Epimenides a Greek poet, born in Crete, and highly revered as a prophet and natural sage at Athens, where he came by invitation B.C. cir. 596, and spent a long life. Our chief account of him is given by Diogenes Laeitius (1:10). He is said to have written prose works on sacrifices and the political constitution of Crete, together with two letters to Solon, which have all perished, as the extant copies of the last are spurious. Diogenes also attributes to him poetical works entitled the "Genesis and Theogony" of the Curetes and Corybantes (in 5000 verses), an epic on Jason and the Argonauts (in 6500 verses), and an epic on Minos and Rhadamanthys (in 4000 verses); but it is doubtful whether he ever wrote them. He may have been the author of poems called "Useful" and "Pure" (Χρησιμοί and Καθαρμοί), which are ascribed to him by other ancient authorities (Suidas, s.v. Ε᾿πιμενίδης ; Strabo, 10, page 479; Pausan. 1:14, 4). But all these have equally perished. He is probably referred to by the apostle Paul in the words (Tit 1:12; see Alford, Gr. Test. in loc.), "One of themselves [the Cretans], even a prophet of their own, said, 'The Cretans are always liars,'" etc., apparently quoting from certain old-fashioned poems written upon skins, and popularly attributed to Epimenides. — Smith, Dict. of Class. Biogr. s.v.; Heinrich, Epimenides aus Creta (Lpz. 1801); also the monographs De Epimenide of Gottschalck (Altorf, 1714), and Schuremann (Hafn. 1733).

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