A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Ἀμμιανός), a Greek epigrammatist, but probably a Roman by birth. The Greek Anthology contains 27 epigrams by him (Jacobs, iii. pp. 93-98), to which must be added another contained in the Vatican MS. (Jacobs, xiii. p. 693), and another, which is placed among the anonymous epigrams, but which some MSS. assign to Ammianus. (Jacobs, iv. p. 127, No. xlii.) They are all of a facetious character. In the Planudean MS. he is called Abbianus, which Wernsdorf supposes to be a Greek form of Avianus or Avienus. (Poet. Lat. Min. v. p. ii. p. 675.)

The time at which he lived may be gathered, with tolerable certainty, from his epigrams. That he was a contemporary of the epigrammatist Lucillius, who lived under Nero, has been inferred from the circumstance that both attack an orator named Flaccus. (Ammian. Ep. 2; Lucil. Ep. 86, ap. Jacobs.) One of his epigrams (13) is identical with the last two lines of one of Martial's (9.30), who is supposed by some to have translated these lines from Ammianus, and therefore to have lived after him. But the fact is equally well explained on the supposition that the poets were contemporary. From two other epigrams of Ammianus (Jacobs, vol. iv. p. 127, No. 42, and vol. xiii. p. 125), we find that he was contemporary with the sophist Antonius Polemo, who flourished under Trajan and Hadrian. (Jacobs, Anthol. Graec. xi. pp. 312, 313, xiii. p. 840.)