Article

Aratus

Helen Van Noorden

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0102
Aratus

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Art and Architecture
  • Classical History
  • Classical Literature
  • Classical Philosophy

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Aratus of Soli (3rd century bce) is the author of the Phaenomena, a hexameter poem of just over one thousand lines on constellations and weather signs, presented as clues to the will of Zeus. This work, combining interpretations of Hesiodic poetry with the material of astronomical and meteorological treatises, prompted numerous translations and commentaries within Antiquity and is a prominent model for didactic literature such as Virgil’s Georgics, Book 2. Aratus’s acquaintance with Stoic ideas is apparent particularly in the Phaenomena’s introduction, which takes the form of a hymn to Zeus. The astronomical part of the poem may be subdivided into a map of the constellations followed by a description of star belts and how to estimate time from risings and settings; the second part, titled Diosemeiae in some manuscripts, is concerned with weather signs in nature and in animal behavior. Aratus was much praised by his contemporaries, but nothing survives of his other works, which included encomia, an anthology of “light verse,” didactic letters, and works on planets.

Article.  7580 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.