Article

Agathias

Averil M. Cameron

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics


Published online December 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.180

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Agathias, also referred to as Agathias Scholasticus (‘lawyer’), historian, and poet in *Constantinople, c.ce 532–c.580. A native of Myrina in Aeolis, where his father was a rhetor, he was educated at *Alexandria (1) and Constantinople, where he later practised law, a profession about whose conditions he complains in his Histories. His poetic activity began early, with a lost Daphniaca, amatory hexameters, and he is the author of numerous *epigrams in classical style on personal and traditional subjects, including love poems; *Nonnus was a major influence in style, vocabulary, and versification. Many of these, as well as poems by his contemporaries, including Paul the Silentiary (see paulus) and other officials, were included by him in a collection known as the Cycle, compiled, or at any rate completed, in the early years of Justin II (ce 565–78), and modelled on the earlier Garland of *Meleager (2) (see anthology).

Article.  425 words. 

Subjects: Byzantine Studies

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