Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis
1 Sud. A 1289 (i 117 Adler)
Ἀλκμάν· Λάκων ἀπὸ Μεσσόας· κατὰ δὲ τὸν Κράτητα πταίοντα Λυδὸς ἐκ Σαρδέων· λυρικός, υἱὸς Δάμαντος ἢ Τιτάρου. ἦν δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς κζ΄ Ὀλυμπιάδος, βασιλεύοντος Λυδῶν Ἄρδυος, τοῦ Ἀλυάττου πατρός· καὶ ὢν ἐρωτικὸς πάνυ εὑρετὴς γέγονε τῶν ἐρωτικῶν μελῶν. ἀπὸ οἰκετῶν δέ· ἔγραψε βιβλία ἕξ, μέλη καὶ Κολυμβώσας. πρῶτος δὲ εἰσήγαγε τὸ μὴ1 ἑξαμέτροις μελῳδεῖν. κέχρηται δὲ Δωρίδι διαλέκτῳ, καθάπερ Λακεδαιμόνιοι. ἔστι δὲ καὶ ἕτερος Ἀλκμάν, εἷς τῶν λυρικῶν, ὃν ἤνεγκεν ἡ Μεσσήνη. καὶ τὸ πληθυντικὸν Ἀλκμᾶνες.
Life and WorksBiography
1 Suda, Alcman1
A Laconian from Messoa2: Crates3 wrongly makes him a Lydian from Sardis. A lyric poet; son of Damas or Titarus. He was alive in the 27th Olympiad (672/668 b.c.), when Ardys, father of Alyattes, was King of Lydia.4 He was extremely amorous and was the first to write amatory songs.5 His forebears were household slaves.6 He wrote six books: lyric poetry and the Diving Women. 7 He was the first to introduce the practice of singing poetry in rhythms other than the hexameter.8 He used the Dorian dialect,9 as Spartans do. There is also another Alcman,10 one of the lyric poets, who was brought by Messene. The plural form is ‛Alcmanes’.
- 4Eusebius 222–5. Ardys in fact ruled from c. 652 to c. 619 and was father of Sadyattes and grandfather of Alyattes; for the chronology see testt. 10–11, and for the synchronization of A. and Ardys see A. A. Mosshammer, The Chronicle of
- 5See frr. 58 and 59(a) with the comment of Archytas.
- 6Cf. test. 12.
- 7Cf. frr. 4C (n. 2), 158, test. 16: was the Diving Women a component of the six books, or should μέλη be altered to μελῶν to give ‘six books of lyric poetry and also the Diving Women’?
- 8Haslam deletes μή to give ‘in hexameter rhythms’: cf. Terp. test. 18.
- 9See Page, Alcman: the Partheneion 102–63, E. Risch in Mus. Helv. 11 (1954) 20–37.
- 10See test. 29.
- 1See J. A. Davison, From Archilochus to Pindar 173–87.
- 2One of the villages which comprised the town of Sparta.
- 3Crates of Mallos, flor. 168 b.c., librarian of Pergamum; for the controversy over the birthplace see testt. 2–9.