Biography of Theocritus
Theocritus was an Hellenistic Greek poet. The history of the pastoral begins with him, and in him the form seems to have reached its height.
Theocritus was probably born in an early decade of the third century,
or, according to Couat, about 315 B.C., and was a native of Syracuse,
'the greatest of Greek cities, the fairest of all cities.' So Cicero
calls it. He was the son of Praxagoras and Philinna.
Most of what is known of Theocritus comes from his Idylls. His poetic style is filled with the characters and nature which surrounded him. The existence
he loved best to contemplate, that of southern shepherds, fishermen, rural people, remains what it always has been in Sicily and in the isles of Greece. The habits and the passions of his countryfolk have not altered, the echoes of their old love-songs still sound among the pines, or by the sea-banks, where Theocritus 'watched the visionary flocks.'
Theocritus has been widely imitated by such poets as Vergil and Spenser.
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- The Psalm Of Adonis - from Fifteenth Idy...
- Idyll XXX
- Idyll XII
- A Countryman's Wooing
- The Death of Adonis
- Heracles the Lion Slayer
- The Battle of the Bards
- Love Stealing Honey
- The Death of Daphnis
- The Two Ladies of Syracuse
- For a Statue of Anacreon
Agave of the vermeil-tinted cheek
And Ino and Autonoae marshalled erst
Three bands of revellers under one hill-peak.
They plucked the wild-oak's matted foliage first,
Lush ivy then, and creeping asphodel;
And reared therewith twelve shrines amid the untrodden fell:
To Semele three, to Dionysus nine.
Next, from a vase drew offerings subtly wrought,