In this article, you are introduced to Hipparchus and Callimachus , two Greeks who held different roles in ancient history. Continue reading to learn a bit more about the Rhodian astronomer and the Greek poet, as well as an example of the words they left behind.
Hipparchus (190BC , 120 BC , 2nd century BC)
This Greek (Rhodian) astronomer born in Nicaea (which is now Iznik, Turkey) also held positions as a geographer and mathematician during the Hellenistic period. It is believed that he most likely passed on the island of Rhodes. However, he gained quite a reputation as an astronomer from 147 BC to 127 BC. When it comes to achieving great feats in ancient astronomical observation, it is Hipparchus that tops the list. He is often referred to as the greatest overall astronomer in regards to antiquity.
He was the first Greek to create models of quantitative proportions concerning the Sun and the Moon that actually survived throughout time. In order to come to his conclusions, his work shows use of observations and mathematical methods associated with the Chaldeans who hail from Babylonia. In his possession, he had a trigonometric table, which is said to have found the answers to many questions regarding spherical trigonometry. Joining his strides in trigonometry, he is thought the first to establish a reliable approach in predicting when a solar eclipse would take place.
Other achievements linked to Hipparchus includes accomplishments in discovering precession, as well as gathering the facts for the creation of a star catalog pertaining to the western world. Some associate Hipparchus with the invention of the astrolabe. A few words to remember this great ancient astronomer, remember his advice to:
“Never deceive a friend.”
Callimachus (250 BC)
Callimachus is best known as a Greek poet and grammarian who was born in the Greek colony of Cyreme, Libya. Over his lifetime, he earned the respect as a remarkable poet, critic, and scholar of the Library of Alexandra. In time, he was granted the patronage of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes. At the library, he was given the responsibility to create a catalogue of all the volumes that the library owned. Despite these duties, he was never given the title of chief librarian.
We also learn that he is behind 120 volumes of tablets that showcased a complete and thorough catalogue of the Library , all arranged in chronological order. Callimachus laid down the foundation for later works that depicted the history of Greek literature itself. Many revere him as one of the earliest critic poets associated with Hellenistic talent.
Short poems and epigrams were the forte of Callimachus, who also embraced a major trend concerning the Greek-language poetry. At this time, authors saw epic kinds of writing that mirrored Homer being rejected. It was Callimachus who encouraged poets to enter unknown waters in regards to their writing. He dismissed following in the footsteps of others like Homer. Instead , he preferred poetry that was brief and paid special attention to the way it was formed and worded. This was the kind of style that garnered him so much praise from critics.
A quote to remember Callimachus by is:
“I wept as I remembered how often you and I had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.”