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date: 27 February 2021


, 'the Elder', Aristarchan teacher at Rome, early 1st cent. bce
  • Peter Barr Reid Forbes,
  • Robert Browning
  •  and Nigel Wilson


Theophrastus, son of Epicratides, of *Amisus (where his teacher nicknamed him Tyrannio), afterwards a pupil of *Dionysius (15) Thrax, was brought by L. *Licinius Lucullus (2) as prisoner to Rome, where he was freed and enjoyed the patronage of *Pompey, being the first Aristarchan (cf. aristarchus(2)) to teach in the city. He was a friend of *Cicero, *Caesar, and T. *Pomponius Atticus, and interested in the *Latin language, which he regarded as derived from an Aeolic Greek dialect (see dialects, greek (prehistory)). He was among those who examined the manuscripts of *Aristotle and *Theophrastus brought by *Sulla from Athens, 86 bce. His works, on metre (a comparatively rare topic), on Homeric and other criticism and exegesis (cf. homer), and on grammar (which, under Atticist influence (see asianism and atticism), he defined as θεωρία μιμήσεως, a ‘theory of imitation’), have perished.

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