Callimachus of Cyrene

(2606 words)
  • Markus Asper (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Callimachus belongs among those ancient Greek authors who, although their impact was conspicuous on later, especially Roman, culture, are known today only to experts: most of their works are lost and only fragments survive which are scattered, often hardly intelligible, and difficult for a lay readership to access.

Callimachus lived and worked in 3rd century BCE Alexandria. The earliest of his extant writings, the first hymn, is datable to c. 282 BCE. Some words in his Pinakes about a certain Lysimachos who wrote about Attalos II of Pergamon must have been written after 240 BCE. Callimachus was closely acquainted with the royal dynasty of the Ptolemies, the Macedonian successor kings who had established a …

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Asper, Markus. "Callimachus of Cyrene". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 October 2006
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]