|A Greek poet, of Soli in Cilicia, about 270 B.C., contemporary of Callimachus and Theocritus. At the request of the Macedonian king Antigonus Gonatas, at whose court he lived as physician, he wrote, without much knowledge of the subject, but guided by the works of Eudoxus and Theophrastus, an astronomical poem, Phoenomena and Prognostica (aspects of the sky and signs of weather). Without genuine poetic inspiration, Aratus manages his intractable material with considerable tact, and dignified simplicity. The language, while not always free from stiffness, is choice, and ihe versification correct. The poem enjoyed a high repute with the general public, as well as with poets and specialists: thus the great astronomer Hipparchus wrote a commentary on it in four books. The Romans also took pleasure in reading and translating it, e.g. Cicero, Caesar Germanicus, and Avienus.