1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Peisander

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PEISANDER, of Camirus in Rhodes, Greek epic poet, supposed to have flourished about 640 B.C. He was the author of a Heracleia, in which he introduced a new conception of the hero, the lion’s skin and club taking the place of the older Homeric equipment. He is also said to have fixed the number of the “labours of Hercules” at twelve. The work, which according to Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, vi. ch. 2) was simply a plagiarism from an unknown Pisinus of Lindus, enjoyed so high a reputation that the Alexandrian critics admitted the author to the epic canon. From an epigram (20) of Theocritus we learn that a statue was erected in honour of Peisander by his countrymen. He is to be distinguished from Peisander of Laranda in Lycia, who lived during the reign of Alexander Severus (A.D. 222–235), and wrote a poem on the mixed marriages of gods and mortals, after the manner of the Eoiai of Hesiod.

See fragments in G. Kinkel, Epicorum graecorum fragmenta (1878); also F. G. Welcker, Kleine Schriften, vol. i. (1844), on the twelve labours of Hercules in Peisander.