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date: 20 March 2023


of Antissa


of Antissa
  • Cecil Maurice Bowra
  •  and Eveline Krummen


Terpander (Τέρπανδρος) of *Antissa in *Lesbos, outstanding musician and poet of the early 7th cent. bce, head of the guild of citharodes in Antissa; yet his main activity was focused in *Sparta (Arist. fr. 551 Gigon = T 60 c Gostoli), where he instituted and won the first citharodic competition at the *Carnea (676/3 bce; Ath. 635e; ps.-Plut. De mus. 9 = Mor. 1134b). He also won four successive victories at the Pythian festival (see pythian games) (ibid. 4). He is considered the creator of the canon of the seven citharodic nomes (see music) which he used for the setting to music of his own compositions and the verses of *Homer (ibid. 3). He composed citharodic prooemia (preludes) and *scolia (i.e. drinking songs, ibid. 28), invented the seven-stringed cithara or lyre, introduced the Mixolydian tune, and prevented a civil war in Sparta either by singing with his cithara or by playing the pipes. It is doubtful whether the fragments ascribed to him are genuine; they include such subjects as ‘the new song’, ‘the Muses’, ‘Zeus, the beginning of the universe’. The existence of an Alexandrian edition seems unlikely. See also music.


  • Greek Literature

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