Moschus and Bion, for they have usually been joined together, were two Grecian poets of antiquity, who flourished about 200 years B. C. and were contemporaries of Theocritus. The prodigious credit of Theocritus as a pastoral poet enabled him to engross not only the fame of his rivals, but their works too. In the time of the latter Grecians, all the ancient idyliiums were heaped together into one collection, and Theocritus’s name prefixed to the whole volume; but learned men having adjudged some of the pieces to their proper owners, the claims of Moschus and Bion have been admitted to a few little pieces, sufficient to make us inquisitive about their character and story. Yet all that can be known of them must be collected from their own small remains for Moschus, by composing his exquisite “Elegy on Bion,” has given the best memorials of Bion’s life, as well as the most perfect composition of its kind. We learn from it, that Bion was of Smyrna, that he was a pastoral poet, and that he unhappily perished by poison, and,


Tanner. Bale. —Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit. Lloyd’s State Worthies, Lodge’s illustrations. Wood’s Annals.

| as it should seem, not accidentally, but by the command of some great person. Moschus and Theocritus have by some critics been supposed the same person; but there are irrefragable testimonies against it. Moschus, in the “Elegy on Bion,” introduces Theocritus bewailing the same misfortune in another country and Servius says that Virgil chose to imitate Theocritus preferably to Moschus, and others who had written pastorals. Some will have it that Moschus, as well as Bion, lived later than Theocritus, upon the authority of Suidas, who affirms Moschus to have been the scholar of Aristarchus, in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor; while others suppose him to have been the scholar of Bion, and probably his successor in governing the poetic school. The latter supposition is collected from the elegy of Moschus, and does not seem improbable. The few but inimitable remains of these two poets are to be found in all editions of the “Poetas Minores,” and of separate editions there are some very valuable ones, particularly the rare and curious one of Mekerchus, printed at Bruges, 1565, 4to; and those of Schwebelius, Venice, 1746, 8vo; of Heskin, Oxford, 1748, 8vo, and of Gilbert Wake field, 1795, 8vo. 1
1 Fabr. Bib!. Grace, Dibdin’s Classics.- Du Bois’ “Wreath,1796, 8ro.