Arion, Testimonia

LCL 476: 16-17

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Greek Lyric


Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis

1 Sud. A 3886 (i 351 Adler)

Ἀρίων, Μηθυμναῖος, λυρικός, Κυκλέως υἱός, γέγονε κατὰ τὴν λή Ὀλυμπιάδα. τινὲς δὲ καὶ μαθητὴν Ἀλκμᾶνος ἱστόρησαν αὐτόν. ἔγραψε δὲ ᾄσματα· προοίμια εἰς ἔπη β΄. λέγεται καὶ τραγικοῦ τρόπου εὑρετὴς γενέσθαι καὶ πρῶτος χορὸν στῆσαι καὶ διθύραμβον ᾆσαι καὶ ὀνομάσαι τὸ ᾀδόμενον ὑπὸ τοῦ χοροῦ καὶ Σατύρους εἰσενεγκεῖν ἔμμετρα λέγοντας.

2 Euseb. Chron. Ol. 40.2 (p. 97 Helm, ii 91 Schoene)

Arion Methymnaeus clarus habetur, qui a delfino in Taenarum dicitur transportatus.




Life and Work

1 Suda, Arion

From Methymna,1 lyric poet, son of Cycleus,2 flourished in the 38th Olympiad (628/624 b.c.). Some said he was a pupil of Alcman. He wrote songs: preludes for epic poems in two books. He is also said to have been the inventor of the tragic style, and to have been the first3 to organise a chorus, sing a dithyramb and give a title to what the chorus sang, and the first to introduce Satyrs speaking verses.

2 Eusebius, Chronicle

Olympiad 40.2 (619/618 b.c.)1: Arion of Methymna is regarded as famous. He is said to have been carried by a dolphin to Taenarum.2

  • 1Cf. Strabo 13. 2. 4. Arion was represented on coins of Methymna: see G. M. A. Richter, Portraits of the Greeks i 68 with figs. 269—70.
  • 2The name has doubtless been derived from Arion’s circular choruses: see testt. 4,5.
  • 3See test. 3.
  • 1The Armenian version gives 610/609. For Eusebius’ dating see A. A. Mosshammer, The Chronicle of Eusebius 226–33.
  • 2See test. 3.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.arion-testimonia.1991