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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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(13) There are four pairs of contrasts in total: the contrast between "palette," "fiddle-bow," "poets" and "Aeroplane," "Zeppelin," "bombballs" (14) in the first stanza; between "Hamlet," "Lear," "Ophelia," "Cordelia" and the "drop" of "curtain" and "scenes" in the second stanza; between the civilizations on "feet," "shipboard," "camel-back," "horse-back," "ass-back," "mule-back," and the civilizations "went to rack" in the third stanza; and between "handiwork," "marble," "draperies," "long lamp chimney" of the Greek artist Callimachus and that the handiwork "stood but a day" in the third stanza.
La carta de Aconcio sirve de medio para granjearse la voluntad de Cidipe, y con ello: "Ovid's readers are witness to the (re)-birth of modern love elegy in Rome: an artful practice nurtured (alternatively, or simultaneously) by the feeling of love and by a reading of Callimachus" (Barchiesi 362).
(41.) This story is told briefly and somewhat enigmatically in the Argonautica, so much so that some scholars think readers of the poem must have already known it from Callimachus; see Kohnken 2008, 79.
Acosta-Hughes; Stephens (2012, p.254) "to Ennius to Propertius, Virgil's recollection of Callimachus' dream, in which Gallus is imagined on Helicon and there initiated by the Muses (Ecl.
The next intertextual reference is to Callimachus' Hymn to Zeus by means of the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (v.
Everything was out of control and everything was going wrong." He recites the poem "Heraclitus" by William Johnson Cory, and the cabinet minister claims to be able to say it in Greek, no doubt the version by Callimachus translated by Cory (O&G, Penguin, 129-31).
His literary patronage is especially associated with the poets Callimachus and Theocritus, who, in turn, had great influence on later Greek and Latin authors.
The fried balls of dough covered in honey were referred to as "honey tokens'' by the poet Callimachus, whose reference is the earliest mention of any kind of pastry in European literature, she said.
The plays are Gallicanus parts one and two, Dulcitius, Callimachus, Abraham, Paphnutius, and Sapientia.
The Greek genius declined from Sophocles to Apollonius Rhodius and Callimachus, but Apollonius and Callimachus were fine craftsmen who still give pleasure to educated readers.