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Zoilus(zō`ĭləs), c.400–c.320 B.C., Greek rhetorician and philosopher of Amphipolis. He is called Homeromastix [scourge of Homer], because of his denunciations of Homer as a purveyor of fables. He also criticized Isocrates and Plato, and his name has come to signify a carping critic.
Ancient Greek philosopher and rhetorician of the fourth century B.C.
Zoilus was born in Amphipolis. He was a pupil of Socrates and, possibly, was Demosthenes’ mentor. Zoilus was an early critic of Homeric texts. He is the author of Censure of Homer and other works. In antiquity, he received the reputation of a subverter of authority. Zoilus’ name is used to designate a carping, ill-disposed, and caustic critic. An example of this usage is A. S. Pushkin’s epigram: “Counting on my contempt, the gray Zoilus railed at me.”
EDITIONFabricii Bibliotheca graeca, part 1. Hamburg, 1708.
REFERENCESTronskii, I.M.Istoriiaantichnoiliteratury, 3rded. Leningrad, 1957.
Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 1. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii [et al.]. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Lehrs, K.De Aristarchi studiis Homericis. Leipzig, 1865.
Friedländer, U.De Zoilo aliisque Homeri obtrectatoribus. Königsberg, 1895.