Nicander of Colophon (Ancient Greek: Νίκανδρος ὁ Κολοφώνιος Níkandros ho Kolophṓnios, 2nd century BC), Greek poet, physician and grammarian, was born at Claros, (Ahmetbeyli, Izmir in modern Turkey), near Colophon, where his family held the hereditary priesthood of Apollo. He flourished under Attalus III of Pergamum.
He wrote a number of works both in prose and verse, of which two survive complete. The longest, Theriaca, is a hexameter poem (958 lines) on the nature of venomous animals and the wounds which they inflict. The other, Alexipharmaca, consists of 630 hexameters treating of poisons and their antidotes. Nicander's main source for medical information was the physician Apollodorus. Among his lost works, Heteroeumena was a mythological epic, used by Ovid in the Metamorphoses and epitomized by Antoninus Liberalis; Georgica, of which considerable fragments survive, was perhaps imitated by Virgil.
List of works
- Georgica ("Farming")
- Heteroeumena ("Metamorphoses")
- Hymnus ad Attalum ("Hymn to Attalus")
- Melissourgica ("Beekeeping")
Lost prose works
- Aetolica ("History of Aetolia")
- Colophoniaca ("History of Colophon")
- De Poetis Colophoniis ("On poets from Colophon")
- Glossae ("Difficult words")
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- Nicander ed. and tr. A. S. F. Gow, A. F. Scholfield. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953.
- Earlier editions by JG Schneider (1792, 1816); O. Schneider (1856) (with the Scholia).
- The Scholia (from the Göttingen manuscript) were edited by G. Wentzel in Abhandlungen der k. Gesellschaft der Wiss. zu Göttingen vol. 38 (1892).
- H. Klauser, "De Dicendi Genere Nicandri" (Dissertationes Philologicae Vindobonenses, vi. 1898).
- W. Vollgraff, Nikander und Ovid (Groningen, 1909 ff.).
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.