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Sophocles (2), son of Ariston and grandson of *Sophocles (1), produced his grandfather's Oedipus at Colonos in 401 bce and plays of his own from 396 to at least 375. The numbers of his plays and victories are variously given. Scanty papyrus fragments of an ‘Achilles of Sophocles’ have been attributed to him since the title is unattested for Sophocles (1).

Article

Sophocles was one of the three great masters of the genre of Greek tragedy. His life spanned the 5th century bce, and saw him compose approximately 123 dramas, while simultaneously occupying a series of important offices within the democratic state of ancient Athens. His plays demonstrate a mastery of dramatic technique, as well as of the resources of Greek poetic language; driven by a restless searching for innovation, they confront viewers with profound questions about a man’s, or woman’s, position within their city, and the often turbulent nature of their relationship with the gods. The fascination that his dramas exerted on succeeding generations has ensured their survival down to our own day, where their ongoing cultural influence can be documented around the world.Sophocles’ life (497/6–405bce) spanned almost the whole of that century of Athens’s history that later generations would call classical; the enduring reputation of his dramas (see .

Article

Syracusan writer of *mimes. His mimes were divided according to subject-matter into ἀνδρεῖοι and γυναικεῖοι (to do with men/women). We have one important papyrus fragment and some 170 short citations, mostly preserved to illustrate the Doric dialect. He wrote in prose (Suda) but, according to schol. Greg. Naz. 120, it was rather a kind of poetry which employed a variety of cola without regard for rhythmical homogeneity or responsion. That description is in part (but not throughout) applicable to the extant fragment of ταὶ γυναῖκες αἵ φαντι τὰν θεὸν ἐξελᾶν, ‘The women who claim that they will expel the goddess (i.e. *Hecate)’. Sophron was admired by *Plato (1) (*Duris (2) of Samos, FGrH 76 F 72), though the implication of Arist.Poet. 1447b10 f. is that they were poles apart in subject (as indeed they were). *Herodas was probably influenced by Sophron, and *Theocritus certainly was, particularly in his poems 2 and 15 (cf.

Article

Antiquarian writer who went to Egypt and became closely associated with the *Alexandrian school. His works included studies on chronology and Spartan literature and institutions. It is doubtful whether he should be identified with the grammarian Sosibius ὁ λυτικός (‘the solver’), so called because of his ability to deal with Homeric problems.

Article

Geoffrey Arnott

New Comedy poet (See comedy (greek), new) of the 3rd cent. bce. In fr. 1 a cook boasts about his profession.

Article

Tragic poet credited by the *Suda with 73 tragedies and seven victories. There is confusion over his dates, and there may have been two poets of this name, one active in the 4th cent. bce and one in the 3rd (the latter being included in some lists of the *Pleiad).

Article

Richard Hunter

Sositheus from *Alexandria (7) Troas, one of the tragic *Pleiad at (Egyptian) *Alexandria (1) under *Ptolemy (1) II Philadelphus. The major surviving fragment is 21 verses from the satyric Daphnis or Lityerses. An epigram of *Dioscorides (1) (Anth. Pal. 7. 707 = 23 Gow–Page) praises him as the restorer of true *satyric drama.

Article

Sotades (1), Athenian comic poet, τῆς μέσης κωμῳδίας (‘of the middle comedy’, see comedy (greek), middle) according to the Sudas, and (fr. 3, cf. schol. Aeschin. 1. 64) a contemporary of *Demosthenes (2). We have three titles and three citations; fr. 1 is a long description of the cooking of fish.

Article

Richard Hunter

Sotades (2) of Maroneia, poet of the first half of the 3rd cent. bce. The prōtos heuretēs i.e. inventor (Strabo 14. 1. 41) of *cinaedic poetry and probably the first literary writer of the ‘sotadean’, a stichic ionic verse (––∪∪ ––∪∪––∪∪––) in which –∪–× may replace ––∪∪ and which allows great freedom of resolution and substitution. Sotades was notorious for riddling verses making fun of great men (Ath. 14. 620f–621b, Plut.Mor. 11a), including *Ptolemy (1) II Philadelphus, whose marriage to his sister *Arsinoë II the poet commemorated with his most famous verse, ‘you are pushing the prick into an unholy hole’ (fr. 1). His abuse of Ptolemy is variously said to have led to his death or a long spell in prison. Other poems included a sotadean version of Homer's Iliad (frs. 4a–c) and a Katabasis (Descent) to*Hades. Moralizing verses ascribed to Sotades by *Stobaeus are almost certainly not his.

Article

Epic poet from Libya; the Suidas lists epics on various mythical and historical subjects and an Encomium of *Diocletian.

Article

Staphylus (2) of *Naucrati (before 150 bce), an Alexandrian (See alexandria(1)), who wrote on Athens, Aeolia (precise scope doubtful), *Arcadia, and *Thessaly. All of the few surviving fragments concern the prehistoric period. His work is cited among those of prominent historians and ethnographers.

Article

Martin Litchfield West

Poet sometimes named as author of the Cypria (see epic cycle). *Pindar (fr. 265 S.-M.) already knew the story that *Homer gave Stasinus the poem as a dowry. The tale served to reconcile alternative ascriptions.

Article

Greek lyric poet, active c. 600–550 bce. Greek tradition made him later than *Alcman, and contemporary with *Sappho and *Alcaeus (1) (Sudas); Simonides (fr. 564) referred back to him and to *Homer. He was connected with Mataurus in Bruttium (Steph. Byz., Suda; see bruttii), and with *Himera in Sicily (already Pl., Phdr. 244a); Arist.Rh. 1393b tells an anecdote of him and Phalaris. His tomb was shown at Himera (Poll. 9. 100) or *Catana (Antip. Thess., Anth. Pal. 7. 75, etc. ). Some said that his real name was Teisias (Sudas).Stesichorus' works were collected in 26 books (Sudas); nothing now survives but quotations and some fragmentary papyri. The poems are cited by title, not by book-number. That suggests substantial pieces, and what detail we know confirms it. Geryoneis apparently reached at least 1300 lines; Oresteia, and perhaps Helen, occupied two books.

Article

Frank William Walbank and Simon Hornblower

Biographer (see biography, greek) from *Thasos, who taught at Athens.

(FGrH 107)

(1) Homeric studies;

(2) On *teletē, on the Samothracian mysteries;

(3)Περὶ Θεμιστοκλέους καὶ Θουκυδίδου καὶ Περικλέους (‘On Themistocles, Thucydides, and Pericles’; frs. in Plut.). Stesimbrotus gives full biographical details, but criticizes *Themistocles and *Pericles (1) and lauds *Cimon; no preserved fragments concern *Thucydides (1) (son of Melesias).

Article

Mentioned by *Aristotle (Poet. 22) as an example of flat style resulting from the use of commonplace words. *Aristophanes (1) calls him insipid at fr. 158, and the point of Wasps 1313 may be that he relied on stage properties rather than poetic merits.

Article

P. J. Parsons

Stichometry, the modern name for an ancient system of numbering lines in literary texts. In Greek papyri, this numbering takes two forms. (1) Marginal: each hundredth line marked with a letter of the alphabet (Α = 100 up to Ω = 2400, then again from Α).(2) Final: the sum total of lines in the work (roll) stated at the end, often introduced by ἀριθμός, ‘number’, and most often in acrophonic numerals (see numbers, greek). Any individual copy may exhibit both, one, or neither; a few copies show lines checked off in fives, tens, or twenties. In verse, the ‘line’ defines itself. In prose, the numbering assumes a notional or standard line (the actual lines would differ in length from copy to copy): apparently 15–16 syllables (cf. Galen, De placit. Hipp. et Plat. 8. 1. 23, p. 486. 2–3 de Lacy), equivalent to an average hexameter (the terminology uses ἔπος, ‘epic verse’ as synonymous with στίχος, ‘line’).

Article

Andrew Brown

A form of dramatic dialogue in which each utterance by each speaker consists of a single line of verse. Under the same general heading come forms in which each utterance consists of two lines (sometimes called distichomythia) or half a line (sometimes called hemistichomythia). Stichomythia is the form usually employed for rapid exchanges in Greek tragedy. Thus it is the usual alternative, in dialogue scenes, to extended speeches (rhēseis; see speech presentation), although freer, more naturalistic forms of exchange also occur, especially in *Sophocles (1). It can extend for long stretches, especially in *Euripides (e.g. Ion255–368, 113 lines including a brief two-line section), despite the danger of monotony (to modern taste) and the occasional need for padding.Common uses of the form are where one party questions and the other answers (e.g. Aesch.Pers.231–45, Eur.IT492–569); where one persuades and the other resists (e.g. Aeschs.

Article

Nicholas Purcell

Strabo, of Amaseia (*Pontus), author of a Geographia in 17 books, by far the most important source for ancient *geography, a priceless document of the Augustan age, and a compendium of important material derived from lost authors.The family was prominent in the politics of Pontus since before the time of *Mithradates VI. Born about 64 bce, he studied grammar under Aristodemus of Nysa, and later at Rome under *Tyrannio (1) of Amisus, and philosophy under Xenarchus of Seleuceia (his teachers were *Peripatetic; his views align him with the Stoics; see stoicism). He knew *Posidonius (2), whose work he used, and from whom he may have drawn his idea of a conjoint interest in history (with its ethical implications) and geography (historical notes (hypomnēmata) in 47 books, 43 after the conclusion of *Polybius (1), were his first work). The empires of Romans and Parthians allowed him to do for the Augustan empire what *Eratosthenes had been able to do in the aftermath of *Alexander (3) the Great (1.

Article

Geoffrey Arnott

New Comedy poet (See comedy (greek), new). The only extant fragment is a skit upon glossomania, with the speaker describing a conversation with a cook in which the latter's fondness for obsolete (and especially Homeric) words and phrases leads the other to call him ‘slave of some kind of rhapsode’ (vv. 48 f.). The play from which the fragment derives is dated c.300 bce by a reference (v. 43) to the work of *Philitas of Cos.

Article

Straton (3) of Sardis, who lived in the time of *Hadrian, specialized in pederastic epigrams; about 100 of his poems are to be found in bks. 11 and 12 of the Greek *anthology. He follows contemporary fashion in striving for point and originality of expression, though many of his themes are traditional. Some of his poems are more sexually explicit than is usual in Greek *epigrams.