Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology/Callimachus 4.

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2722128Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology — Callimachus 4.1870Various Authors

CALLI′MACHUS (Καλλίμαχος), an artist of uncertain country, who is said to have invented the Corinthian column. (Vitruv. iv. 1. § 10.) As Scopas built a temple of Athene at Tegea with Corinthian columns in B. C. 396, Callimachus must have lived before that time. Pausanias (i. 26. § 7) calls him the inventor of the art of boring marble (τοὺς λίθους πρῶτος ἐτρύπησε), which Thiersch (Epoch. Anm. p. 60) thinks is to be understood of a mere perfection of that art, which could not have been entirely unknown to so late a period. By these inventions as well as by his other productions, Callimachus stood in good reputation with his contemporaries, although he did not belong to the first-rate artists. He was so anxious to give his works the last touch of perfection, by elaborating the details with too much care, that he lost the grand and sublime. Dionysius therefore compares him and Calamis to the orator Lysias (τῆς λεπτότητος ἕνεκα καὶ τῆς χάριτος), whilst he draws a parallel between Polycletus and Phidias and Isocrates, on account of the σεμνὸν καὶ μεγαλότεχνον καὶ ἀξιωματικόν. (Judic. Isocr. c. 3.) Callimachus was never satisfied with himself, and therefore received the epithet κακιζότεχνος. (Paus. i. 26. § 7.) Pliny (H. N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19) says the same, and gives an exact interpretation of the surname: "Semper calumniator sui nec finem habens diligentiae; ob id κακιζότεχνος appellatus." Vitruvius says, that Callimachus "propter elegantiam et subtilitatem artis marmoreae ab Atheniensibus κατάτεχνος fuerat nominatus." Sillig (Cat. Art. p. 125) conjectures, after some MSS., that κατατηξίτεχνος must be read instead of κακιζότεχνος; but this is quite improbable on account of Pliny's translation, "calumniator sui." Whether the κατάτεχνος of Vitruvius is corrupt or a second surname (as Siebelis supposes, ad Paus. i. 26. § 7), cannot be decided. So much is certain, that Callimachus' style was too artificial. Pliny (l. c.), speaking of a work representing some dancing Lacedaemonian women, says, that his excessive elaboration of the work had destroyed all its beauty. Pausanias (i. 26 § 7) describes a golden lamp, a work of Callimachus dedicated to Athene, which if filled with oil, burnt precisely one whole year without ever going out. It is scarcely probable that the painter Callimachus, mentioned by Pliny (l. c.), should be our statuary, although he is generally identified with him. [W. I.]