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date: 16 September 2019

Archilochuslocked

  • Warren Anderson
  • , revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

Extract

(fl ?650 bce). Greek iambic and elegiac poet. He was a native of the Ionian island of Paros. ‘I am the squire of lord Ares’, he sang, ‘and skilled in the lovely gift of the Muses’ (Edmonds, frag.1). More artist than military man, he expressed both the external world and his responses to it in a remarkably personal tone.

His surviving poems contain no certain references to string instruments. The first word (tēnella) of his victory hymn, however, supposedly imitates the twang of a lyre string (Scholiast on Pindar, Olympian, ix.1–4); and one heavily restored fragment (Edmonds, frag.114, xiv) may refer to lyre playing accompanying the dance. He did clearly mention the aulos as a feature of religious or convivial occasions (frags.76; 32); possibly, though not certainly, he associated it with the performance of elegiac verse (frag.123) – a likely combination in this early period of elegy. According to a late source (Pseudo-Plutarch, ...

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