Terpander, Testimonia

LCL 143: 294-295

Go To Section
Go To Section

Greek Lyric


Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis

1 Sud. T 354 (iv 527 Adler)

Τέρπανδρος· Ἀρναῖος, ἢ Λέσβιος ἀπὸ Ἀντίσσης, ἢ Κυμαῖος· οἱ δὲ καὶ ἀπόγονον Ἡσιόδου ἀνέγραψαν, ἄλλοι δὲ Ὁμήρου, Βοίου λέγοντες αὐτὸν τοῦ Φωκέως, τοῦ Εὐρυφῶντος, τοῦ Ὁμήρου· λυρικός, ὃς πρῶτος ἑπτὰ χορδῶν ἐποίησε τὴν λύραν καὶ νόμους λυρικοὺς πρῶτος ἔγραψεν, εἰ καί τινες Φιλάμμωνα θέλουσι γεγραφέναι.

2 Athen. 14. 635ef (iii 402 Kaibel)

ὅτι δὲ καὶ Τέρπανδρος ἀρχαιότερος Ἀνακρέοντος δῆλον ἐκ τούτων· τὰ Κάρνεια πρῶτος πάντων Τέρπανδρος νικᾷ, ὡς Ἑλλάνικος ἱστορεῖ ἔν τε τοῖς




Life And Works


1 Suda, Terpander

From Arne,1 or from Antissa in Lesbos,2 or from Cyme.3 Some have made him a descendant of Hesiod, others of Homer, calling him son of Boeus of Phocis, son of Euryphon, son of Homer. A lyric poet, who first gave the lyre seven strings4 and was the first to write lyric nomes,5 though some attribute this to Philammon.


2 Athenaeus, Scholars at Dinner

That Terpander too is earlier than Anacreon is clear from the following facts: Terpander was the first victor ever at the Carnea,1 as Hellanicus2

  • 1Perhaps the Boeotian Arne: one of the cithara-nomes was called ‛Boeotian’ (test. 19), and Hesiod settled in Boeotia.
  • 2His birthplace is usually given as Antissa (e.g. by Steph. Byz. s.v. Ἄντισσα) or Lesbos, but Diodorus 8. 28 (ap. Tzetz. Chil. 1. 388 ff.) calls him ‛T. of Methymna’.
  • 3Birthplace of Hesiod.
  • 4Cf. testt. 14, 16, fr. 6.
  • 5Cf. testt. 18–20.
  • 1Spartan festival in honour of Apollo: cf. test. 10 n. 2.
  • 2 5th c. b.c. historian and mythographer from Lesbos.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.terpander-testimonia.1988