Quintus Smyrnaeus biography

Quintus Smyrnaeus



Who is Quintus Smyrnaeus?

Quintus Smyrnaeus, also known as Kointos Smyrnaios, was a Greek epic poet whose Posthomerica, following "after Homer" continues the narration of the Trojan War.

The dates of Smyrnaeus's life are controversial, but they are traditionally placed in the latter part of the 4th century. "His date is approximately settled by two passages in the poem, viz. vi. 531 sqq., in which occurs an illustration drawn from the man-and-beast fights of the amphitheatre, which were suppressed by Theodosius I.; and xiii. 335 sqq., which contains a prophecy, the special particularity of which, it is maintained by Tychsen and Koechly, limits its applicability to the middle of the fourth century A.D."

Some scholars suggest an earlier date in the 3rd or even the 2nd century, arguing that his Posthomerica shows an influence from the "Second Sophistic", the school of Greek orators who flourished in the 1st and 2nd centuries. According to his own account, he began composing poetry in his early youth while tending sheep near Smyrna. His epic in fourteen books, known as the Posthomerica, covers the period between the end of Homer's Iliad and the end of the Trojan War. Its primary importance is as the earliest surviving work to cover this period, the archaic works in the Epic Cycle, which he knew and drew upon, having been lost.


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Quintus Smyrnaeus." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/quintus_smyrnaeus>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Also known as
  • Kointos Smyrnaios
  • Quintus of Smyrna
  • Ancient Greece

on July 23, 2013

Discuss this Quintus Smyrnaeus biography with the community:


    Browse Biographies.net