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The Greek term originally designated the man who adapted the words to the epic song, i.e. the epic poet himself, who in the earlier time recited his own poetry. Afterwards the term specially denoted one who made the poems of others a subject of recitation. At first such rhapsodists were generally poets themselves; but, with the gradual dying out of epic poetry, they came to bold the same position as was afterwards held by the actors, professionally declaiming the lays of the epic poets. Epic verses were originally sung to musical accompaniment, but after the time of Terpander, as lyric poetry became more indepeDdently cultivated, the accompaniment of stringed instruments fell into disuse; and then gradually, instead of a song-like recitation, a simple declamation, in which the rhapsodist held a branch of bay in his hand, came to be generally adopted. This bad happened even before the time of Plato and Aristotle [See especially Plato's Ion]. As in earlier times the singers moved from place to place, in order to get a hearing at the courts of princes or before festive gatherings, so the rhapsodists also led an unsettled and wandering life. In Athens [Lycurgus, Leocr. § 102] and many other towns [as at Sicyon, before the time of the tyrant Clisthenes (Herod., v 67)], public recitations of the Homeric poems were appointed, at which the rhapsodists competed with one another for definite prizes, and thus found opportunity to display their art. It is true that other epic poems, and even the iambic poetry of Archilochus and Simonides of Amorgus, were also recited by rhapsodists; still at all times the labours of such reciters continued to be devoted in the first place to Homeric poetry [Pindar, Nem. ii 2; Plato, Ion 530 D, Rep. 599 E, Phoedr. 252 B]. Hence they were also called Homeridoe and Homeristoe [Aristotle in Athenoeus, 620 B]. It was to the older rhapsodists that the Homeric poems primarily owed their wide diffusion among the Greeks. In the course of time the high esteem in which the rhapsodists originally stood began to decline, because many practised their art as a matter of business, and in a purely mechanical fashion. Still their employment survived long beyond the classical time, and not only did the public competitions continue to exist, but it was also the custom to introduce rhapsodists at banquets and on other occasions.
At Rome books were sometimes read aloud before their publication. This custom was introduced in the time of Augustus by Asinius Pollio. At first these readings took place only before friends specially invited; afterwards they were publicly announced, and were held before great assemblies, either in the theatre or at the public baths or in the Forum, admission being open to all. Introduced, in the first instance, with a view to obtaining the criticisms of the audience, to help the author in his final revision of his work, they soon became of such importance that they determined the success of the work so recited. At the same time second-rate talent was often blinded to its imperfections by the exaggerated applause of a clique. In the time of the younger Pliny these recitations were so much in fashion that [in the April of a particular year] hardly a day passed without one. [Ep. i 13 § 1. Cp. iii 7 § 5; 18 § 4; v 17 § 4; vii 7; Juvenal, i 3; iii 9; vii 70, with Mayor's note.] They seem to have continued till the 6th century A.D.
The representation of a dramatic subject by dancing and rhythmic gesticulation alone, as practised by the Romans. It originated in the custom of the ancient Roman drama, of only allowing an actor on the stage to make the necessary movements of dancing and gesticulation, while another actor sang the recitative to the accompaniment of the flute. This recitative was called canticum, and was a monologue composed in rhythmical form. The illustrative dance was raised to a separate, independent branch of art by Pylades and Bathyllus under Augustus, 22 B.C. There were comic and tragic pantomimes, but the latter variety prevailed on the stage of the Empire. The subjects were chiefly taken from tragedies founded on mythological love stories, and treated so that the chief situations were included in a series of cantica. All of these were represented by a single pantomimus, the dancer, as well as the performer, being designated by that name. He thus had to represent several characters, male and female, in succession, while a chorus, accompanied by flutes and other instruments, sang the corresponding song. The pauses necessary for the change of mask and costume for each successive part were apparently filled up with the recital of music by the chorus, which served to connect the chief scenes with each other. It was only in the latest times of the Empire that women were employed in pantomime. Pantomime, aiming at sensual charm alone, went beyond all bounds of decorum in the representation of delicate subjects. As an understanding of the subtleties of the art required a cultivated taste, pantomime was specially favoured by the higher classes, while the mime, with his buffoonery, was more pleasing to the multitude. On the true dramatic ballet of imperial times, see PYRRHIC.DANCE.
The name of the first public educational institution at Rome, built by Hadrian about 135 A.D. The building was in the form of a theatre, and brilliantly fitted up. There rhetoricians and poets held their recitations, and salaried professors gave their lectures in the various branches of general liberal education, philosophy and rhetorie, as well as grammar and jurisprudence. This continued until late in the imperial age.
A Greek philosopher and poet, born about 570 B.C. at Colophon in Asia Minor. At the age of 25, after the conquest of his native city by the Persians, he was expelled from his home, and thence-forth led an unsettled and wandering life, in the course of which he recited his own poems as rhapsodies. Accordingly, he lived from time to time at the court of the Pisistratidae at Athens, and at that of Hieron at Syracuse, and for a longer period at Zancle and Catana in Sicily. His later years he apparently spent at Elea (Lat. Velia) in South Italy, a colony of the Phocaeans, in the founding of which he took part. In one fragment he describes himself as an old man of 92; according to another account, he lived to be more than 100. He is the founder of the Eleatic philosophy and of pantheism, inasmuch as he combated the anthropomorphic view of the gods dominant in Homer and Hesiod, and in the popular belief in general. He asserted the doctrine of a one all-ruling divinity, who, as true existence: opposed to appearance or non-existence as the One and the All, the Whole, undivided, unmoved, and eternal, underlies the universe and is identical with it. He resembles man neither in form nor understanding; being all eye, all ear, all intellect, by the power of his mind and without extraneous effort he sways and governs all things. Apart from two elegiac poems, we possess only fragments of the writings of Xenophanes: viz. part of the didactic poem, Concerning Nature, his principal work, which he himself recited; part of an epic poem on the founding of Colophon and Elea; and fragments of the Silloi, or satires in which he attacked the opposing views of poets and philosophers.
HOMER 52.17%
The poet, whose name is borne by the two oldest and at the same time grandest monuments of the Greek genius, the epic poems called the Iliad and the Odyssey. Concerning the personality of the poet, his country, and his time, we have no trustworthy information. Even the personal existence of the poet has been disputed, and it has often been attempted to prove, from the meaning of the name, that he was not an individual, but an ideal type. It has been held that Homer means either orderer or comrade, and it has been supposed that in the former case the name indicates the ideal representative of the epic poem in its unified and artistically completed form, whilst the other explanation is suggestive of an ideal ancestor and patron of an exclusive order of minstrels. But as Homer is a proper name, simply meaning hostage, without any connexion with poetry, there is nothing in the name itself to give occasion to any doubt as to the existence of Homer as an historical personage. In antiquity seven places contended for the honour of being his birthplace: Smyrna, Rhodes, Colophon, Salamis (in Cyprus), Chios, Argos, and Athens; yet there is no doubt that the Homeric poems originated on the west coast of Asia Minor, and the older tradition is fairly correct in fixing on the Aeolian Smyrna as his home, and on the Ionian island of Chios as the place where his poetry was composed. The Aeolc colouring of the Ionic dialect, which forms the foundation of Homeric diction, agrees with this; as also the fact that at Chios for centuries afterwards there was a family called the Homeridoe, who, called after his name, claimed descent from him and occupied themselves with the recitation of his poetry. As to the time when the poet lived, all the views of early investigators, founded on chronological considerations, differ widely from one another. However, this much seems certain, that the period in which epic poetry attained the degree of perfection to which Homer brought it does not fall either before B.C. 950 or after 900. Of the various traditions respecting Homer, we need only state, that his father's name was Meles, that in his old age he was blind, and that he died on the small island of Ios, where his grave was shown, and on it yearly, in the month called after him Homereon, a goat was sacrificed to the poet, who was worshipped as a hero. Perhaps the story of his blindness arose from fancying that Demodocus, the blind singer in the Odyssey, was a prototype of Homer. A trustworthy corroboration of this was supposed to be found in the fact that the author of the hymn to the Delian Apollo, which the voice of antiquity unhesitatingly described to Homer, represented him as blind and living on the island of Chios. The importance of Homer rests in the fact that, while using the fixed forms of poetic diction and metre which had been fashioned by his predecessors, he was able to raise epic song to the definite level of epic poetry with its systematic arrangement and its artistic elaboration. The two epics which bear his name, the Iliad and the Odyssey, both of which at a late period were divided into twenty-four books, deal with the legends of Troy. The Iliad traverses an interval of fifty-one days out of the tenth year of the Trojan War, according to a simple plan with a consecutive account of the events of the time. Beginning with the wrath of Achilles at being deprived of his captive, the maiden Briseis, at the command of Agamemnon, it narrates the ever-increasing distress which the indignant hero's withdrawal from the battle brings upon the Greeks in their fights on the Trojan plain, around the walls, and near the naval camp. This gives a suitable opportunity for describing the other heroes down to the fall of Patroclus, which is the turning-point of the poem. Then follows the reconciliation of Achilles, his avenging his slain friend by killing Hector, and the funeral games in honour of Patroclus. The poem comes to a tragical conclusion with the surrender and burial of the body of Hector. The Odyssey similarly deals with a multitude of incidents connected with the return of Odysseus to his home, all of which take place in the narrow interval of forty days, but according to a highly artistic and complex plan. In contrast to the two main portions of the Iliad, the Odyssey consists of four parts. The first describes the adventures of Telemachus, who is oppressed by the suitors of his mother Penelope, and sets off on a journey to Nestor at Pylos and Menelaus at Sparta, in quest of his father. Thus the poet finds occasion to give an account of the different fates of the Greek heroes on their return home. The second part describes the adventures of Odysseus in his voyage from Ogygia, the island of Calypso, his stay among the Phaeacians (connected with which is the hero's own account of his wanderings on his voyage from Troy down to his landing at Ogygia), and, lastly, his arrival at Ithaca. The third part contains his visit to the hut of the swineherd Eumaeus, his recognition by Telemachus (who has returned home) and by his faithful servant, and the planning of vengeance on the suitors. The fourth part contains the carrying out of the vengeance, and the whole is brought to a peaceful conclusion by the re-union of the hero with his wife Penelope and his aged father Laertes. By means of professional reciters, who went from city to city and were called rhapsodoi (q.v.), the Homeric poems found a rapid circulation, not only in their Asiatic home, but also in Greece and its western colonies. They were introduced into Sparta by Lycurgus [Plut., Lyc. 4], who learned their existence in his travels, at Samos, from the descendants of Creophylus, a poet reputed to have been a friend and relation of Homer. In 753 B.C., twenty-three years after the commencement of the Olympiads, they were, in fact, the common property of all Greeks. At the recitations given by the rhapsodoi at many places during festivals, the great bulk of the poems from the very first necessitated a regular division of the subject into suitable, portions, in order to give intervals of rest not only to the reciters, but also to the audience. Hence arose the division into separate lays called rhapsodies, with distinctive titles, which were still in use at a later date, when both poems were divided into twenty-four books. It soon became customary to recite single rhapsodies, some being especial favourites and considered more suitable than others for showing the special talents of individual rhapsodists to advantage. Thus it happened that some portions easily fell into oblivion and gaps arose in the oral tradition of the poems. On the other hand, the rhapsodists could not avoid giving a certain finish and completeness to their favourite pieces, and even permitted themselves to make alterations and additions where they saw fit. To Athens belongs the honour of having arrested the everincreasing confusion caused by these practices. Solon was the first to order that the rhapsodists at their public recitals should keep closely to the traditional text of the poems. Pisistratus (about B.C. 535) made, by means of a committee of several poets, headed by Onomacritus (q.v.), a collection of the scattered lays and a revision of the text, founded on extant copies and on the oral traditions of the rhapsodists. [Cic., De Orat. iii 137 and Pausanias, vii 26, are the earliest authorities for this vague and doubtful story.] Either Pisistratus or his son Hipparchus made the regulation that the rhapsodists, in their competitions at the Panathenaic festival, should recite in consecutive order and completeness the Homeric poems, which had been thus restored to their proper form. To this revision, which could only partially counteract the gradually increasing corruption of the text, we may probably trace the copies of the Homeric poems which were afterwards in existence in various parts of Greece. In course of time these also in their turn underwent many arbitrary alterations, chiefly at the hands of the learned who sought to improve the text. The first to do this were the Alexandrine scholars, who found in Homer a central point for their philological studies, and practised a methodical criticism of the text, for which they enjoyed both the means and the opportunity in the collection of ancient manuscripts of the poet in the Library of Alexandria. The beginning was made by ZENODOTUS of Ephesus, who was succeeded by ARISTOPHANES of Byzantium, whose pupil ARISTARCHUS (q.v.,) by his dition of Homer, reached the highest point that the ancients ever attained in philological criticism. The editions of these Alexandrine critics were founded on the redaction by Pisistratus, and are themselves the origin of our present text of the Homeric poems. From that time forward down to the latest times of Greek antiquity, Homer never ceased to be a theme for learned disquisition, which is attested for us by numerous remains still in existence. Even in ancient times scholars occupied themselves with the question whether the Iliad and the Odyssey were composed by the same poet. This question was fully justified by the fact that the name of Homer had long been recognised as a collective term, and had included a long series of epics formed on his model, the true authorship of which was only gradually discovered; and it did not escape observation that the Odyssey, in its more artistic design, as well as in relation to social, moral, and religious life, belonged to a more advanced stage of development than the Iliad. Thus, in ancient times, those who are known as Chorizontes (or "Separaters"), headed by the grammarians Xenon and Hellanious, probably belonging to the beginning of the Alexandrine period, held that the Odyssey was composed by a later poet. Even modem scholars have shared this view, while others, relying on the essential correspondence of tone, language, and metre, attribute less importance to the points of divergence, and explain them as due to the difference in the aim of the two poems as well as in the poet's time of life. With all our admiration of the art and beauty of the Homeric poems, it is not to be denied that they do not stand throughout on the same level of perfection, but that, by the side of the most magnificent passages, there are others which are dull and less attractive, and interruptions of the narrative and even contradictions are not wanting. Such blemishes did not escape the observation of the Alexandrine scholars, who met objections of this kind by assuming frequent interpolations, not only of single lines, but of whole passages; e.g. they held that the second half of the last book but one, and the whole of the last book of the Odyssey, were spurious. In modern times many explanations of these defects have been put forward. In the first place F. A. Wolf [1795] observed that in the time of Homer the art of writing was not yet practised to such an extent as to be employed for literary purposes; and held that it was impossible even for the highest genius, with the aid of memory alone, either to produce such comprehensive works, and to transmit them to others. On these grounds he held that the Iliad and Odyssey received their existing form, for the first time, in the time of Pisistratus, when the old lays on the Trojan War, which had hitherto been preserved by oral tradition alone, were fixed by means of writing, and collected and united into two great wholes. He has been followed by others who have endeavonred to dissect the Iliad in particular into its separate and originally independent lays. Others hold that Homer's two poems consisted of compositions of moderate length; the Wrath of Achilles and the Return of Odysseus, which, by amplifications, improvements, and alterations, have resulted in the existing Odyssey and Iliad. Others again, instead of assuming a larger number of single lays, assume a combination of small epic poems, an Achilleis and an Iliad, thus resulting in the present Iliad, and a Telemachia and a Return of Odysseus in the present Odyssey. On the other hand, many important authorities maintain that, granting the possibility of a utilization of previously existing lays, the Odyssey and Iliad, from the very beginning, respectively constituted a united whole; but that, soon after their first composition, they underwent manifold revision and amplification, until they received, before the beginning of the Olympiads, the essential form which they still retain. Certain it is that, after the first Olympiad, longer epic poems were composed on the model of the Iliad and Odyssey, and in continuation of them; and it cannot be denied that, long before this period, the art of writing had been extensively employed in Greece. It is also beyond contradiction that, apart from corruptions which arose from later alterations, dissimilarities in the treatment of the several parts, as well as many inconsistencies, may have existed in the poems even in their primitive form. In spite of such blemishes of detail, the Homeric poems remain unsurpassed as works of art, which have had an incalculable influence not only upon the development of literature and art, but also upon the whole life of the Greeks, who from the earliest times regarded them as the common property of the nation, and employed them as the foundation of all teaching and culture. Even now, after nearly 3,000 years, their influence remains unimpaired. Besides the Iliad and Odyssey, we still possess under the name of Homer: (a) A collection of Hymns: five of greater length on the Pytbian and Delian Apollo, Hermes, Aphrodite, and Demeter; and twenty-nine shorter poems on various gods. These are really prooemia, or introductions, with which the rhapsodists prefaced their recitations. Their object is to praise the god at whose festival the recitation took place, or who was specially honoured in the town where the rhapsodist presented himself. Perhaps even the choice of the introduction may have been influenced by the contents of the subsequent poem. If these poems did not originate with Homer, at any rate they are the compositions of rhapsodists of the Homeric school, called Homeridoe. Thus the rhapsodist Cynaethus of Chios (about B.C. 504) is named as the author of the hymn to the Delian Apollo. The collection appears to have been prepared for the use of the rhapsodists in Attica, with a view to selections being made from it at pleasure. (b) Sixteen small poems called Epigrammata, remains of an older poetry, two of which are lays in a popular style: the Kaminos, or "potter's oven" (in which the blessing of Athene is invoked on a batch of earthenware, when placed in the furnace), and a kind of begging song, called the Eiresione (lit. a harvest-wreath wound round with wool). (c) The Batrachoyomachia, the Battle of the Frogs and Mice, a parody of the Iliad, is generally attributed to Pigres, the brother of the Carian queen Artemisia, so well known in connexion with the Persian Wars. The ancient satirical epic poem called the Margites ("the dolt") has been lost. Its great antiquity may be inferred from its having been assigned to Homer as early as the time of Archi1ochus ob. 676 B.C.) [On Homer, see Prof. Jebb's Introduction]
SOTADES 46.56%
A Greek poet from Maroneia in Thrace, who lived at Alexandria under Ptolemy Philadelphus about 276 B.C. He is said to have been drowned in the sea in a leaden chest for some sarcastic remark about the marriage of the king with his own sister Arsinoe. He composed in Ionic dialect and in a peculiar metre named after him (Sotadeus or Sotadicus versus), poems called cinoedi, malicious satires partly on indelicate subjects, which were intended for recitation accompanied by a mimic dance, and also travesties of mythological subjects, such as the Iliad of Homer. He found numerous imitators.
The general feast of the PHRATRIES (q.v.) held chiefly by Greeks of the Ionian race. At Athens it lasted three days in the month of Pyanepsion (Oct.-Nov.), and was celebrated with sacrificial banquets. On the third day the fathers brought their children born since the last celebration before the members (phrators) assembled at the headquarters of each phratria, and after declaring on oath their legitimate birth, bad their names inscribed on the roll of phratores. For every child enrolled a sheep or goat was sacrificed, which went to furnish the common feast. On the same day the fathers made their children who were at school give proofs of their progress, especially by reciting passages from poets, and those who distinguished themselves were rewarded with prizes.
The Greeks were early familiar with the practice of multiplying copies of books by transcription, either to private order or for public sale. As far back as the 5th Century B.C. the Athenians had a special place in their market-place for selling books, and it is clearly established that a regular book-fair existed at Athens by about 300 B.C. In Rome, towards the end of the republican age, the business of copying books and the book-trade in general developed on a large scale, and it became a fashionable thing to possess a library. The book-trade, in the proper sense of the term, owes its existence to Atticus, the well-known friend of Cicero. He kept a number of slaves skilled in shorthand and calligraphy (librarii), whom he set to copy a number of Cicero's writings, Which he then disposed of at a considerable profit in Italy and Greece. His example was soon followed, especially as the interest in new literary productions, and the love of reading, greatly increased after the time of Augustus. To facilitate the appearance of a great number of copies at the same time, the scribes were often set to write from dictation. Much use was made of the abbreviations (notae) invented by Tiro, the freedman of Cicero. The binding was done, as well as the writing, by the librarii ; and as the brittle papyrus was the usual material, the book was generally made up in the form of a roll (see WRITING MATERIALS). The ends of the roll were strengthened with thin strips of bone or wood, which were either provided at top and bottom with a knob (umbilicus), or finished off in the shape of a horn. Previously to this, the upper and lower edges were carefully clipped, smoothed with pumice-stone, and tinted with black. To protect it from moths and worms, the roll was dipped in cedar oil, which gave it a yellowish tinge. The title of the work (titulus or index) was written in red on a strip of parchment attached to the end of the roll. Expensive copies, especially in the case of poems, had a gilt umbilicus, as well as a parchment cover of purple colour. The books were then exposed for sale in the bookseller's shops, and sold at what appear, considering the circumstances, reasonable prices. The booksellers were called librarii or bibliopoloe; their shops were situated in the most frequented parts of the city, and much used, both as reading-rooms and rendezvous for learned discussion. As a general rule there was a good sale for books, especially such as had won popularity before publication in the public recitations (see RECITATIONS). Books were also much bought in the provinces, whose inhabitants were anxious to keep abreast with the intellectual life of the capital. Even works which were little thought of in Rome sometimes found an easy sale in other parts of the empire. It does not appear that the author received any honorarium from the publisher.[1]
the Rhodian. A Greek scholar and epic poet of the Alexandrian age, born at Alexandria about 260 B.C., a pupil of Callimachus, wrote a long epic, The Argonautica, in four books, in which, departing from his master's taste for the learned and artificial, he aimed at all the simplicity of Homer. The party of Callimachus rejected the poem, and Apollonius retired in disgust to Rhodes, where his labours as a rhetorician, and his newly revised poem, won him hearty recognition and even admission to the citizenship. Hence his surname. Afterwards, returning to Alexandria, he recited his poem once more, and this time with universal applause, so that Ptolemy Epiphanes, in B.C. 196, appointed him to succeed Eratosthenes as librarian. He probably died during the tenure of this office. His epic poem, which has survived, has a certain simplicity, though falling far short of the naturalness and beauty of Homer; its uniform mediocrity often makes it positively tedious, though it is constructed with great care, especially in its versification. By the Romans it was much prized, and more than once imitated, as by Varro of Atax and Valerius Flaccus. A valuable collection of scholia upon it testifies the esteem in which it was held by the learned of old.
The famous Greek historian, called the Father of History, born about 490-480 B.C., at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor. He was of noble family, being the son of Lyxes and Dryo (or Rhoio). Like his uncle, the poet Panyasis (q.v.), he fled in 460 to the island of Samos, having been expelled from his native town by the tyrant Lygdamis. From this spot he seems to have completed his great travels, which he had already begun when at Halicarnassus. These travels were most extensive: he traversed Asia Minor, the interior of Asia nearly as far as Susa, the Graeco-Asiatic islands, Egypt as far as Elephantine, Cyrene, the shores of the Euxine as far as the Caucasus and the mouth of the Danube, as well as Greece and the neighbouring countries. Having returned with his uncle to Halicarnassus, he took part in the expulsion of Lygdamis (about 450), but, probably in consequence of political intrigues, he fell into disgrace with his fellow townsmen, and was again compelled to quit his native country. In 445 he betook himself to Athens in order to take part in the projected colonization of Thurii in Southern Italy. Here he gave public readings from the works which he had begun to compose in Samos (probably the portions relating to the Persian War). They met with such applause that he was rewarded with a present of ten talents (£2,000) from the public treasury. He is also said to have given similar recitations elsewhere--at the festal assembly of the Greeks at Olympia, and also at Corinth and Thebes. We are told that at one of these recitals Thucydides was present as a boy, and was so affected that he shed tears and resolved to devote himself to the writing of history. [See, however, Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, chap. ii, sect. ii.] Herodotus was in close intercourse with the leading men of the day. In Athens, which he seems to have often visited, after having settled at Thurii (443), he knew Pericles and the poet Sophocles, who composed a special poem in his honour in 442. It was doubtless there that he was prompted to mould the materials of his history into a complete and artistic whole. He carried forward this plan at Thurii; but it is probable that his death, which occurred about 424, prevented his finishing his grand design. This work (which the Alexandrine critics divided into nine books, named after the nine Muses), marks the beginning of real historical writing among the Greeks. The industry of the earlier historical writers (known as Logographi, q.v.) had contented itself with collecting material for a limited purpose, such as histories of towns and families, arranged in an uncritical and inartistic manner. It is the merit of Herodotus, that, by his study of the existing literature and by his travels, he collected historical, geographical, and ethnographical materials relating to the greater part of the then known world, that he sifted them with some critical discernment, that he arranged them under leading topics, and set them forth in an original and attractive form. The true scope of the work, which embraces a period of 320 years down to the battle of Mycale (479), is the struggle between the Greeks and the barbarians; with this leading thread of his narrative are inwoven, in a countless number of episodes, descriptions of the countries and races, more or less closely connected with the principal events of the story, so that the result is a complete picture of the known world as it then existed. In subordination to this general object, the whole narrative is inspired with the one guiding thought, that all history is determined by a moral government of the world, ordained by a Providence which rules the destinies of man; and that every exaltation of man above the limits fixed by the eternal law of heaven excites the jealousy of the gods, and draws down an avenging Nemesis on the head of the guilty one himself, or his descendants. His veracity shows itself in the sharp distinction he draws between personal observation, oral information, and mere conjecture; his impartiality, his just recognition of praiseworthy qualities (even on the side of the enemy), is displayed in his frank censure of political or moral failings which he thinks he perceives in his friends; while his nobility of character is evinced by his hearty delight in all that is good and beautiful. Although by race Herodotus belonged to the Dorians, he nevertheless made use of the Ionic dialect which had been employed by his predecessors, the logographi, though at times he mingles it with Epic, Doric, and Attic forms. His simplicity of style recalls that of the logographi, but he far excels them in clearness and general intelligibility of composition, in a pleasing flow of language, in an epic, and often even redundant, fulness of expression, and above all in a genius for narrative, which he shows in the vivid description of the most diverse events.-- A biography of Homer, written in the Ionic dialect, bears the name of Herodotus; it is really the work of a rhetorician at the beginning of the 1st century of our era.
TRAGEDY 27.50%
Tragedy in GREECE originated in the lyric dithyramb; i.e. in the song of a chorus at the rites held in honour of Dionysus. This song, in accordance with the cult of the god, expressed at one time exuberant joy, at another deep sorrow. The cult of Dionysus is also indicated by the very name of tragedy, signifying goat-song; i.e. (according to the usual explanation) the hymn sung by the chorus in their dance round the altar at the sacrifice of the goat, which was dedicated to Dionysus. Others derive the name from the fact that, to represent Satyrs, the chorus were clad in goat-skins, and hence resembled goats. These choral songs seem to have received a certain dramatic form as early as the time of Arion, to whom the dithyramb owes its artistic development. The true drama, including tragic and satyric plays, was evolved subsequently in Athens. Tradition ascribes the origin of tragedy to a contemporary of Solon named Thespis, of Icaria, which was a chief seat of the cult of Dionysus. The date assigned to this is 540 B.C. Thespis was at the same time poet, leader of the chorus, and actor. According to the testimony of the ancients, his pieces consisted of a prologue, a series of choral songs, standing in close connexion with the action, and dramatic recitations introduced between the choruses. These recitations were delivered by the leader of the chorus, and were partly in the form of monologues, partly in that of short dialogues with the chorus, whereby the action of the play was advanced. The reciter was enabled to appear in different roles by the aid of linen or wooden masks. These also are said to have been contrived by the poet himself. The invention of Thespis, whose own pieces soon lapsed into oblivion, won the favour of Pisistratus and the approval of the Athenian public. Tragedy thus became a substantial element in the Attic festival of Dionysus. Thespis' immediate followers were Choerilus, Pratinas (the inventor of the satyric drama), his son Aristias, and Phrynichus. Phrynichus especially did good service towards the development of tragedy by introducing an actor apart from the leader of the chorus, and so preparing the way for true dialogue. He further improved the chorus, which still, however, occupied a disproportionate space in comparison with the action of the play. Tragedy was really brought into being by Aeschylus, when he added a second actor (called the deuteragonistes) to the first, or protagonistes, and in this way rendered dialogue possible. He further subordinated the choruses to the dialogue. Sophocles, in whom tragedy reaches its culminating point, added to Aeschylus' two actors a third, or tritagonistes; and Aeschylus accepted the innovation in his later plays. Thenceforward three actors were regularly granted by lot to each poet, at the public expense. Only rarely, and in exceptional cases, was a fourth employed. Sophocles also raised the number of the chorus from twelve to fifteen. The only other important innovation due to him was, that he gave up the internal connexion, preserved by Aeschylus, among the several plays of a tetralogy which were presented in competition by the tragic poets at the festival of Dionysus. (See TETRALOGIA.) The third great master of tragedy is Euripides, in whom, however, we already observe a decline in many respects from the severe standard of his predecessor. During and after the age of these masters of the art, from whom alone have complete dramas come down to us, many other tragic poets were actively employed, whose works are known to us by name alone, or are only preserved in fragments. It is remarkable that, in the case of the great tragic writers, the cultivation of the Muse of tragedy seems to have been hereditary among their descendants, and among those of Aeschylus in particular, for many generations. His son Euphorion, his nephew Philocles, his grand-nephews Morsimus and Melanthius, his grandson Astydamas, and his great-grandsons Astydamas and Philocles, were poets of more or less note. In the family of Sophocles may be mentioned his son Iophon and his grandson Sophocles; and in that of Euripides, his son or nephew of the same name. Among the tragic poets of the 3rd century, Ion, Achaeus, Aristarchus, and Neophron were accounted the most eminent, Agathon may also be included as the first who ventured to treat a subject of his own invention, whereas hitherto mythical history, especially that of Homer and the cyclic poets, or; in rare instances, authentic history, had furnished the materials of the play. After the Peloponnesian War tragedy shared the general and ever-increasing decline of political and religious vitality. In the 4th century, besides the descendants of Aeschylus, we must mention Theodectes, Aphareus, and Chaeremon, who partly wrote for readers only. The number of tragedies produced at Athens is marvellous. According to the not altogether trustworthy records of the number of plays written by each poet, they amounted to 1,400. The works of the foremost poets were represented over and over again, especially in the theatres of Asia Minor, under the successors of Alexander. During the first half of the 3rd century Ptolemy Philadelphus built a great theatre in Alexandria, where he established competitions in exact imitation of those at Athens. This gave a new impetus to tragic poetry, and seven poets became conspicuous, who were known as the Alexandrine Pleias, Alexander Aetolus, Philiscus (see cut), Sositheus, Homerus, Aeantides, Sosiphanes, and Lycophron. The taste of the Alexandrine critics deemed them worthy to occupy a place beside the five great tragic poets of Athens, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Ion, and Achaeus. Inasmuch as tragedy developed itself out of the chorus at the Dionysiac festivals, so, in spite of all the limitations which were introduced as a result of the evolution of the true drama, the chorus itself was always retained. Hence Greek tragedy consisted of two elements: the one truly dramatic, the prevailing metre of which was the iambic trimeter; the other consisting of song and dance (see CHORUS) in the numerous varieties of Dorian lyric poetry. The dramatic portion was generally made up of the following parts: the proloyos, from the beginning to the first entry of the chorus; the epeisodion, the division between each choral song and the next; and the exodos, or concluding portion which followed the last chorus. The first important choral part was called the parodos; and the song following an epeisodion, a stasimon. There were further songs of lamentation by the chorus and actors together, which were called kommoi. A solo was sometimes sung by the actor alone; this became especially common in the later tragedies.
CERYX 27.17%
The Greek name for a herald. In the Homeric age the keryx is the official servant of the king, who manages his household, attends at his meals, assists at sacrifices, summons the assemblies and maintains order and tranquillity in them. He also acts as ambassador to the enemy, and, as such, his person is, both in ancient times and ever afterwards, inviolable. In historical times the herald, besides the part which he plays in the political transactions between different cities, appears in the service of the gods. He announces the sacred truce observed at the public festivals, commands silence at religious services, dictates the forms of prayer to the assembled community, and performs many services in temples where there is only a small staff of attendants, especially by assisting in the sacrifices. He has also a great deal to do in the service of the State. At Athens, in particular, one or more heralds were attached to the various officials and to the government boards. It was also the herald's business to summon the council and the public assembly, to recite the prayer before the commencement of business, to command silence, to call upon the speaker, to summon the parties in a lawsuit to attend the court, and to act in general as a public crier. As a rule, the heralds were taken from the poor, and the lower orders. At Athens they had a salary, and took their meals at the public expense, with the officials to whom they were attached. On the herald's staff (Gr. kerykeion, Lat. caduceus), see HERMES.
The Roman term for the military oath of allegiance, originally the preliminary engagement entered upon with the general by newly enlisted troops [Cic., Off. i 11 § 36; Livy, xxii 38 § 2]. The oath was taken first by the legates and tribunes. These officers then administered it to the soldiers in the following manner: one soldier in each legion recited the formula of the oath, and the rest were called up by name, and, coming forward one by one, swore to the same oath with the words idem in me, i.e. "The same (holds good) for me." The oath remained in force only till the next campaign, and whenever there was a new general a new oath was taken. After the introduction of the twenty years' service by Marius (about 100 B.C.) the men raised for service took the oath, not one by one, but all together and for the whole tiine of service, in the name of the State, afterwards in that of the emperor. Sacramentum in the oldest and most general form of civil lawsuit, named after it legis actio per sacramentum, is a deposit made beforehand by the parties in the suit. It was originally five sheep or five oxen, according to the value of the object in dispute, afterwards a surn of money at the rate of ten asses for each sheep and one hundred for each ox. The deposit was given back to the successful party, while that of the loser was originally applied to religious purposes; afterwards it went to the aerarium, or public treasury.
NOMOS 21.56%
Originally, an ancient kind of solo in epic form in praise of some divinity. It was either "aulodic" or "citharodic"; that is, it was sung to the accompaniment of the flute or the cithara. The citharodic nomos was from ancient times used at the festivals of Apollo, whom the Dorians especially worsbipped. It received its artistic form from Terpander (about 675 B.C.) principally by a systematic distribution into five or seven parts, of which three were the essential portions, the middle one forming the cardinal point of the whole. It formed an important element in the Delphian festival of the Phythian Apollo. On the other hand, the aulodic nomos, which Clonas of Tegea had introduced in imitation of the nomos of Terpander, was early excluded from this festival. By the side of the ancient nomoi, in which the words were sung to an instrumental accompaniment, there arose another variety formed on the same model. In this the song was dramatically recited to the tune of the flute or cithara, according as the nomos was "aulodic" or "citharodic." Of the former kind was the nomos introduced by the flute-player Sacadas of Argos (about 580) at the Pythian games, and hence called the Pythian nomos, a musical representation of the destruction of the dragon Pytho by Apollo. At a later period the province of the nomos was more and more extended and secularized, until it became the most important part of the musician's profession. [Plutarch, De Musica, cap. iii-x, pp. 1132-4.]
TRAGEDY 21.56%
ROMAN TRAGEDY was founded entirely on that of the Greeks. In early times there existed crude dramatic productions (see SATIRE), which provided an opening for the translation from the Greek dramas brought on the stage by Livius Andronicus. He was a Greek by birth, but was brought to Rome as a captive about 200 B.C. It is to him that Roman tragedy owes its origin. His dramas and those of his successors were more or less free versions of Greek originals. Even the tragedies, or historical plays, drawn from national Roman materials, called fabuloe proetextoe or proetextatoe, (see PRAeETEXTA), the first writer of which was his immediate successor Noevius (about 235 B.C.), were entirely modelled on the Greek. The most noteworthy representatives of tragedy under the Republic were Ennius (B.C. 239-170), Pacuvius (220-130), and Accius (170-104), besides whom only a few other poets produced any works about this time. It is true that the scanty fragments we possess of these dramas admit of no positive judgment as to their merit, but there is no doubt that they rank far below the original creations of the Greeks. It may also be clearly inferred from the fragments, that declamation and pathos formed a characteristic attribute of Roman tragedy, which was intensified by a studied archaism of expression. Moreover, the titles of their plays that have come down to us show that preference was given to subjects relating to the Trojan epic cycle; this is to be explained by the Trojan origin claimed by the Romans. Next to this the most popular were the myths of the Pelopidae, of the Theban cycle, and of the Argonauts. Euripides was the favourite model; after him Sophocles: rarely Aeschylus. Roman tragedy, like Greek, was made up of spoken dialogue in iambic trimeters and musical portions called cantica (q.v.). On the chorus in Roman tragedy see CHORUS (near the end). In the time of Augustus the representatives of tragedy were Asinius Pollio, Varius, and Ovid; under Tiberius, Pomponius Secundus; under Nero and Vespasian, Curiatius Maternus, of whose works scarcely a line has been preserved. The only tragedies of Roman antiquity which we possess are those of the philosopher Seneca, which show great mastery of form and a fertile imagination, but suffer from an intolerable excess of rhetorical declamation. It is doubtful whether they were intended for the stage at all, and not rather for public recitation and for private reading.
MIME 18.22%
really denotes a farcical mimie, a buffoon, such as used to show themselves from the earliest times in Italy and Sicily on the public places at popular entertainments, etc., and also served to while away the time during meals. It afterwards came to be applied to the farcical imitation of persons and scenes in ordinary life. The mimes of the Syracusan Sophron were character-sketches in dialogue taken from the life of the people; but these were at most meant to be recited, certainly not to be acted. In Italy, especially among the Latians and at Rome, the representation of such farcical scenes from low life on the stage was no doubt as old as the stage itself; and as great a scope was at all times given to improvisation in these as in the Atellanae, from which the mimes mainly differed in not being confined to stock-characters (see ATELLANA). At Rome the mime was for a long time confined to fifth-rate theatres, but in B.C. 46 it appears to have ousted the Atellanae as an interlude and afterpiece on the more important stages, and received at the hands of Decimus Laberius and Publilius Syrus a technical development on the lines of the existing kinds of drama. The native name for these national farces was planipes, probably because the performers appeared planis pedibus, i.e. without the theatrical shoes used in tragedy and comedy. There were also no masks, the use of which would have of course rendered impossible the play of the features, which is such an important means of imitation. The costume worn was the centunculus,a kind of harlequin's dress, and the ricinium, a peculiar little cloak. Contrary to the custom in all other dramatic performances, the female parts were really taken by women, who, like all the actors, in mimes, were in very bad repute. Besides the chief actor, archimimus or archimima, who had to carry through the plot, there was always a second performer with a clean-shaven head, whose part is characterized by the names given him, parasitus or stupidus (fool). The mimes were acted on the front part of the stage, which was divided from the back part by a curtain (siparium). As they depicted the life of the lower classes, and as it was their chief aim to rouse the laughter of the spectators in every possible way, they were full of plebeian expressions and turns, and abounded in the most outrageous buffoonery and obscenity; cheating and adultery were, the favourite subjects. In particular the dances that occurred in the mimes were remarkable for the extravagance of the grimaces and the disgusting nature of the gestures. Owing to the continually degenerating tastes of the Roman public, they and the pantomimes enjoyed the greatest popularity during the Empire, especially as here, no less than in the Atellance, a certain freedom of speech was sometimes permitted; and among dramatic representations proper they occupied the first place.
VOTA 16.89%
Religious vows were extraordinarily common among the Romans both in public and private life. Public vows (vota publica) were sometimes extraordinary, sometimes ordinary. As regards the former, a religious vow was uttered in times of need, in the name of the State, to the effect that, if the gods averted the danger, and caused the prosperity of the State to remain unimpaired for the next five or ten years, a special thank-offering would be paid them, consisting of presents of cattle, large sacrifices, banquets (lectisternia), a tithe of the booty, a temple, games, etc. In older times a ver sacrum (q.v.) was also promised. These vows were drawn up in writing under the direction of the pontifices, recited by the pontifex maximus, and privately rehearsed after him by a consul or praetor. The pontifex then put away the document in the presence of witnesses, for purposes of reference when the, vow was executed. Ordinary vows for the good of the State were offered on the Capitol by the higher officials on entering office (the consuls on January 1st) and on leaving for their province. This was called the votorum nuncupatio. After 30 B.C. a special votum was offered up for the, welfare of the emperor and his family, on January 3rd. Down to the 7th century A.D., both in Rome and throughout the Empire, this day, which was itself called votum, was kept as a holiday by all bodies both civil and religious. Under the Empire vows were regularly made for longer periods of time (five, ten, fifteen, twenty years, vota quinquennalia, decennalia, quindecennalia, vicennalia). Besides these there were extraordinary vota for the return and safety of the emperor, the accouchement of the empress, the birthday and accession day of the emperor, and the like: Private vows (vota privata) were made on the most varied occasions. They might be solemnly offered in a temple, or made suddenly in times of momentary peril. In the former case a sealed writing containing the vow was fastened to the knees of the god's image, and then taken by the priest of the temple into his keeping, to be opened at the proper time. In the latter case, if the prayer was fulfilled, the vow had to be most scrupulously executed. The offering was generally accompanied by a votive tablet, which was placed on the walls of the temple, and contained an inscription or a relief or a picture relating to the vow. Thus ship-wrecked mariners offered painted representations of the wreck in the temples of Neptune or Isis [Horace, Odes i 5, 13-16; Persius, i 90].
HESTIA 15.62%
The goddess of the hearth, which is the emblem of the settled home. She is deemed the founder and maintainer of the family and the state, of civic concord and of public reverence for the gods. She is the daughter of Cronus (Kronos) and of Rhea; sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, and Demeter; one of the twelve Olympian deities, from whom she is distinguished by the fact that, as the abiding goddess of the household, she never leaves Olympus. In Homer the sanctity of the hearth is indeed recognised, but as yet we find no mention of the goddess. It is a matter of discussion whether this was by accident, or because in that period the personification of the worship of the hearth had not attained its full perfection. Having been wooed by Apollo and Poseidon, she took an oath of perpetual virginity; so Zeus granted her the honour of being worshipped, as a tutelary goddess, at every hearth, in human habitations as well as in the temples of the gods, and of being called to mind amid libations at the beginning and end of every sacrifice and every festal entertainment. Hence it was that every sacrifice began and ended with a libation to Hestia, so that she had a share in all festivities; and in every prayer, as well as in all the public forms of solemn oaths, her name was recited before the name of any other god. Just as in the home her consecrated hearth formed the central point of family life, at which family festivals were celebrated and where both strangers and fugitives found a hospitable asylum, so also in the Prytaneion, or townhall, whore the sacred fire was ever burning, her hearth was the centre of the life of the city, indeed of the whole state, and of the colonies which had gone forth from it. Here, as representative of the state, the highest officials sacrificed to her, just as in every private house the father or mother of the family provided for her worship. Here also were held the public deliberations, and the public banquet given to deserving citizens and to foreign ambassadors. Hither repaired all who besought the protection of the state. Hence also did the colonists, bound for distant shores, take the fire for the public hearth of their new community. In some respects, the centre of the religious life of Greece was the fire on the hearth of Hestia in the Delphic temple, where was the sacred omphalos (or navel), which the Greeks considered to be the central point of the inhabited earth. Hestia stands in close connexion with Zeus as the guardian of the law of hospitality and of the oath. She was also much associated with Hermes and often invoked in conjunction with him; Hestia, as the goddess of gentle domesticity, and Hermes, as the restless god of trade on the public streets and roads, representing between them the two principal varieties of human life. According to a view that afterwards became current, under the influence of philosophers and mystics, she was regarded as personifying the earth, as the fixed centre of the world, and was identified with Demeter and Cybele. The corresponding deity among the Romans was Vesta (q.v.). The statues placed in the Prytaneia represented her, in accordance with her nature, as a being with grave and yet gentle expression, sitting or standing in an attitude of rest, wiih a sceptre as her attribute. The most celebrated of her existing statues is known as the Giustiniani Vesta (see cut); a form robed in simple drapery, with hair unadorned and wearing a veil; her right hand rests on her hip, and her left hand, which is pointing upwards, once held a long staff as her sceptre.
The most ancient and most important of Athenian festivals. It was celebrated in honour of Athene, the patron deity of Athens. Claiming to have been founded as early as by Erichthonius, it is said to have been originally named only Athenaea, and to have first received the name of Panathenaea at the time when Theseus united all the inhabitants of Attica into one body. In memory of the union itself was kept the festival of the Synaecia, or Synaecesia, on the 16th of Hecatombaeon (July-August), which may be regarded as a kind of prepatory solemnity to the Panathenaea. There was a festival of the ordinary or lesser Panathenaea celebrated every year, and from the time of Pisistratus, the great Panathenaea held every fifth year, and in the third year of every Olympiad, from the 24th to the 29th of Hecatombaeon. Pisistratus, in the year 566 B.C., added to the original chariot and horse races athletic contests in each of the traditional forms of competition. He, or his son Hipparchus, instituted the regulation, that the collected Homeric poems should be recited at the feast of Rhapsodi. In 446 Pericles introduced musical contests, which took place on the first day of the festival, in the Odeum, which he had built. Competitions of cyclic choruses and other kinds of dances, torch races and trireme races, added to the splendour of the festival. The care and direction of all these contests were committed to ten stewards (athlothetae), who were elected by the people for four years, from one great Panathenaic festival to the next. In the musical contests, the first prize was a golden crown; in the athletic, the prize was a garland of leaves from the sacred olive trees of Athene, together with large and beautiful vases filled with oil from the same trees. Many specimens of these Panathenaic vases have been found [in Italy, Sicily, Greece, and at Cyrene. They have the figure of Athene on one side, and a design indicating the contest for which they are awarded on the other. Most of them belong to the 4th century B.C., 367-318; the "Burgon Vase," in the British Museum, to the 6th century. Cp. Pindar, Nem. x 35]. The tribe whose ships had been victorious received a sum of money, part of which was destined for a sacrifice to Poseidon. The culminating point of the festival was the 28th day of the month, the birthday of the goddess, when the grand procession carried through the city the costly, embroidered, saffron-coloured garment, the peplus (q.v.). This bad been woven in the preceding nine months by Attic maidens and matrons, and embroidered with representations from the battle of the gods and Giants. It was carried through the city, first of all as a sail for a ship moving on wheels, and was then taken to the Acropolis, where it adorned one of the statues of Athene Polias. The procession is represented in a vivid manner in the well-known frieze of the Parthenon. It included the priests and their attendants, leading a long train of animals festally adorned for sacrifice; matrons and maidens bearing in baskets the various sacrificial implements (see CANEPHORI); the most picturesque old men in festal attire, with olive branches in their hands, whence came their name, thallophorae; warriors, with spear and shield, in splendid array; young men in armour; the cavalry under the command of both the hipparchi; the victors in the immediately preceding contests; the festal embassies of other states, especially of the colonies ; and, lastly, the aliens resident in Athens. Of these last, the men bore behind the citizens trays with sacrificial cakes, the women waterpots, and the maidens sunshades and stools for the citizens' wives; while on the freedmen was laid the duty of adorning with oak-leaves the market-places and streets through which the procession moved. The feast ended with the great festal sacrifice of a becatomb of oxen, and with the general banqueting which accompanied it. At the yearly minor Panathenaea, on the 28th and 29th of Hecatombaeon, contests, sacrifices, and a procession took place, but all in a more simple style. In later times the festival was removed to spring, perhaps in consequence of Roman influence, in order to make it correspond to the Quinquatrus of Minerva. [All the ancient authorities are collected by Michaelis, Der Parthenon, pp. 318-333.]
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