According to the philosopher Proclus, a man named Marcellus was an author of a book called "Aethiopica". This i presume, is a historical work about Africa. According to Proclus, Marcellus gives a description about the mythical island of Atlantis in his work.

Do we know anything more about this Marcellus or his work "Aethiopica"? Is he mentioned by any other historians?


Marcellus is still not identified, and his work is lost. According to a footnote in a 2006 Cambridge edition of Proclus' Commentary on Plato's Timaeus,

Festugière [an expert on the works of Proclus] points out that the author is unknown, and suggests confusion with Marcianus of Heraclea, who is known to have written, shortly before Proclus' time, a Periplous of the Outside Sea. But Marcellus may well have existed. The title given by Proclus reveals only that it would have been mainly about Africa.[...]

A 1960's work by Soviet Atlantologist Zhirov said:

Nothing is known about when Marcellus lived. Most historians believe that he lived in the 1st century B.C., but A. Bescherelle and G. Devars state in their Dictionary (69/163) that they believe Marcellus wrote about Atlantis long before Plato.

And the cited Dictionary by Bescherelle indeed says, but without citing any higher authority, that "by the way, the Ethiopic historian Marcellus spoke about Atlantis before the Greek philosopher."

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    On the other hand, the novel "Aephiopica" is well-known. Not by Marcellius but by Heliodor. One of the oldest surviving novels. – Alex Aug 6 '15 at 20:13

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