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4. Choerilus, probably of Iasos, a worthless epic poet in the train of Alexander the Great. (Curtius, 8.5.8.) Horace says of him (Ep. 2.1. 232-234),

" Gratus Alexandro regi Magno fuit ille
Choerilus, incultis qui versibus et male natis
Rettulit acceptos, regale nomisma, Philippos;" and (Art. Poet. 357, 358),

" Sic mihi, qui multum cessat, fit Choerilus ille,
Quem bis torque bonum cum risu miror"

From the former passage it is evident that we must refer to this Choerilus the statement of Suidas respecting Choerilus of Samos, that he received a gold stater for every verse of his poem. However liberally Alexander may have paid Choerilus for his flattery, he did not conceal his contempt for his poetry, at least if we may believe Acron, who remarks on the second of the above passages, that Alexander used to tell Choerilus that " he would rather be the Thersites of Homer than the Achilles of Choerilus." The same writer adds, that Choerilus bargained with Alexander for a piece of gold for every good verse, and a blow for every bad one; and the bad verses were so numerous, that he was beaten to death. This appears to be merely a joke.

Suidas assigns to Choerilus of Samos a poem entitled Λαμιακά, and other poems. But in all probability that poem related to the Lamian war, B. C. 323; and, if so, it must have been the composition of this later Choerilus. To him also Näke assigns the epitaph on Sardanapalus, which is preserved by Strabo (xiv. p.672), by Athenaeus (viii. p. 336a., who says, that it was translated by Choerihus from the Chaldee, xii. p. 529f.; compare Diod. 2.23; Tzetz. Chil. 3.453), and in the Greek Anthology. (Brunck, Anal. i. p. 185; Jacobs, i. p. 117; see Jacobs, Animadv. vol. i. pt. 1, p. 376.)


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323 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 8.5.8
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 2.23
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