Simonides, Testimonia

LCL 476: 330-331

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Greek Lyric


Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis

1 Sud. Σ 439 (iv 361 Adler)

Σιμωνίδης, Λεωπρεποῦς, Ἰουλιήτης τῆς ἐν Κέῳ τῇ νήσῳ πόλεως, λυρικός, μετὰ Στησίχορον τοῖς χρόνοις· ὃς ἐπεκλήθη Μελικέρτης διὰ τὸ ἡδύ. καὶ τὴν μνημονικὴν δὲ τέχνην εὗρεν οὗτος· προσεξεῦρε δὲ καὶ τὰ μακρὰ τῶν στοιχείων καὶ διπλᾶ καὶ τῇ λύρᾳ τὸν τρίτον φθόγγον. γέγονε δ᾿ ἐπὶ τῆς πεντηκοστῆς ἕκτης ὀλυμπιάδος, οἱ δὲ ξβ΄ γεγράφασι. καὶ παρέτεινε μέχρι τῆς οη΄, βιοὺς ἔτη πθ΄. καὶ γέγραπται αὐτῷ Δωρίδι διαλέκτῳ †ἡ Καμβύσου καὶ Δαρείου βασιλεία καὶ Ξέρξου ναυμαχία καὶ† ἡ ἐπ᾿ Ἀρτεμισίῳ ναυμαχία, δι᾿ ἐλεγείας· ἡ δ᾿ ἐν Σαλαμῖνι μελικῶς· θρῆνοι, ἐγκώμια,





1 Suda, Simonides (1st notice)1

Son of Leoprepes2; from Iulis, a city on the island of Ceos; lyric poet, later than Stesichorus.3 He was given the name Melicertes because of the sweetness of his poetry.4 He invented the art of mnemonics5; he also invented the long vowels and double consonants6 and the third note on the lyre.7 He was born in the 56th Olympiad (556/552 b.c.) or according to some writers in the 62nd (532 /528),8 and he survived until the 78th (468/464), having lived 89 years. He composed in the Doric dialect ‘The Reign of Cambyses and Darius’, ‘Sea-battle against Xerxes’9 and ‘The Sea-battle at Artemisium’ in elegiacs; ‘The Sea-battle at Salamis’ in lyric metre,10 and dirges,11 eulogies,12 epigrams, paeans13 and

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.simonides-testimonia.1991