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Poets of Greece Proper and Macedonia, continuing the purely Greek tradition in literature
Epigrammatists from The Greek Anthology from Alexander the Great to the beginning of the Roman period: Adaeus, Anyte, Hegesippus, Perses, and Phaedimus.
 More of This Feature
• Poets of Greece Proper and Macedonia, continuing the purely Greek tradition in literature
• Founders of the Alexandrian School
• The earlier Alexandrians of the third century B.C.
• The later Alexandrians of the second century B.C.
• Transition to the Roman period
 
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• Primary Texts Index
 

Source: Select Epigrams from The Greek Anthology
Edited with a Revised Text, Translation, and Notes, by J. W. Mackail
London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1890

(1) ADAEUS or ADDAEUS, called "the Macedonian" in the title of one of his epigrams, was a contemporary of Alexander the Great. Among his epigrams are epitaphs on Alexander and on Philip; his date is further fixed by the mention of Potidaea in another epigram, as Cassander, who died B.C. 296, changed the name of the city into Cassandrea. Eleven epigrams are extant under his name, but one is headed "Adaeus of Mitylene" and may be by a different hand, as Adaeus was a common Macedonian name. They are chiefly poems of country life, prayers to Demeter and Artemis, and hunting scenes, full of fresh air and simplicity out of doors, with a serious sense of religion and something of Macedonian gravity. The picture they give of the simple and refined life of the Greek country gentleman, like Xenophon in his old age at Scillus, is one of the most charming and intimate glimpses we have of the ancient world, carried on quietly among the drums and tramplings of Alexander's conquests, of which we are faintly reminded by another epigram on an engraved Indian beryl.

ANYTE of Tegea is one of the foremost names among the epigrammatists, and it is somewhat surprising that we know all but nothing of her from external sources. "The lilies of Anyte" stand at the head of the list of poets in the "Garland" of Meleager; and Antipater of Thessalonica in a catalogue of poetesses ("Anth. Pal." ix. 26) speaks of {Anutes stoma thelun Omeron}. The only epigram which gives any clue to her date is one on the death of three Milesian girls in a Gaulish invasion, probably that of B.C. 279; but this is headed "Anyte of Mitylene," and is very possibly by another hand. A late tradition says that her statue was made by the sculptors Cephisodotus and Euthycrates, whose date is about 300 B.C., but we are not told whether they were her contemporaries. Twenty-four epigrams are ascribed to her, twenty of which seem genuine. They are so fine that some critics have wished to place her in the great lyric period; but their deep and most refined feeling for nature rather belongs to this age. They are principally dedications and epitaphs, written with great simplicity of description and much of the grand style of the older poets, and showing (if the common theory as to her date be true) a deep and sympathetic study of Simonides.

Probably to this group belong also the following poets:

HEGESIPPUS, the author of eight epigrams in the Palatine Anthology, three dedications and five epitaphs, in a simple and severe style. The reference in the "Garland" of Meleager, l. 25, to "the maenad grape- cluster of Hegesippus" is so wholly inapplicable to these that we must suppose it to refer to a body of epigrams now lost, unless this be the same Hegesippus with the poet of the New Comedy who flourished at Athens about 300 B.C., and the reference be to him as a comedian rather than an epigrammatist.

PERSES, called "the Theban" in the heading of one epigram, "the Macedonian" in that of another (no difference of style can be traced between them), a poet of the same type as Addaeus, with equal simplicity and good taste, but inferior power. The "Garland" of Meleager, l. 26, speaks of "the scented reed of Perses." There are nine epigrams of his in the Palatine Anthology, including some beautiful epitaphs.

PHAEDIMUS of Bisanthe in Macedonia, author of an epic called the "Heracleia" according to Athenaeus. "The yellow iris of Phaedimus" is mentioned in the "Garland" of Meleager, l. 51. Two of the four epigrams under his name, a beautiful dedication, and a very noble epitaph, are in this selection; the other two, which are in the appendix of epigrams in mixed metres at the end of the Palatine Anthology (Section xiii.) are very inferior and seem to be by another hand.

• Return to Biographies of Epigrammatists - from Alexander the Great to the beginning of the Roman Period


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