CALLINUS of Ephesus, the oldest of the Greek elegiac poets and the creator of the political and warlike elegy. He is supposed to have flourished between the invasion of Asia Minor by the Cimmerii and their expulsion by Alyattes (630–560 B.C.). During his lifetime his own countrymen were also engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the Magnesians. These two events give the key to his poetry, in which he endeavours to rouse the indolent Ionians to a sense of patriotism. Only scanty fragments of his poems remain; the longest of these (preserved in Stobaeus, Florilegium, li. 19) has even been ascribed to Tyrtaeus.
Edition of the fragments by N. Bach (1831), and in Bergk, Poetae Lyrici Graeci (1882). On the date of Callinus, see the histories of Greek literature by Mure and Müller; G. H. Bode, Geschichte der hellenischen Dichtkunst, ii. pt. i. (1838); and G. Geiger, De Callini Aetate (1877), who places him earlier, about 642.