Internal evidence dates Theocritus of Syracuse’s (thee-AHK-ruht-uhs of SIHR-uh-kyews) poetry to the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus in Egypt. Probably originally from Syracuse but also linked through his poetry with Cos and Alexandria, Theocritus is famous for creating a bucolic world that provided inspiration for Vergil’s Eclogues (43-37 b.c.e.; English translation, 1575, also known as Bucolics) and the later pastoral tradition. However, Theocritus’s urban and mythological poems are equally artful and innovative, mixing genres and blurring distinctions between high and low culture. Therefore, the population of Theocritus’s poetry includes—in addition to herdsmen and other rustics—housewives, soldiers, drinking companions, baby Heracles, and an adolescent Polyphemus in love. The urban mimes (short dramatic scenes) offer a special forum for exploring issues of contemporary importance, including gender relations, colonialism, and patronage. Theocritus’s innovation is also evident in his artful reworking of motifs and techniques from epic, archaic lyric, New Comedy, and mime.