ARATUS, of Soli in Cilicia, a minor Greek didactic poet, a contemporary of Callimachus and Theocritus, was born about 315 B.C. He resided at the courts of Antigonus Gonatas and An trochus I. of Syria and died in Macedonia about 245 B.c. His only extant works are two short poems, or two fragments of his poem Phainomena written in hexameters ; an imitation of a prose work on astronomy by Eudoxus of Cnidus, and Diosemeia (on weather signs), chiefly from Theophrastus. The work has all the characteristics of the Alexandrian school of poetry. His poem attracted the notice of specialists, such as Hipparchus. Amongst the Romans it enjoyed a high reputation (Ovid, Amores, i. 15, 16). Cicero, Caesar Germanicus, and Avienus translated it; the two last versions and fragments of Cicero's are still extant. Virgil has imitated the Prognostica to some extent in the Georgics. One verse from the opening invocation to Zeus has become famous from being quoted by St. Paul (Acts xvii. 28).
BIBLIOGRAPHY.-Editio princeps (1499) ; later editions, Buhle Bibliography.-Editio princeps (1499) ; later editions, Buhle (1793) ; Maass (1893) ; Aratea (1892) ; Commentariorum in Aratum Reliquiae (1898) , by the same. English translations : Lamb (1848) ; Poste (188o) ; R. Brown (1885) ; Prince (1895) ; Mair (1921) . On recently discovered fragments, see H. I. Bell, in Classical Quarterly (April 1907) ; also Berliner Klassikertexte, Heft, v. 1., pp. 47-54.