ARISTEAS, a somewhat mythical personage, said to have been a native of Proconnesus, an island in the Propontis. He travelled extensively, under the inspiration of Apollo, through the countries north and east of the Euxine, and visited the Hyperboreans, Issedines, and Arimaspi. His date is uncertain ; Suidas places him in the period of Crcesus and Cyrus, others before the time of Homer. Herodotus and those who write of him regarded him as a magician, whose soul could enter and leave his body at pleasure. At Proconnesus he is said to have entered a shop and died there. While the owner of the shop was informing his family of the event, a stranger from Cyzicus told them that he had met and spoken with Aristeas. On going to the shop they did not find him, either dead or alive. Seven years after, he returned, wrote his poem, the A rimaspea, and again disappeared; 340 years later, he is said to have appeared at Metapontum, and commanded the inhabitants to raise an altar to Apollo, and a statue to himself. Of his poem, about a dozen lines are preserved by Longinus and Tzetzes. It appears to have contained geographical details. Sonic writers - Dionysius of Halicarnassus, for instance - do not believe that Aristeas was the author of this poem.