c 310 - 240 BCE

Callimachus, a great poet in his own right, was also a scholar at the Library of Alexandria, the most important of the ancient classical world. Born towards the end of the fourth century BCE in the Greek colony of Cyrene in North Africa, he lived under the patronage of the dynasty of Greek pharaohs who ruled Egypt in the period following the death of Alexander the Great. The illustration shows a surviving ancient papyrus fragment from one of his works, the Coma Berenices (the lock of Berenice).