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date: 06 December 2022



  • Martin Litchfield West


Anacreontea, a collection of some 62 Greek poems preserved in the MS of the Palatine Anthology under the heading ‘Anacreon of Teos’ Sympotic Hemiambics'. Some of them refer to *Anacreon or actually adopt his persona; they are all in metres derived from him, and their main subjects are wine and love. There is no depth in them, but they are often delightful. Some of them were already current under Anacreon's name in the time of Aulus *Gellius (NA 19. 9. 4–6). Following their first publication by Stephanus in 1554 they were widely acclaimed as Anacreon's work and frequently edited and translated as ‘the Odes of Anacreon’; they exercised extensive influence on European lyric poetry. By the early 19th cent. it was clear to scholars that the poems all dated from long after Anacreon's time. They show very various levels of technical competence, and must have been composed at different dates between about the 1st cent. bce or ce and the 5th or 6th ce.


  • Greek Literature

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