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


1. A Greek grammarian, and a disciple of Aristophanes of Byzantium, whence he is frequently surnamed ὁ Ἀριστοφάνειος. (Athen. 1.21, vi. p. 263.) He must have lived about the middle of the second century before Christ, and have been a contemporary of the famous Aristarchus. He appears to have devoted himself principally to the study of the great poets of Greece, such as Homer, Pindar, the tragedians, Aristophanes, and some others, and the results of his studies were deposited in commentaries upon those poets, which are lost, but to which occasionally reference is made in our scholia. Tzetzes (Chil. 11.61) states, that the grammarian Callistratus was the first who made the Samians acquainted with the alphabet of twenty-four letters, but this is in all probability a fiction. (Comp. Schol. ad Hom. Il. 7.185.) There are several more works mentioned by the ancients, which, it seems, must be attributed to our grammarian. Athenaeus (iii. p. 125) mentions the seventh book of a work called Σύμμικτα, and in another passage (xiii. p. 591), a work on courtezans (περὶ ἑταιρῶν), both of which belong probably to Callistratus the grammarian. Harpocration (s. v. Μενεκλῆς ἢ Καλλίστρατος) mentions a work περὶ Ἀθηνῶν, which some ascribed to Menecles and others to Callistratus, but the reading in the passage of Harpocration is uncertain, and Preller (Polem. Fragm. p. 173, &c.) thinks that Καλλικράτης ought to be read instead of Καλλίστρατος. A commentary of Callistratus on the Θρατταί of Cratinus is mentioned by Athenaeus (xi. p. 495). It is uncertain whether the Callistratus whose history of Samothrace is mentioned by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1.68; comp. Schol. ad Pind. Nem. 7.150) is the same as our grammarian. (R. Schmidt, Commentatio de Callistrato Aristophaneo, Halae, 1838, 8vo.; Clinton, Fast. Hellen. iii. p. 530.)