Callimachus

Callimachus (; ) was an ancient Greek poet, scholar and librarian who was active in Alexandria during the 3rd century BC. A representative of Ancient Greek literature of the Hellenistic period, he wrote over 800 literary works, most of which do not survive, in a wide variety of genres. He espoused an aesthetic philosophy, known as Callimacheanism, which exerted a strong influence on the poets of the Roman Empire and, through them, on all subsequent Western literature.

Born into a prominent family in the Greek city of Cyrene in modern-day Libya, he was educated in Alexandria, the capital of the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt. After working as a schoolteacher in the city, he came under the patronage of King Ptolemy II Philadelphus and was employed at the Library of Alexandria where he compiled the ''Pinakes'', a comprehensive catalogue of all Greek literature. He is believed to have lived into the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes.

Although Callimachus wrote prolifically in prose and poetry, only a small number of his poetical texts have been preserved. His main works are the ''Aetia'', a four-book aetiological poem, six religious hymns, around 60 epigrams, a collection of satirical iambs, and a narrative poem entitled ''Hecale''. Callimachus shared many characteristics with his Alexandrian contemporaries Aratus, Apollonius of Rhodes and Theocritus, but professed to adhere to a unique style of poetry: favouring small, recondite and even obscure topics, he dedicated himself to small-scale poetry and refused to write longwinded epic poetry, the most prominent literary art of his day.

Callimachus and his aesthetic philosophy became an important point of reference for Roman poets of the late Republic and the early Empire. Catullus, Horace, Vergil, Propertius, and Ovid saw his poetry as one of their "principal model[s]" and engaged with it in a variety of ways. Modern classical scholars view him as one of the most influential Greek poets. According to the Hellenist Kathryn Gutzwiller, he "reinvented Greek poetry for the Hellenistic age by devising a personal style that came, through its manifestations in Roman poetry, to influence the entire tradition of modern literature". Provided by Wikipedia
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by Callimachus, Lycophron, Aratus Solensis
Published 1955
Book