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Greek Lyric

Alcman

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.

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Alcman

Alcman

Life and Works

Biography

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’.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.alcman-testimonia.1988