Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 31 January 2023


, of Smyrna, Greek bucolic poet


, of Smyrna, Greek bucolic poet
  • Alan H. Griffiths


Bion (2), of Smyrna, listed in the Suda as the third bucolic poet in succession to *Theocritus and *Moschus; probably late 2nd cent. bce. A lament for him composed by a disciple from Italy, the Epitaphios Bionos—traditionally if wrongly edited as ‘Moschus III’—claims, perhaps only rhetorically, that his death was brought about by poison (109 ff.). The reference in the same piece to *Aphrodite's last kiss for her lover *Adonis (68 f.) makes it likely that the ‘Lament for Adonis’ transmitted in the bucolic MSS was a composition by Bion himself; this 98-line hexameter poem (‘Bion I’) describes in extravagantly emotional fashion the distress of the goddess, and of the whole natural world, as news of the gory death of the Assyrian hunter is spread abroad. The debt to Theocritus' account of the death of Daphnis (Theoc. 1. 66 ff.; cf. 15. 100 ff.), including the elaborately varied refrains, is clear; but there is a new sentimentality and what Webster (Hellenistic Poetry and Art (1964), 203) called a ‘luxury of lamentation’.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription