Nonnus was a native of Panopolis in Egypt. Except that he was a Christian, and lived at the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century, nothing seems to be known of him.


XXI. 246 ff:

Turn if thou will they steps to the near country of the Medes; thither go and adress the chorus bands of Dionysus. I will show thee the land of Bactria, where divine Mithra had his birth, the Assyrian lord of light in Persis. For Deriades [the Indian King] never learnt to know the race of the blessed gods of heaven, nor does honour to the Sun or Zeus or the chorus band of the bright stars... I take no heed of the blessed offspring of Zeus; for the twain Earth and Water alone have become my gods.

XL. 365 ff:

With revelry he approached the home of Astrochiton [Heracles] and the leader of the stars, and in mystic tones uttered his invocation: Herakles star-adorned, king of fire, ruler of the universe, thou Sun, who with thy far-flung rays art the guardian of mortal life, with flashing beam revolving the wide circuit of thy course... Belus thou art named on the Euphrates, Ammon in Libya, Apis of the Nile art thou by birth, Arabian Kronos, Assyrian Zeus... but whether thou art Sarapis, or the cloudless Zeus of Egpyt, or Kronos, or Phaethon, or many titled Mithras, Sun of Babylon, or in Greece Apollo of Delphi, or Wedlock, whom Love begat in the shadowy land of dreams... whether thou art known as Paieon, the healer of pain, or Aether with its varied garb, or star-bespangled Night — for the starry robes of night illuminate the heaven - lend a propitious ear to my prayer.