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Sappho

(1,601 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
(Σαπφώ/ Sapphṓ; in her self-designation, fr. 1: Ψάπφω/ Psápphō). Greek poet c. 600 BC. [German version] A. Life Lyric poet, born at Mytilene or Eresus on Lesbos. Was regularly synchronized in Antiquity with the poet Alcaeus [4] and the statesman Pittacus (e.g., Str. 13,617). The date recorded in the Suda s.v. Σ. - the 42nd Olympiad = 612-609 BC - could refer either to her birth or to her akme. The latter is the more likely and accords with the notice in the Marmor Parium that she went into exile in Sicily between 603/02 and 596/95 (FGrH 239,36), when she s…

Kastoreion

(103 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Καστόρειον, sc. μέλος; Kastóreion mélos). A melody, named after Castor, sung by the Spartans, accompanied on the aulos, as they went off to battle. At the same time, the king started to sing the Embaterion (Plut. De musica 26,1140c; Plut. Lycurgus 22; Polyaenus, Strat. 1,10). The meter of these two martial airs was undoubtedly anapestic (Val. Max. 2,6,2). The association of Castor with horses (cf. Hom. Il. 3,237) establishes a connection between the kastoreion and the epinikion, especially on the occasion of horse competitions (Pind. Pyth. 2,69; Hyp…

Lycophronides

(92 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Λυκοφρονίδης; Lykophronídēs). Lyric poet, date and origin unknown. Two fragments are extant in Athenaeus, both come from the ‘Erotica’ of Clearchus [6]. Ath. 13,564a-b deals with modesty that is the basis of beauty; Ath. 15,670d-f is a poem of dedication by a shepherd who is in love; it has a slightly Doric coloration that is reminiscent of epideictic epigrams in which hunters offer up their hunting equipment (GA I 2, 34f.). The metre is idiosyncratic in both cases but is close to Ionic ( Metre). Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)

Mesomedes

(134 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Μεσομήδης; Mesomḗdēs). Cithara player and lyric poet from Crete, freedman of Hadrian (according to the Suda), main period of production AD 144 (according to Eusebius). Besides two poems in the Anthologia Palatina (14,63) and the Anthologia Planudea (16,323), 13 poems are transmitted by the manuscripts, four of which are provided with musical notation. They include hymns, animal fables, the description of a sponge and of a clock, as well as a poem on the manufacture of glass. There is a variety of metres, in particu…

Anacreontea

(634 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Ἀνακρεόντεια; Anakreónteia). A collection of poems, handed down in that manuscript of the 10th cent. AD which contains the  Anthologia Palatina. The poems were published for the first time in 1554 by Stephanus (Henri Estienne), who had seen the manuscript three years earlier in Louvain and had copied out the texts from it [1.178]. The copy made by Stephanus, today kept in Leiden, follows exactly the text of the poems in the MSS; however, his edition suppresses details which allow …

Cleomachus

(120 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Κλεόμαχος; Kleómachos). Kinaidographos, born in Magnesia, dates uncertain. According to Str. 14,1,41 he was a boxer who after falling in love with a kínaidos and a prostitute, whom he supported, began to write in the obscene language of the kínaidoi. Heph. Enchiridion 11,2 (= Consbruch 392,10-15) states that the Ionian acatalectic dimeter a maiore was called the Kleomacheion and that this verse form contained Molossian metre and choriambs. Hephaestion cites (as does Trichas ad loc. Consbruch 395,10) an example but neither is definitely…

Arion

(549 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Ἀρίων; Aríōn). Lyric poet from Methymna on Lesbos. According to statements in the Suda, his akme was in Olympiad 38 (628-624 BC), and it is said there that he had been a pupil of  Alcman. Hdt. 1,23 reports that he had been the first person to compose a  dithyramb, and given it a name and performed it in Corinth. The mention in the Suda awards him the merit of being ‘the first to have put together a chorus, sung a dithyramb and to have given a name to that which the chorus sang, and to be the fi…

Hybrias

(140 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Ὑβρίας; Hybrías). At the end of a collection of scholia, Ath. 695f adds a poem by H. of Crete, which ‘many consider to be a scholion ’ [1]. H. boasts of being the master of the public slaves (δεσπότας μνοΐας) and of earning a living as a soldier. The poem was formerly assumed to be a war song by a Doric nobleman, now is commonly regarded as the boasting of a man who comes from the class that he now rules [2]. A reference to the Persian Great King suggests the middle of the 6th cent. BC as terminus post quem. The two stanzas consist primarily of trochees, choriambs,and glyconics…

Erinna

(350 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Ἤριννα; Ḗrinna). Poet and author of a work known in antiquity as the ‘Distaff’ (Ἠλακάτη; Ēlakátē), a poem of 300 hexameters (Anon. Anth. Pal. 9,190,3). Eusebius indicates that her creative time was between 353 and 352 BC (= Ol. 106.4 or 107.1). The Suda, which erroneously made her into Sappho's contemporary, names several possible places of origin; the most probable being the island of Telos since she writes in Doric with the occasional Aeolism. The literary similarities with the works of  Ascl…

Praxilla

(165 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Πράξιλλα/ Práxilla). Lyric poetess from Sicyon, chief date c. 451 BC. (Eusebius, Jer. Chron. Ol. 82,2). Author of hymns (747 PMG), dithyrambs (748 PMG) and skólia (749, 750 PMG). Two verses about a girl seen at a window (754 PMG) are written in the praxilleion metre, named after her; the beginning syllables can be found as inscriptions on a Boeotian vase from the middle of the 5th cent. Her treatment of myth was innovative: Dionysus was the son of Aphrodite and not Semele (752 PMG); Zeus, not Laius, kidnapped Chrysippus (7…

Threnos

(312 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (θρῆνος/ thrênos, pl. thrênoi), dirge, lament. Homer apparently differentiated between a more spontaneous γόος ( góos, ‘weeping’, ‘wailing’) by relatives or friends (cf. Hom. Il. 18,316; 24,723; 24,747) and the threnos sung by outsiders: Hector's body, laid out on a bed, is surrounded by singers (Hom. Il. 24,719-722), the leaders of the threnos (ἔξαρχος/ éxarchos: Hom. Il. 24,721; ἐξάρχειν/ exárchein: 18,316) and the women who accompany the song with lamentations. In the lament for Patroclus (Hom. Il. 18,28-31 and 339-342), the captured T…

Lamynthius

(96 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Λαμύνθιος; Lamýnthios). Lyric poet from Miletus, dating uncertain. Phot. s.v. calls him a ‘poet of erotic poetry’ (ποιητὴς ἐρωτικῶν μελῶν; poiētḕs erōtikôn melôn); Ath. 13,596f-597a mentions two poets who write about hetaerae named Lyde: Antimachus [3] of Colophon, who composed his Lýdē in elegiac meter, and L., who according to Clearchus composed lyrical verse about a foreign (βαρβάρου/ barbárou) girl of the same name in his Erōtiká. He is named by Epicrates [4] in the Antilaḯs (PCG v 4) as the author of love songs. Fragments have not been preserved. Robbins, Emmet (…

Corinna

(358 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Κόριννα; Kórinna). Lyric Greek poet of the 5th cent. BC (?), probably from Tanagra in Boeotia (Paus. 9,22,3). The Suda gives various birthplaces, and has her a pupil of Myrtis and contemporary of  Pindarus, whom she is said to have defeated. Other, rather improbable, biographical anecdotes link her with Pindar. Although the Suda speaks of five bks., and many sources assign C. to the canon of nine lyric poets, her work was not published by the Alexandrians. There is also no survivi…

Hyporchema

(295 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (ὑπόρχημα; hypórchēma). Old Greek choral lyric that was originally associated with the weapon dance. The word hyporchema is first documented in Pl. Ion 534c, where it is cited along with forms of poetry.  Thaletas of Gortyn (7th cent. BC) was the first to compose hyporchḗmata to accompany the weapon dances of the  Curetes (schol. Pind. Pyth. 2,127). As warrior dances were more elaborate and mimetic than other choral dances, a soloist probably sang (Ath. 1,15d-e). Thaletas probably brought the hyporchema to Sparta, where, together with Xenodamus of Cythera, h…

Epicedium

(294 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[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…

Anabole

(290 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (ἀναβολή; anabolḗ). A musical introduction that precedes the singing, as with Pind. Pyth. 1,4 f. addressed to the lyre, ὅταν προοιμίων ἀμβολὰς τεύχηις: dancers and singers receive their cue from the first notes. It is clear from e.g. Hom. Od. 1,155 (= 8,266) φορμίζων ἀνεβάλλετο καλὸν ἀείδειν, that the singer, who underscores his singing voice with music, previously plays an instrumental part. No doubt he also used his instrument during the pauses in the singing. Flute-players also played ἀναβολαί ( anabolaí; Eupolis, PCG V 81). Aristot. Rh. 3,9,1409b 25 ment…

Daphnephorikon

(259 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (δαφνηφορικόν; daphnēphorikón). A song sung by maidens at the  Daphnephoria, a festival for Apollo Ismenios in Thebes (Paus. 9,10,4). Proclus (Phot. 321a34) reports daphnēphoriká as part of Pindar's Partheneia; the Suda s.v. Πίνδαρος counts daphnēphoriká amongst the 17 books (in addition to the Partheneia). POxy. 4,659 (1904) = Pind. fr. 94b Snell-Maehler provides us with a substantial fragment of a daphnēphorikón. The poem was written in honour of Agasicles, the grandson of an Aeoladas (l. 9), to whom fr. 94a is obviously addressed. Pagon…

Epitaphios

(353 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
(ἐπιτάφιος; epitáphios). [German version] [1] Funerary epigram see  Funerary epigram Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) [German version] [2] Funeral games or funeral oration (sc. ἀγών or λόγος; agṓn or lógos: funeral games or funeral oration). Funeral games are known since Hom. Il. 23; for Athens, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 58 mentions an epitáphios agṓn (for Sparta cf. Paus. 3,14,1). The term ‘funeral oration’ (ἐπιτάφιος λόγος; first in Pl. Menex. 236b) is only confirmed for Athens; it refers to the laudatio for a well-respected citizen in accordance with the πάτριος νόμος; pátrios nómos, ‘the inhe…

Cinesias

(342 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Κινησίας; Kinēsías). Athenian dithyrambic poet, whose creative period ranged from c. 425 to 390 BC. His father Meles (Pl. Grg. 501e-502a) is referred to in Pherecrates' Ágrioi (PCG VII 6, cf. Aristoph. Av. 766) as the worst kitharode imaginable. IG II2 3028 of the early 4th cent. BC preserves fragments of a dedication by a victorious choregos of a choir under C.'s direction. In 394/3 BC, in his function as   bouleutḗs , C. succeeded in his proposition to the people's assembly (IG II2 18) of honouring Dionysius I of Syracuse. Lysias (Ath. 551d-552f) attacked h…

Lamprocles

(114 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto)
[German version] (Λαμπροκλῆς; Lamproklês). Musician and poet of Athens, early 5th cent. BC. Among his pupils were Damon, the teacher of Pericles (Diels/Kranz 1, 382), and possibly Sophocles (Ath. 1,20e states that the latter's teacher was Lamprus; perhaps a confusion with L. [1. 315]). Ath. 11,491c cites a dithyramb fragment. The only other preserved fragment comes from a hymn to Athena (schol. Aristoph. Nub. 967). To L. is attributed the observation that the Mixolydian mode does not relate to the other keys in the manner assumed until that time [2. 223-224]. Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) Bib…
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