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date: 04 February 2023


, of Miletus, citharode and dithyrambic poet, c. 450–360 bce


, of Miletus, citharode and dithyrambic poet, c. 450–360 bce
  • Bernhard Zimmermann


Timotheus (1) (c. 450–360 bce), of Miletus, famous citharode (lyre player and singer) and dithyrambic poet (see dithyramb). *Pherecrates criticizes him as the most effective musical innovator of the late 5th cent. bce (fr. 155. 19 ff. Kassel–Austin). Around 420 he won a victory as citharode over the famous Phrynis (fr. 802). In a papyrus of the 4th cent. bce large portions of his Persians, a citharodic nomos (see nomos(2)), are preserved, for which *Euripides wrote the prologue (Satyr. Vit. Eur. fr. 39, col. 22), probably performed between 410 and 407 bce. It is an account of the battle of Salamis mainly from a Persian point of view (see salamis, battle of). The passages in which a shipwrecked Persian struggles for his life or the Persians invoke their homeland or beseech the victors in broken Greek give an especially lively picture of the events and are a sign of the mimetic character of the music. In the final lines Timotheus proclaims the newness of his art (cf. also fr. 796). The Persians is astrophic (see dithyramb) and polymetrical, constructed mainly on iambic–trochaic and aeolic cola (see metre, greek, § 4 (a and h)).


  • Greek Literature

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