(Aristarchus of Samothrace, flourished 156 BC) The greatest critic of antiquity and head of the Alexandrian library. Aristarchus’ labors were chiefly directed to the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer. He divided them up into twenty-four books each, marking every doubtful line with an obelus and every one he considered especially beautiful with an asterisk. He succeeded his teacher, Aristophanes of Byzantium, at the library in Alexandria.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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