The Ancient Library

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On this page: Apollodorus – Apollonius



of him is the Apollo Belvedere in the Vati­can (fig. 1), which represents him either as fighting with the Pythian dragon, or with his segis frightening back the foes who threaten to storm his sanctuary. Other great works, as the Apollo Musagetes in the Vatican, probably from the hand of Scopas, show him as a Citharcedus in the long Ionian robe, or nude as in fig. 2. The Apollo Sauroctfinus (lizard-killer), copied from a bronze statue by Praxiteles, is es­pecially celebrated for its beauty. It re­presents a delicate youthful figure leaning against a tree, dart in hand, ready to stab a lizard that is crawling up the tree. It is preserved in bronze at the Villa Albani in Rome, and in marble at Paris.


(Rome, Capitoline Museum.)

Apollfldorns. (1) A Greek poet of the New Comedy, born at Carystus, between 300 and 260 b.c. He wrote forty-seven plays, and won five victories. From him Terence bor­rowed the plots of his Phormio and Hecyra.

(2) A Greek grammarian and historian, of Athens, about 140 b.c., a pupil of Aris-tarchus and the Stoic Pansetius. He was a most prolific writer on grammar, mythology, geography, and history. Some of his works were written in iambic senflrii, e.g. a geo­graphy, and the Chronica, a condensed

enumeration of the most important data in history and literature from the fall of Troy, which he places in b.c. 1183, down to his own time, undoubtedly the most important of ancient works on the subject. Besides fragments, we have under his name a book entitled JBibliothe'ca, a great storehouse of mythological material from the oldest theo-gonies down to Theseus, and, with all its faults of arrangement and treatment, a valuable aid to our knowledge of Greek mythology. Yet there are grounds for doubting whether it is from his hand at all, whether it is even an extract from his great work, On the Gods, in twenty-four books.

(3) A Greek painter of Athens, about 420 b.c., the first who graduated light and shade in his pictures, whence he received the name of Sciagraphus (shadow-painter). This in­vention entitled him to be regarded as the founder of a new style, which aimed at producing illusion by pictorial means, and which was carried on further by his younger contemporary Zeuxis. [Pliny, H.N., 35. 60],

(4) A Greek architect of Damascus, who lived for a time at Rome, where amongst other things he built Trajan's Forum and Trajan's Column. He was first banished and then put to death under Hadrian, A.D. 129, having incurred that emperor's anger by the freedom of his rebukes. We have a work by him on Engines of War, ad­dressed to Hadrian.

Apollonius, (1) the Shod/an. A Greek scholar and epic poet of the Alexandrian age, born at Alexandria about 260 b.c., a pupil of Calllmachus, wrote a long epic, The Argonauttca, in four books, in which, departing from his master's taste for the learned and artificial, he aimed at all the simplicity of Homer. The party of Calli-machus rejected the poem, and Apollonius retired in disgust to Rhodes, where his labours as a rhetorician, and his newly re­vised poem, won him hearty recognition and even admission to the citizenship. Hence his surname. Afterwards, returning to Alexandria, he recited his poem once more, and this time with universal applause, so that Ptolemy Eplphines, in b.c. 196, ap­pointed him to succeed Eratosthenes as librarian. He probably died during the tenure of this office. His epic poem, which has survived, has a certain simplicity, though falling far short of the naturalness and beauty of Homer; its uniform mediocrity often makes it positively tedious, though it is constructed with great care, especially in its versification. By the Romans it was much

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.