Choerĭlus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities1. An Athenian dramatist, one of the oldest Attic tragedians, who appeared as a writer as early as B.C. 520. He was a rival of Pratinas, Phrynichus, and Aeschylus. His favourite line seems to have been the satyric drama, in which he was long a popular writer. 2. A Greek epic poet, born in Samos about B.C. 470, a friend of Herodotus and afterwards of the Spartan Lysander. He lived first at Athens and afterwards at the court of King Archelaüs of Macedonia, where he was treated with great consideration, and died about B.C. 400. He was the first epic poet who, feeling that the old mythology was exhausted, ventured to treat an historical subject of immediate interest, the Persian wars, in an epic entitled Perseïs. According to one account, the poem was read in the schools with Homer. The few fragments that remain show that it did not lack talent and merit; but little regard was paid to it by posterity. Ed. by Näke (Leipzig, 1817). 3. Of Iasos in Caria. This Choerilus was also an epic poet, who accompanied Alexander the Great. Alexander promised him a gold-piece for every good verse he wrote in celebration of his achievements, but declared that he would rather be the Thersites of Homer than the Achilles of Choerilus. Cf. Hor. A. P. 357.
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