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The Mind Of An Ass And The Impudence Of A Dog: A Scholar Gone Bad

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Chapter Summary

Apion, the scholar of the title, was a first-century CE success story. His sobriquet cymbalum mundi ?the world?s gong?, for example, was bestowed upon him by the emperor Tiberius. This chapter looks at Apion?s life and reputation. It gives consideration to his philological work. The scant and discordant remains of his five-book account of Egypt require a more thorough discussion. The chapter addresses the question of why the ancient reputation of this apparently successful scholar was so multifariously and persistently bad. The Suda entry on Apion offers a fairly standard?for the Suda? blend of fact, confusion, error, and puzzles. The most frequently cited of Apion?s titles after the Glossary of Homeric Expressions is a five-book work on Egypt, traditionally called, like many others, Aegyptiaca (Egyptian affairs).

Keywords: Aegyptiaca; Apion; cymbalum mundi ; Egypt; Suda; Tiberius

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