1. A grammarian and bucolic poet, a native of Syracuse.
He lived about the close of the third century B. C., and, according to Suidas (s. v. Μόσχος
), was acquainted with Aristarchus.
He calls himself a pupil of Bion, in the Idyl in which he bewails the death of the latter [BION].
But it is difficult to say whether he means more than that he imitated Bion. Of his personal history we know nothing further.
Of his compositions we have extant four idyls:
The last of these is written in the Ionic dialect, with but few Dorisms.
Besides these larger pieces, there are three small fragments and an epigram extant.
The idyls of Moschus were at first intermixed with those of Theocritus, and one or two of those ascribed to Theocritus have been, though without sufficient reason, supposed to be the productions of Moschus, as, for example, the 20th and 28th. Eudocia (p. 408) ascribes to Theocritus the third of the Idyls of Moschus.
But they have since been carefully separated, on the authority of MSS. and quotations in Stobaeus.
To judge from the pieces which are extant, Moschus was capable of writing with elegance and liveliness; but he is inferior to Bion, and comes still farther behind Theocritus. His style labours under an excess of polish and ornament.
The idyls of Moschus have been usually edited with those of Bion.
The editions are too many to be enumerated; for the best the reader is referred to BION.
The poems of Moschus have been frequently translated and imitated in English, German, French, Italian, Hungarian, and Russian.
Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. iii. p. 805, &c.