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Epicedium
(294 words)

[German version]

(ἐπικήδειον; epikḗdeion, sc. μέλος; mélos, ᾆσμα; âisma). Ceremonial song at mourning (κῆδος, kḗdos) or during burial (cf. Pind. Pyth. 4,112). The chorus in Eur. Tro. 514 sings an epicedium (ᾠδὰν ἐπικήδειον; ōidàn epikḗdeion) over the fall of Troy; similarly, Plato speaks of the women who are ἐπικήδειοι ᾠδαί (epikḗdeioi ōidai), professional mourners at a burial. As a substantive, however, epicedium is used rarely and only quite late. Ancient authors tried to distinguish it from other words for ‘lament’: Proclus (Phot. 321a 30-32) calls epicedium a song ‘before t…

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Robbins, Emmet (Toronto), “Epicedium”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 14 June 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e332390>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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