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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 Προγυμνασματα, 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 Τεχνη 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.

Aphthonios of Antioch, Fables Mythfolklore.net (ed. Sbordone, 1932)


  • Leonhard von Spengel,, Rhetores Graeci, ii.
  • Finckh, Aphthonii Progymnasmata (1865)
  • Oskar Philipp Hoppichler, De Theone, Hermogene, Aphthonique Pro-gymnasmatum Scriptoribus (1884)
  • Edition of the fables by Francesco de Furia (1810)
  • A. F. Norman, Antioch as a Centre of Hellenic Culture as Observed by Libanius (Liverpool, 2000).
  • Teresa Morgan, Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds (Cambridge, 1998)

This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain.

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