List of ancient Greek poets

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This list of ancient Greek poets covers poets writing in the ancient Greek language, regardless of location or nationality of the poet. For a list of modern-day Greek poets, see List of Greek poets.




  • Callimachus (Greek: Καλλίμαχος; c. 305 BC – c. 240 BC), poet and critic; native of Cyrene and scholar of the Library of Alexandria
  • Callinus (also known as Kallinus) of Ephesus in Asia Minor, flourished mid-7th century BC; the earliest known Greek elegiac poet
  • Chaeremon Athenian dramatist of the first half of the fourth century BC generally considered a tragic poet
  • Chersias of Orchomenus, archaic epic
  • Choerilus (tragic poet) Athenian tragic poet, who exhibited plays as early as 524 BC
  • Choerilus of Iasus, epic poet of Iasus in Caria, who lived in the 4th century BC.
  • Choerilus of Samos, epic poet of Samos, who flourished at the end of the 5th century BC
  • Cinaethon of Sparta or Kinaithon of Lakedaimon, a legendary early Greek poet sometimes called the author of the lost epics Oedipodea, Little Iliad and Telegony; Eusebius says that he flourished in 764/3 BC
  • Cleanthes (c. 330 BC – c. 230 BC)
  • Cleophon (poet) (Greek: Kλεoφῶν, Kleophōn), Athenian tragic poet who flourished in the 4th century BC
  • Corinna (or Korinna) poet traditionally attributed to the 6th century BC
  • Creophylus of Samos (in Greek Kreophylos) legendary early Greek singer, native to Samos or Chios, said to have been a contemporary of Homer
  • Crobylus possible Middle Comedian, lived some time after 324 BC
  • Crinagoras of Mytilene (70 BC – 18 AD)
  • Cyclic poets
  • Cynaethus (late 6th century BC)


  • Diagoras the Atheist of Melos, poet and sophist of the 5th century BC
  • Dionysius Chalcus (Greek: Διονύσιος ὁ Χαλκοῦς) an ancient Athenian poet and orator


  • Elephantis (fl. late 1st century BC), poet apparently renowned in the classical world as the author of a notorious (lost) sex manual.
  • Epicharmus of Kos flourished sometime between c. 540 and c. 450 BC; a dramatist and philosopher often credited with being one of the first comic writers.
  • Epimenides of Knossos (Crete) (Greek: Ἐπιμενίδης), a semi-mythical 6th century BC Greek seer and philosopher-poet.
  • Erinna, female contemporary and friend of Sappho; a native of Rhodes, Telos or Tenos; flourished about 600 BC.
  • Eubulus (poet), Athenian Middle Comedy poet, flourished 370s and 360s BC.
  • Eugammon of Cyrene
  • Eumelus of Corinth
  • Euphorion of Chalcis (3rd century BC)
  • Eupolis (c. 446 BC – c. 411 BC)
  • Euripides (c. 480 BC – c. 406 BC), one of the three surviving Classical Athenian tragedians, with 18 (possibly 19) surviving plays.
  • Evenus of Paros (5th century BC)



  • Ibycus (Ἴβυκος), lyric poet of Rhegium in Italy, contemporary of Anacreon, flourished in the 6th century BC; one of the Nine lyric poets
  • Ion of Chios (c. 490/480 BC – c. 420 BC) dramatist, lyric poet and philosopher, contemporary of Euripides
  • Iophon (flourished 428 BC–405 BC), tragic poet, son of Sophocles
  • Isyllus poet whose name was rediscovered in the course of excavations on the site of the temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus, where an inscription was found engraved on stone, consisting of 72 lines of verse and preceded by two lines of prose giving this author's name


  • Lasus, lyric poet of the 6th century BC
  • Lesches, a semi-legendary poet and reputed author of the Little Iliad; traditionally a native of Pyrrha in Lesbos; flourished about 660 BC (according to others, about 50 years earlier)




  • Olen (poet), early poet from Lycia who went to Delos
  • Onomacritus, (c. 530 – 480 BC), also known as Onomacritos or Onomakritos, a chresmologue, or compiler of oracles
  • Oppian or Oppianus (in Greek, Οππιανος) was the name of the authors of two (or three) didactic poems in Greek hexameters, formerly identified as one poet, but now generally regarded as two:
    • Oppian of Corycus (or Anabarzus) in Cilicia, who flourished in the reign of Marcus Aurelius
    • Oppian of Apamea (or Pella) in Syria. His extant poem on hunting (Cynegetica) is dedicated to the emperor Caracalla, so that it must have been written after 211
  • Oroebantius of Troezena


  • Palladas (flourished 4th century AD) of Alexandria; unknown except for his epigrams in the Greek Anthology
  • Panyassis of Halicarnassus (sometimes known as Panyasis), 5th century BC epic poet, wrote the Heracleia and the Ionica
  • Parthenius of Nicaea of Nicaea in Bithynia; grammarian and poet taken prisoner in the Mithridatic Wars and carried to Rome in 72 BC. He taught Virgil Greek.
  • Peisander of Camirus in Rhodes, epic poet who flourished about 640 BC.
  • Phanocles elegiac poet who probably flourished about the time of Alexander the Great.
  • Pherecrates (5th century BC), Athenian Old Comedy poet and rough contemporary of Cratinus, Crates and Aristophanes.
  • Philemon (poet) (c. 362 BC – c. 262 BC), Athenian New Comedy poet and playwright born either at Soli in Cilicia or at Syracuse in Sicily but moved to Athens some time before 330 BC
  • Philodoppides of Messenia (c. 700 - 640 BC), lyric poet, surviving only in fragmentary form. Believed to have composed a short epic Heleneis.
  • Philitas of Cos (c. 340 – c. 285 BC), Alexandrian poet and critic, founder of the Alexandrian school of poetry
  • Philocles, Athenian tragic poet during the 5th century BCE.
  • Philoxenus of Cythera (435 BC–380 BC) a dithyrambic poet.
  • Phocylides gnomic poet of Miletus, contemporary of Theognis of Megara, born about 560 BC.
  • Phrynichus (comic poet), poet of the Old Attic comedy and contemporary of Aristophanes, flourished around 429 BC.
  • Phrynichus (tragic poet)
  • Philyllius, Athenian comic poet
  • Pindar (c. 522 BC – c. 443 BC)
  • Plato (comic poet) (fl. c. 400 BC)
  • Polyeidos (poet) (fl. c. 400 BC)
  • Poseidippus of Pella (c. 310 BC – c. 240 BC)
  • Poseidippus of Cassandreia (316 BC – c. 250 BC)
  • Pratinas (fl. c. 500 BC)
  • Praxilla (5th century BC)



  • Rhyanus poet and grammarian, native of Crete, friend and contemporary of Eratosthenes (275—195 BC)


  • Sannyrion, Athenian comic poet of the late 5th century BC.
  • Sappho (Attic Greek Σαπφώ, Aeolic Greek Ψάπφω), lyric poet born on the island of Lesbos in the late 7th century BC; died in 570 BC.
  • Semonides iambic poet, flourished in the middle of the 7th century BC, native of Samos.
  • Simonides of Ceos (c. 556 BC–469 BC), lyric poet born at Ioulis on Kea; named one of the Nine lyric poets.
  • Solon (Greek: Σόλων, c. 638 BC–558 BC. Pronounced sŏ'lōn), famous Athenian lawmaker and lyric poet.
  • Sophocles (c. 497/6 BC – winter 406/5 BC), one of the three surviving Classical Athenian tragedians, with 7 surviving works.
  • Sositheus (fl. c. 280 BC)
  • Sotades (3rd century BC)
  • Stasinus
  • Stesichorus (c. 630 BC – 555 BC)
  • Susarion (fl. early 6th century BC)
  • Syagrus (poet)


  • Telecleides poet of comedy in the 5th century BC, and violent opponent of Pericles
  • Telesilla (fl. 510 BC) poet, native of Argos
  • Terpander of Antissa in Lesbos; poet and citharode who lived about the first half of the 7th century BC
  • Theocritus 3rd century BC Doric poet of Bucolics and mimes
  • Theodectes (c. 380 BC – c. 340 BCE)
  • Theognis of Megara 6th century BC elegiac poet of aphoristic verses
  • Thespis (fl. 6th century BC)
  • Thestorides of Phocaea
  • Timocreon of Rhodes, lyric/sympotic poet 5th century BC and bitter critic of Themistocles
  • Tyrtaeus (fl. late 7th century BC) a Spartan elegiac poet (or Athenian), author of martial verses


  • Xenocles, (Ξενοκλής), or Zenocles, tragedian, flourished 415 BC

See also[edit]