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Apollonius of Rhodes

Apollonius of Rhodes was a Greek poet. He was born in 270 BC (Alexandria) and died in 245 BC (Rhodes).

In his youth Apollonius became a pupil of Kallimachus of Cyrene, poet and keeper of the Library of Alexandria. However, a difference of opinion on poetic direction between them led to a long-standing rift.

At this time, Apollonius began writing his seminal work, the Argonautica. This differs in many ways from the Greek epic written by Homer. The whole book is much shorter. Furthermore, Iason is portrayed as weaker and more human. Even the ethics of the characters are closer to the norms of Hellenistic reality. Anyway, the work was not well received by Callimachus in particular, and so the author left Alexandria. He then reworked his work in Rhodes. Subsequently, the work was received kindly, and he was able to return to Alexandria himself between 270 and 265 BC among a respected community of scholars and poets. In gratitude to Rhodes, Apollonius changed his surname to "Rhodian".

He was subsequently appointed by Ptolemy II to the post of custodian of the Museum (Library of Alexandria). At the same time, he served as tutor to Ptolemy III. He probably remained at the head of the Museum until the end of his life, although some sources state that he returned to Rhodes towards the end of his life.