NONNUS, Greek epic poet, author of the Dionysiaca, was a native of Panopolis in the Egyptian Thebaid. He fication is imitated by Proclus, who was born 412 A.D.
mythology ; its spirit, at the same time, is anything but often frigid conceits bring it near to the Italian bastard charged upon his age, while his merits are his own. This His influence on the vocabulary of his successors was likewise very considerable. We also possess under his name a paraphrase of the Gospel of St John, which is chiefly interesting as apparently indicating that, notwithstanding his mythological lore, Nonnus conformed to Christianity. The style is not inferior to that of his epic, but, employed in embellishing the simple narrative of the evangelist, it produces an impression of extreme bombast and want of taste.
The first edition of Nonnus was published by Falkenburg at Antwerp in 1569 from a MS. procured at Taranto by Sambucus, an Hungarian. The standard edition is Graefe's (Lcipsic, 1819-26) ; but the most useful is that by Count de Yareellus (Paris, 1856), accompanied by valuable notes and prolegomena, and a French prose translation. The analyses by Ouvaroff (St Petersburg, 1817) and Koehler (Halle, 1853) are useful aids to the study of so long and intricate a poem. The paraphrase on St John is edited by Passow (1834), by Marcellus (1861), and in Migne's Patrologia. For Nonnus's metrical innovations see Hermann, Orphica, pp. 869-691 ; and Lehrs, Qutestionts Epicle.