Brill’s New Pauly

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(749 words)

(ῥαψῳδοί/rhapsōidoí). Professional reciters of (as a rule epic) poetry. The profession emerged in Greece in the 8th cent. BC as a consequence of the transition from speech to writing as a medium for the transmission of information (Literacy/Orality).

[German version]

A. Meaning and connotation

The first component of the word is the stem of the verb ῥάπτειν/rháptein, 'sew' (cf. modern Greek ῥαπτο-μηχανή/rhapto-mēchanḗ, 'sewing machine'); the second element the stem of the noun ᾠδή/ōidḗ (< ἀοιδή/aoidḗ), …

Cite this page
Latacz, Joachim (Basle), “Rhapsodes”, 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 25 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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