A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Ἀρχέλαος), a Greek POET, is called an Egyptian, and is believed to have been a native of a town in Egypt called Chersonesus, as he is also called Chersonesita. (Antig. Caryst. 19 ; Athen. 12.554.) He wrote epigrams, some of which are still extant in the Greek Anthology, and Jacobs seems to infer from an epigram of his on Alexander the Great (Anthol. Planud. 120) that Archelaus lived in the time of Alexander and Ptolemy Soter. Lobeck (Aglaoph. p. 749), on the other hand, places him in the reign of Ptolemy Euergetes II. But both of these opinions are connected with chronological difficulties, and Westermann has shewn that Archelaus in all probability flourished under Ptolemy Philadelphus, to whom, according to Antigonus Carystius (l.c., comp. 89), he narrated wonderful stories (παράδοξα) in epigrams. Besides this peculiar kind of epigrams, Archelaus wrote a work called ἰδιοφυῆ, i. e. strange or peculiar animals (Athen. 9.409 ; D. L. 2.17), which seems to have likewise been written in verse, and to have treated on strange and paradoxical subjects, like his epigrams. (Plin. Elench. lib. xxviii.; Schol. ad Nicand. Ther. 822; Artemid. Oneirocr. 4.22. Compare Westermann, Scriptor. Rer. mirabil. Graeci, p. xxii., &c., who has also collected the extant fragments of Archelaus, p. 158, &c.)