Antimachus of Colophon (Greek: Ἀντίμαχος ὁ Κολοφώνιος), or of Claros, was a Greek poet and grammarian, who flourished about 400 BC.[1]


Scarcely anything is known of his life. The Suda claims that he was a pupil of the poets Panyassis and Stesimbrotus.[2]


His poetical efforts were not generally appreciated, although he received encouragement from his younger contemporary Plato (Plutarch, Lysander, 18).[1] The emperor Hadrian, however, would later consider him superior to Homer.[3]

His chief works were: an epic Thebaid, an account of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes and the war of the Epigoni; and an elegiac poem Lyde, so called from the poet's mistress, for whose death he endeavoured to find consolation telling stories from mythology of heroic disasters (Plutarch, Consul, ad Apoll. 9; Athenaeus xiii. 597).[1]

Antimachus was the founder of "learned" epic poetry, and the forerunner of the Alexandrian school, whose critics allotted him the next place to Homer. He also prepared a critical recension of the Homeric poems.[1]

He is to be distinguished from Antimachus of Teos, a much earlier poet to whom the lost Cyclic epic Epigoni was apparently ascribed (though the attribution may result from confusion).


  • Fragments, ed. Stoll (1845); Bergk
  • Poetae Lyrici Graeci (1882); Kinkel
  • Fragmenta epicorum Graecorum (1877). 20th century ed: V.J. Matthews
  • Antimachus of Colophon, text and commentary (Leiden : Brill, 1996) ISBN 90-04-10468-2


  1. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ Suda α 2681
  3. ^ Cassius Dio, 69.4.6.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Antimachus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 127.

External links

  • Antimachus Poems
  • Antimachi colophonii reliquias, Henr. Guil. Stoll (ed.), Dillenburgi apud ed. Pagenstecher, 1845.
  • Poetae Lyrici Graeci. Recensuit Theodorus Bergk. Editionis quartae. Vol. 2. Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1882, pagg. 289-94.
  • Epicorum graecorum fragmenta, Godofredus Kinkel (ed.), vol. 1, Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, pagg. 273-75.
  • Scholarly Bibliography for Antimachus, at A Hellenistic Bibliography, by Martine Cuypers