The New International Encyclopædia/Aristarchus of Samothrace

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ARISTARCHUS of Samothrace (B.C. 216–144). A Greek scholar. He was the pupil of Aristophanes of Byzantium, became tutor to the son of Ptolemy Philometor, and succeeded his master as head of the Alexandrian library. He died in Cyprus at the age of 72. Aristarchus represents the highest attainments of philological criticism in antiquity, and his influence dominated all later workers. He gave his attention chiefly to exegesis of the poets, particularly of the Homeric poems; his recension is the basis of our common text of Homer to-day. He wrote an enormous number of exegetical works—according to Suidas over 800—and many special treatises besides. Fragments of his comments are preserved, e.g., in the Venetian scholia to the Iliad. He founded a school of Aristarcheans at Alexandria, which continued to work on classical texts until after the beginning of the Empire. For an account of Aristarchus's Homeric studies, consult Lehrs, De Aristrirchi Studiis Homericis (Königsberg, 1882).