Philemon (poet)

Philemon (Greek: Φιλήμων; c. 362 BC – c. 262 BC) was an Athenian poet and playwright of the New Comedy. He was born either at Soli in Cilicia or at Syracuse in Sicily but moved to Athens some time before 330 BC, when he is known to have been producing plays.

He attained remarkable popularity, for he repeatedly won victories over his younger contemporary and rival Menander, whose delicate wit was apparently less to the taste of the Athenians of the time than Philemon's comedy.

Except for a short sojourn in Egypt with Ptolemy II Philadelphus, he passed his life at Athens. He there died, nearly a hundred years old, but with mental vigour unimpaired, about the year 262 BC, according to the story, at the moment of his being crowned on the stage.

Surviving Titles and Fragments

Of his ninety-seven works, fifty-seven are known to us by titles and fragments. Two of his plays were the basis for two Latin adaptations of Plautus (Mercator being adapted from Emporos, and Trinummus from Thesauros).

  • Adelphoi ("Brothers")
  • Agroikos ("The Country-Dweller")
  • Agyrtes ("The Beggar-Priest")
  • Aitolos ("Aetolus")
  • Anakalypton ("The Man Who Reveals, or Unveils")
  • Ananeoumene ("The Renewed Woman")
  • Androphonos ("The Man-Slayer")
  • Apokarteron ("The Starving Man")
  • Apolis ("One Exiled From the City")
  • Arpazomenos ("The Captured, or Seized, Man")
  • Auletes ("The Flute-Player")
  • Babylonios ("The Babylonian Man")
  • Chera ("The Widow")
  • Ekoikizomenos
  • Emporos ("The Merchant")
  • Encheiridion ("Handbook")
  • Epidikazomenos ("The Claimant")
  • Euripos ("Euripus")
  • Ephebos ("The Adolescent")
  • Ephedritai
  • Gamos ("Marriage")
  • Heroes ("The Heroes")
  • Hypobolimaios ("The Changeling")
  • Iatros ("The Physician")
  • Katapseudomenos ("The False Accuser")
  • Koinonoi ("Companions")
  • Kolax ("The Flatterer")
  • Korinthia ("The Woman From Corinth")
  • Lithoglyphos ("The Stone-Carver," or "Engraver")
  • Metion, or Zomion
  • Moichos ("The Adulterer")
  • Myrmidones ("The Myrmidons")
  • Mystis ("Woman Initiated Into The Mysteries")
  • Neaira ("Neaira")
  • Nemomenoi ("Those Who Share")
  • Nothos ("The Bastard")
  • Nyx ("Night")
  • Paides ("Children")
  • Palamedes ("Palamedes")
  • Panegyris ("The Assembly")
  • Pankratiastes
  • Pareision ("The Gate-Crasher")
  • Phasma ("The Phantom, or Spectre")
  • Philosophoi ("Philosophers")
  • Pittokopumenos ("Pitch-Plastered")
  • Pterygion
  • Ptoche ("The Poor Woman"), or Rhodia ("The Woman From Rhodes")
  • Pyrphoros ("The Fire-Bearer")
  • Pyrrhos
  • Sardios ("The Man From Sardis", or possibly "Carnelian")
  • Sikelikos ("The Sicilian Man," possibly belongs to Diphilus)
  • Stratiotes ("The Soldier")
  • Synapothneskontes ("Men Dying Together")
  • Synephebos ("Fellow Adolescent")
  • Thebaioi ("Men From Thebes")
  • Thesauros ("The Treasure")
  • Thyroros ("The Door-Keeper")


  • William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, v. 3 (1870), p. 261.
  • Text adapted from Harry Thurston Peck (1898). Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York: Harper and Brothers.
List of Ancient Greek poets

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.

List of Greek artists

This is a list of Greek artists from the antiquity to today.

Artists have been categorised according to their main artistic profession and according to the major historical period they lived in: the Ancient (until the foundation of the Byzantine Empire), the Byzantine (until the fall of Constantinople in 1453) and the Modern period (1453-today).


Menander (; Greek: Μένανδρος Menandros; c. 342/41 – c. 290 BC) was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He wrote 108 comedies and took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times. His record at the City Dionysia is unknown but may well have been similarly spectacular.

One of the most popular writers of antiquity, his work was lost during the Middle Ages and is known in modernity in highly fragmentary form, much of which was discovered in the 20th century. Only one play, Dyskolos, has survived almost entirely.

Philemon (given name)

Philemon is a given name. In the Bible, the Epistle to Philemon is addressed to Saint Philemon. Others so named include:

Philemon (poet) (ca. 362 BC–ca. 262 BC), Athenian poet and playwright of the New Comedy

Philemon the actor (died 305), a saint who was converted by Saint Appolonius; they were martyred together

Philemon of Antioch, Greek Orthodox Patriarch from 1766–1767 - see List of Greek Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch

Philemon Beecher (1776–1839), American attorney and member of the US House of Representatives from Ohio

Philemon Bliss (1813–1889), member of the US House of Representatives from Ohio Congressman, first chief justice of the Supreme Court of Dakota Territory, and a Missouri Supreme Court justice

Philemon Dickerson (1788–1862), member of the US House of Representatives, Governor of New Jersey and federal judge

Philemon Holland (1552–1637), English schoolmaster, physician, and translator

Phil Masinga (1969), full name Philemon Masinga, South African former footballer who played for teams in several countries

Philemon Pownoll (ca. 1734-1780), Royal Navy officer

Philemon Simpson (1819-1895), American politician and lawyer

Philemon Thomas (1763-1847), member of the US House of Representatives from Louisiana

Philemon Wright (1760-1839), farmer and entrepreneur in what is now Canada

Philémon Yang (born 1947), Prime Minister of Cameroon since 2009


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