Apollodorus of Athens (Greek: Ἀπολλόδωρος ὁ Ἀθηναῖος, Apollodoros ho Athenaios; c. 180 BC – after 120 BC), son of Asclepiades, was a Greek scholar, historian, and grammarian. He was a pupil of Diogenes of Babylon, Panaetius the Stoic, and the grammarian Aristarchus of Samothrace, under whom he appears to have studied together with his contemporary Dionysius Thrax. He left (perhaps fled) Alexandria around 146 BC, most likely for Pergamon, and eventually settled in Athens.

Literary works

  • Chronicle (Χρονικά, Chronika), a Greek history in verse from the fall of Troy in the 12th century BC to roughly 143 BC (although later it was extended as far as 109 BC), and based on previous works by Eratosthenes of Cyrene. Its dates are reckoned by its references to the archons of Athens. As most archons only held office for one year, scholars have been able to pin down the years to which Apollodorus was referring. The poem is written in comic trimeters and is dedicated to the second-century BC king of Pergamon, Attalus II Philadelphus.
  • On the Gods (Περὶ θεῶν, Peri theon, prose, in 24 books), lost but known through quotes to have included etymologies[1] of the names and epithets of the gods, rifled and quoted by the Roman Epicurean Philodemus; further fragments appear in Oxyrhynchus Papyri.
  • A twelve-book essay about Homer's Catalogue of Ships, also based on Eratosthenes of Cyrene and Demetrius of Scepsis, dealing with Homeric geography and how it has changed along the centuries. Strabo relied greatly on this for books 8 through 10 of his own Geographica.
  • Other possible works include an early etymology (possibly the earliest by an Alexandrian writer), and analyses of the poets Epicharmus of Kos and Sophron.
  • Apollodorus produced numerous other critical and grammatical writings, which have not survived.
  • His eminence as a scholar gave rise to several imitations, forgeries and misattributions. The encyclopedia of Greek mythology called Bibliotheca, or Library, was traditionally attributed to him, but it cannot be his; as it cites Castor the Annalist, who was a contemporary of Cicero.[2] Rather, the author of the Bibliotheca is now designated Pseudo-Apollodorus.


  1. ^ Dignified as "philological inquiries" by Fritz Graf, Greek Mythology: an introduction 1996:276.
  2. ^ Perseus Encyclopedia


  • Hornblower, Simon (1996). "Apollodorus (6) of Athens". The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 124.
  • Smith, W. (1861). "Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, ed. By W. Smith". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1. London: Walton & Maberly. p. 234.
  • Bravo, Benedetto. La Chronique d'Apollodore et le Pseudo-Skymnos: érudition antiquaire et littérature géographique dans la seconde moitié du IIe siècle av. J.-C. (Leuven: Peeters, 2009) (Studia Hellenistica, 46).
  • Fleischer, Kilian. The Original Verses of Apollodorus' Chronica: edition, translation and commentary (Berlin/New York, De Gruyter 2020) (Sozomena 19).
  • Παπαθωμόπουλος, Μανόλης ed. Απολλόδωρου Βιβλιοθήκη / Apollodori Bibliotheca, post Richardum Wagnerum recognita. Εισαγωγή – Κείμενο – Πίνακες (Αθήνα: Εκδοσεις Αλήθεια, 2010) (Λόγος Ελληνικός, 4).