The Ancient Library

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On this page: Calix – Callicrates – Callimachus – Callinus – Calliope – Callirrhoe – Callisthenes



Calix. See vessels.

CallicrateB (Qr. Kallikrdtes). A Greek architect who, together with Ictlnus, built the Parthenon (g.v.~).

Calllmachus (Gr. Ka.lHmac.hOs). (1) A Greek artist, who flourished in the second half of the 5th century B.C. He was the in­ventor of the Corinthian order of pillar, and the art of boring marble is also attributed to him, though perhaps he did no more than bring it to perfection. The ancient critics represent him as unwearied in polishing and perfecting his work; indeed, they allege that his productions lost something through their excessive refinement and purity. One of his celebrated works was the golden chandelier in the Erechtheum at Athens.

(2) A Greek scholar and poet, the chief representative of the Alexandrian school. He was the son of Battus, and thus sprung from the noble family of the Battladae. He at first gave his lectures in a suburb of Alexandria; but was afterwards summoned by Ptolemy Philadelphus to the Museum there, and in about 260 b.c. was made president of the library. He held this office till his death, which took place about 240 b.c. He did a great service to literature by sifting and cataloguing the numerous books collected at Alexandria. The results of his labours were published in his great work called Plndkes, or "Tablets." This contained 120 books, and was a catalogue, arranged in chronological order, of the works contained in the library, with obser­vations on their genuineness, an indication of the first and last word in each book, and a note of its bulk. This work laid the foundation of a critical study of Greek literature. 800 works, partly in prose, partly in verse, were attributed altogether to Callimachus; but it is to be observed that he avoided, on principle, the compo­sition of long poems, so as to be able to give more thought to the artistic elabora­tion of details. The essence of Callimachus' verse is art and learning, not poetic genius in the real sense. Indeed, some of his compositions had a directly learned object; the Aitla, or " Causes," for instance. This was a collection of elegiac poems in four books, treating, with great erudition, of the foundation of cities, the origin of religious ceremonies, and the like.

Through his writings, as well as through his oral instruction, Callimachus exercised an immense influence, not only on the course of learning, but on the poetical tendencies

j of the Alexandrian school. Among his pupils were the most celebrated savants I of the time, Eratosthenes, Aristophanes of I Byzantium, Apollonius of Ehodes, and | others. Of his writings only a very few have survived in a complete state: these are, six hymns, five of which are in epic and one in elegiac form, and sixty-four epigrams. The hymns, both in their language and their matter, attest the learned taste of their author. His elegy, entitled the Coma Berenices, or " Lock of Berenice," is imi­tated by Catullus in one of his remaining pieces. Ovid, in the twentieth of his HerOldfs, as well as in his Ibis, took poems of Callimachus for his models. Indeed, the Romans generally set a very high value on his elegies, and liked to imitate them. Of his other works in prose and poetry—among the latter may be mentioned a very popular epic called HScate—only fragments have survived.

Callinus (Gr. KalllnOs), the creator of the Greek political elegy, was a native of Ephesua, and flourished, probably, about 700 b.c., at the time when the kings of Lydia were harassing the Greek colonies of Asia Minor by constant wars. One elegy from his hand has survived, in which, in a simple and manly tone, he endeavours to kindle the degenerate youth of his father­land to courage and patriotism.

CaUI6pe (Gr. KdlllSpe). See mdses. Callirrhde (Gr. KdUirrJiOe). See acarnan and alcileon.

Callisthenes (Gr. KallisthSnSs). A Greek historian, born at Olynthus about 360 b.c. He was a relation of Aristotle, from whom he received instruction at the same time as Alexander the Great. He accompanied Alexander on his Asiatic campaign, and offended him by refusing to pay him servile homage after the Persian fashion, and by other daring exhibitions of independence. The consequence was that the king threw his friend into prison on the pretext that he was concerned in a conspiracy against his life. Callisthenes died in captivity in 328 B.C., in consequence, probably, of mal­treatment. Of his historical writings, par­ticularly those dealing with the exploits of Alexander, only fragments remain; but he was always ranked among the most famous historians. Indeed, his reputation as the companion of Alexander and the historian of his achievements maintained itself so well, that he was made responsible in literature for the romantic narrative of Alexander's life which grew up in the fol-

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