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Philemon
Birth: unknown
Sicilia, Italy
Death: unknown
Athens
Attica, Greece

Playwright. Along with Menander and Diphilus he was the most famous poet of Ancient Greek New Comedy. His comedies of manners, which blended boisterous humor, unexpected plot twists and moralizing, were extremely popular and a century passed before the more sophisticated Menander overtook him in reputation. Of his 97 plays, Greek titles and fragments of 57 survive. We also have Latin adaptations of three Philemon comedies by the Roman author Plautus, "The Merchant" as "Mercator", "The Treasure" as "Trinummus", and "The Ghost" as "Mostellaria". Philemon was born around 360 BC in Syracuse, Sicily, the son of a comic poet named Damon who trained him in the family business. By 330 BC he was producing comedies in Athens, scoring his first victory at the Lenaia festival in 327 BC. Although records of his success are incomplete it was said he often defeated Menander in competition. Later generations found this so unfair they attributed Philemon's success to bribery and political influence. (A probably spurious anecdote has Menander asking his rival, "Don't you feel ashamed whenever you gain a victory over me?"). Apart from a short sojourn in Egypt at the court of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (sometime after 283 BC), he made Athens his home and was eventually granted citizenship there. Accounts of his death show how interchangeable certain myths were in ancient "biography". He allegedly lived to be 97, the same reputed age as comic playwrights Epicharmus and Cratinus, and either dropped dead onstage while receiving a laurel crown (a "fate" shared by poet Pindar and playwright Alexis) or laughed himself to death (likewise attributed to philosopher Chrysippus and the painter Zeuxis). His son Philemon the Younger was also a prolific comic playwright and it's possible that some of the fragments attributed to the father are actually his. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Non-Cemetery Burial
Specifically: Tomb of Philemon (defunct), Athens, Attica, Greece
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Mar 24, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87310670
Philemon
Added by: Anonymous
 
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- R I P
 Added: Jan. 17, 2015
Rest in Peace, Philemon. See you in Heaven. (I'm sorry no one has left you a tribute until I did today)
- Mary
 Added: Nov. 2, 2014
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