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date: 17 April 2024



  • Martin Litchfield West


Hipponax (Ἱππῶναξ), poet of *Ephesus and *Clazomenae (late 6th cent. bce), composed entertaining monologues and songs, probably for a popular festival (see iambic poetry, greek). His favourite metre was the scazon (choliambus) with its deliberate ‘wrong’ ending. He uses colourful, vulgar language, and portrays himself as a disreputable character whose life is full of brawling, burglary, poverty, cheap drink, and sexual episodes of a farcical and scatological nature. He pours abuse and imprecations on his enemies, chief among whom is the sculptor Bupalus. One glutton is made the object of an epic parody (frs. 128–9a W). Hipponax' work was much admired and imitated in the Hellenistic period. At least part of it survived as late as the 12th cent., but we know it now from papyrus and quotation fragments.


  • Greek Literature

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