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Related to Callimachus: Apollonius of Rhodes, Theocritus
BirthplaceCyrene, Ancient Libya
poet, critic and scholar


(kəlĭm`əkəs), fl. 2d half of 5th cent. B.C., Greek sculptor from Athens. He was famous as the maker of the gold lamp in the Erechtheum and a seated image of Hera for a temple at Plataea. There are several Roman copies of his works; one is Pan and the Three Graces (Capitoline Mus., Rome). He reputedly originated the Corinthian capital and invented the running drill used for simulating the folds of drapery in marble.


fl. c.280–45 B.C., Hellenistic Greek poet and critic, b. Cyrene. Educated at Athens, he taught before obtaining work in the Alexandrian library. There he drew up a catalog, with such copious notes that it constituted a full literary history. He also wrote criticism and other works in prose, but is most notable as a poet. It is said that he wrote more than 800 different pieces. Of these, six hymns (meant for reading, with no religious use), a number of epigrams, and fragments of other poems survive. His greatest work was the Aetia, a collection of legends. Other longer poems of which fragments survive are The Lock of Berenice, Hecale, and Iambi. Callimachus' poetry is notable for brevity, polish, wit, learning, and inventiveness in form. He engaged in a famous literary quarrel with Apollonius of Rhodes over whether well-crafted short poems were superior to long poems. His works had a considerable influence on later Greek and Roman poets, especially Catullus.



Born 310 B.C., in Cyrene, North Africa; died 240 B.C., in Alexandria. Poet of the Alexandrian school.

Callimachus was the creator of the genre of the short poem. His narrative poem Hecale is an epyllion, a small-scale epic. His four books of narrative elegies are called Causes. He also wrote the poetry collection Iambs and the first catalogue of Greek writers, Tables. Sixty-four of his epigrams are extant. Callimachus greatly influenced subsequent Greek and Roman poetry.


In Russian translation:
Izbrannye gimny i epigrammy. Translated by V. Alekseev. St. Petersburg, 1899.
Grecheskaia epigramma. Edited by F. A. Petrovskii. Moscow, 1960.


Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 3. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii [et al.]. Moscow, 1960.
Cahen, E. Callimaque et son Œuvre poétique. Paris, 1929.


1. late 5th century bc, Greek sculptor, reputed to have invented the Corinthian capital
2. ?305--?240 bc, Greek poet of the Alexandrian School; author of hymns and epigrams
References in periodicals archive ?
This took care of the shelving principle, but Callimachus went a step further.
137) A point confirmed by Isocrates in a passage in Against Callimachus (46): 'Since, converging towards the same, we have mutually given each other the marks of confidence, we politicise with so much beauty and so much community that it is as if no evil ever struck us.
He pleaded with Callimachus, head of the Athenian council, "With you it rests, Callimachus, either to bring Athens to slavery, or, by securing her freedom, to be remembered by all future generations.
Callimachus, the Athenian polemarch or commander-in-chief, agreed and preparations were made to resist the mighty Persian invaders with every available resource.
At the end of each section is a moving version of a poem by Callimachus.
Beginning with the charges "hysterical women" make against the power of art, art diminished synecdochally as the "palette and fiddle-bow," the poem engages in sequence Shakespearean tragedy, the fall of civilizations, and the impermanence of classical Greek sculpture ("No handiwork of Callimachus, / Who handled marble as if it were bronze, / Made draperies that seemed to rise / When sea-wind swept the corner, stands"), all before turning to the final section that describes and animates Yeats's lapis sculpture.
It is hard for contemporary readers to imagine the popularity once enjoyed by the sort of epigrammatic poetry in which Posidippus excelled, together with Callimachus, Hedylus, and Meleager among the Greeks and Catullus and Martial among the Romans.
In "For Edgar Bowers" she calls to mind Callimachus, classics, epics by the sea, and hears the Pacific Coast's sounds, remembering the teacher with whom she and Bowers studied and the poetry of Paul Valery that inspired Bowers: "Your poems live, the spirit's breath and seed, / Hades, who would take all, spares them his greed" (37).
Thus, we can trace developments back in time--for instance, one can postulate Hyde as Panizzi's predecessor, Maunsell as Hyde's, and so on, back to Callimachus in the great library at Alexandria.
It would at any rate seem appropriate to attribute joy to Theseus and his companions on Delos as they performed their victory dance; joy is certainly what one feels in the historical evocation by Callimachus.
The allusions Markley identifies in "Tiresias" to Euripides, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Callimachus work collectively to glance backward to Ares' perennial rage against Thebes because of its founder, to Tiresias' past blinding, and to the immediate cause of war against Thebes in Oedipus' sin against the gods and his sons' battle for power.