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

(Ἀρίσταρχος), the most celebrated GRAMMARIAN and critic in all antiquity, was a native of Samothrace. He was educated at Alexandria, in the school of Aristophanes of Byzantium, and afterwards founded himself a grammatical and critical school, which flourished for a long time at Alexandria, and subsequently at Rome also. Ptolemy Philopator entrusted to Aristarchus the education of his son, Ptolemy Epiphanes, and Ptolemy Physcon too was one of his pupils. (Athen. 2.71.) Owing, however, to the bad treatment which the scholars and philosophers of Alexandria experienced in the reign of Physcon, Aristarchus, then at an advanced age, left Egypt and went to Cyprus, where he is said to have died at the age of seventy-two, of voluntary starvation, because he was suffering from incurable dropsy. He left behind him two sons, Aristagoras and Aristarchus, who are likewise called grammarians, but neither of them appears to have inherited anything of the spirit or talents of the father.

The numerous followers and disciples of Aristarchus were designated by the names of οἱ Ἀριστάρχειοι or οἱ ἀπ̓ Ἀριστάρχου. Aristarchus, his master Aristophanes, and his opponent Crates of Mallus, the head of the grammatical school at Pergamus, were the most eminent grammarians of that period; but Aristarchus surpassed them all in knowledge and critical skill.