Alexander Aetolus


Biography of Alexander Aetolus

Alexander Aetolus (Ancient Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Αἰτωλός) was a Greek poet and grammarian, the only known representative of Aetolian poetry.

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.

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.

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, Kirka or Krika, which, however, is designated by Athenaeus as doubtful, and Helena, Of his elegies, some beautiful fragments are still extant. His Cynaedi, or Ionic poems (Ἰωνικὰ ποιήματα), are mentioned by Strabo and Athenaeus. Some anapaestic verses in praise of Euripides are preserved in Gellius.

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