1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Iamblichus (writer)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

IAMBLICHUS, of Syria, the earliest of the Greek romance writers, flourished in the 2nd century A.D. He was the author of Βαβυλωνιακά, the loves of Rhodanes and Sinonis, of which an epitome is preserved in Photius (cod. 94). Garmus, a legendary king of Babylon, forces Sinonis to marry him and throws Rhodanes into prison. The lovers manage to escape, and after many singular adventures, in which magic plays a considerable part, Garmus is overthrown by Rhodanes, who becomes king of Babylon. According to Suidas, Iamblichus was a freedman, and a scholiast’s note on Photius further informs us that he was a native Syrian (not descended from Greek settlers); that he borrowed the material for his romance from a love story told him by his Babylonian tutor, and that he subsequently applied himself with great success to the study of Greek. A MS. of the original in the library of the Escorial is said to have been destroyed by fire in 1670. Only a few fragments have been preserved, in addition to Photius’s epitome.

See Scriptores erotici, ed. A. Hirschig (1856) and R. Hercher (1858); A. Mai, Scriptorum veterum nova collectio, ii.; E. Rohde, Der griechische Roman (1900).