1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aristaenetus

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ARISTAENETUS, Greek epistolographer, flourished in the 5th or 6th century A.D. He was formerly identified with Aristaenetus of Nicaea (the friend of Symmachus), who perished in an earthquake at Nicomedia, A.D. 358, but internal evidence points to a much later date. Under his name two books of love stories, in the form of letters, are extant; the subjects are borrowed from the erotic elegies of such Alexandrian writers as Callimachus, and the language is a patchwork of phrases from Plato, Lucian, Alciphron and others. The stories are feeble and insipid, and full of strange and improbable incidents.

Text: Boissonade (1822); Hercher, Epistolographi Graeci (1873). English translations: Boyer (1701); Thomas Brown (1715); R. B. Sheridan and Halked (1771 and later).