Welcome to the Paradoxography website
What is paradoxography?
'Paradoxography' is the name now given to a genre of ancient – mostly Greek – literature describing various marvels of the natural and human worlds, which had its origins in the Hellenistic world. The earliest writings date to the third century BCE, with a work of Callimachus that survives only in quotations by the slightly later Antigonus. Most paradoxographical texts were reasonably sober, if rather trivial, compilations of striking instances from authorities such as Aristotle or Herodotus: a sort of 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not' of the Graeco–Roman world. A few were more sensationalist in nature: monstrous births, ghosts, and the wilder reaches of ethnographic and historical works in the style of Ctesias rather than Herodotus.