὸν (or Περὶ τῶν λέξεων) τῶν δέκα ῥητόρων, which has come down to us in an incomplete form. The work contains, in more or less alphabetical order, notes on well-known events and persons mentioned by the orators, and explanations of legal and commercial expressions. As nearly all the lexicons to the Greek orators have been lost, Harpocration’s work is especially valuable. Amongst his authorities were the writers of Atthides (histories of Attica), the grammarian Didymus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and the lexicographer Dionysius, son of Tryphon. The book also contains contributions to the history of Attic oratory and Greek literature generally. Nothing is known of an Ἀνθηρῶν συναγωγή, a sort of anthology or chrestomathy attributed to him by Suidas. A series of articles in the margin of a Cambridge MS. of the lexicon forms the basis of the Lexicon rhetoricum Cantabrigiense (see Dobree, P. P.).

The best edition is by W. Dindorf (1853); see also J. E. Sandys, History of Classical Scholarship, i. (1906), p. 325; C. Boysen, De Harpocrationis fontibus (Kiel, 1876).