Scarcely anything is known of his life. The Suda claims that he was a pupil of the poets Panyassis and Stesimbrotus. His poetical efforts were not generally appreciated, although he received encouragement from his younger contemporary Plato (Plutarch, Lysander, 18).
His chief works were: an 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 telling stories from mythology of heroic disasters (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.
- Chisholm 1911.
- Suda α 2681
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Antimachus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 127.
- Antimachus Poems
- Antimachi colophonii reliquias, Henr. Guil. Stoll (ed.), Dillenburgi apud ed. Pagenstecher, 1845.
- Poetae Lyrici Graeci. Recensuit Theodorus Bergk. Editionis quartae. Vol. 2. Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1882, pagg. 289-94.
- Epicorum graecorum fragmenta, Godofredus Kinkel (ed.), vol. 1, Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, pagg. 273-75.
- Scholarly Bibliography for Antimachus, at A Hellenistic Bibliography, by Martine Cuypers