Part III. Inventions of Terpander

1. Terpander between Myth and History

Any study of kitharôidia must reckon closely with Terpander of Lesbos. While figures such as Orpheus, Philammon, and Amphion were routinely put forward as exponents of citharodic music in the mythic illud tempus—as Wilamowitz put it, Orpheus was “nothing but a citharode retrojected into the Heroic Age”—Terpander emerges from the ancient sources as its true prôtos heuretês, the real-life culture hero single-handedly responsible for developing the formal and performative elements that informed the historical practice of kitharôidia from the Archaic period through the time of Nero. [1] As Antonietta Gostoli has written in her essential monograph on this figure, “Terpandro è concordemente presentato dalla tradizione antica come il primo grande esponente ed archegeta della citarodia in epoca storica, cioè post-eroica.” [2]
The present chapter uses the ancient testimonia about the life and activity of Terpander as a framework around which to organize a number of interrelated discussions about the production and consumption of citharodic culture, primarily as it was constituted in the Archaic and Classical periods, but also in subsequent eras. It will be useful then to begin with a synthetic account of the major testimonia. First, a word of warning: the “Life of Terpander,” as we will see, is a bricolage of temporally, generically, even ideologically disparate voices, not always in accord, so it is important to keep in mind that the more or less linear, cohesive narrative assembled below merely presents the illusion of synchronic wholeness. In reality these biographical elements were never brought together at any one point in time, at any one place during antiquity. I do, however, foreground what seem to be the more mainstream, widely recognized elements, and although I include several idiosyncratic contributions to the tradition, others of a more obscure character will figure in later discussions.
Terpander was born in the city of Antissa, [3] on the northern coast of Lesbos, sometime during the reign of Midas, king of Phrygia (738–696 BCE). [4] His father was named Derdeneus, which is all we know of him. [5] While Terpander was still residing in Antissa, some fishermen found the lyre of Orpheus, which, along with his head, had floated to the northern coast of Lesbos after the Thracian was torn apart by enraged women, and gave it to Terpander. [6] Terpander modified the lyre by adding three strings to its existing four, giving it its classic heptachord form. [7] Perhaps it was he who invented the so-called Asiatic kithara, the large, square-bottomed concert kithara played by later Archaic and Classical festival citharodes; others assign its invention to one of his pupils, Cepion (or Capion). [8] Terpander composed citharodic music and poetry in the genres of the prooimion and the nomos, which he performed at agônes. He was known to borrow the poetry of Homer as text for his nomic melodies. [9] If Terpander did not himself invent the nomos—though he may have—he did first give the canonical varieties of nomoi their names. [10] In addition to cultivating a musical career on Lesbos, Terpander visited Lydia; at the luxurious banquets there he heard the playing of harps, which inspired him to invent the elongated, baritone version of the tortoise-shell lyre called the barbitos. [11] Perhaps these Lydian drinking parties also inspired him to invent the skolion, the Greek sympotic drinking song, and the Mixolydian harmonia. [12] At some point after his career was established, Terpander left Antissa; some say he was exiled from the city because he murdered someone there. [13] Delphi enters the story at this important juncture. Sparta had been suffering from self-destructive civic strife. Spartan emissaries to Delphi, seeking solutions to this domestic crisis, were told by the oracle to send for the “Lesbian Singer.” Terpander thus arrived among the Lacedaemonians and quelled their stasis with his lyric song. [14] In connection to this act of communal musical therapy, Terpander was said to be the first man to organize civic musical culture in Sparta. A key component of this sociomusical organization, the so-called “first katastasis,” seems to have been Terpander’s foundation of a citharodic agôn attached to the festival of the Carneia, in the twenty-sixth Olympiad (676–673 BCE); he was, not surprisingly, also the victor at the very first Carneian contest. [15] At some point during his tenure in Sparta—maybe even before, while he was still a resident of Lesbos—Terpander took to the road in the style of an itinerant agônistês, performing at the enneateric Pythian contests, where he won four times in succession. [16] After one such excursion abroad Terpander returned to Sparta to perform at the Carneia, but for the last time: while singing, he choked on a fig and died, kithara in hand. [17] Terpander’s work as musical culture hero was esteemed so highly by the Spartans that long after his death they continued to honor his memory by granting the right of “first performance” at the Carneia to those Lesbian citharodes who could claim descent from him. The proverbial expression μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν ‘After the Lesbian Singer’ grew up around this practice—and the fact that Terpander’s Lesbian descendants were so good that they inevitably won the contest; everyone else finished behind them. [18]
Gostoli follows the ancient tradition in treating the Lesbian citharode as if he had been an actually living person. For her the testimonia relevant to the life and activity of Terpander are to be evaluated as either accurate or inaccurate records of what really did occur in the past, and through careful consideration of their historical accuracy, in whole or in part, we may extract from them what we need to reconstruct the life of Terpander as it actually was. Gostoli is certainly not alone among modern scholars in following this line of approach, and with some reason. For, while different scholars may dispute the historical validity of this or that invention or exploit ascribed to Terpander, taken all together the testimonia, both early and late, do conspire to present him as an authentically historical figure rather than a pure figment of legend. [19] Indeed, we see in them notably few of the fantastic events and tendentious eccentricities of biographical detail that mark the Lives of Homer. Nor is Terpander routinely linked by blood or other close association to patently mythical or divine figures, as is his counterpart in musical invention, the seminal aulete Olympus, whom legend made the beloved pupil of Apollo’s musical adversary, the satyr Marsyas, not to mention a consort of Silenus and wrestling partner of Pan. [20] Terpander’s very early floruit necessarily shrouds him in a layer of mist. [21] Yet he nonetheless seems to move more surely than Olympus on the historical side of the myth-history divide, in a familiar ambience of well-attested locales, institutions, and festival occasions, practicing his tekhnê much like later, indubitably historical citharodes would. Thus we read in the Pauly-Wissowa encyclopedia entry on Terpander that Olympus is “purely legendary, his name a collective term [Sammelbegriff] for the achievements of Mysian and Phrygian auletes,” while Terpander stands as the first flesh-and-blood figure of Greek musical history. [22]
The approach to the Terpandrean biographical tradition taken here differs from that taken by Gostoli and others. Rather than attempting to reconstruct the life and deeds of one musician named Terpander who actually lived and worked in the early seventh century BCE by subjecting this or that testimonium to the “truth test,” I propose to disregard the very criterion of objective veracity in the hope of recuperating information that is more valuable than inert biographical tidbits pertaining to one individual. We should attempt instead to extract from the testimonia not the truth about the specific details of Terpander’s life—the search for which keeps us mired in antiquarian debates—but the refractions of deeper and broader “cultural truths” about the performance genre of kitharôidia as a whole, especially in the Archaic period, but in later years as well. We should thus approach the biographical material not as historical documentation (true or false) but as episodes in the history of representation. Such a treatment is neither ahistorical nor completely anti-positivist; it just does not aim to establish any certainties about the “real” exploits of one great man named Terpander. Stories about Terpander can provide important insight into how things really were, but they do so by narrativizing, particularizing, and idealizing realia about the experiences of early citharodes and the development and mechanics of early citharodic practice in general.
Perhaps more crucially, by treating these stories as representations, we can be confident that we can recover less concrete, more discursive properties from them as well, the traces of beliefs, controversies, agendas, and mentalities, social, political and ethical, surrounding the culture of kitharôidia, on the sides of both production and reception, from an early through a late period. To borrow a phrase from Richard Martin, whose analysis of the lives of the Seven Sages is an exemplary effort to transcend the deadlock of biographical positivism, there are “interpretable cultural values” embedded in the Terpander tradition, which we can engage if we read between the lines, asking ourselves why Terpander is represented the way he is. [23]
Thus every Terpandrean testimonium, regardless of its seeming credibility or lack thereof, contains potentially useful information about practices or attitudes relating to citharodic culture. That goes as well for those testimonia that come to us via late sources, as many in fact do. Our reliance on late reports to derive a sense of Archaic and Classical experiences and mentalities is of course always fraught with some risk, but we do well to follow the productive example set by recent scholarship devoted to the explication of the “cultural poetics” of Archaic Greece. An axiom central to this scholarship, which is so characteristically committed to unlocking the wider signifying potential of the “minor” anecdote, is that anecdote-rich late sources (Plutarch, Athenaeus, Aelian, et al.) may well in some cases—and case-by-case evaluation is always the best policy—be considered valid transmitters, even if unaware or incidental ones, of “long-lost” Archaic and Classical traditions. [24] At the same time, because the practice of kitharôidia persisted as a living tradition well into late antiquity, it is inevitable that some post-Classical representations of Terpander should also bear the imprint of later, even contemporary stages of citharodic culture and its intercultural contexts. [25] Again, a case-by-case policy is the best one to follow in trying to determine whether multiple levels of temporal reference might be at work in a representation, and what sort. In most cases dependence on definite earlier Quellen is impossible to establish with any certainty, so some grounded speculation is unavoidable.

2. Terpander in Gaza

Consider the following example, which stands at the chronological extreme of over one millenium after the supposed floruit of Terpander. [26] In an excerpt from one of his Discourses, the early sixth-century CE orator Choricius of Gaza expresses the (surely unattainable, markedly “rhetorical”) wish to perform his rhetorical displays, epideixeis, only before select, educated audiences equipped with the proper learning to appreciate his skill, those he calls the ἐπιστήμονες λόγων ‘connoisseurs of speeches’. He cites an unexpected model for such discrimination: Terpander, who, like Choricius in the field of declamation, was uncontested in kitharôidia. Choricius attributes to Terpander a curious pre-performance ritual of selection that is otherwise unattested:
μέλλοντος γὰρ κιθαρίζειν ἐκείνου θεράπων μουσικὸς παρὰ τὴν αὔλειον θύραν εἱστήκει, ὃς τίς ἀκροᾶσθαι βούλεται Τερπάνδρου· βοῶν, ἅμα τὴν λύραν ἐπιδιδούς, ἔφερε γάρ, ἐκέλευεν ἕκαστον τὴν ἁρμονίαν εὖ μάλα ἐντεινάμενον κρούειν ἢ ἀπαλλάττεσθαι ὡς ἀνάρμοστον ὄντα Τερπάνδρου κιθάρας ἀκούειν.
Whenever Terpander was about to perform on the kithara (kitharizein), a musical assistant of his (therapôn mousikos) stood by the courtyard door and called upon whoever wanted to hear Terpander; handing the willing person a lura (for the assistant carried one), he would bid him either to tune it and play it proficiently or to go away, since he was not fit (anarmostos, literally ‘out of tune’) to listen to the kithara of Terpander.
Choricius Discourse 9.3 [27]
The idea that Terpander, or any famous agonistic citharode for that matter, employed the services of a “musical assistant” acting in the capacity of a bouncer tasked with the vetting of would-be audience members, should not, of course, be taken seriously. Citharodic culture, not unlike the epideictic oratorical culture developed under the Empire, was, even from an early period, inherently large-scale, indiscriminate, “middling”; citharodes were by and large professional entertainers who relied on establishing mass appeal, on creating broad-based consensus amongst socially differentiated festival audiences, mousikoi and amousoi alike.
But we should not completely write off this anecdote as a fabrication concocted by Choricius alone. The figure of the lyric gatekeeper restricting public access to the music of Terpander, who remains secluded behind doors, may be his own creation. But even if it is—and we cannot be sure that Choricius did not get the notion from some earlier writer—the elitist tone of the anecdote as a whole could nevertheless suggest that we are dealing with a narrative reflex of sociological content, an ideological mindset, from a previous era: specifically, the resentment voiced by some later-fifth- and fourth-century elite factions in Athens at their diminished authority, as creators and connoisseurs, within the civic culture of mousikê, not least in the field of kitharôidia. [28] The tenor of Choricius’ story, if not its exact narrative detail, could well be a distant echo of this reactionary sentiment. This Terpander was cast as a kind of musical oligarch—his close connection to Sparta, whose famously conservative musical life was a source of fascination for sociomusical conservatives in Athens, probably inspired the casting choice—while kitharôidia was idealized as an economically disinterested, socially restricted practice, in the manner of old-time sympotic music making, its pleasures open only to the musically educated social elite. That the assistant puts prospective auditors to the test with the lura, the gentleman symposiast’s stringed instrument, is significant. An aesthetic and ethical “harmony” between amateur proficiency on the lyre and the virtuosity demanded by the kithara is implicit; appreciation of the latter is tendentiously made dependent on, even secondary to, the former. The message: citharodic terpsis is the exclusive privilege of a lyric elite. Again, this was ideological belief, not the historical state of affairs.
It should be noted that the musical politics that I am arguing form the subtext of this anecdote had long before the time of Choricius become irrelevant; the rhetor may not have even been aware there was originally a subtext. His evocation of this elitist Terpander serves first and foremost his own self-aggrandizing rhetoric—something along the lines of, “I as much as Terpander deserve the most cultured sorts of audiences for my brilliant performances.” But this is not to say that Terpander was to Choricius or his audiences a bloodless exemplum, a famous name from the legendary past without any contemporary relevance. The reference in fact must have had more active cultural resonance. To appreciate its impact we must keep in mind that kitharôidia continued to be practiced even as late as the reign of Justinian (527–565 CE). The vibrancy of late antique citharodic music explains why not only Choricius but other Imperial Greek rhetors make repeated reference to citharodes, occasionally putting their oratorical skills, explicitly or implicitly, on the level of the musical prowess of a Terpander, Arion, or Orpheus. [29] Indeed, the performance cultures of kitharôidia and epideictic oratory had significant practical and conceptual overlaps. As cosmopolitan, high-earning itinerant performers, citharodes moved in much the same orbit as professional rhetors; both enjoyed considerable celebrity among the enormous crowds they entertained throughout the Greek world; their formidable glamour won them powerful patrons as well. Both cultivated performance styles designed for maximum impact on large civic audiences: highly theatrical, mimetic, gestural, sensationalistic. [30] A certain degree of professional rivalry almost certainly existed between them. [31] We hear of one performer of the third century CE, Aurelius Hierocles, who likely competed in both citharodic and oratorical festival agônes in Miletus. [32] Against this backdrop, Choricius’ exemplary citation of Terpander is far more than a random show of antiquarian learning. It is a culturally charged act of appropriation whose implications would be well understood by Choricius’ contemporaries: a rhetor borrowing for his own practice the prestigious example set by the iconic founder of the rival citharodic tradition.

3. Contested Legacies

Terpander emerges from my reading of this anecdote as a figment of his own reception. But what about the “real” Terpander? My view is that even if there was an early Archaic musician from Lesbian Antissa called Terpander, who played the seven-stringed kithara, sang at the first Spartan Carneia, etc., the legend nevertheless subsumed the man to such an extent that the legend became more substantial, more “real” than any truths that could be told about the man. We may recall the (appropriately oft-misquoted) dictum of the wise newspaper editor in John Ford’s classic Western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When legend becomes fact, print the legend.” In other words, if Terpander had not existed, he would have had to be invented; but, even if he did exist, he would still have had to be “invented.” It thus seems to me most effective to approach Terpander not as the mortal inventor of kitharôidia, but rather as the ongoing invention, a work-in-progress, as it were, of the evolving citharodic tradition itself—“Terpander” as an objective genitive in the title of Part III, “Inventions of Terpander.” [33] The tradition has invented its inventor, many times over.
I am not the first to follow this general line. Gregory Nagy has discussed at length Terpander’s status as proto- or archetypal lyric composer. [34] Nagy emphasizes Terpander’s supposed invention of the seven-stringed lyre, an instrument with which could be readily synthesized, for the first time, the various melodic idioms (nomoi) and modes (harmoniai), which characterized the once-distinct local musical traditions of Greek and near-Asian regions. Nagy’s Terpander is thus an avatar of the sophisticated Panhellenic lyric melos that took shape in the Archaic period. In approaching Terpander’s prototypicality I take a somewhat different path. Most critically, it is narrower. Terpander is for me not so much the generically undifferentiated primordial songmaker and lyre player, the embodiment of evolving patterns in the melodic and formal development of lyric song qua macrogenre, encompassing monodic and choral, amateur and professional styles of performance; rather, he is first and foremost a model agonistic kitharôidos. His vita encodes information that is relevant above all to the practice of one performance genre, kitharôidia, which, despite the fact that it shares some important musico-generic DNA with lyric forms such as sympotic monody or choral song and dance, has its own morphologies of practice and its own distinct contexts of performance. [35] In other words, the story of Terpander is not so much the story of “lyric poetry” writ large as it is the story of one distinct variety of it, kitharôidia.
Before I turn again to that story, I want to qualify the formulation stated above, “The tradition has invented its inventor.” As I see it, Terpander’s prototypicality was not some automatic creation of tradition in its anonymous, collective conception, nor was it some transhistorical emanation of the genius of the mythopoetic system. Nor was it monolothic. That is, it was not so much a question of an unmediated emergence from the systematic langue of collective tradition as it was the accretive result of more individually differentiated, historically situated acts of parole. [36] There must be, as I have already indicated, an essential kernel in the Terpandrean vita that constitutes something close to an impersonal, unmediated narrative reflex of typical patterns of formal development and practice in early kitharôidia; this hard kernel could indeed reflect the actual experiences of a “real” Terpander on Lesbos and in Sparta. But over and above it, the iconicity of Terpander took a series of more deliberately mediated turns. It was in flux, diachronically and synchronically; it was open to contestation, manipulation, appropriation, not only at the hands of the citharodes, but also, with just as much impact, from a range of non-citharodic agents.
As such, the repository of cultural capital, specifically citharodic, but, more broadly, musical, that was “Terpander” could serve as a powerful rhetorical resource. The projection of certain inventions, actions, or social postures onto this larger-than-life screen could serve to legitimate or authorize critical positions held by the projector. Claims made about Terpander were hardly ever constative; they were dynamic, often literally performative efforts to make and remake musical history in light of particular agendas in the here-and-now. We will see this clearly in the case of Timotheus’ Persians. Choricius’ engagement with a vision of Terpander that could itself have been a product of later Classical sociomusical rhetoric and the romanticization of early Sparta shows how such tendentious biographizing could be deployed by culture producers, historians, and critics outside the immediate realm of kitharôidia. We will see too that Pindar made rhetorical appeal to Terpander in elaborating an authoritative history of the typically non-citharodic song genre of the skolion in which he worked. Finally, the oral traditions belonging to certain regions—Lesbos, Sparta, Delphi—that had an interest in promoting (or challenging) prestigious Terpandrean legacies could also produce distinct variations on biographical themes. Herodotus 1.23–24 gives us some indication of this when he reports that the people of Lesbos and Corinth related independent accounts of the seaborne adventures of the celebrity citharode Arion, who had strong ties to both locales. The works of Hellanicus of Lesbos entitled Lesbiaka and Karneonikai (Victors at the Carneia) probably recorded tales of Terpander as told both on Lesbos and in Sparta, where the citharode was assigned a major role in the historical formation of the polis. [37] The life of Terpander as we have it is in this way a bricolage, and each contribution to its assemblage can tell us something about the different stages of citharodic culture as whole, its contexts of production and reception, its realia and fantasy images, the various mentalities cohering around it. “Terpander” is ultimately an organizing nexus for this culture and its sundry manifestations, fashionings, and idealizations, past and present.
Finally, an important corollary to an interpretation of Terpander that sidesteps the deadlocks of historical positivism concerns the six fragments that were attributed to him in antiquity and whose authenticity has long been subject to debate. Most recently, Gostoli, whose credulity in the matter of testimonial objectivity extends to her treatment of the poetry, has accepted as authentic compositions of Terpander all six of the fragments that were attributed to him in antiquity. Far less credulous is Denys Page, who reluctantly acknowledges only two fragments as (possibly) Terpandrean (PMG 697, 698 = frs. 2, 3 G). Wilamowitz had been even more skeptical in his assessment of them, detecting the hand of the “literary forger” in more than one. [38]
But once we give up the quest to recover an actually existing Terpander “out there” and we recognize his immanent function within the very expanse of citharodic culture, we can abandon too the fruitless quest to determine the authenticity or inauthenticity of the fragments. [39] Rather than as the direct pronouncements from the mouth of one citharode named Terpander, they are better understood as installments in the centuries-long invention of Terpander, each possessing a “truth” vis-à-vis the presentation and reception of kitharôidia. [40] As was discussed in Part II.2–3, these fragments belonged to proemial compositions that were maintained, alongside a collection of the stereotyped melodic frameworks called nomoi, in the traditional (and so “authentic”) repertoire of itinerant citharodes; their canonical status went hand in hand with their attribution to the prototypical citharode. Similarly, rhapsodes attributed to Homer the traditional hexameter poetry they performed, both lengthy heroic narratives and prooimia, viz. the Homeric Hymns. Versions of such citharodic compositions, we saw, dated back to the Archaic period, when Lesbian citharodes—perhaps among them one standout named Terpander—displayed their tekhnê at the Carneian agônes, and that thereafter they moved into broader Panhellenic circulation, reperformed, and surely reworked, under the name of Terpander, whose iconic persona continued to be brought to life by the citharodes singing “his” verses and melodies.

4. The Citharodes’ Citharode

It is likely that those primarily responsible for the elaboration of Terpandrean biography and the transmission of Terpandrean lore were those also responsible for the transmission of his poetry and music, the citharodes themselves. At the forefront of these dual processes was the διαδοχή ‘succession’ of citharodes from Terpander’s native Lesbos (“Plutarch” On Music 6.1133d). These citharodes earned early fame for their preeminence at the Spartan Carneia, whose agôn Terpander is said to have established in the early seventh century BCE when he came to save the city from self-destruction with his song and to lay the initial foundation of civic musical culture there (the “first katastasis,” as it is called in On Music 9.1134b). They enjoyed too agonistic success at other points abroad well into the fifth century BCE. Terpander must have been first and foremost their creation, his exploits a synchronic condensation of their own diachronic activities; his prestige and renown accordingly grew in tandem with theirs, as each generation of the diadokhê inherited and built upon the legends of its founding member. Some, perhaps all of the Lesbian Singers, as they were proverbially known as early as the seventh century BCE (cf. Sappho fr. 106), claimed to be descendants of Terpander, his ἀπόγονοι, members of his extended family, his genos. [41] Indeed, in early Sparta it may have been the case that the Lesbian citharodes competing at the Carneia came to be viewed as “second comings” of Terpander, their identities ritually conflated with that of their ancestor, the archetypal Lesbian Singer.
The apogonoi were supposedly granted the right of first performance at the Carneia—the original sense of the proverb μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν ‘After the Lesbian Singer’—“in honor and commemoration of ancient Terpander” (ἐπὶ τιμῇ καὶ μνήμῃ Τερπάνδρου τοῦ παλαιοῦ), who was the first performer and victor at the festival. [42] This institutionally ritualized commemoration of Terpander suggests that the Lesbian Singers of the here-and-now were meant to emulate their archetype, whose kitharôidia had brought not only entertainment but also political salvation to Sparta. The identification between past and present was no doubt mediated too by the dynamics of mimêsis, or reenactment, that were built into the very performance by the Lesbians of the prooimia and nomoi they attributed to Terpander.
Nevertheless, the members of the Lesbian diadokhê could emerge as “name” stars in their own right. Some, such as Euainetidas, Aristocleides (or Aristocleitus), and Phrynis of Mytilene, achieved such fame in and beyond Sparta that debate arose as to whether one of these, rather than Terpander, was the Lesbian Singer referred to in the proverb. [43] We have the names of other Lesbian Singers. Cepion (or Capion), said to be Terpander’s erômenos or student and called by some the inventor of the concert kithara, is probably not historical. [44] Another, Pericleitus, almost definitely a real person, was remembered for the transitional position he occupied in the history of the Lesbian diadokhê:
τελευταῖον δὲ Περίκλειτόν φασι κιθαρῳδὸν νικῆσαι ἐν Λακεδαίμονι Κάρνεια, τὸ γένος ὄντα Λέσβιον· τούτου δὲ τελευτήσαντος, τέλος λαβεῖν Λεσβίοις τὸ συνεχὲς τῆς κατὰ τὴν κιθαρῳδίαν διαδοχῆς.
They say that Pericleitus was the last citharode of the Lesbian genos to be victorious at the Carneia in Sparta and that when he died the unbroken continuity of the Lesbians’ tradition (diadokhê) in kitharôidia came to an end.
“Plutarch” On Music 6.1133c
This testimony deserves more detailed discussion, as it has implications for the Panhellenic diffusion of Terpandrean lore beyond Lesbos and Sparta. The writer-compiler of On Music (or his source, perhaps Heraclides of Pontus) has presumably gotten his information about Pericleitus from Hellanicus of Lesbos, who dealt with his countrymen’s citharodic successes in Sparta in his Karneonikai, a work composed in both poetry and a prose versions that recorded the winners at the Carneian mousikoi agônes from the time Terpander supposedly established them (676/3 BCE) up to his own time, the later fifth century BCE. The way in which the information is expressed in On Music is confusing, however. We know that Lesbian citharodes who could place themselves within the diadokhê were in fact still winning contests after the death of Pericleitus, whom we can date to around the middle of the sixth century BCE, or perhaps somewhat later in that century. [45] Aristocleides (or Aristocleitus), another apogonos of Terpander, was enjoying fame throughout Greece at the time of the Persian Wars. [46] His student was Phrynis, who won first prize in kitharôidia at the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes in 446, around the time they were reorganized by Pericles. [47] Phrynis was most likely active in Athens as well as at other agônes through the 420s. So what do we make of the report in On Music that the “continuous tradition” of Lesbian kitharôidia died out with Pericleitus? The passage must not mean that the Lesbian tradition as a whole came to an end before the middle of the sixth century; it means only that the unbroken streak of victories won by the Lesbian Singers at the Spartan Carneia in particular was over by this time. [48] Further, it is likely that individual Lesbian citharodes did continue to win Carneian victories after the time of Pericleitus; it was just that they did not win every year.
Why did this happen? The answer lies in two closely interrelated developments. We should first consider that as the agonistic kitharôidia that the Lesbians had refined in Sparta increasingly achieved Panhellenic recognition, the supremacy of its Eastern Aeolic pioneers must have been challenged successfully by new waves of citharodes from regions far and wide, who were mastering the music and technique of the concert kithara on their own terms, fusing the Aeolic-Lesbian style with stylemes from their own native lyric traditions. [49] It is significant that the one name we have of a Carneian victor after Pericleitus belongs to an Athenian citharode, Execestides, who won the crown in Sparta around the middle of the fifth century (Polemon fr. 47 Preller). No longer was kitharôidia a niche tekhnê for the Lesbians, and, as enterprising promoters of their art, spreading its wonders across the Mediterranean, they in a sense had themselves to blame for this development. This last point brings us to the second development. By the middle of the sixth century BCE the preeminence of Sparta as the center of citharodic culture was being challenged by rival states seeking to possess for themselves the cultural and political prestige that the medium of kitharôidia brought with it. There was, in economic terms, a diversification of the cultural capital of kitharôidia not only at the level of “sellers,” i.e. the musicians, but also at the level of “buyers” or “investors.” [50] Already in the late seventh century BCE a new range of incentives, financial and honorific, was being offered to enterprising, ambitious musicians by organizers of regional and Panhellenic festivals, and by individual tyrants, who sought to cultivate politically beneficial patronage relationships with them.
This growing decentralization of citharodic culture must have cut into the institutional prestige of the Carneia festival and diminished its ability to maintain a persistent monopoly on the best talent, i.e. Terpandrean apogonoi, who were increasingly traveling elsewhere to seek fame and fortune. [51] Most illustrative of this trend is Arion, the Lesbian Singer from Methymna, whose organization of musical culture in Periander’s Corinth follows the model of Terpander’s first katastasis of civic music in Sparta and whose storied tour to Sicily and Italy reflects the more general spread of kitharôidia into Western Greece during the Archaic period. [52] In the early to mid sixth century, local festivals founded by tyrants such as Cleisthenes’ Sicyonian Pythia and Peisistratus’ reorganized Panathenaia must have drawn the best Lesbian citharodes. [53] Aristocleides seems to have been employed by the fifth-century Sicilian tyrant Hieron of Syracuse (Ister FGrH 334 F 50; see Section 15 below).
As the Lesbian diadokhê moved into different regions of Greece, working an increasingly Panhellenic circuit of agônes and tyrannical courts, we may imagine that they brought with them not only a repertoire of Terpandrean music and poetry, but also life stories of their illustrious ancestor. By the time of the first attestation of his name in preserved Greek literature, in Pindar’s early fifth-century encomium for Hieron (fr. 125 S-M), Terpander was no doubt Panhellenically acknowledged as the first mortal exponent of kitharôidia, attributed a fixed canon of compositions and exploits—his musical purification of Sparta, his invention of seven strings and the nomoi—yet also subject to ongoing revision and reinvention, even resistance. As we will see, Pindar makes him into a pioneer of sympotic lyric, while Delphi mounts an epichoric challenge to the mainstream accounts of Terpander’s achievements, offering up local heroes in his place. With the obsolescence of the diadokhê by the end of the fifth century BCE—Phrynis is the last Lesbian Singer of whom we hear—Terpander was so well established in that role that non-Lesbian citharodes such as Timotheus claimed his legacy as their own, and customized it to suit.

5. Timotheus’ Terpander

In analogous manner it was the early professional rhapsodes who first fashioned and transmitted stories about the notional founder of their art and line, Homer, in order to satisfy the curiosity of their audiences and, through their exclusive access to this ancient lore, to advertise their privileged artistic lineage. At first, at least, these rhapsodes were members of the Chian rhapsodic guild of the Homeridai, who claimed familial descent from Homer, although at a later point non-Homerids such as the world-famous rhapsode Ion of Ephesus, portrayed in the Platonic dialogue named for him, must also have engaged in biographical glossing. [54] Their accounts could be “paratextual,” that is, transmitted outside the primary performance of the text, or, thanks to the textual fluidity of orally composed and transmitted rhapsôidia, they could be woven into the text itself by its reperformers. [55] As an example of the latter phenomenon we could cite Hesiod fr. 357 M-W, in which an archetypal rhapsodic contest between Homer and Hesiod is described. We could also consider in this light the famous evocation of the blind Chian aoidos in the Delian Hymn to Apollo 172. Of this latter text one scholar has perceptively written,
The Delian hymn belongs to the Homeridai of Chios, a guild of rhapsodes that traced itself to a founder/ancestor whom they called Homer: the reference in the hymn to the blind bard of Chios is intended to evoke this founder/ancestor, and, whoever the actual poet or poets of the hymn, the hymn’s allusion to Homer is in effect the sphragis of the guild. [56]
The citharodic prooimion is one obvious site for such biographizing-in-performance. The proemial fragment Gostoli fr. 4 = PMG p363 (“For you we will, loving four-voiced song no more, sing new songs to the heptatonic phorminx”) both records and reenacts Terpander’s foundational discovery of the seven-stringed lyre as well as the nomos whose performance that lyre enables; citharodes “become” Terpander by way of commemorating his legacy. The concluding sphragis section of the citharodic nomos would alternately have offered citharodes the opportunity to speak in propria persona about themselves and their tekhnê. [57] In addition to such self-revelation, it would have provided a fitting textual/performative space for the propagation of the Terpandrean vita, as well as ample opportunity for the contemporary singer to associate himself with the glories of his ancestor.
We may detect a startling, if truncated, reflex of such self-interested biographizing in the sphragis of Persians, a nomos composed by Timotheus of Miletus. That this Ionian citharode aligns himself with the founder of the distinctly Aeolic diadokhê is a clear indication that citharodes in general, even those not of the Lesbian line, adopted Terpander as their model and contributed to the elaboration of Terpandrean lore. (Compare the authority assumed over the Homeric legacy by the second-generation, non-Homerid rhapsode Ion.) In a passage that renders a heavily edited version of citharodic history, Timotheus makes honorable mention of the seminal accomplishments of Orpheus and Terpander and, passing over in marked silence the Lesbian apogonoi, follows up with a celebration of his own new style of kitharôidia:
πρῶτος ποικιλόμουσον Ὀρ-
φεὺς <χέλ>υν ἐτέκνωσεν
υἱὸς Καλλιόπα<ς ⏑ -
-- > Πιερίαθεν·
Τέρπανδρος δ’ ἐπὶ τῷ δέκα
ζεῦξε μοῦσαν ἐν ᾠδαῖς·
Λέσβος δ’ Αἰολία νιν Ἀν-
τίσσᾳ γείνατο κλεινόν·
νῦν δὲ Τιμόθεος μέτροις
ῥυθμοῖς τ’ ἑνδεκακρουμάτοις
κίθαριν ἐξανατέλλει.
221 ποικιλομουσος pap.: -ον Wilamowitz 222 <χέλ>υν Wil.: <λύρ>αν Jurenka: <τέχν>ην Hutchinson 226 τεῦξε pap.: ζεῦξε Wil.
Orpheus, son of Calliope, first begot a tortoise-shell lyre of elaborate music … in Pieria. After him Terpander yoked music in ten songs; Aeolian Lesbos bore him to be Antissa’s fame. And now Timotheus makes the kitharis again spring up with eleven-struck meters and rhythms.
Timotheus Persians 221–231
The rhetorical thrust of this priamel-like survey is that Timotheus’ contribution to kitharôidia is equal to, if not greater than those made first by Orpheus and then by Terpander. Notable here is the way Timotheus boldly reinvents Terpandrean tradition: “Terpander yoked music in ten songs (ôidai); Aeolian Lesbos bore him to be Antissa’s fame.” As Wilamowitz first argued, Timotheus is concerned here to legitimize his own controversial use of the novel eleven-stringed kithara, which had made him, or so he claims, persona non grata in musically conservative Sparta (Persians 206–212; cf. Pausanias 3.12.10, where Timotheus has “excess” strings cut from his polychord kithara in Sparta). He does so by attributing “ten songs”—almost certainly a euphemism for or at least a coy suggestion of ten strings—to the citharode who was famous for inventing the seven-stringed lyre and who had been an “honorary Spartan” to boot. [58] (Note that Timotheus analogously euphemizes his own controversial eleven strings as “eleven-struck meters and rhythms,” what emerges when the strings are struck.) [59] Terpander is thus cannily figured as an exponent of the New Music avant la lettre.
Orpheus too is given the modernizing treatment. Timotheus imagines the primordial Orphic lyre, which he designates with the old-fashioned-sounding metonym χέλυς (cf. Sappho frs. 118, 58.12 V), as poikilomousos, an epithet that brings significant ambiguity into the scene. [60] It is clearly intended to echo expressions in Archaic lyric such as Pindar’s φόρμιγξ ποικιλίγαρυς ‘phorminx with varied voice’ (Olympian 3.8; cf. 4.2, 6.87; Nemean 4.14). But, rather paradoxically given the traditionalist connotations of χέλυς, it also brings to mind (and how could it not?) the more recent buzzword status of poikilia. The New Musicians and their critics both seized on this traditional term to valorize or denigrate the supercharged harmonic and technical complexity and variability typical of the innovative contemporary style. [61] Orpheus’ poikilomousos tortoise-shell lyre ideally combines the simple with the complex, the antique with the modern, foreshadowing and so legitimating the same combinations in Timotheus’ eleven-stringed kitharis—the Homeric term is deliberately chosen to archaize what is very much a cutting-edge concert kithara. [62] Citharodes could thus play fast and loose with their representations of citharodic lore to suit their own ambitions, although we may note that Timotheus scripts, and so controls, the terms of his own biographical reenactment, his own “musical myth.” Citharodes reperforming Persians would, as they sang the sphragic text, forevermore “become” Timotheus as he “makes the kitharis again spring up with eleven-struck meters and rhythms.” We may compare how the Terpandrean invention of the heptatonic lyre and the nomos is forever renewed when citharodes sing the proemial verses of Gostoli fr. 4 = PMG p363 (“For you we will, loving four-voiced song no more, sing new songs to the heptatonic phorminx”).
If we had more citharodic texts, we would, I suspect, have more such examples of the elaboration of Terpandrean legend in song. We may, however, be able to detect the traces of a Timothean Terpander in later, non-citharodic sources. Indeed, given the success and long-running popularity of works such as Persians, we should not be surprised to find that Timotheus influenced later images of Terpander. Plutarch Laconian Institutions 17.238c records a tradition, attested only here, that Terpander was censured by the Spartan authorites because he added an “extra string,” presumably an eighth, to his kithara “for the sake of vocalic poikilia” (τοῦ ποικίλου τῆς φωνῆς χάριν)—a phrase that distinctly resonates with the discourse surrounding the Athenian New Music. Insofar as this tale unexpectedly puts Terpander in the position normally occupied by Timotheus in accounts of clashes with reactionary ephors at the Carneia—Plutarch in fact immediately juxtaposes a story in which it is the Milesian’s kithara from which an ephor’s knife cuts “excess” strings—it could well represent an anecdotal reflex of the rhetorical assimilation of Timotheus and Terpander qua citharodic innovators that we encounter in the sphragis of Persians. [63] Plutarch elsewhere records a variant of the story in which an axe-wielding ephor named Ecprepes cut (ἐκτεμεῖν) two extra strings from the nine-stringed kithara of Timotheus’ older contemporary Phrynis. [64] Wilamowitz took this version of the anecdote to be the earliest, and as such the source for the later variants involving Timotheus and Terpander. [65] Perhaps, but that could mean that Phrynis, the last big-name Lesbian citharode—he was the protégé of Aristocleitus, an apogonos of Terpander (scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971a)—himself anticipated Timotheus in “updating” Terpander to legitimate his own use of a polychord (nonochord?) kithara. Timotheus and Phrynis were at one point close rivals (cf. PMG 802); it is conceivable that the younger Ionian and the older Lesbian citharode, whom Timotheus calls, rather oddly in light of his own provenance, an ἰωνοκάμπτας ‘bender of Ionian melody’ in PMG 802, struggled with one another for control of the prestigious Terpandrean legacy. If Phrynis was already making use of nine strings (and perhaps citing Terpander’s eight strings as a precedent), this could explain why Timotheus attributes “ten songs” to Terpander in Persians, effectively trumping Phrynis’ innovation with that of his Lesbian forerunner and so making the latter a more suitable model for his own use of eleven strings.
There can be no doubt, however, that Timotheus was the most celebrated victim of Spartan severity. Pausanias 3.12.10 says that the Milesian citharode’s interdicted kithara (or what locals claimed was that kithara) was hung up for public display in the Skias, the assembly-cum-concert hall in the market place, where the Carneian mousikoi agônes were held (Etymologicum Magnum s.v. Σκιάς; Athenaeus 4.141f). By this time, the Spartans were clearly exploiting their legendary “Lycurgan” cultural conservatism for the sake of an antiquarian tourist trade, which was taking off by the first century CE. [66] The kithara was no doubt a must-see on the itinerary of tourists eager to take in relics of the city’s romanticized Archaic austerity. [67] But Spartan guides, eager to give their visitors what they came for, were ready to expound not only on Timotheus’ run-in with the law, but also that of Phrynis, and even that of the very founder of the Carneian agônes, Terpander.
Then there is the entry about Terpander on a now-lost portion of the Parian Marble (364/3 BCE). If Jacoby’s reading of the damaged lines is correct (FGrH 239 A 34), Terpander’s seminal contribution to music is described in terms also notably reminiscent of Timotheus’ late-fifth-century rhetoric of innovation: Τέρπανδρος ὁ Δερδένεος ὁ Λέσβιος τοὺς νόμους τοὺ[ς κιθ]α[ρ]ωι̣δ̣[ικ]οὺς {ΘΑΙΑΥΛΗΤ ...} [ἐκαι|νοτόμ]ησε καὶ τὴν ἔμπροσθε μουσικὴν μετέστησεν (“Terpander of Lesbos, son of Derdeneus, made radically new the citharodic nomoi … and he changed the music that came before”). It could be that the Marble simply refers to Terpander’s supposed replacement of an old four-stringed phorminx by the newer seven-stringed lyre, but the extreme tone of the language suggests the mediation of the New Music; this “revolutionary” Terpander may be, I think, a refraction of the Terpander tradition through the modernizing rhetoric of Timotheus. There is in fact an entry on the Marble devoted exclusively to Timotheus (Ep. 76), and the inscription on the whole evinces the dedicator’s familiarity with prominent figures of the Athenian New Music (the “modern” dithurambopoioi Melanippides, Telestes, Polyeidus, Philoxenus are each mentioned, Ep. 47, 65, 68, 69). [68]
Kainotomia ([ἐκαινοτόμ]ησε), like poikilia, is a keyword of the New Music; compare Timotheus PMG 796, lines probably from the sphragis of a citharodic nomos: “I do not sing the old songs, for my new ones (kaina) are better. The Zeus who is young and new reigns; long ago Cronus ruled. Away with the Old Muse!” [69] We might speculate that Timotheus is alluding to the traditional proemial verses of Gostoli fr. 4, in which “Terpander” claims he “will sing new songs” (νέους κελαδήσομεν ὕμνους), i.e. the nomos, to his seven strings, since he “loves no more” (ἀποστέρξαντες, Cleonides Introduction to Harmonics 12, p202 Jan) or, in another version of the text, after he has “turned aside” (ἀποστρέψαντες, Strabo 13.2.4) the song accompanied by the older four-stringed phorminx. [70] Wilamowitz thought that these lines were a post-Classical forgery, a projection of a Timothean modernist vaunt onto Terpander. [71] But this is to read “Terpander” through the assimilating prism of Timotheus, who in his own poetry picks up on and exploits rhetorically what is already seemingly progressive in the Terpandrean tradition. It is conceivable, however, that the Terpandrean text was substantively altered in light of its Timothean reception. I refer to the alternation of ἀποστρέψαντες ‘turning aside’ with ἀποστέρξαντες ‘loving no more’ as recorded respectively by Strabo and the music theorist Cleonides. The variation need not be a quirk of post-Classical written transmission, but could have long existed within the citharodic performance tradition. Citharodes with more of a stake in asserting a musically innovative stance might have sung ἀποστέρξαντες, which implies a principled, historically self-aware, “Timothean” rejection of the past, more so than the far more neutrally toned (and presumably longer-established) ἀποστρέψαντες. [72]
It is likely too that Timotheus “reinvented” Terpander on a grand scale by recomposing his nomoi, presumably in his own contemporary style and with his own texts. According to the Suda s.v. Τιμόθεος, he produced among his other works eight διασκευαί. These “adaptations” go unnamed and their contents go unspecified, but they could very well have been updated versions of the classic Terpandrean nomoi, which numbered, at least in the account of Pollux Onomasticon 4.65, eight. As was argued at length in Part II, the Terpandrean nomoi had throughout the Archaic and Classical periods been subject to extensive recomposition-in performance by the citharodes who sang them. What Timotheus attempted seems to have been of a different order, however. He made fixed, “authored” pieces out of his personal interpretations of the Terpandrean classics—a bold appropriation of the tradition.
By scripting autobiographical elements into his own nomoi, Timotheus, as I proposed above, was able to shape the reception of his musical and poetic persona. Yet a citharode whose legacy was as enormous as Timotheus’ must have inspired a line of dedicated exegetes of his works and life. A third-century CE inscription from Miletus indicates that there were certain performers, probably citharodes, active at the Great Didymeia festival in that city who were called Timotheastai (I.Didyma no. 181.5). The inscription tells us nothing about the exact nature of the relation of these Timotheasts to their eponym. Were citharodes so designated simply ones devoted to the repertoire of Timotheus’ nomoi? Or were they members of a Milesian guild who claimed some more privileged connection to Timotheus, even, in the manner of the Chian Homeridai or the Lesbian apogonoi of Terpander, lineal descent from the master or quasi-filial pedagogical links to him? In the latter case, the Timotheasts might have further claimed that they and they alone possessed and performed authoritative versions of both the Timothean nomoi and life story.
Another Milesian inscription dated roughly one century earlier than the inscription from the Great Didymeia might offer support for this latter scenario (SEG XI 52c). It records the public honors accorded to Gaius Aelius Themison, a Milesian musician, almost certainly a citharode, who won numerous times at agônes across Hellas and Asia. The language of the inscription has it that he was “the first and only to set to his own music (melos) Euripides, Sophocles, and Timotheus” (μόνον καὶ πρῶτον Εὐρειπίδην Σοφοκλέα καὶ Τειμόθεον ἑαυτῷ μελοποιήσαντα). We may compare Timotheus’ own “adaptations” of Terpandrean nomoi. The uniqueness and novelty ascribed to Themison’s creative revision of classic Timotheus is notable; it leads to the conjecture that more “traditional” renderings of compositions by Miletus’ most famous musician were the order of the day, and these we may tentatively attribute to the Timotheasts. [73] The inscription from the Great Didymeia records that the Timotheasts were actually unsuccessful at the festival games, defeated by one Aurelius Hierocles, about whom we know nothing except that he was seemingly a practitioner of both oratory and kitharôidia. [74] Perhaps the public enthusiasm that greeted Themison’s novel settings of Timotheus decades earlier had marked the beginning of a decline in the popularity and authority of the Timotheasts. [75] It would certainly make for a neat historical irony if the biggest name of the Athenian New Music was centuries later caught up in another “New Music” movement back home in Miletus, this time playing both sides of the fence, as it were, claimed by both the new wave and the old guard.

6. A Simonidean Intermezzo

We might detect the vestiges of a related New Music co-optation of an old-school eminence in the heurematography of the kithara compiled by Pliny the Elder: “Amphion invented the cithara, although some say Orpheus did, others Linus; Terpander added three strings to the four that were there and first sang to seven strings; Simonides added the eighth, Timotheus the ninth” (Natural History 7.204). Like most late catalogues of musical invention this one is a hodgepodge, its elements drawn from a number of generically and temporally disparate sources. The heurematography of the lyre and kithara (along with their individual strings) is especially jumbled and conflicting. Hermes, Apollo, and various legendary and historical mortals are named as inventors and cultivators, a confusing roll call that echoes a disorderly riot of local oral traditions, rationalizing scholarly researchers in contest with one another, and musicians’ own rivalrous metamusical mythologizing. [76] Given that these were the most prestigious instruments of Hellenic mousikê, it is not surprising that would-be authoritative versions of their history were so diversely constructed and contested. As with the construction of the life of Terpander, all manner of intellectual, cultural, and professional agendas were at stake. The figure of interest in Pliny’s list is neither Terpander, who plays his usual role as inventor of the heptachord, nor Timotheus, although he is more regularly attributed the eleventh than the ninth string. [77] What is notable is Simonides’ invention of the eighth kithara string, which is attested only here. This oddity could derive from Simonides’ own poetry. Theocritus might also be alluding to a reference to polukhordia, or some phrase that could be construed as such, in a now lost Simonidean poem, when he describes the Cean aoidos “singing varied song to a many-stringed barbitos” (αἰόλα φωνέων | βάρβιτον ἐς πολύχορδον, Idyll 16.44–45) as he praises his royal Thessalian patrons. [78] Simonides’ vita certainly indicates that he was interested in novel intellectual and verbal tekhnai, but, unlike his contemporary rival Lasus of Hermione, he does not seem to have been at the forefront of technical innovation in mousikê. [79]
In Aristophanes’ Clouds, produced in 423 BCE, Simonides is in fact singled out as a leading light of arkhaia mousikê, his compositions preserved as skolia to be reperformed by amateurs at old-fashioned symposia (1355–1356). [80] The idea of Simonidean polukhordia, however, might not be derived from Simonides’ actual music and poetry, but from a strain of the biographical tradition, now largely occluded, that arose from certain discursive fashionings of the Simonidean persona by figures connected to the New Music. Richard Hunter essentially makes this argument in a discussion of the “archaeology” of musico-poetic anecdotal tradition that he sees at work in Theocritus Idyll 16:
Out of context αἰόλα φωνέων and πολύχορδον would most naturally suggest a virtuoso instrumentalist like the famous Timotheus whose Persai nome survives (PMG 791): both αἰόλα and πολυ- suggest the poikilia of ‘the new music’, whose novelty largely lay in its emphasis upon rapid changes and instrumental ‘runs’, and πολυχορδία frequently appears in descriptions of this flamboyant style. [81]
What likely appealed to New Musicians about Simonides was not anything particularly forward-looking in his musical style, but rather key ethical components of the Cean’s persona (at least as imagined in his vita): his unapologetically professionalized and profit-driven approach to mousikê, backed by his bold, proto-sophistic self-promotional rhetoric. [82]
Hunter suggests that the individual responsible for a polychord Simonides was Stratonicus of Athens, a virtuoso citharist of the fourth century BCE distinguished as much for his proudly professional ethos and witty flair for self-promotion as for his musical innovations—it was Stratonicus who supposedly introduced polukhordia into solo kithara playing and was the first to construct a “diagram” to explain complex harmonic relationships (Phaenias fr. 32 Wehrli = Athenaeus 8.352c). Hunter cites Ephorus of Cyme (FGrH 70 F 2 = Athenaeus 8.352c, from the treatise On Inventions), who labels Stratonicus an “emulator” (ζηλωτής) of Simonides in the matter of the aphoristic witticisms for which Stratonicus became famous. [83] It would not be difficult to imagine that the citharist contributed details to Simonides’ résumé, bringing his model in rhetorical performance in line with his own musical interests as well. But Ephorus says too that the “new dithyrambist” Philoxenus of Cythera, a slightly older contemporary of Stratonicus, greatly admired (ἐσπουδακέναι) Simonides; the adoption of the Cean might then have been a more widespread phenomenon across the New Music. [84]
Simonides worked in a number of genres—this polueideia doubtless appealed to some among the New Musicians—but he neither performed as festival citharode nor composed nomoi. Nevertheless, Timotheus, who is placed immediately after Simonides in Pliny’s catalogue, could have played a significant role in the “modernization” of Simonides. In addition to his kitharôidia, Timotheus was, like Simonides and Philoxenus, also a dithyrambist, and it was perhaps in this capacity that he engaged Simonides as model. But Simonidean poetry is an unmistakable intertext for the citharodic Persians, and it is after all polukhordia on the kithara with which Simonides is associated in Pliny. [85] All must remain speculation here, but could Timotheus have figured Simonides as a citharode or a citharode analogue? Conceivably the Milesian, self-conscious of his Ionian heritage, was interested in fashioning, alongside Terpander, a distinctly Ionian forerunner to his innovative practice of this traditionally Aeolian-dominated tekhnê. [86] Certainly Timotheus recognized that enlisting an old-school “classic” to his side, especially one at home in the elite bastions of schoolroom and symposium, the lyric redoubts of his most conservative critics, went some way toward establishing the legitimacy of his controversial music. It is worth noting too what may be a significant coincidence: Timotheus, while not a praise singer per se, did, like Simonides, enjoy the patronage of a northern royal court, that of Archaelaus of Macedon. Simonides was not linked to Macedonian patrons, but his nephew Bacchylides did compose encomiastic song for the grandfather of Archelaus, Alexander of Macedon (20B S-M).
The image of the polukhordos barbitos indeed resonates significantly with that of the poikilomousos khelus of Timotheus’ Orpheus; both are tendentious portmanteaux of the innovative and the traditional. A polychord barbitos is indeed a deliberate paradox, for the barbitos, like the khelus-lyre, was an instrument that rarely left the confines of the symposium or kômos, and it seems by the middle of the fifth century to have fallen out of use by all but the most rear-guard aristocrats. [87] The barbitos kept rarified company with Eastern polychord harps; Pindar fr. 125 S-M imagines its invention as inspired by the many-stringed pêktis played at Lydian symposia. Theocritus must have this association in mind. But only in Theocritus is the barbitos rendered polukhordos, a word that, as Hunter indicates, had very specific New Music connotations. [88] For Bacchylides, in his encomium to Alexander of Macedon, the barbitos still had a “seven-toned voice” (ἑπτάτονος γᾶρυς, fr. 20B.2 S-M). The same Pindaric fragment, also from an encomiastic song, attributes the invention of the barbitos to Terpander. [89] This attribution must itself constitute a stratum in the musico-poetic “archaeology” of the Theocritus passage, one that in turn opens onto, by way of Terpander, a more general stream of citharodic tradition. Below we will see how the Pindaric invention of the Terpandrean barbitos operates as a metonymic link between two lyric worlds, those of the elite symposium and the public citharodic agônes; Pindar also attributed to Terpander the invention of the sympotic song par excellence, the skolion, by which Pindar means the sympotic encomium (“Plutarch” On Music 28.1140f).
A reflex of this linkage may be evident in Theocritus 16 as well. Although Simonides is invoked as the paradigmatic encomiastic poet, a model for the would-be praise singer to kings, Theocritus himself, there is a citharodic “undertone” to be heard not only in πολύχορδον but in the phrase αἰόλα φωνέων as well. [90] Could we not make out a punning reference in αἰόλα to Aeolic songs (Aiolia), specifically Terpander’s Aeolic-Lesbian kitharôidia? An Αἰόλιος νόμος was among the canonical compositions attributed to Terpander (On Music 4.1132d). We may compare a verse from an epigram of the Palatine Anthology that recounts a legendary Delphic performance of the Locrian citharode Eunomus, αἰόλον ἐν κιθάρᾳ νόμον ἔκρεκον ‘he played a varied nomos on the kithara’ (9.584.3), in which νόμος reads almost as a gloss on the pun latent in αἰόλος. In an epigram describing Arion’s music, Posidippus similarly uses the adverb αἰόλα to qualify the Lesbian citharode’s singing (φωνῇ, AB 37, lines 5–6). [91] Theocritus presents us then with a thickly layered work of creative reception: an Ionian singer performing (Aeolian songs) in a flashy, virtuoso style (αἰόλα) on a (Terpandrean) barbitos, whose polukhordia assimilates it to the kitharai of the Athenian New Music, even as it hearkens back to the polychord harps with which the barbitos was associated. Again, this temporal, generic, and ethnic/regional impasto might bear the marks of an intermediate citharodic reception and reinvention of Simonides by Timotheus. [92]

7. Terpander’s Orpheus

The place of Orpheus in the living citharodic performance tradition merits further discussion at this point. Timotheus’ invocation of Orpheus in Persians, brief as it is, might reflect the practice alluded to by Socrates in Plato’s Ion 533b–c whereby citharodes “perform explanations about Orpheus” (ἐξηγεῖσθαι … περὶ Ὀρφέως). The “explanations” at issue here, as my translation indicates, are surely performative in nature, either textually embedded (be the text prepared or largely composed-in-performance), as is the case with Persians, or paratextual, and more probably biographical than text-exegetical. [93] That is, the citharode communicates notionally authoritative lore about his mythical predecessor, as Timotheus does with self-serving intent in his sphragis, and as he does for Terpander as well. This is suggested by the Ion passage: Socrates says that both auletes and citharists should be able to “perform explanations” about Olympus and Thamyris, respectively. Since no verbal texts were involved in auletic and citharistic performance, we must understand these instrumental performers to be speaking “paramusically” about the protos-figures themselves. [94]
Timotheus was probably not the first citharode to bundle together in performance Orphic and Terpandrean “bio-exegesis.” This practice likely originated with the citharodes of the Lesbian diadokhê, eager to link their model, Terpander, and thereby themselves, with the talismanic musical potency of Orpheus, which was symbolically condensed in his magical lyre. A reflex of this practice could be detected in an account of the invention and early transmission of the seven-stringed lyre attributed to the Pythagorean theorist Nicomachus of Gerasa, who was writing around 100 CE. Since a variant heurematography is attributed to Nicomachus in Boethius On Music 1.20, it could, however, be the work of his anonymous excerptor. [95] The account follows the tradition of the Homeric Hymn to Hermes in making Hermes the inventor of the heptachord lyre (that is, the tortoise-shell lyre, τὴν λύραν τὴν ἐκ τῆς χελώνης, which, as in the Hymn, is imagined to be the primal lyre, predating both the phorminx and the kithara). Orpheus is named as its initial mortal recipient; with it he is said to have taught Linus, Thamyris, and Amphion. The account continues:
ἀναιρεθέντος δὲ τοῦ Ὀρφέως ὑπὸ τῶν Θρᾳκικῶν γυναικῶν τὴν λύραν αὐτοῦ βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ἐκβληθῆναι δὲ εἰς Ἄντισσαν πόλιν τῆς Λέσβου. εὑρόντας δὲ ἁλιέας ἐνεγκεῖν τὴν λύραν πρὸς Τέρπανδρον, τὸν δὲ κομίσαι εἰς Αἴγυπτον. εὑρόντα δὲ αὐτὸν ἐκπονήσαντα ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῖς ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἱερεῦσιν, ὡς αὐτὸν πρωθευρετὴν γεγενημένον. Τέρπανδρος μὲν οὕτω λέγεται τὴν λύραν εὑρηκέναι, Ἀχαιοὺς δὲ ὑπὸ Κάδμου τοῦ Ἀγήνορος παραλαβεῖν τηνικαῦτά φασιν.
After Orpheus was killed by the Thracian women his lyre was hurled into the sea and washed up at Antissa, a city of Lesbos. Fisherman found the lyre and brought it to Terpander, and he brought it to Egypt. Having discovered it, he perfected it and showed it to the priests in Egypt, as if he had been the first inventor. Thus it is said that Terpander invented the lyre, but they say that at that point the Achaeans received it from Cadmus son of Agenor.
Nicomachus Excerpts 1 = T 53b G
Nicomachus (or the excerptor) here integrates a range of conflicting or rival traditions about the myth history of kitharôidia. First, he apparently wants to reconcile what I have called “mainland” traditions, which promote Cadmus and Amphion, Linus and Thamyris as primeval mortal exponents of singing to the lyre, with a Lesbian-Eastern Aegean one, which spotlights Orpheus and Terpander. Second, he wants to account for a specific “problem” that arises within the latter tradition: if the lyre of Hermes that was inherited by Terpander already had seven strings, in what sense can Terpander be called its “inventor”? The inclusive logic of the proposed scenario is ingenious but, even by the elastic standards of mythical chronology, hopelessly contorted. Cadmus’ gift of the lyre to Greece is placed not only after the time of Amphion, whose foundation of Thebes is elsewhere always seen as secondary to the Cadmeian foundation, but also after Terpander, who by any reckoning must be generations younger than Cadmus. [96] As a whole assemblage, the Nicomachean account is probably the idiosyncratic work of one individual compiler. Yet the discrete narrative details that inform it are surely drawn from other sources that in turn draw from more ancient lore, some of which likely goes back as far as the Archaic period. [97]
The odd story of Terpander’s trip to Egypt may be no more than a contrivance of the Nicomachean account, a roundabout means of getting the lyre of Hermes into the hands of Cadmus, who elsewhere receives the lyre directly from Hermes when he marries Harmonia (Diodorus Siculus 5.49). The Egyptian episode also provides a convenient explanation for the antiquity of traditions maintaining that it was Terpander who invented the seven-stringed lyre. Although Terpander “perfected” (ἐκπονήσαντα) the instrument—a deliberately vague acknowledgement of the commonly held belief that Terpander did, in fact, add three strings to the tetrachord lyre that he inherited from Orpheus (e.g. Nicomachus ap . Boethius 1.20 = T 53a G)—he convinces the Egyptian priests, with what appears to be an uncharacteristic duplicity, that it was he who was its original inventor (prôtheuretês). Nevertheless, there might have been previous accounts about a trip taken to Egypt by Terpander, more positive in tone, which were adapted by Nicomachus or his source and altered to undermine Terpander’s claims to originality. The theme of the wise man visiting Egypt to learn arcane wisdom is attested already in Plato, who has Solon discoursing with Egyptian priests (Timaeus 21c; Critias 113a), but the theme is surely older. The Spartan lawgiver, Lycurgus, also visited Egypt and studied its native nomima ‘customs’ (Strabo 10.4.19). [98] That both of these figures are lawgivers (nomothetai) is notable in light of Terpander’s own image as a singer of order-bringing nomoi. But Terpander’s Egyptian sojourn may reflect more specifically the horizons of Lesbian culture. Alcaeus had supposedly visited Egypt and spoken of it in his poetry (Strabo 1.2.30); Sappho’s brother, Charaxus, imported wine to Egyptian Naucratis, which had a significant presence of Lesbian traders. [99] The mercantile connections between Archaic Lesbos and Egypt surely indicate the existence of a Lesbian intrigue with Egyptian culture. We might speculate, then, that romantic tales of Terpander’s Egyptian sojourn, either to play his own music or, more likely, to acquire prestigious ancient and esoteric musical knowledge, were from an early point circulated by the Lesbian Singers, who themselves may have performed in Naucratis in the course of their travels. [100] Similar tales about Terpander’s journey to Lydia may lie behind Pindar fr. 125 S-M, in which the citharode is imagined as a privileged guest at Lydian banquets, where he is first exposed to the exotic harps that he will emulate in his design of the barbitos.
The story of Terpander and the fishermen, attested only here, could also be a distinct piece of Lesbian lore. The fifth-century BCE historian Hellanicus of Lesbos is a good candidate for its written transmitter, but behind him could stand the island’s citharodes themselves, who were eager to promote a direct link between their ancestor’s kitharôidia and the supernatural power of the Orphic lyre. [101] The story is obviously a variation on an undoubtedly very old theme, the migration of Orpheus’ head and lyre to the northern shores of Lesbos, typically to Antissa, the native city of Terpander. [102] In some accounts of the legend it is said that upon arriving at Antissa the head was buried in a cave yet continued to sing oracles. The fate of the lyre, however, is less clear. Lucian The Uncultured Book Collector 11 says that the Lesbians “hung up the lyre in the temple of Apollo, where it was preserved for a long time” (he does not say whether the temple was in Antissa); Phanocles fr. 1.19 Powell locates the still-resounding lyre “in the tomb” of Orpheus, along with the singing head. In both Lucian and Phanocles the Orphic lyre represents the musical patrimony of the entire island of Lesbos (“the most musical of them all,” as Phanocles fr. 1.22 puts it), and belongs to no one individual. But it is entirely possible that there were distinct citharodic oral traditions, perhaps originally elaborated within the context of a local Antissan cult of Orpheus, relating how the Orphic lyre came at some point into the sole possession of Terpander; these narratives may well have involved the intercession of fishermen.
The Nicomachean story indeed bears an unmistakable resemblance to another logos Lesbios ‘Lesbian story’, no doubt of considerable antiquity, that is recorded by Pausanias 10.19.3 in connection with the cult of Dionysus Phallên in the city of Methymna. Fishermen from Methymna, the city nearest to Antissa on the northern coast of the island, had once recovered from the sea an uncanny wooden image that had a divine quality (to theion) to it; the Delphic oracle later confirmed that the image was of Dionysus and ordered the cult to be established around it. [103]
Of course, it could be the case that the role of the fishermen in the Terpander story represents a later accretion, derived perhaps from the Methymnian legend, to an older account that by some other means brought the numinous Orphic lyre into personal contact with Terpander. [104] In any case, we can only guess at the precise details involved in citharodic versions of Terpander’s reception of the lyre. It is unlikely that there was one orthodox telling. Conceivably, in one account the Orphic lyre was imagined to have seven strings, as Nicomachus has it; Terpander simply inherited it (and its powers) as is and so “discovered” rather than “invented” the heptachord lyre. (This account would coexist peaceably with Hermes’ invention of the lyre in the Hymn to Hermes, which was well known by the fifth century BCE, though we should not expect that citharodes felt compelled to “square” divergent heurematographical legends as if they were rationalizing mythographers.) In another account, which promulgated the strong tradition of Terpander as technical innovator, Terpander refined the Orphic lyre, adding three strings to its four (cf. ἐκπονήσαντα ‘perfected’ in Nicomachus); this narrative would complement the programmatic rhetoric of Gostoli fr. 4 (“new songs to the heptatonic phorminx”). Terpander was also attributed the original design of the concert kithara; perhaps that invention too was presented in terms of a modification of the Orphic lyre, be it seven- or four-stringed. [105]
But, not surprisingly, Orpheus was himself called by some the inventor of the kithara (Pliny Natural History 7.204). On the Sicyonian metope at Delphi, Orpheus and Philammon both hold square-bottomed kitharai, presumably with seven strings. Again, we should not expect logical and temporal consistency in the myth history of the lyre and kithara, even within the oral traditions of kitharôidia itself.

8. Orpheus in Citharodic Performance?

The performative engagement of citharodes with Orpheus and Orphic myth was likely more extensive, however, than the sort of brief treatment that we see in Persians, and surely exceeded the specific concerns of the Terpandrean diadokhê. Indeed, we might ask whether citharodes sang Orphic poetry, that is, either texts attributed to Orpheus or texts devoted to the experiences of Orpheus that circulated under separate authorship. If so, what sort of texts were they, and in what contexts were they performed: in public, festal, and competitive ones, or strictly within the confines of private cultic ritual? Richard Martin has recently advocated the former view, warning against being “misled by the ancient evidence into thinking that private gatherings, thiasoi, or initiate groups were the only or even the major locus to feature Orphic poetic performances.” [106] Orphic poetry, he argues, in particular an Orphic Descent to Hades, was routinely performed by professional rhapsodes at public festivals such as the Panathenaia, before mass audiences. [107] Direct evidence for this is wanting, but it seems reasonable that if, as West has it, an Orphic Descent and texts expounding inchoate “Orphic” cosmo-theogonic ideas were already in circulation in the sixth century BCE, then at least some of these poems would have been realized in public performances during the late Archaic and Classical periods outside of the restricted spheres of telestic ritual and religio-philosophic circles. [108] Martin points out that the humor of the Aristophanic parody of an Orphic theogony in Birds 693–702, with its absurdist take on the principle of the cosmic egg, would have been lost to the mass audience had such material not been “public, performed, and popular,” although it could be argued in response that Aristophanes elsewhere parodies esoteric discourse only vaguely familiar to his audience, as in the burlesque of Ionian scientific theory in Clouds. [109]
While I remain skeptical that hardcore “doctrinal” Orphica—the stuff later packaged and sold in the “hubbub of books by Orpheus and Musaeus” criticized by Plato (Republic 364e)—ever made significant inroads at the mousikoi agônes of big festivals such as the Panathenaia, narrative poetry such as the Descent, both entertaining and edifying, very likely did. That is, professional performers offered exciting poetic accounts about Orphic exploits rather than “Orphic” poetry qua sacred, revelatory discourse. I assume that “secular” Panathenaic audiences eager for sound, story, and spectacle would have had little patience for the extended and abstruse cosmological and mystic-eschatological speculations of the latter, even if they otherwise enjoyed the “didactic” theogonic and catalogue poetry of Hesiod, which might seem boring performance material to us, but which nonetheless had an engaging combination of canonical familiarity, Panhellenic glamour alongside passages of local genealogical and geographical interest, and flashes of narrative verve. [110]
Of course, it is probable that some “Orphic” theogonic material made it into publicly performed texts, particularly, I suspect, the hymnic prooimia that prefaced epic entertainments. The case of Onomacritus is worth considering in this regard. Onomacritus, called a khrêsmologos ‘speaker of oracular utterances’ in Herodotus 7.6, was employed by the Peisistratids for his expert manipulations of not only oracular but also Homeric poetry; the scholia claim that he interpolated three lines into the Nekuia section of the Odyssey (11.602–604). His intimacy with the tyrants and with Homer place him in the milieu of the Panathenaia, not as a behind-the-scenes “redactor” of Homeric texts—a rather anachronistic notion—but as a rhapsodic performer on the public agonistic stage. [111] In addition, a number of testimonia suggest that Onomacritus promulgated in poetic form certain themes that would come to be associated with Orphism, in particular the myth of Dionysus’ sparagmos at the hands of the Titans. Pausanias 8.37.5 says that Onomacritus “taking over the name of the Titans from Homer composed rites for Dionysus and made the Titans the agents of the sufferings of Dionysus.” [112] This “Orphic” work was thus significantly related to his Homeric endeavors. Martin argues reasonably that Onomacritus, in addition to presenting Homeric epic, indeed performed in Athens as a “rhapsode of Orphic material.” [113] It is tempting to connect, however tenuously, the “Orphic” rhapsôidia of Onomacritus that is suggested by Pausanias’ testimony to the implications of the following passage from the early Byzantine antiquarian Joannes Lydus:
Τέρπανδρός γε μὴν ὁ Λέσβιος Νύσσαν λέγει τετιθηνηκέναι τὸν Διόνυσον τὸν ὑπό τινων Σαβάζιον ὀνομαζόμενον, ἐκ Διὸς καὶ Περσεφόνης γενόμενον, εἶτα ὑπὸ τῶν Τιτάνων σπαραχθέντα.
Terpander the Lesbian says that Nyssa nursed Dionysus, the one called by some Sabazius, born of Zeus and Persephone and then torn apart by the Titans.
Joannes Lydus On the Months 4.51
It is possible that only the first part of this sentence refers to the text attributed to Terpander. If so, the poem in question could be a proemial citharodic hymn to Dionysus or even a dithyrambic text that went under the name of Terpander. [114] In support of the former possibility we may consider a volute krater of the Altamura Painter from around 470 BCE, on whose neck is depicted a victorious citharode and on whose body Zeus is shown presenting a newborn Dionysus to the nymphs of Nysa. The mythical scene could represent the theme of the citharode’s song, presented on some festival occasion in Athens. [115]
Yet the syntax of the Joannes Lydus passage—the participial phrases that follow τὸν Διόνυσον τόν are all attributive and so subordinate to the clause in which Terpander is explicitly cited—in fact encourages us to take the whole sentence as a description of the contents of a “Terpandrean” text that treated the Orphic myth of Dionysus’ first birth from Zeus and Persephone and his death at the hands of the Titans, and presumably the second birth of the god as well, to which the story of Nysa/Nyssa would be more properly attached. If so, we might conjecture the existence of a citharodic tradition of singing “Orphic” theogonic material that went under the name of the first citharode, and the one closest to Orpheus, Terpander. Dating such a tradition with precision would be impossible; it could conceivably be quite late. But the implicit links suggested by the testimonia concerning Onomacritus between the rhapsodic performance of Orphica, including the myth of the Titans, and the Archaic Panathenaia might prompt us to trace it back as well to the setting of the sixth-century Panathenaia, where it emerged in concert (or in competition) with Onomacritus’ rhapsodic poetry. [116] Again, we might recall the Altamura Painter’s image, with its potentially meaningful collocation of citharode, Dionysus, and (nymphs of) Nysa, although there are of course no explicitly “Orphic” signifiers present in it.
Other Terpandrean fragments and testimonia yield subtle hints of Orphism, yet all are highly ambiguous. It could be argued that the proemial invocation of Zeus as the “beginning of everything, leader of everything” (Ζεῦ πάντων ἀρχά, πάντων ἁγήτωρ, fr. 3 G) recalls the language and conceit of certain Orphic hymns to Zeus, but obviously the similarities may be no more than coincidental. [117] Nor does Terpander seem to have been implicated as a propounder of eschatological wisdom in mystery cult as were Orpheus and his fellow singers Eumolpus, Musaeus, and Linus. In the Ecphrasis of the fifth-century CE poet Christodorus of Coptos, Terpander is said to have resolved the civic strife of Sparta with his “mystic song … on his phorminx that solemnizes mystic rites” (μύστιδα μολπήν … μυστιπόλῳ φόρμιγγι, Palatine Anthology 2.111–116 = T 59 G). But it is probably this late poet’s own conceit to cast Terpander as a mystagogue, and his famous musico-political intervention in Sparta as a mystico-religious initiation. Of course, this metaphorical turn was not without basis in either the Orphic mysteries or the Terpandrean lore. In both traditions, the music of the lyre—and recall that Terpander had inherited the lyre of Orpheus—was endowed with supernatural powers. The two traditions must have enjoyed to some extent a dialogic relationship. The myths and rituals of Orphism and Orphic-related mysteries, including those at Eleusis, clearly integrated elements of kitharôidia, its practice (more on which below) and its ideology. Conceivably, it was the lore transmitted above all by citharodes about Orpheus’ musical dominion over nature and death, the “cosmic force” of his lyre, that inspired and shaped the early stages of his invention as a mystagogue. At the same time, while we certainly should not imagine that professional citharodes sidelined as telestic initiators, or that they sang full-blown “Orphic hymns” at the agônes, it is entirely possible that they in turn absorbed some Orphic ideas and imagery into their songmaking, as did other “secular” poets, such as Aristophanes. [118]
A more confident case could be made for kitharôidia as a medium for the popular diffusion of narrative entertainments about Orpheus. Citharodes are, in fact, more likely to have taken an interest in the exploits of the prototypical lyre singer than are rhapsodes. [119] It seems significant that a major mythological figure such as Orpheus is entirely absent from both the Iliad and Odyssey as we have them. Indeed, as the Sicyonian metope indicates, in the Archaic period Orpheus was imagined not as a generic “singer” or “poet,” but as an idealized concert citharode projected into the mythic past. That image was no doubt fashioned and promoted in the first place by the citharodes, who sang of Orpheus’ superhuman musical feats as a member of the Argonautic expedition in what amounted to a rhetoric of professional self-aggrandizement—citharodes’ vaunting their own heroic legacy, and the promise of their own musical superpowers, in the very songs they sang (cf. Part II.10). [120] But was there Archaic or Classical citharodic narrative solely dedicated (and perhaps also attributed) to Orpheus, in particular a Descent to Hades? It is generally agreed that early poetic renderings of Orpheus’ katabasis would have been first-person accounts of the musician’s underworld journey and search for his wife. [121] Martin thus makes the appealing argument that when rhapsodes recited an Orphic Descent, they were performing a mimêsis of Orpheus, reenacting the persona of the legendary singer in the moment of performing a text that was notionally composed by him. To support this idea of mythical reenactment by rhapsodes, Martin cites a claim, made by Alexander Polyhistor, that Terpander “emulated (ezêlôkenai) the epic verse (epê) of Homer and the melodies (melê) of Orpheus” (FGrH 273 F 77 ap. “Plutarch” On Music 5.1132f). Yet “Terpander is not a rhapsode.” [122]
What Alexander’s formulation actually captures is a mimetic logic that belongs to kitharôidia, not rhapsôidia, which had nothing to do with melê. Terpander’s emulation of Orphic melodies provides a model for such mimetic reenactment in performance; citharodes identify with Terpander’s identification with Orpheus. We have, in fact, a neat iconographical reflex of the conceptual fusion between the identities of living citharode and Orpheus on a late-sixth-century black-figured oinochoe from Athens: an agonistic citharode mounting a platform is accompanied by the inscription khaire Orpheus ‘Hail, Orpheus’. [123] Of course, Alexander Polyhistor says nothing of Orphic poetry; it is Homeric epic with which he associates Classical kitharôidia, and this was no doubt largely the case in the fifth century BCE.
Faint echoes of a citharodic Descent might nonetheless be audible in late- and post-Classical texts and images. In Plato Symposium 179d Phaedrus claims that the gods refused to restore to life Orpheus’ dead wife because, being a kitharôidos, he “seemed cowardly and soft,” relying on the power of his music rather than “daring to die for his love (ἕνεκα τοῦ ἔρωτος)” as Alcestis did for her husband. [124] Phaedrus’ (and Plato’s) aristocratic disdain for professional citharodes is apparent, but it is improbable that Plato has independently and casually cast Orpheus in Hades as a kitharôidos, a word that is used only twice in Plato, and whose professional implications are surely marked; this Orpheus is no generic “singer.” Rather, the quip may allude to a well-established association between the Orphic katabasis and kitharôidia in the Athenian performance culture. Again, there is no obvious written trace of an early Orphic Descent, citharodic or otherwise. But it is worth reading a passage from the Orphic Argonautica against the Platonic one. The Orphic Argonautica, a hexametrical account of the journey of the Argo related in the first person by Orpheus, is a work of the late Imperial period, yet scholars have argued that it draws not only on Roman and Hellenistic poetry, but Classical and even Archaic epics concerning Orpheus as well, including the Orphic katabasis. [125] In its opening section, a reckoning of the traditional themes of Orphic poetry, we read:
ἄλλα δέ σοι κατέλεξ’ ἅπερ εἴσιδον ἠδ’ ἐνόησα,
Ταίναρον ἡνίκ’ ἔβην σκοτίην ὁδὸν Ἄϊδος εἴσω,
ἡμετέρῃ πίσυνος κιθάρῃ, δι’ ἔρωτ’ ἀλόχοιο·
And I told you everything I saw and learned
when I went to Taenarum by the dark path into Hades,
relying on my kithara, for love of my wife.
Orphic Argonautica 40–42
The phrase πίσυνος κιθάρῃ ‘relying on my kithara’ corresponds precisely to the phrase fretus cithara in Vergil’s telling of the katabasis in Aeneid 6, even falling in the same metrical position in the hexameter line (Threicia fretus cithara fidibusque canoris ‘relying on his Thracian cithara and its resounding strings’, 6.120). Both the Argonautica and the Vergilian passages would seem to be dependent on a shared source, a passage from an Orphic katabasis, perhaps of some antiquity. [126] Although the instrument of Orpheus is variously described as a tortoise-shell lyre or kithara in the Argonautica and in Vergil, the use of kithara in the two passages seems deliberate and marked, and may have been so in the original source. Could that source text have been citharodic, or at least have referred to a citharodic performance tradition of the Orphic Descent? And did Plato know this text as well? We might, after all, hear a faint echo between Phaedrus’ criticism of Orpheus, that the cowardly kitharôidos would not consent physically to die, i.e. to commit suicide, ἕνεκα τοῦ ἔρωτος ‘for love’, and Orpheus’ proud claim in the Argonautica that he went to Hades alive, confident in his musical powers, δι’ ἔρωτ’ ‘for love’ of his wife.
Fifth-century Athenian iconography yields only one representation related to the katabasis myth, a sculptural relief originally attached to the parapet surrounding the Altar of the Twelve Gods. [127] On it Orpheus wears the alôpekis, the fox-skin Thracian cap, and high Thracian boots and holds a simple khelus-lyre in his left hand. This “realistic” portrayal of Orpheus is in line with the majority of surviving representations of the singer in fifth-century Athens, most of which place him in scenes set immediately before his death, as he plays the lyre for enchanted Thracian men, or in scenes of his murder at the hands of the Thracian women. In these images, Orpheus, typically wearing Greek rather than Thracian attire, plays the basic lura; he is distinctly non-professional. [128] This representational tendency, which is markedly different from the distinctly citharodic visions of Orpheus in the sixth century, may reflect an “aristocratic” casting of Orpheus in the Athenian sympotic imaginary, with which the imagery on wine vessels intimately engages—Orpheus is made to look like one of the lyric symposiasts who consume his image. [129] The change in iconography does not mean, however, that citharodes were no longer singing Orphic narrative in Athens. In fact, kitharôidia is as likely a medium as any for the diffusion of not only the katabasis narrative, but also stories about the Thracian experiences of Orpheus, including his murder. [130] It is perhaps significant that Aeschylus, whose Bassarids treated the myth of Orpheus’ death from a novel Dionysian myth-ritual perspective, was known to adapt musical and thematic ideas from kitharôidia (Aristophanes Frogs 1282–1300). [131] Other dramatic and dithyrambic treatments of Orphic myth, now unknown, may of course stand behind the vase paintings (the narrative details of which notably do not match those that we can reconstruct for Aeschylus’ play), but it is possible that citharodic accounts provided the basic source for material that was creatively adapted by both the vase painters and the dramatists and choral poets.
On a series of southern Italian vases produced in the fourth century BCE, however, the “catabatic” Orpheus is fit with the glamorous garb and accoutrements of the citharode, the agonist’s skeuê: he plays a full-scale concert kithara and wears an ankle-length, decorated chiton and, in some images, a fancy Phrygian headdress. [132] These vases are to be connected with local Orphic-Bacchic cults, and it is clear that on them Orpheus is imagined as “the author of the ‘Orphic’ texts attributed to him; he appears in these underworld scenes as a guarantor that the prescribed purification rites have been performed.” [133] In a scene by the Ganymede Painter, for instance, Orpheus plays his kithara in a quasi-orchestic pose before a deceased initiate who holds a scroll; the citharodic performance visibly manifests, “brings to life,” the written text, which surely contains sacred poetry of Orpheus about the afterlife. [134] Yet we should beware of completely abstracting the Orphic-eschatological symbolism of these images from the popular performance culture of kitharôidia that must have influenced the portrayal of Orpheus in them. Southern Italy, in particular Tarentum, had long been a center of Orphism (and its close relative, Pythagoreanism) as well as kitharôidia, and it is possible that there these two spheres of activity and expression enjoyed especially close musical and poetic contact. [135]
Orphic poetry was also the subject of “live” musical performance within the ritual practice of mystery cult. Pausanias says that the priestly clan of the Lycomidai performed as part of their cultic rites at Phyla in Attica humnoi of Orpheus alongside humnoi composed by Musaeus (1.22.7; 4.1.5) and Pamphus (9.27.2; 9.30.12). [136] Another Attic genos, the Eumolpidai, possessed, at least by the latter part of the fourth century BCE, a corpus of Orphic verse suited to the Eleusinian rites that they managed. [137] We cannot be sure, however, in what form these mystical Orphic poems were delivered to or by initiands and cult members. Rhapsodic recital was probably common. Choral performance, in some cases certainly aulodic, in others perhaps accompanied by strings, is attested for Eleusis. [138] The name of Eumolpus, the eponymous ancestor of the Eumolpidai (and usually known as the son of Musaeus), itself bespeaks performance that combines song and dance, typically in choral formation (molpê). [139] But monodic lyric or even citharodic performance of certain Orphic and Orphic-related humnoi within the context of mystery cult ought not be ruled out. [140]
We may consider the relevant case of the Athenian Euneidai, whose members, we learn from Harpocration s.v. Εὐνεῖδαι, “were citharodes who provided service for ritual occasions” (ἦσαν δὲ κιθαρῳδοὶ πρὸς τὰς ἱερουργίας παρέχοντες τὴν χρείαν). Euripides in his Hypsipyle told how Euneus, the clan’s mythical ancestor, was instructed in the art of playing the “Asiatic” kithara by Orpheus himself (μοῦσάν με κιθάρας Ἀσιάδος διδάσκεται, fr. 64, II.98 Bond). [141] The testimony of Harpocration is frustratingly vague. For what rituals exactly did these aristocratic kitharôidoi provide music? Public ones? A hint is provided in Pollux Onomasticon 8.103, which says that the Euneidai were called upon to serve as kêrukes ‘heralds’ in pompai ‘festival processions’ (cf. scholia ad Aeschines 1.20). Did they sing then citharodic hymns at civic festivals, accompanying sacrificial processionals? If so, there is no trace of any such activity in the literary record. It was hired, often foreign musicians who typically supplied the Gebrauchsmusik for public and private sacrifices in classical Athens, not well-born citizens; most such music was instrumental, and auletic, although the combination of auloi and kitharai is iconographically attested for sacrificial pompai. [142] Certain occasions, however, might have called for more dignified personnel.
It is worth considering whether the processional citharodes (or citharists, or both), probably eight in all, and matched by an equal number of aulos players, depicted on the (probably) idealized Panathenaic procession on the Parthenon frieze are meant to be members of the Euneid clan rather than contestants slated for appearances at the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes, as they have usually been taken. [143] A Roman-era inscription from the Theater of Dionysus, however, places the activity of the clan in a distinctly Dionysian milieu. It indicates that the priest of Dionysus Melpomenos, who received a seat of honor at the theater, was drawn from the ranks of the Euneidai (IG II2 5056). But even if the family played a traditional musical role in Dionysian cult predating this late period, which is indeed probable, it is impossible to say in what contexts they performed, or where. [144] Prominent Dionysian cultic and festival occasions in Classical Athens on which the music of the kithara, choral or monodic, had a leading role are unknown. It is possible that the Euneidai regularly performed in private, even domestic contexts, removed from the fora of large-scale civic agonistic spectacle, at events akin to the private aristocratic revels, pannukhides, that one scholar has argued were held in conjunction with the public rites of the Anthesteria. [145] Perhaps too their sacerdotal music was largely choral in nature. This is suggested by Hesychius s.v. Εὐνεῖδαι, who diverges from Harpocration in recording that the family was made up of “citharists and dancers.” That members of the Euneidai and the Eumolpidai accompanied and danced in lyric paeanic choruses for Apollo at Delphi is well attested for the post-Classical period. [146]
But Harpocration’s κιθαρῳδοί could be understood in its primary sense to describe solo performers of citharodic song (which does not necessarily exclude associated citharistic duties of accompanying choruses). This is the understanding of Walter Burkert, who argues that the Euneidai possessed and performed a collection of citharodic humnoi that they attributed to Orpheus, the kithara teacher of their progenitor Euneus. [147] He sees in one isolated verse preserved in the Derveni Papyrus, a heavily spondaic hexameter (or quasi-hexameter) in Attic dialect, a survival of an old tradition of Orphic humnôidia cultivated by the Euneidai. [148] Burkert’s argument is compelling, but it leaves open the question of performance context. The singing of Orphic humnoi to the kithara by the Euneidai was, like the performance of Orphic hymns by the Eumolpidai or Lycomidai, perhaps restricted for the most part to non-agonistic religious occasions, presumably connected with the familial cult of Dionysus Melpomenos. There is no indication that they were connected to the Eleusinian Mysteries. But it is possible that members of the Euneidai competed in festival citharodic agônes, and perhaps brought their Orphic humnoi with them into this more public realm. It seems significant that in the fragmentarily preserved comedy by Cratinus called Euneidai—the very existence of such a play suggests that at least some members of the clan were publicly recognized for their musical activities—the verb ἀμφιανακτίζειν appears (fr. 72 K-A), which must allude to the incipit of the famous Terpandrean prooimion (fr. 2 Gostoli = PMG 697). If the Euneidai were cast by Cratinus as performers of Terpandrean citharodic texts, then the case is quite strong that they were known to participate in festival agônes alongside professionals. But we could as well imagine that the comedy involved some sort of antagonism between professional agônistai of the sort who sang Terpander, and the aristocratic, sacerdotal Euneidai. Polemon says that the play was especially rich in parodies (fr. 45 Preller), and Terpander’s songs were presumably subject to parody as well, but this testimony does not help to determine the characterization of the Euneidai in it.

9. The Singer’s Name

It is fitting that the first identifiable citharode bears a name that means ‘he who gives musico-poetic pleasure, terpsis, to men’, for the inducement of terpsis in his auditors is inarguably the definitive aim of the citharode’s practice—even if that aesthetic, affective, sensory pleasure could serve the further goal of inducing certain orderly sociopolitical behaviors and conditions, as we see in the stories about Terpander’s musico-political intervention in Sparta. [149] That Terpander has a metamusical and metageneric speaking name of this sort neatly emblematizes his ambiguous standing between history and legend. On the one hand, the name reads as a self-referential, programmatic generic fiction, just as “Homer” and “Hesiod” are names that, albeit in less obvious fashion, symbolically condense definitive aesthetic, functional, and compositional-performative aspects of the poetic genres to which they are attached. [150] In this sense, every performer of kitharôidia is, or has the potential to be, a “Terpander.”
On the other hand, the name reflects the “show business” mentality with which even the earliest citharodes were operating. It seems to have been not uncommon for musicians of the Archaic and Classical periods to adopt or, in some cases, we may presume, if they were born into a family of entertainers, to have received at birth, names that advertised the musico-poetic skill of their bearers—nomina omina, as it were, assuring audiences that the talent of the composer and/or performer to whom they were listening, or were about to listen, was a foregone conclusion. We may think of Stesichorus, ‘establisher of choruses’, the choral composer and impresario, or Terpsicles, ‘famed for giving terpsis’, a fifth-century rhapsode who dedicated a tripod at Dodona (GDI 5786), or, in what must be a case of either blatant vanity naming or one very prescient father, the Sicyonian aulete Pythocritus, who was six times victorious at Delphi (Pausanias 6.14.9). [151] A striking instance of this custom is the name of Nero’s musical trainer, Terpnus, a famed agonistic citharode in his own right. This name both advertises the man’s talent and unavoidably invokes the memory of the founder of his art. It should be noted, however, that Terpnus was late. Indeed, while expressive names for citharodes became more common in the Hellenistic and Imperial periods, in the Archaic and Classical periods generically referential names are less well attested than we might expect. [152] There are citharodes whose names connote, with a markedly “aristocratic” tone, agonistic success and fame, such as Pericleitus and Aristocleitus (or Aristocleides), both Lesbian successors of Terpander.
But in most cases the names of citharodes are less eloquent (e.g. Arion, Phrynis, Timotheus). One prominent exception is the Locrian citharode Eunomus, whose name broadcasts his skill both in performing nomoi and in musically promoting good social order (eunomia). A well-known story recounted how he defeated one Ariston of Rhegium at the Pythian citharodic agôn even after one of his strings had broken, thanks to a helpful cicada that lighted on his kithara and sang the missing note. Eunomus, however, may well be entirely legendary; the events of this story are obviously fictive, and no ancient author ever attempts to pin down a date for them. The Pythian contest at issue is probably not to be imagined as the historical penteteric one, but that attached to the enneateric festival, which, as we will see below, provides the convenient setting for other citharodic legends. Perhaps we should view Eunomus as a sort of western counterpart to Terpander and Arion, a culture hero within an Italian, or distinctly Locrian, citharodic tradition. [153]
Another exceptional citharodic speaking name appears in the vita of Timotheus of Miletus. Timotheus, who was probably born into a family of Milesian musical professionals, was according to Suda s.v. Τιμόθεος the son of Thersander, Neomusus, or Philopolis. Neomusus must be a comic moniker, a play on Timotheus’ own notorious musical innovations. Thersander, the most mundane of the three, is usually taken to be the true name of the father. Its citation by the Hellenistic poet Alexander of Aetolia also supports its authenticity (fr. 4 Powell ap. Macrobius Saturnalia 5.22.4–5 = PMG 778). But Philopolis has some historical merit as well. Philopolis (‘lover of/beloved by the polis’), an otherwise historically attested name, would well suit an itinerant celebrity citharode of the fifth century BCE. It reads as a variation on the expressively named Homeric bard Demodocus (‘received by the community’; cf. the implicit gloss on the name in Odyssey 8.472, λαοῖσι τετιμένον ‘honored by the people’) made relevant to the larger-scale business of polis (and inter-polis) performance culture. [154] A more traditionally Homeric variant on the name Demodocus, Laodocus (‘received by the people’), is borne by a citharode mentioned in an anecdote told by Aelian that is set in the fourth century BCE (Historical Miscellanies 4.2). Laodocus may be fictional, but, real or not, the name reflects what seems to have been an interest on the part of some professional citharodes to promote a sense of their continuity with the Homeric bards. We should keep in mind the central role of Homeric epic in the repertoire of the Classical citharode. Names such as Philopolis and Laodocus also indicate a politically relevant role for the citharode, which recalls the deep involvement of the Homeric aoidos within his local community.
In the occupational pursuit of communally pleasing terpsis the citharode indeed stood in a direct line from the Homeric aoidoi. The swineherd Eumaeus, describing itinerant craftsmen and service providers in the Odyssey, those he calls dêmioergoi ‘men that work for the community’, includes among them the “divine singer,” the thespis aoidos, whom he succinctly characterizes as one “who by singing gives terpsis” (ὅ κεν τέρπῃσιν ἀείδων, 18.385). [155] There is indeed a direct onomastic link between the world of the epic bards and Terpander. The Ithacan aoidos Phemius has the expressive patronymic Terpiades ‘son of Pleasurer’ (Odyssey 22.230). [156] The same name carried by Phemius’ father, Terpes ‘Pleasurer’, seems also to have been given to Terpander. [157] An epigram from the Palatine Anthology (9.488 = Planudean Anthology 1a.36.14) describes a citharode named Terpes, which must be a nickname for Terpander, the figure most famously associated with kitharôidia at the Carneia, where Terpes performs. The epigram is post-Classical, but there is no reason to think that its author was not familiar with traditional citharodic lore surrounding Terpander in Sparta. The name Terpes is attested much earlier, on an Attic drinking cup of around 520 BCE painted by Oltos, where it identifies a satyr playing a large concert kithara in the thiasos of Dionysus. [158]
Images like that on Oltos’ cup are not uncommon in the Archaic period. They offer up figures of playful inversion set within the make-believe realm of “Dionysian happiness”—the unruly satyr is imagined to be acting in burlesque the part of the orderly, Apollo-affiliated citharode. [159] Such funhouse images, we must keep in mind, were by and large consumed by elite symposiasts, who, outside of the symposium, were themselves connoisseurs, even performers of the kitharôidia cultivated within the civic sphere. It is of course possible that Terpes was considered a generic name for musicians, and that Oltos chose it for no other reason than to make explicit the musical terpsis inherent in the Dionysian thiasos (and by extension the mortal kômos and symposium); indeed, he labels an auletic satyr in the same scene Terpnon. But by giving this citharodic satyr a nickname that was linked to the most famous citharode of all, Terpander, Oltos could well have been making a deliberate allusion to real-world citharodic culture, one intended to humor sympotic mousikoi who would view the cup at close quarters. If so, this would be our earliest preserved reference to Terpander.

10. Terpander in and out of Delphi

“Plutarch” On Music 4.1132e, perhaps drawing from the Collection of [Famous] Musicians by Heraclides of Pontus, reports that Terpander’s outstanding citharodic tekhnê won him four successive victories at Delphi, while the Pythian festival was presumably still enneateric. [160] This historical accuracy of this testimony, as Flach and Wilamowitz long ago argued, is surely dubious, regardless of whether we take Terpander to be a historical personage or a personification of the Lesbian citharodic diadokhê. [161] But the connections that were drawn between the Pythian games and Terpander nevertheless merit more detailed discussion. First of all, the very existence of a high-visibility citharodic contest at a pre-Amphictyonic, enneateric Pythia is highly doubtful. [162] Our most detailed account of it is recorded in Pausanias 10.7.2–3, which is cited in translation below. Also included is section 10.7.4, in which the periegete lists the (real, historical) victors in the first Pythian games offered after the reorganization of the festival following the Sacred War:
They [the Delphian locals] relate a traditional account [mnêmoneuousi] that the most ancient contest and the one in which they first offered prizes was the singing of a hymn [humnos] to the god. Chrysothemis of Crete both sang and won the prize in singing; his father Carmanor is said to have purified Apollo [after the slaying of the dragon]. After Chrysothemis, their tradition has it [mnêmoneuousi], Philammon was victorious in song, and after him Thamyris, son of Philammon. But they say [phasi] Orpheus, because he cultivated an air of solemn detachment in his mysteries and was haughty in general, and Musaeus, because he imitated Orpheus in all things, refused to be put to the test in a contest of music. [3] They say [phasi] that Eleuther too won a Pythian victory for singing with a loud and sweet voice, since he sang a song that was not his own. It is related [legetai] that Hesiod was disqualified from the contest because he had not learned to accompany his song on the lyre. Homer came to Delphi to inquire about his needs, but, even though he had learned how to play the lyre, his learning was of no use to him thanks to the accident that befell his eyes. [4] In the third year of the forty-eighth Olympiad [586 BCE] … the Amphictyons offered prizes in kitharôidia, just as from the beginning, but they added a contest of singing to the aulos [aulôidia] and one of solo aulos-playing. [163] Proclaimed [anêgoreuthêsan] as victors were Melampus, a Cephallenian, for kitharôidia and Echembrotus the Arcadian aulode and Sacadas of Argos in the contest of auloi.
Pausanias 10.7.2–4
Certainly the fancifully aggrandizing local lore recorded by Pausanias about who did—the legendary Delphic celebrities Chrysothemis of Crete and Philammon, Thamyris, and Eleuther—and who did not—Hesiod and Homer (both negatively associated with rhapsôidia, which was never among the mousikoi agônes at the Pythia), Orpheus and Musaeus (both supposedly distracted by their Mysteries from the serious pursuit of agonistic music)—participate in the proto-citharodic agôn in “hymn-singing to Apollo” would by analogy put the supposed involvement of Terpander with it in the category of legend as well. [164] In reality, early Archaic Pythian musical culture must have been quite humble, and probably exclusively local, as the local color in Pausanias’ legendary victor list suggests, with emphasis placed on the solid execution of paeanic cult hymns rather than creative virtuosity of any sort. Only in the early sixth century BCE, well after Terpander’s notional floruit, would the contest grow in stature as a glamorous international event, more “secular” in nature, attracting skilled soloists from all parts. [165]
But if the story about Terpander’s Pythian victories is an invention, whose invention was it? Some obvious candidates present themselves. First, it could have arisen from the desire of his Lesbian apogonoi to magnify his (and by reflection their) fame by inserting him into the prehistory of an event that was taking on major international prestige within citharodic culture in the sixth and fifth centuries, and one in which they seem to have made relatively little impact, especially in comparison to their dominance at the Archaic Spartan Carneia. It is significant that outside of Terpander we hear of not one Lesbian victor at Delphi until the later third century BCE, and only then at the Aetolian Soteria festival, not the Pythia. [166] Alternately, but certainly not exclusively, the Spartans themselves may have promoted the story about the prestigious Pythian victories of the citharode who was “theirs” by adoption. Indeed, the Lesbian citharodic and the local Spartan traditions may have conspired to promote the figure of a Pythian Terpander. We may note that other legendary citharodes were tendentiously inserted into the fluid ranks of enneateric Pythian competitors. Demetrius of Phalerum has Demodocus and Phemius performing there, a fiction designed to explain how Agamemnon, while visiting the oracle, recruited Demodocus to serve as court singer in Mycenae. [167] Eumolpus too, the musician-priest of Eleusis, was made a Pythian victor (Suda s.v. Εὔμολπος), perhaps through the locally encomiastic song and myth making of citharodes performing at the Panathenaia or Eleusinia. One assumes that the Eumolpid clan as well would have been disposed to vaunt the Panhellenic musical prestige of its mythical ancestor. [168]
The Delphians may have themselves appropriated Terpander at some point. Gostoli has argued that the verb ἀναγέγραπται ‘it has been recorded’, which is used in On Music 4.1132e to introduce the claim about Terpander’s victories, suggests the victories were commemorated on an inscription (anagraphê) at Delphi, one perhaps based on the list of Pythian victors compiled by Aristotle and his nephew Callisthenes (frs. 615–617 Rose). [169] This argument is attractive, although not decisive. After all, one must wonder why Pausanias, who has clearly absorbed the local lore about the early history of the Pythian musical agôn, does not include the famous Terpander among its victors. (And even if we do accept the argument, we need not assume the historicity of the inscribed victories, as Gostoli seems to do.) However, the Terpandrean vita does reveal at least one other possible trace of Delphic appropriation, the information in Suda s.v. Τέρπανδρος that some claimed Terpander was descended from Homer through one “Boios the Phocian”: οἱ δὲ καὶ ἀπόγονον Ἡσιόδου ἀνέγραψαν, ἄλλοι δὲ Ὁμήρου, Βοίου λέγοντες τοῦ Φωκέως, τοῦ Εὐρυφῶντος, τοῦ Ὁμήρου (“Some have registered that he was a descendant of Hesiod, others of Homer, claiming that he was the son of Boios the Phocian, son of Euryphon, son of Homer”). Terpander’s Homeric lineage, posited alongside a Hesiodic one, may reflect some broader attempt on the part of citharodes themselves to lay historical claim to the rhapsodic repertoire with which theirs had long overlapped and which theirs was increasingly absorbing in an effort to remain competitive with the rhapsodic medium. [170]
But could the insertion of Boios as an intermediary in Terpander’s Homeric lineage represent a specifically Delphic localization? Pausanias 10.5.7–8 mentions a legendary epikhôria gunê ‘native woman’ by the name of Boio, who composed a humnos on the origins of the oracle, in which she ascribed to Olen, the legendary Hyperborean singer and poet, the invention of the hexametrical prophecies of Apollo. It is with her we should probably identify this Boios: Boios/Boio is a local poetic celebrity, whose most famous song had a strongly localized metapoeticality, and who was yet an apogonos of Homer. [171] This creative genealogizing of Terpander through Boios/Boio could reflect the desire of the Delphians to “possess” the Lesbian citharode, to credit him directly to their own local music cultural capital, while still emphasizing his Panhellenic importance, and aggrandizing their own, through the connection to Homer. That rhapsodic competitions of Homeric poetry did not take place at Delphi is significant in this respect. Homer’s presence was felt rather in the citharodic agôn, to which he was directly linked “by blood,” as it were, through his “Phocian” descendant Terpander. Of course, the link between Terpander and Boios need not have been Delphic propaganda alone; it could have been offered up by Lesbian citharodes eager to ingratiate themselves with Pythian authorities by singing their own lineage into the myth history of Delphic musical culture. The first citharode to sing Homer at the Pythia was supposedly Stesander, from the Ionian island of Samos (Athenaeus 14.638a = Timomachus FGrH 754 F 1). This testimony could suggest that Lesbian and Ionian citharodes struggled over the authorized performance of Homeric kitharôidia at Delphi, and in such a context the Homer-Boios-Terpander lineage would carry obvious rhetorical force.
Both On Music and the Suda, which also presents the testimony about Boios, record what seems to be another facet of the confrontation between the Terpandrean tradition and Delphi, this one particularly ambivalent, even agonistic:
νόμους λυρικοὺς πρῶτος ἔγραψεν· εἰ καί τινες Φιλάμμωνα θέλουσι γεγραφέναι.
Terpander first wrote lyric nomoi, even if some would have it that Philammon wrote them.
Suda s.v. Τέρπανδρος
τινὰς δὲ τῶν νόμων τῶν κιθαρῳδικῶν τῶν ὑπὸ Τερπάνδρου πεποιημένων Φιλάμμωνά φασι τὸν ἀρχαῖον τὸν Δελφὸν συστήσασθαι.
They say that Philammon, the Delphian of old, actually constructed some of the citharodic nomoi composed by Terpander.
“Plutarch” On Music 5.1133b
Both sources seem eager to put these reports in a dubious light. That Philammon composed the nomoi later canonized under the name of Terpander was clearly a partisan view—wishful thinking, as the Suda has it—at odds with the mainstream consensus that has Terpander as undisputed prôtos heuretês of agonistic citharodic music. But still, the outside opinion was sufficiently well known to have been reported; the unidentified party (tines) who made the claim must have had some degree of influence. I would suggest that the tines were Delphians wanting to contest the Panhellenically mainstream Lesbian claim to the invention of agonistic kitharôidia and to position it instead as their own legacy by rooting the history of its competition pieces in the legendary past of the Pythian contests. The account preserved in Proclus Chrestomathia ap. Photius Bibliotheca 320b.1–4 that has Chrysothemis first performing nomoi at Delphi could represent an alternative local tradition, but one motivated by the same impulse to locate the origins of competitive kitharôidia deep in the institutional history of the Pythia. [172] One need not go so far as to say that the prioritization of Philammon or Chrysothemis represents a revision of citharodic tradition that is hostile to Terpander. [173] It is one rather that shades over his contributions, and the preeminence of the Lesbian line of citharodes, in favor of an epichoric Cretan-Delphic tradition. Terpander’s prestige as a prôtos heuretês was thus diminished at Delphi, but, if his Pythian victories and Phocian paternity were tenets of local propaganda, it is possible that at the same time his fame was co-opted for the greater glory of an invented Pythian legacy.

11. Kitharôidia on Lesbos

The social and cultural context in which the Terpandrean diadokhê emerged and operated on Archaic Lesbos is highly obscure. When we glimpse a Lesbian Singer, he is always abroad: Terpander in Sparta or Delphi or Lydia; Arion in Corinth or plying the seas like a long-distance trader, earning large sums of money performing in Italy and Sicily, as Herodotus 1.23–24 portrays him. Sappho acknowledges the superlative agonistic talent of the Lesbian Singer, but for her, he is already a definitively Panhellenic phenomenon, circulating through foreign lands like a precious commodity exported from her island (πέρροχος ὠς ὄτ’ ἄοιδος ὀ Λέσβιος ἀλλοδάποισιν ‘Outstanding, like the Lesbian Singer against foreign rivals’, fr. 106). Her own poetry may show the influence of local citharodic epic, but she says nothing explicit about the situation, practical or socioeconomic, of the Lesbian citharodes at home, although fr. 106 certainly indicates her esteem for them. [174] Perhaps Sappho even viewed the Panhellenic renown of the Lesbian Singer as a model for the diffusion beyond Lesbos of her own song and name, which she expected would eventually win “fame everywhere” (πάντᾳ κλέος, fr. 65).
Alcaeus makes no reference at all to Terpander or the Lesbian Singers. As with Sappho’s, hymnic and epic elements in his poetry may bear the mark of kitharôidia as well as rhapsôidia, but his attitude toward the citharodic tradition of his island is a complete mystery, which prompts radically different hypotheses. We might speculate that his silence reflects certain ideological differences that were in place between Alcaean lyric monody, which was an aristocratic, primarily sympotic affair, and the more demotic tenor of kitharôidia, which perhaps had the support of Alcaeus’ populist rivals (i.e. the tyrants Myrsilus and Pittacus). Indeed, the “stasiotic” nature of much of Alcaean song would seem to put it at odds with Terpandrean kitharôidia, whose reputation was for resolving factional disputes and establishing communal consensus—qualities that made it appealing to tyrants. But that scenario must remain pure speculation. The reality, obscured by the vagaries of textual preservation, may have been quite the opposite. Perhaps Alcaeus sought to link the local and Panhellenic prestige of Terpandrean kitharôidia and its Orphic patrimony to his own poetry and music, as Sappho seems to have done, if her praise of the Lesbian Singer in fr. 106 is any guide. (Alcaeus’ hymn to the river Hebrus, fr. 45, may have mentioned Orpheus, and in turn alluded to historical Lesbian kitharôidia; cf. Part I.22.iv.) Or perhaps he assumed a more ambivalent position toward kitharôidia, some mixture of socio-ideological estrangement combined with musical admiration and emulation.
Despite the lack of explicit literary testimony for citharodic activity on Archaic Lesbos, I would argue that at least three fundamental assumptions can be made to explain its early emergence on the island and the Panhellenic prominence it soon acquired. First, that there was a native Lesbian tradition of paean singing that was of considerable antiquity (i.e. predating the seventh century BCE) and repute is shown by a fragment of Archilochus: αὐτὸς ἐξάρχων πρὸς αὐλὸν Λέσβιον παιήονα ‘myself leading off the Lesbian paean to the aulos’ (fr. 121W). While it is possible to read the fragment as indicating that the Lesbian paean was originally sung to the aulos, an instrument that was in fact a part of Archaic Lesbian musical culture (cf. Sappho fr. 44.24; Alcaeus fr. 307b), the phrase πρὸς αὐλόν nevertheless seems marked. That is, Archilochus announces emphatically that what is being sung is an aulodic (and perhaps distinctly Ionian) adaptation of the traditionally lyric Lesbian paean. [175] Archilochus (or perhaps the speaker in a narrative poem) takes on the role of exarkhôn, the one who “leads off” the choral performance with a solo song (cf. fr. 120W, in which Archilochus acts as exarkhôn for a dithyrambic chorus). This role would correspond to that played in the Lesbian practice by the kitharistês, who introduced the choral song with a solo prooimion sung to the lyre.
As we saw in Part II.3, such choral lyric performance was the ground from which solo kitharôidia likely emerged; the kitharistês evolved into the citharode. There is a reflex of this process implicit in the lore about early kitharôidia at Delphi, where the Cretan Chrysothemis stepped forth from the paeanic chorus to sing the first citharodic nomos. We might easily imagine that a similar scenario played out on Lesbos. Its early-established paeanic culture would have provided a seedbed for the flowering of kitharôidia; the first Lesbian Singers would have been kitharistai turned citharodes. Further, the paeanic origins of Lesbian kitharôidia likely marked its later practice and reception. A primary function of the Lesbian paean may have been to bring about communal purification, both physical and spiritual, as was the case with the Cretan paean. [176] It is significant that the healing paean sung by the Achaean youths to lift a plague in Iliad 1.472–474 is offered to appease Sminthian Apollo (39), whose cult was firmly established throughout the Aeolis, including Lesbos, from a very early point. [177] An Imperial-era inscription from Methymna calls a local prophet of Apollo Smintheus a “maker of songs” (τὸν τῶν μελῶν ποιητήν, IG XII 2.519). Although the inscription is late, it points to what was likely the long-observed role of music—and paeanic music is a reasonable assumption—in the Lesbian cult of the god. The Achaeans’ performance may thus reflect Lesbian song culture in particular, including its beliefs about the cathartic power of paean singing, beliefs that may have left their traces in notions about the extramusical powers of the Lesbian citharodes. [178]
A second assumption: from at least the early seventh century BCE, the Lesbian citharodes must have benefitted from their cultural contacts with Mermnad Lydia, and through Lydia with the Near East, in terms of constructing and refining the seven-stringed concert kithara, also known as the “Asiatic” kithara, which would become the standard instrument of the virtuoso solo agônistês, replacing the phorminx or lyre that had been in use by previous generations of musicians, including the choral kitharistês. [179] The image of Terpander as an elite reveler at a Lydian banquet that is presented in Pindar fr. 125 S-M is a romanticized, even, as we will see below, tendentious expression of what was nevertheless a real, historical initiative on the part of enterprising Lesbian musicians to import “Asiatic” musical technology from Lydia to Lesbos and from there to points abroad during the Orientalizing period. [180] Along with the new technology of the lyre, notions about the magical properties of the instrument, particularly in its seven-stringed form, were also imported to Lesbos. Or rather, such ideas, once lost, were rediscovered, since Bronze Age Greece seems to have already been familiar with them, as is indicated by their persistence in what are surely the very ancient myths of Orpheus and Amphion, whose lyric music could suborn wild nature and bring an entire city into being. [181] We might imagine that a unique ideological fusion of inherited mythos about the transcendental powers of the Orphic lyre, which Terpander legendarily possessed, a native tradition of “cathartic” Apollonian paeanic song, and more recently absorbed Near Eastern musical cosmology took shape on Lesbos in the early Archaic period, which would find expression in the belief promoted by the Lesbian diadokhê that Terpander could sway men’s minds and bring communities to good order with the charm of his song.
Third, the accounts of both Terpander’s and Arion’s building an agonistic musical culture from the ground up in Sparta and Corinth (and perhaps in the cities of Italy and Sicily) suggest the historical development of a vibrant, sophisticated culture of mousikoi agônes on Lesbos, which its citharodes, acting as much in the capacity of agonistic impresarios as performers, were able to export and reproduce abroad. One probable setting for the competitive performance of kitharôidia was the Pan-Lesbian festival, celebrated at the shrine of Zeus, Hera, and Dionysus, located in the federal district of Messon. In this “middle space” near the center of the island, mousikoi agônes of different sorts, both choral and monodic, appear to have been established at an early point. [182] Lesbian cities presumably hosted their own civic agônes featuring kitharôidia. In Mytilene, Pompey attended the local ἀγὼν πάτριος τῶν ποιητῶν ‘ancestral contest of the poets’, whose name advertises an antiquity that it no doubt possessed, even if in Pompey’s time its archaism was probably rather touristically put on (Plutarch Life of Pompey 42.4). The festival may be the same as the one devoted to Apollo Maloeis that is described in Thucydides 3.3.3. There is evidence that this festival featured choral performances: Callimachus fr. 485 Pfeiffer mentions the Maloeis khoros, which, given the poet’s antiquarian interests, must have been an institution of long standing; a first-century CE inscription from Hiera, across the bay from Mytilene, names an arkhikhoros ‘chorus leader’ of Artemis and Apollo Maloeis (IG XII 2.484). A Lesbian festival of Apollo with a conspicuous musical component almost certainly would have included kitharôidia.
The archaeological record provides one extraordinarily suggestive, if indirect, witness to the existence of an advanced citharodic contest culture on early Lesbos. We have visual evidence from the early Archaic period for what would appear to be a citharodic contest on Lemnos, a northern Aegean island that would have been in close cultural contact with nearby Lesbos. Depicted on the shoulder of a late eighth- or early seventh-century BCE stamnos from Hephaestia, one of the two main cities of Lemnos, is a man holding what is distinctly a kithara, although it is prototypically small and has only six strings (which may, however, be merely an inaccurate rendering of a heptachord instrument by the artist). [183] He has in his right hand a plectrum, which is connected to the kithara by a cord; around his left wrist is looped the support strap for the kithara. He has shoulder-length hair and wears a truncated yet brightly decorated chiton. In short, present are all the elements that make up the refined skeuê of an agonistic citharode as seen in later Archaic iconography. He is shown in the moment of kneeling down before a seated, elaborately attired goddess, who is probably to be identified as the Great Goddess of Lemnos and presumably a patron divinity of the festival to which this scene refers. [184] The goddess holds out a wreath, which the musician reaches out to take with his right hand. There can be little doubt that what the scene portrays is an idealized vision of a citharode—perhaps a Lesbian Singer—who has won victory at a Lemnian agôn and is receiving his crown directly from the hand of the presiding divinity. [185] We could compare fifth-century BCE Attic vases that symbolically idealize citharodic victory by showing Nikai delivering crowns and other token prizes directly to the musician (see e.g. Plate 13).
Political conditions on Archaic Lesbos may have worked to accelerate the organization of citharodic agônes there. That is, we might be inclined to consider the emergence of the citharodic culture on Lesbos as a symptom of and response to the island’s notorious propensity for violent political disunity, both within and among its cities. As Peter Green puts it, “The pattern of internal politics on Lesbos—violent feuding between cities, and, in cities, between aristocratic-oligarchic and democratic, or, earlier, ‘tyrannical’ (i.e. anti-oligarchic) factions—was established early, and proved to be perennial.” [186] Aelius Aristides 24.55 comments, as others before him surely had, on the seeming irony created by the persistence of stasis on Lesbos, that the island famous for its musicality, whose superlative citharodes put an end to stasis in other cities and which possessed the very head of Orpheus, was nevertheless “so unmusically disposed” (οὕτως ἀμούσως διακείμενοι). [187] Of course, there really was no irony to this. It goes without saying that a vigorous musical life is in and of itself no guarantee of a community’s sociopolitical stability. The factionalism of Mytilene was perpetuated not despite but largely because of the brilliant yet socially destabilizing musico-poetic counterculture exemplified by Alcaeus. [188] But in terms of the long-held ideological beliefs about music in ancient Greece, Aristides makes a reasonable point: the right sort of music should carry a beneficial sociopolitical surplus value that transcends aesthetic enjoyment; it should foster actual communal harmony.
As was suggested above, Archaic Lesbos was perfectly positioned to be the crucible for the formulation and articulation of this ideology in its specifically citharodic aspect, an Apollonian, Orphic, and Near Eastern-inflected ideal of the wonder-working, cosmically ordering properties of solo lyric song. What is more, the political instability of the island could have provided a strong impetus for the practical implementation of that ideal through the establishment of citharodic agônes both in the poleis and at federal gatherings at Messon. Perhaps already at these agônes the paralegal force of the very form of citharodic song, the eunomia notionally effected by nomos, was taking shape as an item of faith. And if, ultimately, the intractable political realities of Lesbos could neither accommodate nor sustain the salutary ideological fiction of cosmic kitharôidia, this would not prevent the Lesbian Singers from successfully marketing that ideology and its institutional apparatus abroad, perhaps with the backing of the authority of the Delphic oracle, to poleis with the proper political and cultural configuration to benefit from it. [189]

12. Megaclo’s Moisai

The third-century BCE historian Myrsilus of Methymna recorded a local myth set during the time of the primordial Lesbian colonizer-king, Macar, that expresses, in allegorical form, the defining cultural themes of early kitharôidia on the island. The myth as Myrsilus knew and told it likely took its shape at a relatively late date, certainly after the Archaic period. It seems to have been concocted specifically to provide an aetiology for a group of bronze statues of the Muses located somewhere on Lesbos. Yet it almost certainly musters elements of citharodic lore that go back considerably further in time, and it might contain some latent information about the historical organization of the earliest Lesbian citharodes. [190] It is worth quoting in full the passage from the Protrepticus of Clement of Alexandria in which the myth is related:
As for the Muses, whom Alcman makes children of Zeus and Mnemosyne and the rest of the poets and prose writers deify and revere, entire cities have dedicated temples of the Muses (mouseia) in their honor. But they were Mysian servant girls (Μύσας θεραπαινίδας), whom Megaclo, the daughter of Macar, had purchased. Macar, who ruled as king over the Lesbians, was forever quarreling with his wife, and Megaclo was upset on behalf of her mother. How could she not have been? So she brought these Mysian servant girls, as many as was their number, and called them, in her Aeolic dialect, Moisai. She had them taught to play the kithara and to sing melodiously of ancient deeds (ᾄδειν καὶ κιθαρίζειν τὰς πράξεις τὰς παλαιὰς ἐμμελῶς), and they, by continually playing the kithara and enchanting with their beautiful song (κιθαρίζουσαι καὶ καλῶς κατεπᾴδουσαι), charmed (ἔθελγον) Macar and checked his anger. In return for this service Megaclo dedicated as a thank-offering, on her mother’s behalf, bronze statues of them, and commanded that they be honored in all the temples. Such are the Muses. The story is found in Myrsilus of Lesbos.
Myrsilus of Methymna FGrH 477 F 7a ap. Clement Protrepticus 2.31
There can be no doubt that Myrsilus figures the Muses as a kind of chorus of citharodes; ᾄδειν καὶ κιθαρίζειν τὰς πράξεις τὰς παλαιὰς ἐμμελῶς ‘to play the kithara and to sing melodiously of ancient deeds’ is as clear a definition of Archaic and Classical kitharôidia as could be formulated. The “ancient deeds” they sing recall the epic narratives that were the subject of the Terpandrean nomos. Terpander himself was an ἐπαινέτης ἡρωικῶν πράξεων ‘praiser of heroic deeds’ (Plutarch Laconian Institutions 17.238c). Further, the music of the Muses has an enchanting and charming effect (κατεπᾴδειν, θέλγειν) on its listeners, soothing their mutual hostilities, a quality that is central to the image of Lesbian kitharôidia. Indeed, in the myth, kitharôidia is introduced expressly for the purpose of pacification, of restoring proper order. It is tempting to read Macar’s constant quarreling with his wife as a metaphor for Lesbian civil strife—the troubled marriage of the first couple of Lesbos forecasting the island’s stormy political future—and the intercession of the citharodic Muses as an aition for the sociomusical interventions of Terpander and the Lesbian Singers, at home and abroad. [191] The phrase, “they checked his anger” (κατέπαυον τῆς ὀργῆς), for instance, echoes the language that is used in later texts to describe Terpander’s calming of the Spartans. [192]
We may note two other characteristics of these Muses that evoke Terpander and the early history of Lesbian kitharôidia. First, although Clement alludes to their having a set “number,” he does not mention how many they are. Fortunately, other sources inform us that Myrsilus said there were seven Lesbian Muses rather than the nine of the Panhellenic tradition. [193] The theme of seven θεραπαινίδαι ‘servant girls’ recalls another myth connected to Lesbos and the Troad, Agamemnon’s offer of seven Lesbian women to Achilles, which appears in Iliad 9.128–129 (cf. 19.245–246). [194] But the similarity may be merely superficial. The seven Muses may rather symbolically correspond to the seven strings of the kithara, the invention of the Lesbian Terpander. Second, the Muses are non-Greek Easterners, Mysians. There is obviously etymological play involved in making them Mysians (Musai-Moisai-Mousai). [195] This may be a late accretion to the myth, but it could express a much earlier theme, the confrontation of Lesbian and Anatolian musical culture. Mysia is just north of Lydia, which looms large, legendarily as well as historically, in early Lesbian musical culture—a Lydian inventor of the kithara, Tyrrhenus, was in fact put forward alongside Terpander (Duris FGrH 76 F 81). [196] The “Asiatic” origins of the citharodic Muses of Lesbos chime with the “Asiatic” origins of the kithara itself, whose epithet was indeed Asias, “because the Lesbian citharodes who lived directly opposite Asia made use of it.” [197] The importation of these seven “servant girls” to Lesbos, I suggest, mythicizes the actual flow of heptatonic musical technology from east to west during the Orientalizing period. [198] The name change, although fanciful, is thus neatly emblematic: what was foreign (Musai) takes on a distinctly Aeolic and Lesbian identity (Moisai). [199]
Macar is here called the king of Lesbos, and in one tradition Lesbos is the name of his wife (scholia ad Iliad 24.544). But according to another tradition, recorded by a separate scholiast to the same line of the Iliad, Macar had a special relationship to Antissa: after he left his home on Rhodes, he went to Lesbos, where he “founded a city [on Lesbos] and named it Antissa, after his wife” (πόλιν οἰκίσας ἀπὸ τῆς γυναικὸς Ἄντισσαν ὠνόμασεν). [200] Although other cities of Lesbos were said to be named for members of Macar’s family, only Antissa was identified as his wife, who, again, is otherwise named for the entire island, Lesbos. Might the unnamed mother of Megaclo, then, be Antissa, and the setting of the myth be the city named for her? It was Antissa that could make the strongest bid to being the cradle of kitharôidia on Lesbos. Although Terpander would become a Pan-Lesbian axiom of kitharôidia, Antissa laid the most compelling claim to his origin, which must reflect the antiquity of its own citharodic tradition. Antissa could claim as well the oracular head and lyre of Orpheus, the latter of which Terpander legendarily inherited. Myrsilus recorded lore about the burial of Orpheus’ head at Antissa, and how it made the nightingales there sing more sweetly than elsewhere on Lesbos (FGrH 477 F 2). Orpheus was almost certainly honored with cult in Antissa.
If the mythical setting of the Megaclo story is Antissa, then the seven bronze citharodic Muses were in all probability located in the historical city. There is a complication, however. We read in Athenaeus that Euphorion of Chalcis, a third-century BCE poet, mentioned a group of Muses in Mytilene that was made by the sculptor Lesbothemis, one of whom held a sambukê, a polychord instrument derived from the harp named the magadis. We do not know when Lesbothemis lived, although Athenaeus calls him arkhaios (4.182e; 14.635a). [201] The sambukê, Euphorion says, was especially popular in Mytilene. Like other harps, it was strongly identified with its Eastern origins, and, although it surely enjoyed a vogue among Archaic and Classical elites in Mytilene, as did harps such as the trigônos, magadis, and the pêktis, by the Hellenistic period it was commonly played by hired women. [202] We might be tempted to see these associations registered in Myrsilus’ myth, and thus to localize it and the bronzes in Mytilene; the myth would offer then a semi-comic aition for why one of the Mytilenean Muses plays the exotic sambukê. But we need not. First, it should be recalled that in Clement’s telling, at least, the seven Muses emphatically kitharizein, a verb that is not used to denote harp playing. And second, the cult of the Muses, as the myth indicates, was Pan-Lesbian. All the cities, Megaclo had commanded, were to honor them, and we may presume that, historically, cities besides Mytilene, including Antissa, had Muse cult and locally appropriate cult statues of the Muses. [203]
If the citharodic Moisai of the myth do belong to Antissa, a connection to Terpander and his genos naturally suggests itself. That is, the early Lesbian citharodes of Antissa may have organized themselves around a local cult of the Muses, who took on the traits of the citharodes and were implicated in myths relevant to the culture of kitharôidia, of which Myrsilus’ story is a late, composite reflex. Alex Hardie has made a good case for the “role of Muse cult in establishing group identity among practicing musicians” on early Lesbos. He cites Sappho fr. 150, in which Sappho refers to herself and her companions as μουσοπόλοι ‘those who busy themselves with the Muses’, as Hardie understands the term, which he speculates is an “East Greek coinage applied to professional musicians.” [204] It is likely, however, that Sappho applies the term to her circle in a primarily metaphorical rather than strict sense; she and her aristocratic companions are not professional performers per se, but nevertheless devotees of the Muses and associates of their cult in Mytilene. [205] Perhaps she has appropriated the title from the wholly professionalized guild of Lesbian Singers, by her day probably a Pan-Lesbian network tied into Muse cults in cities beyond Antissa, whom she names with admiration and perhaps in a spirit of emulation (fr. 106). It is significant that Euripides refers to the citharodes who sing of Alcestis at the Carneia as μουσοπόλοι (Alcestis 444–447); the tragedian surely has in mind the most famous Carneian competitors, the Lesbian Singers. [206]
It is worth considering too the implications of a curious image on an Attic hydria attributed to the Group of Polygnotus that was made around 440–430 BCE. [207] On the shoulder of the vessel, a bearded man appears to have lowered himself down on a rope into a cave, where he props his foot upon a rock, below which the animate head of Orpheus rests on the ground, as he stretches his arm down toward it. Next to the head stands a Muse, perhaps Calliope, Orpheus’ mother; she holds a tortoise-shell lyre, which may be meant to be that of Orpheus. (It has only six strings, but that is likely an oversight of the artist.) Flanking this Muse and the man are other Muses, six in all, who variously hold lyres or auloi. The scene is surely set on Lesbos, most likely at Antissa, given the preeminence of that city’s claim to Orpheus. That the Muses are seven in number seems more than a coincidence in light of the tradition of the seven Lesbian Muses. It has been suggested that the man with the rope is Terpander, who will consult the oracular head and perhaps receive the Orphic lyre from the Muse. [208] What would thus be imagined is the birth of the citharode, a passing of the torch from Orpheus to Terpander. If this interpretation is correct, we might then take the association of Terpander, Orpheus, and the Muses in the image as a reflection, from the temporal and geographical distance of Classical Athens, of the institutional interrelationship between kitharôidia, Muse cult, and the cult of Orpheus in Archaic Antissa.
Terpander’s own vita contains another clue to the implication of kitharôidia in an Antissan cult of the Muses. A scholiast to Homer Iliad 22.391 records that “Terpander of Antissa was an apogonos” (ἀπόγονος Τέρπανδρος ὁ Ἀντισσαῖος) of Crinoeis, one of the Idaean Dactyls, divinely talented metalworkers, musicians—the scholiast calls them μουσικώτατοι ‘terribly musical’—and magicians, whose ancestral home was Mt. Ida in the Phrygian Troad. [209] This Crinoeis was the “first to sacrifice to the Muses” (πρῶτος Μούσαις ἔθυσεν); in other words, he established the original Muse cult, of which Terpander and his genos were the presumed inheritors. By way of comparison, we may note that a guild of aulodes in the city of Troezen, the Ardalids, claimed that its mythical ancestor, Ardalus, was the first priest of the Troezenian Muses. That is, Ardalus established the local cult of the Muses around which the Ardalid guild organized its membership. [210] We hear nothing else of Crinoeis. It has been argued that the name is a deformation of Crinacus, who was known as both the father and the son of Macar (scholia ad Iliad 24.544; Diodorus Siculus 5.81.4). [211] If so, this would bring us back to Myrsilus’ story, in which the household of Macar is responsible for the foundation of Muse cult on Lesbos. It could be the case that Crinoeis/Crinacus belongs to an older, Lesbian Terpandrean genealogy, and that the name has been transferred to a later, Dactylic one. The Dactyls are nowhere else connected to the Muses.
But what can we make of Terpander’s descent from an Idaean Dactyl? He may simply have been linked by some late scholar to the Dactyls through a sheer coincidence of musical associations. The Dactyls were attributed the invention of the rhythm that bears their name (Clement Stromateis 1.15.73), and dactylic rhythms were a hallmark of the Terpandrean nomoi. [212] But the genealogy is probably rooted in an older stratum of the tradition. Here it is appropriate to bring the biographical testimony of the third-century BCE Parian Marble into the discussion. On the Marble, Terpander is called the son of Derdeneus (Ep. 34). The name may be understood as a variant of Dardaneus, that is, a Dardanian, an inhabitant of the region of Dardania in the Troad. [213] Dardania and the city of Dardanos, located on the coast of the Hellespont, were settled by the native Samothracian hero Dardanus, to whom the Trojan royal line would trace its lineage. Derdeneus/Dardaneus and Dactyls are readily linked in the geographical imaginary of the Troad. As Strabo 7, fr. 49 puts it, Dardanus established “the polis of Dardania”—Strabo conflates the city of Dardanos with the district of Dardania—“at the foot of Mt. Ida,” which was the ancestral home of the Dactyls (cf. 13.1.25). Accordingly, we might be inclined to posit an original identity between Derdeneus and Crinoeis the Dactyl, i.e. the Dactyl from Dardania was Terpander’s father or more distant ancestor. [214]
Yet the Dactylic lineage may belong to a tradition based upon yet ultimately separate from that of Derdeneus and the Dardanian connection. [215] Derdeneus looks to be an example (not necessarily historical) of a historical naming practice on Archaic Lesbos. Lesbians had occupied the Troad, including the city of Dardanos, since the end of the eighth century BCE. One such Lesbian settler, “Scamander, son of Macaris,” was buried in Dardanos, according to the Aeolic inscription on his tumulus. [216] Scamander, the famed river that runs by Troy, is in fact one of the names given to Sappho’s father (P.Oxy. 1800 fr. 1). Such evocative Anatolian names reflect the cultural and political investment of Lesbian elites in and notional possession of the Troad and its epic history. [217] Again, although the name Derdeneus evokes an actual onomastic habit and cultural pattern of Archaic Lesbos, that does not mean that Derdeneus was a real person. Terpander’s Dardanian affiliation should be understood as a rhetorical fiction that suits the practices and interests of the early Lesbian Singers. On the one hand, it reflects their close engagement with Anatolian musical culture; on the other, it advertises the privileged “familial” access enjoyed by Terpander’s apogonoi to the Aeolic epic traditions of the Troad.

13. Terpander in Sparta

It was above all at Sparta, where Terpander undertook the first katastasis ‘establishment’ of civic musical culture, that Lesbian kitharôidia acquired the definitive reputation of being able to guarantee political kosmos and social harmony, to deter stasis. Sparta, like Lesbos, was notoriously racked with civil disorder before the establishment of its famed eunomia (Herodotus 1.65; Thucydides 1.18.1). [218] There is no reason to doubt that, beginning from at least the later seventh century BCE, Terpander’s nomoi were considered to be the paralegal musical complement of the political nomoi of the Spartan state. [219] Terpander was in fact synchronized with the legendary lawgiver Lycurgus by the Peripatetic scholar Hieronymus of Rhodes in his On Citharodes (fr. 33 Wehrli ap. Athenaeus 14.635f), a view that chimes with the belief expressed in starkly literal terms by Clement Stromateis 1.16.78 that Terpander “set to music the nomoi of the Lacedaemonians.” [220] As was argued in Part II.4, claims such as these should not be dismissed as late, naïve confusions of the legal and musical senses of nomos. They are rather rationalizing expressions of a deeply traditional belief in the fundamental imbrication of music and social order. The pairing of poet-musician and lawgiver is a differentiated variation on the genuinely Archaic figure of the musical nomothetês ‘lawgiver’, such as Solon (cf. Solon fr. 31W) or Terpander’s choral counterpart in Sparta, Thaletas, who was said to use song as a cover for lawgiving (Plutarch Life of Lycurgus 4). [221]
Demetrius of Phalerum provides the earliest surviving explicit reference to the beneficial political intervention of the Lesbian citharodes. Arguing that Homeric aoidoi, whom he imagines to be forerunners of the Archaic and Classical citharodes, were employed by kings to maintain the social order in their absence, he cites the historical example of Sparta to prove his point:
τοσοῦτον δὲ καὶ πρὸς τὰ πολιτικὰ διέτεινεν ἡ τῶν κιθαρῳδῶν μουσικὴ ὡς τῶν Σπαρτιατῶν τὴν πόλιν ὠφελεῖσθαι λέγουσιν ὑπὸ τούτων τῶν ἀνδρῶν τὰ μέγιστα καὶ πρὸς ὁμόνοιαν καὶ πρὸς τὴν τῶν νόμων φυλακήν. ὡς καὶ τὴν Πυθὼ, αὐτόθι φυομένης ταραχῆς, εἰπεῖν, τὸν Λέσβιον ᾠδὸν ἀκούειν καὶ παύσασθαι τῆς φιλονεικίας. ὃ καὶ γέγονεν.
And so much did the music of the citharodes pertain to the affairs of state (ta politika) that they say (legousin) that the polis of the Spartans was above all assisted by these men in regard to both civic concord and the continued preservation of the nomoi, and that the Pythian oracle, when disorder was brewing in Sparta, told them to listen to the Lesbian Singer and cease from their love of strife, which indeed happened.
Demetrius of Phalerum ap. Scholia E, Q ad Odyssey 3.267 [222]
Fourth-century BCE Athenian cultural conservatives such as Demetrius were clearly fascinated by the Terpander in Sparta narrative for its ideologically sympathetic elements. It represented for them the purest fantasy of the hegemony of an “aristocratic” lyric culture, its power to enforce an elitist vision of societal rectitude, power that was felt to be lost in the wake of the populist New Music of late Athenian democracy. [223] Terpander’s legendary harmonization of the Spartan populace also fitted neatly with (and probably helped to inspire) theories, first propounded by Damon of Oa, then elaborated by culturally and politically elitist Academic, Peripatetic, and, later, Stoic thinkers, about the socio-psychagogic force of musical ethos, the power of melody and rhythm to regulate individual and collective social behavior. [224] It has even been suggested that Damon invented the story wholesale. [225] But although Classical Athenian intellectuals and those influenced by them might have romanticized, appropriated, and rhetorically enhanced the Terpandrean narrative—see the discussion of Choricius’ tendentiously “elitist” Terpander in Section 2—it was not their invention. Demetrius’ legousi ‘they say’ points to an oral tradition that we can trace back past Aristotle (fr. 545 Rose; cf. Heraclides Lembus Excerpts from Aristotle’s Politeiai fr. 11 Dilts) to the Cheirons of Cratinus, a comedy of the 430s. [226] But it does not begin there. For Cratinus, who referred to the saying, “After the Lesbian Singer” (fr. 263 K-A), the respect accorded to the Lesbian citharodes at the Carneia already enjoyed proverbial status, and although we have no earlier direct allusions to it—Sappho fr. 106 celebrates the agonistic success of the Lesbian Singers, but says nothing about their political charms—the tradition must surely go back much further, to early Sparta and the Lesbian Singers themselves. [227]
We do have two pertinent Archaic references to the political power of music in Sparta. The music in question, however, is not that of Terpander, but of Thaletas (or Thales) of Gortyn in Crete, one of the composers of the post-Terpandrean “second katastasis.” Unlike the first katastasis, which was centered on kitharôidia at the Carneia festival, this second establishment of musical culture was connected first and foremost to another Spartan festival of Apollo, the Gymnopaidiai. It was centered on choral song and dance, which was as much aulos-accompanied as lyric, and it also involved the introduction of agonistic singing to the aulos, aulôidia (“Plutarch” On Music 9.1134b–c). [228] The names associated with choruses at the second katastasis, Thaletas of Gortyn, Xenodamus of Cythera, and Xenocritus of Locri, were composers primarily of paeans, the choral genre most fitting the divine honorand of the Gymnopaidiai, Apollo. [229] In addition, two aulodes are named as exponents of the second katastasis, Polymnestus of Colophon and Sacadas of Argos. The most notable of these musicians was the legendary or semi-legendary Thaletas/Thales, who seems to have emerged at an early point in Spartan musical lore as a sort of choral doublet of Terpander; by the fourth century BCE he was, like Terpander, touted as an exemplary architect of musico-political order in Sparta. According to Pausanias, “in verses (epê) composed for the Lacedaemonians” Polymnestus of Colophon, one of the aulodic composers implicated in the second katastasis, says that Thales lifted plague (nosos) from Sparta (1.14.4). [230] And the choral poet Pratinas of Phlius, composing in the late sixth to early fifth century BCE, says in one of his songs that Thaletas came to Sparta, like Terpander, at the prompting of the Delphic Oracle, and “through his mousikê healed Sparta and released it from the plague that oppressed it” (διὰ μουσικῆς ἰάσασθαι ἀπαλλάξαι τε τοῦ κατασχόντος λιμοῦ τὴν Σπάρτην, Pratinas PMG 713 iii ap. “Plutarch” On Music 42.1146c). Terpander is mentioned immediately before Thaletas in this passage of On Music as “having resolved stasis among the Lacedaemonians.” (The compiler’s immediate source for this testimony is unfortunately unnamed, although the Peripatetic music theorist and historian Aristoxenus of Tarentum, who is the source for much of On Music, is a reasonable candidate.)
Although the Apolline paean was long believed to cure epidemic (cf. Iliad 1.472–474), the plague described by Pratinas and Polymnestus must be intended as a metaphor for Spartan stasis. [231] This is made clear by Philodemus of Gadara, who, as an Epicurean critic of musical ethos theory, refutes the account held by certain philosophoi (i.e. proponents of ethos theory) that Thaletas, like Terpander, put an end to factionalism (not sickness) at Sparta, and by Plutarch, who provides a detailed version of that account. [232] In his Life of Lycurgus, Plutarch says that Lycurgus brought Thales to Sparta directly from Crete, for reasons more political than cultural, since Thales “passed as a poet of lyric melê and used this tekhnê as a screen, but in fact accomplished the work of the best of the lawgivers (nomothetai).” [233] Plutarch, likely following a source steeped in ethos theory, perhaps Aristotle, describes how Thales’ melodies and rhythms, “having a considerable ordering and calming effect” (πολὺ τὸ κόσμιον ἐχόντων καὶ καταστατικόν), were conducive to “obedience and civic concord” (πρὸς εὐπείθειαν καὶ ὁμόνοιαν) among the Spartans, who were “insensibly softened in their dispositions as they listened” (ἀκροώμενοι κατεπραΰνοντο λεληθότως τὰ ἤθη) and so put aside their violent differences under the influence of this tempering music. [234] Thales thus acted as a “forerunner” of Lycurgus (προοδοποιεῖν, 4.2). [235]
Similarly, Terpander was intimately tied to Lycurgus, and the social and affective force of his music was described in terms similar to those applied to Thales’ paeans. As we saw, Demetrius of Phalerum claims that Lesbian kitharôidia assisted Sparta πρὸς ὁμόνοιαν καὶ πρὸς τὴν τῶν νόμων φυλακήν ‘in regard to both civic concord and the continued preservation of the nomoi’. Diodorus Siculus describes the socio-affective power of Terpander’s tekhnê: his “skillful performance of a melos on the kithara re-harmonized” the Spartans (τι μέλος Τέρπανδρος ἐντέχνως κιθαρίσας | αὐτοὺς πάλιν συνήρμοσε); hearing his “song of harmony” (τῆς ἁρμονίας τῇ ᾠδῇ), the fractious citizens broke into tears of joy and embraced one another. [236] Additionally, Terpander’s musical establishment of political orderliness, and that of his successor Arion, were likewise metaphorized as the curing of plague, a tradition that should be considered in light of the roots of the Lesbian citharodes in their native paean culture, which, we saw, had its own reputation for katharsis. Boethius has it that “Terpander and Arion of Methymna rescued the Lesbians and the Ionians from the gravest diseases with the help of their song” (On Music 1.1). Curiously, Boethius mentions neither Sparta nor Corinth, the poleis with which these citharodes are most closely associated. His mention of Ionians, however, the only such mention in the Terpandrean testimonia, may point to some otherwise unattested tradition in which a Lesbian Singer “healed” an Ionian community.
Given that we have references to Thaletas’ Spartan intervention made by two Archaic poets, Pratinas and Polymnestus, but none to Terpander’s, we might be tempted to conjecture that the legend of Terpander’s pacification of the Spartans is secondary to and based upon a tradition originally attached to Thaletas. But the primacy of Terpander and the Carneian kitharôidia that constitutes the first katastasis seems to have been an axiom of the historical narrative of early Spartan musical culture, and this in itself suggests the independence of the Terpandrean musico-political tradition. Further, recall that Thaletas was ranked as an exponent of the second katastasis, which was focused upon choral music. His activity as a choral composer may explain why his wonder-working music is singled out for praise by Pratinas, who was himself a choral poet. That is, the praise might have had a self-interested rhetorical purpose. For Pratinas, Thaletas is a model, and the saving purification that the Cretan effected in Sparta once upon a time is an advertisement for the potential social benefits that his own choral song might confer in the here-and-now. Besides his mention of Thaletas, other fragments of Pratinas’ poetry indicate that he took a keen interest in the musical culture of Sparta, and indeed they suggest that he composed songs for performance there. [237] It was Pratinas who characterized the Spartan citizen as “that cicada ready built for a chorus” (ὁ τέττιξ εὔτυχος ἐς χορόν, PMG 709). The cicada metaphor probably alludes to the summertime choral performances at the Gymnopaidiai, which is the best candidate for the occasion on which Pratinas’ song was sung; this verse would thus be an instance of choral self-reference, a common enough device in Archaic and Classical choral poetry. [238] The Gymnopaidiai, we saw, was the main site of the second katastasis, and works attributed to Thaletas continued to be performed by choruses at that festival through the sixth and fifth centuries BCE (Sosibius On Sacrifice s FGrH 595 F 5 ap. Athenaeus 15.678c–d). We hear too that Pratinas referred to another choral composer connected to the Gymnopaidiai and the second katastasis, Xenodamus of Cythera (PMG 713 ii ap. “Plutarch” On Music 9.1134c). Could Pratinas have commemorated Thaletas and Xenodamus, culture heroes of the Gymnopaidiai, in a song of his own composed for the festival, perhaps in the same song in which he compared the Spartan singer-dancer to the cicada? [239]
We can be more confident that the verses on Thales attributed to Polymnestus, himself a hero of the second katastasis and the Gymnopaidiai, belonged to an aulodic poem traditionally performed at the festival. I have argued that biographical lore about Terpander was transmitted within the very texts performed by citharodes at the Carneia. Perhaps an analogous practice reigned at the agônes of the Gymnopaidiai: not only were the songs of their founders reperformed, but newer poetry was introduced that celebrated the life and work of those founders.
This is not to say that the story of Thaletas’ musical purification is secondary to that of Terpander’s in the sense of being derived from it. [240] It is obvious that the second, primarily choral establishment of music at Sparta functioned as the ideologically inseparable supplement to the first, citharodic establishment. That is, for the good order of the Spartan state to be secured, both kitharôidia and paeanic choral music had first to be established—at festivals of the god of music and good order, Apollo—by musicians equally adept in their respective media at “sounding” the city’s enviable constitution into being. [241] Citharode and chorus were complementary, an arrangement whose cultural logic was grounded in the ancient continuity between the media of the former and the latter. The two modes, choral and citharodic performance, produced analogous effects in different ways. The chorus was the musical expression of social collectivity par excellence, a metonomy of the polis, performing before the polis a gracefully idealized version of its communal solidarity and cooperation—ideology in perfectly synchronized motion and sound. [242] The practice and pleasure of ritual song and dance, through the very fact of the active communal participation and physical entrainment built into it, readily promoted civic consolidation and effected self-regulating social control.
Citharodic performance entailed a more passive and top-down, yet no less effective mode of group manipulation. The charismatic virtuoso ideally produced a kind of collective katharsis through the terpsis he created; he could mobilize and align the divergent moods and temperaments of his listeners under the spell of an expert combination of music, text, and visual spectacle, stimulating a common affect among the civic audience that would become in turn conducive to amity. This cathartic consolidation of the citizenry is vividly rendered in the passage of Diodorus Siculus that was cited above (8.28 ap. Tzetzes Chiliades 1.385–392). The mutually hostile Spartans were so moved by Terpander’s masterfully skillful (ἐντέχνως) performance of his “song of harmony,” that, “completely changed in mood, they embraced one another, joyfully saluting one another through their tears” (μετατραπέντες ἀλλήλους περιέβαλλον, ἠσπάζοντο δακρύοις). In this reconstruction of events, the musical transformation of the individual dispositions of the listeners precipitates an emotional, even physical—note the mutual embraces, which evoke the synchronized movement of a chorus—homogenization of the entire Spartan body politic. It is purified of its stasis; the joyful tears that are shed by all express this communal purgation. The specific imagery deployed by Diodorus, in particular the mingling of pleasure and tears, may show the influence of Aristotelian theories of tragic katharsis, but the description may nonetheless reflect tenets of the social ideology of kitharôidia in old Sparta.
Indeed, the Spartan structure of the twin katastaseis is one that other cities in Archaic Greece adopted, in particular those ruled by tyrants, who were likely eager to recreate among their own divided and hostile populaces the socially stabilizing musical politics of the Spartan festivals. In contracting Arion to come to Corinth in the later seventh century BCE, the tyrant Periander was thus getting “two katastaseis in one,” as it were, a citharodic Lesbian Singer as well as a poet and organizer of choral performances that were directed not to Apollo, as at Sparta, but to the god more suitable to tyrannical policies of social engineering, the more populist Dionysus. With this Spartan-adapted dual institution of kitharôidia and Dionysian choruses in Corinth, Periander seems to have set the model for tyrannical musical politics to come. Cleisthenes adopted a version of it in Sicyon, where he established “tragic choruses” (Herodotus 5.67.5) and promoted kitharôidia. [243] The Peisistratids would follow it as well, with their establishment of the City Dionysia in 534 BCE, which perhaps at some point during their reign included dithyrambic contests (although the dating of Lasus’ introduction of these is questionable) and their heavy investment in the Panathenaia, which prominently featured kitharôidia. [244]

14. Music, Blood, and Cult

One curious detail preserved among the Terpandrean testimonia would appear to speak to the gap thought to exist between the political inefficacy of kitharôidia on Lesbos and its celebrated efficacy abroad. Photius Lexicon s.v. μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν records that the Spartans called upon Terpander to resolve their civic strife while he “was in exile for the crime of murder” (ἐφ’ αἵματι φεύγοντα). [245] Photius begins his entry by writing that the “After the Lesbian Singer” proverb appeared in a play by the comic poet Cratinus, where it was used of “those who come in second”; Zenobius 5.9 (= fr. 263 K-A) confirms that that play was Cratinus’ Cheirons, which was probably produced around 440–430 BCE. [246] Perhaps Cheirons, which took mousikê, including that of the lyre, as one of its themes, treated Terpander at some length. [247] Photius may know, then, the story about Terpander’s exile from this play. [248] And while Photius leaves the nature of Terpander’s blood guilt unspecified, we may speculate that someone in the play characterized Terpander as a typical representative of the violent factionalism of his island, whose music was out of tune with his murderous politics. Alcaeus, whose poetry takes stasis and exile as its main themes, could have been an inspiration; Sappho too was supposedly exiled from Lesbos to Sicily (Parian Marble Ep. 36). There is some indication from the fragments of Cheirons that the play, like many other Old Comedies, explored notions of cultural “decline,” prominently including concerns about changes in musical practice and taste. [249] Perhaps a debate was staged between advocates of old and new music, and the latter put forward the story of Terpander’s exile for murder as a way of discrediting traditional beliefs in the social stability brought about by Terpandrean kitharôidia. A secondary swipe at Sparta may have been implied as well—its famed Lesbian Singer, who supposedly brought amity to their state, was nothing more than a murderer. Or, on any number of other possible reconstructions of the context of the story in the play, this dig into the vaunted marriage between Spartan musical culture and political eunomia may have been its entire point.
We may compare the tale, circulated in fifth- and fourth-century BCE Athens, that when the Delphic oracle advised the Spartans, who were troubled by social ills during the Second Messenian War, to send to Athens for an advisor, the Athenians cleverly sent the worst man they could find, Tyrtaeus, a lame, mentally challenged schoolteacher. [250] It is important to note that the slanderous tale involves a parody of the traditional account of Terpander’s summons to Sparta by the oracle, as is evident in its telling in Pausanias 4.15.6. The Spartans are told to “bring in the Athenian Advisor” (τὸν Ἀθηναῖον ἐπάγεσθαι σύμβουλον), an expression that unmistakably recalls the oracle’s iconic advice to “call for the Lesbian Singer” (e.g. τὸν Λέσβιον ᾠδὸν μεταπέμπεσθαι, Photius s.v. μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν). It is possible, however, that the tale had deeper roots, that Tyrtaeus’ Athenian origin and perhaps even his physical deformity were considerably older elements of his vita, well known in Archaic Sparta, which had in fact made a policy of importing poets from abroad (Aelian Historical Miscellanies 12.50; Plutarch Agis 10.5–6). These elements could have been transmitted as authorized biographical lore there along with his verse. Only later, in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, were these details politicized in Athens, presented in such a way as to discredit him, and Sparta. [251] Similarly, the story of Terpander’s exile, even if it was tendentiously recounted in Attic comedy, might nevertheless belong to a more profound layer of the tradition, one known to both the Lesbian diadokhê and the Spartans.
The Indo-European theme of the polluted, scapegoated, or marginalized hero, expelled by his own community and welcomed into another, to which he in turn brings needed assistance, is one that is variously refracted throughout the vitae of the Greek poets, in particular that of Tyrtaeus (despite its deliberately satiric mediation in the case of his Athenian reception). [252] The narrative of transgression, expulsion, and redemption implicit in Photius’ testimony indicates its relevance to the Terpandrean tradition as well. But the presence of such generically archetypal elements in the tradition should be viewed as more than a subconscious, transhistorical expression of a generic mythical pattern. We should acknowledge too its historically determined mediation by those agents with a stake in Terpander, in particular the Lesbian citharodes, for whom it may have functioned as an aetiology, reflective of the actual sociopolitical situation of Lesbos, for their characteristic itineracy. Specifically, the story might have served to redeem the musico-political irony of Lesbian kitharôidia, reframing it as a sublime conditio sine qua non: the very social disorder that plagued stasis-prone Lesbos necessitated the circumstances under which Terpander/the Lesbian Singer leaves home to cure stasis in points abroad.
The murder and exile theme reflects especially the intimate tie between Terpander and Sparta, where, we may imagine, the story went that he was purified of his blood guilt before he in turn “purified” Sparta with his music. Nagy makes the appealing suggestion that the theme “may imply hero cult in the making” for Terpander in Sparta. [253] Indeed, given that the right of first performance serially granted to his apogonoi at the Carneia was established “in honor (timê) and commemoration of ancient Terpander” (ἐπὶ τιμῇ καὶ μνήμῃ Τερπάνδρου τοῦ παλαιοῦ, Plutarch On the Delay of Divine Justice 13.558a), we might expect a hero cult for Terpander to be attached to the Carneia. [254] There his ritualized reenactment by “the Lesbian Singer” constituted a sort of immortality, as well as epiphany. In response to the annually repeated call for the Lesbian Singer, Terpander “appeared” each year, without fail, in the form of his descendants—recall that there was an “unbroken continuity” in the performance and victory of the Lesbian diadokhê in Sparta through the sixth century BCE (“Plutarch” On Music 6.1133c). [255] In this way it seems that both the Lesbians and the Spartans were complicit in the perpetuation of the cult, commemorating through ritual reenactment Terpander’s original performance at the Carneia as well as the sociopolitical salvation that it brought about—his “re-harmonization” (πάλιν συνήρμοσε) of the fractured populace of Laconia with his “song of harmony,” as Diodorus Siculus puts it (8.28 ap . Tzetzes Chiliades 1.385–392). Such observance would have amounted to a seasonal reconfirmation of the cosmic ideology of kitharôidia and a reminder of its necessity for the health of the state.
According to another bit of lore that may point to hero cult, the Carneia was also exactly, appropriately where Terpander ended his mortal life and thus, importantly, left his corpse behind. Possession of the hero’s corpse was a precondition for hero cult; Terpander’s death during the very celebration of the festival would locate his body not only in Sparta, but specifically in the ambience of the Carneia, to which the cult was probably annexed. A short epigram from the Hellenistic or early Imperial period describes the death of the citharode Terpes:
Τέρπης εὐφόρμιγγα κρέκων Σκιάδεσσιν ἀοιδὰν
κάτθανε νοστήσας ἐν Λακεδαιμονίοις,
οὐκ ἄορι πληγείς, οὐδ’ αὖ βέλει, ἀλλ’ ἑνὶ σύκῳ
χείλεα. φεῦ, προφάσεων οὐκ ἀπορεῖ θάνατος.
Terpes, while playing to the Skiades a song on his lovely phorminx, died after having made his homecoming (nostos) among the Lacedaemonians. He was struck neither by a sword nor an arrow, but by one single fig, right through his lips. Ah, death does not lack for occasions!
Tryphon Palatine Anthology 9.488 [256]
As we saw above, this “Terpes” must be Terpander (cf. Suda s.v. γλυκὺ μέλι καὶ πνιξάτω); the setting must be the Carneia, where celebrants traditionally gathered in nine special sun-blocking tents called Skiades (Athenaeus 4.141e–f). [257] In her collection of the Terpandrean testimonia Gostoli prints in line 2 κάτθανεν ἐξαπίνης ‘he died suddenly’. This is the reading of the line as it appears in a later collection of Greek epigrams compiled by Maximus Planudes (1a.36.14). The manuscript containing the Palatine Anthology has the garbled κατθαν’ εν ο στησας, which editors have reasonably corrected to κάτθανε νοστήσας ‘he died after having made his homecoming’. This reading deserves serious consideration as an older variant of Planudes’ rather bland κάτθανεν ἐξαπίνης, which Gostoli defends by pointing out that nowhere else do we hear of Terpander’s nostos ‘homecoming’ in Sparta. [258] The singularity of the reference is no reason to do away with it. Rather, I would contend that Terpander’s homecoming, not to Lesbos, but to his second home, Sparta, is a theme of the Terpandrean tradition that goes all the way back to the Archaic period, as is his perfectly iconic death at the very agôn he inaugurated—the sweet fruit chokes the sweet singer in the midst of his song. [259] The Spartan nostos and the exile from Antissa have a structural harmony: Terpander cannot return “home” to die in the city from which he has been exiled, but must return to his adopted home in Sparta, which will possess his postmortem fame in the form of hero cult at the Carneia. Where had Terpander been that he had to return to Sparta? The answer is suggested by the account that has him winning multiple victories at the Pythian citharodic contest at Delphi (“Plutarch” On Music 4.1132e), which could have been circulated from the early sixth century BCE by both the Spartans and the Lesbian citharodes (cf. Section 10 above). [260] Sparta was Terpander’s center of gravity, but he was imagined to move in an orbit around it, as did his early apogonoi, winning Panhellenic glory as he moved from contest to contest. [261]

15. Pindar’s Terpander

Pindar attributes two inventions to Terpander; both are attested only in Pindar. The first is the longer-armed, deeper-pitched version of the tortoise-shell lyre, the barbitos:
τόν ῥα Τέρπανδρός ποθ’ ὁ Λέσβιος εὗρεν
πρῶτος, ἐν δείπνοισι Λυδῶν
ψαλμὸν ἀντίφθογγον ὑψηλᾶς ἀκούων πακτίδος
Which once upon a time Terpander the Lesbian
first invented, as he heard at the banquets of the Lydians
the plucking that sounds in answer from the tall harp.
Pindar fr. 125 S-M [262]
These lines are cited by Aristoxenus in a discussion of the plucking technique involved in the playing of the polychord Anatolian harps called the pêktis (Doric and Aeolic pâktis) and magadis (fr. 99 Wehrli ap. Athenaeus 14.635b, 635d). Aristoxenus says that they appear in what he calls Pindar’s skolion to Hieron, the tyrant of Syracuse (ἐν τῷ πρὸς Ἱέρωνα σκολίῳ). Skolia were songs intended for performance in the convivial environment of the symposium. They were usually sung monodically to the singer’s own lyre or barbitos, but they could occasionally be sung to the accompaniment of the aulos or simply recited as the symposiast held a sprig of myrtle; a type of “choral” skolion was also known. [263] In general, skolia were short pieces that symposiasts across the spectrum of musical talent and ability could execute, often, it seems, in a spirit of good-natured competition. [264] Yet the skolion was ideally an amateur genre, its performance practice reflective of the aristocratic-egalitarian and spontaneous spirit of the symposium: everyone in the drinking group could have an unpracticed go at one skolion or another. Content seems to have varied. Some were brief, anonymous “folk songs,” such as we see collected in the corpus of the Attic skolia. Others were reperformed (and occasionally recomposed) classics of the Lesbian and Eastern Ionian sympotic lyric repertoire, typically requiring a bit more skill. [265] As one character, presumably a symposiast, says to another in Aristophanes’ Banqueters, “Sing, please, taking a skolion from Alcaeus or Anacreon” (fr. 235 K-A). (We should note that both of these poets were major exponents of the music of the barbitos.) Pindaric and Bacchylidean skolia were polished, professionalized, lengthier takes on this amateur form, with extended mythical narration approximating what we have in the epinikia. Functionally, they were encomiastic songs commissioned by and directed toward powerful and wealthy patrons, at whose symposia they would be performed, typically, it seems, to the barbitos, if the several references to the instrument in the fragments of the skolia are a reliable indication. [266] Their performance was probably monodic, although the possibility of choral execution, presumably on a smaller scale than that of the epinikia, should not be entirely ruled out. [267] So when Pindar attributes the invention of the barbitos to Terpander, he is attributing to him the invention of the very instrument to which the skolion is being sung. Indeed, probably in this same skolion, Pindar attributes to Terpander the invention of the genre of the skolion itself:
ἔτι δέ, καθάπερ Πίνδαρός φησι, καὶ τῶν σκολιῶν μελῶν Τέρπανδρος εὑρετὴς ἦν.
Furthermore, just as Pindar says, Terpander was also the inventor of songs (melê) called skolia.
Pindar ap . “Plutarch” On Music 28.1140f [268]
The scholarly response to these texts has been to read them as objective testimony either to Terpander’s actual, historical invention of the barbitos and skolia, or at least to a Panhellenically held tradition to that effect. Terpander is clearly intended by Pindar to serve as model for his own song-making practice. What has been missing is the basic recognition that Pindar’s vision of musico-poetic history is inevitably self-interested, that his representation of Terpander is shaped by a rhetorical agenda determined by the generic and occasional circumstances of his own song. This is not to say that Pindar’s claims are not grounded in some mixture of historical practice and traditional belief. [269] Musical traffic between Lydia and Lesbos was very real, as we have already discussed. Harps such as the pêktis, redolent of Eastern refinement and habrosunê ‘delicacy, luxury’, were in vogue among Archaic Lesbian elites who prided themselves on their privileged access to the East. [270] The instrument is mentioned by both Alcaeus (fr. 36.5) and Sappho (frs. 22.11, 156.1); Sappho is even said to have been its inventor (Menaechmus FGrH 131 F 4 ap. Athenaeus 14.635d). The pêktis found a place too in the opulent symposia of Polycrates’ Samian court, as Anacreon’s erotic lyric attests: νῦν δ’ ἁβρῶς ἐρόεσσαν ψάλλω πηκτίδα ‘now I pluck delicately (habrôs) the lovely pêktis’ (PMG 373; cf. 386; 374 mentions the magadis). The barbitos was played in the same class-restricted contexts as the harp (see below), and it is probable that long before Pindar’s time it was viewed as a Greco-Lydian hybrid of harp and lyre, a chic, slightly decadent musical accessory to the “lifestyle of habrosunê” pursued by its players. [271] Aristotle, writing long after an elitist backlash against musical habrosunê had set in, groups together with distaste barbitos and pêktis as instruments a proper gentleman should not play, despite their former popularity with Archaic aristocrats (Politics 8.1341a39–41). The kinship imagined between the two instruments was based more on cultural semiotics and overlapping performance contexts than on objective technical and structural similarities—the barbitos, like the lyre, had only seven strings that were struck with a plectrum rather than plucked—yet Pindar, probably not uniquely, envisages the direct influence of the harp on the construction and technique of the barbitos. [272]
We have seen too that the Lesbian Singers advertised their particular engagement with Anatolian culture; recall the implications of Terpander’s manufactured descent from Derdeneus. Archaic Sparta had its own romance with things Lydian, as Alcman’s poetry as well as his putative Sardian origin indicates. [273] It is conceivable that Lesbian citharodes self-consciously “Lydianized” their tekhnê and personae for a Spartan audience fascinated by Eastern exotica, playing up the Asiatic character of the heptachord kithara and the “Oriental pomp” of their skeuê; perhaps tales of Terpander’s involvement in Lydian high society and its harp culture were already being put into circulation. [274] References to the “Asiatic” kithara appear only after the middle of the fifth century BCE—perhaps reflective of the New Music’s renewed interest in exotic glamour—but this does not mean that the Lydian provenance of the kithara was not highlighted long before then. Conceivably, this could have led to the notion that the kithara itself shared certain affinities with both the harp and the barbitos, which Pindar expanded by making Terpander a barbitos player and harp fancier. [275] As to Pindar’s envisaging of Terpander as a sympotic singer, it is possible that he extrapolated from a tradition according to which Terpander and the Lesbian Singers performed in Sparta at private, aristocratic symposia of the seventh century BCE or had entertained at the quasi-sympotic, militaristic “public messes” called sussitia, phiditia, or philitia that were later instituted, probably in the sixth century BCE. [276]
Yet, for all this, Pindar’s barbitos-playing, sympotic Terpander nevertheless remains a tendentious construct. It is as if one were to commemorate Paganini as the first to compose parlor songs for the guitar (which he did in fact play), when all the world knows him as the iconic violin virtuoso of the grand concert hall. In the mainstream tradition, which in all probability captures the historical situation of the Lesbian Singers in Sparta and elsewhere, Terpander was the paradigmatic professional citharode, at home in the public spectacle of the mousikoi agônes rather than the inscrutable confines of the symposium. Hellanicus of Lesbos knew Terpander above all as the victor at the inaugural citharodic contest at the Carneia, where the Lesbian diadokhê won its fame (“Plutarch” On Music 6.1133c). Heraclides of Pontus says emphatically in his assessment of Terpander’s work that he performed his nomoi “in the agônes” (On Music 3.1132c). Indeed, the monumental nomos and its accompanying prooimion are the genres for which Terpander and the citharodes were best known. As for the barbitos, its use, on Lesbos, Samos, and in Athens, was largely confined to the Orientalizing aristocratic symposium and its attendant comastic celebrations; it was, as far as we can tell, not played in open, civic contexts, and certainly not at mousikoi agônes. So deeply implicated in the musical culture of the social elite was the barbitos that for Alcaeus it was as if the instrument were a living peer of his sympotic circle: it “makes merry as it participates in the symposium” (ἀθύρει πεδέχων συμποσίω, Alcaeus fr. 70.3–4). [277] As such, the barbitos was strongly marked with an elitist and amateur ethos, from which its aristocratically prized connotations of Eastern luxury were inseparable. The “Asiatic” concert kithara was similarly an elite instrument, but its elitism was of a radically different order: professionalized, virtuosic, technically daunting, and very much implicated in the demotic festival culture of the polis, not the musica occulta (as Nero called it) of the symposium.
The Archaic poetic and visual record makes it abundantly clear that the primary exponents of Aeolic and Ionic erotic and sympotic lyric, Sappho, Alcaeus, and Anacreon, were also the primary exponents of the barbitos. [278] Anacreon, who likely brought its culture to the aristocratic and tyrannical symposia of Athens when he relocated to the city from Samos, was so closely identified with it that he was made its inventor (Neanthes FGrH 84 F 5 ap. Athenaeus 4.175e). It was these poets too whose works provided the material for the skolia sung by later symposiasts, and this must explain the retention of the barbitos in the stylized skolia of Pindar and Bacchylides—it was the generically and occasionally appropriate instrument to use. [279]
But again, outside of Pindar, no visual or literary evidence connects Terpander to the barbitos or skolia as it does Alcaeus, Sappho, and Anacreon. Why then did Pindar choose to adopt Terpander as a model for his own composition and performance of skolia instead of one of these other poets? One answer could be found in the very fact that the prevalent image of Terpander was essentially that of a professional musician. Pindar too was a professional. Yet the sympotic skolion, as we saw, was traditionally considered an amateur genre, and the barbitos an amateur’s instrument. By fashioning Terpander as the inventor of the genre and its hallmark accompanying instrument, Pindar creates a validating precedent for his own professional (and commercial) intervention in this decidedly amateur medium. The contributions of an Alcaeus or an Anacreon are trumped, as it were, by the foundational activity of Terpander, who is not only the iconic lyric professional but also, as Pindar envisages him, the super-elite East Greek monodist par excellence, drawing his music straight from the source of haute-aristocratic Lydian habrosunê. It is that hyper-authentic musico-sympotic practice to which Pindar’s skolion hearkens, and whose impossible glamour its performance notionally reenacts in Syracuse. [280] Terpander’s prestige is thus made to authenticate and legitimate Pindar’s role in the professionalization of sympotic musical culture at the tyrannical court of Hieron, to bridge, or rather to obscure, the ideological gap between the deliberate, commercial ethos of the professional and the resolutely non-professional, egalitarian, and spontaneous ethos of the symposium and its traditional skolia. [281] Again, although the Pindaric scenario may build upon preexisting themes in the cultures of kitharôidia and sympotic lyric, the Terpander he creates is tailored to the specific purposes of his generic and performative rhetoric.
To understand still better what was at stake in Pindar’s invocation of the Lesbian citharode, however, we should consider more closely the local context of Pindar’s encomiastic song and the cultural interests of its addressee. It seems that Hieron had, like tyrants before him, engaged not only choral and encomiastic poets such as Simonides, Pindar, and Bacchylides, but star citharodes as well. [282] Consider the implications of the following scholion to Aristophanes’ Clouds, which cites the research of Ister of Cyrene, a third-century BCE historian and author of a work called On Melic Poets:
ὁ Φρῦνις κιθαρῳδὸς Μιτυληναῖος. οὗτος δὲ δοκεῖ πρῶτος παρ’ Ἀθηναίοις κιθαρῳδικῇ νικῆσαι Παναθήναια ἐπὶ Καλλιμάχου (Meier: Καλλίου codd.) ἄρχοντος. ἦν δὲ Ἀριστοκλείτου μαθητής. ὁ δὲ Ἀριστόκλειτος τὸ γένος ἦν ἀπὸ Τερπάνδρου, ἤκμασε δὲ ἐν τῇ Ἑλλάδι κατὰ τὰ Μηδικά. παραλαβὼν δὲ τὸν Φρῦνιν αὐλῳδοῦντα κιθαρίζειν ἐδίδαξεν. ὁ δὲ Ἴστρος Ἱέρωνος αὐτόν φησι μάγειρον ὄντα σὺν ἄλλοις δοθῆναι τῷ Ἀριστοκλείτῳ. ταῦτα δὲ σχεδιάσαι ἔοικεν· εἰ γὰρ ἦν γεγονὼς δοῦλος καὶ μάγειρος Ἱέρωνος, οὐκ ἂν ἀπέκρυψαν οἱ κωμικοὶ πολλάκις αὐτοῦ μεμνημένοι ἐφ’ οἷς ἐκαινούρηγσε κλάσας τὴν ᾠδὴν παρὰ τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἔθος, ὡς Ἀριστοφάνης φησὶ καὶ Φερεκράτης (Burges: Ἀριστοκράτης codd.).
Phrynis was a citharode from Mytilene. He seems to have been the first to win in kitharôidia at the Athenian Panathenaia, while Callimachus was archon (446/5 BCE). [283] He was a student of Aristocleitus. Aristocleitus was of the line (genos) descended from Terpander, and he was at the peak of his career throughout Greece at the time of the Persian Wars. Taking on Phrynis when the latter was still an aulode, he taught him to play the kithara. But Ister (FGrH 334 F 50) says Phrynis was Hieron’s cook and was given along with some others to Aristocleitus. But he likely invented this story, for if Phrynis had been Hieron’s slave and cook, the comic poets would not have concealed it, since they often mention him for the musical innovations he introduced, with which he made his style of song feeble and effeminate (klaô), in contrast to its ancient character. So say Aristophanes and Pherecrates. [284]
Scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971a [285]
As the scholiast indicates, Phrynis was repeatedly attacked in Old Comedy. It is possible, then, that a comic source lies behind the testimony that he began his musical career practicing aulôidia, a tekhnê of considerably lesser prestige than kitharôidia—this sounds like a deprecation of the citharode’s skill, or perhaps some joking aition for the aulos-like complexity of Phrynis’ innovative kitharôidia. [286] Ister’s claim that Phrynis had been a cook and slave probably also derives, at least in part, from comic abuse, despite the fact that it is rejected by the scholiast on the grounds that “the comic poets would not have concealed it” had they known it. Another practitioner of the New Music, the dithyrambist Philoxenus of Cythera, was also assigned servile origins, again, probably first by a comedian. [287] The truth of the matter, however, must be that Phrynis was a protégé, or at least a closely affiliated successor, of the Terpandrean apogonos Aristocleitus; the two likely came into contact first on Lesbos. [288]
Phrynis’ chronology is impossible to establish with certainty, but some general outlines can be made out. [289] He was victorious in Athens in 446 BCE, but was still performing at least into the late 420s, when he was mocked in Aristophanes’ Clouds (originally produced in 423) and (probably) defeated by his young rival, Timotheus of Miletus (PMG 802). [290] If Phrynis appeared as a living character in Eupolis’ Demes, which was produced sometime between 417 and 410, then his performance career presumably extended past 420. [291] Assuming Phrynis was in his early 20s when he won at the Panathenaia of 446, then he would have been born in the early to mid 460s, early enough to have been trained as a young man by an aging Aristocleitus, whose Panhellenic fame had been at its height (ἤκμασε) around 480. (Or, from a more skeptical point of view, Phrynis was born early enough at least to have made the plausible claim that he was the student of Aristocleitus, and thus a direct inheritor of the Terpandrean legacy.) By comparison, Diodorus Siculus 14.46.6 says that Timotheus was at his career peak (ἤκμασε) in 398, when he was almost 50 or slightly older, yet he lived four decades more, and presumably remained musically active throughout those years.
What is unlikely is that Phrynis would have had direct contact, as cook or citharode, with Hieron, who died in 466, although he may well have enjoyed successes in any number of agônes across post-tyrannical Sicily and Italy during his own life. [292] The story of Phrynis’ service to the tyrant must derive rather from his relationship to Aristocleitus, who very likely did interact with Hieron. The two are chronologically matched. Hieron assumed power in Syracuse in 478, while Aristocleitus was still enjoying the glory of his Panhellenic fame. Ister’s anecdote suggests that their connection may have amounted to a fairly intimate patronal relationship, as Arion’s seems to have been with Periander of Corinth. This is not to say that Hieron did not actively support a public culture of kitharôidia at festivals in Syracuse and other Sicilian cities under his rule. Southern Italy and Sicily had been, after all, an enthusiastic market for kitharôidia, perhaps Lesbian kitharôidia in particular, since the late seventh century, as the story of Arion’s tour of the region indicates. [293] Hieron would logically have taken an interest in attracting to Sicily the most Panhellenically renowned of all citharodes, the Lesbian Singers of the Terpandrean genos, to advertise the cultural prestige of his regime both on Sicily and across all Greece.
But we may speculate that the tyrant was intent too on making Aristocleitus and his musico-poetic prestige a more personal possession. That is, the Lesbian citharode might have been more closely integrated into Hieron’s inner circle, as a retainer to the tyrannical house. In this capacity, he might have “represented” Hieron at Panhellenic and prominent local agônes abroad, including the Panathenaia, where stories such as we have in Ister about his relationship with the tyrant, stories which would later include his student/successor, Phrynis, began to circulate. [294]
At the Syracusan court, he might, like the professional poet Pindar, have provided citharodic music for the tyrant’s symposia. We may compare the case of another royal collector of poets and musicians, Archelaus of Macedon, who hosted Timotheus, the most renowned citharode of the later fifth century BCE, at his court in Pella. One telling anecdote has the two haggling over compensation in what is clearly the context of a symposium at which Timotheus is entertaining:
Ἀρχελάῳ δὲ δοκοῦντι γλισχροτέρῳ περὶ τὰς δωρεὰς εἶναι Τιμόθεος ᾄδων ἐνεσήμαινε πολλάκις τουτὶ τὸ κομμάτιον· ‘σὺ δὲ τὸν γηγενέταν ἄργυρον αἰνεῖς.’ ὁ δ’ Ἀρχέλαος οὐκ ἀμούσως ἀντεφώνησε ‘σὺ δέ γ’ αἰτεῖς’.
When Archelaus seemed rather grudging when it came to gifts Timotheus would often sing this phrase to remind him: ‘But you praise earth-born silver’. And Archelaus would reply not unmusically (οὐκ ἀμούσως), ‘But you demand it’.
Plutarch On the Fortune of Alexander 334b = PMG 801 [295]
Although citharodic performance was normally at home in the public festival, tyrannical symposia, larger-scale and more lavish events than the symposia of private citizens, could accommodate, and conspicuously so, command performances by musical stars such as Aristocleitus and Timotheus, who would normally be singing before crowds of thousands. [296] Such command performances, far more the exception than the rule, would obviously serve to showcase the means and distinction of the tyrant; they might even have included explicitly encomiastic elements. However, the inclusion of fee-earning professional musicians—we think first of all of the χρήματα μεγάλα ‘big money’ amassed by Arion (Herodotus 1.24.1)—into the ethically non-professional, notionally egalitarian Archaic symposium could be ideologically problematic. We see a reflection of this in the anecdote about Timotheus at the court of Archelaus. The crass haggling of musician and king, in song no less, is a sympotic faux pas. Despite the fact that their relationship is mystified as one of reciprocal gift exchange, as if between companions or friends, hetairoi and philoi—we should recall how Aristocleitus is said by Ister to have received gifts from Hieron—it is in fact based on wages and services, and this fact inevitably alters the tone and integrity of sympotic musical culture. [297]
The openly commercial ideology of fifth-century professional kitharôidia is at odds with the professed economic disinterest of the aristocratic symposium, where kharis, the graceful exchange of favors and gestures of goodwill between friends is the rule. Commerce and kharis are a difficult fit; their suture can require the rhetorical virtuosity of a Pindar. [298] Thus, to return to Pindar’s sympotic praise song for Hieron, we can be confident that the invocation of Terpander alludes to and flatters the tyrant’s overall investment in citharodic culture; it highlights in particular his privileged “possession” of one of the very apogonoi of Terpander. [299] Yet perhaps Pindar also intends for his sympotic Terpander not only to serve as a model for his own professional contribution to the symposium, but to naturalize Aristocleitus’ presence there as well. If the paradigmatic professional citharode Terpander could be invited to Lydian banquets and could invent the definitive style of sympotic drinking song, then it is only right for one of his descendants to join in the tyrannical symposium as one of Hieron’s friends and companions. That Aristocleitus was bought and paid for by the tyrant, as was Pindar, is accordingly obscured, if not entirely forgotten.
Finally, we may not want to rule out the possibility, tentative as it must be, that Pindar’s skolion was performed for Hieron not by Pindar himself, but by a qualified intermediary, namely Aristocleitus. The openings of the two preserved Bacchylidean sympotic enkomia, including 20C, for Hieron, make it clear that while the poet elaborates the fiction that he is physically present at the performance and actually singing to the barbitos, he is in fact not present but only “sending” (pempein) his song to the symposium, where it will be performed by others (20B.3, 20C.6). [300] The technical demands of performing professional skolia were surely greater than those needed to sing a traditional skolion, but presumably not so great that an especially talented member of Hieron’s family or circle of friends could not have mastered them. We think of Nemean 4.13–16, in which the father of the laudandus is imagined to reperform the victory ode to the lyre at a symposium, or the lyric performance of the aristocratic Damophilus at the symposium of the Cyrenean king Arcesilas described in Pythian 4.294–297. But the Terpandrean “signature” that distinguishes the skolion for Hieron would make it especially suitable for performance by a Terpandrean apogonos. Certainly, the evocation of the bygone Lydian glamour of Terpander’s sympotic music making would take on added resonance if it were Aristocleitus, playing the part of an aristocratic symposiast, who sang the skolion to the barbitos and thus palpably reenacted his ancestor’s inventions. [301]


[ back ] 1. Wilamowitz 1903:84. According to Alexander Polyhistor, Orpheus is the primal, sui generis citharode, who “imitated no one” (οὐδένα μεμιμημένος, FGrH 273 F 77 ap. “Plutarch” On Music 5.1132f).
[ back ] 2. Gostoli 1990:XVI. (“Terpander is unanimously presented by the ancient tradition as the first great exponent and archegete of kitharôidia in the historical, that is to say post-heroic period.”)
[ back ] 3. E.g. Timotheus Persians 239–240; Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. Τέρπανδρος; Suda s.v. Τέρπανδρος (= T 46, 23, 24 Gostoli [hereafter G]).
[ back ] 4. So Hellanicus FGrH 4 F 85b ap. Clement Stromateis 1.21.131 = T 2 G: Ἑλλάνικος γοῦν τοῦτον ἱστορεῖ κατὰ Μίδαν γεγονέναι. Campbell 1993b:70 has argued that by γεγονέναι Hellanicus must mean ‘was born’ rather than ‘lived’ if we want to reconcile this testimonium with the date commonly given to Terpander’s first Carneian appearance, 676/3 BCE (Sosibius FGrH 595 F 3 = T 1 G). Perhaps that is true, but perhaps not; Hellanicus is, according to Clement, one of those who “archaize” (ἀρχαίζουσι) Terpander. Terpander’s dating was an issue of contention (cf. Shaw 2003 passim; van Wees 1999:5), behind which lurked agendas that went beyond the objectively chronological. The Peripatetic scholar Hieronymus of Rhodes is the great archaizer. In his On Citharodes he dates Terpander well before the usual seventh-century window, synchronizing him with Lycurgus and the first Olympiad of 776 (fr. 33 Wehrli = T 6 G). Perhaps Hieronymus is following Aristotle’s Constitution of the Lacedaemonians; in that work Aristotle connected Lycurgus to the first Olympiad (fr. 533 Rose).
[ back ] 5. Parian Marble FGrH 239 A 34 = T 5 G, where we have only the genitive Δερδένεος. The nominative is likely to be Derdeneus rather than Derdenis: Bechtel 1917:117.
[ back ] 6. Nicomachus Excerpts 1 = T 53b G.
[ back ] 7. Strabo 13.2.4 = T 48 G, with Terpander fr. 4 G; Pliny Natural History 7.204 = T 49 G; Nicomachus ap. Boethius On Music 1.20 = T 53a G; Suda s.v. Τέρπανδρος = T 24 G. Nicomachus Excerpts 1 = T 53b G, however, has it that the Orphic lyre inherited by Terpander already had seven strings.
[ back ] 8. “Plutarch” On Music 6.1133c; Duris FGrH 76 F 81 (= T 51a and b G).
[ back ] 9. Heraclides Ponticus fr. 157 Wehrli = T 27 G; “Plutarch” On Music 4.1132d = T 32 G.
[ back ] 10. Heraclides Ponticus ap. “Plutarch” On Music 4.1132d = T 28 G. Pollux Onomasticon 4.65 = T 38 G lists eight titles in the canon of “Terpander’s” nomoi: Aeolian, Boeotian, Orthios, Trochaic, Oxus, Tetraoidos, Terpandrean, Capion; cf. Suda s.v. νόμος, ὄρθιον νόμον καὶ τροχαῖον = T 43 and 44 G. Pollux also says (Onomasticon 4.66 = T 39 G) that Terpander himself gave the classical nomos its characteristic seven-part form. Suda s.v. Τέρπανδρος has Terpander as prôtos heuretês of “lyric nomoi.” Scholia ad Aristophanes Acharnians 13 = T 30 G: Terpander “invented” the Boeotian nomos. A probably Hellenistic scholar named Theodorus wrote a treatise called On Nomopoioi that began with Terpander (Diogenes Laertius 2.103 = T 41 G).
[ back ] 11. Pindar fr. 125 S-M = T 45 G.
[ back ] 12. Pindar ap. “Plutarch” On Music 28.1140f = T 25 G. Pindar probably ascribed the invention of skolia to Terpander in the same poem from which fr. 125 (previous note) is derived. Mixolydian: On Music 28.1140f = T 37 G.
[ back ] 13. Photius Lexicon s.v. μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν = T 60i G.
[ back ] 14. Many sources make reference to this Delphic-mandated Spartan intervention. Relevant testimonia: 12–15, 17, 19–22, 59–60 G.
[ back ] 15. Victory at Carneian agôn implicit in Athenaeus 14.635e (citing Hellanicus and Sosibius) = T 1 G. The first Spartan musical katastasis (ἡ πρώτη κατάστασις τῶν περὶ τὴν μουσικὴν ἐν τῇ Σπάρτῃ) is described in “Plutarch” On Music 9.1134b.
[ back ] 16. “Plutarch” On Music 4.1132e = T 32 G.
[ back ] 17. Palatine Anthology 9.488 = Planudean Anthology 1a.36.14; Suda s.v. γλυκὺ μέλι καὶ πνιξάτω (= T 16a and b G).
[ back ] 18. Testimonia assembled under T 60 G. The earliest certain citation of the proverb is in the comedy of Cratinus entitled Cheirons (c. 440–430 BCE): Cratinus fr. 263 K-A = T 60b G. But the preeminence of Lesbian citharodes is already “proverbial” by Sappho’s time, as her fr. 106 = T 60a G suggests.
[ back ] 19. Gostoli tends to be far more credulous in her approach to the “facts” presented in the testimonia than, say, Wilamowitz, who, although also a believer in Terpander’s historicity, was nonetheless quick to see major episodes in the tradition as fictions (e.g. the account of Terpander’s victories at Delphi, or his therapeutic musical intervention in Sparta; see especially Wilamowitz 1903:88).
[ back ] 20. For Olympus and Marsyas see, for example, “Plutarch” On Music 5.1132f, 7.1133d–e; Silenus: Pindar fr. 157; Pan: Pliny Natural History 36.35. The ancient tradition, at least as early as the choral poet Pratinas (PMG 713 i), actually posited two Olympuses, one who lived before the Trojan War and invented the enharmonic genus, and another, his descendant, who lived in the time of King Midas. See the entries in Suda s.v. Ὄλυμπος 219 and 221 (test. 1 in Campbell 1988). The younger Olympus Pratinas and subsequent authors attribute more specific musical inventions, such as the well-known Polukephalos (‘Many-headed’) nomos and the nomos of Apollo, which is presumably to be identified with the famed Puthikos nomos (see On Music 7.1133d–f = test. 3 Campbell). Perhaps this clearly artificial fracture in the Olympus tradition was an attempt to isolate patently fantastic elements from more “realistic” ones, and so to construct a more historically tenable culture hero of aulos music. Cf. Campbell 1988:264, West 1992:331. Significantly, the younger Olympus was made to be a (slightly older?) contemporary of Terpander, who, according to Hellanicus of Lesbos (fr. 85b Jacoby), also lived, or, as Campbell 1993b:70 argues, was born (γεγονέναι) in the time of King Midas. Was Olympus synchronized with Terpander—by professional auletes and aulodes themselves—in a gesture of intergeneric rivalry? It is worth noting that at some point someone tried to supplant Terpander himself with this “Terpander of the aulos.” Suda s.v. Ὄλυμπος 220: “Olympus: he who composed and taught the nomoi of kitharôidia.” Cf. Ritschl 1978:260–261. Marsyas too was reimagined as a citharode; on the iconographical evidence, see Boardman 1956, Wilson 2004:285–287. Hyagnis, sometime father of Marsyas and grandfather of Olympus (On Music 5.1132f), in one tradition added the sixth string to the lyre, anticipating Terpander’s seventh (Nicomachus ap. Boethius On Music 1.20).
[ back ] 21. The only named “lyric poet” whose floruit falls earlier than Terpander’s is Eumelus of Corinth (middle of the eighth century BCE). This Eumelus supposedly authored both epos and melos: two lines of his prosodion composed for a Messenian chorus on Delos have been preserved by Pausanias (PMG 696). Although we have rather factual-seeming biographical data about him, his historicity should nevertheless remain in question, as should his authorship of the various works attributed to him. See West 2002a.
[ back ] 22. Vetter 1934, col. 785.
[ back ] 23. Martin 1993:108. Irwin 1998 and 2005b:132–142, on Archilochus and Solon respectively, and Graziosi 2002, on Homer, are also admirable attempts to move past the “did he or didn’t he” method of assessing poets’ vitae (for which see Lefkowitz 1981, a book that hammers home the point that vitae are flush with fabrications, mostly based on details found in the poets’ own poems). Also of note is the insightful work of Compton 2006, which sees the lives of poets as shaped by archetypal patterns (scapegoat, warrior, hero) rooted deeply in the Indo-European sociocultural continuum. Compton takes for granted the workings of what I would call, borrowing the title of Thomas Schatz’s book on the collaborative creation of films in the old Hollywood studios (Schatz 1996), the representational “genius of the system,” i.e. the traditional mythopoetic langue (in Saussurean terms). What gets shaded over in such a transhistorical, transindividual thematic approach are the idiosyncratic, localized social, political/ideological, even personal factors in the reception history of this or that poet’s tradition. The poet’s life as the work of parole better characterizes the approach taken here.
[ back ] 24. See for example the essays collected in Dougherty and Kurke 1993, with this programmatic statement in the editors’ Introduction: “There is some justification for mining later sources (as we must, given the exiguousness of actual archaic evidence) if we can identify metaphors or systems of signification that correspond to archaic ones and that are often anomalous or obscure within the text in which they are embedded” (6). See too the exemplary treatments of late biographical anecdotes relating to Solon in Irwin 2005b:134–142 and Stehle 1997:61–63.
[ back ] 25. See Hardie 1983:29 on the comparable way in which late biographies of Homer both look back to the early “biographical work of the rhapsodes” and “represent a view of Homer’s life as an itinerant poet held by writers who were familiar with the itinerant poets of later ages.”
[ back ] 26. On the persistence of Terpander’s fame well into the late Imperial and early Byzantine periods, see Gostoli 1990:XLVIII.
[ back ] 27. This very late bit of Terpandrea is not to be found in Gostoli’s collection of testimonia. See the discussion of Di Marco 1997.
[ back ] 28. Choricius does not say that he is borrowing from a Classical source, but elsewhere in his work this Atticizing rhetor is eager to show off his familiarity with fifth- and fourth-century culture. As Di Marco 1997:32 puts it, as a “profundo conoscitore della letteratura del passato, ammiratore di Tucidide, Platone, Demostene, Elio Aristide, egli ama impreziosire i suoi discorsi di citazioni letterarie e di allusioni dotte.”
[ back ] 29. Terpander is once elsewhere evoked as comparandus by Choricius, in the charged context of his funeral oration for Procopius, his teacher. Choricius praises Procopius’ smooth delivery by claiming that “one could more easily apprehend Arion of Methymna or Lesbian Terpander striking the strings tunelessly than that man saying anything unrhythmically” (Oration 8.8). Menander Rhetor advises the praise of “famous lyre-players” such as Orpheus, Amphion, and Arion as a suitable oratorical topic (Russell and Wilson 1981:123). As early as the fourth century the parallel between citharode and rhetor is detectable. Plato compares the enchanting voice of the itinerant sophist Protagoras to that of Orpheus (Protagoras 315a5–b2).
[ back ] 30. See Connolly 2001 on theatricalized performance in Second Sophistic oratory.
[ back ] 31. Antagonism is suggested in Dio Chrysostom’s critique of the Alexandrians’ obsession with citharodes (32.61). Elsewhere he expresses sheer amazement at the star power of a popular citharode in the city of Cyzicus (19.2–5), and claims he enjoys listening to citharodes more than to orators, although both professions should be taken with a grain of rhetorical salt.
[ back ] 32. I.Didyma no. 181.5, with discussion in Section 5 below.
[ back ] 33. The title is a nod to Barbara Graziosi’s Inventing Homer, which traces how the figure of Homer was constructed by performers and consumers of hexameter epic as early as the sixth century BCE. Another reference point is West’s 1999 article “The Invention of Homer,” in which he argues for the key contribution of the rhapsodic guild of the Homeridai to the creation of “Homer.” I offered preliminary views on the “invention” of Terpander in Power 2004, especially 417–420, some of which appears as Section 10 below.
[ back ] 34. Nagy 1990b:82. Related approaches could be mentioned here as well. Long ago, Wilamowitz (1903:89) gestured toward a “reading” of Terpander that would make him the retrojection of several centuries of citharodic practice, up to the time of the fifth-century BCE innovator Phrynis—Terpander as Sammelbegriff, to borrow the expression applied to Olympus by Vetter (n22 above). Campbell 1988:265, while taking a strongly historical view of Terpander, neverthless acknowledges that “Terpander is in some ways … a convenient symbol for Asiatic musical influence reaching Greece via Lesbos, for the excellence of music and poetry in the island which was to produce Sappho and Alcaeus, and for the artistic life of Sparta before the middle of the seventh century.” Most recently, Beecroft 2008 offers an interpretation of Terpander as a metonymical construct of the citharodic tradition, which complements the one offered here and in Power 2004.
[ back ] 35. It is worth noting that Nagy 2004 discusses Terpander far more explicitly as a professional citharode than does Pindar’s Homer (Nagy 1990b). This is not to detract from the invaluable insights into Greek musico-poetic history offered in the latter work. Again, while Terpander justifiably looms large in Nagy’s expansive, holistic vision of lyric songmaking in the Archaic period, I opt for a more parochial approach.
[ back ] 36. Cf. n23 above.
[ back ] 37. We have two preserved mentions of Terpander by Hellanicus. One, FGrH 4 F 85a = T 1 G, is from the Karneonikai; another, FGrH 4 F 85b = T 2 G, is perhaps from the Lesbiaka. See discussion of both in Jacoby FGrH I Kommentar, p458 and in Gostoli’s commentary ad loc. Hellanicus was likely an intermediate source for Herodotus’ telling of Arion’s famed shipboard performance. We know that the Lesbian historian discussed Arion in his Karneonikai (FGrH 4 F 86). Kiechle 1963:200 argues for an oral tradition dedicated to Terpander in Sparta.
[ back ] 38. See Robbins 1992:8. Wilamowitz 1903:64n1, 92–93: 3, 4, 5 G late literary forgeries.
[ back ] 39. Cf. Beecroft 2008, with n34above.
[ back ] 40. I leave out of consideration the three fragments that have been attributed to Terpander only by modern scholars, Bergk and Leutsch (frs. dubia 7 and 8, and 9 G, respectively). But these attributions may themselves be viewed as very late installments in the invention of Terpander. On the Medieval and Renaissance reception of Terpander (via the philosopher Boethius), see van Schaik 2004.
[ back ] 41. ἀπόγονοι: scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971a; Aristotle fr. 545 Rose; Hesychius s.v. μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν (= T 56, 60c, 60g G). See Gostoli 1990:XLVIII–XLIX and West 1999b:373–374 on the notional descent of professional groups or guilds from a mythical ancestor. Eustathius and Hesychius say that the Spartans made a distinction between the Lesbian apogonoi of Terpander and “other” Lesbian citharodes at the Carneia, but this seems to depend on a tendentious interpretation of the proverb “After the Lesbian Singer.” It stands to reason that the majority of Lesbian citharodes would have claimed affiliation to Terpander, certainly as his reputation grew. Of course, we need not think that the Lesbian Singers were a harmonious, mutually cooperative collective. They were, after all, in competition against one another. One or more musicians or groups within the diadokhê, especially those from Antissa (such as Euainetidas, according to Hesychius s.v. μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν), might thus have boasted exclusive descent from the master and contested the claims of others.
[ back ] 42. Plutarch On the Delay of Divine Justice 13.558a; cf. Eustathius Commentary on the Iliad 741.16 van der Valk (= T 60d and c G).
[ back ] 43. Aelius Dionysius ap. Eustathius Commentary on the Iliad 741.15 van der Valk = T 60e G: καὶ τὸν τῆς παροιμίας Λέσβιον ᾠδὸν Τέρπανδρόν φησιν ἢ Εὐαινετίδην ἢ Ἀριστοκλείδην ‘Aelius Dionysius also says that the Lesbian Singer of the proverb is either Terpander or Euainetidas or Aristocleides’. Cf. Hesychius s.v. Λέσβιος ᾠδός, which adds Phrynis to the mix. The Aristocleides named by Aelius Dionysius is presumably the same musician as the Aristocleitus named in scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971a (see n46 below). On Euainetidas, see Part II.10. It is important to note that the debates about the precise identity of the Lesbian Singer that are played out in our late sources misunderstand the ritualized logic of reenactment at work at the Carneia. The “Lesbian Singer” was a role ideally played by Terpander (as Aristotle fr. 545 Rose realizes) and subsequently replayed by representatives of his diadokhê. Cf. Gostoli 1990:123.
[ back ] 44. Pollux Onomasticon 4.65 (erômenos); “Plutarch” On Music 6.1133c (student). He may be a Boeotian accretion to the Terpandrean tradition; cf. Part II.12.
[ back ] 45. Pericleitus is said to be earlier than Hipponax in “Plutarch” On Music 6.1133d = T 8 G. Hipponax’s floruit has usually been dated to around 540 BCE (Pliny Natural History 36.11; cf. Parian Marble Ep. 42), but see Degani 1984:19 for the probability of a lower date.
[ back ] 46. Scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971a: ὁ δὲ Ἀριστόκλειτος τὸ γένος ἦν ἀπὸ Τερπάνδρου, ἤκμασε δὲ ἐν τῇ Ἑλλάδι κατὰ τὰ Μηδικά ‘Aristocleitus was of the genos descended from Terpander and was at the peak of his career in Greece during the Persian Wars’. Cf. Suda s.v. Φρῦνις.
[ back ] 47. Panathenaic victory: scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971a; cf. Suda s.v. Φρῦνις. For the 446 date, which involves a minor correction of an archon’s name in the scholion’s text (Callimachus for Callias), see Davison 1958:40–41. The Periclean reorganization of the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes: Plutarch Pericles 13.
[ back ] 48. Thus Gostoli 1990:117.
[ back ] 49. Cf. the discussion in Nagy 1990b:82–115 of the patterns of Panhellenic synthesis in the formal traditions of Archaic lyric.
[ back ] 50. We may note a roughly analogous situation in the realm of visual arts. Laconian vase painting peaks in the first part of the sixth century BCE, then production begins to decline around 550 BCE, affected by the competition posed by other states, especially Athens. See Cook 1962:157.
[ back ] 51. See the catalogue of evidence for Archaic and Classical musical contests assembled by Herington 1985:161–166. The citharodic agôn at the Carneia did not suddenly sink into obscurity after the sixth century; for some time it held its own against the competition for talent from rival citharodic centers. It must have remained an important destination on the itinerary of competitive citharodes, if not for the value of its prizes—about which we know nothing definite, though we may imagine they were considerably less grand than those offered at the aggressively marketed Panathenaia, for instance—then certainly for the honorific value guaranteed by its hallowed reputation. (Tripods were perhaps offered as prizes: Palatine Anthology 7.709, with Bergk 1883:205n8.) Although the stories of their violent run-ins with ephors are probably apocryphal, Phrynis and his younger rival Timotheus probably both performed in Sparta. Both were citharodes associated with Athens and the Panathenaia, which had surely eclipsed the Carneian agônes, but not yet driven it out of business. In the fifth century the citharodic contest at the Carneia probably still stood alongside those at the Panathenaia and the Pythia as the most prestigious in Greece. The career highlights of the Athenian citharode Execestides are thus reckoned as victories at the Pythia, the Carneia, and the Panathenaia (Polemon fr. 47 Preller ap. scholia ad Aristophanes Birds 11). The vaunted conservatism of the Carneian contest, however, which alienated innovative talents such as Phrynis and Timotheus, was probably its eventual undoing. As the new style of kitharôidia became mainstream in the fourth century, contests that remained musically reactionary would have fallen out of touch and had difficulty attracting top talent. Thus by the third century BCE the Carneian contest seems to have been dropped from the itinerary of the professional agônistês. A monument (IG II2 3779) from that century listing the contests won by the citharode Nicocles of Tarentum prominently includes the Pythian and the Panathenaic, but the Carneian is not even included among the smaller regional festivals mentioned.
[ back ] 52. Herodotus 1.24. As a member of the Archaic Lesbian diadokhê, Arion was also connected to the Spartan Carneia. He is discussed by Hellanicus in his Karneonikai (FGrH 4 F 86 by way of scholia ad Aristophanes Birds 1403). Another Spartan connection is suggested by the report in the Suda s.v. Ἀρίων that Arion was the student of Alcman. Cf. Bergk 1883:239n130.
[ back ] 53. Cf. Power 2004.
[ back ] 54. See Allen 1907 and West 1999b on the Homeridai. Ion, though not a member of the Chian guild, was “crowned by the Homeridae” in recognition of his service to the poet’s legacy (Ion 530d). Nagy 1990a:51–52 proposes the combined transmission of Archilochean biographical lore and poetry by an authorized body of reciters connected to the poet’s hero cult on Paros; cf. Nagy 1979:304–305.
[ back ] 55. See Isocrates Helen 65 for evidence of the Homerids’ biographizing. Fuller discussion in Velardi 1992:17, Ford 2002:70–71, and Graziosi 2002:36–37 on what I call, borrowing the term from Genette 1997, “paratextual” performance of Homeric lore. Such paratextual performance could also have a text-exegetical component (which may not have been totally separate from its biographical dimension). This is made clear by Plato Ion 530c–d and 533b–c, on which see Velardi and Ford op. cit. and Martin 2001:24.
[ back ] 56. Frame 2006. Gostoli 1990:XLIX discusses similarities between the Terpandrean apogonoi and rhapsodic guilds such as the Homeridai, with further bibliography. Cf. Flach 1883:211–212.
[ back ] 57. Cf. Wilamowitz 1903:64–65.
[ back ] 58. Wilamowitz 1903:27, 68–69; Maas 1938:1333; Aron 1930:33–34. Cf. LSJ s.v. ᾠδή 3, “metonym for khordê.” Hordern 2002:243 notes that the metaphor of “yoking” recalls the zugon ‘crossbar’ (or, less technically, ‘yoke’) to which the strings of the kithara were attached. Even if oîdai ‘songs’ refer to Terpander’s nomoi (so Barker 1984:96n16), Timotheus would still be innovating the mainstream tradition, as there were famously only seven (or eight) Terpandrean nomoi. The rhetorical effect is similar too if one accepts, as Gostoli 1990:113–114 does, Aron’s ἐπὶ τῷδε κατηῦξε μοῦσαν ἐν ᾠδαῖς (“After him Terpander increased/augmented music in his songs/strings”), which could simply refer to the use of seven strings, but which seems at least to imply something more intricate (Orpheus’ lyre is already poikilomousos, after all). But κατηῦξε is metrically problematic: see Hordern 2002:243. Also problematic, but still appealing, is Seeliger’s κα<ινὰν> τεῦξε μοῦσαν ἐ. ὠ. (“Terpander crafted a new music in his songs”). This reading certainly has the merit of retaining the papyrus’ τεῦξε, and it nicely echoes μοῦσαν νεοτευχῆ from earlier in the sphragis (203).
[ back ] 59. Gentili 1993:10 sees the separate mention of meter (qua articulation of logos ‘text’) and rhythm (qua articulation of musical structure) as a boldly innovative programmatic statement: “Significativa è la distinzione tra i metri e i ritmi assunta da Timoteo, prima testimonianza esplicita del divorzio tra metrica a musica.” The New Music did free musical expression from the hegemony of the text. But is it fair to say that Timotheus is outright vaunting the “divorce” of his musical rhythms from his poetic metra? I would read μέτροις ῥυθμοῖς τε not as a provocative statement but as a totalizing, even pleonastic description of the composition and performance of the nomos that links the richness of both the textual meters and the musical rhythms to the eleven-stringed kithara (euphemized as “eleven kroumata”). On meter and rhythm cf. Privitera 1965:40–42; Janssen 1984:140–141, who argues that by the fourth century at the latest a clear distinction between the two terms was not always apparent.
[ back ] 60. I accept ποικιλόμουσον (Wilamowitz) against the ποικιλόμουσος of the Abusir (Berlin) papyrus that contains Persians. Timotheus claims not that Orpheus birthed the lyre, but the “lyre of elaborate music.” I follow most scholars in accepting too the <χέλ> υν of Wilamowitz rather than Jurenka’s <λύρ>αν. The former appeals not only textually, but also rhetorically and thematically, in that its primitive simplicity better offsets the epithet. Also, although the true father of the kithara, the phorminx, is older than the khelus-lyre (West 1992:53), there seems to have been the sense, at least by the early fifth century BCE (cf. Homeric Hymn to Hermes), that the latter was earlier, no doubt due to the shell, a striking visual reminder of “raw” natural origins, and perhaps due as well to the amateur contexts in which it was played. By comparison, the professional’s box kithara seems to emerge from a later, more sophisticated stage of artifice and technical manufacture. Timotheus (deliberately?) leaves Terpander’s instrument unnamed.
[ back ] 61. Plato equates musical poikilia and radical innovation (kainotomia), demonizing both (e.g. Laws 812d). For Aristoxenus certain compositions of Timotheus were “excessively complicated (τὰ ποικιλώτατα) and had the highest degree of kainotomia” (fr. 76 Wehrli). See Csapo 2004:229, 243 for poikilia and polukhordia. On the use of poikilia in Archaic poetry to denote artistic or musical ornamentation not necessarily innovative in itself, see Page 1955:3; on Pindaric musical poikilia, see Barker 1995:43–45.
[ back ] 62. Cf. Hunter 1996:148; Wilson 2004:306. Similar archaism is common in Pindar, who avoids the word kithara in favor of the anachronistic phorminx: Svenbro 1992:145n54.
[ back ] 63. Cicero On the Laws 2.15.39; Pausanius 3.12.10; Dio Chrysostom 33.57; Athenaeus 14.636e–f; Boethius On Music 1.1. See further Wilamowitz 1903:69–71; Hordern 2002:7–8. There is an interesting modern parallel to these string-cutting stories. The story goes that while Bob Dylan was performing his controversial folk rock set at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, Pete Seeger, an organizer of the festival and the dean of the American folk music revival, became so enraged at Dylan’s noisy electric guitars that he threatened to cut the power cables to the amplifiers with an axe. No such thing ever happened (most likely). But the existence of the story shows how quickly the discursive position-takings of musicians (and critics) can crystallize into concrete biographical narrative. Dylan at Newport: Marshall 2006.
[ back ] 64. Plutarch Life of Agis 10.7; On Advancing in Virtue 13.84a; Laconian Sayings 220c.
[ back ] 65. Wilamowitz 1903:73.
[ back ] 66. Cf. Cartledge and Spawforth 1989:207–212.
[ back ] 67. A related tourist attraction was the archaizing Laconian decree, probably produced in the second century CE, censuring Timotheus for his morally corrupting citharodic and dithyrambic innovations (cf. Palumbo Stracca 1997). Somewhat ironically, the Spartans, who had once hounded Timotheus from their city (or so he claims in Persians 206–212), were in the Imperial period capitalizing on continued popular fascination with his iconoclastic persona.
[ back ] 68. Cf. Jacoby 1904:99.
[ back ] 69. See Wilamowitz 1903:64–65 on the likelihood of a sphragic context.
[ back ] 70. See Part II.2 for how the lines may have referred not only to instrumental innovation, but to the transition between prooimion and nomos.
[ back ] 71. Wilamowitz 1903:64n1.
[ back ] 72. Another possible reflex of a New Music reception of Terpander on the Marble, originating with either Timotheus or one of his contemporary innovators, could be lurking in the garbled sequence ΘΑΙΑΥΛΗΤ. Various solutions to the textual problems involved have been proposed, none satisfactory. What is clear is that in this sequence the inscription makes reference of some kind to the aulos, its music or its players, in the context of Terpander’s own innovative activity. This association between the master citharode and the aulos, however, is made nowhere else in the Terpandrean testimonia, and has irked the likes of Wilamowitz, who rejected the sequence as an interpolation made by John Selden, the seventeenth-century editor princeps on whose transcription we must rely for this lost portion of the Marble. Cf. Jacoby 1904:97. The aulos was the instrument at the center of the Athenian New Music (see Csapo 2004), and to a great extent innovations in kitharôidia such as polukhordia are attempts to imitate its range and mimetic capacities. Timotheus composed aulodic dithyrambs, known for their kainotomia, as well as kitharôidia. Was Terpander similarly fashioned? Of course, the figure of the citharodic composer of dithyramb is at least as old as Arion (Herodotus 1.23), so we may conjecture that from a much earlier point Terpander was viewed as a composer of aulôidia and dithyramb (cf. Gostoli 1990:76). The sixth-century CE antiquarian writer Joannes Lydus offers a tantalizing clue when he writes, “Terpander the Lesbian says that Nyssa nursed Dionysus” (On the Months 4.51). Does Joannes know of some dithyramb attributed to Terpander? Or was the composition to which he refers a citharodic humnos to the god? Since Joannes mentions the sparagmos of Dionysus by the Titans, however, it is also possible that the text at issue is an “Orphic” Titanomachy attributed to Terpander. See discussion below.
[ back ] 73. Themison was surely not the first citharode to adapt these fifth-century classics. The music of Timotheus’ nomoi had probably also been extensively revised by numerous citharodes, including Nero (see Hordern 2002:77–78; discussion in Part IV.12). But the phrase “first and only” is more than just an honorific formula. It likely echoes the self-promotional rhetoric of this internationally successful musical star, which would have emphasized his innovation and singularity (cf. the vaunts in Timotheus PMG 796). Bélis 1999:174–177, however, offers more detailed speculations on what could have been objectively unique about Themison’s adaptation technique; cf. Prauscello 2006:114–116.
[ back ] 74. Cf. West 1992:382. Hierocles also defeated a group called the Hegesiasts, whose eponym was presumably the third-century BCE orator Hegesias of Magnesia, a famous proponent of the flashy “Asiatic” rhetorical style. Similar questions surround these Hegesiasts as do the Timotheasts: were they simply performers reviving the style of Hegesias or were they dedicated reperfomers of his works? In any case, Hierocles represents a fascinating crossover of kitharôidia and epideictic oratory, two media running in close competition in late antique performance culture.
[ back ] 75. Cf. Hordern 2002:79.
[ back ] 76. Cf. Hägg 1989, especially 62–63; Wilamowitz 1903:76–77. Svenbro 1992 is a penetrating structuralist analysis of various myths surrounding the lyre’s invention.
[ back ] 77. Variations between eight and eleven are attested: Hordern 2002:244.
[ back ] 78. Verse initial αἰόλον φων[ belongs to an anonymous melic poem (SLG S286 col. iii.5). In an epigram (doubtfully) attributed to Simonides (PMG 947b) the aulos is called polukhordos, but that is a metaphor not peculiar to it (cf. Pindar Olympian 7.12, Isthmian 5.27; Plato Republic 399c–d, with Barker 1984:57n10).
[ back ] 79. Cf. West 1992:344. Rivalry of Lasus and Simonides: Aristophanes Wasps 1410–1411.
[ back ] 80. Cf. Eupolis fr. 148.1–2 K-A, τὰ Στησιχόρου τε καὶ Ἀλκμᾶνος Σιμωνίδου τε ἀρχαῖον ἀείδειν (“It is old-fashioned to sing the songs of Stesichorus, Alcman, and Simonides”).
[ back ] 81. Hunter 1996:101–102, who notes that the αἰολ- root describes music making in a “new dithyramb” by Telestes (PMG 806.3; the text is uncertain). The word αἰόλισμα ‘varied tones’ describes the sound of Hermes’ lyre in Sophocles Ikhneutai 327, which could suggest that aiol- terms had a place in the aesthetic vocabulary of more traditional lyre playing. Yet it is worth considering whether Sophocles in his satyr play is characterizing the mischievous god as a “new citharode” avant la lettre; the humorous anachronism would not be out of place in the quasi-comic satyr play. Hermes’ lyric music is certainly novel in the most literal sense; he has just invented the instrument. The terms used by the satyrs to describe it, however—the lyre “scatters fantasies of sound (tonou phasmata) like flowers” (330–331)—evoke descriptions of the airiness and insubstantiality of the New Music, on which see Csapo 2004:228; cf. Wilson 1999/2000:441, on the possible depiction of Amphion as a “new citharode” in Euripides’ Antiope.
[ back ] 82. On these aspects of the Simonidean vita, see Bell 1978; Gentili 1988:161–162; Hunter 1996:97–98.
[ back ] 83. Stratonicus’ witticisms are collated in Gilula 2000. See Wilson 2004:291–292 on the “serious” rhetoric of professionalism underlying them.
[ back ] 84. Cf. Wilson 2004:290n53.
[ back ] 85. See Part IV.11.ii–iii.
[ back ] 86. Persians 234–236. Cf. PMG 802.3, however, where “Ionian-bender” is used as a slur against a rival citharode, Phrynis—evidence of some anxiety about ethnic identity? Timotheus’ dialect is essentally the Doric-Aeolic Kunstsprache of Simonides. At Persians 150–161 East Ionic dialect is placed, probably for comic effect, in the mouth of a barbarian.
[ back ] 87. Wilson 2003b:190–193; Power 2007:195–196.
[ back ] 88. The hendekakhordos lura praised by Ion of Chios in an elegiac poem (fr. 32 West) is surely not a barbitos, but probably a polychord kithara that enjoyed a vogue among musically progressive Athenian elites before it was popularized at the agônes by the likes of Timotheus. See discussion in Power 2007.
[ back ] 89. Sympotic encomium imagines its own performance on the barbitos; cf. Section 15n266 below. Simonides probably also referred to the barbitos in an encomium for his Thessalian patrons; cf. West 1992:58n47.
[ back ] 90. We may note that Theocritus’ poem is addressed to Hieron II of Syracuse; Hieron I had been a patron of Lesbian citharodes. See discussion in Section 15 below.
[ back ] 91. Theocritus’ αἰόλα carries other associations, little surprise given the overdetermined allusiveness of Hellenistic poetry. The visual aspect of the shell of the barbitos could be described as αἰόλον ‘checkered, dappled’, as at Homeric Hymn to Hermes 33, Nicander Alexipharmaca 561–562. The αἰόλος/Αἰόλιος pun too recalls the monodic lyric of the Lesbian poets Sappho and Alcaeus, both famous exponents of the barbitos. We are reminded too of the Aeolic heritage of Simonides’ Thessalian patrons, the Scopadai and Aleuadai (Theocritus Idyll 16.34–36).
[ back ] 92. Hunter 1996:146–149 argues analogously that a brief description of Orpheus’ performance at Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica 4.907, which seems to be, pace Hunter, implicitly citharodic rather than citharistic, is refracted through the prism of the New Music: “He played [on his phorminx] the swiftly moving melody of a quick-rolling song” (κραιπνὸν ἐυτροχάλοιο μέλος κανάχησεν ἀοιδῆς). (For the New Music aesthetic of speed, cf. Plato Laws 669e.) Orpheus is transformed into a “master of ‘modern music’” (149) in the style of a Timotheus.
[ back ] 93. Cf. Martin 2001:24, 32.
[ back ] 94. For Thamyris as a model citharist, see Part II.3n51.
[ back ] 95. See Jan 1895:211–234.
[ back ] 96. See discussion in Gostoli 1990:119–120.
[ back ] 97. See Franklin 2003:302n12 on Nicomachus’ sources; cf. Franklin 2006a:54–55.
[ back ] 98. Cf. Szegedy-Maszak 1978:202.
[ back ] 99. Herodotus 2.135; Strabo 17.1.33; Athenaeus 13.596b–c. The story of Charaxus may be a fifth-century fabrication, as Lidov 2002 argues, but Lesbian presence in Egypt during Sappho’s time was nevertheless a reality. Mytileneans helped to found the “Hellenion” shrine in Naucratis in the sixth century BCE: Herodotus 2.178. Cf. Shields 1917:xii; Spencer 2001:75–76.
[ back ] 100. Cf. Part I.8.iiin173 for speculation on the reception of such tales in Hellenistic Alexandria.
[ back ] 101. Franklin 2003:302n12 posits Hellanicus as an early source for Excerpt 1.
[ back ] 102. Cf. Burkert 1983:202, with a list of the sources in n30; Graf 1987:92–94.
[ back ] 103. Cf. Burkert 1983:202–203 and Graf 1987:93, both of whom connect this aetiological legend with the story related by Nicomachus.
[ back ] 104. Indeed, it does require a considerable suspension of temporal logic (although not necessarily an impossible one) to have Terpander acquiring the lyre so soon after the death of Orpheus, unless we are to imagine that the lyre had been moving at a glacial pace between the mouth of the Hebrus and the shores of Antissa. We may note that the people of Antissa were resettled in Methymna after the destruction of their city in 167 BCE (Livy 43.31.14, Pliny Natural History 5.139); cf. Mason 1995. The mention of Terpander as Methumnaios in Diodorus Siculus 8.28 ap. Tzetzes Chiliades 1.385–392 = T 15 G could reflect some attempt at a wholesale appropriation of Terpander and Orpheus by Methymna after the fall of Antissa. Ovid Metamorphoses 11.50 has the Orphic lyre washing up at Methymna.
[ back ] 105. Timotheus Persians 221–231 represents a creative variation on all of these traditions. Such variation and combination was probably not uncommon from one citharode to another, and one occasion to another. I discuss a curious variant in which the Orphic lyre passes, via (Lesbian) Lyrnessos, to Achilles (Philostratus On Heroes 11.10) in Part II.9.i.
[ back ] 106. Martin 2001:23; cf. West 1983:79–80, who believes that Orphic poems “had a very limited circulation. They were not a matter of general public interest. They were not … recited for public or social entertainment.”
[ back ] 107. Nagy 2005:80 also thinks that rhapsodes performed Orphic poetry at the Panathenaia, at least in the sixth century BCE, reckoning that it was eclipsed by rhapsodic performances of Homer by the fifth century.
[ back ] 108. West 1983:9–12, who thinks, however, that such poems existed during the sixth century only as written texts circulating within elite Pythagorean circles. Cf. Graf and Johnston 2007:174. Bowra 1952:124, however, thinks that an Orphic Descent “may possibly have taken shape” in the public contexts of Peisistratean Athens, which saw the circulation of other descent narratives (Heracles, Odysseus, Theseus).
[ back ] 109. Martin 2001:32.
[ back ] 110. Cf. the pertinent remarks on the Panathenaia as a festival that was “always dignified but never intense, never emotionally strong,” its emphasis falling rather on ceremony and spectacle, in Parker 2005:378.
[ back ] 111. The report that Onomacritus was one of four authorized compilers of Homeric poetry (Anecdota Graeca 1.6 Cramer) suggests as well “live” rhapsodic activity. On Onomacritus, see now D’Agostino 1987, who argues that the Odyssean interpolation, an encomium of deified Heracles that is rather abruptly placed in the Nekuia, was meant to complement Peisistratean promotion of the cult of Heracles (95–113). Heracles played a crucial role in the tyrants’ management of the Panathenaia, and it is in the performative context of that festival that the interpolation should be understood. Martin 2001:31 considers the interpolation in light of Onomacritus’ interest in Orphism and the Orphic Descent.
[ back ] 112. See Rohde 1925: “The myth of the dismemberment of Zagreus [Dionysus] by the Titans was already put into verse by Onomakritos” (341); Guthrie 1952:13, 107–108. Linforth 1941:353 and Edmonds 1999:43–44, however, make reasonable objections to the early role of Onomacritus in expounding Orphic doctrine. Cf. West 1983:249–251.
[ back ] 113. Martin 2001:31.
[ back ] 114. Gostoli 1990:145 thinks that the citation of Terpander ends with τὸν Διόνυσον; what comes after is a “general definition of Dionysus-Sabazius that we find already enunciated in identical terms in Diodorus (4.4).” Yet the fact that Diodorus Siculus uses much the same phraseology to describe Dionysus-Sabazius does not necessarily rule out a “Terpandrean” source for the general content that Joannes Lydus is reporting. Diodorus is himself citing the “mythologizing” of unnamed sources (μυθολογοῦσι δέ τινες), which could themselves have drawn on “Terpander.” In addition, Diodorus says nothing in his passage about the Titans, although he does mention their murder of Dionysus-Zagreus at 5.75.4.
[ back ] 115. Ferrara, Museo Archeologico Nazionale T 381 (Alfieri 1979:33–34, figs. 77 and 78); cf. Webster 1972:161. On the other side of the vessel, however, an aulete surrounded by athletic youths is depicted. The Dionysiac theme could be his.
[ back ] 116. The syncretism of Sabazius and Dionysus is a later-fifth-century development, at least in Athens. See Gostoli 1990:145–146. But Sabazius-Dionysus could represent a secondary accretion in an older “Terpandrean” tradition.
[ back ] 117. Orphic hymns: “Zeus is head, Zeus is middle, from Zeus all things have been born” (Derveni Papyrus col. 17.12); the incantatory repetition of Zeus’ name also recalls Terpander fr. 3 G. Cf. Betegh 2004:173–174 for further parallels among the Orphic hymns.
[ back ] 118. It is notable that in local Delphian tradition Orpheus’ telestic activity was cited as the reason for his absence from the early record of the Pythian citharodic agôn, as if mysteries and agônes were incompatible: “But they say that Orpheus, because he cultivated an air of solemn detachment in his mysteries and was haughty in general, and Musaeus, because he imitated Orpheus in all things, refused to be put to the test in a contest of music” (Ὀρφέα δὲ σεμνολογίᾳ τῇ ἐπὶ τελεταῖς καὶ ὑπὸ φρονήματος τοῦ ἄλλου καὶ Μουσαῖον τῇ ἐς πάντα μιμήσει τοῦ Ὀρφέως οὐκ ἐθελῆσαί φασιν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ ἀγῶνι μουσικῆς ἐξετάζεσθαι, Pausanias 10.7.2).
[ back ] 119. Cf. Wilamowitz 1903:84n1.
[ back ] 120. Although Martin 2001 argues for an Orphic rhapsôidia, he acknowledges that “[s]tories that attest to the power of [Orpheus’] kithara playing … are probably connected to the lore and ideology of actual kithara-players” (32).
[ back ] 121. Bowra 1952:124; West 1983:12; Graf and Johnston 2007:173–174. On the first-person narration of the Orphic Argonautica, see below. Bowra points out that the attribution of a Descent in Suda s.v. Ὀρφεύς (658 Adler) to one Orpheus of Camarina could also reflect the first-person nature of the tradition. I note here the possibility that Orpheus of Croton, who was supposedly employed by the Peisistratids to edit the text of Homer alongside Onomacritus (Tzetzes On Comedy p20 Kaibel), may, if he was real (West 1983:249–250 assumes he was a scholarly invention), have been a citharode rather than a rhapsode, as we might first think. It is interesting that Asclepiades of Bithynian Myrlea ap. Suda s.v. Ὀρφεύς (657 Adler; Asclepiades may also be Tzetzes’ source) attributes an Argonautica to him.
[ back ] 122. Martin 2001:32.
[ back ] 123. Villa Giulia M 354; Seebass 1991:19, with fig. 6. Cf. Part I.4.
[ back ] 124. Plato has Orpheus receiving a phantom (phasma) of his wife, who goes unnamed, rather than the real thing. This version of the story may be Plato’s own invention, an attempt to undermine versions in which Orpheus succeeds in reviving his wife with his music (cf. Heath 1994:180n25; Sansone 1985, who thinks that Plato is borrowing from an Orpheus of Aristias, a tragedian of the early fifth century). As Bowra 1952:119–120 shows, Euripides Alcestis 357–362 (in conjunction with a variety of later texts) indicates that the fifth century knew such versions; the tragic story of Orpheus’ failure seems in fact to be a Hellenistic innovation. (Not all believe that there were ever “happy-ending” accounts of the katabasis; see Heath 1994, who provides a comprehensive review of scholarship at 163–164.) Naturally, one would imagine that if Archaic and Classical citharodes did sing a Descent, they would have celebrated the transcendent efficacy of the Orphic lyre, at least in the short term. Bowra suggests that in early versions of the myth Orpheus’ wife is “brought successfully to the upper world, [but then] has to return to Hades under the guidance of Hermes” (121). For Bowra, the later-fifth-century BCE relief from the Athenian Altar of the Twelve Gods, of which several Roman copies survive, may illustrate this “second death”: Eurydice is called back to Hades by Hermes while Orpheus stands by, lyre in hand. For Touchette 1990, however, the image represents the successful restoration of Eurydice to life.
[ back ] 125. See Bowra 1952:121; Nelis 2005, for whom the Argonautica is a “repository of traces of lost [Orphic] texts” (172).
[ back ] 126. Cf. Ziegler 1942:1391; Nelis 2005:171–172: “The katabasis may have been a privileged model of the Argonautica.”
[ back ] 127. Cf. n124 above.
[ back ] 128. The ethnologically “correct” characterization of Orpheus on the altar relief reflects increased Athenian interest in Thracian culture in the later fifth century. Cf. Parker 1996:174. Vase paintings from the period show other Thracian singers, Thamyris and Musaeus, also attired in “authentic” garb.
[ back ] 129. Discussion in Part I.5.
[ back ] 130. West 1983:12 speculates that a “poem about Orpheus’ descent to Hades” narrated too his death at the hands of the Thracian women.
[ back ] 131. See West 1990b:38 on Aeschylus’ innovations in the Bassarids.
[ back ] 132. See e.g. an Apulian amphora by the Ganymede Painter, c. 340 BCE (Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig S40; reproduced in West 1983, plate 2); Apulian volute krater (Munich, Antikensammlungen 3297; Maas and Snyder 1989:191, fig. 3).
[ back ] 133. Maas and Snyder 1989:172.
[ back ] 134. For the vase, see n132 above. Cf. discussion in Detienne 2003:135; West 1983:25–26.
[ back ] 135. Cf. Bremmer 1999:78–80 on Orphism and Pythagoreanism in southern Italy. On Tarentum as a center of both Orphic-Bacchic cult and kitharôidia: West 1983:24–25; Part II.10n232 above.
[ back ] 136. Pamphus: Duran 1996; Cassio 2000:101–102.
[ back ] 137. West 1983:23–24; cf. Graf 1974:28–30.
[ back ] 138. Sources and bibliography compiled in Hardie 2004:17–21; cf. Hardie 2005 for music in mystery cult in general. In respect to music at Eleusis, I mention the curious case of Themistius of Aphidna, who was executed for committing an act of hubris against a female kithara player (kitharistria) from Rhodes during the Eleusinia festival (Dinarchus 1.23, mid fourth century BCE). It is difficult to imagine that an Athenian citizen would normally be put to death for assaulting a foreign, hired “music girl.” Perhaps this Rhodian was accorded sacred status because she played her stringed instrument in the Eleusinian Mysteries themselves. Cf. Omitowoju 2002:132.
[ back ] 139. As suggested in Part II.12, it may have been citharodes performing in Athens who first elevated Eumolpus to the status of agonistic citharode and teacher of Heracles kitharôidos.
[ back ] 140. Hardie 2004:28–29 suggests that the eschatological symbolism of the Orphic lyre was a feature of the “poetry ascribed to the telestic initiator Orpheus himself.” It is a logical assumption that such cultic poetry was itself performed to the lyre or kithara. These instruments may have been directly involved in initiatory rites, played for or even by initiates. The story of Heracles’ “lyric initiation” by Eumolpus might point to the latter possibility, as might an image such as that on an Apulian calyx krater, which has a young initiate taking the lyre from the hand of Orpheus (West 1983, plate 3). On the cathartic role of the lyre in Pythagorean rites, see Iamblichus Life of Pythagoras 110–111, 113. Pythagoras, who likely emulated Orpheus and composed “Orphic” verse (see Riedweg 2002:90–92), could himself be imagined in the guise of a citharode: Apuleius Florida 15.11–12.
[ back ] 141. The fullest discussion of the Euneidai remains Toepffer 1889:181–206.
[ back ] 142. Nordquist 1992 lays out the evidence; cf. Kemp 1966. For the hiring of auletes for sacrifices, see especially Plutarch Sympotic Questions 632c–d; cf. Dinarchus 1.23, a hired kitharistria at Eleusis (n138 above).
[ back ] 143. Contestants: Hurwitt 1999:223. Bundrick 2005:150–152 suggests that the musicians are citizen amateurs; cf. Part I.3.iin43.
[ back ] 144. Cf. Parker 1996:297–298. Burkert 1994:46 thinks that the connection between Euneidai and Dionysus Melpomenos goes back at least as far as the fifth century. Wilson 2004:278n21 implicates the family in Apolline worship as well.
[ back ] 145. Bravo 1997. Cf. Kerényi 1976:161n88 on the “rather private character” of the cult of Dionysus Melpomenos. On the Anthesteria, cf. Part IV.6n148.
[ back ] 146. See references in Wilson 2004:278. It is worth keeping in mind too the epithet of Dionysus Melpomenos: molpê suggests song and dance. See Pausanias 1.2.5 on Dionysus Melpomenos as a khorêgos figure analogous to Apollo Musagetes, probably imagined as playing a kithara. Dionysus appears as such in third-century BCE choregic monumental sculpture; see Stewart 1982:212. A kithara-playing Dionysus was portrayed on the west pediment of the late-fourth-century BCE temple of Apollo at Delphi leading a chorus of women, an image that precisely complemented that of Apollo leading the Muses on the east pediment. Discussion in Stewart 1982, Clay 1996a:93–100.
[ back ] 147. Burkert 1994:46–48, followed by Cassio 2000.
[ back ] 148. Δημήτηρ Ῥέα Γῆ Μήτηρ Ἑστία Δηιῴ. On the peculiar scansion, see Burkert 1994:47.
[ back ] 149. For terpsis as a “passive aesthetic reaction” that the performer may deploy to manipulate an audience into a state of action, see the analysis of Gorgianic psycho-rhetorical theory in Segal 1962:106–117. This two-step Gorgianic model is applicable to the (idealized) citharodic experience as well, as is indicated in accounts of the Spartans’ being seduced by musical pleasure into putting aside their civil differences. Perceau 2007 is an insightful discussion of the psychology of musical terpsis in Homer.
[ back ] 150. See Nagy 1979:296–300 on the semantics of Homeros ‘he who fits [the Song] together’ and Hesiodos ‘he who emits the Voice.” Cf. the variant discussions of Homer’s name in Durante 1976:194–197 and West 1999b. Nagy 1990b:86n23 interprets the name Terpander as “generic, in line with the programmatic use of the verb terpô ‘give pleasure’ in poetry to describe the effects of poetry.”
[ back ] 151. Gostoli 1990:XII, who takes “Terpander” as just such a stage name, and provides further parallels. For Terpsicles, see Graziosi 2002:25, who argues that this speaking name is intended to put the historical rhapsode “on a par” with the Homeric aoidoi Demodocus and Phemius Terpiades, “whose names speak of fame and enjoyment.”
[ back ] 152. This becomes evident from a perusal of the chronological indices in Stephanis 1988.
[ back ] 153. Cf. Flach 1883:321n1. The earliest recorded version of the Eunomus story we know is that of the Hellenistic historian Timaeus of Tauromenion (FGrH 566 F 43 a–b), but it must have had life long before. Cf. Brown 2002:79; Berlinzani 2002, who sees in the legend a reflex of musically determined political rivalries in southern Italy, which enjoyed a vital citharodic culture. Strabo 6.1.9 records that a statue of Eunomus holding a cicada-graced kithara used to be shown in Locri, which could be some indication of a local hero cult devoted to him. The Locrian athlete Euthycles was honored with both a statue, which had supernatural powers, and hero cult in his home city (Callimachus frs. 84–85 Pfeiffer, with diêgêsis; cf. Fontenrose 1968:74.)
[ back ] 154. Cf. Hordern 2002:6–7, who suggests that the name Philopolis may have “had overtones in the context of Miletus’ revolt in 412 BCE; the sobriquet may … have indicated that Timotheus remained loyal to Athens.” This is an appealing suggestion, but it need not be exclusive of the possibility that Timotheus’ father really was named Philopolis—or at least could have been.
[ back ] 155. Cf. e.g. Odyssey 1.347 (of Phemius), 8.45 (of Demodocus). On the terpsis induced by Homeric bards, see Ford 1992:52–54; Perceau 2007. On Homeric dêmioergoi—seers, doctors, shipbuilders, heralds, and singers—see Tandy 1997:166–169 and Dougherty 2001:50–60.
[ back ] 156. Cf. Nagy 1990b:86n23.
[ back ] 157. Cf. Wilamowitz 1927:78.
[ back ] 158. Tarquinia, Museo Nazionale RC 6848; LIMC VII 2, p613.
[ back ] 159. Bundrick 2005:108 interprets kithara-playing satyrs in similar fashion. See a representative collection of images in Castaldo 2000:234, 240–242; cf. Wegner 1949:210. “Dionysian happiness” in Archaic iconography: Isler-Kerényi 2007:206–207, 222–223. Cf. Restani 1991 on strings in Dionysian scenes in Attic vase painting.
[ back ] 160. ἔοικε δὲ κατὰ τὴν τέχνην τὴν κιθαρῳδικὴν ὁ Τέρπανδρος διενηνοχέναι· τὰ Πύθια γὰρ τετράκις ἑξῆς νενικηκὼς ἀναγέγραπται (“Terpander seems to have been supreme in the citharodic tekhnê, for it has been recorded that he was victorious at the Pythia four times in a row”).
[ back ] 161. Flach 1883:192; Wilamowitz 1903:88n1. Gostoli 1990:98–99 is surely right to discount the arguments of Jacoby (FGrH II B Kommentar, p443) that Heraclides is actually referring to victories at the Sicyonian Pythia, which he would know from his consultation of the Sicyonian anagraphê (cf. On Music 3.1132a), an inscription that included information about citharodic history. Gostoli, however, accepts the historicity of Terpander’s Pythian victories at Delphi, which I do not.
[ back ] 162. Mosshammer 1977:27n2 thinks the enneateric festival is entirely “mythical.”
[ back ] 163. 586/5 is Pausanias’ date for the first penteteric Pythian agôn. For the likelihood of a 582/1 date, however, see Mosshammer 1982.
[ back ] 164. The Eleuther mentioned by Pausanias is likely to be the eponymous founder of the polis of Eleutherna in northwest Crete. His presence in the catalogue of victors at the early Pythia speaks, as does that of the Cretan Chrysothemis son of Carmanor, to what was likely the historical role of Cretan lyre singers in structuring Delphian musical culture. In the Homeric Hymn to Apollo the Cretan sailors are thus Apollo’s first priests at Delphi and the first mortal paean singers there as well (516–519; cf. Franklin 2006a:59–60). Eleutherna seems to have been a conspicuous center of kitharôidia on Crete; it was the home of the (probably legendary) citharode Ametor, whose “descendants,” the Ametores or Ametoridai, were a historical fixture of the local musical culture on Crete, known for their “erotic songs” (Athenaeus 14.638b; Hesychius s.v. Ἀμητορίδας). Linus too may have been claimed by the city (Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. Ἀπολλώνια κγ´). An inscription from fifth-century BCE Eleutherna (I.Cret. II xii 16Ab, line 2) records a law concerning the service of a kitharistas to the polis, but the inscription is too badly preserved to make sense of what that service entailed or how it was managed. See discussion in Perlman 2004:108, 112.
[ back ] 165. Cf. the remarks of Brelich 1969:497n225. Davies 2007 assesses the evidence for the establishment of the penteteric Pythian agônes.
[ back ] 166. Archeanax of Mytilene (FID III 4, 125.7).
[ back ] 167. Fr. 144 Fortenbaugh and Schütrumpf = scholia ad Odyssey 3.267. Discussion in Gostoli 1986. We might speculate that a similar scenario stands obscured behind the story that the Delphic oracle bid the Spartans to send for the “Lesbian Singer” (relevant sources collected in T 12–15, 60f, i Gostoli). That is, Spartan emissaries took a victorious Terpander home with them from Delphi, as Agamemnon did Demodocus (similarly for the purpose of maintaining order in his community; cf. Scully 1981). But Delphi may have conjured up its own role in Terpander’s Spartan intervention as a retroactive attempt to claim influence over the cultural politics of early kitharôidia. Compare the implications of Herodotus 1.65.4: the Spartan constitution of Lycurgus, with whom some synchronized Terpander (Hieronymus of Rhodes On Citharodes fr. 33 Wehrli ap. Athenaeus 14.635f = T 6 G), was said to have been outright granted to Lycurgus by the Pythia. But Herodotus records that the Lacedaemonians themselves did not hold this tradition (they thought Lycurgus brought his laws from Crete). It was, then, presumably promoted by Delphi, although the Spartans surely believed that the oracle had ratified and so legitimated the constitution (cf. e.g. Xenophon Constitution of the Spartans 8.5). See discussion in Crane 1998:79–80.
[ back ] 168. One Eumolpid, Agenor, actually offered a (non-agonistic) display of kithara playing to Apollo at Delphi: Stephanis 1988, no. 36.
[ back ] 169. Gostoli 1990:99–100. Gostoli does not exclude the separate possibility that the anagraphê at issue is the Sicyonian anagraphê, from which Heraclides, a likely source for On Music 4.1132e, took details about early citharodic history. If so, the Classical antiquity of the Sicyonian document would indicate that Terpander’s Pythian success had long been part of citharodic lore. Gostoli 1990:98-99 sensibly rejects, however, the view held by Jacoby (FGrH II B Kommentar, p44), that Terpander won his victories at the Sicyonian Pythia, which Heraclides would have known from the Sicyonian anagraphê (cf. On Music 3.1132a), although it is entirely conceivable that Archaic Sicyon would have wanted to absorb Terpander into its own citharodic history.
[ back ] 170. The Suda’s mention of Boeotian Arne and Aeolic Cyme as alternate birthplaces, alongside Lesbian Antissa, for Terpander would also seem to fit the pattern whereby Terpander was actively assimilated to Hesiod and Homer. For another view, see Gostoli 1990:88, who believes that these alternate birthplaces were mooted to explain the attribution of the Boeotian and Aeolic nomoi to Terpander. But there are deeper generic and regional agendas in play: see Part II.12 above.
[ back ] 171. For the identification of Boios with the female poet Boio, see Knaack 1899; Platthy 1985:61–62. I wonder whether the humnos attributed to Boio was not itself performed by citharodes in Delphi. Its lyric hexameters in Doric dialect (Pausanias quotes four lines) would neatly fit the morphological profile of early citharodic song. Given the metapoetic focus of the piece, the invention of hexameter song, its performance in Delphi would celebrate the privileged, ancient nexus there between epic, oracular poetry, and kitharôidia, all hexametrically based forms.
[ back ] 172. The history of the aulodic nomos as recorded in “Plutarch” On Music 5.1133a offers a parallel case of contested origins. According to the mainstream tradition, the aulodic nomos was devised by Clonas, whose ethnicity was disputed between two musically preeminent regions competing for the prestige attached to this seminal figure, Arcadia (the Arcadians made him a Tegean) and Boeotia (the Boeotians made him a Theban). But another, more locally restricted Troezenian tradition made the counterclaim that the prôtos heuretês of aulodic music and indeed the aulos itself was the epichoric music hero Ardalus, son of Hephaestus and the founder of a line of Troezenian aulodes, the Ardalids (Pausanias 2.31.3; Pliny Natural History 7.204). The musical clan of the Ardalids was presumably responsible for inventing its illustrious ancestor and transmitting his nomoi as well as aggrandizing lore about him, which it did with some success, enough to have the tradition recorded as a footnote to the mainstream history of aulôidia. Plutarch Banquet of the Seven Sages 150a posits the existence of two Ardaluses, the aulode and a more ancient figure, the first “priest of the Troezenian Muses.” But this is a rationalization akin to what we see in the reception of the vita of the aulete Olympus (cf. n20 above); the two figures were likely identical, and the Ardalid aulodes were surely attached to the cult of the Troezenian Muses (cf. Nagy 1990b:29n66).
[ back ] 173. We might read Delphi’s agonistic challenge to Terpandrean primacy as an expression of a broader tension between a “mainland” citharodic tradition and an Eastern Aegean one. For the ambivalent relationship between Philammon and Orpheus—now rivalrous, now cooperative—as another such expression, see Part II.10n225.
[ back ] 174. Demetrius On Style 146, who quotes the line, indicates that Sappho compared the triumphant citharode ἐπὶ τοῦ ἐξέχοντος ἀνδρός ‘to the man who is preeminent.” This anêr ‘man’ may well be the enviable groom to a girl for whom Sappho sings a wedding song. In other wedding songs, Sappho compares grooms to gods and heroes (cf. frs. 31.1, 105b, 111.5). The comparison of groom to citharode indicates the considerable esteem in which Sappho and her audience held the latter, and might suggest already his recognized status as “sex symbol.” Green 1998:58 qualifies fr. 106 as “fierce, and justified, insular pride.”
[ back ] 175. Sappho fr. 44.33 might suggest too that the Lesbian paean was generally lyric: the Trojan men call upon Paean “skilled in the lyre” (euluras; for the epithet, see Part II.9.i).
[ back ] 176. Cf. Rutherford 2001:15, with discussion below.
[ back ] 177. Cf. Farnell 1907(IV):164–166; Shields 1917:1–2.
[ back ] 178. For the impact of Lesbian song traditions on the Iliad in general, see Dué 2002. We may wonder too whether Achilles’ visit to Lesbos in the Aethiopis to sacrifice to Apollo prior to his purification for the murder of Thersites did not involve cathartic music making (summary of Proclus p106 Allen). We may compare the implications of Apollo’s visit to Crete after his slaying of the Pythian serpent to be purified by Carmanor, the father of Chrysothemis the lyre singer (Pausanias 2.7.7; 10.16.5).
[ back ] 179. Cf. n8 above. The heptachord kithara begins to appear in the archaeological record in the seventh century BCE: Maas and Snyder 1989:31–32, 41.
[ back ] 180. See Franklin 2002 and 2008 for details; cf. Campbell 1988:265. Spencer 1995 discusses Lesbian trade with Anatolia.
[ back ] 181. See Franklin 2006b on the reinfusion throughout Archaic Greece of a lost Bronze Age “wisdom of the lyre” recovered from and elaborated in the Near East. The Minoan-Mycenaean ideal of the lyre singer as a guarantee of peace and stability persists, if in diluted form, also in the picture of the Homeric aoidos, who has the ability to maintain social order with musical terpsis. See Scully 1981.
[ back ] 182. Nagy 1993 and 2007b:24–25, expanding on the epigraphical studies of Robert 1960, who dates the Lesbian federation at Messon to the seventh century BCE. See too Calame 1997:122–123 on the Archaic choral-cum-beauty contests of Lesbian women (the Kallisteia), attested in Alcaeus fr. 129, that were held at Messon.
[ back ] 183. Athens, National Museum 19272; Della Seta 1937:644, fig. 4; Maas and Snyder 1989:46, fig. 9b.
[ back ] 184. The festival may be the festival of Hephaestus during which “new fire” was brought to Lemnos. Burkert 2001:66 argues that the Great Goddess, herself called Lemnos, was honored at it along with Hephaestus. The festival probably concluded with agônes meant to commemorate the mythical contests once held to celebrate the arrival of the Argonauts on Lemnos (71). A citharodic agôn on this occasion would be a fitting context for the performance of Argonautic epic.
[ back ] 185. My interpretation differs from that of Della Seta 1937:645–646, who believes that the musician is a citharist leading a processional dance for the goddess. There is no indication, however, that the musician or the young boy who is shown walking behind him is dancing or making music; the former is clearly moving to kneel down in honor of the goddess. Cf. Maas and Snyder 1989:33. Beschi 1992 discusses other material remains of the Archaic musical worship of the Great Goddess on Lemnos.
[ back ] 186. Green 1998:56. On the history of Lesbian fractiousness, cf. Mason 1993 and 1995:400, who marks the destruction of Arisba by Methymna in 700 BCE as the beginning of a “long history of distrust”; Spencer 2001 on the “continual” stasis in Mytilene from the late seventh century BCE onwards (81).
[ back ] 187. His speech is delivered to an audience of Rhodians, who are themselves on the verge of stasis, but here Aristides pretends that he is addressing the Lesbians: φατὲ μὲν τὴν νῆσον ἅπασαν ὑμῖν εἶναι μουσικὴν καὶ τούτου τὴν Ὀρφέως κεφαλὴν αἰτιᾶσθε, αὐτοὶ δ’ οὐκ αἰσχύνεσθε οὕτως ἀμούσως διακείμενοι; καὶ κιθαρῳδοῖς μέν ποτε τοὺς Ἕλληνας ἐνικᾶτε, τῷ δ’ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν μὴ δύνασθαι βουλεύσασθαι κινδυνεύετε ἡττᾶσθαι καὶ πάντων ἀνθρώπων; καὶ πρότερον μὲν παρ’ ὑμῶν ἑτέρωσε βαδίζοντες ἔπαυον τὰς στάσεις, νῦν δὲ οὐδὲ παρ’ ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς ὑμᾶς αὐτοὺς γνῶναι δύνασθε (“You say that your whole island is musical and you give as the cause of this the head of Orpheus. But are you not ashamed to be so unmusically disposed? And at one time you surpassed the Greeks with your citharodes, but because of your inability to take counsel with yourselves, you risk being defeated by everyone. And in the past men came from you to other places to put an end to factional crises (staseis), but now you are not even able to know yourselves on your home soil”). Aristides is referring to the current (second-century CE) state of conflict on Lesbos, but the topos he invokes is an old one; cf. Mason 1993:225.
[ back ] 188. Indeed, Classical Mytilene was known to exert its hegemony over neighboring states through a form of musical repression. Aelian Historical Miscellanies 7.15 says that the children of those who rebelled against the Mytileneans were forbidden an education in literature (grammata) and mousikê. Aelian explains this punishment by saying that it reflects the great respect the Mytileneans had for musical culture—nothing could be worse than amousia. But a more pragmatic reason presents itself: Mytilene was intent on suppressing the dissident political voices that could be raised in musical practice. Isocrates in Letter 8 also suggests that Mytilene, which he calls “the polis agreed by all to be the most musical” (8.4), had been taking measures to purge its own famed musical culture of dissident influences. Isocrates writes to the rulers of the city asking them to restore citizenship to Agenor, a prominent music teacher (8.1, 8.4) who had been exiled to Athens some years before. Isocrates tactfully makes no reference to the reason for Agenor’s exile except to mention that the Mytileneans were “afraid for the welfare of their city” (8.3).
[ back ] 189. Franklin 2006a:59–60 argues for the historical role of Delphi in arranging musical foundations and catharses of cities in Archaic Greece, but I am less certain of the historicity of its involvement in brokering the “real” relationship between the Lesbian citharodes and Sparta. (For what it is worth, Fontenrose 1978:285 deems the oracle concerning the Lesbian Singer “not genuine.”) Needless to say, the mediation of Delphi early on became a crucial axiom of Terpandrean lore, whether at the instigation of the Lesbians, the Spartans, or the Delphians (cf. n167 above). Clearly, all parties would have had something to gain from their mutual implication. The mediating role of the oracle features in accounts of other musicians and poets brought in to “heal” Spartan social ills, most prominently Thales/Thaletas of Gortyn, Tyrtaeus, and Alcman (Aelian Historical Miscellanies 12.50). Yet here too the authenticity of that mediation is difficult to assess. Perhaps these accounts were secondary to the Terpandrean legend, and even stood in a relationship of agonistic emulation with it—if Terpander was summoned by the Pythia, then these other exemplars of musical media (choral melic, aulodic elegy) could have been as well.
[ back ] 190. On Myrsilus, see Jackson 1995. Although his interpretation of this myth (36–40) differs radically from mine (see following note), I would agree with his contention that elements of it date back to the Archaic period. For Jacoby, it represents a “rationalization of a local Lesbian legend” (1955:380).
[ back ] 191. Our myth finds an echo in another local account told of Macareus, a corrupt priest of Dionysus in Mytilene who killed his wife in anger (Aelian Historical Miscellanies 13.2); some mythopoetic DNA must be shared here, but the resemblances are more superficial than thematic. The story of Macareus seems to reflect the belief that early Lesbian Dionysian cult involved human sacrifice (see Shields 1917:59; Macar in one tradition was himself a priest of Dionysus, Etymologicum Magnum s.v. Βρισαῖος). Jackson 1995:38–40 thus argues that Myrsilus’ myth allegorizes the introduction to Lesbos of the cults of Hera and Zeus, which had a tempering effect on the wild excess of pre-Aeolic Dionysian worship. In light of the probable institution of citharodic contests at the federated shrine of these three gods at Messon, Jackson’s reading holds some interest. But it does not sufficiently account for the myth’s clear emphasis on Muses, Mysia, music, and the number seven, nor for the lack of explicit Dionysian content.
[ back ] 192. Philodemus On Music 1 fr. 30, 31–35 = p18 Kemke, τῆς τα]ραχῆς ἔπαυσε τοὺς [Λακεδαι]μον[ίο]υς ‘he checked the Spartans from their disorder’; Aristides 24.55, ἑτέρωσε βαδίζοντες ἔπαυον τὰς στάσεις ‘[Lesbian citharodes] went to other places and checked factional crises’.
[ back ] 193. Arnobius 3.37; Epimerismi Homerici Cramer A.O. I 285, 15 (= FGrH 477 F 7b, c).
[ back ] 194. Cf. Jackson 1995:39–40; Shields 1917:70–71.
[ back ] 195. Cf. Jacoby 1955:380.
[ back ] 196. For Mysia as a metonym for other regional musical traditions in Anatolia, see Barker 1984:66n29.
[ back ] 197. “Plutarch” On Music 6.1133c; cf. Duris FGrH 76 F 81.
[ back ] 198. Cf. nn179–181 above. We may note, however, that Megaclo has the servant girls taught to play the kithara and to sing, presumably after she has brought them to Lesbos. It is as if there were already citharodes on the island in Macar’s time. The myth thus accounts for the infusion of Eastern musical knowledge and yet maintains the “indigenous” integrity of a native Aeolic-Lesbian tradition.
[ back ] 199. For the Panhellenic diffusion of Aeolic-Lesbian Moisa, see Cassio 2005.
[ back ] 200. On the likelihood of a close alliance between Rhodes and Antissa in the second century BCE, see Mason 1995:402. Could Macar son of Rhodos and Helios (cf. Diodorus Siculus 5.56) have been a specifically Antissan creation from this period? In other, probably older traditions, Macar is a son of Zeus or of Crinacus, the son of Zeus (scholia ad Iliad 24.544; Diodorus Siculus 5.81).
[ back ] 201. Cf. Bie 1887:19–21.
[ back ] 202. On the sambukê, see West 1992:75–77. Sophocles Mysians fr. 412 Radt mentions the Phrygian triangle harp (trigônos) and the Lydian pêktis, but not the sambukê, although, as West notes (p77), the sambukê may have been conflated by some with the triangle harp.
[ back ] 203. Cf. Shields 1917:70.
[ back ] 204. Hardie 2005:14–15; cf. Lanata 1996:14. Hardie notes that the term was adopted by the professional musicians of the guilds of the Artists of Dionysus in the Hellenistic period (IG VII 2484, a synod of Theban tekhnitai and mousopoloi).
[ back ] 205. Aelius Aristides 28.51 = Sappho fr. 193 says that Sappho claimed “the Muses had made her truly prosperous (ὀλβίαν) and enviable.” Sappho might be referring to the professional aspect of Muse cult, in which the Muses grant material prosperity (olbos) to the musicians who observe their worship (for the idea cf. e.g. Homeric Hymns 15.9, 20.8). Again, however, musical professionalism is probably deployed metaphorically. For Sappho, the prosperity she receives is not material, as it would be for a professional performer, but rather a question of spiritual fulfillment and social prestige. For the semantic contestation that could take place over the meaning of olbos (spiritual happiness vs. financial prosperity), see Crane 1996.
[ back ] 206. Cf. Hardie 2005:15, who sees in the passage a “link of sorts to the citharoedic school of Terpander.”
[ back ] 207. Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig BS 481; Bundrick 2005:125, fig. 77.
[ back ] 208. Schmidt 1972:132; cf. Lissarrague 1995:23, Bundrick 2005:126, who discusses alternative interpretations.
[ back ] 209. On the Idaean Dactyls’ reputation as magicians, see Johnston 1999:105–106.
[ back ] 210. Cf. n172 above.
[ back ] 211. Welcker 1865:142–143.
[ back ] 212. Cf. Barker 1984:210n31. Alexander Polyhistor (first century BCE) says that the Phrygian Dactyls, along with the Phrygian aulete Olympus, were the first to introduce instrumental music (kroumata) to Greece (“Plutarch” On Music 5.1132f). The claim likely derives from the smithing of the Dactyls; kroumata literally means ‘strokes’ or ‘blows’.
[ back ] 213. Bechtel 1917:116–117 posits the nominative Δερδενεύς ‘Derdeneus’ (rather than Derdenis) for the genitive Δερδένεος on the Marble and sees in Derdeneus a reminiscence of (Anklang an) Dardaneus; cf. already Welcker 1865:142. Suda s.v. Δαρδανεύς says that Δαρδανεύς is the “name of a people; also, the Dardanians” (ὄνομα ἔθνους· καὶ Δαρδάνιοι). The ethnos ‘people’ must be the Illyrico-Thracian Dardanians; these Dardanians are, interestingly, said by Strabo to have cultivated music, including that of stringed instruments, despite their primitiveness (7.5.7). The second group of Dardanians mentioned in the Suda must be the Dardanians of the Troad, and it is to these that Terpander must be linked.
[ back ] 214. As Welcker 1865:142 suggests.
[ back ] 215. A primary motive for its creation may have been to posit a genetic precedent for the wonder-working effects of Terpander’s kitharôidia—the Dactyls were uncanny musicians and magicians. But it is tempting to consider specific local factors in its development as well. As early as the fourth century BCE, Orpheus had been made a disciple of the Dactyls, who taught him initiations and mysteries on the northern Aegean island of Samothrace (Ephorus FGrH 70 F 104), home to the Panhellenically renowned mystery cult of the Great Gods, also known as the Cabeiroi, with whom the Dactyls of Phrygian Ida were sometimes identified (Strabo 7, fr. 50). Although Terpander seems never to have been elevated to the status of an Orphic mystagogue (cf. Section 7), it is possible that he was at some point drawn into the orbit of the Samothracian musical culture—if not the mysteries themselves—through a putative Dactylic lineage. It seems likely that music played an important practical and symbolic role in the rites and their attendant festivals; cf. Kowalzig 2005:61–63; Rutherford 2007a. (In his discussion of Samothrace and its rites, Diodorus Siculus 5.49.1 tells the story of the wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia, a myth that was probably central to the mystery cult. The myth includes aitia for a wide range of musical practices: Hermes gives the couple his lyre, Athena her auloi, Electra her drums and cymbals, and Apollo plays his kithara. It is as if Samothrace were folding into its own myth and ritual complex the entire panoply of Hellenic musical culture.) There is every probability that Samothracian festivals hosted citharodic agônes; we saw above that citharodic agônes were held on nearby Lemnos from the seventh century BCE. Given the relative proximity of Samothrace to Lesbos, it stands to reason that the Lesbian Singers would have been prominent competitors, and Terpander may have acquired his distant Dactylic ancestor in the context of such contests. Terpander’s Dardanian connections offered a natural link both to the Dactyls as well as to Samothracian myth. Dardanus was a Samothracian by birth; Strabo 7, fr. 49 says that he brought his native mysteries with him to the Troad.
[ back ] 216. Aksik 1971. Spencer 1995:304 observes that the name Macaris is “one which has more than a passing significance in the myths [about the founder of Lesbos, Macar] current in archaic Lesbos.” The name evokes Trojan-epic glory, while the patronymic recalls the heroic foundation of Lesbos.
[ back ] 217. Cf. Spencer 1995:304–305; West 2002b:208. Phrynis the Mytilenean citharode is called the “son of Kamon” in Timotheus PMG 802 (cf. Pollux Onomasticon 4.66). Wilamowitz 1903:65 argues that the name “ist identisch mit Σκάμων, dem Kurznamen von Σκαμανδρώνυμος,” a variant of “Scamander” that is also attested for Sappho’s father (cf. Herodotus 2.135.1). Timotheus may have deliberately shortened Skamon to Kamon for comedic effect; see Part IV.3n98. Phrynis presumably came from a family of musical professionals rather than old-line elites, so the name is best taken as a stage name, contrived, like Derdeneus, to advertise the citharode’s privileged access to epic lore. (It is interesting to note that the Mytilenean historian Hellanicus named his son, also a historian, Skamon: Suda s.v. Ἑλλάνικος.) We may compare the third-century BCE citharode Archeanax of Mytilene (FD III 4, 125.7), who shares a name with one of the leading aristocrats of Archaic Mytilene, the Archeanax who supposedly built the city of Sigeion with stones from Troy (Strabo 13.1.38). The fifth-century citharode Alcaeus mentioned in Eupolis fr. 303 K-A may have been from Mytilene as well. Cf. Aloni 1986 on the role of the Mytilenean colony of Sigeion in legitimating Lesbian claims to Trojan epic. After the Athenians seized Sigeion in the sixth century BCE, the Mytileneans took refuge at the nearby settlement of Achilleion, where Achilles’ tumulus was located (Herodotus 5.94.2).
[ back ] 218. On the historical circumstances of stasis in early Sparta, see now van Wees 1999; Meier 1998.
[ back ] 219. Cf. Gostoli 1988.
[ back ] 220. Cf. Plutarch Agis 10.6; van Wees 1999:6–7. Hieronymus may be following Aristotle; cf. n4 above.
[ back ] 221. Solon: cf. van Wees 1999:25–26.
[ back ] 222. On the attribution of this passage to Demetrius, who is cited earlier in the scholion, and a discussion of its connection to Peripatetic research on Homer and musical history, see Gostoli 1986 and 1988:236n21; cf. Wilson 2004:269–272.
[ back ] 223. On early Spartan culture as an idealized model for embittered Athenian musical elites, see Csapo 2004:240–244.
[ back ] 224. On Damon in his political context, see Wallace 2004; ethos theory: Wallace 1995; Anderson 1955, 1966. For a critic of musical ethos theory such as the Epicurean Philodemus of Gadara, Terpander’s Spartan intervention was a central point of refutation, since “very many of those who are mad for music (mousolêptoi) agree” upon its veracity (On Music 4, P.Herc. 1497, col. 9, 4–19 = T 14b G); mousolêptoi is a swipe at adherents of the theory—those who allow themselves to be “possessed” by the Muse. Philodemus directly takes on Diogenes of Babylon (fl. c. 200 BCE), a Stoic proponent of the politicized ethos theory. Diogenes had claimed that Terpander “made the Lacedaemonians desist from their disorder by singing in their philitia” (Philodemus On Music 1 fr. 30.31–35, p18 Kemke = Diogenes SVF III, p232 fr. 84 von Arnim = T 14a G). We should note the possibly aristocratic-oligarchic implications of the setting in the philitia, which Diogenes perhaps envisaged as the Spartan equivalent of Attic-Ionic symposia rather than the militaristic, post-Lycurgan “public messes” of the sixth century and after. On the anachronistic application of the terms philitia (a variant of the more common phiditia) and sussitia ‘public messes’ (cf. Photius Lexicon s.v. μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν) to early Spartan private sympotic culture, see Quattrocelli 2002:17. The sympotic reimagining of Terpander goes back to the fifth and fourth centuries (cf. Pindar fr. 125 S-M, discussed below; Section 2 above, on Choricius); its presentation within the rhetorical framework of ethos theory may be Classical as well. In his critique of Diogenes, Philodemus argues by contrast that Terpander “delighted the Spartans at the agônes” (αὐτ]οὺς ἐπ[ὶ τῶν] ἀγώνων ἔτερπεν) but did not actually sway them to put away their stasis with his music (they did so because they listened to reason and obeyed the Delphic oracle). Philodemus thus simultaneously demystifies and demoticizes Terpander—he is no more than a talented agonistic citharode.
[ back ] 225. Forrest 1963:164–165.
[ back ] 226. This play is discussed in the following section. Neither Herodotus nor Thucydides mentions the role of Terpander or the Lesbian Singer in early Sparta. But I would note the implications of Herodotus 1.65.2, in which the historian says that, before the time of Lycurgus, the Spartans were both “the worst governed” (kakonomôtatoi) and “unsociable to foreigners” (xeinoisi aprosmeiktoi). As Crane 1998:79 observes, “Herodotus implies that the Spartans improved not simply because they adopted a new internal order but because they became better able to associate with members of other Greek states.” Herodotus may be referring primarily to Lycurgus’ supposed consultation of the Panhellenic Pythian oracle (described in 1.65.3), but he likely alludes as well to the traditional connection drawn between the importation of foreign musicians and poets (perhaps including Terpander) and the ordering of the Spartan state.
[ back ] 227. Cf. Kiechle 1963:200–201.
[ back ] 228. Two other, non-Spartan festivals are included in this passage as part of the second katastasis, the Arcadian Apodeixeis and the Argive Endymatia. Presumably the mousikoi agônes at these festivals were founded around the time those of the Gymnopaidiai were (probably later seventh century BCE, as opposed to the early-seventh-century date given to the Carneian citharodic contest; cf. Barker 1984:214n65), and some of the same musicians (e.g. Sacadas of Argos) connected to the Gymnopaidiai were also connected to the Arcadian and Argive festivals.
[ back ] 229. Cf. Barker 1984:214n66; Rutherford 2001:31. The choral performance of Thaletas’ songs at the Gymnopaidiai is attested by Sosibius On Sacrifices FGrH 595 F 5 ap. Athenaeus 15.678c–d. Porphyrus Life of Pythagoras 32 says that Pythagoras sang the paeans of Thaletas to the lyre; such solo reperformance of choral melic was common (cf. Aristophanes Clouds 1354–1356). It is likely that at least some of Thaletas’ songs were sung to the aulos (“Plutarch” On Music 10.1134d–e, derived from Glaucus of Rhegium, who seems to have had, however, an auletic bias of sorts, as we saw in Part II.6). Cf. Rutherford 2001:79–80 on auletic accompaniment to paeans; he notes that paeans at the Spartan Hyacinthia were accompanied by aulos and kithara together (Polycrates FGrH 588 F 1). The paeanic character of the second katastasis was probably not total: Glaucus claims that there were disputes as to whether the songs of Thaletas were actually paeans; similar disputes arose about the genre of Xenodamus’ songs, with some arguing that they were huporkhêmata (On Music 9.1134c; Athenaeus 1.15d; cf. Barker 1984:214n71). Glaucus claims too that Xenocritus’ choral pieces came to be classified as dithyrambs because they included heroic narration. These were probably not unlike what Arion’s Corinthian dithyrambs looked like. Cf. Ieranò 1997:191.
[ back ] 230. Pausanias takes pains to distinguish Thales from the “shamanic” wise man and seer Epimenides of Knossos, who legendarily purified Athens and other cities. Indeed, while both were imagined to be administers of analogous rites of communal katharsis, Epimenides is not figured as a musician per se (although poetic verses were ascribed to him). On Epimenides and the tradition of Cretan purifiers, see Burkert 1992:60–63. Carmanor of Crete, however, the father of Chrysothemis, the first mortal paean-composer and citharode at Delphi, was an explicitly musical purifier in the vein of Thales; he was said to have purified Apollo after the god had killed the serpent at Delphi.
[ back ] 231. On the curative powers of the paean, see Rutherford 2001:15, 37.
[ back ] 232. Philodemus On Music 1 fr. 30.31–35, p18 Kemke = Diogenes SVF III fr. 84 von Arnim; On Music 4, P.Herc. 1497, col. 9, 4–19.
[ back ] 233. Life of Lycurgus 4.1: ποιητὴν μὲν δοκοῦντα λυρικῶν μελῶν καὶ πρόσχημα τὴν τέχνην ταύτην πεποιημένον, ἔργῳ δὲ ἅπερ οἱ κράτιστοι τῶν νομοθετῶν διαπραττόμενον. Plutarch’s description of Thales’ music as a πρόσχημα ‘screen’ for his political work recalls his characterization of another mousikos active at the intersection of music and politics, Pericles’ advisor Damon of Oa, who “attempted to use the lura as cover” (τῇ λύρᾳ παρακαλύμματι χρώμενος) for his political influence (Life of Pericles 4.2–3).
[ back ] 234. Aristotle Politics 2.1274a29 makes Lycurgus an ἀκροατής ‘listener’ or ‘disciple’ of Thales; cf. Forrest 1963:163. On Aristotelian influence in Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus, see Morrow 1960:33. Another possible source may be Ephorus of Cyme, who reported on Thales’ musico-political activity on Crete in connection to a discussion of the Lycurgan constitution (Strabo 10.4.16), and who, it has been argued (Kiechle 1963:200), is the source behind Diodorus Siculus’ account of Terpander’s harmonization of Sparta (8.28 ap. Tzetzes Chiliades 1.385–392), although this latter contention is far from certain. Ephorus’ own view of music’s ethical force seems to have been rather pessimistic, however: he argued that music was originally devised for deception (apatê) and beguilement (goêteia) (FGrH 70 F 8 ap. Polybius 4.20.5; cf. Wallace 1995:25).
[ back ] 235. Cf. the discussion of this passage in Nagy 1990b:367–368, who notes that the “calming” quality (καταστατικόν) of Thaletas’ music recalls his role in the second katastasis of music at Sparta.
[ back ] 236. 8.28 ap. Tzetzes Chiliades 1.385–392. The citharodic nomos and the paean were thought to share the same orderly, temperate aesthetic and “Apollonian” character (Proclus Chrestomathia ap. Photius Bibliotheca 320a33–b26; cf. Rutherford 1995).
[ back ] 237. Cf. Calame 1997:141n149; Constantinidou 1998:26–28. I leave out of the discussion Pratinas PMG 708, with its intriguing reference to the superiority of “Dorian khoreia” (line 17), due to its disputed authorship. Cf. Zimmermann 1986.
[ back ] 238. Cf. Henrichs 1994/1995; Power 2000.
[ back ] 239. Pratinas claimed that Xenodamus composed songs in the hyporchematic performance mode (cf. n229 above; Part II.3n58). Pratinas himself composed songs called huporkhêmata (Athenaeus 14.617b, although the poem cited there as a hyporkhêma, PMG 708, may be a dithyramb by a later fifth-century poet; cf. Zimmermann 1986). By making Xenodamus a composer of huporkhêmata, he may have been attempting to create a legitimating precedent for his own, perhaps innovative style of song performance at Sparta.
[ back ] 240. However, none of the sources that have Thaletas working musical miracles describe him as a choral poet; he is implicitly imagined as a solo musician, presumably a citharode. Similarly, when Stesichorus is portrayed as resolving stasis in a city (perhaps Sparta) with his melos, he sings solo (Philodemus On Music 1, p18 Kemke = PMG 281c; cf. Part II.6n115). One reason for these monodic characterizations is anecdotal economy. But they also speak to the paradigmatic, iconic force of the image of the lone citharodic wonder-worker: Orpheus, Amphion, and (very likely) Terpander. Nagy 1990b:428 discusses the anecdotal “parallelism between Stesichorus and Terpander.” On the role of the Delphic oracle in accounts of poets’ visits to Sparta as perhaps originally a feature of the Terpandrean tradition, see n189 above.
[ back ] 241. The Carneia and the Gymnopaidiai may have abutted one another on the Spartan religious calendar, the latter celebrated between the middle of July and the middle of August, the former between mid-August and mid-September. See arguments in Richer 2005:256–259. It is worth noting that, while the “historical” sequence of the katastaseis inverts the evolutionary development of citharode from chorus, within the temporal logic of the festival year, the choral performances of the Gymnopaidiai precede the solo turns of the Carneia.
[ back ] 242. Cf. Nagy 1990b:142; Rutherford 2001:85–86 notes the imbrication of ideals of aesthetic, somatic, and social order in the paean. Plato in the Laws emphasizes the importance of choral culture to his supremely ordered utopia, for which Sparta is an obvious model. His citizens are all chorus members (Laws 665c), made to enact somatically the hegemonic state ideology, to internalize and propagate it again and again through their own rhythmic dance and music making. Cf. Kowalzig 2004.
[ back ] 243. Cf. Power 2004.
[ back ] 244. Cf. Zimmermann 1992:32–33.
[ back ] 245. Suda s.v. μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν repeats the same information.
[ back ] 246. Geissler 1969:20–21.
[ back ] 247. Music in Cheirons: frs. 247, 248, 254, 263, 267 K-A. Cheiron himself was renowned in myth for his lyre playing, so we might presume that the chorus of Cheirons in the play took some proprietary interest in it. Cratinus probably mentioned or at least alluded to Terpander in his Euneidai (fr. 72 K-A).
[ back ] 248. Flach 1883:201n2 suspected that a comic poet was behind the story.
[ back ] 249. As suggested by frs. 247, 248, and perhaps 254 K-A. Cf. Ruffell 2000:486–487; on political nostalgia in the play, see Farioli 2000.
[ back ] 250. See the summary of the lengthy scholarly debate over the origins of the tale and its variants in Compton 2006:119–125. On its contextualization within the intricate push and pull of anti- and pro-Spartan propaganda, see Figueira 1999:230–231. Laconizing Athenians put their own positive spin on Tyrtaeus’ putative Athenian origins (e.g. Plato Laws 629a).
[ back ] 251. Compton 2006:119–129 makes a good case for the Spartan antiquity of seemingly “negative” elements in the Athenian biography of Tyrtaeus.
[ back ] 252. Cf. Compton 2006. Parker 1983:375–392 reviews myths involving the exile and purification of killers. Especially relevant is the case of Macar, who left home to colonize Lesbos after killing his brother (scholia ad Iliad 24.544; cf. Diodorus Siculus 5.56–57, 61, with McGlew 1993:159). It may be significant that the Homeric scholion mentioning Macar’s crime identifies him specifically as the founder of Antissa, Terpander’s city.
[ back ] 253. Nagy 1990b:434n104, who compares “the myth about Oedipus at Colonus, where the hero is exiled from Thebes on account of his blood guilt and is thereafter purified at Athens, in response to which the hero donates to the Athenians his own corpse as the talisman of his represented hero cult at Colonus.” Sparta likely claimed Terpander’s corpse; see discussion below. Nagy 1990a:52 discusses the hero cult of the Archaic poet as a locus for the collection and elaboration of his biographical lore.
[ back ] 254. Cf. Nagy 1979:118, section 1n2 for the semantics of timê in the context of hero cult. As Muellner 1996:28n48 puts it, “The local hero’s everlasting timê is his cult.” While there is no explicit evidence for Terpander’s Spartan hero cult, it is significant that the Spartans did set up cult for other semi-legendary founding figures, the lawgiver Lycurgus (Herodotus 1.66; Plutarch Life of Lycurgus 31) and the ephor-poet Chilon (Pausanias 3.16.4). We should note too that Terpander’s bloody past (and Spartan redemption) seems thematically well suited to the myth history of the Carneia. In one commonly held aetiological account, the festival was founded to atone for the murder of the seer Carnus and to purify the blood guilt of the offending Heracleidai. Sources collected in Burkert 1985:441n25.
[ back ] 255. With the end of the continual supremacy of the Lesbian Singers in Sparta, we might presume the decline of the cult of Terpander in the sixth century. But that need not have been entirely the case. At the least, non-Lesbian citharodes would likely have continued to perform Terpandrean nomoi at the Carneia.
[ back ] 256. For dating, see Page 1981:99.
[ back ] 257. Cf. Gostoli 1990:83. Pausanias 3.12.10 describes one Skias, a large, main pavilion located near the agora (cf. Etymologicum Magnum s.v. Σκιάς). This structure was used by the Spartans as an assembly hall, but it may have housed the Carneian citharodic agôn as well; the confiscated kithara of Timotheus “still” hung on its wall in Pausanias’ time. Pausanias reports that the Skias was built by Theodorus of Samos, which would date it to the middle or late sixth century BCE, as Theodorus was a contemporary of Croesus and Polycrates (Herodotus 1.51.3, 3.41.1). Our epigrammatist may be showing his antiquarian learning by having Terpes/Terpander play among the Skiades rather than in the Skias, which would notionally have been built after Terpander’s time.
[ back ] 258. Gostoli 1990:83.
[ back ] 259. Livrea 1993:3n4 makes the tentative suggestion that the author of the epigram, Tryphon, knew early citharodic scholarship on Terpander by Hellanicus of Lesbos or Hieronymus of Rhodes, who wrote a treatise called On Citharodes (fr. 33 Wehrli). The killer fig finds an analogue in an anecdote about Anacreon’s choking on a grape-pip (cf. Page 1981:99; Livrea 1993:4). The theme is similar, yet tailored for the sympotic context of Anacreontic song (Valerius Maximus Memorable Deeds and Sayings 9.12.8; Pliny Natural History 7.7). Cf. Rosenmeyer 1992: “Such convenient anecdotes symbolically unite the manner of a poet’s life and death” (14n12). On the iconic pose struck by Terpander at the moment of his death, see Suda s.v. γλυκὺ μέλι καὶ πνιξάτω, with comments in Part I.18.
[ back ] 260. Cf. Livrea 1993:4.
[ back ] 261. There are similarities between Terpander’s nostos and the story of Arion as related in Herodotus 1.23–24, which draws on Lesbian and Corinthian accounts. Both were preeminent Lesbian citharodes—Arion was a “citharode second to none in his day”—who made their fame as guests in a foreign city in which they had an honored, semi-permanent status. Like Terpander, Arion left his adopted city of Corinth to display his art (in the West), and then returned with his wealth and glory not to his native city of Methymna, but to his second home of Corinth.
[ back ] 262. On the technical issues involved in Pindar’s description, see Barker 1984:295–296; West 1997:48. The harp’s “plucking that sounds in answer” seems to refer to the fact that its high-pitched strings were used to “reply” to another instrument or voice sounding at an octave lower (Barker 1984:295n175).
[ back ] 263. On skolia, see Fabbro 1995, especially the testimonia collected in 3–15. Cf. Harvey 1955:161–163; Herington 1985:49–50; Nagy 1990b:107; Maehler 2004:238.
[ back ] 264. Cf. the implications of Dicaearchus On Musical Contests fr. 88 Wehrli = scholia ad Plato Gorgias 451e. On the ludic nature of skolion singing, see Collins 2004:84–98.
[ back ] 265. For the recomposition of lyric classics as skolia, compare Alcaeus fr. 249 and its notably altered “skoliastic” version, PMG 891. Cf. Fabbro 1992. One etymology of the term skolion, which means “crooked,” derives it from the “crooked” course the lyre would have followed as it was passed among the select symposiasts who had the skill to execute the more difficult lyric songs, which for this reason are skolia strictly speaking (Dicaearchus fr. 88 Wehrli). But this etymology most likely reflects assumptions based in the musical culture of the late Classical period, when fewer laypeople had the proper paideia to sing to the lyre a Sappho or Alcaeus composition. A variety of contrasting etymologies were known; see Barker 1984:103n16; Collins 2004:87, with further bibliography. The scholia to Gorgias 451e record one tradition according to which the skolion was so called by antiphrasis: skolia were actually simple songs, not at all tricky or “crooked.”
[ back ] 266. For the overlap of the Pindaric and Bacchylidean skolion and enkomion, see Maehler 2004:239 (“both terms evidently refer to the same kind of sympotic song”); cf. Harvey 1955:162–163; Cingano 2003; Fearn 2007:27n2, with further bibliography. Barbitos: Bacchylides frs. 20B.1, 20C.2 (an enkomion also to Hieron of Syracuse); Pindar frs. 125, 124d (probably from the same song as 125). On the Bacchylidean references, see Fearn 2007:41–42. It is possible, of course, that skolia/enkomia only imagine their performance to the barbitos and that auloi or even a kithara were actually used. But perhaps in this case we are better off taking literally the performative self-references.
[ back ] 267. See Fabbro 1995:XVI–XVII; Cingano 1990:223, 2003 on possible choral execution.
[ back ] 268. A majority of scholars now agree that this testimony refers to the same song from which fr. 125 is excerpted. See Gostoli 1990:89–90; cf. van Groningen 1960:118. It could be that the attribution of the invention of the Mixolydian scale (tonos) to Terpander, which is reported in the same section of On Music as the testimony about his invention of skolia (28.1140f = T 37 G), also derives directly or indirectly from the skolion of Pindar. The Mixolydian mode was intimately associated with Archaic Lesbian sympotic lyric. Aristoxenus reports the claim that Sappho was its original inventor (fr. 81 Wehrli ap. On Music 16.1136c–d). Yet Aristoxenus may also have reported the variant tradition that Terpander invented it, which he could have drawn from Pindar’s skolion, with which he was familiar (fr. 99 Wehrli).
[ back ] 269. Pindar’s attribution of the barbitos to Terpander has no known antecedent. In the eleventh-century CE Persian verse romance Vāmiq and ‘Adhrā by the poet ‘Unṣurī, which adapts significant portions of the Greek novel Metiochus and Parthenope, there is a scene set at the court of the Samian tyrant Polycrates. In the scene, Ibycus (Persian: Īfuqūs) sings erotic lyric on the barbaṭ, which is likely the barbitos. Vāmiq then tells the story of Hermes’ (Persian: Hurmuz) creation of the barbaṭ with the help of an old man, Hažrah-man, whose name would appear to be a rendering of “Terpander.” See discussion in Hägg 1989, with translation of the relevant Persian text on 45–46. It is almost certainly the case that the author of the Greek novel has cobbled together in rationalizing fashion various literary traditions of lyric lore, combining Hermes’ invention of the lyre as known from the Homeric Hymn to Hermes with the Pindaric tradition of Terpander’s invention of the barbitos (cf. Hägg 1989:71). The presence of Ibycus, who himself sings to a barbaṭ, is intriguing, however. Could Ibycus have already treated Terpander’s invention in a lyric song composed for the Polycratean court, where both Lesbian kitharôidia and sympotica were in fashion? The chances are slim, and we should note that Ibycus himself does not tell the tale in ‘Unṣurī’s narrative. Yet, if the tale did have pre-Pindaric currency on Polycratean Samos, much of the argumentation made below for Pindar’s “sympoticization” of Terpander at Hieron’s Syracusan court would hold true. I plan to return to the late chapter in the “invention of Terpander” represented by this novelistic episode in a future publication.
[ back ] 270. For the identification of Archaic elites with things Eastern, see Morris 1990:171–185; Kurke 1992.
[ back ] 271. “Lifestyle”: Kurke 1999:185.
[ back ] 272. There is perhaps another reflex of such assimilation of barbitos to harp in Theocritus, who calls the barbitos polukhordos (Idyll 16.45).
[ back ] 273. Sources for Alcman’s origins, Lydian or Spartan, assembled in Bowra 1961:17–18. Lydian fashion: Alcman PMGF 1.68, a “Lydian head-band”; cf. Sappho frs. 39.3–2, 98a. For a possible reference to the magadis in Alcman PMG 101, see West 1992:72–73.
[ back ] 274. “Oriental pomp”: West 1992:55. We may note the attribution of the invention of the kithara to the Lydian king Tyrrhenus, who was also known as the inventor of the triangle harp, which visually resembles the kithara (Duris FGrH 76 F 81). Another Lydian, Torebus, is credited with the invention of the Lydian harmonia (“Plutarch” On Music 15.1136c) and with adding a fifth string to the lyre (Boethius On Music 1.20). These traditions may be quite early; some version of them may have played a part in the citharodes’ own accounts of their art. So too the tradition that Amphion, as inventor of the seven-stringed kithara, knew the Lydian mode through his kinship with Tantalus (Pausanias 9.5.4), may have been an early construct of “mainland” citharodes looking to compete with the Lydian prestige of the Lesbian line.
[ back ] 275. See previous note on Tyrrhenus of Lydia, inventor of both harp and kithara. The barbitos was normally played by a standing, often dance-stepping musician—the Lydianizing comasts on the late Archaic “Anacreontic” vases abundantly illustrate this posture (cf. Price 1990:143n30)—and the practice could have contributed to its conceptual interchangeability with the kithara, which was also played by standing, “dancing” musicians (cf. Part I.17). We might even imagine that Archaic barbitos players could imagine themselves “playing the citharode” in the Dionysian space of the symposium; the long chitons such players wear on Archaic vases indeed resemble those worn by citharodes. Cf. Nagy 2007a, who suggests that chiton-wearing, barbitos-playing Sappho and Alcaeus are implicitly cast as agonistic Panathenaic citharodes in a sympotic scene on an Attic krater of the Brygos Painter (Munich, Antikensammlungen no. 2416; 480–470 BCE). Such casting of the amateur monodists par excellence as professional agonists would represent the complementary inverse of Pindar’s sympotic makeover of professional Terpander. Bell 1995:25–30 argues that this Attic vessel, discovered in Sicily near the ancient site of Acragas, was commissioned by the Emmenid tyrant Xenocrates of Acragas, for whose son, Thrasyboulus, Pindar composed Isthmian 2. That song significantly compares the erotic lyric of Alcaeus and (probably) Sappho (see scholia to line 3) with the professional poetry of Pindar (cf. Nagy 2007a:235). It could be that both vase and ode reflect a professionalization of sympotic musical culture at the Acragantine tyrannical court akin to what we see at Hieron’s Syracusan court. See discussion below. An Acragantine citharode, Moschus, competed at the Panathenaia in the later fifth century BCE (scholia ad Aristophanes Acharnians 13).
[ back ] 276. On the transition in Sparta from an aristocratic sympotic culture to the egalitarian “messes,” see Bowie 1990b:225n16; Powell 1998:129; Hodkinson 2000:217–218; Quattrocelli 2002:16–17. Laconian vase painting of the sixth century BCE does yield several examples of lyre players entertaining at convivial gatherings, but we cannot ascertain the identity of these musicians; some may be divinities rather than mortals. See Pipili 1987:51–52; Stibbe 1992. Diogenes of Babylon and Photius both offer testimony to the effect that Terpander sang for the Spartans in their philitia or sussitia. But these reports may themselves represent the remainder of an elitist, post-Pindaric recasting of Terpander as a sympotic rather than agonistic singer, as the insistence of Philodemus, correcting Diogenes, that Terpander “sang in the agônes” suggests. See n224 above. Quattrocelli 2002, following Vetta 1983:XXIV–XXV, makes the argument for Terpander as a largely convivial composer, but this necessitates taking the Pindaric testimony too literally and misunderstanding the predominantly public nature of kitharôidia. Nor do the Terpandrean fragments support this view; the spondaic fr. 3 G is hardly “sicuramente” from a skolion melos (Quattrocelli 2002:18–19), and fr. 8 G, an anonymous libation song, was only attributed to Terpander, and dubiously so, by Bergk in the nineteenth century. This is not to say, however, that historical citharodes never performed on occasion in private (or semi-private) sympotic contexts; some obviously did. See discussion below.
[ back ] 277. Cf. discussion of this fragment in Part I.22.iv. As Sappho’s poetry suggests and Classical Athenian vase painting indicates, the barbitos also makes its way into the hands of women in restricted contexts of domestic music making. On the instrument and its sociology, see Maas and Snyder 1989:39–40, 113–138; West 1992:58–59; Wilson 2003b:190–193; Nagy 2007a; Power 2007.
[ back ] 278. See Nagy 2007a:237–243 for concise commentary and bibliography on Athenian vase paintings of Sappho, Alcaeus, and Anacreon with the barbitos.
[ back ] 279. Simonides too had probably mentioned the barbitos in an encomium for the Thessalian Scopadai, to which Theocritus Idyll 16.45 probably alludes. Cf. West 1992:58n47. Proclus in Photius Bibliotheca 321a12 makes the barbitos the essential instrument for accompaniment of skolia.
[ back ] 280. Or possibly Aetna, the city founded in 475 BCE by Hieron. Bacchylides “sends” his enkomion for the tyrant to the “men of the symposium at well-built Aetna” (20C.6–7).
[ back ] 281. Cf. Olympian 1.14–18, where the professional performance of the epinician ode is assimilated into the exclusive ambience of Hieron’s symposium, yet is also positively contrasted to the amateur mousikê that is normally made there. Discussion in Morgan 1993:3. We may compare too the rhetorico-ideological work done in Pindar Isthmian 2.1–13—an epinician ode for a member of the tyrannical family of Sicilian Acragas—to reconcile the realities of musico-poetic professionalism (Pindar’s “mercenary Muse”) with the romanticized amateurism of old-time, aristocratic sympotic love lyric. See Nagy 1989, 1990:340–342; Kurke 1991:240–256.
[ back ] 282. Aeschylus was also lured to Syracuse and Aetna by the tyrant. Cf. Herington 1967; Podlecki 1980:387–395.
[ back ] 283. Callias, the name transmitted in the manuscripts of the scholia, was archon in 456/5, which was not a Panathenaic year. The name has thus been changed to Callimachus, in whose archon year the agônes of the Great Panathenaia would have been held. It is likely too that that year, 446/5, was the first in which Pericles’ reformed version of the festival was instituted; thus the otherwise absurd claim that Phrynis was “the first to win in kitharôidia at the Athenian Panathenaia.” Definitive discussion in Davison 1958:40–41.
[ back ] 284. Cf. Aristophanes Clouds 969–971. The manuscripts have Aristocrates, but Pherecrates seems better. Phrynis is subject to attack for his New Musical innovation in Pherecrates Cheiron fr. 155.14–18 K-A.
[ back ] 285. Suda s.v. Φρῦνις repeats much the same information, with some interesting variations. Instead of Aristocleitus, it has Aristocleides, who is called a kitharistês. It adds the information that Ister’s testimony comes from his On Melic Poets, that Phrynis was the son of Kamon (the manuscripts have καρβωνος, but Kamon, elsewhere attested, seems better than the “Kanops” adopted in Adler’s Suda edition; cf. Hordern 2002:259), and that “many others” besides Phrynis were given to Aristocleitus by Hieron. On the verb klaô as a gendered term of musical criticism, cf. LSJ s.v. κλάω 3. The Suda has the compound form kataklaô. The reference is presumably to the exharmonic “bends” (kampai) for which Phrynis is criticized in Clouds 969–971.
[ back ] 286. Cf. Part I.15n273. A third possibility is that the story alludes to his compositions for dithyrambic choruses, although there is no evidence for these.
[ back ] 287. Philoxenus was called Doulon because he had been a doulos ‘slave’: Hesychius s.v. Δούλωνα = fr. adesp. 74 Kock. Cf. Suda s.v. Φιλόξενος, which records that Philoxenus was sold to the Athenian dithyrambist Melanippides, who, we may infer, taught him the art of dithyrambic song. Similarly, Phrynis is said by Ister to have been given to Aristocleitus, who taught him kitharôidia. The Spartan general Lysander cuttingly asked a citharode seeking his patronage if the citharode in fact wanted to be his slave: Plutarch Life of Lysander 18.5.
[ back ] 288. Cf. Davison 1958:40–41.
[ back ] 289. Cf. Telò 2007:28–33.
[ back ] 290. Timotheus must have begun performing in the 420s. Parian Marble Εp. 76 dates Timotheus’ death, at age 90, somewhere between 366/5 and 357/6 BCE. Suda s.v. Τιμόθεος records that he died at age 96. We can thus put his birthdate in the mid to late 450s or early 440s; this dating would accord with the statement of Diodorus Siculus 14.46.6 that Timotheus was in his prime in 398. Cf. Wilamowitz 1903:67n4.
[ back ] 291. Cf. Taplin 1993:42–43; Storey 2003a:169–170; 112–114 for the date of the play (he proposes 417–416 BCE). Telò 2007 proposes the later date of 410, after Phrynis was long dead; he argues that the citharode appeared as a character in the Underworld.
[ back ] 292. In Eupolis Golden Race fr. 303 K-A, a citharode named Alcaeus is addressed ὦ Σικελιῶτα Πελοποννήσιε ‘[Alcaeus] of Sicily and from the Peloponnese’. Could this Alcaeus be a Lesbian Singer who made his name, like his Lesbian predecessors Arion and Phrynis, at both the Spartan Carneia and in Sicily? Golden Race was probably produced in the mid 420s BCE; cf. Storey 2003a:267, 275.
[ back ] 293. Relevant is the civic reorganization in 461 BCE of the citizenry of the Sicilian city of Camarina on the model of the strings of the lyre (or kithara). Cf. Cordano 1994. On the one hand, the lyrico-political ordering of the city hearkens back to ancient doxa that a “lyre-founded city would gain metaphysical protection and enjoy social unity” (Franklin 2006a:59); on the other, it could reflect more popular enthusiasms for contemporary kitharôidia, which had been stimulated throughout Sicily by the culturally ambitious and competitive tyrants of Syracuse, Gela, and Acragas. It is perhaps significant that we find two of the earliest appearances of the word kithara in Epicharmus (frs. 68.1; 108.2), who worked in Syracuse during the reign of Hieron. Citharodic performance per se is not at issue in either fragment, however.
[ back ] 294. For a citharode’s advertising the prestige of a patron at foreign festivals, cf. Part I.21n376 (Arion and Periander of Corinth); Part IV.3 (Lysander and Aristonous). At least one Olympic athlete had Hieron’s name announced alongside his own in his victory proclamation: Pausanias 6.13.1. For the Sicilian tyrants’ interest in Panathenaic musical prestige, see Nagy 2007a:234–235. It is tempting to compare the case of the aulete Midas of Acragas, who was a Panathenaic victor (scholia ad Pythian 12 inscr.). Pindar wrote an epinician ode to commemorate another of Midas’ victories, this one at the Pythian auletic agôn (Pythian 12, 490 BCE). Midas is surely a professional name; cf. Clay 1992: “Midas was a Phrygian name, and the aulos was thought to have been of Phrygian origin” (519). The fact that Pindar mentions neither Midas’ father nor family suggests too that he was a foreigner, quite possibly from Phrygia, who had adopted Acragas as his home. There is a good chance that he served as a retainer to the dynastic family of Acragas, the Emmenidai, one of whom, Xenocrates, brother of the Emmenid tyrant Theron, won a Pythian chariot victory in 490 BCE, the subject of Pindar Pythian 6, the same year Midas won his musical victory. Perhaps the two traveled together to Delphi; perhaps too their victories and victory odes were celebrated in conjunction with one another in Acragas. Midas presumably had sufficient money to afford Pindar’s services—and Pythian 12 is quite short—but there is the possibility that the Emmenidai themselves commissioned the ode for Midas—a self-promoting gift, as Pindar’s song ultimately speaks to the discrimination and influence of the aulete’s patrons. On tyrannical interest in aulêtikê, see Barker 1990:55.
[ back ] 295. Cf. Plutarch Sayings of Kings 177b. We should understand Archelaus as actually singing his “antiphonal” rejoinder. Such direct participation is typical of music making in the symposium, although here its normatively amateur ethos is perverted by the commercial implications of the sung exchange. For relevant discussions of the sympotic practice of “criticizing” existing songs through recomposition—alteration or augmentation—see West 1974:17–18; Ford 1999:120; Collins 2004:63–98.
[ back ] 296. For the distinction between private and tyrannical symposia, see Cingano 1990:220–223; Vetta 1992: “il simposio tirannico è il luogo della professionalità” (209).
[ back ] 297. On the ideology of the wage, misthos, cf. Will 1975.
[ back ] 298. On gift exchange as a means of mystifying the real economic relationship between aristocratic citizen and professional female “companions,” hetairai, at the symposium, see Davidson 1997:109–111; cf. Kurke 1999:185–186. Significantly, the anecdotal tradition frames the relationship between the lyrico-aristocratic exemplar Anacreon and his tyrannical patron Polycrates as one of kharis and “equal” gift exchange between friends: Aelian Historical Miscellanies 9.4; Stobaeus Florilegium 4.31. See Nicholson 2005 for Pindar’s rhetorical shading over of the unseemly professional realities of athletic culture in his epinikia. Cf. too the insights of Neer 2002:87–131, who speculates that sympotic elites in Athens encouraged the ideological fiction that the potters and painters of the drinking vessels they used were gift-giving friends and social equals, so as to “erase” the disruptive reality that these essential objects of sympotic culture were objects merely bought from commercial artisans. For Nero’s idiosyncratic use of sympotic rhetoric to negotiate private and professional musical identities, see Part I.9.
[ back ] 299. For a possible allusion to another Terpandrean apogonos, Euainetidas, at Pythian 4.177, see Part II.10.
[ back ] 300. Carey 1989:564n49; cf. Fearn 2007:41.
[ back ] 301. Of course, in this scenario it is conceivable that Aristocleitus would have sung the skolion to his concert kithara, and that the barbitos was only intended as an archaizing, stylized conceit; cf. n266 above. But that need not have been the case; for one, the link with the sympotic Terpander described by Pindar would have been more obvious if the skolion were actually sung to the barbitos. Vetta 1983:LII-LIII has argued for the existence of a tradition of encomiastic kitharôidia at tyrannical courts, yet this seems to overstate the case. It is one thing for a star citharode to entertain at a private gathering, and perhaps to compliment the patron with some choice remarks or by singing flattering mythical narratives in his nomoi; it is another thing to for him to serve as a dedicated praise singer in the manner of a Pindar. Nevertheless, Hieron, with his outsized narcissism and cultural ambitiousness, may have encouraged this unique combination of encomiastic poetry and kitharôidia, scaled to the practical and ideological horizons of the symposium: a sympotic encomium composed by Pindar and performed to the barbitos by a Lesbian citharode. For some suggestive associations between Timotheus, Simonides, Bacchylides, and the barbitos at the Macedonian court of Alexander, see Section III.6 above.