Philemon, an Athenian comic poet, born probably at Soli in Oilicia or in Syracuse about 360 B. 0., died in 262. He became a resident of Athens at an early age, and was the first writer of the new comedy in order of time, and inferior in celebrity only to Menander, from whom he bore away the palm of victory in several dramatic contests. He began to exhibit plays about 330 B. C, and produced 97, of which the titles of about 50 remain. It appears that he once went into voluntary exile on account of defeat in a dramatic competition; and also that he made a journey to the East, visiting Alexandria by invitation of Ptolemy, and meeting with some comical adventures, especially one with Magas of Cyrene, whom he had satirized in a comedy, and who took a contemptuous revenge by presenting him with a set of child's playthings when he visited his court. The fragments of his extant works are printed in the principal editions of Menander. Philemon's subjects are chiefly love intrigues, and his plays are remarkable for their wit and elegance.