1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Posidippus

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POSIDIPPUS (3rd cent. B.C.), Greek dramatist, of Cassandrea in Macedonia, the last and one of the most distinguished of the writers of the new comedy. He began to write for the stage in 289 B.C., and, according to Suïdas, wrote 40 plays, of which 17 titles and some fragments have been preserved. He appears to have gone somewhat out of the beaten track in his choice of subjects, and it is evident that cooks held an important position in his list of characters. His comedies were frequently imitated by the Romans (Aulus Gellius ii. 23), and it is considered very probable that the Menaechmi (a comedy of errors) of Plautus is an adaptation either from the Ὅμοιοι, or from some unknown comedy of Posidippus, called Δίδυμοι, or perhaps Μέναιχμος. His statue in the Vatican is considered a masterpiece of ancient art.

Fragments in A. Meineke, Poetarum comicorum graecorum fragmenta (1855).

Posidippus is also the name of a writer of epigrams (c. 270 B.C.), of which about 30 are preserved in the Greek Anthology.

See W. Christ, Griechische Litteraturgeschichte (1898).