The poet Meleager was born in Gadara, raised and educated in Tyre, and lived as an adult on the island of Cos. His epigrammatic poems have been associated with the work of the Greek Cynics, though most of his poetry has been lost; what does survive are his contributions to the Anthologia Graeca, an ancient anthology of literary and erotic epigrams that he also edited. Meleager also compiled the Stephanos (or Garland, ~100 BCE), the earliest known anthology of literary epigrams, selected from work composed in the prior two centuries. Meleager’s own surviving poems are mainly erotic epigrams, which treat boys and women with both affection and cynicism.
Translations of Meleager’s verse into English include a selection in Daryl Hine’s Puerilities: Erotic Epigrams of The Greek Anthology (2001) and Richard Aldington’s The Poems of Meleager of Gadara (1920).
Poems by Meleager
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