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ALEXANDRINE PERIOD. 369
Tatius, the Commentary of Hipparchus, in three books, and another, attributed by Petavius to Achilles Tatius, are printed in the Uranologium, with a list of other commentators (p. 267, seqq.), which includes the names of Aristarchus, Geminus, and Erastosthenes. Parts of three poetical translations are preserved: one written by Cicero, when very young ; one by Caesar Germanicus, the grandson of Augustus ; and one by Festus Avienus.
The earliest edition of Aratus is that of Aldus, Venice, 1499, fol. The principal later ones are that of Grotius, Leyden, 1600, 4to, headed " Syntagma Arateorum," and containing the Greek text, the versions, and valuable notes, with copperplates of the constellations, copied from some old manuscript; that of Fell, Oxford, 1672, 8vo, styled by Fabricius " editio perquam nitida et castigata," containing also the scholia; that of Buhle, Leipzig, 1793-1801, 2 vols. 8vo, with the three Latin versions mentioned above; that of Matthias, Frankfort, 1817, 8vo; of Voss, Heidelberg, 1824, 8vo, with a German poetical version; of Buttmann, Berlin, 1826, 8vo ; and of Bekker, Berlin, 1828, 8vo. The Atocnj-/xeta, or Prognostica, were edited by Foster, London, 1813, 8vo.
2. nicander (Nt'/ccu/fyos),1 a physician, poet, and grammarian, of whose life very few particulars are found in ancient authors, and even these few are doubtful and contradictory. It seems most probable, upon the whole, that he lived about B.C. 135,2 in the reign of Attains III., the last king of Pergamus, to whom he dedicated one of his poems, which is no longer extant. His native place, as he himself informs us, was Claros,3 a city of Ionia, near Colophon, whence he is commonly called Colophonius,* and he succeeded his father as hereditary priest of Apollo Clarius. He appears to have been rather a voluminous writer, as the titles of more than twenty of his works have been preserved ; but of all these we possess at present only two in a perfect state, with a few fragments of some of the others. Both are poems. The longer one of these poems is entitled ©ripiaKoi, and consists of nearly a thousand lines in hexameter verse. It is dedicated to a person named Hermesianax, who must not be confounded with the poet of that name. It treats (as the name imports) of venomous animals, and the wounds inflicted by them, and contains some curious and interesting zoological passages, together with numerous absurd fables. His other poem, called 'AAe^a/jyucwca, consists of more than six hundred lines, written in the same measure. It is dedicated to a person named Protagoras, and treats of poisons and their antidotes.
Among the ancients, Meander's authority in all matters relating to toxicology seems to have been considered high. Galen several times quotes him, and Dioscorides, Aetius, and other medical authors have made frequent use of his works. Plutarch, Diphilus, and others, wrote commentaries on his Theriacaj Marianus paraphrased it in iambic verse; and Eutecnius wrote a paraphrase in prose of both poems, which is still extant. Among the moderns, on the other hand, Haller has passed a very severe judgment on both productions. To counterbalance, however, in some degree, his unfavorable opinion, it ought in justice to be stated, that the knowledge of natural history possessed by Nicander appears to be at least equal to that of other writers of his own or even a later age.
i Smith, .Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Compare Clinton, Fast. Hell., vol. iii., s. a. 3 TJieriaca, in fine. 4 Cic., De Orat., L, 16,