(2008 words)

Of all the poets who flourished in the Golden Age of Alexandrian literature (c.280-c.240 BCE), Theocritus, most celebrated as the inventor of pastoral, has had the most significant and long-term influence on the course of Western literature. In terms of the intrinsic literary value of his extant poems (collectively known as The Idylls, although some epigrams are also attributed to him), he may also be considered as the last great Greek poet.

The life of Theocritus, like the lives of most ancient Greek authors, cannot be written in terms of solidly established historical knowledge; almost all that we know of him is through his poetry. But if one examines his works for possible autobiographical references, one can frame r…

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Walker, Steven. "Theocritus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 April 2008
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]