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date: 19 April 2024


, of Cos, poet and scholar


, of Cos, poet and scholar
  • F. Williams


Philitas (also spelt Philetas) of *Cos, poet and scholar, born c.340 bce, became tutor of *Ptolemy II ‘Philadelphus’ (b. Cos 308); reputedly also taught *Zenodotus, *Theocritus, and *Hermesianax. He presumably spent some time in *Alexandria, but probably died in Cos, where a bronze statue was erected in his honour: it is possibly the one praised by *Posidippus (2)Ep. 63 (= Test. 5 Lightfoot).(1)Poetry Five book-titles are attested: Hermes, Demeter, Telephus (?), Epigrammata, Paegnia. Hermes (the reason for the title is unclear), in hexameters, narrated *Odysseus' visit to the island home of *Aeolus (1) and his love-affair with his daughter Polymele (fr. 9 L.). Demeter, a narrative elegy, recounted the goddess's mourning and search for Kore (*Persephone), including perhaps her visit to Cos. Telephus (if the title is right: Telephus was also the name of Philitas' father) contained a reference to the marriage of .


  • Greek Literature

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