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Headword: Καλλίμαχος
Adler number: kappa,227
Translated headword: Callimachus, Kallimachos, Kallimakhos
Vetting Status: high
Son of Battus and Mesatma, of Cyrene. Grammarian. A pupil of Hermocrates of Iasus, a grammarian.[1] He married the daughter of Euphrates of Syracuse; his sister's son was the younger Callimachus, who wrote on islands in epic verse.[2] He was so diligent that he wrote poems in every metre, and compiled very many works in prose; in fact, he wrote more than 800 books. He lived in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Before he became connected with the king, he taught grammar in Eleusis, a small village in Alexandria. He survived until Ptolemy, called Euergetes, in the 127th Olympiad, in the second year of which Ptolemy Euergetes' reign commenced.[3] His books are as follows: The Coming of Io; Semele; The Founding of Argos [Myth, Place]; Arcadia; Glaucus; Hopes; satyr plays; tragedies; comedies;[4] lyric poems; Ibus (this is a poem deliberately made obscure and abusive, addressed to one Ibus, who was an enemy of Callimachus: he was in fact Apollonius,[5] who wrote the Argonautica); Museum; Tables of Men Distinguished in Every Branch of Learning, and their Works (in 120 books); Table and Description of Teachers in Chronological Order from the Beginning; Table of Democrates' Rare Words and Compositions;[6] Names of the Months by Nation and City; Foundations of Islands and Cities, and their Changes of Name; On the Rivers in Europe; On Astonishing and Paradoxical Things in the Peloponnese and Italy; On the Changes in the Names of Fish; On Winds; On Birds; On Rivers in the Inhabited World; Collection of Marvels in the Whole World, Organised by Place.
Greek Original:
Καλλίμαχος, υἱὸς Βάττου καὶ Μεσάτμας, Κυρηναῖος, γραμματικός, μαθητὴς Ἑρμοκράτους τοῦ Ἰασέως, γραμματικοῦ: γαμετὴν ἐσχηκὼς τὴν Εὐφράτου τοῦ Συρακουσίου θυγατέρα. ἀδελφῆς δὲ αὐτοῦ παῖς ἦν ὁ νέος Καλλίμαχος, ὁ γράψας περὶ νήσων δι' ἐπῶν. οὕτω δὲ γέγονεν ἐπιμελέστατος, ὡς γράψαι μὲν ποιήματα εἰς πᾶν μέτρον, συντάξαι δὲ καὶ καταλογάδην πλεῖστα. καί ἐστιν αὐτῷ τὰ γεγραμμένα βιβλία ὑπὲρ τὰ ὀκτακοσία: ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν χρόνων ἦν Πτολεμαίου τοῦ Φιλαδέλφου. πρὶν δὲ συσταθῇ τῷ βασιλεῖ, γράμματα ἐδίδασκεν ἐν Ἐλευσῖνι, κωμυδρίῳ τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας. καὶ παρέτεινε μέχρι τοῦ Εὐεργέτου κληθέντος Πτολεμαίου, ὀλυμπιάδος δὲ ρκζ#, ἧς κατὰ τὸ δεύτερον ἔτος ὁ Εὐεργέτης Πτολεμαῖος ἤρξατο τῆς βασιλείας. τῶν δὲ αὐτοῦ βιβλίων ἐστὶ καὶ ταῦτα: Ἰοῦς ἄφιξις, Σεμέλη, Ἄργους οἰκισμός, Ἀρκαδία, Γλαῦκος, Ἐλπίδες, σατυρικὰ δράματα, τραγῳδίαι, κωμῳδίαι, μέλη, Ἴβος [ἔστι δὲ ποίημα ἐπιτετηδευμένον εἰς ἀσάφειαν καὶ λοιδορίαν, εἴς τινα Ἴβον, γενόμενον ἐχθρὸν τοῦ Καλλιμάχου: ἦν δὲ οὗτος Ἀπολλώνιος, ὁ γράψας τὰ Ἀργοναυτικά]: Μουσεῖον, Πίνακες τῶν ἐν πάσῃ παιδείᾳ διαλαμψάντων, καὶ ὧν συνέγραψαν, ἐν βιβλίοις κ# καὶ ρ#, Πίναξ καὶ ἀναγραφὴ τῶν κατὰ χρόνους καὶ ἀπ' ἀρχῆς γενομένων διδασκάλων, Πίναξ τῶν Δημοκράτους γλωσσῶν καὶ συνταγμάτων, Μηνῶν προσηγορίαι κατὰ ἔθνος καὶ πόλεις, Κτίσεις νήσων καὶ πόλεων καὶ μετονομασίαι, Περὶ τῶν ἐν Εὐρώπῃ ποταμῶν, Περὶ τῶν ἐν Πελοποννήσῳ καὶ Ἰταλίᾳ θαυμασίων καὶ παραδόξων, Περὶ μετονομασίας ἰχθύων, Περὶ ἀνέμων, Περὶ ὀρνέων, Περὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ οἰκουμένῃ ποταμῶν, Θαυμάτων τῶν εἰς ἅπασαν τὴν γῆν κατὰ τόπους ὄντων συναγωγή.
C3 BC. See generally RE Suppl. 5 and 13, Kallimachos(6); OCD4 Callimachus(3).
[1] RE Hermokrates(11).
[2] kappa 228: Callimachus.
[3] 271 BC. (Incorrect.)
[4] See Kassel-Austin, PCG IV p.55 (expressing doubt).
[5] alpha 3419: Apollonius.
[6] West (below) argues for changing γλωσσῶν "rare words" to γνωμῶν "sayings". Democritus was noted for his sayings, especially under the name Δημοκράτους 'of Democrates'. Given that Callimachus' πίνακες were "registers of literary productions" (Pfeiffer, p. 127f.), this would seem to make sense, since a πίναξ γλωσσῶν would be an odd way to refer to a glossary. But O'Brien has since argued for the traditional reading, calling attention to strange words used by Democritus, many preserved in ancient testimonia.
P.M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria (Oxford 1972) 452-6, 716-93
D. O'Brien, 'Démocrite d'Abdère', in R. Goulet, ed., Dictionnaire des Philosophes Antiques (Paris 1994), v. 2, 649-715
R. Pfeiffer, A History of Classical Scholarship (Oxford 1968) 123-40
M.L. West, 'The sayings of Democritus', Classical Review n.s. 19 (1969) 142
Keywords: biography; chronology; comedy; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; geography; mythology; poetry; tragedy; women; zoology
Translated by: Malcolm Heath on 29 January 2002@16:57:18.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 13 September 2002@07:22:07.
Monte Johnson (augmented notes and bibliography) on 29 May 2003@13:12:09.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 30 May 2003@03:14:38.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmeticule) on 3 April 2008@11:02:30.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; cosmetics) on 24 January 2013@09:27:02.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 2 August 2014@07:01:19.
David Whitehead (another note) on 23 December 2014@03:26:01.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 11 January 2015@23:53:53.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 24 March 2019@18:36:48.


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