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Headword: *)/aratos
Adler number: alpha,3745
Translated headword: Aratus, Aratos
Vetting Status: high
From Soloi in Cilicia (for there is also a city Soloi on Cyprus), son of Athenodoros. His brothers [were] Myris, Kalondas, Athenodoros[1]. He was a student of the grammarian Menecrates of Ephesus[2], and of the philosopher Timon[3] and of Menedemus[4], having lived[5] in the 124th Olympiad,[6] when the king of Macedonia was Antigonus, Demetrius Poliorcetes' son, who was called Gonatas[7]. Aratus both lived with him and died at his court. He was a contemporary of Antagoras the Rhodian and Alexander the Aetolian;[8] epic poet. He composed the following books:[9]
Phainomena[10], whose introduction [is] wonderful, and which emulates Homer;[11]
Hymns to Pan;[12]
Astrologia and Astrothesia;[15]
Synthesis Pharmakon;[16]
Theriakon Epitedeia;[17]
To Theopropos;[20]
To Antigonus;[21]
To Phila, the daughter of Antipater, wife of Antigonus;[25]
To Pausanias the Macedonian;[27]
Lament for Kleombrotos;[28]
Edition of the Odyssey;[29]
Letters, similarly, in prose.[30]
But [the adjective] a)/rraton [means] strong, sturdy. So Plato [uses it].[31]
But [the participle] a)ra/ttwn [means] beating, striking.[32]
Greek Original:
*)/aratos, *soleu\s th=s *kiliki/as [e)/sti ga\r kai\ e)n *ku/prw| po/lis *so/loi], ui(o\s *)aqhnodw/rou. a)delfoi\ de\ au)tou= *mu/ris, *kalw/ndas, *)aqhno/- dwros. a)kousth\s de\ e)ge/neto grammatikou= me\n tou= *)efesi/ou *menekra/tous, filoso/fou de\ *ti/mwnos kai\ *menedh/mou, gegonw\s e)n th=| rkd# *)olumpia/di, o(/te h)=n *)anti/gonos basileu\s *makedoni/as, ui(o\s *dhmhtri/ou tou= *poliorkhtou=, o( *gonata=s klhqei/s: kai\ sunw/|kei te au)tw=| kai\ par' au)tw=| e)teleu/thse, su/gxronos *)antago/ra| tw=| *(rodi/w| kai\ *)aleca/ndrw| tw=| *ai)twlw=|: e)popoio/s. sune/tace de\ bibli/a tau=ta: ta\ *faino/mena, w(=n qauma/sios h( ei)sbolh\ kai\ o( zh=los *(omhriko/s: u(/mnous ei)s *pa=na, *spondofo/rous, *pai/gnia, *)astrologi/an kai\ *)astroqesi/an, *su/nqesin farma/kwn, *qhriakw=n e)pith/deia, *)anqrwpogoni/an, *)epiqutiko\n, ei)s *qeo/propon, ei)s *)anti/gonon, *)hqopoii/+as, e)pistola\s, e)pigra/mmata ei)s *fi/lan th\n qugate/ra *)antipa/trou, gunai=ka de\ *)antigo/nou, *)anatomh\n, ei)s *pausani/an to\n *makedo/na, *)epikh/deion to\n *kleombro/tou, *dio/rqwsin *)odussei/as, e)pistola\s o(moi/ws kataloga/dhn. *)/arraton de\ i)sxuro\n, stereo/n. ou(/tws *pla/twn. *)ara/ttwn de\ plh/ttwn, krou/wn.
c.315-before 240 BCE. See generally G.J. Toomer and Alexander Jones in OCD(4) 132, under Aratus(1).
This Suda life is one of more than five that descend from a common source, dating perhaps as early as the third century BCE (Martin, HT 151, 194).
[1] Aratus' brother Myris was a student of Zeno (Diogenes Laertius 7.38), and wrote on Homeric questions (Vita III). On Soloi, see sigma 781.
[2] The fragments of the Erga of a Menecrates of Ephesus, who may be the teacher of Aratus, are collected in Supplementum Hellenisticum 542-550.
[3] Tau 631. Diogenes Laertius 9.113 offers an anecdote in which Aratus and Timon discuss Homeric texts.
[4] Diogenes Laertius 2.133 brings Aratus into contact with Menedemus in the company of Lycophron and Antagoras of Rhodes.
[5] Vita I cites the 125th Olympiad, which includes Antigonus' victory at Lysimacheia (277 BCE) and his marriage to Phila (276 BCE). Martin (HT 163) comments that the vagueness of this participle (gegonw/s) may reveal the writer's uncertainty about chronological details.
[6] 284-81 BCE.
[7] c. 320-239 BCE.
[8] Antagoras lived in the first half of the third century and his fragments are collected at Gow and Page 2.29-31. Alexander (alpha 1127) was born c. 315 and his fragments are collected at Powell 120-21.
[9] Although the Suda's list is an important source for the fragments of Aratus, it presents some difficulties as well. Most of the works referred to are lost, and the lists of titles in other biographies are not identical to these or to one another. Furthermore, in a list of this sort, it is not clear where one title ends and the next begins. All references to lost works are collected in Supplementum Hellenisticum, with a summary of the discussion surrounding each one. The SH fragment numbers are cited in the notes below.
[10] Editions: Kidd, Martin.
[11] Ancient commentators debated whether Aratus should properly be seen as inspired by Homer or by Hesiod, e.g. Martin, Histoire 21.
[12] SH 115. Other lives mention only one Hymn to Pan; Maass 247 suggests that "Spondophoroi" and "To Pan" may both be referred to under the heading, "Hymns;" Usener (Kl. Schr. 3.405) associates the Hymn to Pan with the wedding of Antigonus and Phila, following as it did the battle of Lysimacheia, where Pan fought as the divine ally of the Macedonian troops. Barigazzi believed that he had identified fragments of this hymn, but his suggestion has not found wide acceptance.
[13] "Libation Bearers"? "Treaty Bearers"? SH 114; perhaps this title represents a subdivision of Hymns, parallel to "To Pan."
[14] ("Light Verse") SH 111; known only from this life.
[15] SH 88; Martin (HT 283) and Ludwig 27f. suggest that these titles refer to the first, astronomical, section of the Phaenomena.
[16] "Composition of Drugs" SH 98.
[17] "Useful Things for Animals"? SH 94. The Suda is the only source for this work. Maass 248 read su/nqesin farma/kwn qhria/kwn e)pithdei/an "Useful Recipes for Remedies for Poisonous Animals"
[18] "The Origin of Human Beings"? SH 93.
[19] "For Incense-burning"? SH 102, which queries whether this title represents the same work as *skuqiko/n in Vita I p. 9 Martin.
[20] SH 103, identified as an Epikedeion, a lament or dirge. According to *s ad Ph. 259 (p. 206 Martin) Aratus told the story of the Pleiad Electra in this work. Maass 234 identifies Theopropus as an associate of Menedemus.
[21] SH 99.
[22] "Character Sketches," SH 107.
[23] SH 106 cites Maass's suggestion (236) that the term "ethopoiai" describes the letters, comparing Ovid's Heroides.
[24] SH 101. Two epigrams attributed to Aratus survive, Greek Anthology 11.437; 12.129 = Gow-Page 760 ss.
[25] SH 116. The recurring family names have led to an error here; Phila, daughter of Antipater, was Antigonus' mother; Phila, daughter of Seleucus, was Antigonus' wife. (Adler [addenda] notes that Usener postulated a lacuna after 'Antipater'.)
[26] SH 92; known only from the Suda; perhaps, rather, Anatole; cf. SH 86?
[27] SH 112, known only from the Suda.
[28] SH 104.
[29] SH 118; mentioned in Vitae 1 and 3, Diogenes Laertius 9.113.
[30] SH 119.
[31] Plato Cratylus 407D, Republic 535C; see the scholia there.
[32] This addendum and the preceding one simply note words similar to the poet's name: see web address 1 and web address 2 below; also alpha 3742, eta 482.
A. Barigazzi. "Un frammento dell' inno a Pan di Arato." Rheinisches Museum 117 (1974) 221-46
D. A. Kidd, Aratus. Phaenomena. Cambridge 1997
H. Lloyd-Jones, and P. Parsons, editors. Supplementum Hellenisticum. Berlin & NY 1983
W. Ludwig. "Aratos" RE Suppl. X, 1965, 26-39
E. Maass. Aratea. Philologisches Untersuchungen 12. Berlin 1892
Jean Martin. Histoire du texte des Phénomenes d'Aratos. Paris, 1956
Scholia in Aratum Vetera. Stuttgart, 1974
Aratos. Phénomenes. Paris (Belles Lettres) 1998
A. S. F. Gow and D. L. Page, Hellenistic Epigrams. Cambridge 1965
J. U. Powell. Collectanea Alexandrina Oxford, 1925
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; chronology; epic; geography; poetry; science and technology; women
Translated by: Mary Pendergraft on 21 July 2000@16:11:12.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (Cosmetic changes.) on 1 September 2000@01:41:03.
Ross Scaife ✝ on 1 September 2000@07:59:18.
Catharine Roth (Raised status.) on 1 September 2000@22:18:27.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 23 August 2002@07:25:48.
Catharine Roth (added betacode, modified link, added italics and cross-references) on 22 November 2006@01:12:25.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 7 January 2009@00:31:46.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 10 April 2012@05:53:15.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes and links) on 20 November 2013@01:00:36.
David Whitehead (expanded a note) on 24 January 2014@07:00:49.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 2 January 2015@00:12:26.


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