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date: 09 December 2022


, lyric poet


, lyric poet
  • C. Carey


Anacreon lyric poet, native of *Teos. Little is known of his life. Born perhaps c. 575–570 (Eusebius gives his floruit as 536/5), he probably joined in the foundation of *Abdera in Thrace by the Teans fleeing before the threat of the Persian general Harpagus in 545 (Strabo 14. 1. 30; Aristox. fr. 12 Wehrli, Hdt 1. 168). He joined the court of *Polycrates (1), tyrant of Samos (Hdt 3. 121), the most illustrious Greek of the day; *Strabo claims that his ‘whole poetry is full of mention of Polycrates’ (14. 1. 16), though there is no reference in surviving fragments. Tradition made Anacreon and Polycrates rivals for the love of a Thracian boy, Smerdies, whose hair Polycrates cut off in a fit of jealousy (Stob. 4. 21. 24; Ath. 12. 540e; Ael. VH 9. 4); this may be false inference from Anacreon's poetry. After the murder of Polycrates by the Persian satrap Oroetes he joined the Pisistratid court at Athens (see pisistratus); allegedly *Hipparchus (1) sent a warship to fetch him ([Pl.


  • Greek Literature

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