The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


our transition into some other state of existence, by which the philoso­phers, poets, and ordinary men of those times were equally perplexed. But, however gloomy this view of things might be, it was compatible with a not unpleasing pathos, and raised their amatory and convivial ef­fusions above vulgar voluptuousness or mere festive riot.1


I. The earliest known collection of inscriptions was made by the geog­rapher Polemon (B.C. 200), in a work irepl t&v Kara ir6\eis eiriypawdrw.3 He also wrote other works on votive offerings, which probably contained the epigrammatic inscriptions on them. Similar collections were made by Alcetas, irepl t&v ev AeA$o?s aj/aOfj^drwv ;4 by Menetor, sv r$ Trepl ava-^arcoj/;5 and perhaps by Apellas Ponticus. These persons collected chiefly the inscriptions on offerings (avaefoara). Epigrams of other kinds were also collected, as the Theban Epigrams, by Aristodemus ;6 the Attic, by Philochorus; and others by Neoptolemus of Paros,7 and Euhemerus.8

II. The above compilers chiefly collected epigrams of particular classes, and with reference to their use as historical authorities. The first person who made such a collection solely for its own sake, and to preserve epi­grams of all kinds, was meleager, a Cynic philosopher of Gadara, in Palestine, about B.C. 60. His collection contained epigrams by no less than forty-six poets of all ages of Greek poetry, up to the most ancient lyric period. He entitled it the Garland (Zrtyavos), with reference, of course, to the common comparison of small beautiful poems to flowers; and, in the introduction to his work, he attaches the names of various flowers, shrubs, and herbs, as emblems, to the names of the several poets. The same idea is kept up in the word Anthology (avQoXoyla), or "nosegay," which was adopted by the next compiler as the title of his work. The Garland of Meleager was arranged in alphabetical order, according to the initial letters of the first line of each epigram.

III. In the time of Trajan, as it seems, philip of thessalonica com­piled his Anthology ('AvfloAoyfa), avowedly in imitation of the Garland of Meleager, and chiefly with the view of adding to that collection the epi­grams of more recent writers. The arrangement of this work was the same as that of Meleager. It was also entitled o-rtyaj/os, as well as w-QoXoyia. Another title by which it is quoted is <rv\Xoy% viw eVrypa^a-ruv. Shortly after Philip, in the reign of Hadrian, the learned gramma­rian, diogenianus of Heraclea, compiled an Anthology, which is entirely lost. It might, perhaps, have been well if the same fate had befallen the very polluted, though often beautiful collection of his contemporary, Stra-ton of Sardis. About the same time, Diogenes Laertius collected the epi­grams, which are interspersed, in his lives of the philosophers, into a sep­arate book, under the title of tj ird^erpos. This collection, however, as containing only the poems of Diogenes himself, must rather be viewed as

1 Penny Cyclop., vol. ii., p. 95. 2 Smith, Diet. Biog., s. v. Planudes. 3 Athen., x., p. 436, d.; p. 442, e. 4 Id., xin., p. 591, c. 5 Id. ib., p. 594, d. 6 Schol. in Apoll. Rhod., ii., 906. 7 Athen., x., p. 454,/. 8 Lactant., Instit. Div., L, 9 ; -Clc,, N. !>., i., 42,


About | Preface | Contents | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.