Who was Zenon?


Zenon, the son of Agreophon, was born in the town of Kaunos, on the coast of Caria, in the first half of the third century BCE.

In 260 BCE, Zenon first appears as an employee of Apollonios the dioiketes, an important advisor to Ptolemy II who was in charge of the treasury and overseeing significant parcels of land. During the early period of his employment, Zenon appears to have traveled extensively on behalf of Apollonios throughout the Ptolemaic holdings. A papyrus in the Michigan collection, dated to around 259 BCE, lists provisions that Zenon or perhaps one of his associates required for travel to Syria.


Probably after 258 BCE, Zenon worked as a private secretary for Apollonios in Egypt. Zenon was in charge of receiving individuals who wished to speak to Apollonios, and, if appropriate, admitting them to see his employer. Zenon also delivered personal messages to and from Apollonios, and directly oversaw Apollonios’ household on the estates at Philadelphia. Zenon also appears to have supervised other holdings of Apollonios in the Fayum and in the area around Memphis.


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