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Philēmon

Φιλήμων). A Greek poet of the New Attic Comedy, of Soli in Cilicia, or of Syracuse, born about B.C. 362. He came early to Athens, and first appeared as an author in the year 330. He must have enjoyed remarkable popularity, for he repeatedly won victories over his younger contemporary and rival Menander, whose delicate wit was apparently less to the taste of the Athenians of the time than Philemon's more showy comedy. To later times his successes over Menander were so unintelligible as to be ascribed to the influence of malice and intrigue. Except a short sojourn in Egypt with King Ptolemy Philadelphus, he passed his life at Athens. He there died, nearly a hundred years old, but with mental vigour unimpaired, in the year 262, according to the story, at the moment of his being crowned on the stage. Of his ninety-seven works, fifty-seven are known to us by titles and fragments, and two are preserved in the Latin version of Plautus (Mercator and Trinummus). The remains of Philemon are published in Meineke's collection, and by Bach (Halle, 1829).

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