Praxiphanes (Greek: Πραξιφάνης) a Peripatetic philosopher, was a native of Mytilene, who lived a long time in Rhodes.[1] He lived in the time of Demetrius Poliorcetes and Ptolemy I Soter, and was a pupil of Theophrastus, about 322 BC.[2] He subsequently opened a school himself, in which Epicurus is said to have been one of his pupils.[3] Praxiphanes paid special attention to grammatical studies, and is hence named along with Aristotle as the founder and creator of the science of grammar.[4][5]


Of the writings of Praxiphanes, which appear to have been numerous, two are especially mentioned, a Dialogue ποιητῶν (Poiitón, 'Poetry')[6] in which Plato and Isocrates were the speakers, and an historical work cited by Marcellinus in his Life of Thucydides[7] under the title of Περὶ ἱστορίας (Perí istorías, 'About History').[5]

Praxiphanes also wrote a works titled On Friendship,[8] On Rare Words,[9] On the Universe,[10] On Poems, and commentaries on Homer's Odyssey, Hesiod's Works and Days, Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, and Plato's Timaeus.[11][12]


  1. ^ Algra, K., The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. Page 36. Cambridge University Press. (1999). Cf. Clement of Alexandria, i.; Strabo, xiv.
  2. ^ Proclus, i. in Timaeum; John Tzetzes, ad Hesiod. Op. et Dies, 1.
  3. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, x. 13
  4. ^ Clement of Alexandria, i.
  5. ^ a b Smith 1870.
  6. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, iii. 8
  7. ^ Marcellinus, Thucydides, §29
  8. ^ Carneiscus, Philistas fr. 95
  9. ^ Demetrius, De elocutione 55-58
  10. ^ Epiphanius, De fide 9.35-39
  11. ^ Proclus, In Timaeum, 5c
  12. ^ Matelli 2018, p. 76-78.


Further reading