A commentary on Dionysius of Alexandria's Guide to the Inhabited World, 174-382
This thesis provides a literary commentary on Dionysius of Alexandria's Guide to the Inhabited World, verses 174-382. The commentary focuses on two central aspects of the work. First, it compares Dionysius' portrayal of the inhabited world with representations by earlier and contemporary geographical authors, and attempts to trace the sources of his geographical and ethnographical material. Second, and more important for an understanding of the poem as a whole, the commentary highlights the relationship of the work to its poetic models. Dionysius drew much upon the work of Hellenistic poets, such as Aratus and Apollonius Rhodius, as well as upon Homer and Hesiod. I therefore focus largely upon the way in which he used such models to produce a literary map of a timeless world, consisting as much of the peoples and places of Greek myths as of the peoples and places which his contemporaries might have expected to encounter. The introduction begins by examining the evidence for Dionysius' life and other works, before outlining the structure of the Periegesis itself. It then sets out the framework for the aims of the commentary by providing accounts of the geographical tradition and of the literary models on which Dionysius drew. Finally, the introduction presents a brief history of the text of the Periegesis, looking at the evidence of the manuscript tradition, the scholia, Latin translations, Greek paraphrases, and the twelfth-century commentary on the poem by Eustathius. The commentary is accompanied by an English translation of the entire poem, and by an appendix of Homeric hapax legomena which occur within the verses studied in the commentary.