Bion in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

A Greek bucolic poet, who flourished in the second half of the second century B.C. He lived mostly in Sicily, where he is said to have died by poison. Besides a number of minor poems from his hand, we have a long descriptive epic called The Dirge of Adonis. His style is more remarkable for grace than for power or simplicity. A native of Borysthenes, near the mouth of the Dnieper, who flourished about B.C. 250. Sold as a slave when a boy, he was freed by his master, who was a rhetorician. After studying at Athens, he lived for a considerable period at the court of Antigonus Gonatas in Macedonia. His sharp, incisive sayings were proverbial in antiquity, as in the passage of Horace (Epist. ii. 2, 60).

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