Polymnestus, Testimonia

LCL 143: 330-331

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Greek Lyric


Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis

1 [Plut.] Mus. 3. 1132c (p. 112 Lasserre, vi 3. 4 Ziegler)

ὁμοίως δὲ Τερπάνδρῳ Κλονᾶν, τὸν πρῶτον συστησάμενον τοὺς αὐλῳδικοὺς νόμους καὶ τὰ προσόδια, ἐλεγείων τε καὶ ἐπῶν ποιητὴν γεγονέναι, καὶ Πολύμνηστον τὸν Κολοφώνιον τὸν μετὰ τοῦτον γενόμενον τοῖς αὐτοῖς χρήσασθαι ποιήμασιν.

2 [Plut.] Mus. 5. 1133ab (p. 113 Lasserre, vi 3. 5 Ziegler)

μετὰ δὲ Τέρπανδρον καὶ Κλονᾶν Ἀρχίλοχος παραδίδοται γενέσθαι. ἄλλοι δέ τινες τῶν συγγραφέων Ἄρδαλόν φασι Τροιζήνιον πρότερον Κλονᾶ τὴν αὐλῳδικὴν συστήσασθαι μοῦσαν· γεγονέναι δὲ καὶ Πολύμνηστον ποιητήν, Μέλητος τοῦ Κολοφωνίου υἱόν, ὃν Πολύμνηστόν τε καὶ Πολυμνήστην νόμους ποιῆσαι . . . τοῦ δὲ Πολυμνήστου καὶ Πίνδαρος (fr. 188) καὶ Ἀλκμὰν (fr. 145) οἱ τῶν μελῶν ποιηταὶ ἐμνημόνευσαν.




Life and Works


1 ‛Plutarch’, On Music

(Heraclides2 says also that) like Terpander3 Clonas, who was the first to compose nomes for pipe accompaniment and processional songs, wrote elegiac couplets and hexameters, and that Polymnestus of Colophon who came after him used the same metres.

2 ‛Plutarch’, On Music

Tradition has it that after Terpander and Clonas came Archilochus. But other historians say Ardalus of Troezen composed music for pipe accompaniment before Clonas, and that there was also a poet Polymnestus, son of Meles of Colophon, composer of the nomes Polymnestus and Polymnestes1 . . . Polymnestus was mentioned by the lyric poets Pindar2 and Alcman.3

  • 1See also Thal. test. 7 with n. 3.
  • 2See Terp. test. 18 n. 1.
  • 3I.e. as Terpander composed nomes for cithara accompaniment, so Clonas (and Polymnestus) composed them for pipe accompaniment.
  • 1Text uncertain; this chronology would put P. before Archilochus.
  • 2Cf. test. 7.
  • 3Alcman may have died c. 590.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.polymnestus-testimonia.1988