, a Greek poet, celebrated for his poem entitled the Phenomena, flourished about the 127th olympiad, or near 300 years before Christ, while Ptolemy Philadelphus reigned in Egypt. Being educated under Dionysius Heracleotes, a Stoic philosopher, he espoused the principles of that sect, and became physician to Antigonus Gonatus, the son of Demetrius Poliorcetes, king of Macedon. The Phenomena of Aratus gives him a title to the character of an astronomer, as well as a poet. In this work he describes the nature and motion of the stars, and shews their various dispositions and relations; he describes the figures of the constellations, their situations in the sphere, the origin of the names which they bear in Greece and in Egypt, the fables which have given rise to them, the rising and setting of the stars, and he indicates the manner of knowing the constellations by their respective situations.

The poem of Aratus was commented upon and translated by many authors: of whom, among the ancients, were Cicero, Germanicus Cocsar, and Festus Avienus, who made Latin translations of it; a part of the former of which is still extant. Aratus must have been much esteemed by the ancients, since we find so great a number of scholiasts and commentators upon him; among whom are Aristarchus of Samos, the Arystylli the geometricians, Apollonius, the Evaneti, -Crates, Numenius the grammarian, Pyrrhus of Magnesia, Thales, Zeno, and many others, as may be seen in Vossius, p. 156. Suidas ascribes several other works to Aratus. Virgil, in his Georgics, has translated or imitated many passages from this author: Ovid speaks of him with admiration, as well as many others of the poets: And St. Paul has quoted a passage from him; which is in | hisspeech to the Athenians (Acts xvii. 23.) whore he tells them that some of their own poets have said, “For we are also his offspring,” these words being the beginning of the 5th line of the Phenomena of Aratus.

His modern editors are Henry Stephens, who published his poem at Paris in 1566, in his collection of the poets, in folio, and Grotius, who published an edition of the Phenomena at Leyden in 4to, 1600, in Greek and Latin, with the fragments of Cicero’s version, and the translations of Germanicus and Avienus; all which the editor has illustrated with curious notes. The edition of Aratus published at Oxford by Fell, 1672, 8vo, with the scholia, is much esteemed; but the best is that recently published by J. Th. Buhle, at Leipsic, 1793 1801, 2 vols. 8vo, which is enriched by additions from manuscripts. 1


Geu. Dict. —Vossius. Pabr. Bibl. Grace.