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shown them in their improved state, to persons of taste and judgment, they procured for him a very high degree of reputation; insomuch, that the people of Rhodes, as a mark of their esteem, conferred on him the freedom of their state, together with other distinguished honours.
In this agreeable situation, and in full enjoyment of a poetical reputation, and of the respect and admiration, which were paid him by the Rhodians, our poet remained many years. He did not return to Alexandria, until after Callimachus had paid the debt of nature, and left him, without a rival and competitor. It should seem, that the fame of his talents past from Rhodes, to the neighbouring city of Alexandria, which led his countrymen, to know his value, and repent of that ancient con. tempt, which they had shown him. It is probable, that he was invited home by Ptolemy Euergetes, and received by the Alexandrians with signal attention; for we find, that he was soon after appointed, to the care of the royal library and museum; a trust, as we have already seen, of fashionable rank, and considerable importance; which induced a frequent and familiar intercourse, with the literary sovereigns of Egypt; and had uniformly been conferred on men of first rate abilities and learning.
It must have been towards the latter end of the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, perhaps, about ten years from its close, that Apollonius emigrated to Rhodes. Callimachus was in his glory, during the reign of Philadelphus, whom he celebrates. And it must be presumed, that he did not return to Alexandria, until several years had elapsed of the reign of Eurgetes, the successor of Philadelpbus; for, considering the high credit_and influence, which Callimuchus had acquired, at the Egyptian court, and the deadly and irreconcileable enmity, and cruel interchange of invective, and ill offices, which bad taken
place place between him and Apollonius ; it is not very likely, that the latter should have ventured back to Alexandria, before the enmity, and the genius, of his powerful opponent, were laid to rest for ever in the grave. Had Apollonius returned to Egypt, during the lifetime of Callimachus, and had any reconciliation taken place, between these illustrious rivals, such an incident could not have failed of making an impression, on cotemporary and subsequent writers; and we should not now remain in total ignorance of such an interesting transaction. If, then, Apollonius did not return, until after the decease of Callimachus, some years of the reign of Euergetes must have been then past; for Callimachus continued to flourish under that prince, who succeeded to the throne, in the second year of the 125th Olympiad.
Apollonius was wise enough, to derive good fruit, from the malignity of Callimachus, and his early disappointments. He saw, and corrected, the defects and blemishes of his poers, and availed himself completely, of the retirement, and opportunities for study, which he found, at Rhodes. In consequence, after his return, when he again produced his work, and handed it about in Alexandria, it was then universally admired; and obtained for its author the highest applause. His ad. vancement to fame, and honour, not unaccompanied by emolument, was now as rapid, as the disgrace of his youth had been unexpected and mortifying; since, as we have said already, he was promoted to the care of the famous Alexandrine library; an appointment, whichi seemed to be set apart, as the reward of merit, and had been uniformly bestowed on men of the first talents, and literary eminence. As to Apollonius, in particular, he succeeded to a most distinguished predecessor, the famous Eratosthenes, who had, like Apollonius himself,
studied under Callimachus, and was celebrated as a poet, a philosopher, an astronomer, and historian. .
Fortune having thus made amends to our poet, for her former persecution, and advanced him to the enjoyment of a just reputation, and that place, to which merit seldom aspired in vain, at the court of Alexandria, was resolved not to subject him, to any reverse, and called him away, while he was in the full possession of fame, and prosperity. It is not stated, in any of the short notices respecting Apollonius, which have reached us, how long he survived his master and rival; but, it is somewhat remarkable, that, after his death, his remains were deposited in the same tomb with Callimachus. As we know, that the latter poet was in the highest estimation, this circumstance must have been intended, as a mark of the utmost respect to the memory of Apollonius; and meant to show, that the poets, thus associated in their death and funeral ceremonies, had, in their lives, been equals in genius and fame. Such are the imperfect accounts, which antiquity has transmitted to us, respecting this admirable writer, we have only to regret, that they are not more copious, and satisfactory; but the imitation of Virgil, and the intrinsic beauties of his poem, will for ever remain the most perfect and glorious monument of his reputatien.
We have, in the second volume of Brunk's Analecta, p. 358, a single epigram, consisting only of a couplet, which is entitled — “ By Apollonius the Grammarian.”
The subject and tendency of this epigram, cannot leave even the shadow of a doubt, of its being written by our author, in the course of his memorable contest with Callimachus; and the style of it, short as it is, may suffice to show, that the tone of ancient poetical polemics was not a whit more elegant or refined, than the inveca,
tive of modern Grub-street, of which Pope has given so many bright samples, in the notes on his Dunciad. The epigram is as follows.
Korojay @ To radaqua, ?o watynov, ó turucu ogs
Αλι@- ο γραψας ΑΙΤΙΑ Καλλιμαχε. It is to be observed, that, in the second line, there is a poor pun, or play upon the worus, between aina and Ailla. To enable the reader to comprehend the force of which, it is necessary to inform him, that Callimachus had produced a large work, the title of which was Aila; and the subject, most probably, The Causes of Things.--If Apollonius produced many jeux d'esprit of this kind, it is not surprising, that he provoked his rival to publish the Ibis, by way of retaliation. The morsel now cited, seems to be the only remnant of Apollonius, great or small, exclusive of the Argonautics, which has reached our time; but he wrote many other works, which are enumerated by Fabricius,* in his account of this author.--As llego Aexinoge, on the subject of Archie lochus. A collection of epigrams-Kawo wgw! O xar devlope.-A work, which seems to have been very extensive, entitled KTUJ65, sive Origines Urbium, on the origin of cities. This work seems to have been divided into sections or books, as Aretard saç Kalous, or the Founding of Alexandria.-Kaur@, sive Kavve Kties, the Founding of Caunus. -Knodne KT1015--Vavugalewę Ktous, alias Tlorina. This must have been a most valuable and learned work. -- From the details of genealogy, and antiquity, and the many allusions to ancient rites and customs, which Apollonius has occasionally introduced, in his Argonautics, it appears, that he was eminently qualified for such an undertaking. He also wrote critical
* Vide Fabricii Thesaurus curante Harles.
and grammatical observations on Homer,* probably for the use of his scholars, while he taught at Rhodes.—The loss of these observations, on the great father of epic poetry, by a great succeeding poet, like Apollonius, so highly accomplished by education, so refined by taste, so copiously stored, and furnished, with various learning, can never be sufficiently deplored by the learned world. Apollonius, we are told, was succeeded by
Aristonymus, in his honourable situation, as keeper of the Alexandrian library, and museum.--Such are the faint and imperfect notices, which the curiosity and admiration of posterity are now able to collect, respecting this great poet. But, his noblest monument, and his truest and most advantageous eulogium and history, are to be found in his immortal production; and in the flattering imitation of succeeding genius.
* They are mentioned by the ancient Greek scholiast on the Iliad, Lib. I. v. 3., and Lib. II. v. 456.