Elegiac Poetry



1 Suda (ii. 692. 13 Adler)

Θέογνις, Μεγαρεύς, τῶν ἐν Σικελίᾳ Μεγάρων, γεγονὼς ἐν τῇ νθ΄ ὀλυμπιάδι. ἔγραψεν ἐλεγείαν εἰς τοὺς σωθέντας τῶν Συρακουσίων ἐν τῇ πολιορκίᾳ, γνώμας δι᾿ ἐλεγείας ὡς (εἰς ed. pr.) ἔπη ̗βω΄, καὶ πρὸς Κύρ<ν>ον τὸν αὐτοῦ ἐρώμενον γνωμολογίαν δι᾿ ἐλεγείων, καὶ ἑτέρας ὑποθήκας παραινετικάς, τὰ πάντα ἐπικῶς (ἔπη ̗βω΄ Ditzen). ὅτι μὲν παραινέσεις ἔγραψε Θέογνις, <χρήσιμος·> ἀλλ᾿ ἐν μέσῳ τούτων παρεσπαρμέναι




Listed below are the sigla for the manuscripts recorded in the apparatus. For further details see West’s edition (pp. xi–xiii) and Young’s Teubner edition (pp. vii–ix, xx, xxviii–xxix).

A = Paris. suppl. gr. 388 (early 10th century)

O = Vat. gr. 915 (early 14th century)

X = Lond. Add. 16409 (c. 1300)

D = Paris. gr. 2739 (mid 15th century)

Ur = Vat. Urb. gr. 95 (c. 1430)

I = Marc. gr. 774 (mid 15th century)

o = a lost MS of which O is a copy (c. 1300)

p = a lost MS of which X is a copy (c. 1299)


1 Suda

Theognis, a Megarian from the Megara in Sicily,1 flourished in the 59th Olympiad (544/41).2 He wrote an elegy on those saved from the Syracusans in the siege,3 elegiac maxims totaling about 2800 verses,4 a collection of elegiac maxims addressed to Cyrnus his beloved, and other hortatory precepts,5 all in the epic dialect. Theognis (is useful) because he wrote exhortations. But in the midst of these

  • 1See testt. 2–4.
  • 2Other sources give the 58th or 57th Olympiad (p. 57 Garzya).
  • 3Nothing is known of this poem and some attribute it to the tragic poet Theognis whom the Suda goes on to record as one of the 30 tyrants.
  • 4Roughly double the size of the present corpus and perhaps “a mistake in the reckoning occasioned by the addition of two totals found in different sources” (Hudson-Williams 101).
  • 5It is unclear whether these and the maxims addressed to Cyrnus are being represented as separate works or as parts of the 2800.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theognis-testimonia.1999