Alexander Aetolus

Alexander Aetolus

Alexander Aetolus (Gr. polytonic|Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Αἰτωλός) was a Greek poet and grammarian, the only known representative of Aetolian poetry.cite encyclopedia | last = Schmitz | first = Leonhard | authorlink = | title = Alexander | editor = William Smith | encyclopedia = Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology | volume = 1 | pages = 111 | publisher = Little, Brown and Company | location = Boston | year = 1867 | url = ] He was the son of Satyrus and Stratocleia, and was a native of Pleuron in Aetolia, although he spent the greater part of his life at Alexandria, where he was reckoned one of the seven tragic poets who constituted the Tragic Pleiad. [Suda, "s. v."] [Eudoc. p. 62] [Pausanias, "Description of Greece" ii. 22. § 7] [Scholiast, "ad Hom "Il. xvi. 233] He flourished about 280 BC, in the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

He had an office in the Library of Alexandria, and was commis­sioned by Ptolemy to make a collection of all the tragedies and satyric dramas that were extant. He spent some time, together with Antagoras and Aratus, at the court of Antigonus II Gonatas. [Aratus, "Phaenomena et Diosem." ii. pp. 431, 443, &c. 446, ed. Buhle] Notwithstanding the distinction he enjoyed as a tragic poet, he appears to have had greater merit as a writer of epic poems, elegies, epigrams, and cynaedi. Among his epic poems, we possess the titles and some fragments of three pieces: the "Fisherman", [polytonic|ἁλιεὺς, Athenaeus, vii. p. 296] "Kirka" or "Krika", [Athenaeus, vii. p. 283] which, how­ever, is designated by Athenaeus as doubtful, and "Helena", [August Immanuel Bekker, "Anecdota Graeca" p. 96] Of his elegies, some beautiful fragments are still extant. [Athenaeus, iv. p. 170, xi. p. 496, xv. p. 899] [Strabo, xii. p. 556, xiv. p. 681] [Parthen. "Erot." 4] [John Tzetzes, "ad. Lycophr." 266] [Scholiast and Eustathius, "ad Il. iii. 314] His Cynaedi, or "Ionic poems" (polytonic|Ἰωνικὰ ποιήματα), are mentioned by Strabo [Strabo, xiv. p. 648] and Athenaeus. [Athenaeus, xiv. p. 620] Some anapaestic verses in praise of Euripides are preserved in Gellius. [Aulus Gellius, xv. 20]


Other sources

*Meineke, "Analecta Alexandrina" (1853)
*Bergk, "Poetae Lyrici Graeci"
*Auguste Couat, "La Poésie alexandrine" (1882).

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