Germanicus: Aratea

Introduction by Ivana Dobcheva


Germanicus or Tiberius (recent scholarship still argues about the authorship) made a second translation of Aratus’ poem known to us. Germanicus employed a more critical approach to the Phaenomena. Due to its elaborations and additions, as well as exclusions of certain parts his work is a reinterpretation rather than translation. Firstly, he introduced the corrections made by Hipparchus. Secondly, he dismissed most of the stoic elements in the text, so characteristic of Aratus’ work. Thirdly, Germanicus’ style resembles that of the Neoterics (Catullus, Cinna etc.) in contrast to Cicero’s mimesis of Ennius and Aratus’ usage of Hesiod as a model. The most radical change, however, is connected with his choice of replacing Aratus’ second part on weather signs with his own text on astral meteorology (the affect of the planets as they pass through the zodiac).

Some of Germanicus' manuscripts are accompanied by Scholia Basileensia (referred to therefore often as Germanicus’ scholia).


Selected Biblioigraphy


(draft version: 2021-01-15)
How to quote: Ivana Dobcheva, 'Germanicus: Aratea - Aratea Digital' ( - last update: 2021-01-15).