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DIONYSIUS

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Dionysius Periegetes, or the describer of the earth. A Greek poet whose precise country and date have not been ascertained; it is certain only that he did not live earlier than the imperial age of Rome. His surviving work is a Descriptio Orbis Terrarum, or description of the earth, written in well-turned hexameters, and founded mainly on Eratothenes. This was much read, and translated into Latin by Avienus and Priscian (see these names). To the later Greeks he was the geographer par excellence. The ancient scholia to his book, a paraphrase, and the commentary by Eustathius, testify to the interest which it excited. (On another author of a geographical poem of the same name, see DICAeARCHUS.)
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