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Alexander Aeto'lus

Ἀλέξανδρος Αἰτωλός), a Greek poet and grammarian, who lived in the reign of Ptolemaeus Philadelphus. He was the son of Satyrus and Stratocleia, and a native of Pleuron in Aetolia, but spent the greater part of his life at Alexandria, where he was reckoned one of the seven tragic poets who constituted the tragic pleiad. (Suid. s.v. Eudoc. p. 62; Paus. 2.22.7; Schol. ad Hom. Il. 16.233.) He had an office in the library at Alexandria, and was commissioned by the king to make a collection of all the tragedies and satyric dramas that were extant. He spent some time, together with Antagoras and Aratus, at the court of Antigonus Gonatas. (Aratus, Phaenomena et Diosem. ii. pp. 431, 443, &c. 446, ed. Buhle.)


Notwithstanding the distinction he enjoyed as a tragic poet, he appears to have had greater merit as a writer of epic poems, elegies, epigrams, and cynaedi. Among his epic poems, we possess the titles and some fragments of three pieces : the Fisherman (ἁλιεὺς, Athen. 7.296), Kirka or Krika (Athen. 7.283), which, however, is designated by Athenaeus as doubtful, and Helena. (Bekker, Anecd. p. 96.)

Of his elegies, some beautiful fragments are still extant. (Athen. 4.170, xi. p. 496, xv. p. 899; Strab. xii. p.556, xiv. p. 681; Parthen. Erot. 4; Tzetz. ad Lycophr. 266; Schol. and Eustath. ad Il. 3.314.)

His Cynaedi, or Ἰωνικὰ ποιήματα, are mentioned by Strabo (xiv. p.648) and Athenaeus. (xiv. p. 620.)

Some anapaestic verses in praise of Euripides are preserved in Gellius. (15.20.)


All the fragments of Alexander Aetolus are collected in "Alexandri Aetoli fragment coll. et ill. A. Capellmann," Bonn, 1829, 8vo.; comp. Welcker, Die Griech. Tragödien, p. 1263, &c.; Dützer, Die Fragm. der Episch. Poesie der Griechen, von Alexand. dem Grossen,&c p. 7, &c.


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