Melanippides, Testimonia

LCL 144: 14-15

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Greek Lyric


Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis

1 Sud. (iii 350 Adler)

(a) M 455: Μελανιππίδης, Κρίτωνος, γεγονὼς κατὰ τὴν ξε΄ Ὀλυμπιάδα, Μήλιος. ἔγραψε δὲ διθυράμβων βιβλία πλεῖστα καὶ ποιήματα ἐπικὰ καὶ ἐπιγράμματα καὶ ἐλέγους καὶ ἄλλα πλεῖστα.

(b) M 454: Μελανιππίδης, θυγατριδοῦς τοῦ πρεσβυτέρου, παῖς δὲ Κρίτωνος, λυρικοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ· ὃς ἐν τῇ τῶν διθυράμβων μελοποιΐᾳ ἐκαινοτόμησε πλεῖστα καὶ διατρίψας παρὰ Περδίκκᾳ τῷ βασιλεῖ ἐκεῖ τὸν βίον κατέστρεψεν. ἔγραψε καὶ αὐτὸς ᾄσματα λυρικὰ καὶ διθυράμβους.

2 Marm. Par. Ep. 47 (p. 15 Jacoby)

ἀφ᾿ οὗ Με[λαν]ιππίδ[ης] [ήλιος ἐνίκησ]εν Ἀθήνησιν ἔτη ΗΗΔΔΔΙ, ἄρχοντος Ἀθήνησι Πυθοκρίτου.




Life and Work1

1 Suda

(a) Melanippides, son of Criton, born2 in the 65th Olympiad (520–516 b.c. ); from Melos. Wrote many books of dithyrambs as well as epic poems, epigrams, elegies3 and much else.

(b) Melanippides, grandson of the elder Melanippides, son of Criton who was himself a lyric poet. In the music for his dithyrambs he made many innovations. Lived at the court of king Perdiccas4 and died there. He too wrote lyric poetry and dithyrambs.5


2 Parian Marble

From the time when Melanippides of Melos won the victory in Athens 231 years2; Pythocritus was archon at Athens.

  • 1See also Diagoras test. 1
  • 2I.e. 494/3 b.c., 231 years before 263/2: see T. J. Cadoux, J.H.S. 68 (1948) 116. The date squares with the date of birth of the elder Mel. (test. 1a).
  • 1See also Philoxenus test. 1.
  • 2‘Born’ rather than ‘flourished’.
  • 3There is no trace of the epics and elegies; for the epigrams see test. 8.
  • 4King of Macedonia c. 450–c. 413 b.c.
  • 5E. Rohde, Rh. Mus. 33 (1878) 213 f. argued that there was only one Melanippides, active c. 480–c. 436, but that is not certain. Mel. is mentioned in a papyrus fr. (P. Graec. Vindob. 19996a: 929 P.M.G. ) along with fellow dithyrambic poets Telestes and Philoxenus.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.melanippides-testimonia.1993