Philemon of Syracuse

And yet no god, O am everywhere at once,
I am here in Athens, at Patras, in Sicily,
In every state and every house, indeed
In each man Jack of you. Air's everywhere
And, being everywhere, knows everything

Philemon of Syracuse (c. 362 - c. 262 BC) the son of Damon, New Comedy, from his 97 plays only fragments survived winner at Dionysia 327 BC, 3 times winner at Lenaea (according to the Parian chronicle). The exact number of his victories is unknown.

From the fragments and other sources around 60 titles are known.

According to Lucian: he died in a paroxysm of laughter at seeing an ass devouring some figs intended for his own eating (Philemon ordered his slave to give wine to the ass) Also another story : “The night before he died he saw nine girls leaving his house; they were the Muses

Another version says that he was presenting a new work in a theater but after starting to rain he was asked to continue next day. The next day they found him dead in his house holding a manuscript.

Some of his plays adapted by Plautus (Mercator, Triummus, Mostellaria) from (Emporos, Thesauros, Phasma)

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.

Some titles

  • Agroikos
  • Agyrtis
  • Adelfoi
  • Aitolos
  • Anakalypton
  • Ananeoumeni
  • Androfonos
  • Apokarteron
  • Apolis
  • Arpazomenos
  • Auletes
  • Babylonios
  • Gamos
  • Daktylios
  • Encheiridio
  • Ekyra
  • Emporos
  • Exoikizomenos
  • Epidikazomenos
  • Eurippos
  • Ephedritai
  • Ephebos
  • Iroes
  • Mystis
  • Pankratiastis
  • Palamedes
  • Panegyris
  • Sikelikos
  • Thibaioi
  • Thisauros


  • Most agree that he was from Syracuse, another possible birthplace is Soloi.


  • Suda
  • Aelianus (writes that Philemon was 101 years old when he died. Philemon was in Piraeus during the Chremonidean war 263-261 BC)
  • Hesychius of Milet
  • Strabo (who considers him to be from Soloi)
  • Plutarch (who writes that he and Alexis died on stage after a victory)
  • Diodorus Siculus (writes that he wrote 97 plays he died at an age of 99 years )
  • Aulus Gelius
  • Lucian (says that he died at an age of 97 years)
  • Quintilianus
  • Valerius Maximus
  • Plautus

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