Last updated
Fresco from the Casa dei Dioscuri, believed to exhibit Timomachus' influence Medea - Casa dei Dioscuri.JPG
Fresco from the Casa dei Dioscuri, believed to exhibit Timomachus' influence

Timomachus of Byzantium (or Timomachos, Ancient Greek : Τιμόμαχος) was an influential painter of the first century BCE.


Pliny the Elder, in his Naturalis Historia (35.136), records that Julius Caesar had acquired two paintings by Timomachus, one of Ajax during his madness, and a Medea meditating the slaying of her children, [1] which cost him the considerable sum of 80 talents. [2] :178 Scholars have connected these works with the carrying away of a Medea and Ajax from Cyzicus, an ancient port of Anatolia, mentioned in Cicero's In Verrem (2.4.135), and propose that Caesar acquired them there, shortly after his victory at Pharsalus. [3] :308 The paintings, "a pair linked to each other by their rage", [4] :210 were installed in front of the Temple of Venus Genetrix, and remained there until their destruction by fire in 80 CE.

The Anthology of Planudes preserves a number of epigrams on the Medea, which note its incomplete state, and praise its emotional intensity and verisimilitude. Scholars believe that two well-known depictions of Medea preserved at Pompeii were composed under the influence of Timomachus' work. [3] :309–310

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ajax the Lesser</span> Ancient Greek mythological hero

Ajax was a Greek mythological hero, son of Oileus, the king of Locris. He was called the "lesser" or "Locrian" Ajax, to distinguish him from Ajax the Great, son of Telamon. He was the leader of the Locrian contingent during the Trojan War. He is a significant figure in Homer's Iliad and is also mentioned in the Odyssey, in Virgil's Aeneid and in Euripides' The Trojan Women. In Etruscan legend, he was known as Aivas Vilates.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Euripides</span> 5th-century BC Athenian playwright

Euripides was a tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom any plays have survived in full. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him, but the Suda says it was ninety-two at most. Of these, eighteen or nineteen have survived more or less complete. There are many fragments of most of his other plays. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly because his popularity grew as theirs declined—he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with Homer, Demosthenes, and Menander.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Homer</span> Reputed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Homer was a Greek poet who is credited as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are foundational works of ancient Greek literature. Homer is considered one of the most revered and influential authors in history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sappho</span> Ancient Greek lyric poet (c. 630–c. 570 BC)

Sappho was an Archaic Greek poet from Eresos or Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. Sappho is known for her lyric poetry, written to be sung while accompanied by music. In ancient times, Sappho was widely regarded as one of the greatest lyric poets and was given names such as the "Tenth Muse" and "The Poetess". Most of Sappho's poetry is now lost, and what is extant has mostly survived in fragmentary form; only the Ode to Aphrodite is certainly complete. As well as lyric poetry, ancient commentators claimed that Sappho wrote elegiac and iambic poetry. Three epigrams formerly attributed to Sappho are extant, but these are actually Hellenistic imitations of Sappho's style.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cleopatra</span> Queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC

Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator was Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC, and its last active ruler. A member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great. After the death of Cleopatra, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, marking the end of the last Hellenistic period state in the Mediterranean and of the age that had lasted since the reign of Alexander. Her first language was Koine Greek and she is the only known Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language.

<i>Metamorphoses</i> Influential mythological narrative poem by Roman poet Ovid

The Metamorphoses is a Latin narrative poem from 8 CE by the Roman poet Ovid. It is considered his magnum opus. The poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar in a mythico-historical framework comprising over 250 myths, 15 books, and 11,995 lines.

<i>Bibliotheca</i> (Pseudo-Apollodorus) Compendium of Greek myths and heroic legends

The Bibliotheca, also known as the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus, is a compendium of Greek myths and heroic legends, arranged in three books, generally dated to the first or second century AD.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Callimachus</span> 3rd-century BC Greek poet, scholar and librarian

Callimachus was an ancient Greek poet, scholar and librarian who was active in Alexandria during the 3rd century BC. A representative of Ancient Greek literature of the Hellenistic period, he wrote over 800 literary works in a wide variety of genres, most of which did not survive. He espoused an aesthetic philosophy, known as Callimacheanism, which exerted a strong influence on the poets of the Roman Empire and, through them, on all subsequent Western literature.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christian Lobeck</span> German classical scholar

Christian August Lobeck was a German classical scholar.

Maximus Planudes was a Byzantine Greek monk, scholar, anthologist, translator, mathematician, grammarian and theologian at Constantinople. Through his translations from Latin into Greek and from Greek into Latin, he brought the Greek East and the Latin West into closer contact with one another. He is now best known as a compiler of the Greek Anthology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anyte</span> Hellenistic poet

Anyte of Tegea was a Hellenistic poet from Tegea in Arcadia. Little is known of her life, but twenty-four epigrams attributed to her are preserved in the Greek Anthology, and one is quoted by Julius Pollux; nineteen of these are generally accepted as authentic. She introduced rural themes to the genre, which became a standard theme in Hellenistic epigrams. She is one of the nine outstanding ancient women poets listed by Antipater of Thessalonica in the Palatine Anthology. Her pastoral poetry may have influenced Theocritus, and her works were adapted by several later poets, including Ovid.

Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides. It is based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and was first produced in 431 BC as part of a trilogy; the two other plays have not survived. The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a former princess of the kingdom of Colchis, and the wife of Jason; she finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth. Medea takes vengeance on Jason by murdering his new wife as well as her own two sons, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ancient Greek literature</span> Literature written in Ancient Greek language

Ancient Greek literature is literature written in the Ancient Greek language from the earliest texts until the time of the Byzantine Empire. The earliest surviving works of ancient Greek literature, dating back to the early Archaic period, are the two epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey, set in an idealized archaic past today identified as having some relation to the Mycenaean era. These two epics, along with the Homeric Hymns and the two poems of Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days, constituted the major foundations of the Greek literary tradition that would continue into the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods.

Richard John Alexander Talbert is a British-American contemporary ancient historian and classicist on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Ancient History and Classics. Talbert is a leading scholar of ancient geography and the idea of space in the ancient Mediterranean world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Temple of Venus Genetrix</span> Temple of Julius Caesar at Rome

The Temple of Venus Genetrix is a ruined temple in the Forum of Caesar, Rome, dedicated to the Roman goddess Venus Genetrix, the founding goddess of the Julian gens. It was dedicated to the goddess on September 26, 46 BCE by Julius Caesar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saepta Julia</span>

The Saepta Julia was a building in the Campus Martius of Rome, where citizens gathered to cast votes. The building was conceived by Julius Caesar and dedicated by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa in 26 BCE. The building replaced an older structure, called the Ovile, built as a place for the comitia tributa to gather to cast votes. The Saepta Julia can be seen on the Forma Urbis Romae, a map of the city of Rome as it existed in the early 3rd century CE. Part of the original wall of the Saepta Julia can still be seen right next to the Pantheon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forum of Caesar</span> Ancient Roman imperial forum, a landmark of Rome, Italy

The Forum of Caesar, also known by the Latin Forum Iulium or Forum Julium, Forum Caesaris, was a forum built by Julius Caesar near the Forum Romanum in Rome in 46 BC.

Antipater of Thessalonica was a Greek epigrammatist of the Roman period.

The Baths of Zeuxippus were popular public baths in the city of Constantinople. They took their name because they were built on a site previously occupied by a temple of Zeus, on the earlier Greek Acropolis in Byzantion. Constructed between 100 and 200, the Baths of Zeuxippus were destroyed during the Nika revolt of 532 and then rebuilt several years later. They were famed primarily for the many statues inside them, representing prominent individuals from history and mythology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Poetry of Sappho</span>

Sappho was an ancient Greek lyric poet from the island of Lesbos. She wrote around 10,000 lines of poetry, only a small fraction of which survives. Only one poem is known to be complete; in some cases as little as a single word survives. Modern editions of Sappho's poetry are the product of centuries of scholarship, first compiling quotations from surviving ancient works, and from the late 19th century rediscovering her works preserved on fragments of ancient papyri and parchment. Along with the poems which can be attributed with confidence to Sappho, a small number of surviving fragments in her Aeolic dialect may be by either her or her contemporary Alcaeus. Modern editions of Sappho also collect ancient "testimonia" which discuss Sappho's life and works.


  1. Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Timomachus". Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 989.
  2. Pollitt, J. J. (26 October 1990). The Art of Ancient Greece: Sources and Documents. Cambridge University Press. ISBN   978-0-521-27366-4 . Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  3. 1 2 Gurd, Sean Alexander (2007). "Meaning and Material Presence: Four Epigrams on Timomachus's Unfinished Medea". Transactions of the American Philological Association. 137 (2): 305–331. doi:10.1353/apa.2008.0003. ISSN   1533-0699. S2CID   170134971.
  4. Harris, William Vernon (2001). Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity. Harvard University Press. ISBN   978-0-674-00618-8 . Retrieved 12 January 2013.