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Arctinus

ARCTINUS, of Miletus, one of the earliest poets of Greece and contributors to the epic cycle. He flourished probably about 744 B.C. (Ol. 7). His poems are lost, but an idea of them can be gained from the Chrestomathy written by Proclus the Neo-Platonist of the 5th century or by a grammarian of the same name in the time of the Antonines. The Aethiopis , in five books, was so called from the Aethiopian Memnon, who became the ally of the Trojans after the death of Hector. As the opening shows, it took up the narrative from the close of the Iliad. It begins with the famous deeds and death of the Amazon Penthesileia, and concludes with the death and burial of Achilles and the dispute between Ajax and Odysseus for his arms. The title thus only applied to part of the poem. The Sack of Troy gives the stories of the wooden horse, Sinon, and Laocoon, the capture of the city, and the departure of the Greeks under the wrath of Athene at the outrage of Ajax on Cassandra. The Little Iliad of Lesches formed the transition between the Aethiopis and the Sack of Troy.

Kinkel, Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta (1877); Welcker, Der epische Cyclus; Müller, History of the Literature of Ancient Greece; Lang, Homer and the Epic (1893); Monro, Journal of Hellenic Studies (1883); T.W. Allen in Classical Quarterly, April 1908, pp. 82 foll.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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