Interest in the unexpected or unbelievable (paradoxa, thaumasia, apista) is prominent in the Odyssey and *Herodotus. Collections of marvels attributed to 4th-cent. authors (*Aristotle, *Theopompus (3), *Ephorus) are not genuine, but paradoxography as a distinct literary genre came into existence in the 3rd cent. with paradoxa by *Callimachus (3) (fr. 407–411) and his pupil *Philostephanus, *Antigonus (4) of Carystus, Archelaus of Egypt, *Myrsilus of Methymna, and others. In the Roman period there are substantial collections of marvels by *Isigonus and *Phlegon, and several anonymous collections survive in medieval manuscripts. The material is taken from geography, botany, zoology, and human culture. Several ancient writers dabbled in the subject (*Cicero, Michael *Psellus) and others (*Varro, *Pliny (1) the Elder, *Aelian) used paradoxographers as sources.Less
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