The authorship of the Cynegetica and the Halieutica presents a problem of some perplexity owing to the impossibility of reconciling some of the external evidence regarding Oppian with the internal evidence presented by the poems themselves.
I. External Evidence.—This consists in the ancient Vitae (Βίοι) preserved in various mss. of the poems, with a short notice in Suidas, and some references to and quotations from the Halieutica—there are no references to or quotations from the Cynegetica—in later writers.
Vitae.—Of the ancient Lives, which show at once considerable agreement and considerable discrepancy, Anton. Westermann, in his ΒΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΙ, Brunsvigae, 1845, distinguishes two recensions, which we shall here denote as Vita A and Vita B respectively.
Vita A, “quae narrationem praebet omnium simplicissimam,” as printed by Westermann may be translated as follows:—
“Oppian the poet was the son of Agesilaus and Zenodotè, and his birthplace was Anazarbos in Cilicia. His father, a man of wealth and considered the foremost citizen of his native city, distinguished