Scarcely anything is known of his life. His poetical efforts were not generally appreciated, although he received encouragement from his younger contemporary Plato (Plutarch, Lysander, 18).
His chief works were: a long-winded epic Thebais, an account of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes and the war of the Epigoni; and an elegiac poem Lyde, so called from the poet's mistress, for whose death he endeavoured to find consolation by ransacking mythology for stories of unhappy love affairs (Plutarch, Consul, ad Apoll. 9; Athenaeus xiii. 597).
Antimachus was the founder of "learned" epic poetry, and the forerunner of the Alexandrian school, whose critics allotted him the next place to Homer. He also prepared a critical recension of the Homeric poems.
Fragments, ed. Stoll (1845); Bergk, Poetae Lyrici Gracci (1882); Kinkel, Fragmenta epicorum Graecorum (1877).
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.