THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ANTIMACHUS, of Colophon or Claros, Greek poet and grammarian, flourished about 400 B.C. Scarcely anything is known of his life. His poetical efforts were not generally appreciated, although he received encouragement from his younger contemporary Plato (Plutarch, Lysander, 18). His chief works were: a long-winded epic Thebais, an account of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes and the war of the Epigoni; and an elegiac poem Lyde, so called from the poet’s mistress, for whose death he endeavoured to find consolation by ransacking mythology for stories of unhappy love affairs (Plutarch, Consol. ad Apoll. 9; Athenaeus xiii. 597). Antimachus was the founder of “learned” epic poetry, and the forerunner of the Alexandrian school, whose critics allotted him the next place to Homer. He also prepared a critical recension of the Homeric poems.

Fragments, ed. Stoll (1845); Bergk, Poetae Lyrici Graeci (1882); Kinkel, Fragmenta epicorum Graecorum (1877).


Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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