Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

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 reasonable hypotheses that, of course, may or may not correspond

2004 words

Citation: Walker, Steven. "Theocritus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 April 2008 [, accessed 25 July 2024.]

4363 Theocritus 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.