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Meleager

(fl. 100 bc)


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(fl. 100 bc),

Greek poet and philosopher from Gadara in Syria; lived in Tyre and retired to Cos in old age. His autobiographical poems claim that he spoke Greek, Syrian, and Phoenician. His chief claim to fame is his Garland, a substantial collection of epigrams by poets of the preceding two centuries, artistically arranged. His preface names all his contributors, assigning each the name of a flower. His own poems are almost entirely erotic, addressed indifferently to boys and girls. His themes are taken from predecessors, but developed with extraordinary versatility and felicity of expression. His language is sometimes simple but often flamboyant, with all the traditional imagery of Cupids, bows, torches, thunderbolts, and honey, but his metre follows precise rules.

See too anthology; cynics; epigram, greek.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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