Part IV. Panathenaic Kitharôida

1. Kitharôidia Comes to Athens

By the beginning of the fifth century BCE, and probably still earlier, Athens had become a premier market for kitharôidia, its Panathenaic mousikoi agônes overshadowing the long-established regional contests at the Spartan Carneia and rivaling the international allure of the Pythian games at Delphi. The city’s emergence as a citharodic center had everything to do with the regime of the Peisistratids, who played a key role in instituting and promoting the art at the Panathenaia from at least the middle of the sixth century BCE, when Peisistratus finally consolidated his rule in Athens (the “third tyranny”). [1] It cannot be a coincidence that beginning in the period 550–540 BCE we see the first black-figured images in the Attic ceramic record of what appear to be mortal citharodes, who are very likely, if not certainly, meant to represent competitors at the Panathenaia. [2] By 530–520 BCE, citharodes (and citharists) standing on the festival bêma ‘platform’ and performing for judges and spectators are routinely represented on red-figured vases. The setting for the majority of these images must be the Panathenaic agônes. [3] Furthermore, such images far outnumber those of competitors in other mousikoi agônes during this period, the aulodes, auletes, and rhapsodes. [4] Around 530 BCE we also begin to see images of Heracles kitharôidos, a figure that is unmistakably linked to Peisistratid investment in Heraclean myth and cult as well as the Panathenaia festival, and that strongly suggests the tyrants’ interest in associating themselves specifically with the prestige of kitharôidia at the Panathenaia.
Since Peisistratus died in 528 BCE, the civic focus on kitharôidia that is illustrated by the later-sixth-century iconography must actually have been fostered by his sons Hippias and Hipparchus, who succeeded their father as co-rulers and governed until the murder of Hipparchus in 514 BCE—significantly, at the Panathenaia festival (Herodotus 5.55–56; Thucydides 6.56)—and then the deposition and exile of Hippias in 511/10 BCE. Hipparchus seems to have been especially involved in stimulating musical and poetic culture in the city. Aristotle refers to him as a music-lover, φιλόμουσος (Constitution of Athens 18.1); one modern scholar has appropriately dubbed him a “Minister for Cultural Affairs.” [5] His name was linked with the composer of choral melic Simonides of Ceos and the lyric monodist Anacreon of Teos, both of whom he induced to make Athens and his tyrannical court a creative home base. [6] To Hipparchus was also attributed the regulation of the rhapsodic recitation of Homeric epos at the Panathenaia. [7] In the “Platonic” dialogue Hipparchus 228c we read that with his cultural initiatives Hipparchus was intent on “educating (paideuein) the citizens, so that those subject to his rule might be as good as possible.” Beneath the anachronistic “Socratic” rhetoric of this statement—the ethical emphasis on securing the “goodness” of the citizens—we can detect a more practical policy of sociopolitical organization and ideological manipulation through the spectacle of civic cultural events, a policy his father Peisistratus very likely had early on explored. [8] As we will see, kitharôidia was an important component of that policy; it also had a significant role to play in the tyrants’ shaping of the image of Athens abroad.
But first, let us step back in time. Although some confusing testimony from Plutarch (Life of Pericles 13) would date the introduction of the mousikoi agônes, including the agôn in kitharôidia, to the middle of the fifth century BCE, scholars are now in agreement that it should not be taken literally. This testimony, which claims that Pericles was the first to pass a decree (psêphisma) instituting mousikoi agônes at the Panathenaia, cannot be taken to mean that contests were held for the first time at the festival under Pericles. The visual evidence makes this unmistakably clear. [9] It is more likely the case that Pericles undertook a reorganization of the agônes, no doubt seeking to recoup for himself the popular favor that the tyrants had enjoyed in the previous century with their sponsorship of festival musical culture—as Plutarch says, he acted from motives of φιλοτιμία ‘desire for public recognition’.
Yet we cannot be sure exactly when or at whose initiative the mousikoi agônes were officially instituted at the sixth-century Panathenaia. We can be fairly certain that in 566 BCE an older civic festival of Athena was drastically reorganized and a penteteric Great Panathenaia was established, with a Lesser Panathenaia being celebrated every year. One source points to Peisistratus as the reorganizer, but the fact that he assumed power for the first time only five years after 566 makes this testimony problematic. Another, more credible source would indicate that it was the Philaid aristocrat Hippocleides who led the effort to reorganize the festival in 566, the year he was (likely) archon. [10] Although it would be about 20 years until the appearance of the first vase paintings of what appear to be Panathenaic musical performances, with kithara or aulos, there is no reason to think that musical events were not included in the reorganization of the festival from the start. It is significant that Hippocleides—assuming it was he who led the reorganization—had conspicuous links by marriage to the tyrant Periander (Herodotus 6.128.2) and by guest-friendship to the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon (6.129), both of whom were practiced manipulators of festival performance politics. [11] As to the time gap between the 566 date and the appearance of contest scenes in the iconography, conceivably it took about two decades or so for the mousikoi agônes to “catch on,” attracting the interest of talented performers from Athens and abroad as well as the enthusiasm of Athenian audiences, in particular, Athenian elites, on whose sympotic vessels the contest scenes mostly appear. [12] We will see that this may have been particularly true of kitharôidia. Again, these scenes began to appear with frequency only when Peisistratus assumed his third tyranny in the mid 540s, and this synchronicity would suggest that, if Peisistratus had only inherited the musical contests, he certainly took it upon himself to promote them more vigorously than they had been before. He may also have succeeded specifically in stimulating the interest of the Athenian aristocracy in the musical culture of the Panathenaia, both as appreciative spectators and as performers.
What sort of exposure to concert kitharôidia did Athenians have before its official installation at the Panathenaia? Late Geometric iconography indicates that the tetrachord phorminx and the khelus-lyre were known in Athens as early as the eighth century; the images illustrate their use in ritualized collective settings, where they provide accompaniment for choral song and dance and for sacrificial processionals. [13] The local hero Theseus is shown holding a khelus-lyre on the Attic François Vase (c. 570–560 BCE) as he leads a mixed chorus of Athenian youths; the instrument will remain a hallmark of his iconography throughout the Archaic period. [14] With only a few uncertain exceptions, however, there is no representation of anything like an agonistic solo performance before the apparently Panathenaic scenes of the middle of the sixth century BCE. The first certain appearance of Apollo kitharôidos in Attic art is on a black-figured wine bowl by Sophilus produced between 580 and 570 BCE. The scene is set at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Apollo, attired in the rich garb of a concert citharode and playing a full-sized concert kithara (albeit with only six strings), rides in a quadriga driven by Hermes; three Muses walk alongside. [15] The outfitting of Apollo in full citharodic skeuê could suggest that Sophilus had witnessed performances by professional citharodes who were similarly equipped. [16] Yet the fact that Apollo’s kithara has only six strings might reflect his personal inexperience of the medium, and perhaps his dependence on older visual models.
This is not to say that traveling citharodes would never have included Athens on their itineraries; the Lesbian citharodes had, after all, been a well-established presence on the Peloponnesus since the early seventh century. Musical events were likely presented at public or semi-public gatherings in Athens before 566, perhaps even at the proto-Panathenaic festival. We know that musical contests were held at privately organized funeral games outside of Attica in the early Archaic period. The Hesiodic narrator of Works and Days claims that he won a tripod at a song contest, probably lyric in nature, attached to funeral games for the wealthy Amphidamas of Chalcis (654–657). [17] Such games were probably put on in seventh-century BCE Attica as well; these would have provided a venue for foreign and perhaps some local citharodes to compete. [18] A few scenes of what may be solo citharodic performance may be set at such pre-Panathenaic events. The painter of a black-figured lekythos from c. 580 BCE, for instance, has depicted what might be one such scene. While there are no explicit visual markers of an agonistic or festival context, a solo contest or concert seems implied. The sirens by which the citharode is flanked may suggest an Odyssean or Argonautic theme for his song (Heidelberg University 68/1). [19]
But the musical culture of Athens, both in its aristocratic and demotic aspects, may in general have been dominated more by the aulos than by the lyre or kithara before the reorganization of the Panathenaia; even after the reorganization, the aulos and aulodic music may have remained the dominant attraction at the festival for almost three decades, overshadowing kitharôidia. It is telling that the images of aulodes and auletes that begin to appear around the middle of the sixth century are distinctly set in a Panathenaic agonistic context: singers and auletes stand on platforms, performing for spectators and seated judges; in some cases, the vessels are Panathenaic-shaped amphorae, and show a striding Athena on the obverse, a clear allusion to the goddess’ festival. [20] By contrast, images of citharodes from this same period are both fewer and far less markedly Panathenaic, agonistic, or public; there is a tentativeness about their representational status. [21] This need not indicate, however, that the citharodic agôn was introduced by Peisistratus only after auletic and aulodic agônes had already been established, but it does suggest two things. First, if Peisistratus did not himself institute agonistic kitharôidia, he (and his sons) were responsible for encouraging its popularity, and successfully so, for citharodic scenes would eclipse auletic and aulodic ones by the 530s. Second, despite the fact that the archaeological record shows Athenians had long known and used string music in certain ritual contexts, aulêtikê and aulôidia were nonetheless likely more familiar than kitharôidia to Athenian audiences of the first part of the sixth century—and not merely as spectators. It is reasonable to assume that the Athenian elites who commissioned the images of the Panathenaic contests were more comfortable singing to the aulos than to the lyre; some might even have competed in the contests themselves as aulodes, a performance that required far less skill than kitharôidia (or aulêtikê, for that matter). This is not to say that the lyre had no part in the paideia of cultured elites of the day. Theseus’ possession of the tortoise-shell lyre on the François Vase suggests that the instrument already played a significant role in the formation of aristocratic identity in the earlier sixth century.
Yet it is important to keep in mind that not one prominent lyric poet is linked to Athens in the seventh and early-sixth centuries BCE. Hipparchus himself was to a significant extent responsible for the widespread adoption of East Greek lyric monody and its attendant Lydianizing style among Athenian symposiasts. His importation of Anacreon, the leading exponent of the music of the barbitos and its chic ethos of Eastern luxury (habrosunê), to Athens in the late 520s following the death of Anacreon’s former patron, Polycrates of Samos, was a conspicuous expression of his fascination with the tradition of Aeolic and Ionian aristocratic lyric, and his desire to make it the possession of his city and his own court. Before the Peisistratids the only distinguished Athenian poet was Solon, who composed elegiac and iambic poetry, two genres that relied primarily on the aulos for musical accompaniment. The aulodic genre of elegy was initially at home in the aristocratic symposium, but it likely made its way into the Panathenaic agônes from the very beginning. [22] Indeed, we have evidence that the performance of elegy was the rule at the Panathenaic aulodic contest ἐν ἀρχῇ ‘in the beginning’ (“Plutarch” On Music 8.1134a, citing the authority of a Panathenaic inscription, graphê). Even if the inscription “is the one recording Pericles’ re-establishment of the musical contests” in the middle of the fifth century BCE (cf. Plutarch Life of Pericles 13.11), this does not mean that such performance was not the custom too at the sixth-century Panathenaia. [23] The aulodic performances at the Delphic Pythia, instituted in 582 BCE, also featured elegiac poetry. [24]
Solon has in fact been implicated in the reorganization of the Panathenaia festival, or has at least been seen as an influence on it. [25] Perhaps Solonian initiatives stand behind its musical contests as well, in particular its auletic and aulodic events. [26] As a recent study of the poet has shown, Solon was intent on transforming the medium of elegy from a largely aristocratic, elitist poetic tradition into an “open” civic discourse, touching on political and social concerns shared by the entire citizenry. [27] Athens’ main civic festival would be a natural site for Solon to publicize this transformation. The account of his legendary performance of his Salamis elegy in the Athenian Agora, where he sings to a mass audience that has gathered (ὄχλου δὲ πολλοῦ συνδραμόντος) while he stands atop the bêma-like “herald’s stone” (Plutarch Life of Solon 8.1–3), is perhaps an anecdotal “aetiological” reflex of aulodic elegiac performance at the festival. The contests may in fact have been held in the Agora in the sixth and earlier fifth century BCE, before they were moved to the Periclean Odeion. [28] Significantly, Solon’s kinsman Peisistratus figures prominently in this story, “urging and inciting the citizens to obey the words” of the elegy (τοῦ Πεισιστράτου τοῖς πολίταις ἐγκελευομένου καὶ παρορμῶντος πεισθῆναι τῷ λέγοντι).
The late popularity of lyric culture comparative to aulodic culture in Athenian society, both in the symposium and in the public realm, may explain a curious claim made by Apollo in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes:
καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ Μούσῃσιν Ὀλυμπιάδεσσιν ὀπηδός,
τῇσι χοροί τε μέλουσι καὶ ἀγλαὸς οἷμος ἀοιδῆς
καὶ μολπὴ τεθαλυῖα καὶ ἱμερόεις βρόμος αὐλῶν.
For I too am a follower of the Olympian Muses,
for whom choruses are a concern, and the splendid path of song,
and the vitality of song and dance (molpê) and the lovely roar of auloi.
Homeric Hymn to Hermes 450–452
Hermes has just revealed the newly invented lyre to Apollo, whose enthusiasm for its novelty is initially tempered by a certain defensiveness. The god of music asserts that he is, appropriately, just as dedicated a follower of the Muses as Hermes is. Nonetheless, the Hymn imagines that Apollo has had absolutely no exposure to the music of strings before this point. This is meant to be startling, and a bit comic. βρόμος αὐλῶν ‘roar of the auloi’ is saved as a sort of punch line until the end of Apollo’s description of the Muses’ concerns, which form a résumé of his own (limited) musical experience. (And it is difficult not to hear an allusion to Dionysus in that description, and his epithet Bromios ‘Roarer’.) As we will discuss in greater detail below, there is reason to believe that the Hymn was performed in later-sixth-century Athens, perhaps while Hipparchus was still in power. [29] If so, Apollo’s surprisingly late lyric conversion would present a playful allegory for Athenians’ own enthusiastic integration of the music of the lyre and kithara into their civic and sympotic musical lives, which had previously been centered around the aulos.

2. Citharodic Geopolitics

i. Athenian alternatives to Delphi

The Peisistratid promotion of kitharôidia figured significantly in both an international and domestic agenda of cultural politics. In terms of domestic policy, Panathenaic kitharôidia served as a site where Panathenaic interests, the interests of “all the Athenians,” the tyrants, aristocrats, and the masses, productively converged, where potentially conflicting social energies found resolution in the mutually satisfying displays of prestige and pleasures of consumption involved in civic musical performance. The reputation for conflict resolution that kitharôidia had already acquired in early Sparta may have made it an especially appealing medium to Peisistratus and sons as they sought to consolidate and maintain their power over a highly fractious citizenry. But kitharôidia played a major role as well in the tyrants’ bid for Panhellenic recognition and distinction. [30] For the Peisistratids, as for other Archaic tyrants, namely Periander, Cleisthenes, and Hieron, the possession of citharodic prestige was a conspicuous means of enhancing both their city’s and their own profile and influence abroad. The effort to make Athens into a citharodic center was closely linked to the Peisistratids’ proprietary interest in authoritative performances of Homeric epos, their desire to make it into an Athenian property, as it were, to link fundamentally its Panhellenic prestige with that of the city’s premier civic festival as a sign of Athens’ and their cultural mastery. [31]
Scholars have tended to focus exclusively on the rhapsodic contests and Hipparchus’ “Panathenaic rule” when discussing the tyrannical drive to control epic. But that is to neglect the fact that citharodes too performed epics of the Trojan Cycle, including Iliadic and Odyssean material. It is true that by the time Hipparchus was managing the Panathenaia in the 520s the Ionian rhapsodes could make the most authoritative claims to Homer and in turn to Trojan epic. But, as was argued in Part II, in the middle of the sixth century, when Peisistratus was in charge of the Panathenaic program, a related yet rival Aeolic tradition of citharodic epic on the Trojan War had a distinct identity and prestige. [32] Significant in this regard was the Athenian occupation of the Aeolian Troad, going back to the later seventh century BCE, which included the seizure of the Mytilenean settlement of Sigeion (Herodotus 5.94–95). As Herodotus makes clear, the ongoing conflict with the Mytileneans that resulted, which flared up in the early tyranny of Peisistratus, who regained control of Sigeion after it had reverted to Mytilene (cf. Strabo 13.2.38), was as much a struggle over possession of the epic tradition of the Troad as of the territory itself. [33] In the neighborhood of Lesbian Sigeion, that tradition was predominantly Aeolic, and, in the first part of the sixth century, very likely predominantly citharodic. It would stand to reason that Peisistratus, concomitant with his making Trojan epic an Athenian possession, would want to make its authoritative Aeolic medium, kitharôidia, an Athenian possession as well. At the same time, citharodes may have been attractive to the tyrants for the very fact that their repertoire was more flexible than the rhapsodes’, open to a range of texts and traditions beyond Homer. The Terpandrean citharodic nomoi could be fit out with all sorts of locally and occasionally appropriate narratives, including those favorable to the tyrannical regime. Competitors at the Panathenaic citharodic agôn appear to have drawn material from the saga of Heracles, a hero with whom Peisistratus closely identified (cf. Part II.11). The visual evidence suggests that one showpiece was a citharodic Gigantomachy, whose starring character, Heracles kitharôidos, served as a heroic exemplar for the citharodes of the Panathenaic agôn as well as its tyrannical patrons.
The growth of Delphi as a major international center of agonistic musical culture after the establishment of citharodic, aulodic, and auletic contests there in 582 BCE (Pausanias 10.7.3–4) could be seen as a particularly strong incentive for Peisistratus to patronize the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes. The hostilities between the Peisistratid regime and Delphi were surely exaggerated—witness the rumor that the Peisistratids were responsible for burning down the Archaic temple of Apollo at Delphi (Philochorus FGrH 328 F 115)—but relations between Athens and Delphi under the tyrants were certainly not warm; our lack of any firm evidence that either Peisistratus or his sons consulted the oracle during a period when most other cities and tyrants did so is telling. [34] The contrastingly close relations that existed between the exiled political nemeses of the tyrants, the Alcmaeonids, and the Pythian shrine since the involvement of Alcmaeon with the First Sacred War in the 590s must have been a critical factor in the estrangement. As a consequence of these apparent tensions, Peisistratus may well have singled out the mousikoi agônes of the Delphic Pythia, in particular its prestigious citharodic contest, as a model to emulate and surpass at his Panathenaia. [35] The policy pursued by Hipparchus of dispensing his own wisdom (sophia) in the form of epigrams inscribed on herm statues strategically placed throughout the Attic countryside seems an analogous manifestation of a poetic politics aimed at appropriating for Athens authority traditionally possessed by Delphi. This policy is described in “Plato” Hipparchus 228d, in a passage that goes on to say that with his poetic sophia Hipparchus was intent on rivaling the wisdom dispensed in poetic form by the oracle of Apollo at Delphi (228e). [36]
Further, Herodotus indicates that the tyrants had long been storing up written oracles on the Acropolis for their own use (5.90, 5.93); Peisistratus was in fact given the epithet “Bakis,” the name of a legendary soothsayer (scholia ad Aristophanes Peace 1071; cf. Suda s.v. Βάκις). Onomacritus, a professional khrêsmologos ‘speaker of oracular utterances’, and the poet Lasus of Hermione were both employed by the tyrants in collecting, organizing, and interpreting these oracles (Herodotus 7.6). [37] Significantly, Onomacritus seems to have been a specialist in the oracles attributed to Musaeus, a distinctly Athenian mythical singer. The implication to be drawn from these testimonia is that the tyrants wanted to make their Athens into a sort of counter-Delphi, a rival site of oracular wisdom poetry. The Peisistratean Panathenaic agônes might thus represent a related musico-poetic “alternative” to Delphi, one with aspirations to achieve a level of Panhellenic recognition equal to the Pythian contests. [38]
We may want to consider that polysemous mascot of the Panathenaic citharodic agôn, Heracles kitharôidos, as an emblem of the tyrants’ “geomusical” competitiveness with the Pythian agônes. As we will see, the cultural and political symbolism of Apollo kitharôidos was by no means neglected by the tyrants; rather, it was vigorously appropriated. Nevertheless, the promotion of the Peisistratid-identified Heracles as a proto-Panathenaic agonistic citharode easily reads as a challenge to the musical, and specifically citharodic supremacy of Apollo and the Pythian agônes. It is as if Heracles has appropriated for Athens and its festival the instrument most iconically played by the god of Delphi. [39] Indeed, it is tempting to see in Heracles kitharôidos a variation on the theme of Heracles’ appropriation of Apollo’s Delphic tripod. It has been argued that the myth of the Struggle for the Tripod was allegorically deployed in both pro- and anti-Peisistratean propaganda. According to this argument, the depiction of the scene on the east pediment of the Siphnian treasury at Delphi (completed c. 525 BCE) reflected anti-Peisistratean propaganda circulated by the Alcmaeonids and the Delphians: Heracles is Peisistratus, eager to usurp Delphi’s oracular prestige; his attempted removal of the tripod represents his hubristic stance toward Delphi and Apollo, which will be checked by Zeus, who intervenes between Heracles and Apollo on the pediment. [40]
In roughly contemporary Athenian depictions of the scene, the valency is markedly different, and may reflect a pro-Peisistratid view. In these, Heracles appears to receive the support, tacit or active, of Athena against Apollo. This totalizing political-allegorical reading of the imagery has attracted severe criticism, much of it convincing. [41] Yet it is worth taking note of a black-figured Attic neck amphora now in Paris (Louvre F 58). The vase shows Heracles hefting the tripod in front of Apollo, who holds his concert kithara in one hand, unplayed and pointed toward the ground, while he raises the other hand above his head. Athena, holding spear and shield, stands firm behind Heracles. Some have interpreted this as a “reconciliation” scene: Heracles returns the tripod to its rightful owner. [42] However, it need not be; Apollo’s raised hand may be an attempt to check rather than hail the hero. It is difficult not to read the vase against the contemporary images of the Panathenaic Heracles kitharôidos. Athena is positioned and attired as she often is in those images. [43] Apollo holds the kithara, but he has nevertheless been “upstaged” by Heracles, who, set in the center of the scene, still has possession of the tripod. We should recognize the polysemy of this latter object. It is of course meant to be the oracular tripod of Delphi. But in Archaic art tripods could also symbolize victory in contests, athletic as well as musical, including those of the Panathenaia. [44] A black-figured amphora by the Princeton Painter from the time of Peisistratus shows Athena facing a citharode, who wears full concert attire. As in many images of this period, it is unclear whether this citharode is Apollo or a mortal. A large tripod stands between them, which, if the citharode is meant to be a mortal musician, must represent his victory, surely at the Panathenaia, as the presence of the goddess indicates. [45] At some contests tripods were in fact distributed as prizes. Significantly, Pausanias 10.7.5–6 records that tripods were offered at the first Pythian mousikoi agônes. [46] Thus, although Heracles himself does not hold a kithara, might the Louvre neck amphora nonetheless demand that we mentally supplement the familiar, contemporary image of Heracles kitharôidos as we view it, and so understand the tripod to allude, if not to an actual mousikos agôn, then to a more notional citharodic antagonism between the hero and the god, and, further perhaps, between Athens and Delphi. [47]
Tripods appear in another iconographic context that could be linked to Heracles kitharôidos, the Panathenaia, and to Athens-Delphi friction:
During the Peisistratid era, the giants in Attic gigantomachies have the tripod as their most popular shield device … [T]he tripod … is the emblem of Delphi. That Herakles should fight giants who are shown with a Delphic shield device, at a time when Peisistratos’ opponents had gone into exile (probably to Delphi […]), is not likely to be a coincidence. [48]
As we have seen, Heracles kitharôidos must not have been an independent creation of the vase painters. The figure is likely to have been inspired by a citharodic Gigantomachy performed at the Panathenaia, in which Heracles performed a lyric song to celebrate the defeat of the Giants, a performance that in turn offered an aition for the Panathenaic musical contests. Similarly, the tripod devices on the Giants’ shields may be picking up on a latent anti-Delphic/Alcmaeonid strain in the Panathenaic Gigantomachy. However, it is important to emphasize how mistaken it would be to reduce Heracles kitharôidos or the Gigantomachy from which he likely emerged to mere anti-Delphic (or worse, anti-Apolline) propaganda. The rhetoric involved in both is more positive than negative; both serve to celebrate and to legitimate mythically the cultural and political achievements within Athens of the tyrants. Yet still, the iconography does suggest an undercurrent of antagonism within the ideology of the Peisistratean Panathenaia directed outwards to Delphi and its Pythia.

ii. Delian overtures

Alongside Peisistratus’ support of Panathenaic music, we might consider aspects of his religious and cultural intervention on Delos as a competitive response to Delphic musical prestige. [49] Panathenaic and Delian politics were in fact closely intertwined. Thucydides 3.104.1 relates that the tyrant purified the part of Delos that was visible from the temple of Apollo (cf. Herodotus 1.64.2), an action that seems to have been part of a larger effort to assert Athenian influence on the island, the major center of Ionian ethnic and cultural identity. [50] The Delian intervention can be dated to around 545–540 BCE, when Peisistratus was firmly in power. This was clearly a proto-imperial maneuver, and one in which the Athenian tyrant’s management of musical culture, in particular kitharôidia, may have played a considerable practical and symbolic role. [51]
Delos had even before the tyranny of Peisistratus hosted a Panionian panêguris ‘festival gathering’. Thucydides 3.104.3–5, adducing the Delian section of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo in which this panêguris is described (he quotes lines 146–150 and 165–172), says that this “ancient mass gathering on Delos of the Ionians and the dwellers of the surrounding islands” (τὸ πάλαι μεγάλη ξύνοδος ἐς τὴν Δῆλον τῶν Ἰώνων τε καὶ περικτιόνων νησιωτῶν, 3.104.3) included choral performances for Apollo as well as gymnastic and musical agônes. Thucydides 3.104.6 says that “in later times” (ὕστερον) the Delian musical and athletic agônes fell into neglect “thanks to misfortunes” (ὑπὸ ξυμφορῶν), and that only choral performances sponsored by Athens and the islanders were maintained, until the Athenians re-purified the island in 426 BCE and subsequently established a quinquennial festival called the Delia, restoring and elaborating the dormant contests (cf. 3.104.2). [52] Thucydides’ ὕστερον ‘in later times’ is chronologically ambiguous, but it most probably does not indicate the time before or during the activities of Peisistratus on the island. The “misfortunes” experienced by Delos are far more likely to have occurred in the earlier part of the fifth century, probably as a result of the Persian Wars and the subsequent rise of the Delian League, when Athens was usurping the place of Delos as the center of Panionian culture, than in the sixth century, when wealthy Naxos, the Peisistratids, and the Samian tyrant Polycrates, in a “competitive sport among those who sought to control the waters in which [Apollo’s] birthplace lay,” were pumping money and resources into the tiny island. [53] Frustratingly, the historian omits any mention of Peisistratean involvement in the mousikoi agônes on Delos. Thucydides 3.104.2–3 has been taken to mean that the quadrennial Delia was instituted by Peisistratus, not the fifth-century democracy. The text simply does not support this argument. [54] But it is an entirely reasonable assumption that Peisistratus and his sons continued to patronize and perhaps even reorganized the ancient festival described by the historian and the Hymn to Apollo, and that the festival under the tyrants’ oversight offered not only choral performances but also a roster of mousikoi agônes including kitharôidia, as did the Peisistratid Panathenaia.
The existence of a rhapsodic contest on Delos at the combined Delian and Pythian festival staged by the Samian tyrant Polycrates, probably in the late 520s, suggests that solo musical contests were also held at earlier Peisistratean iterations of Delian festivals. [55] Furthermore, the composite Delian-Pythian Homeric Hymn to Apollo, which may have been first performed by the Chian rhapsode Cynaethus at the Polycratean festival, shows that Apollo kitharôidos was a familiar icon of the Delian cultic imaginary and performance culture. The archaeological record confirms this. A colossal marble Apollo kitharôidos, parts of whose chiton-bedecked upper body and kithara have been preserved, was erected on the island probably at some point in the later sixth century BCE, that is, during roughly the same period in which Cynaethus would have performed the Hymn on Delos. [56] The Hymn seems in fact concerned to establish the island as a bona fide center of Apollonian kitharôidia, with a tradition as illustrious as that of Delphi. At the transition from the Delian to the Pythian section of the Hymn we read the following invocation of Apollo, in which he is imagined without his chorus of Muses, as the perfect avatar of the concert citharode:
ὦ ἄνα, καὶ Λυκίην καὶ Μῃονίην ἐρατεινὴν
καὶ Μίλητον ἔχεις, ἔναλον πόλιν ἱμερόεσσαν,
αὐτὸς δ᾽ αὖ Δήλοιο περικλύστοιο μέγ᾽ ἀνάσσεις.
εἶσι δὲ φορμίζων Λητοῦς ἐρικυδέος υἱὸς
φόρμιγγι γλαφυρῇ πρὸς Πυθὼ πετρήεσσαν,
ἄμβροτα εἵματ᾽ ἔχων τεθυωμένα· τοῖο δὲ φόρμιγξ
χρυσέου ὑπὸ πλήκτρου καναχὴν ἔχει ἱμερόεσσαν.
Lord, Lycia too and lovely Maeonia [Lydia] and Miletus are yours, that charming city by the sea, but you yourself again are the great ruler over sea-girt Delos. And from there the son of glorious Leto goes, playing on his hollow phorminx, to rocky Pytho, wearing divine, perfumed garments; and his phorminx beneath the golden plectrum makes a charming sound.
Homeric Hymn to Apollo 179–185
Although lines 177–178 of the Hymn (“And I will not cease from singing far-shooter Apollo of the silver bow, whom lovely-haired Leto bore”) would seem to mark the end of the Delian section, most scholars have realized that this passage nevertheless cannot be taken to mark the beginning of the Pythian section proper. We need not, however, assume, as some have, that it is a late “interpolation” or that the “authentic” opening of the Pythian section has been lost. [57] Rather, it is clear that, rhetorically and structurally, the passage serves to mediate a transition from the Delian to the Delphic realm—Apollo is literally in transit between the two—and that the perspective of the Hymn is at this point still Delian and Ionian. Indeed, the identity of this citharodic Apollo, “Leto’s son,” is distinctly Delian, and, importantly, has been so formed even before he leaves the island for Delphi, where, by implication, there is not yet lyric culture. The lyric tradition of Delos, by contrast, is notionally timeless, cognate with the god himself; Apollo’s first demand after his birth on the island is for the kitharis (Hymn to Apollo 131). Further, the image of Apollo kitharôidos as he leaves Delos cannot but recall the vivid and lengthy description of the Panionian panêguris there (146–166). Athletic and musical contests had been established at this festival to bring terpsis to the god (149–150), who with his phorminx and his festive finery is himself a model agonist. [58]
Might we detect in the Delian characterization of Apollo kitharôidos the reflex of a “meta-agonistic” rhetoric, an assertion of the priority (and so greater importance) of the Delian citharodic agôn to that at the Pythia? Certainly, the marked subordination of Pythian to Delian kitharôidia makes sense in the context of a “Delian and Pythian” festival celebrated on Delos. In support of this reading, we may note that Apollo’s initial trip to “rocky Pytho” from Delos is markedly otiose and premature. His real goal for the time being is Mount Olympus, where he arrives after the unexplained detour to Delphi. On Olympus he leads a chorus of Muses and gods in his role as kitharistês, a performance that symbolizes his definitive integration into and leading position among the Olympian pantheon (186–206). [59] But again, instead of writing off the Delphic detour as a random textual “problem,” we might do better to take it as the rhapsode’s deliberate attempt to express, in spatial and temporal terms, on the one hand the interconnectedness of Pythian and Delian lyric culture, and on the other hand the notional secondariness of the former to the latter. [60] The Hymn was performed under the aegis of Polycrates, and at his festival; nonetheless, the agonistic stance assumed toward the Pythia, muted as it is, might represent a legacy of Peisistratus’ Delian musical politics.
Iconographic evidence from Attica could also point to the tyrant’s investment of Athenian attention and resources in Delian musical culture, and his attendant interest in linking the musical events in Athens to those on Delos. From around 540 BCE depictions on Attic vessels of Apollo as kitharôidos—attired in the long chiton and elaborate mantle that form the skeuê of the festival citharode, playing the square-bottomed concert kithara from which is draped the characteristic intricately decorated cloth—become increasingly common. Not infrequently this Apollo kitharôidos appears alongside Artemis and Leto, in the configuration known as the Delian Triad, in scenes set on Delos. [61] One excellent example on a black-figured neck amphora from around 510 shows Apollo in full citharodic performance mode between Artemis and Leto, striking the strings of his large kithara with the plectrum before an altar that stands in front of a palm tree, a detail that explicitly localizes the scene on Delos. [62]
Alan Shapiro has made the intriguing argument that the image of Delian Apollo kitharôidos on these black-figured Attic vases was derived from a cult statue of Apollo as citharode in the first Athenian temple of Apollo Patroos in the Agora, which was dedicated by Peisistratus. [63] The Peisistratean cult of Apollo Patroos was specifically Ionian in orientation; Patroos “refers to Apollo as patron god of the Ionians, whose principal festival was the Delia.” [64] As father of Ion, whose mother was the Athenian Creusa, Apollo Patroos was the ancestor of the Ionians by way of Athens (Euripides Ion 8–81; Plato Euthydemus 302c); he provided the divine legitimation for the city’s claims to Delian and Ionian hegemony. The Delian identity of the Athenian Apollo Patroos may have been a matter of some contention, but that it could be asserted, even with some degree of tendentiousness, is made clear by the fourth-century BCE orator Hyperides in a markedly antiquarian passage that links fundamentally Attica, Delos, and Apollo Patroos (fr. 67, from the Delian Oration). [65] If Shapiro is right about the cult statue, it is remarkable that Peisistratus advertised in Athens the imperialistic, paternalistic aspirations of his Ionian foreign policy under the iconic sign of Apollo kitharôidos, whose Delian associations would have been unmistakable. This is not just a case of Peisistratus’ nodding to Apollo’s traditional possession of the phorminx or lyre, as attested, for instance, in the Delian portion of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (131–132). [66] Nor should we be content to settle for a purely symbolic interpretation: Apollo the citharode as ordering communal archegete, the embodiment of cosmic harmony political and aesthetic. Of course, such lyrico-political symbolism must have been intended by the tyrant, and the fact that it seems to have been more at home in Aeolic regions and Dorian cities of the Peloponnese and the West—Sparta is a standout—than in Ionian ones could suggest that he was deliberately appropriating and redirecting its force for an (imagined) Athenian-led Ionian community. [67] What should not be ignored, however, is that the image of a distinctly citharodic Apollo promoted by Peisistratus, as depicted on the vases and, again, if Shapiro is correct, displayed prominently in statuary in the new temple of Apollo Patroos in the Agora, would resonate with the contemporary citharodic performance culture. That is, the Peisistratean Apollo, a strategically charged elision of Apollo Delios and Patroos, absorbed and reflected the glamorous aura projected by the modern-day citharodes the tyrant was intent on having sing in Athens, some of whom may have sung as well at the Delian agônes. Citharodic cultural capital generated in Athens and on Delos would here have been visibly converted into political capital supporting the Panionian aspirations of the Peisistratids.
The feedback loop between mortal and divine citharodic glamour is well illustrated by a black-figured neck amphora, now in London, produced around 550–540 BCE, the same decade in which Peisistratus likely performed his Delian intervention and dedicated the temple of Apollo Patroos. [68] On the obverse, Apollo, dressed in a patterned mantle over a long, white chiton, plays for his sister, who holds her bow; on the reverse, a bearded mortal citharode, wearing similar garb, playing an identical kithara and striking almost the same pose as Apollo, stands alone between two sphinx-topped columns, an iconographic motif that refers to the Panathenaia. [69] The assimilation of the citharodes is surely deliberate; the two are effectively made to “impersonate” one another. [70] The motivation for this must be in large part to flatter the mortal citharode. But musical geopolitics also enter the picture. While Leto is absent from the scene of Apollo and Artemis, a Delian setting could nonetheless still be intended. If so, the metonymical links between the two scenes on the vase might reflect a broader ideological continuity between the music of two festivals promoted by the Peisistratids, the Panathenaic and the Delian, and a further connection of both to the Athenian cult of Apollo Patroos. [71]

3. Late Classical Interlude

The strategic links between Athenian and Delian musical cultures would be renewed a century after the death of Peisistratus, when the later-fifth-century democracy restored the mousikoi agônes on Delos, a move that recalled, and perhaps served as political balance to, Pericles’ reestablishment of mousikoi agônes at the Panathenaia in the 440s. [72] These renewals of musical prestige in Athens and then on Delos, we will see, had a meaningful part to play in the Athenian imperial agenda of the second half of the fifth century. But here let us flash forward to the later fourth century BCE and to what may yet be another echo of Peisistratean citharodic culture: the new colossal statue of Apollo kitharôidos produced by the sculptor Euphranor that was installed in the new temple of Apollo Patroos in the Agora. The statue has been excavated, minus head, arms, and kithara (Plate 3), but later copies allow us to fill in our picture of the original with these missing components. [73] Shapiro, noting the general conservatism of Greek cults and cult statues, argues that this statue was modeled on an earlier one commissioned by Peisistratus. [74] Euphranor portrays Apollo kitharôidos in the usual himation and chiton, which we presume the Archaic statue wore, but added a peplos reminiscent of that worn by Athena Parthenos. The peplos was almost certainly not a feature of an Archaic cult statue—no sixth-century vase painting depicts Apollo wearing one. [75] The innovation is surely significant; it brings to the image a politically and culturally meaningful semiotic polyvalency. On the one hand, the peplos transforms Apollo into a more socially abstracted symbol; as far as we know, real-life citharodes, even in the fourth century, did not wear this garment as a part of their skeuê. The visual and conceptual looping between mortal and divine citharode that we see illustrated on the London amphora is short-circuited. The peplos vividly assimilates Apollo to Athena, the transvestism reinforcing his position as authoritative Stadtgott alongside the city’s patron goddess. But this symbolization also divorces him from the real-life cultural practice of kitharôidia. [76] On the other hand, we could read the peplos as symbolically reinforcing the Athenian identity of Apollo Patroos qua citharode and thus reflecting a civic recommitment to an Athenian patronage of actual citharodic culture. It could telegraph specifically a reference to the Panathenaic festival, which even into the late fourth century (and well after) remained an important center of agonistic kitharôidia. [77]
Such conflation of the two deities under the sign of kitharôidia and the Panathenaic festival that frames it would present a bold variation on an iconographic theme attested over 150 years earlier. A red-figured Panathenaic-shaped amphora by the Nikoxenos Painter from c. 500 BCE shows Athena, in her guise as helmeted, striding Promachos, assuming the customary place of Apollo, vigorously sweeping a plectrum across the strings of the large concert kithara she holds (Plate 11). [78] On the reverse an ephebic-looking citharode wearing a long, puffy-sleeved robe is shown striking the strings of his instrument in a nearly identical gesture (Plate 12). This citharode is most likely a mortal, but his countenance evokes Apollo’s; his posture too, unlike that of Athena’s dynamic gait, is stiff and statuesque, like that of Apollo kitharôidos in earlier sixth-century depictions. Both figures play before an altar; both are framed by the distinctive cock-topped columns that evoke the Panathenaic contests. As on the earlier amphora in London discussed above, mortal and divine citharodes are assimilated, but here the city’s patroness gets in on the game, “playing the citharode” and thereby vividly enacting the city’s possession of the medium. [79] Indeed, the citharodic Athena might be viewed as a post-tyrannical, democratic response to the Peisistratid-identified images of Heracles kitharôidos, in which Athena had been consigned to the role of spectator. [80] Although the Euphranor Apollo inverts the terms of the Nikoxenos Painter’s image—Apollo is “playing Athena”—it communicates a similar message. But beneath the Attic imposition of the peplos the Ionian-Delian traces of Apollo Patroos, dating back to the Archaic period, must have remained. This emerges in an expert analysis of the statue and its historical context, which concludes that “[C]ostume, haircut, and kithara were intended to recall a traditional Ionian costume, and the musical contests held on the island of Delos.” [81]
The Panathenaic, Delian, and citharodic themes that inform Euphranor’s Apollo Patroos hearken back to the sixth century BCE, but very much reflect the tenor of the religious and cultural aspirations of later-fourth-century Athens. The new temple and cult statue were dedicated during Lycurgus’ tenure as state treasurer, probably around 330 BCE, and the reactivation of Athenian citharodic capital signaled by the colossal statue is indeed in line with his costly investments in civic culture, which were aimed at raising the lowered profile of Athens to its “Classical” eminence. [82] Lycurgus took a keen interest in recouping the glory of the premier Athenian musico-poetic medium of the fifth century, tragedy. He financed the reconstruction of the Theater of Dionysus, where he had erected statues of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and he commissioned authorized state texts of the plays of these canonical tragedians. [83] His interventions in the Panathenaic festival mainly concerned its ceremonial and religious aspects, but in his speech Against Leocrates (102) he makes much of the city’s “ancestral” legacy of Homeric recitation at the Panathenaic rhapsodic agôn. [84]
Outside of the implications of the Apollo Patroos statue, we hear nothing specific about Lycurgan interest in citharodic culture. Star citharodes were, however, playing increasingly prominent roles in the interstate politics of the later fourth century. It is hard to imagine that Athens would want to be left out of the action, especially since its dominant rival Macedon was clearly intent on emerging as a major center of kitharôidia. [85] Lycurgus evinces a pious interest in ancient Delian culture in his speech “Against Menesaechmus, Concerning the Sacrifice on Delos” (fr. XIV Conomis), roughly contemporary to the Delian Oration of Hyperides, which also seeks to reclaim ancient Delian prestige for Athens. [86] The mousikoi agônes on the island, including kitharôidia, were still being celebrated in style, but other states, including the Delians themselves, had been challenging the hegemony of Athens on Delos since the end of the Peloponnesian War. [87] Inscriptions recording victors at the Delian citharodic agônes are preserved only from the third century BCE, but we should note that the earliest victor we know from this period is an Athenian, Memnon, in 284 BCE (IG XI 105). [88]
At another (non-Panathenaic) festival in which the Athenians took great interest in the fourth century BCE, the Amphiaraia at Oropus, on the border of Attica and Boeotia, we have inscriptional evidence of the victory of another Athenian citharode in the agônes, one Cleonicus (IG VII 414). [89] In what may not be a coincidence, Cleonicus’ victory took place in 329, the first year the Athenians hosted the Amphiaraia after Oropus was returned to Athens from Thebes and the festival’s penteteric reorganization was proposed in 331. [90] Given that the cult of Amphiaraus, with its attached festival, was something of a political football passed back and forth between between Thebes and Athens, it also may not be a coincidence that the winner in the less prestigious contest of boys’ solo kithara-playing—an event that was also offered at the fourth-century Panathenaia—was a Theban named Lysander. [91] Perhaps we might see in the record of the agonistic string culture the traces of some political negotiation between the two cities?
After the Athenian defeat at Aegospotami, which marked the end of the Peloponnesian War, Sparta made its own Delian overtures. The Spartan general Lysander, in what was surely a provocative gesture intended to counter traditional Athenian prerogatives, made dedications at the temple of Apollo on Delos. [92] There is no evidence that Lysander intervened in the musical contests on the island, but it is clear that the Spartan general understood how to manipulate musical culture in the game of international power politics. His methods merit a brief digression. There is the fascinating testimony in Plutarch’s Life of Lysander that Lysander destroyed the walls and burned the triremes of Athens to the sound of auloi played by the aulêtrides ‘female auletes’ he had summoned from the city. This appropriation of distinctly Athenian musical resources—the aulos was the instrument most prominently associated with the civic music of Athens, the aulêtrides were the hired entertainers at its symposia—to provide the festive soundtrack for the humiliation of the physical manifestations of Athenian civic and imperial power was a cannily orchestrated performance indeed, fraught with deep symbolic irony. [93] For, if democratic Athens was a predominantly “auletic” city, oligarchic Sparta was a city whose musical identity was traditionally bound up with the music of the lyre. We could perhaps connect to Lysander’s auletic gloating over the fall of Athens the erection in Amyclae—the site of the Apolline Hyacinthia festival and, as such, a resonant locus of Spartan musical culture—of a statue meant to be the personification of Sparta, a woman holding a lyre. Pausanias, who was an eyewitness of this statue of lyric Sparta, says that it was dedicated with funds from the spoils of Aegospotami (3.18.8). The timing of the dedication and the source of its funding conspire to suggest that this monument was a deliberate reassertion of Spartan cultural values, a memorial to triumphant Spartan musical and political order (kosmos), built from the imperial capital of Athens itself. [94]
Lysander ambitiously enlisted rhapsodic poets in the service of promoting his own fame. He kept Choerilus of Samos on retainer “to adorn his deeds in verse” (ὡς κοσμήσαντα τὰς πράξεις διὰ ποιητικῆς), and supposedly paid Antilochus a capful of silver for an encomiastic poem. The Samian Heraia festival was renamed in his honor as the Lysandreia; performers at the attached musical contests lost no time in competing to glorify the new honorand. No surprise, as Lysander himself served as judge at the initial offering of the rededicated agônes. Antimachus of Colophon was supposedly defeated by Niceratus of Heracleia in the rhapsodic contest; both were reciting poems about the Spartan admiral in his presence (Plutarch Lysander 18.4–5). [95]
A final anecdote related by Plutarch links Lysander directly to citharodic culture. He was approached (perhaps at the Lysandreia) by Aristonous, one of the most successful citharodes of the later fifth and early fourth centuries, a six-time Pythian victor and winner of the Panathenaic agôn in 398. [96] Aristonous told the Spartan in what was perhaps an overly direct show of goodwill (φιλοφρονούμενος) that if he were victorious once more at Delphi, he would have the kêrux ‘herald’ “proclaim him as Lysander’s” (Λυσάνδρου κηρύξειν ἑαυτόν). The reply: “As my doulos ‘slave’, you mean?” [97] This anecdote refers to what was probably a historical practice, the citharode’s advertisement of a powerful patron’s name alongside his own in the official victory announcement delivered during the crowning ritual, which would allow the patron to share in the glory of the victory at its most intense and concentrated moment. More typically, the name of a victor in a mousikos agôn would be proclaimed alongside his home polis and the name of his father. [98] But as international “free agents” citharodes were presumably open to publicizing at this marquee moment the name of a high-bidding patron. Such selling (or rather leasing) of high profile “advertising space” at the Panhellenic and major regional festivals might have constituted a lucrative revenue stream for the professional agonistic musician. Analogous to the proposition made by Aristonous is the case of the professional athlete Astylus of Croton, who on two occasions had himself “announced as a Syracusan in order to please Hieron” (ἐς χάριν τὴν Ἱέρωνος … ἀνηγόρευσεν αὑτὸν Συρακούσιον, Pausanias 6.13.1). [99]
What seems fabricated about the story is Lysander’s cutting response to Aristonous, which notably, however, does not amount to a flat-out rejection. Lysander’s desire for widespread recognition and power was historical fact, even if his detractors exaggerated his aspirations into tyrannical proportions. [100] Lysander does not seem to have objected to being deified and honored by rhapsodes on Samos. He undertook his own Panhellenic self-promotion at Delphi by dedicating a bronze statue of himself there (Plutarch Lysander 18.1). It is difficult to believe that Lysander would resist the opportunity to have his name publicized at the Pythia by a citharode as renowned as Aristonous. It could be the case that Aristonous did have himself announced under the name of Lysander, presumably with the blessing of the latter (and his financial incentivizing—compare the story about the rich compensation of Choerilus and Antilochus), and that the anecdotal reply of the Spartan is a secondary reflex. As such, it could be read from two points of view. First, it could have emerged from a hostile tradition that emphasized the haughty peevishness and overweening behavior supposedly exhibited by Lysander (Lysander 18.2, 19.1), who is made to humiliate, “enslave” the world-famous citharode, while not, however, rejecting his attractive offer. Indeed, in Plutarch’s account this anecdote caps a series of examples of behavior that illustrate Lysander’s increasingly hubristic enjoyment of power. But perhaps the story reflects Lysander’s own disingenuous self-fashioning: the noble Spartan, the champion of eleutheria, styles himself as shocked by the citharode’s offer; he is seemingly made uncomfortable by the tyrannical implications of the patronage arrangement proposed by Aristonous. [101] Kitharôidia was, after all, a medium central to the establishment of the communal peace at Sparta going back to the time of Terpander. Perhaps the thought of one powerful individual’s undue influence over its performers was too far out of tune with the traditional Spartan ideal of the citharode as resolver of civil strife.

4. Apollo Patroos: Ideological Resonances in Athens

I have argued that the citharodic envisioning of Apollo Patroos in his ancestral aspect chimed with the imperialistic assumptions by Athens of its own “foundational” status in the Panionian community and iconicized its leading role within that international context, exemplified most strongly in the city’s recurrent exertions of influence on Delos. Such influence, we saw, may have included the patronage of citharodic agônes on the island. But might Apollo Patroos also have played some symbolic role in the ordering of the musical culture within the city? In Plutarch’s telling of an anecdote that has a young Alcibiades vehemently refusing to learn the aulos, Alcibiades refers to Apollo Patroos as an exemplar of Athenian musico-political identity, saying, “We Athenians, as our fathers say, have Athena as foundress (arkhêgetis) and Apollo as our ancestral god (patrôios); the former threw away the aulos, while the latter flayed the very aulos player [Marsyas]” (Life of Alcibiades 2.6). It has been argued that, despite Alcibiades’ seemingly collective evocation of “we Athenians,” his appeal to ancestral Apollo actually reflects a tendentiously elitist, exclusionary vision of both citizenship and musical practice: “We can certainly point to no known role of Apollo Patroos in the musical ‘formation’ of ‘the Athenians’ at large.” [102] Indeed, the old-line clans, the genê, which not uncommonly provided a social frame for aristocratic identity and activity, from an early point took a proprietary interest in the cult of Apollo Patroos. [103] We might imagine that the lyric character of this “family” Apollo validated aristocratic notions of an elite-only “lyric birthright,” the privileged, restricted access to lyric music in the schoolroom and the symposium. Alcibiades’ rejection of the demotic aulos in favor of the lyre also has a hauteur that could reflect the elitist ideology inherent in the Patroos cult. His self-justifying allusion to the Apollo and Marsyas myth, which portrays the god as an implacable defender of aristocratic social and aesthetic supremacy, is notable in this respect as well. [104]
But it is just as likely that by the time of Alcibiades’ youth Apollo Patroos was a divinity with a broader civic identity, his kithara a source not only of aristocratic identification but also of citywide (democratic) cultural pride—which Alcibiades would of course have exploited for his own self-interested rhetorical purposes. [105] For it is entirely possible that the Peisistratid dedication of a temple and statue in the Agora was aimed specifically at opening up the restricted ambit of this upper-class cult to a broader demotic constituency, a move that would be in line with broader tyrannical policies that aimed at exposing and diffusing, while not completely diminishing, concentrations of gentilician influence over the cultural and religious life of the polis. [106] The cult would remain in a sense an aristocratic possession, and provide opportunity for elite display, but possession and display would then be framed and monitored by civic space and polis ideology. Felix Jacoby makes a similar argument, but assigns the public promotion—indeed, the invention—of the cult of Apollo Patroos to Solon. There are valid chronological objections to Jacoby’s argument. [107] Nevertheless, the motivation he ascribes to Solon’s promotion of the cult, to unite the dêmos while “absorb[ing] the aristocracy without destroying it,” surely suits the approach of the tyrants to their own management of civic cult and ritual, which, as another scholar describes it, “had a dual purpose: it served to articulate and strengthen collective identity, and to grant the elites a prominent place in the social order.” [108] It is in light of these negotiations between private and public and aristocratic and demotic that we may view the adornment of the public cult statue of Apollo Patroos with the trappings of the citharode, which, on Shapiro’s reasonable argument, originated with the Peisistratids. Alcibiades’ claim gives us a glimpse of the ideological middle ground occupied by the musical Apollo Patroos—an aristocratic icon with popular appeal, not unlike Alcibiades himself. A scholiast to Aristophanes Clouds 984 gives us another glimpse. Glossing the word τέττιγες ‘cicadas’, which the personified Worse Argument, a proponent of all that is novel, uses to mock old-school Athenian musical culture, the scholiast reports that “the ancient Athenians wore golden cicadas in their hair, because, [cicadas] being musical (mousikoi), they were sacred to Apollo, who was Patroos to the polis.”
Thucydides mentions these golden cicada hairpins in his description of the sumptuous Ionian dress that was integral to the “lifestyle of luxury” (τὸ ἁβροδίαιτον) practiced by Archaic Athenian elites (1.6.3). [109] That lifestyle, it should be noted, was one surely promoted by the philomousos Hipparchus, as his importation to Athens of Ionian Anacreon, that exponent of East Greek lyric habrosunê, makes clear. We will see its imprint too on sixth-century images of Panathenaic citharodic performance. The Aristophanic scholiast describes a meaningful nexus, likely shaped by Peisistratean cultural politics, between elite display, the cultivation of music, and Apollo Patroos, who is, despite the special claims made upon him by the aristocracy, markedly identified as an inclusionary civic entity: he is “Patroos to the polis” (Πατρῷος τῇ πόλει). The god’s citharodic aspect would accordingly, I suggest, have been subject to such a “double vision” in terms of its social significance.
We should recall too the way that the sixth-century ceramic evidence suggests a connection between a Delian citharodic Apollo, a figure that was probably identified with Athenian Apollo Patroos, and the Panathenaic citharodic agônes. Indeed, the public display of the ostensibly “aristocratic” Apollo Patroos as festival citharode could well emblematize the strategic thrust of the domestic politics of Panathenaic kitharôidia practiced by the Peisistratids. There can be no doubt that the mousikoi agônes of the Panathenaia, a free dispensation of musical mass entertainment, were exploited by the tyrants to secure their popularity with the dêmos. [110] At the same time, however, the tyrants likely recognized the value of musical contests as a site where the social and cultural ambitiousness of the aristocracy could be productively channeled into the demotic sphere, and thus better contained and controlled. Elites would themselves have seen the contests, perhaps at first mainly the aulodic ones, but increasingly the citharodic ones as well, as opportunities for high-visibility public display of their sociocultural distinction, as discerning, top-tier spectators and judges, and, at least in some cases, as performing competitors. Similar arguments have been made for the Peisistratids’ management of the Panathenaic athletic agônes, which were, of course, a more traditional area of aristocratic recognition seeking. [111] Indeed, a surplus function of Heracles kitharôidos might have been to forge a symbolic link between the familiar world of the athletic contests and the less familiar one of the musical contests, modeling and inviting elite interest and participation in the latter. [112] The citharodic Apollo Patroos (as well as the other citharodic refractions of Apollo under the tyrants) could have fulfilled an analogous symbolic function, exerting an ennobling influence on agonistic kitharôidia, and in a sense legitimating its consumption and practice for the aristocratic elite.

5. Brilliant Spectators

The experience of Panathenaic kitharôidia in the sixth century BCE and, as we will see, through a good part of the fifth century thus belonged to “all the Athenians”—it was popular music broadly speaking—but it was still one in which aristocratic citizens cultivated a proprietary interest as privileged connoisseurs and occasionally as quasi-professional agonists. Sixth-century Attic vase painting provides vivid evidence for the elite investment in the spectatorship of festival mousikê. Unlike those of aulodes and auletes, the earliest images of citharodic (and citharistic) performance, from the middle of the century, do not include an audience, or at least a mortal audience. But by around 530 BCE black- and red-figured vases do begin to depict citharodes standing atop the bêma and performing before spectators. Among the earliest such vases is a red-figured amphora attributed to the Andokides Painter (Louvre G 1), which well exemplifies themes in the later-sixth- and early-fifth-century iconography of citharodic spectatorship. On the reverse of the amphora a beardless young man in full citharodic skeuê, including a wreath of victory on his head, stands on a two-tiered bêma; he has just run the plectrum across the strings of his large kithara, whose arms jut up impressively into the decorative frame running above the scene (Plate 9). [113] The player is depicted in a static, almost statuesque pose, which is typical of citharodic scenes at this time, but we need not think that the real-life musician this figure portrays did not display the kind of orchestic dynamism we see in many representations from later in the century. [114] The image on the obverse of the amphora may in fact suggest the excitement of the performance: two heroic warriors fight a duel, the top-pieces of their helmets breaking into the upper decorative frame like the arms of the kithara on the reverse. Is the duel the subject of the citharode’s epic song? Or is the heroic contest meant to reflect and glorify the agonistic struggle of the musician? Perhaps we should not rule out either possibility. The dueling warriors are flanked by divine spectators, Hermes and Athena, whose presence may allude to the Panathenaic setting of the musical agôn on the reverse.
There, similarly disposed around the citharode, stands a pair of mortal spectators. These spectators, both beardless young men, represent the kaloi k’agathoi of the cultured elite of tyrannical Athens. Their elegant and costly Ionian costumes, no less impressive than that of the citharode, long hair, and staffs clearly distinguish them as such. [115] The two in fact appear to be consummate exponents of the Ionian “art of luxurious living,” τὸ ἁβροδίαιτον, that Thucydides ascribed to Archaic Athenian elites (1.6.3). The citharodic agônes, it seems, were an attractive site for the conspicuous display, we might even say the “performance” of such elite splendor. [116] To complete the dandyish effect, both spectators hold flowers; the one on the right daintily sniffs the petals of his flower as he listens, to produce, one imagines, a sort of synaesthetic rush, the sweet smell enhancing the sweetness of the musical and visual terpsis unfolding before him. [117] The gesture finds a significant echo on the obverse, where Athena sniffs a flower as she watches the dueling warriors. Just as the citharode may be implicitly assimilated to the battling hero, so his fabulous spectators are gently likened to the gods. The parallelism may suggest that there is at least something notionally divine about such privileged spectatorship of the citharodic agôn. [118] Indeed, in scenes such as this, the glamour and charisma of the spectators attract the viewer’s eye as much as does the star power of the citharode; the spectators are integral to the spectacle.
Given that they are likely stand-ins for the wealthy vase owners themselves, this is not surprising. These images flatter the privilege and distinction of the aristocratic festival audience, whose members consume the images at their own symposia, almost as much as they celebrate the achievement of the citharodic agonist. Relevant to these points is the marked visual identity between the spectators and citharode on the Louvre amphora, in their elegant dress as well as their physiognomy. [119] Indeed, the bodies of all three figures are similarly eroticized, and so make equal claims on the desire of the viewer; we watch the spectators watch the citharode. Our gaze is drawn especially to their protruding buttocks. As the old-school lover of boys and lyres, Better Argument, indicates in Aristophanes’ Clouds, a πυγὴ μεγάλη ‘big rump’ ranked high on the list of features considered sexually attractive in the elite pederastic culture of Archaic and early Classical Athens (1014); it was indicative of good athletic and musical paideia. Citharodes would continue to be depicted with prominent buttocks into the fifth century BCE, a sign of the elite focalization of their sexual desirability. [120] See, for example, the Brygos Painter’s citharode, alongside whom runs the inscription, “The boy is beautiful” (ho pais kalos); the elite listener on the reverse is similarly labeled a “beautiful boy” (Plates 1 and 2).
The Louvre amphora reveals too the way in which the civic music of the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes was imagined by Athenian elites to be something of an exclusive encounter, a private possession. There is no direct indication of the mass audience that also attended and enjoyed the contests. Its appraising gaze, directed at the display of both musician and elite spectator, is of course implicit in the background—and very much needed for such displays to have any real validity—but the musical experience, despite its demotic frame, is envisioned as if it were intended exclusively for the few connoisseurs who can truly appreciate it. The public is, as it were, obscured and the idealized aristocratic engagement with kitharôidia isolated and foregrounded. It is almost as if the mousikos agôn were portrayed as an intimate gathering, observed at a respectful distance by thousands of unseen yet fascinated viewers.
This effect is made especially vivid on a calyx krater by Euphronios from c. 510–500 BCE, also in the Louvre (G 103). [121] An aulete, labeled Polykles, mounts a bêma as he daintily lifts the back hem of his chiton with his right hand, a gesture we see bêma-mounting citharodes perform as well; Polykles in fact appears with a kithara on a contemporary black-figured oinochoe (Villa Giulia 20839-40). The audience is made up of three seated, young elites, each, like Polykles, labeled by inscriptions. Among them is Leagros, who makes numerous appearances on vase paintings of the time; his name is accompanied by a “tag kalos,” which marks him as an eroticized cynosure of Athenian high society. [122] Again, the spectators are as much on display as the musician is. The intimacy of the scene would appear to suggest that “this is a private occasion, not a public festival.” [123] Despite appearances, however, the setting is very likely meant to be a civic festival, probably the Panathenaia. The focus is merely restricted to the aristocratic members of the audience; the festal contest is rendered as a simulacrum of an informal domestic concert, offered for these privileged few. [124]
In the fourth century BCE, Aristotle advises his elite readership to avoid the demotic culture of mousikoi agônes, lest they be morally corrupted by its vulgarity (Politics 8.1341a9–13, 1341b10–32, 1342a16–27), and to resist as well the charms of the concert kithara, a thoroughly “banausic” tekhnikon organon, ideologically toxic to elite amateurs (Politics 8.1341a18–19). As we saw in Part I.9, these proscriptions reflect the tenor of a more general practical and sentimental turn taken by some, although certainly not all, Athenian elites, beginning as early as the middle of the fifth century and intensifying in response to the growing popularity of the New Music toward its end, away from civic mousikê and toward a “gentlemanly ideal” of mousikê restricted to the use of the amateur’s lyre in the private confines of the schoolroom and symposium. Yet, as the Archaic iconography indicates, the socio-musical landscape of Peisistratean and Cleisthenic Athens was much less ideologically “uptight,” much more hedonistically experimental; the politicized distinctions between khelus-lyre and kithara, lyre or kithara and aulos, sympotic/paideutic and agonistic, Apollonian and Dionysian, Greek and other were not nearly the sensitive issues they would become in the discursive elaborations surrounding the New Music in the late democracy. [125] Archaic elites apparently felt entitled to assume any number of musical identities, both as listeners and as performers.
In the Politics, Aristotle refers disapprovingly to this freedom of musical behavior, as if it were an embarrassing offense against proper decorum, out of character with the normally exemplary ethics and politics of the ancients. Both before (proteron) and in the aftermath of the Persian Wars, he says, the Athenians, flush with wealth and the leisure it afforded, eager to display their excellence (aretê), and proud of their accomplishments, “pursued every kind of learning, experimenting without discrimination” (πάσης ἥπτοντο μαθήσεως, οὐδὲν διακρίνοντες ἀλλ’ ἐπιζητοῦντες, Politics 8.1341a28–32). This indiscriminate enthusiasm included aulos playing, which a few Archaic elites, Spartan and Athenian, went so far as to practice not only in private but in public, showing off their skills at agônes before festival audiences. [126] Later, however, they would reject the aulos, as they would too the “hedonistic,” exotic stringed instruments of the Anacreontic sympotic culture originally promoted by Hipparchus, the barbitos and the harp (8.1341a32–42). That is, by around the middle of the fifth century, some Athenian elites, at least, were beginning to move away from the patterns of musical production and consumption that had been established under the Peisistratids and had continued through the Persian Wars, choosing instead to display their leisured wealth and excellence in other fora. As we will see, however, the qualifier in “some elites” should be emphasized; the evidence does not support an absolute sundering of mass and elite musical cultures at any point. Other Athenian elites remained active and visible in the public culture of kitharôidia through the second half of the fifth century.
Although Aristotle focuses on the old-time aristocratic romance with the aulos, which, we saw, did in fact have considerable antiquity, the sheer number of Archaic and early Classical sympotic vessels featuring images of kithara players, many of them including elite spectators, indicates the extent to which the culture of kitharôidia was embraced and appropriated by the Athenian aristocracy, no doubt with the encouragement of the tyrants. [127] Elites not only participated publicly in that culture, they also incorporated it into the collective imaginary of their exclusive sympotic culture. Indeed, the sympotic validation of kitharôidia should be viewed as the ideologically necessary complement of its public consumption by elites in the Agora, or in whatever civic space the agônes were held at the time. Although concert kitharai themselves seem not to have been regularly played at Archaic symposia—the tortoise-shell lyre, the barbitos, and the aulos were the primary musical resources—valorized images of competitive kitharôidia pervaded it. The line between the agonistic world and the sympotic one was conceptually, if not necessarily in practice, fluid and permeable; there was not the rigid ideological barrier imagined by Aristotle. Archaic Athenian elites were clearly drawn, as fans, to the charismatic citharodes of the Panathenaia. They wanted to celebrate the agonistic fame (kleos) of their musical favorites by possessing commemorative images of their victorious performances, performances at which they themselves had been present as spectators and which now could be re-lived in the symposium. [128] Self-congratulation was mixed with admiration in the commissioning of such images. As we see on the Louvre amphora, elite fans glamorized their personal proximity to the action, prominently inscribing, as it were, their own Panathenaic kleos, their artful performance of spectatorship, alongside that of the citharodic victor.
The sympotic imagery of citharodic performance could even prompt the merger of the bicameral roles of spectator and performer, inviting the symposiast to assume, in his imagination, the identity of the citharode. A remarkable example of an image that would inspire such fantasy is to be seen on the obverse of a red-figured pelike by the Argos Painter from c. 480 BCE (Plate 10). A citharode is posed on the bêma in an unusual fashion, facing left, with his back to the viewer of the vase as he sings and plays for his audience, which includes two spectators leaning on staffs and one seated spectator or judge. Citharodes are on other vases always posed facing right, so we have a clear view of their profiles, their garb, and their instruments; these elements are all strangely obscured on this pelike. [129] The Argos Painter’s defiance of convention must have been intentional, however. The reversed pose in fact seems to have given him some trouble, as the awkward representation of the citharode’s hands shows: it is unclear which hand is doing what, and where. Perhaps the confusion is comically deliberate, however; the artist may have wanted to illustrate the fact that this citharode is a rank amateur who has not the slightest bit of form or technique. We will return to that interpretation below. For now, let us consider the in situ visual effect created for the sympotic viewer of the pelike. As he reclines and looks at the image, perhaps while holding his own lyre or barbitos, the symposiast assumes the point of view of the performing citharode as he looks out from the bêma at the festival gathering, represented by the elite staff-leaners, one old and bearded, one beardless and young, as well as the seated spectator or judge, who stares straight ahead, seemingly at the performer, but actually at the viewer, whose gaze he almost disarmingly returns. Which one is being appraised, citharode or symposiast? What the image does, then, is offer a simulation of festival citharodic performance. From the comfort of his couch, the symposiast projects himself onto the bêma; he mimetically “plays the citharode,” briefly experiencing the vertiginous thrill of singing before thousands. [130] This ludic fusion of sympotic and agonistic musical personae would of course be greatly enriched if we were to imagine the symposiast engaging the image while singing a lyric song, or even simply singing a skolion to aulos accompaniment.
Such mimetic role-playing would be entirely at home in the Dionysian ambience of the Archaic symposium, where the quasi-theatrical assumption of new identities was part of the ritual experience (and the fun). Music making played a crucial role in mediating this sympotic transformation of identity. [131] The so-called “Anacreontic” vases, which show Athenian elites trying on effeminate, Lydian personae in a sympotic-comastic environment while they play and dance to barbitoi and auloi, vividly illustrate this process. [132] It is appropriate, then, that on the Argos Painter’s pelike the citharode may well be a satyr, the Dionysian play-actor par excellence, who here functions as whimsical alter ego for the elite symposiast. [133] Because his face is hidden by the kithara and his body by his flowing robes, we cannot be sure, but the shape of his head and what appears to be his deeply receding hairline hint at his satyric identity. Perhaps this very ambiguity is a deliberately playful, “surprise” effect. The reverse of the vase, however, shows a young satyr leading a camel, which strengthens the viewer’s hunch that the citharode on the other side is a satyr. [134] (Is this exotic yet sentimental image perhaps meant to represent the subject of the satyr-citharode’s song?)
The implicit satyric identity of the citharode could thus explain what may be his “bad technique”—this minion of Dionysus has surreptitiously gotten his bestial hands on the virtuoso instrument of Apollo. But satyrs in fact have a long history with the kithara in the Athenian sympotic imaginary, going back to the time of the Peisistratids. Satyric enthusiasm for the kithara seems in fact to have become a humorous commonplace by the fifth century: the chorus of Euripides’ satyr play Cyclops claims that no sound is sweeter than that of the “Asiatic” kithara (443–444). [135] The kithara had a prominent place in late Archaic imagery of the make-believe Dionysian thiasos, where it was played, expertly it seems, by reveling satyrs, as well as the occasional maenad. Again, these images reflect the exuberant embrace of citharodic culture by elite symposiasts, its essential integration into the convivial realm of Dionysus. [136] We saw in Part III.9 that one such image, on a drinking cup from c. 520 BCE, may have included an allusion to Terpander in the form of a citharodic satyr labeled Terpes (Tarquinia, Museo Nazionale RC 6848). But the Argos Painter’s citharodic satyr finds its closest parallel on a red-figured column-krater produced roughly 20 years later: a satyr, decked out in full citharodic regalia, the very model of the Panathenaic citharode, performs for two seated spectators or judges, Hermes and Dionysus, the latter of whom holds a thyrsos and a wine cup. [137] The image is, like that on the pelike, clearly humorous. Indeed, it would appear to allude to an older scene type, with Apollo kitharôidos similarly playing for a seated Hermes and Dionysus, such as we see depicted on a black-figured amphora in the manner of the Lysippides Painter from c. 530–520 BCE. [138] This latter scene splendidly emblematizes the virtual continuity between agôn and symposium that had taken shape under the tyrants. The model citharode entertains at once Dionysus, the god of the symposium and revel, and Hermes, who invented not only the sympotic tortoise-shell lyre, but also, as the Homeric Hymn to Hermes has it, the very art of citharodic performance. In addition, as god of the Agora, the presence of Hermes could allude to the Panathenaic agônes, which may have been held in the Agora before they were transferred to the Odeion. [139]
It is tempting to read the satyric variation on the earlier scene as a negative parody, a critical comment on the increasingly Dionysian and theatrical elements creeping into a traditionally conceived Apollonian kitharôidia, a subject we will take up later. Indeed, it may be significant that images of Apollo as a concert citharode begin to fall out of the iconographic record around the time this column krater was produced, a sign perhaps of elite disenchantment with trends in the popular culture of kitharôidia. [140] But the column krater likely looks backward, rather than forward to changes in the sociology of kitharôidia to come. Its citharodic satyr is not a figure of derision or anxiety, but an emblem of the continued elite interest in public kitharôidia, his performance reflective of the cultural continuum still felt to exist between the festival bêma and the symposium. [141]

6. Lyric Politics in the Hymn to Hermes

The continuum between the festival bêma and the symposium may find its mythical foundation in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, which was probably composed in the form we have it in the later sixth century BCE. [142] Norman O. Brown, noting certain resonances between the themes of the Hymn and in the cultural politics of the tyrants, not least the emphasis on lyric mousikê, offers a compelling argument for the Hymn’s creation in Athens under Hippias and Hipparchus. He proposes a date for its performance there in the years immediately following 522/1 BCE, when the Altar of the Twelve Gods was dedicated in the Agora. The Hymn, Brown argues, alludes to this monument when Hermes portions out 12 sacrifices to the gods (126–129). This model sacrifice takes place on the banks of the river Alpheios, and so presumably near Olympia (although Olympia goes unnamed), where there was a cult of the Twelve Gods (cf. Pindar Olympian 10.48). It seems clear that, by the topographical logic of the narrative itself, Hermes’ sacrifice is meant to provide an aition for the Olympic cult. But this need not mean that the Hymn was performed at Olympia, as a number of scholars have argued. An Athenian audience would naturally take the Hymn to refer secondarily to their cult of the Twelve Gods, localized in the Agora, a site closely associated with Hermes in the Peisistratid era, and where in fact the first performance of the Hymn may have taken place, conceivably at the Panathenaia. [143] A Peisistratid context would certainly suit the “lyric politics” implicit in the Hymn, the way in which it presupposes the ideologically unproblematic overlap between symposium and kitharôidia, amateur and professional, that, I have argued, characterized the musical scene of late Archaic Athens. Further, while our Hymn is a rhapsodic production, its preoccupation with lyric and citharodic themes may suggest the existence of a separate citharodic Hermes humnos, also responsive to an Athenian cultural context, from which the rhapsodes derived their own prooimion. Citharodes obviously would have had more of a vested interest in elaborating the divine origins of the lyre and their own tekhnê. [144]
In the Hymn, Hermes invents the tortoise-shell lyre, which is repeatedly envisioned as being ultimately destined for use in the symposium, where the instrument was in fact most at home. Hermes addresses the tortoise as χοροιτύπε δαιτὸς ἑταίρη ‘companion of the feast who strikes up the dance’ (31), thus evoking the sympotic-comastic ambience of courtesans (hetairai) and string-accompanied, quasi-orchestic revels such as we see on the “Anacreontic” vases. [145] Later, Hermes will hand his lyre over to Apollo, again figuring it as a hetaira, and telling his brother to bring it to the “rich feast and the lovely dance (khoros) and to the glorious revel (kômos)” (480–481; cf. 436–437). [146] On the other hand, however, it is important to note that both of Hermes’ performances involve what are distinctly citharodic forms, the anabolê ‘prelude’ and hymnic prooimion (52–61; 425–433; cf. Part II.1–2). Recall that in the world of the Hymn, the kithara has not yet been invented; Apollo has only had experience of the auloi (450–452). But Hermes wields the lyre, which is called kitharis (499, 509, 515) and phorminx (64, 506)—the wooden “box lyres” that are actually the ancestors of the kithara—as well as lura (418, 423) and khelus (153, 242), as if it were both the prototype of the concert kithara and the future musical resource of the symposium; the instrument is performatively and functionally overdetermined. [147] Extended hymnic prooimia are not at home in the symposium; they are the province of the skilled festival citharode, and when Hermes sings them to his lyre, he takes on the identity of the citharode.
The Hymn nevertheless suggests that both proto-citharodic performances are also paradigmatic performances of sympotic lyric. Before Hermes sings his first prooimion, the song of his own birth, and so a model “Hymn to Hermes,” his “beautiful singing” (καλὸν ἀείδειν) to the lyre, “improvisatory and experimental” (ἐξ αὐτοσχεδίης πειρώμενος)—this is after all the first time such a citharodic humnos has been sung—is compared to “young men at feasts, who boldly trade jibes with one another” (κοῦροι | ἡβηταὶ θαλίῃσι παραιβόλα κερτομέουσιν, 54–56). The spontaneous spirit of Hermes’ performance, despite its clearly polished, virtuosic execution, is markedly figured as the sort of confidently unpracticed, improvisatory, yet nonetheless graceful expression that is characteristic of sympotic speech and music making. Similarly, Hermes’ performance of his second prooimion is imagined at once as paradigmatically citharodic and sympotic. Before striking up the anabolê, he takes his stand “to the left” of Apollo (ἐπ’ ἀριστερά, 424). The significance of this positioning is made clear when Apollo, who has interrupted Hermes to express his amazement at the music, claims that while he knew the music of the aulos, “Yet I have never thought of anything else like this—like the passing to the right (ἐνδέξια ἔργα) at young men’s feasts (ἀλλ’ οὔ πώ τί μοι ὧδε μετὰ φρεσὶν ἄλλο μέλησεν, | οἷα νέων θαλίῃς ἐνδέξια ἔργα πέλονται, 453–454). What Apollo is referring to is the well-known sympotic tradition of singing convivial songs (skolia). Martin West comments,
At the symposium a myrtle branch and/or a lyre was passed round the guests from left to right, and each in turn was expected to sing or improvise a few verses. Our poet represents the practice as already existing in outline and as just waiting for the lyre to be invented for its perfection. [148]
We realize now that Apollo and Hermes have been arranged in a distinctly sympotic configuration. Having finished his song, Hermes will hand the lyre over to Apollo, who stands to his right; it is as if the two gods are laterally positioned, as they would be at a reclining symposium, rather than facing one another, as performer and spectator at a citharodic performance. The handover will thus be a model for the ἐνδέξια ἔργα of the historical symposium. [149] Appropriately, Apollo, immediately upon receiving the lyre, launches expertly into his own song, emulating precisely the technique of Hermes (499–502; cf. 418–420), and implicitly even bettering it, for it was the custom of skolion singing that the “receiver” of the the lyre would have to “cap,” that is, show up, the previous singer’s song. [150] It is likely that this game of “capping” is already alluded to in the comparison of Hermes’ first lyric performance to the mutual jibes of young symposiasts (55–56). [151] By implication, then, Hermes’ virtuosic citharodic humnos is imagined as a skolion; his citharodic performance is a prelude, as it were, to the symposium. At the same time, we may be invited to see the implicitly competitive exchange between Hermes and Apollo as a mythical prefiguration of the competition between citharodes at the Panathenaic citharodic agôn.
Just as the Hymn collapses distinctions between citharodic and sympotic performance, so it provides a divine model for the cultural symbiosis of professional and amateur musicians. One would not want to adopt uncritically the class-based reading of the Hymn offered by Brown, according to which Hermes is the projection of the “aspirations and achievements” of an emerging merchant class and so the antipode of the old guard paragon of aristocratic values, Apollo. [152] But it would not be too reductive to see Hermes in part as an exemplar of the professional citharode, one who proudly views his music as a source of economic livelihood—his lyre is a “priceless treasure” (μυρίον ὄλβον, 24) and a source of profit and means of social advancement (34–35)—yet who also knows as an entertainer and teacher how to appeal to the sensibilities of the aristocracy. He presents his music as a desirable combination of gentlemanly, “sympotic” spontaneity—lyre playing should be “devoid of grievous effort” (ἐργασίην φεύγουσα δυήπαθον, 486)—and the performer’s “knowledgeable application of skill and expertise” (τέχνῃ καὶ σοφίῃ δεδαημένος, 483), which requires, of course, the oversight of the professional instructor—Hermes fashions himself now as the model kitharistês, the schoolmaster in charge of lyric paideia. [153] Apollo, representing the aristocratic audience, is first awed by the novelty of Hermes’ kitharôidia, then he recognizes the value of the lyre for the elite symposium; he is willing to exchange for it and the didactic service of Hermes his precious cattle (436–437). Hermes himself is welcomed into the Olympian ranks—that is, Athenian high society—where Apollo guarantees him “prestige and fortune among the gods” (κύδρον ἐν ἀθανάτοισιν καὶ ὄλβιον, 461) thanks to his invention of the lyre; Apollo will, however, from now on personally assume mastery of it. Far from being the allegory about the conflict between Hermes and the professional class and Apollo and the aristocracy envisioned by Brown, the Hymn imagines instead the negotiation and integration of the two, at least in their musical capacities, with the latter, of course, assuming a leading role. [154]
There is no doubt that we need to make room for a certain degree of wish fulfillment on the part of the agonistic professionals who created this scenario. The exaltation and ennobling of Hermes the citharode is heavily idealized. Non-elite citharodes, despite being admired and feted by politically powerful birth elites and interacting with them as entertainers and teachers, would for the most part not have been recognized as their social equals (hetairoi). In reality, the profoundly amateur mentality of the aristocratic symposium would not easily have accommodated the socioeconomic values of the career citharode. [155] But the Hymn is accurate in capturing, and valorizing, the ideological openness of late-sixth- and early-fifth-century Athenian musical culture, in which the elite symposiast was potentially a citharode and the citharode potentially an aristocratic lyre singer, even if those potentials were in real life only occasionally realized. [156] We may thus detect in the Hymn the outlines of an originally Peisistratean musico-political agenda, one aimed at opening up a self-entrenched aristocratic culture to the influence of the civic mousikê patronized most conspicuously by the tyrants themselves.

7. Aristocratic Agonists

Ideology and practice did occasionally align, however; some aristocrats became musical agonists. In Section 1, I suggested that some of the earliest agonistic aulodes at the Panathenaia may have been members of the aristocracy, who had acquired experience singing elegy at symposia. By the later sixth century, some Athenian elites may have felt sufficiently confident in their lyric paideia to train for competition at the Panathenaic citharodic and citharistic agônes. [157] This does not mean that the late Archaic agônes were by any means dominated by the enthusiastic local gentry. We should assume that itinerant professionals incorporated the Panathenaia into their schedule of festival appearances from a relatively early point, and that the Peisistratids actively encouraged the participation of eminent foreign musicians, offering high-value prizes to that end. [158] The testimony of “Plato” Hipparchus 228b–c, that Hipparchus sent nothing less than a penteconter to escort Anacreon to Athens and retained Simonides there μεγάλοις μισθοῖς καὶ δώροις ‘with large fees and gifts’, speaks to the tyrants’ lavish expenditures on recruitment of musical talent from abroad. [159] Indeed, the earliest Panathenaic musical victor whose name we know, the aulete Midas, was a citizen of Sicilian Acragas (probably a Phrygian by birth) and an international competitor; his victory at the Pythia in 490 BCE was celebrated by no less than Pindar (Pythian 12, with scholia ad inscr.). The earliest known victor in kitharôidia is Phrynis of Mytilene (scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971c), whose victory leads us to suspect that other members of the famed Lesbian diadokhê had made appearances at Panathenaic agônes before his victory, which probably took place in 446 BCE. Yet there is some circumstantial evidence that suggests at least a few socially distinguished Athenians did try their hand at agonistic kitharôidia and kitharistikê, competing against the professionals, sometimes, it seems, with success, in the later sixth and well into the fifth century BCE. It is worth reviewing the main pieces of evidence, such as they are.
First, in the decade leading up to and that following 500 BCE, two victorious citharodes made dedications on the Athenian Acropolis. These dedications probably took the form of costly bronze statues of the citharodes in their moment of victory, for which we have the inscribed bases. These bases also would have represented the bêmata on which the sculpted musicians stood. It seems a reasonable assumption that the victories these dedications commemorated were at the Panathenaia. [160] The earlier inscription, dated by Raubitschek to 510–500, reads, “Alkibios | the kitharôidos | dedicated [this] | Nesiotes” (IG I3 666). [161] “Nesiotes” might indicate Alkibios’ provenance; the island of Nesos is close to Lesbos, so it would be a suitable homeland for an Archaic citharode. But it far more likely belongs to the artist who crafted the dedication, despite the fact that the expected m’epoiêse ‘made me’ is missing. Nesiotes was a prominent figure in post-Peisistratean Athens, most famous for creating, in collaboration with Kritios, the Tyrannicides group as well as a number of other prominent pieces of monumental sculpture on the Acropolis. [162] To engage a Nesiotes, Alkibios must have been a person of considerable means and connections in the polis. The later inscription, dated c. 500–480, reads, “Ophsi[os the kith]arôidos ded[icated me] in Ath[ens]” (IG I3 754). [163] Another fragment of an Acropolis base inscription, IG I3 753, “Kalon the Aeginetan made [this],” has been thought to belong to Ophsios’ dedication. Like Nesiotes, Kalon was a “name” craftsman of his time. [164] Again, we must presume Ophsios was a man of wealth and standing, who could afford the services of a Kalon. It is entirely possible that both Alkibios and Ophsios were foreign-born professionals who had grown rich playing at festival agônes and could afford to be commemorated in style at Athens, an emerging center of kitharôidia. Recall that the aulete Midas of Acragas, whose income would presumably have been less than a top-rank citharode’s, was apparently able to afford the epainetic services of Pindar. [165] But both citharodes “bear good Attic names.” [166] And although the absence of patronymics in both inscriptions might give us some pause—could these men have been Athenians of humble birth who “made it big” with their kitharôidia?—the most likely scenario is that Alkibios and Ophsios were both “aristocratic agonists,” who marked their achievements with a reflexively elitist flair for conspicuous self-promotion. [167] We might even want to view the later dedication of Ophsios as an agonistic response to the earlier one of Alkibios. The two would likely have been close enough in age to compete against one another. Perhaps their competitiveness spilled over into the high-status game of monumental prestige, with Ophsios matching, even trumping Alkibios’ ostentatious Acropolis dedication with one of his own, commissioned from an equally famous artist.
Attic vases provide another set of evidence, perhaps more definitive. Beginning at the end of the sixth century BCE, a number of vases were produced featuring musical agonists identified by name. These named agonists, all but one of them string players, appear on other vases in contexts that suggest they were of an aristocratic background. It has been plausibly argued that the vases commemorating their agonistic victories were commissioned specifically for symposia at which they were lauded by their elite friends and family. [168] The earliest of these are two contemporary vessels featuring a musician named Polykles. In Section 5, we looked at the scene on the calyx krater of Euphronius (Louvre G 103), in which a musician labeled Polykles mounts the bêma with auloi in hand, presumably to compete in an auletic agôn. A musician labeled Polykles similarly mounts a bêma with his kithara on a black-figured oinochoe (Villa Giulia 20839–40). [169] Presumably these two Polykles are the same person. Shapiro speculates that he may have been a professional musician, perhaps a “Panathenaic victor, much in demand as an entertainer in ‘high society’.” [170] That scenario is certainly possible. But could Polykles rather have been himself an ambitious member of high society turned “professional” competitor, one of the voraciously experimental late Archaic elites discussed by Aristotle, turning his hand to aulêtikê as well as kitharôidia (or kitharistikê) at the agônes of the Panathenaia or some other festival? [171]
Other examples of named citharodes appear further into the fifth century. On a red-figured bell krater by Polygnotus from around the middle of the fifth century, a young kithara player—it is not clear whether he is a citharode—labeled “Nikomas kalos” performs before an admiring group of elite spectators, two bearded men, one seated, one standing, and a youth leaning on a stick. [172] Beazley takes the name Nikomas to be an abbreviated form of Nikomakhos, which appears written alongside a young symposiast on a contemporary stamnos, also by Polygnotus (Villa Giulia 3584). Nikomas the agonist and Nikomakhos the symposiast are presumably the same person. [173] It is possible that Nikoma[kho]s was a professional musician who won access to the symposia of the elite, but, as with Polykles, the situation may have been the opposite: he may have been an elite who won fame in the agônes.
The same would seem to hold true for the victorious young kithara player depicted on a red-figured pelike by the Epimedes Painter in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from c. 430 BCE (Plate 13). This musician—again, it is unclear whether he is a citharode or citharist—stands on the bêma, which has a kalos inscription, attired in long chiton and mantle and holding his kithara. The make of the instrument is somewhat peculiar; we will return to it below. His name, Alkimakhos, is inscribed above his wreath-crowned head. Four winged Nikai flutter about him. Since their appearance on vases by the Berlin Painter and his peers in the first quarter of the fifth century, such Nikai, bearing kitharai or prizes such as crowns and libation bowls (phialai) for the victor, had become a commonplace in citharodic contest scenes. In fact, soon after their introduction, kithara-bearing and even kithara-playing Nikai were so popular a motif on vases produced in the second quarter of the fifth century that they became virtual stand-ins for the victorious citharodes whom they were meant to honor. [174] The Nikai on the Plovdiv pelike, however, are unique in that they are all tagged with inscriptions marking them as personifications of the festivals at which Alkimakhos has won victories. These inscriptions are very faintly visible on the vase; the line drawing included in this book shows only the inscription above the head of the upper-left Nike, “at Marathon.” She represents a victory at the Herakleia, a local Attic festival held at Marathon. [175] The three others symbolize victories at the Panathenaia and the games at Isthmia and Nemea. Alkimakhos appears to be a local and Panhellenic success story.
Before we consider further the significance of these victories, let us first consider what else we can say about Alkimakhos. More so than Polykles or Nikoma[kho]s, his noble pedigree is almost certain. Young men labeled with his name (or, in one case, the name alone) appear on several other roughly contemporary vases, in scenes that would indicate his background of aristocratic privilege and distinction, if, as seems very likely, they do represent the same Alkimakhos as the one on the pelike. Alkimakhos appears on a bell krater by the Lykaon Painter in London as a reclining symposiast in elite company; another bell krater by the same painter in Warsaw, featuring a scene of Dionysus, satyrs, and meanads, is inscribed with the kalos names Alkimakhos and Axiopeithes, who was probably Alkimakhos’ first cousin. [176] The father of Axiopeithes was also named Alkimakhos. Like his namesake nephew, he seems to have cut an impressive figure in Athenian society as a young man; he is singled out as kalos on several vases from c. 470–460 BCE. One of these is particularly notable in light of his nephew’s interest in the kithara. “Alkimakhos kalos, son of Epikhares” is inscribed on the body of an unattributed lekythos in Boston showing a scene of the murder of Orpheus, lyre in hand, by a Thracian woman. Perhaps a dedication to lyric music that went beyond the routine paideia accrued by elite Athenians ran in this family. [177] The younger Alkimakhos appears as well in another distinctly aristocratic context, as a competitive athlete, on a cup by the Eretria Painter of c. 430, an image to which we will return. [178] “Alkimakhos kalos” appears on the exterior of a contemporary cup by the Kalliope Painter, where the inscription might tag a youth with a lyre who stands in a mixed group of youths and women; in the tondo of the cup Apollo sits with his lyre by a Muse. [179] The cup evokes the exclusive glamour of Classical lyric paideia, for which the lyric (rather than citharodic) Apollo is the aristocratic icon. That glamour is evoked as well on the reverse of the Plovdiv pelike. An elegant youth plays his lyre surrounded by two admiring women. Indeed, the pelike invites us to see a natural progression between its two scenes. The lyre-playing youth is Alkimakhos as elite schoolboy, who will bloom into the star of the kithara we see on the other side. [180]
It has been plausibly argued that the two women flanking the young lyre player are Nikai, and that the scene alludes to the contests in lyre playing and singing to the lyre that Alkimakhos had won as a schoolboy. [181] Such school contests, some of which include winged Nikai, others, like the Plovdiv pelike, wingless women who may represent either Nikai, mothers, or generic female admirers (suggesting the burgeoning sexual appeal of the boy), are depicted beginning around 480 BCE on red-figured vases that were presumably commissioned by the families of the victors. [182] School musical contests were in all likelihood private events, restricted primarily to family and friends of the elite student body, but the iconography indicates that the contestants and their families looked to the Panathenaic agônes as a model, even if few students would have been able or would even have aspired to compete at the civic level. In the case of an Alkimakhos, however, experience at these “play” contests may well have been a prelude to success in the serious world of professional mousikê. [183] Nevertheless, it may have been fairly common for schoolboys, even those less talented and ambitious than Alkimakhos, to emulate with their lyres the technique and flair of the citharodic stars they saw at the Panathenaia.
There is some indication of this in the critique of contemporary paideia delivered in Aristophanes’ Clouds by Better Argument, who notes with distaste the “clowning around” (bômolokheuesthai) of today’s boys in imitation of the virtuoso citharode Phrynis of Mytilene, whose signature kampai ‘bends’, harmonically bold melodic figures, scandalized conservatives (967–972). For this decidedly amateur enthusiast of lyric paideia, at least, it is as if the “show business” of kitharôidia threatens to corrupt and deform the cultural innocence of the lyre—a sentiment apparently not shared by the family of Alkimakhos. Such “clowning around” may have taken place at private lessons, but perhaps we should imagine a setting at school agônes that would be open to the likes of aristocratic voyeurs such as Better Argument (cf. his ogling of boys at the Panathenaic armed dances, 987–989). In fact, his claim that schoolboys of yore would have been beaten for “effacing the Muses” (τὰς Μούσας ἀφανίζων) as they do now with their fancy “bends,” may contain an allusion to what Aeschines Against Timarchus 10 calls Mouseia en didaskaleiois, which seem to be “something like a schoolroom contest in matters musical under the auspices of the Muses.” [184]
Let us now return to Alkimakhos’ victories. The references to the Panhellenic festivals of Isthmia and Nemea are intriguing yet highly problematic, so we will have to leave them aside for the moment and focus on the Panathenaia. It is probable, but not certain, that the Plovdiv pelike was commissioned to commemorate a recent victory at the Panathenaia rather than at one of the other festivals mentioned. Was he victorious in kitharôidia or kitharistikê? The iconography is unhelpful here; the fact that Alkimakhos is not shown singing tells us nothing. As to his age, he is young and beardless, but it would be going too far to call him a boy (pais). He appears rather to be a neaniskos, and adolescent male in his very late teens or early 20s. [185] We know from the early-fourth-century BCE Panathenaic prize inscription (IG II2 2311) that there were two separate contests for citharists, one for paides ‘boys’, presumably those under 18, and one for andres ‘men’, which included all those who were older. [186] There was, however, only one contest for citharodes, which would have been open exclusively to those who were at least 18 years or older. [187] We cannot be certain whether these age classes were in effect before the fourth century, or, still less so, before the Periclean reinstitution of the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes. But these divisions are logical and fair: kitharôidia is entirely too difficult for the young, while the less demanding art of solo kithara-playing is manageable for older adolescents and teens; men, older and younger, nevertheless practice it at a much higher skill level, so there is a need for two separate contests. Thus there is little reason to think that these sensible categories would not have been the rule going as far back as the Peisistratids. [188]
What this means for the interpretation of the iconography of musical contests is that beards and “youthful” looks are not clear indices of agonistic category. [189] Both bearded and unbearded competitors would have performed against one another in the citharodic agôn as well as the men’s contest in kitharistikê. There was no intermediary neaniskos class between boys and men in either. Talented citharodes and citharists, whether from professional backgrounds or elite ones, would have begun their mature agonistic careers as soon as possible, in their late teens and early 20s, when they would have gone up against considerably older (and bearded) opponents. Thus the Brygos Painter’s beardless and beatific young citharode, labeled only figuratively a “beautiful boy (pais),” would have competed against more experienced (and bearded) citharodes such as those depicted on contemporary vases by the Pan and Berlin Painters. [190] The beardless Alkimakhos likewise could have competed against the bearded citharode on a slightly later calyx krater by the Peleus Painter. [191] The idealizing style of High Classical art additionally complicates attempts to identify citharodes and citharists by age. [192] Indeed, Alkimakhos, when he won his Panathenaic victory, might conceivably have had a beard, or at least the beginnings of one, which the artist may have “shaved off.”
Alkimakhos could thus have won his Panathenaic victory as a citharode or as a citharist. Two factors might point to the latter possibility, however. The first is that, by the second half of the fifth century, competition at the Panathenaic citharodic agônes must have become incredibly stiff, making it difficult for even the most talented “aristocratic agonist” to compete with success. While the Periclean reinstitution of the mousikoi agônes may have recharged elite as well as demotic interest in the music of the festival, it was very likely marked by a recommitment to making the Panathenaia into an international center of mousikê, which meant attracting the best itinerant professionals. [193] That Phrynis appears to have been the victor at the first Periclean Panathenaia could, as was proposed above, be in line with the pre-Periclean festival’s ability to attract top talent from abroad; nevertheless, it seems significant that the inaugural victory was won by this citharode in particular, who would make a name for himself later in the century as a virtuoso exponent of the New Music. [194] The victory reads as a harbinger of the hyperprofessionalization that would define musical culture in Athens by the end of the fifth century and into the fourth, and was probably already in the making in the first half of the fifth, a transformation of the field of musical practice that would exclude all but the most able career musicians from the major agônes. Additionally, citharodes were increasingly expected to be composers and poets of their own show-stopping nomoi as well as reperformers of the traditional Terpandrean repertoire of epic nomoi (more on this below). And then there were the ideological barriers. As we have discussed, a certain degree of reactionary anti-professionalism set in among certain factions of the elite as a result of their exclusion, making it still less likely that well-born Athenians would attempt even to qualify for these displays of “banausic” skill.
Since the early sixth century BCE solo kithara-playing had been practiced by professional virtuosos, such as Epicles of Hermione, an associate of Themistocles and probably a Panathenaic victor (Plutarch Themistocles 5.3; more on this musician below). In the fourth century its greatest exponent, Stratonicus of Athens, was the consummate professional agônistês of the New Music. [195] Yet kitharistikê was acknowledged to be an easier tekhnê to master than kitharôidia; the existence of the boys’ contest shows as much. Perhaps enthusiastic amateurs continued to find that they could make a showing at this relatively less technically challenging and creatively demanding, if less distinguished contest. (Prize amounts in kitharistikê were considerably less than in kitharôidia, but this may not have bothered non-professionals seeking glory and exposure rather than money; for those troubled by the commercial implications of cash prizes, it may even have been a welcome point of distinction.) This brings us to a second factor. The ribbed arm of the kithara that Alkimakhos holds suggests that the instrument is the so-called Thamyris or Thracian kithara, which appears primarily in the hands of younger agonists attended by Nikai on Attic vases after around 450 BCE, some of whom may even be paides. [196] This type of kithara may have been favored not only by youths, but specifically by those in the contests of kitharistikê. (In the case of Panathenaic paides, the two groups would overlap.) Thamyris himself may have been imagined in the later fifth century as the mythical exemplar of the citharist. [197]
Yet the iconographical record shows that the Thamyris kithara was not completely restricted to kitharistikê, so we should remain open to the chance that Alkimakhos was a citharode. One possibility to consider is that Alkimakhos did not win first prize in the Panathenaic citharodic agôn, but took a second-, third-, or even fifth-place “victory.” The fourth-century Panathenaic inscription indicates that five citharodes were in fact awarded prizes at the agôn (IG II2 2311.4–11), more so than in any other musical contest at the festival, including that in rhapsôidia, which, like kitharistikê, awarded only three prizes—a clear indication of the medium’s enormous popularity with Athenian audiences, but no doubt also of the larger pool of would-be contestants. Although only the first-place citharode received a crown, the other four competitors received hefty cash awards. Assuming that the citharodic field at the Panathenaia was as wide in the fifth century as it was in the fourth, a talented and determined elite such as Alkimakhos would conceivably have had decent odds at qualifying for the competition. Perhaps other citharodic (or citharistic) “victors” we see commemorated on Attic vases are also such qualifying prizewinners.
The Panathenaic agôn was not, however, the only game in town for kitharôidia, although it was the most important. Throughout the fifth century a number of Attic festivals offered musical agônes, less prestigious and remunerative than those of the Panathenaia, but just for that reason probably more welcoming to non-professional enthusiasts. One such festival was the penteteric Herakleia at Marathon, where Alkimakhos apparently triumphed (whether in kitharôidia or kitharistikê, however, we can again not say). A fragment from a red-figured vase of c. 430 BCE depicts an elegant young man in a short-sleeved chiton holding a large concert kithara (not a Thamyris kithara) and mounting a bêma before a shrine of Heracles. [198] The setting of this contest is presumably the Herakleia. Aristophanes’ Frogs may contain an allusion to the citharodic contest at the festival. Dionysus asks Aeschylus whether he took the old-fashioned citharodic tunes that supposedly influenced his choral odes, tunes that to Dionysus’ modern ears sound as dully repetitive as work songs, “from Marathon” (1296–1297). Perhaps the joke here is that the Marathonian Herakleia had a reputation for preserving older citharodic traditions, unlike the urban Panathenaia, where the flashy New Music of Timotheus and his like were in vogue. If so, we might surmise that the conservative Herakleia attracted a less professional and perhaps more distinctly aristocratic pool of competitors. [199]
It has been suggested that the Anthesteria remained a redoubt throughout the fifth century for the musical display of aristocratic amateurs. Depictions on the small wine pitchers called khoes that are associated with the Anthesteria indicate that boys’ contests in kitharistikê were held at this Dionysian festival, but we can be less sure that citharodic agônes were held for older musicians. [200] We hear of musical contests, surely including kitharôidia, being offered at the Eleusinia, the Epitaphia, and perhaps the Hephaistia as well. [201] These contests themselves likely attracted big names from abroad as well as local professionals, but it is a reasonable assumption that kitharôidia was performed at a variety of other, lesser festivals of the city and demes at which willing elites could mount the bêma and win a prize. We should also remain open to the possibility that citharodic and citharistic agônes were held at the yearly Lesser Panathenaia. If so, such contests might have attracted a less star-studded roster of competitors. [202] At least some of the contest scenes on Attic vases must be set at such festivals rather than the Great Panathenaia. Indeed, for all we know, a few might commemorate second- or third-place finishes at one of these smaller-scale festivals.
Finally, there are Alkimakhos’ Isthmian and Nemean victories. The presumption has been that Alkimakhos was victorious at mousikoi agônes attached to these prestigious Panhellenic festivals, and that he must therefore have been an itinerant professional. [203] We have seen, however, that Alkimakhos was a member of the Athenian aristocracy. Of course, his elite status would not have prevented him from competing in music at these biennial games, just as his peers competed at them in athletics. A decree passed in the later 430s BCE—that is, in the same decade Alkimakhos was winning his victories—granted permanent sitesis ‘board’ in the Athenian Prytaneion to gymnastic and hippic victors at Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, and Nemea. It has been argued that in a lost section of the inscription recording the decree (IG I3 131) it was indicated that musical victors at these games were also to be granted this honor. [204] Yet, while we know that the Pythia had featured mousikoi agônes since its inception, there is no evidence, outside of what is suggested by the Nikai on the Plovdiv pelike, that they were on the program of the Nemean or Isthmian games during the Classical period. It is certain, however, that musical contests were not held at the resolutely athletic Classical Olympics. The evidence we do have suggests that musicians in general and citharodes in particular only began to compete at Nemea and the Isthmus in the Hellenistic period, which saw an exponential increase in mousikoi agônes throughout all of Greece. [205] On the inscribed monument erected in Athens by the third-century BCE citharode Nicocles to celebrate his multiple victories, we read that Nicocles was the first (prôtos) to win at the Isthmia, presumably in kitharôidia (IG II2 3779). [206] While we could allow for some exaggeration on the part of this self-aggrandizing star or perhaps conjecture some reorganization of preexisting Isthmian mousikoi agônes that would allow Nicocles to claim he was the “first” winner (of a reformed contest), the best course is to take the inscription at its word. [207]
The complete lack of literary references to music at the Classical Isthmian games is notable as well. As for Nemea, the earliest attestation of musical contests is Plutarch Philopoemen 11, which describes the performance in the (Hellenistic) theater of Nemea by the citharode Pylades of Timotheus’ Persians. The date was 207 BCE. [208] Of course, there is no indication that this was the first Nemean citharodic contest, but again, the silence of the literary and epigraphical sources on music at the Archaic and Classical festival is striking. Attestations of musical competition at the Roman-era games abound. [209]
The Plovdiv pelike thus remains our only potential piece of evidence for agônes, citharodic or citharistic, at the fifth-century Isthmian and Nemean festivals. Keeping in mind Alkimakhos’ aristocratic background, however, we might venture another interpretation of the vase. Could the victories at the Panhellenic games have been in athletics rather than music? Recall that Alkimakhos is pictured as an idealized athlete on a cup by the Eretria Painter (Louvre G 457). Conceivably, he could have excelled as both an athletic and musical agonist, perhaps winning his Panhellenic athletic victories as a boy and his musical victory at the Panathenaia as a young adult. (The Herakleia had athletic and musical contests, so perhaps there too Alkimakhos competed as an athlete.) [210] The pelike would thus represent Alkimakhos as the perfect product of gymnastic and musical paideia, the rare individual who has successfully proved his aristocratic excellence at the highest levels of competition in both fields. [211]

8. Tyrannical Leitmotifs in Democratic Athens

Although it was conspicuously promoted by the Peisistratids, kitharôidia did not suffer from the taint of tyranny after the expulsion of Hippias in 510 BCE and the subsequent establishment of the democracy. That emblem of Peisistratean citharodic politics, Heracles kitharôidos, in fact would continue to appear on Attic vases until the very end of the sixth century. The appearance around 500 BCE of the Nikoxenos Painter’s Athena kitharôidos (Plate 11) probably signaled a wider reaction to tyrannical musical and festal policy, yet one that involved not the rejection but the redefinition of Panathenaic kitharôidia within the new political order; its prestige would now truly belong to “all the Athenians.” [212] As we have seen in the preceding sections, members of the aristocracy remained invested in citharodic culture both during and after the Cleisthenic period, both as fans and occasionally as agonists. And there is every reason to believe that kitharôidia continued to claim the attention of the dêmos. As an Aristophanic scholiast concisely reports, Athenians of the Classical period were “fanatical about kitharôidia.” [213] The enormous prize amounts given by the city to the five contestants at the citharodic agôn of the fourth-century Panathenaia clearly support this claim.
It is not surprising that two of the most prominent figures of the fifth-century democracy, Themistocles and Pericles, both emulated the tyrants in their promotion of agonistic music. Plutarch tells how Themistocles, still a “young unknown” (νέος καὶ ἀφανής), but driven by an outsized desire for public recognition (φιλοτιμία) “entreated upon Epicles of Hermione, a citharist very popular (σπουδαζόμενον) among the Athenians, to practice at his home, since he was eager for the recognition (φιλοτιμούμενος) that would come from many people (πολλούς) seeking out his house and visiting him.” [214] Themistocles was born c. 524 BCE, so we can presume these events to have taken place in the last years of the sixth century or the beginning of the fifth. As a populist leader on the make, Themistocles takes his cue from the recently departed Peisistratids and looks first to civic musical and festival culture—we may assume that Epicles is in town for the Panathenaia—to realize his social and political ambitions. That Epicles comes from Hermione, the home of Lasus and Kydias, two “name” musicians from earlier in the sixth century, would appear to make his emulation of the Peisistratids only more obvious. [215] Themistocles makes popular music his private possession, as it were, a (temporary) property of his household, but he generously shares its pleasures with the masses. This “democratic” dispensation of lyric terpsis is in line with Peisistratean policy; it reads as well as a challenge to the proprietary claims made by the Athenian aristocracy on the prestige of string music, both sympotic and, to a lesser but still significant extent, agonistic. That Themistocles was himself notoriously, and, if the anecdotal tradition is accurate, proudly amousos—he supposedly boasted that, while he had not enjoyed the lyric paideia his elite rivals had, he nevertheless “knew how to make a polis great and wealthy” (Ion of Chios FGrH 326 F 13)—only complicates and enriches his gambit. [216] He exploits the fame of Epicles to make his own name, but at the same time the ostentatious display of his direct access to musical celebrity advertises his own already considerable distinction, which is indeed a match for that of his rivals. [217] We see an earlier generation of elites, such as the kaloi k’agathoi on the Louvre amphora of the Andokides Painter, similarly showing off their privileged proximity to the stars of the Panathenaia.
That Themistocles housed a citharist and not a citharode, however, is likely a significant point. As we have seen, professional citharists ranked considerably lower on the socioeconomic scale than did citharodes. As a “young unkown,” Themistocles may not yet have had the resources, financial or social, to attract a famous citharode to his side, and so perhaps settled for the next best thing, a popular citharist of Hermionean provenance. His later forays into musical politics would be more impressive. He undertook the khorêgia of a tragedy by Phrynichus, probably Phoenician Women, in 476 BCE (Plutarch Themistocles 5.5). Later, while in exile, he assumed the “tyrannical” role of agonothete, establishing Anthesteria and Panathenaia festivals in Magnesia in Asia Minor (Athenaeus 12.533d), the latter of which, at least, presumably included mousikoi agônes. And one tradition had it that Themistocles constructed an early version of the “Periclean” Odeion, the Athenian public music hall, with the masts and spars of captured Persian ships (Vitruvius 5.9.1). If true, the project would have recapitulated on a far grander scale his earlier, more humble offer of a musical “open house.” Whatever function this “proto-Odeion” may have actually served, however, its status as precursor, whether real or imagined, to the Periclean public music hall surely reflects in part a broader commitment on Themistocles’ part to the democratization of Athenian musical culture. [218]
According to Plutarch, it was the desire for public recognition (φιλοτιμία) that drove Pericles to enter the field of musical politics, just as it had Themistocles. Pericles’ musico-political activity took on a much more dramatic form than Themistocles’ had, however, given the extent of his power in mid-century Athens:
φιλοτιμούμενος δ’ ὁ Περικλῆς τότε πρῶτον ἐψηφίσατο μουσικῆς ἀγῶνα τοῖς Παναθηναίοις ἄγεσθαι, καὶ διέταξεν αὐτὸς ἀθλοθέτης αἱρεθείς, καθότι χρὴ τοὺς ἀγωνιζομένους αὐλεῖν ἢ ᾄδειν ἢ κιθαρίζειν ἐθεῶντο δὲ καὶ τότε καὶ τὸν ἄλλον χρόνον ἐν Ὠιδείῳ τοὺς μουσικοὺς ἀγῶνας.
Then first did Pericles, out of his desire for public recognition, pass a decree (psêphisma) that a musical agôn be held at the Panathenaia. And having himself been elected manager of the contests (athlothetês), he prescribed how the contestants must play the aulos, or sing, or play the kithara. And at that time and thereafter they watched the mousikoi agônes in the Odeion.
Plutarch Pericles 13.11
The first “Periclean” agônes have been persuasively dated to 446/5 BCE. [219] In that year, as Plutarch says, the contests were moved to the Odeion, a large, roofed concert hall near the Theater of Dionysus on the southeastern slope of the Acropolis. Its construction—or massive renovation, if Themistocles had already erected a smaller prototype on the site—was overseen by Pericles himself amidst considerable political controversy. [220] Pericles’ opponents apparently seized upon this large and innovative building, and presumably his grand plan to house the Panathenaic musical contests within it, as an indication of his tyrannical ambitions and tried to have him ostracized for it. [221] It has recently been argued that the Odeion was not built to be a concert hall and was not used in the fifth century to house the agônes, despite its name (the “place of song”) and the fact that Plutarch, along with several other, admittedly late sources, indicates that it was. [222] It is true that the Odeion served in the fourth and fifth centuries as a gathering place for a variety of political and cultural activities, including the vetting of dramas for the City Dionysia, the proagôn. [223] That is logical, since the Odeion would probably only have been used for mousikoi agônes at the penteteric Great Panathenaia, leaving it empty for much of the time. [224] One scholar has expressed legitimate concerns about reconciling the enormous size of the Odeion with “the few days a year it would provide the ‘vital’ function of housing the hitherto open-air proagônes and music contests.” [225] But we must not overlook the fact that musical contests, centered as they were in the programs of major civic festivals, did play a vital role in the cultural experience of the Greeks, and that a large venue specially appointed for their display could very well be appreciated by a majority of the Athenians as performing a vital function. By comparison, no one would question the vital function of the Theater of Dionysus as a place to watch dramas.
We might go further, however, and argue that it was precisely the seeming disparity between the Odeion’s grand ostentatiousness and its limited functionality as a concert hall that contributed to its cultural significance. The “excess” of the structure—the great expenditure of money and labor it represented, the immense amount of prime civic space it consumed—would have sent a clear message. It was a physical monument to the unstinting spiritual investment of Athens in the promotion of musical culture (and to the economic and political resources that support such an investment), one conspicuous to all Greeks who came to witness the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes. In other words, the Odeion was a classic status symbol, asserting the cultural prestige and distinction of the Athenian polis. That it had no real equivalent in the Greek world only adds to its symbolic efficacy in this regard. We will return to the Odeion below.
As we saw in Section 1, the iconographic record makes it certain that Plutarch’s testimony cannot be taken literally to mean that musical contests were not held at the Panathenaia before Pericles’ decree (psêphisma). It must be the case that the decree marked a second reorganization of the agônes, a reinstitution, fundamentally connected to the construction of the Odeion. But besides the novel staging of the contests in the Odeion, it is unclear what changes Pericles brought to their management and practice. Plutarch says that, as manager of the agônes (athlothetês), Pericles “prescribed how the competitors should αὐλεῖν ἢ ᾄδειν ἢ κιθαρίζειν.” Τhe three infinitives surely constitute a condensed reference to contests in kitharôidia, aulôidia, kitharistikê, aulêtikê, and rhapsôidia, all of which appear in the fourth-century Panathenaic prize inscription (IG II2 2311) and are attested in the pre-Periclean iconographical record. So it does not seem as if Pericles added or took away any agônes from the festival program. [226] Plutarch’s testimony does indicate that Pericles regulated how the contestants were to perform, however. But what exactly does that mean?
It could be that he formalized new rules and requirements, or relaxed preexisting ones; perhaps he made the contests more accommodating of the innovative and experimental tendencies of virtuoso professionals—recall the possible implications of Phrynis’ victory at the first Periclean citharodic agôn. But Pericles might simply have insured that the musicians followed the rules—with the exception of the rhapsodic Panathenaic Rule, probably more general rules about comportment and competitive fairness than specific prescriptions about song content—that had existed long before the reinstitution. [227] Indeed, it may well be the case that, both as proposer of the new psêphisma and as athlothetês, Pericles effected nothing practically substantial besides the Odeion, only a ceremonial and symbolic repitching of the festival’s ideological tenor. That is, the reinstitution was intended to authorize the democratic transfiguration of the agônes, which may still have borne the mark of the tyranny, under the rhetorical and procedural sign of the psêphisma, a political action that required the ratification of the democratic assembly. [228] We note too the emphasis on democratic rhetoric and process in the fact that Pericles takes care to be “elected” (αἱρεθείς) athlothetês. [229] There can be no doubt that Pericles was following in the footsteps of the tyrants and their Panathenaic populism; the claim in Plutarch that he acted out of φιλοτιμία has the tone of a hostile tradition—recall the threat of ostracism that attended Pericles’ reforms—but it nonetheless has a grain of truth. [230] There was all the more reason, then, for Pericles to take care to preserve democratic proprieties as he “democratized” the agônes.
Pericles may have even sought to recuperate the musical, and specifically citharodic, politics of the Peisistratids in their international aspect. A red-figured Panathenaic-shaped amphora by the Nausicaa Painter contemporary to the Periclean reinstitution evinces a conflation of Delian and Panathenaic musical imagery that recalls the significant overlaps we see in Archaic black figure, but in a notably more assertive mode. Sheramy Bundrick offers the following reading:
Here the performing kitharode is Apollo himself, mounting the two-stepped bema (inscribed kalos) in the presence of his half-sister, Athena. The presence of Athena, along with the distinctive shape of the vase, places Apollo’s performance in the realm of the Panathenaic festival. Indeed, the pairing of Apollo and Athena may reflect the political importance of the Delian League. The figures on the reverse—Hermes with his kerykeion and Poseidon with his trident—further suggest Periklean interests. The cults of both gods were extremely important in Classical Athens; with Poseidon as god of the sea and Hermes as a god associated with agricultural practices and the land, together they metaphorically indicate the extent of Athenian power. [231]
The vase thus presents us with an expansive vision of “citharodic imperialism” as conceived under the Periclean democracy, one that both echoes and surpasses the ambitious Panionian agenda of the tyrants. Apollo kitharôidos, triumphant in the premier mousikos agôn, and Athena, armed with spear, together orchestrate the harmonious convergence of Panathenaic and Delian prestige and Attic-Ionic power, extending far and wide. We should note an important divergence from the sixth-century iconography, and the Peisistratid ideology that informs it. There Delian Apollo kitharôidos is typically portrayed in the guise of a mortal agônistês, sometimes in proximity to a Panathenaic festival setting, but he is never explicitly depicted as a Panathenaic competitor. On the fifth-century amphora, he is explicitly depicted as such. This explicit Panathenaic framing of Apollo is an innovation, and may speak to a more concerted attempt under the Athenian democracy, undertaken in conjunction with the reestablishment of the Panathenaic agônes, to appropriate Delian musical tradition. This would accord with the more aggressively controlling tenor in contemporary Athenian policy toward Delos. In the years during which the amphora was produced, the Panathenaia was taking on an increasingly central role in Athen’s imperial agenda as leading city of the Delian League, arrogating to itself the traditional Panionian investment in Delos. In 454 BCE the Delian treasury was removed to the Athenian Acropolis (Plutarch Pericles 12.1). [232] Probably at or near this time, the Athenians compelled members of the League to send tribute to the city during the celebration of the Great Panathenaia. [233] The premier event of the newly organized festival, the citharodic agôn, is appropriately imagined as the focal point of this centralization of geopolitical power and cultural prestige.
It has been observed that there is a “sudden surge in depictions of musical contests and victors about 440, suggesting that whatever Pericles did made these contests more visible and more popular with the Athenian audience than they had been at any time since before the Persian wars.” [234] Pericles was, we saw, intent on bringing the Panathenaic agônes into ideological alignment with the democratic polis, and, to a reasonable extent, it is possible to speak of a democratization of the experience of music at the Panathenaia. The notional possession of Panathenaic music by the aristocracy, as privileged consumers and critics and occasionally as agonists, was likely challenged, deliberately so, by the Periclean reforms. Indeed, it is tempting to see in the Nausicaa Painter’s scene a marked reclamation of the “aristocratic” Apollo kitharôidos for the new democratic agônes, one that would resonate with the tyrants’ earlier citharodic rendering of Apollo Patroos. The image could play specifically against the burgeoning iconographical trend (and the elitist ideology behind it) whereby Apollo was being divested of his citharodic skeuê and “professional” aspect in images intended for consumption by aristocrats, who preferred to see the god content with an amateur’s lyre. [235] The Panathenaic contests were now held in a publicly funded structure expressly intended for musical performance, an arrangement that would have reminded the audience that the mousikos agôn was fundamentally a demotic property, supported and framed by the civic apparatus of Athens. [236]
Non-elite Athenians accordingly grew more self-confident and expressive in their appreciation and critique of the musicians who performed for them. The connoisseurship (of sorts) displayed by Dicaeopolis, the “average” citizen hero of Aristophanes’ Acharnians (produced in 425 BCE), in his withering assessment of the citharodes who competed at the Panathenaic contests of 430 and 426 BCE may represent a relatively recent sociocultural development (13–16), although one that would soon become more common. Indeed, in Dicaeopolis’ aesthetic assertiveness we may detect the seeds of what Plato would call in the fourth century theatrokratia, the putative control of civic mousikê by the masses to the exclusion of the elite. Plato’s Manichean vision of music as class struggle is no doubt exaggerated, but it does reflect the historically real assertion of the demotic voice in the city’s citharodic culture, which could be traced back to the changes of the 440s (cf. Part I.14). On the side of the performers, the marked flirtation between the citharodic nomos of the later fifth century and drama and dithyramb suggest that citharodes were trying to appeal to the preferences of the Athenian demotic audience, albeit with mixed success. We will see that this audience could be quite traditional in its tastes in kitharôidia, rejecting the same poikilia, stylistic variety and heterogeneity, in citharodic nomoi that for Plato supposedly defined the multifarious political character of the late democratic Athenian citizenry (Plato Republic 561d).

9. Dionysian Deformations: The New Nomos

As late as 425 BCE, Athenians could still expect to hear the Classical Terpandrean nomoi performed at the Panathenaia. In the passage from Acharnians just cited, Dicaeopolis praises the Boeotian nomos performed by Dexitheus and condemns the Orthios nomos of Chaeris. Aristophanes Knights 1278–1279 suggests that the rendition of the Orthios by the Athenian citharode Arignotus was well known to everyone in Athens. The fact that Execestides, probably an Athenian citharode as well, won victories at both the Panathenaia and the Spartan Carneia, whose conservative regulations notoriously discouraged citharodic innovation, suggests that he too maintained the classics in his repertoire. [237] But alongside the retention of this older tradition, a new style was emerging. Certain citharodes were beginning to break from the rigid presets and protocols of the Terpandrean nomoi by composing melodies and texts for their own nomoi. They diversified the rhythms, introduced adventurous harmonic modulations made possible by polukhordia, the increase of the kithara’s strings beyond seven, and imported into their conventionally Apollonian lyric art the language, narrative content, and histrionic mimeticism of the Dionysian genres of dithyramb and tragedy. The traditional heroic narratives set to inherited melodic frameworks that defined the older practice were replaced by freshly created treatments of events from myth and history set to original music—new nomoi. On the one hand, these changes can be viewed as a pragmatic response the growing predominance of the “democratic” Panathenaic agônes as a center of citharodic culture and the influence of the sophisticated tastes of the drama- and dithyramb-savvy Athenian audience. On the other hand, however, the Dionysian turn was not pure market calculation; it offered a viable creative strategy for innovating the centuries-old form and practice of the nomos.
The most prominent of these innovators, Phrynis, and, still more notably, his younger rival Timotheus, who also composed dithyrambs (Suda s.v. Τιμόθεος), were at the vanguard of the Athenian New Music, that loosely affiliated, mutually influential group of citharodic, dithyrambic, and dramatic composers and performers intent on various forms of musical and poetic experimentation (kainotomia) and complexity (poikilia). [238] The preserved titles of works by Timotheus that we are certain or at least quite confident are nomoi, Persians (PMG 788–791), Nauplios (PMG 785), Cyclops (PMG 780–782), and Niobe (PMG 786–787)—titles which are derived significantly from the narrative content exclusive to each nomos, rather than from some characteristic of the text-transcendent musical setting, as was the case with the Terpandrean nomoi—could easily belong to tragedies or dithyrambs. [239] Like tragedies or dithyrambs, they are autonomous, solely authored works. Indeed, the generic status of Niobe, Nauplios, and Cyclops has long been debated: are they nomoi or dithyrambs? The debate is symptomatic of the extent to which Timotheus’ kitharôidia resembled his dithyrambs, which in turn had a distinctly tragic cast, e.g. Birth Pangs of Semele (PMG 792) or Madness of Ajax (PMG 777). [240]
The diction of the Timothean dithyrambs and nomoi is virtually indistinguishable. [241] Early on in his career, Heraclides of Pontus tells us (“Plutarch” On Music 4.1132e), Timotheus had experimented with “mixing dithyrambic diction” (διαμιγνύων διθυραμβικὴν λέξιν) into the epê of his citharodic nomoi—probably lyric hexameters or quasi-hexameters—and thus, it is implied, displacing the traditionally epic diction those epê would otherwise have contained. Timotheus was anticipated in this by Phrynis, who “innovated the nomos and attached hexameter to ‘free verse’” (ἐκαινοτόμησεν αὐτόν [the nomos]· τό τε γὰρ ἑξάμετρον τῷ λελυμένῳ συνῆψε, Proclus Chrestomathia ap. Photius Bibliotheca 320b8–10). This testimony resembles that of Heraclides about the early nomoi of Timotheus, that they were epê with an admixture of dithyrambic diction. From the later viewpoints of Heraclides and Proclus, both citharodes negotiate a dialectic of convention and innovation: with a traditional constraint, hexameter, Phrynis contrasts an innovative feature, “free verse”; Timotheus contrasts the language of regular epic verse with the innovation of dithyrambic diction. The latter is a lexical innovation, but the nature of the dialectic is nevertheless similar. It is reasonable to speculate that the use of dithyrambic diction would have itself necessitated the use of lyric meters to some extent as well, resulting in a polymetric composition. Conversely, we can safely assume that Phrynis’ “free verse” implies some degree of lexical experimentation as well—probably, as in Timothean nomoi, borrowings from dithyramb. [242]
What was happening in the new nomoi was the breakdown of textual and musical categories and proprieties that would later be decried as no less than a sociocultural catastrophe by Plato in Laws 700e: citharodes such as Timotheus “imitate (mimoumenoi)”—this very mimetic tendency is for Plato already a symptom of the corruption of kitharôidia— “aulodic song genres (aulôidiai) in their citharodic songs (kitharôidiai).” At the sonic level, we must imagine that Timotheus with his eleven-stringed kithara was intent on emulating the mimetic and tonal sophistication of the dithyrambic aulos, the instrument that was considered by Plato to be “the most polychord of all” (Republic 399d). [243] The titles and fragments of the nomoi indicate the complementary relationship between such musical kainotomia and the textual subject matter. Timotheus gravitated specifically toward sensationalistic mythical and historical material, involving markedly “othered,” exotic, violently irrational, emotionally extreme subjects and characters—storms, gruesome monsters, distraught and dying barbarians and women—whose musical depiction demanded the tonal poikilia, sonic and affective intensities, and mimetic pyrotechnics, both audible and visual, that were the hallmarks of the New Music. The old “rules” of the nomos had to be broken to capture these intensities.
A parallel could be drawn with a recurrent phenomenon of modern European narrative and dramatic music: the deliberate conjunction of representations of madness, especially feminine hysteria, with the exploitation of extraordinary musical figures and devices—highly elaborate ornamentation, rhythmic and metrical irregularity, chromaticism, virtuosic display, formal discontinuity and fragmentation. [244] That is, madness and other irrational subjects have traditionally offered composers a liberating mimetic scope for working out sonic and formal fantasy and experimentation. The representations of psychologically disordered and emotionally excessive characters—what are called in opera mad scenes, e.g. the Queen of the Night’s “Der Hölle Rache” aria in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, or the hysterical woman awaiting her errant lover in Arnold Schoenberg’s experiment in form and tonality, Erwartung—call for, in some cases one might say excuse or justify, deviant and excessive compositional (and performative) procedures. As one music historian argues:
Even as late as Mozart’s time the forms of music were so rigid that the only way the average composer could wriggle out of the restraints even momentarily was to seize upon certain genre pieces such as the storm. A storm is not expected to follow strict logic, so the composer could break away for a moment and upset the furniture. The Mad Scene offered similar freedom, both formally and expressively.” [245]
Not surprisingly, Timotheus did compose at least one musical storm. In his Memoirs, the second-century BCE collector of anecdotes Hegesander told of how a famous aulete, Dorion, dismissed the storm conjured up in Timotheus’ Nauplios, saying he had seen a bigger one in a boiling pot (FHG IV 416 ap. Athenaeus 8.338a). On the basis of this anecdote, Wilamowitz argues that the Nauplios must have been an aulodic dithyramb. [246] But there is no reason to believe that cross-generic rivalries were any less intense than intra-generic ones. [247] Dorion’s criticism might better be read as an expression of the territorial rhetoric of musical professionalism. For the new kitharôidia, with its polukhordia and harmonic expansiveness, its focus on mimeticism and treatment of Dionysian themes, could be perceived, from the point of view of a working aulete, as an unwelcome encroachment on aulos-based music. The storm in the Nauplios was in all likelihood a sensational, arresting piece of musical mimesis, but its very effectiveness was what provoked Dorion to disparage it publicly as a failure. [248] At least one dithyrambic composer, Philoxenus of Cythera, responded to the citharodes’ appropriation of dithyrambic music in kind. In Philoxenus’ quasi-dramatic dithyramb of the early fourth century BCE, Cyclops or Galateia, Polyphemus was “played” by a solo singer holding a kithara, a coup de théâtre that was probably intended as a semi-parodic allusion to Timotheus’ nomic Cyclops. [249] It has been argued that Melanippides composed a dithyrambic Marsyas, in which was described, or rather acted out, the satyr’s startling transformation from aulete to citharode. [250]
The imbrication of nomoi and dithyrambs elaborated in the Athenian New Music would be taken still further, by at least one citharode, in the Hellenistic period. Inscriptions from late third- and second-century BCE Teos record that on several occasions Demetrius of Phocaea “citharodized” (ἐκιθαρῴδει) dithyrambs, that is, he apparently performed dithyrambs in virtuoso solo renditions rather than with choral accompaniment. [251] The performance of citharodic dithryamb may have become fairly widespread, but there is no unambiguous testimony for it outside of the Tean inscriptions. [252] Perhaps it was Demetrius’ specialty.
Attic tragedy too was integral in the remaking of kitharôidia. The relationship between tragedy and kitharôidia dated back to the early fifth century BCE: Aeschylus himself had looked to the citharodic nomos for inspiration (Aristophanes Frogs 1281–1300). The later fifth century, however, witnessed a heavy increase in the traffic of music and themes between the two genres. Timotheus’ Persians, suffused with tragic and oriental color, finds an obvious antecedent in Aeschylus’ Persians. The stories of Niobe and Nauplios (the younger) provided the plot for plays by both Aeschylus and Sophocles. Cyclops, while drawing, like older citharodic nomoi, from Homeric epic, nevertheless shares its title with a satyr play of Euripides, whom the biographical tradition makes an admirer of Timotheus and a collaborator on the composition of his Persians (Satyrus Life of Euripides T 4.24 Kovacs). That collaboration, however, is probably less historical fact than narrative condensation of the notable continuities between the works of the two composers. The verbal and scenic parallels are indisputable; they speak to mutual influence. The linguistic, metrical, and conceptual similarity between the barbarian laments in Persians, in particular the pidgin Greek imprecations of the captured Phrygian (146–161), and the polymetric “messenger aria” of the Phrygian eunuch in Euripides Orestes 1400–1502 is the most striking example. [253] Wilamowitz argues convincingly that the heroine’s death scene in Niobe, which featured a lament involving a hallucination of the voice of Charon calling from beyond (PMG 786, 787), is based upon the death of the Euripidean Alcestis (cf. Alcestis 252–263). [254] The new nomos must also have involved a new style of physical performance, the citharode’s histrionic deployment of his body to complement visually the mimetic extremities of text and music. [255]

10. Comic Critique and Popular Ambivalence

The cross-fertilization of new kitharôidia and tragedy finds a fittingly boundary-crossing emblem in Aristophanes’ evocation in Women at the Thesmophoria 101–129 of the tragedian Agathon, who, probably to an even greater extent than Euripides, was an enthusiastic adopter of trends in the New Music. [256] Agathon, in all the splendor of his “soft,” luxurious, Asiatic-Ionic visual style (130–167), appears on stage to sing, by himself, a duet between a solo singer and a women’s chorus. We do not know if this song is meant as a parody of an actual song from a tragedy by Agathon, but it points in a general sense toward Agathon’s interest in the music of East Greek citharodes such as Timotheus.
This is signaled even before Agathon begins his song proper. Mnesilochus, the protagonist of Women at the Thesmophoria, asks Euripides, who has brought him to Agathon’s house, “Ant tracks (μύρμηκος ἀτραπούς), or what is it he is about to sing through?” (100). The image of “ant tracks,” which refers to the melodic and modal intricacies of the New Music, is used specifically of the polychord kitharôidia of Timotheus in the attack on the New Music composers in Pherecrates Cheiron fr. 155 K-A (ἐκτραπέλους μυρμηκιάς ‘perverse ant tracks’, 23). [257] Since the singing has not yet begun, Mnesilochus is presumably responding to an instrumental prelude, sounded on the aulos or perhaps on a lyre or barbitos played by Agathon himself, that parodies the many-noted complexity of the New Music. [258] Agathon’s song proper, in an astrophic, polymetric sequence not unlike what we see in Timotheus’ Persians, takes the form of a hymn to Apollo, Artemis, and Leto, a subject that is not out of keeping with the “Apollonian” character of kitharôidia, but one that is distinguished by a consistently orientalizing, Dionysian flavor that resonates with the markedly Dionysian (and yet still Apolline) image of the singer. [259] We think of Timotheus’ Artemis, which apparently hymned the goddess in an exotic, “Bacchic” fashion that was perhaps at home in Ephesus, where it was first performed, but was shockingly inappropriate to secondary Athenian audiences. So shocking was it that, according to one anecdote, even Cinesias, supposedly the most outrageous dithyrambic composer of the New Music, stood up in the audience to voice his disapproval at the verse describing Artemis as θυιάδα φοιβάδα μαινάδα λυσσάδα ‘thyiadic, frantic, maenadic, fanatic’. [260]
In Agathon’s hymn, Apollo is praised as an Easterner, the founder of Phrygian Troy, perhaps with a subtle allusion to the god’s lyric foundation of that city (cf. Ovid Heroides 16.179–180; Martial 8.6.6). [261] Indeed, the hymn includes two explicit references to the kithara; the curiously emphatic attention to this instrument again suggests that Aristophanes is alluding to a marked sympathy between Agathon’s tragic melos and the kitharôidia of the day. First, Agathon sings of the “notes of the Asiatic kithara” (κρούματα … Ἀσιάδος, 120) that accompany the dance of the Phrygian Graces. Later, Agathon, taking the part of the female chorus, sings, “I revere mistress Leto and the kitharis, the mother of songs (humnoi) esteemed on account of its masculine cry” (σέβομαι Λατώ τ᾽ ἄνασσαν | κίθαρίν τε ματέρ᾽ ὕμνων | ἄρσενι βοᾷ δοκίμων, 123–125). [262] Like Agathon’s Apollo, it is as Asiatic that the kithara is first invoked. The exotic cast of the instrument is further underscored by its fanciful association with the Graces of Phrygia, known to be the ancestral home of the aulos—a deliberate mixing of Dionysian and Apollonian musical identities is strongly implied. Euripides too was fascinated by the notionally Asiatic character of the kithara; it is in his plays that we first see the term Asias (kithara) used. [263] Webster argues that Euripides coined it in “homage” to Timotheus, who was an “Asian” Ionian of Miletus. [264] While it is true that Euripides may have been the first poet to employ the actual term Asias (kithara), doubtless drawn to its exoticizing and vaguely Dionysiac connotations, the idea behind it surely predates him, having its roots in the Archaic lore of Lesbian kitharôidia. [265] Nevertheless, it seems probable that Euripides was responding to an actual exoticizing trend in the contemporary culture of kitharôidia. That is, Timotheus and citharodes like him, themselves inspired by tragedy’s romance with barbarian, Eastern cultures, likely emphasized the “archaic exoticism” of their tekhnê and their own performative personae. [266] The reception of kitharôidia by tragedy thus involved its theatricalizing, its “othering.” But there was a sort of feedback loop at work. Citharodes were already, under the influence of Dionysian forms, “othering” themselves and their art.
One expression of the exoticizing trend in kitharôidia may be detected in the appearance of the foreign-looking Thracian or Thamyris kithara in the hands of agonists in later-fifth-century BCE contest scenes. The use of these instruments may have been inspired by a tragedy, Sophocles’ Thamyras, which in its turn may have represented a dramatic engagement with the emergence of innovatory trends in Athenian citharodic culture. [267] Agathon’s “look” and bearing in Women at the Thesmophoria are surely meant to evoke the persona of the modern-day citharode, at least in part. Agathon claims that he emulates poets associated with sympotic and erotic lyric, Ibycus, Anacreon, and Alcaeus, “who gave new flavor to harmonia; they wore headbands and they adopted a lifestyle of Ionian luxury” (160–163). His style must then recall primarily the glamorous, Lydianizing comasts we see on the late Archaic “Anacreontic” vases; that a barbitos and a tortoise-shell lyre are among the various “props” scattered about him (137–138)—perhaps held or even played by him—only reinforces that impression. [268] Yet the hypermimetic Agathon, wearing a long, saffron-dyed chiton (the krokôtos, 138) and singing a “citharodic” hymn, inevitably “plays the citharode” as well. [269]
It is worth noting the implications of the scholion on line 162, which says that “the older copies” (τὰ παλαιότερα ἀντίγραφα) of the play had “Achaios,” the name of a tragedian of Euripides’ generation, instead of “Alcaeus.” [270] The Alexandrian scholar Aristophanes of Byzantium supposedly recognized that “Alcaeus” the lyric poet of Mytilene was the correct reading. A later Alexandrian scholar, Didymus, disagreed with Aristophanes, arguing that Alcaeus was not sufficiently familiar to the Athenians “on account of his [Aeolic] dialect.” That objection, as the scholiast notes, is wholly ungrounded. But what Didymus proposed instead is interesting: “Alcaeus” could be accepted as the correct reading, but only if it were taken to refer to a citharode by that name rather than the lyric poet. Alcaeus appears to have been a famous citharode of the later fifth century, a contemporary of Phrynis and Timotheus. He was sufficiently well known in Athens to appear as a character in Eupolis’ Golden Race, which was probably produced in the mid 420s. [271] The Aristophanic scholiast cites a line from that play in which someone addresses Alcaeus ὦ Σικελιῶτα Πελοποννήσιε ‘[Alcaeus] of Sicily and from the Peloponnese’ (fr. 303 K-A). Alcaeus may have been a Lesbian citharode, named propitiously after his island’s famous melopoios, who won fame at the Spartan Carneia and, like Arion before him, in the lucrative citharodic markets of Western Greece, but also competed, as did the Lesbian Phrynis, at the Panathenaia. Didymus may have been (and very probably was) merely speculating on this point, drawing his own connection between the text of Eupolis and that of Aristophanes without any external support. Nevertheless, his reasoning invites a more worthwhile interpretation. Could we read “Alcaeus” as an example of the allusive density that Aristophanes so commonly displays? That is, Alcaeus the Lesbian lyric poet would be the primary referent of “Alcaeus,” but, secondarily, the audience would hear an allusion to the well-known Lesbian citharode. That “Alcaeus” comes last in Agathon’s list of influences, after the unambiguous Ibycus and Anacreon, and so perhaps timed as a punch line, would underscore the cleverness and humor of the referential ambiguity. Both identities, that of the glamorous, aristocratic, Ionic symposiast and that of the charismatic, exotic-seeming festival citharode in his splendid skeuê are fused in the mimetic poikilia of the Aristophanic Agathon’s fabulous “self-staging.” [272]
Although Alcaeus the citharode was not explicitly linked to the New Music, it is worth noting that in another fragment of the Golden Race of Eupolis, someone is addressed as ὦ καλαβρὲ κιθαροιδότατε ‘O most citharodic barbarian’ (fr. 311 K-A; for καλαβρός as βάρβαρος, see Hesychius s.v.). The addressee of this paradoxical designation—the master of Hellenic musical culture figured as the very opposite of the cultured Hellene—may well be our Alcaeus. If so, his putative “barbarian” status would likely have more to do with his choice of material for his nomoi and his performative self-presentation than with his actual ethnicity. Similarly, Aristophanes’ abuse of the star citharode Execestides, who was probably an Athenian citizen and certainly a free Greek, as a slave from barbarian Caria (Birds 11, 764, 1527) may represent an analogous comic response to the increasingly “exotic” persona of the citharode. The supposed barbarity of the citharode remained a comic topos in the fourth century. Aristotle Rhetoric 3.11.1412a33–1412b3 records an insult to a citharode named Nicon, surely delivered first in a Middle or New comedy: “You are a Thracian slave girl.” [273]
The comic conflation of gender and ethnicity—the citharode as female barbarian—made explicit in the insult directed at Nicon is implicit in Agathon’s hymn as well. Agathon’s “chorus” claims to revere, along with Leto, “the kitharis, the mother of songs (humnoi) esteemed on account of its masculine cry” (123–125). First, we should note that kitharis is an archaizing designation for the concert kithara that is used by Timotheus in his Persians to describe both the kithara of Apollo (202) and his own eleven-stringed instrument (231). On the one hand, Agathon’s maternal characterization of the kitharis/kithara marks its hymnic assimilation to Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis. On the other, however, “the more significant point is that the instrument—grammatically feminine—is confused about its gender, like Agathon and a number of other characters in the play.” [274] The kitharis is, like Agathon, androgynous, a mother of songs that yet has a “masculine cry” (ἄρσενι βοᾷ). [275] But the feminizing of the instrument, which was by tradition “patriarchal,” almost entirely confined to use by male musicians—Pindar Pythian 4.176 appropriately calls the ur-citharodic Orpheus ἀοιδᾶν πατήρ ‘father of songs’—likely refers beyond the characterization of Agathon and the “gender-bending” thematics of the play to the role of the kithara in the Dionysiac experimentation of the new nomos, which included the melodramatic mimesis of women (e.g. Niobe, a maternal figure indeed) and a preference for pathetic, sensual melodies that many heard as effeminate and potentially effeminizing. As Mnesilochus exclaims upon the completion of Agathon’s hymn, ὡς ἡδὺ τὸ μέλος … καὶ θηλυδριῶδες ‘how sweet the song … and smelling so of women!’ (130–131). [276]
The gendered critique of New Music was a common theme in Old Comedy, which was at least ostensibly culturally and aesthetically conservative, and in the reactionary elite intellectual discourse of the fourth century that to a large extent inherited and elaborated the musical critical tropes of comedy. And it is not only the music that was so criticized; the musicians themselves came under fire for their supposed effeminacy. Such ad hominem critique was deployed with force against the dramatic and dithyrambic exponents of the New Music, above all Agathon. [277] The question Mnesilochus asks of the bewildering Agathon is emblematic: “Am I to seek out who you are then based on your song (melos)?” (144–145). But, as the case of Nicon the “Thracian slave girl” shows, citharodes were not exempt from the politics of musical identity. Phrynis’ musical and personal masculinity appears to have been especially vulnerable to abuse. He was called, as Agathon is by Mnesilochus (136), a gunnis ‘sissy’, and was said to have “enfeebled” the harmony of the kithara, making it “softer” (malthakôteron) (scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 971a, b). Aristophanes makes punning reference to the supposed pathic and promiscuous homosexuality of the Athenian Arignotus, “a man beloved by all men and greatly skilled, a citharode in the fullest sense, whom charm attends” (ἅπασι φίλον ἄνδρα τε σοφώτατον, | τὸν κιθαραοιδότατον, ᾧ χάρις ἐφέσπετο, Wasps 1277–1278). [278] Arignotus was doubtless a talented citharode, although his kharis ‘charm’ may have had as much to do with the feminine whiteness of his skin as the excellence of his rendition of the Orthios nomos, something Aristophanes insinuates in a separate reference at Knights 1278–1280, in which he also figures the citharode as a promiscuous erômenos, sexually gratifying his many fans. [279] The uncontracted superlative κιθαραοιδότατος ‘most citharodic, a citharode in the fullest sense’, however, generalizes the insinuations against Arignotus, elevating his putative effeminacy into a constitutive feature of the citharodic character. Similarly, Eupolis’ use of the same superlative to describe a “barbarian” citharode, perhaps Alcaeus, in his Golden Race, suggests that alterity and exoticism were also becoming essential to the perception of the citharode, at least in the comic imagination. Effeminacy and barbarism (or at least uncultured, banausic vulgarity—ethnic difference displaced onto class distinction) were for Plato and his musically elitist congeners of the fourth century definitive traits of the citharode and other agonistic musicians. Phaedrus, in Plato Symposium 179d, is made to assume that all citharodes, even Orpheus, are unmanly; he claims that Orpheus could not save Eurydice from Hades because μαλθακίζεσθαι ἐδόκει, ἅτε ὢν κιθαρῳδός ‘he was likely to have been soft and effeminate, since he was a citharode’. [280] Aristoxenus laments the “utter barbarization” of the theaters in his day (fr. 124 Wehrli), as well as the profound “feminization” of the music that was performed in them (fr. 70).
It would be misguided to read these marginalizing characterizations of citharodes as unmediated reflections of their perception in the popular culture. Certainly the extreme views of Plato or Aristoxenus were far from the mainstream. But what about Old Comedy’s critique? First, it is worth keeping in mind that the transformations of citharodic culture may have been viewed by the comic poets as a professional challenge. Although citharodes were not in direct competition with comic poets, as their “acts” grew more theatrical, they must have entered into indirect rivalry with comic spectacle for the attentions of the Athenian public. [281] The rough treatment of citharodes in comedy could be seen in part then as a self-interested strategy. Comic poets undercut their prestige—they are nothing but barbarians and effeminates—while at the same time importing some of their undeniable allure from the Panathenaia to the comic stages of the Dionysia and Lenaia. [282] We have one instance of this double-edged engagement in Agathon’s quasi-citharodic turn in Women at the Thesmophoria. There is good reason to believe that Phrynis appeared on stage as a character in Eupolis’ Demes, in which he had a hostile confrontation with Pyronides, the play’s hero and likely no fan of the melodic “bends” (kampai) for which Phrynis was mocked by Aristophanes in his Clouds (969–972). [283] It is conceivable that the play featured a “para-citharodic” performance by Phrynis that put his musical and sexual deviance on full display. Eupolis’ Golden Race apparently included a cameo by the citharode Alcaeus, who may have performed a song expressive of his “barbarian” character. [284]
Beneath the representational agendas and invective excesses of comedy, however, we may well detect a shift in the popular perception of the professional citharode—a shift helped along, of course, by comedy itself, but also by the citharodes’ own Dionysian deformations of their tekhnê. To some extent, the outraged reactions to innovations in the music and performance of kitharôidia staged by the comic poets must have reflected attitudes shared by members of their audience as well, who were, if not outright scandalized, then at least made uneasy by the “softening” of the traditional proprieties of kitharôidia. “New” citharodic performance style had become objectively more flamboyant than the old-school variety; conceivably, not only comedians and conservative elites but average citizens as well imputed a gendered difference to the professional citharodes who entertained them, which in turn rendered their music morally suspect (if not less enjoyable).
Mnesilochus’ response to Agathon’s strange music and stranger image is at once sensually pleasurable—an erotic “tickle” (gargalos) comes over him as he listens (132–133)—and perplexed, and even borderline hostile (cf. the rude interrogation at 137–144, which is compared to Lycurgus’ contemptuous interrogation of Dionysus). Scripted and exaggerated though it is by Aristophanes, this response may well capture something of the ambivalence felt by the Panathenaic mass audience when confronted by a Phrynis or Timotheus. It is significant that we catch a glimpse of the effeminate citharode in tragedy as well as comedy. In Euripides’ Antiope, produced around the time of the Women at the Thesmophoria, Zethus, a paradigm of manly virtue, accuses his bother, the proto-citharode Amphion, of softness and effeminacy. Zethus tells Amphion, “You are conspicuous by your womanly appearance” (γυναικομίμῳ διαπρέπεις μορφώματι, fr. IX Kambitsis), by which an anachronistic allusion to the glamorous skeuê of the fifth-century citharode is probably intended. [285] Indeed, we might read the epithet γυναικόμιμον (literally ‘woman-imitating’) as expressly evoking the mimetic and theatrical aspect of new citharodic performance and persona. The word makes a significant appearance in Euripides Bacchae 980, where it describes the costume worn by Pentheus as he makes his paradigmatically dramatic and Dionysiac transformation from man to woman.

11. Legitimating the Nomos: Timotheus’ Persians in Athens

i. The wages of paranomia

Timotheus’ Persians is a work fundamentally shaped by and responsive to the specific conditions of the democratic culture of kitharôidia in post-Periclean Athens. The subject of the nomos, the defeat of the Persian forces at Salamis, is quintessentially Athenian in its market appeal; it is also inherently theatrical, thanks to its consecrated treatment by Aeschylus. The style of Persians has all the hallmarks of the new nomos, musical, textual, and performative, that bear the stamp of Athenian drama and dithyramb. The central narrative section (1–201), what Pollux Onomasticon 4.66 calls the omphalos, is studded with dithyrambic diction and surely elicited a full range of innovative vocal and instrumental effects to capture the intensities of the text and the representations they entail. There are frenzied battle scenes, evoked no doubt with all manner of melodic, instrumental, and rhythmic poikilia. The polymetrical irregularity of the text implies a quick-changing, even spasmodic rhythmic articulation that would emphasize the chaos and upheaval of the conflict. The narrative flow is routinely disrupted by sudden “jump-cuts” from one scene to another, abrupt changes in focus and mood that were likely underscored by a musical lambency; we should imagine harmonic modulations, changes of tempo and volume, extreme timbral contrasts, and other such devices. Descriptions of physical violence inflicted on objects and bodies suggest highly imitative, often high-decibel sound effects: the crashing and capsizing of ships (11–20; 86–93); the confused screams and shouts of the combatants (κρ]αυγᾶι βοὰ δὲ [πα]μμι[γ]ὴς κατεῖχεν, 34); the gruesome drowning death of a barbarian (40–85). The action is periodically interrupted by four aria-like “mad scenes,” in each of which the citharode casts himself in the role of a lamenting barbarian in extremis, impersonating with his kitharôidia the “mad, sad, and foreign voices” that audiences would normally hear impersonated by an actor-singer or chorus on the tragic (or occasionally comic) stage. [286]
Further, we may assume that these scenes were “realistically” infused with orientalizing musical modes and stylemes, as well as any number of experimental instrumental and vocal techniques. The various ethnicities and dispositions of the suffering barbarians suggest a range of harmonic colors and special effects. There is a mentally deranged, drowning commander (anax, 42), probably a Persian. [287] As he goes under, he curses the sea and invokes his lord Xerxes (72–81) “in a piercing and babbling voice” (ὀξυπαραυδήτῳ φωνᾷ) while saltwater fills his mouth (64–71). [288] At 105–138 Timotheus presents a composite voice belonging to “a group consisting of barbarians including Mysians and Lydians, who sing to us jointly like a tragic chorus.” [289] The third “aria” is the confused and desperate supplication of a Greek warrior by a Phrygian from Kelainai (150–161). We might expect at this point a modulation into the Phrygian harmonia. The last barbarian voice we hear is that of the Persian King himself, Xerxes (178–195). His song erupts out of an implicit antiphonal kommos, as around him his entourage (panêguris, 171) engages in the typically overwrought gestures of staged barbarian lament, scratching their faces and rending their garments (166–169).
The description of this lament suggests a shrill, intense, and chaotic music that likely carried over into the King’s aria: “A high pitched Asiatic wailing was attuned to their polyglot lamentation” (σύντονος δ’ ἁρμόζετ’ Ἀσιὰς | οἰμωγὰ πολυ<γλώσσῳ> στόνῳ, 169–170). [290] σύντονος ‘high pitched’ perhaps indicates a musical setting in the Syntonolydian harmonia, which Plato Republic 397e associates with lament and effeminacy (cf. “Plutarch” On Music 15.1136b). [291] Might we also hear an allusion in Ἀσιάς to the “Asiatic” kithara of Timotheus, which is itself “attuned” to the stylized representation of this wild lament? All this, battles and and barbarians, we might imagine would have been brought to visual life with a good deal of histrionic physical mimesis. [292]
Yet for all its apparent typicality as a product of the New Music, I would argue that Persians is also a work that reflects Timotheus’ awareness of the potentially ambivalent reception of his innovative kitharôidia. The anecdotal tradition records that Timotheus had fallen out of favor thanks to his innovations. Satyrus, the third-century BCE biographer of Euripides, records that Timotheus, unpopular “among the Greeks” on account of his kainotomia, was on the verge of suicide, until “Euripides alone laughed back at the audiences” (μόνος Εὐριπίδης ἀνάπαλιν τῶν μὲν θεατῶν καταγελάσαι). The tragedian gave the citharode encouraging words and even composed the prooimion to Persians. As a result, Satyrus says, Timotheus “was victorious and immediately ceased to be despised.” [293] Plutarch closely follows: “Timotheus was hissed because he seemed to transgress against the laws of music (παρανομεῖν εἰς τὴν μουσικήν) due to his kainotomia” (Whether an Old Man Should Engage in Public Affairs 23.795d = Euripides T 57 Kovacs). The verb paranomein must refer specifically to innovations in the citharodic nomos (cf. “Plutarch” On Music 4.1132e; Plato Laws 700d). Euripides again comes to the rescue, assuring Timotheus that he will “soon have the theaters in his power.” Neither Satyrus nor Plutarch is a reliable biographer. [294] We may well be skeptical of the historicity of a personal and collaborative relationship between the tragedian and the citharode, which could derive specifically from their depiction in Old Comedy as fellow travelers in the Athenian New Music or could be some more broadly literalizing reflex of the (real) mutual influence between the two poets, which is apparent in their texts. [295] Stories of collaboration may have derived too from the fact that the poets were known to have been contemporaneous (or nearly so) “artists in residence” at the Macedonian court of Archelaus. [296] Timotheus was said by some to have composed the epigram on Euripides’ cenotaph in Athens, which records the tragedian’s death in Macedon (Thucydides vel Timotheus FGE 1 = Life of Euripides 14), where Timotheus was also said to have ended his life (Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. Τιμόθεος).
We may be less skeptical, however, about the veracity of the backstory to the collaboration, Timotheus’ difficulty securing popular success. The anecdotal tradition no doubt exaggerates the suicide-inducing intensity of his failure, as well as the “overnight” success he achieved with Persians. Timotheus had clearly enjoyed some measure of success before the positive reception of that nomos. PMG 802 attests to a victory over Phrynis, which likely took place relatively early in Timotheus’ career, perhaps in Athens. Phrynis, who was himself a controversial citharode, won the Panathenaic agôn in 446 BCE, relatively early in his own career. But the nomos, as we have seen, was a conservative form and kitharôidia a highly traditional tekhnê. Not only might the culturally retrograde Spartans, whom Timotheus singles out as his most vociferous critics in the sphragis of Persians, and their elitist ilk in Athens have opposed Timotheus, but the broader Athenian audience may have felt alienated from his experimentations as well. We may note that, although Satyrus says that Timotheus was unpopular “with the Greeks” (παρὰ τ[οῖ]ς Ἕλλη[σι]ν), the tradition clearly concerns foremost his Athenian reception, as the involvement of Euripides (historical or not) indicates. [297] Furthermore, there is no mention of the Spartans, as we might expect if the tradition were simply extrapolating from Timotheus’ description of his struggles in Persians, nor is there any sense that it is specifically the Athenian elite or the comic poets who attack Timotheus. Rather, the hostile laughter and hissing that the anecdotes report strongly suggest the displeasure of mainstream Athenian audiences; in fact, Timotheus’ kitharôidia is imagined to have a distinctly elitist appeal—only Euripides, whose own disregard of popular acclaim was legendary (and surely exaggerated), can understand its value. [298]
The screeds of culturally reactionary and anti-democratic elites of the fourth century BCE tend to create the impression that the radical innovations of the New Music composers of the fifth century, citharodes, tragedians, and dithyrambists alike, were met with unanimous acclaim by the “theatrocratic” dêmos. Plato imagines that the dissolution of the boundaries between Classical song genres was spurred on by the frenzy for novelty among the Athenian democratic masses (Laws 700a–701b); the source behind “Plutarch” On Music 12.1135d, probably Aristoxenus, directly equates Timotheus’ “love of novelty” (he is philokainos) with “what is nowadays called the popular and money-making style” (τὸν φιλάνθρωπον καὶ θεματικὸν νῦν ὀνομαζόμενον τρόπον). While there is some validity to these claims, they nevertheless gloss over the nuanced complexity of popular reception, as does Old Comedy with its cartoonish polarities of old and new (even if the extremist visions of comedy to some extent did reflect and inevitably inform popular perceptions of musicians). To win demotic favor at the Panathenaia, and the prestigious and highly lucrative victory prizes that went with it, Timotheus and Phrynis before him had to create consensus among as broad a swath of the audience as possible. This likely meant that they had to negotiate a delicate balance between innovation and tradition, on the one hand borrowing from the Dionysian musical and poetic forms that were so well established in the democratic city, on the other maintaining the traditional decorum associated with Apollonian kitharôidia and the Terpandrean nomoi, which some citharodes were still performing successfully at the Panathenaia through at least the 420s BCE. [299] If this balance was skewed too far toward kainotomia, charges of paranomia, citharodic “illegitimacy,” could ensue, jeopardizing chances of agonistic success. In a revealing passage of “Plutarch” On Music that was discussed in the previous section, we read that Timotheus “sang his first nomoi, at least, in epê, while mixing in dithyrambic diction, so that he would not appear to be directly transgressing against the laws of classical music” (ὅπως μὴ εὐθὺς φανῇ παρανομῶν εἰς τὴν ἀρχαίαν μουσικήν, 4.1132e). This sociological interpretation of the formal character of the early Timothean nomoi, which is probably derived from Heraclides of Pontus (or some other Peripatetic music historian), presupposes the same sensitive fifth-century reception conditions for kitharôidia that inform the anecdotes of Satyrus and Plutarch. Timotheus was initially, at least, careful to avoid the impression of paranomia. Accordingly, he played by the generic rules of the Terpandrean style, maintaining the cultural legitimacy and familiarity of his nomoi while at the same time introducing change into this legitimate, familiar context. [300]
As Timotheus’ career progressed into the later fifth century, however, he may have become less adept at maintaining this balance; his kainotomia increasingly sounded to audiences like paranomia. Contests were probably lost. Persians, however, may represent an attempt to redress this imbalance and to win back a mass audience. Again, we need not imagine that anything like the dramatic reversal of fortune described in the anecdotes attended the performance and reception of the nomos. But Satyrus’ testimony, that with Persians Timotheus was victorious, seems perfectly reasonable. And it is difficult not to connect the triumphant reception of the work to its emphatic traditionalism, which is apparent in the choice of narrative subject, Salamis, as well as the startlingly conservative positions taken by the citharode himself in the concluding section of the work, the sphragis. With Persians, Timotheus was clearly intent on crafting a rhetoric of legitimation for the new nomos. The work is an ideologically unassailable vehicle for the expression of citharodic kainotomia, perfectly designed to neutralize any perception of paranomia. In it we see the self-conscious making of a classic.

ii. Salamis in Athens, without Athens

The victory referred to by Satyrus, as the Athenian setting of the anecdote suggests, is very likely to have been at the Panathenaia. The majority of recent scholarly treatments of Persians have accepted or only slightly modified arguments made by Samuel Bassett to the effect that the nomos was first performed in Athens between 412/11 and 408/7 BCE. [301] 412/11 was the year that Sparta entered into a treaty with Persia against Athens (Thucydides 8.18; cf. 8.37, 8.58). A fragmentary line from the nomos, Ἄρης τύραννος· χρυσὸν Ἑλλὰς οὐ δέδοικε ‘Ares is a tyrant; Greece does not fear gold’ (PMG 790), may allude to the treaty, which stipulated Persia’s contribution of gold to the Spartan war effort. Zenobius 2.47, who quotes the line, claims that it became proverbial thanks to the success (εὐημερία) of Persians in Athens. The song’s Salamis theme and its description of Timotheus’ unfair victimization by the aggressive Spartans (206–212) suggest that it was composed in response to the events of 412. Further, in that year a number of Ionian cities, including Miletus, defected to the side of the Spartans; Timotheus appears to allude to these troubles in lines 235–236 of the sphragis. We will return to them below. The terminus ante quem of 408/7 is perhaps less sound. Bassett and others settle on 408/7 because it was supposedly in that year that Euripides left Athens for the Macedonian court of Archelaus. But we have seen that there is little reason to insist on the veracity of Satyrus’ claim that Euripides composed the prooimion of Persians. However, the linguistic and conceptual similarities between Persians and the song of the Phrygian eunuch in Orestes, produced in 408 BC, are so suggestive that 408/7 may serve in any case as an approximate terminus ante. The Great Panathenaia of 410/9 BCE falls within this window, and Bassett’s tentative proposal that Timotheus successfully presented the work at the festival in that year remains a most compelling scenario. [302]
In the study of Persians that accompanied his editio princeps, Wilamowitz argued that the nomos could not have been performed in Athens because the text as preserved on the papyrus found at Abusir makes no mention of Athens. It is a “Salamis without Athens.” That is, the fragment of the nomos as we have it describes a sea battle that is certainly meant to be Salamis, yet contains no explicit references to Athens or to the Athenians who played crucial roles in the victory. Indeed, the battle itself is not even identified as Salamis. [303] Wilamowitz believed that by “ignoring” Athens Timotheus was in fact insulting the city. By this logic, Athens is to be entirely ruled out as the site of the premiere, and, we might add, as the site of any subsequent reperformance of the piece. Wilamowitz concluded that Persians was premiered in the Spartan-dominated Greek East in the early fourth century. [304] Several scholars have arrived at similar conclusions based upon similar reasoning. [305]
Proponents of an Athenian Persians have already offered sufficient rebuttal to the arguments of Wilamowitz. [306] But two interrelated points in defense of an Athenian premiere for the nomos bear emphasis. First, to argue that Timotheus would be willing to ignore or insult Athens is to misunderstand the professional and economic pragmatics of the agonistic kitharôidia practiced by the likes of Timotheus. As Nashville has been to contemporary American country music or Broadway to the musical, so was the later-fifth- and fourth-century Panathenaia to agonistic mousikê in Greece. The Athenian scene was where stars were made and musical reputations confirmed and contested, where styles of performance and composition were elaborated and exchanged—witness the vitalizing interplay between kitharôidia, dithyramb, and tragedy—and where fortunes were to be made. For a citharode of Timotheus’ stature and ambition to ignore, much less slight Athens in the late fifth or early fourth centuries would be utterly illogical, an act tantamount to artistic and commercial suicide. [307] Satyrus’ claim that Timotheus was in fact contemplating suicide in response to his failure in Athens is overdramatic, but nonetheless apposite.
This brings us to the second point. If success in Athens would have been so crucial to Timotheus, whose previous reception there had apparently been fraught with difficulty, why then do we have in Persians a “Salamis without Athens?” Salamis was no doubt a subject matter supremely amenable to an Athenian audience. But why then does the nomos lack any specific reference to Athenian participation? Why does even Salamis go unnamed? It has been argued that had we more of the nomos (in its present condition we have less than half of the work), then explicit Athenian references would be more evident. [308] Yet the utter lack of such references in the major sections of the nomos that we do have, the long description of the naval rout and its aftermath, as well as the whole of the sphragis, understandably raised the suspicions of Wilamowitz. We might look, then, to alternative explanations for “Salamis without Athens.” One is aesthetic. Timotheus may have been trying to lend Salamis a historically transcendent, mythic quality. Another explanation, not necessarily exclusive from the aesthetic, is one that takes into account the “double bind” effect that must have been an important aspect of itinerant citharodic practice in the later fifth century, that is, the two competing market demands put upon the production of the citharodic nomos: on the one hand, the special interests of the important Athenian market, which would have been especially acute for Timotheus, a maverick who was struggling to establish a secure place in it; on the other, the inevitable reality that the nomos could not be too obviously an Athenocentric production, but had to be a mobile, supra-national commodity, a traveling, reperformable entertainment whose content would appeal to, or at least not alienate, audiences at a wide circuit of Panhellenic and regional agônes beyond the Panathenaia. We may thus expect that a certain degree of Athenian “localization” had to be balanced with the pragmatics of Panhellenic diffusion in order to ensure maximum economic and professional success for the nomos and its performer. [309]
A “Salamis without Athens” is a savvy textual strategy for negotiating this “double bind” inherent in the marketing of the citharodic nomos. It is a celebration of a classic Panhellenic moment in which the preeminent position of Athens is left implicit or unmarked. [310] As such, Persians is a work that is “automatically” localized when performed in Athens—we will examine some of these local effects below—but it is also one whose value would not suffer when taken on the road and performed elsewhere, at other times, in the Greek world, conceivably even in cities that were inimical to Athens and friendly to Sparta. The generic character of Timotheus’ Salamis narrative allows nearly all Greeks, not only the Athenians, to identify with the timeless, politically transcendent, near-mythic victory over the Persians. The fact that the text of Persians has invited such radically divergent views concerning its performance history is a testament to the sophistication of its discursive ambiguities. Timotheus’ characterization of his Spartan critics in the sphragis is emblematic of the extent of the strategic diglossia of the text. To one audience (or scholar), the lines “Sparta’s great leader, well-born and age-old, a people teeming with the flowers of youthful manhood” (206–208), might sound like an honorific compliment. (One could even imagine Timotheus singing them with a straight face at the Carneia.) Other audiences (or scholars) might hear coded in the lines a caricature of Sparta’s aggressive, overweening aristocracy. [311]
Let us consider Timotheus’ choice of Salamis to be the theme of his self-legitimating nomos in light of its likely first performance in Athens in 410 BCE. The valorization of Salamis as a touchstone of Athenian patriotism and imperial pride by the broad spectrum of the Athenian dêmos cannot be underestimated, and we may assume that the collective memory of the battle took on added emotional and ideological resonance immediately following Persia’s entry into the Peloponnesian War in 412. In addition, in the aftermath of the failed Sicilian Expedition and during the dispirit that followed, Timotheus’ recollection of the glory of Salamis would have served as a highly effective utopian entertainment, nostalgic and escapist, but also inspiring and hopeful. [312] However, after the victory of the Athenian fleet at Cyzicus in the spring of 410 over combined Peloponnesian and Persian forces, which was followed shortly by the collapse of the oligarchic government in Athens, it would have been heard too as an epinician celebration of Athenian naval success: Salamis would stand as a kind of heroic exemplar for current victories, echoing them on a grand mythic-historic scale. We may imagine that Persians, in its timely response to current events and moods, was received by the Athenians in the same enthusiastic spirit in which Plutarch tells us the audience at the Nemean Games met its third-century BCE reperformance by the citharode Pylades of Megalopolis: “The Greeks broke into joyful applause, since in their hopes they were recovering their ancient prestige (to palaion axiôma) and in their confidence coming close to the spirit of those earlier days.” [313] We will return to the historical context of this reperformance below.
To be sure, there were some Athenian elites, especially those with strong oligarchic sympathies, who felt an ideological, even aesthetic distaste for the democratic cast of this naval victory. Some scholars have argued that an ideological rift existed in the fifth and fourth centuries between the “mass” naval victory at Salamis and the “elite” hoplitic victories at Marathon and Plataea. [314] For the staunchly anti-democratic Athenian Stranger of Plato’s Laws and his Spartan interlocutor Megillus, Marathon and Plataea, not Salamis—as the polloi ‘masses’ have it—brought salvation (sôtêria) to the Greeks; the former battles made the Greeks better (beltious, an aristocratic descriptor), the latter worse (707b–c; cf. 707a–b). It has been argued that the Persians of Aeschylus stands on the other side of the ideological divide, revealing a markedly democratic bias in its neglect of Marathon and the relatively short shrift it gives to Plataea. But there is a risk of placing too much weight on Plato’s tendentious extremism or Aeschylus’ omissions. Christopher Pelling reviews the sources for a conflict between Salamis and Marathon/Plataea and sees little compelling evidence for all-or-nothing ideological “battle of the battles” in the fifth century. [315]
We should accordingly be wary of taking Timotheus’ celebration of Salamis as an outright gesture of anti-elitism, as opposed to a straightforward attempt to consolidate large-scale, pandemic support among the “average” Athenians who formed the bulk of the Panathenaic audience. While we should not be surprised that Aristophanes’ aristocratic Better Argument draws a direct line between old-time paideia in lyric mousikê and the “elite” Athenian victory at Marathon (Clouds 985–986), it is probably too much to assume an anti-elite cultural/political agenda behind the linking of the New Music and the victory at Salamis in Persians. [316] This linkage would not necessarily by default alienate the majority of elite audience members. Indeed, it is possible that specific elite/hoplitic interests were addressed in Persians. It has been observed that the battle of Salamis was split into “two simultaneous episodes—the well-known naval battle and the hoplitic battle at Psyttaleia.” [317] The land battle on Psyttaleia is described in Herodotus 8.95, where the noble Athenian Aristides, who, significantly, had been ostracized from Athens and was an enemy of Themistocles (8.85), has his aristeia with a handpicked troop of hoplites. Aeschylus Persians 447–465 describes the battle as well, although in a perhaps less aggrandizing light. [318] Psyttaleia is probably meant to be the scene of Timotheus Persians 140–161, which is clearly set on land: a “steel-bladed Greek” (σιδαρόκωπος Ἕλλαν, 143) carries off a Phrygian by the hair. The Greek is presumably a hoplite rather than a sailor. The avoidance of place and (Greek) personal names in the scene is, as we have seen, characteristic of the Panhellenizing tenor of the omphalos as a whole. But could it in this case also reflect a disinclination to align the nomos with one specific, politicized intra-Athenian version of Salamis?
It is significant, however, that Sparta had a conspicuously small share in the Panhellenic and Panathenaic glory of Salamis. [319] Indeed, according to Herodotus, Sparta’s participation in the battle was a matter of great contention; the Lacedaemonian fleet under Eurybiades would have pulled out in the eleventh hour if not for the active intervention of Themistocles (8.42–63). Herodotus singles out not one Spartan for distinguished service in the battle. The contemporary reality of the post-412 Sparta-Persia alliance would only have deepened the perception of Sparta’s estrangement from the legacy of Salamis, which Timotheus must have implicitly exploited to win Athenian favor. It is perhaps no coincidence that over 200 years later Pylades chose to reperform Persians on the occasion he did, and that it was such a spectacular hit with the Panhellenic audience at the Nemean festival. For Philopoemen, the general of the Achaean League, was in attendance at the theater of Nemea, having just defeated the Spartans at Mantinea (207 BCE). [320] That is, the ability of Persians to galvanize Panhellenic sentiment at the expense not only of Persia but of Sparta may have been an effect traditional to the reception of the nomos, going back to its first Athenian performance. Timotheus’ self-dramatizing defiance of Spartan cultural persecution, scripted into the text of Persians, would clearly have enriched the effect. As a native of Megalopolis, the perennial enemy of Sparta, Pylades must have been an especially suitable reperformer of Persians and a still more sympathetic reenactor of Timotheus himself. Megalopolis was burned down by Spartan forces under Cleomenes in 223 BCE; it would be restored by Philopoemen (Pausanias 8.27.16). How evocative then would be Pylades’ performance 16 years later of the lines from the sphragis, “The [Spartan] populace buffets me, flaming, and drives at me with fiery blame” (209–210)? Timotheus’ original resistance to Sparta’s musical oppression thus took on new extramusical resonance in the Peloponnesian politics of the Hellenistic period.
Beyond its broad patriotic appeal, however, it was surely the consecrated status of Salamis in the collective political and cultural identity of Athens that attracted Timotheus. The consecrated ideological space occupied by Salamis was significantly occupied too by Aeschylus, whose Persians was “the most important contribution to the aesthetic and ethical shaping of the story” of the victory. [321] The absolute classic of Attic tragedy thus became the de facto model for Timotheus’ theatrical kitharôidia. His conspicuous emulation of Aeschylus perhaps had the intentional effect of diverting attention away from his more controversial affinities with the likes of Euripides and Agathon. [322] By contributing to the reproduction and elaboration of the great tradition of the victory, whose prime exponent was no less than Aeschylus, the music of Persians could become part of it and benefit from its hallowed aura. Salamis offered the Athenian audience a traditional and highly sympathetic political and cultural frame of reference through which to engage the novel experience of Timotheus’ music. In dramatizing the battle with his kitharôidia, Timotheus could justify and indulge any and all experimentation and innovation; the broadest possible Athenian audience could enjoy them too, without reservation. Indeed, what is effected is a kind of manufacture of consent: Salamis not only invites but demands the legitimation and consecration of Timotheus’ controversial style of nomos. The latter is positioned as a “politically correct” cultural expression through its identification with the former. [323] Who could object?
This identification is made in the first line of the nomos (PMG 788): κλεινὸν ἐλευθερίας τεύχων μέγαν Ἑλλάδι κόσμον ‘Fashioning a famous and great adornment of freedom for Greece’. Both Plutarch and Pausanias (8.50.3) quote this line in their respective accounts of the performance of Persians by Pylades. It has often been thought to come from the prooimion, but the arkha, the opening section of the nomos proper, is a more appealing possibility. [324] The use of the verbs ἐνάρξασθαι by Plutarch and κατάρξασθαι by Pausanias to describe its performance might suggest the arkha rather than the prooimion, which was very likely a detached composition transmitted separately from the nomos itself. (The tradition ascribing the composition of the prooimion to Euripides may in fact reflect its semi-autonomous status.) The line is a hexameter, which could point to a prooimion. Yet, by beginning his nomos proper with a “traditional” lyric hexameter section before the build-up of rhythmic, melodic, and verbal poikilia in the omphalos, Timotheus may have wanted to avoid the immediate appearance of paranomia (cf. “Plutarch” On Music 4.1132e, on Timotheus’ shrewd combination of epê and dithyrambic lexis). [325]
Because the line is cited in isolation, it is impossible to determine with certainty the subject of the participle τεύχων ‘fashioning’. We may note, however, the verbal and thematic echoes between PMG 788 and two earlier lyric poems memorializing episodes from the Persian Wars. First, in lines 8–9 of Simonides’ encomium of the Spartan warriors at Thermopylae (PMG 531), King Leonidas is said to have “left behind a great kosmos of excellence (areta) and eternal fame (kleos)” (ἀρετᾶς μέγαν λελοιπὼς | κόσμον ἀέναόν τε κλέος). Second, Pindar’s dithyramb composed for Athens mentions the naval victory at Artemision in 480 BCE, “where the sons of the Athenians laid a brilliant foundation of freedom” (ὅθι παῖδες Ἀθαναίων ἐβάλοντο φαεννὰν | κρηπῖδ’ ἐλευθερίας). [326] Both of these passages may be deliberate intertexts of PMG 788. By alluding to them, Timotheus would be setting a classic tone at the very beginning of the nomos, making claim to the consecrated poetic capital of Simonides and Pindar and suggesting that his song is to be ranked alongside the immortal songs of these masters of musico-poetic commemoration. By analogy to these passages, we may be tempted to supply a Greek actor in the battle of Salamis as the subject for PMG 788. Bassett, who sees a distinct allusion to the Pindaric dithyramb, would supply “some Athenian” (such as Themistocles) or, less specifically, “the Athenian force.” [327] Such explicit Athenian localization would, however, be out of keeping with the demands of Panhellenic diffusion put upon the citharodic nomos. If Timotheus’ hexameter does refer to Pindar’s dithyramb, it more likely involves a latent allusion whose implications would be understood by an Athenian audience.
It would thus be more appropriate to supply a subject along the lines of “the Greek force that repulsed the barbarians.” [328] Yet there is another possibility: the citharode himself. [329] PMG 788 would thus constitute a reference in the nomos to the composition/performance of the nomos itself. The verb τεύχειν is used elsewhere as a metaphor for songmaking. For a relevant application of the verb to making music on the kithara, we might consider Pindar Pythian 1.4, in which the chorus apostrophizes the phorminx of Apollo, saying, “You fashion (τεύχῃς) the beginnings of chorus-leading prooimia.” [330] Significantly, in Persians itself Timotheus refers to his Apolline archetype as χρυσεοκίθαριν ἀέξων Mοῦσαν νεοτευχῆ (“you who foster a new-fashioned Muse [neoteukhês Mousa, i.e. ‘new-fashioned music] of the golden kitharis,” 202–203). Further, κόσμος can refer to “the beautiful ‘arrangement’ or adorned ‘composition’ of a song.” [331] Aristophanes Frogs 1027 offers an example of this sense of κόσμος that is directly relevant to Persians. Aeschylus boasts that with his Persians he “adorned through music and poetry a most excellent achievement” (κοσμήσας ἔργον ἄριστον). [332] Timotheus’ Persians is similarly a κόσμος, a musico-poetic arrangement/adornment, of the eleutheria achieved at Salamis. The semantics of the term as used in reference to music are important to note: music is a κόσμος in its orderliness and ordering, its expression of absolute, objectively valid aesthetic values. [333] By employing the term as a programmatic description, Timotheus would be making just such essentialist claims for his new nomos—the same ones Aristophanes will assume for the canonical art of Aeschylus a few years later. The musical “freedom” exhibited by the new nomoi of Timotheus is by implication anything but chaotic; rather, it is, like the Athenian-led establishment of eleutheria at Salamis it celebrates, a perfectly formed imposition of proper order on the world. [334]
Indeed, κόσμος describes equally well the achievement of the Salamis victors, who are themselves “artificers” of the eleutheria that adorns fifth-century Greece. [335] As such, its referential ambiguity has the rhetorical effect of conflating kosmos as the Greeks’ glorious deed of freedom and as its mediation through the musical composition of Timotheus. The ambiguity will in a sense be “resolved” in the second or third line of the prooimion with the articulation of the subject of τεύχων, but not before the conflation effected by the emphatic position of the first line has made its impact. The singer and the heroes he celebrates are thus fused together as authors of this Panhellenic kosmos. Such conflation is indeed implicit in Timotheus’ (probable) Simonidean model. The “great kosmos of areta” left behind by Leonidas is his own act of valor as well as the commemoration of it by Simonides. [336] Subjective and objective poetic kosmos might also be identified in Simonides’ Plataea elegy, although the reading of the relevant lines relies on major restoration and is far from certain. [337] Simonides calls upon his “auxiliary” (epikouros) Muse to “Fit out too this pleasing kosmos of my song” (ἔντυνο]ν̣ καὶ τόνδ[ε μελί̣φρονα κ[όσμον ἀο]ιδῆς | ἡμετέ̣ρης, fr. 11.23–24 W2). That is, the Muse is asked to assist Simonides in recalling the praise-worthy kosmos of Plataea as well as in arranging and adorning it in song. [338] There is a good chance that Timotheus alludes to this same Simonidean invocation of the Muse later in the Persians, when he calls upon Apollo to be his epikouros ‘auxiliary’ in his struggle against the Spartans (204). [339] It is possible, then, that the opening line of the nomos packs a twin allusion to Simonides in his capacity as an “adorner” of the two most famous Spartan-led victories in the Persian Wars, Thermopylae and Plataea. If so, this would entail the bold appropriation of poetic and historical prestige from these Simonidean and Spartan classics of kosmos for Timotheus’ new kosmos of Athenian-led Salamis.

iii. Eunomian Strategies

The self-presentation of the citharode in the sphragis (202–236) is remarkably conservative and traditionalizing. [340] It has no trace of the all-or-nothing radicalism of Timotheus’ rhetoric of innovation in PMG 796, a fragment probably from another nomic sphragis:
οὐκ ἀείδω τὰ παλαιά,
καινὰ γὰρ ἀμὰ κρείσσω·
νέος ὁ Ζεὺς βασιλεύει,
τὸ πάλαι δ’ ἦν Κρόνος ἄρχων·
ἀπίτω Μοῦσα παλαιά.
I sing not the old songs, for my new ones (kaina) are better. The Zeus who is young/new (neos) reigns; long ago Kronos ruled. Away with the old Muse!
Timotheus PMG 796
There is no wider context supplied in the Athenaeus passage in which these lines are quoted that would allow us to date them with any certainty. [341] It is a reasonable supposition, however, that they were sung in the years before the Persians, when Timotheus was more extreme in vaunting his kainotomia, and accordingly courted charges of paranomia. [342] If so, the far more temperate, conciliative rhetoric of the sphragis of Persians might be intended in the spirit of a palinode. Timotheus claims that his music transcends generational differences, and implicitly the cultural and political divisiveness associated with them: ἐγὼ δ’ οὔτε νέον τιν’ οὔ- | τε γεραὸν οὔτ’ ἰσήβαν | εἴργω τῶνδ’ ἑκὰς ὕμνων (“But I keep neither young nor old man nor my peer away from these humnoi of mine,” 213–215). [343] The definitive polarity set up between old and new citharodic styles in PMG 796, τὰ παλαιά and τὰ καινά, is here collapsed. And while the citharode of PMG 796 figures his conflict with citharodic tradition as Zeus’ primal parricidal attack on the oppressive Kronos, in Persians 221–231 he is instead at pains to position his new Ionian kitharôidia within the validating “paternal” Aeolic tradition of Pierian Orpheus and Lesbian Terpander. His kitharis—a rhetorically marked archaism—with its eleven strings—the potentially controversial polukhordia euphemized as “eleven-struck meters and rhythms”—represents the natural continuation of the lyric tekhnê of these worthies, who are themselves, however, cast as “new citharodes” avant la lettre, pioneers of poikilia. [344] What is new is old, and vice versa.
Although Timotheus begins the sphragis by associating himself (and Apollo) with the “new-fashioned Muse,” he goes on to style himself a defender of the very “older Muse” dismissed in PMG 796. The Spartan laos ‘people’ (209), he claims, unfairly “drives at me with fiery blame (mômos) because I disrespect the older Muse with new humnoi” (ἐλᾷ τ’ αἴθοπι μώμῳ, | παλαιοτέραν νέοις | ὕμνοις Μοῦσαν ἀτιμῶ, 210–212; cf. ἀπίτω Μοῦσα παλαιά ‘Away with the old Muse!’ PMG 796.5). However, it is not Timotheus, but rather his New Music rivals who deserve blame:
τοὺς δὲ μουσοπαλαιολύ-
μας, τούτους δ’ ἀπερύκω,
λωβητῆρας ἀοιδᾶν,
κηρύκων λιγυμακροφώ-
νων τείνοντας ἰυγάς.
It is the defilers of the old Muse, those who disgrace songs, whom I fend off, those stretching out the shouts of shrill, loud-voiced heralds.
Timotheus Persians 216–220
In this passage, Timotheus savvily appropriates the same conservative critical tropes involving the moral and aesthetic degradation of music that were used against him to distinguish himself from his innovative peers. [345] Compare PMG 802, in which he dismisses Phrynis as an ἰωνοκάμπτας ‘bender of Ionian melody’, thereby redirecting actual or potential criticism of himself—an Ionian—toward his rival. [346]
In the sphragis, then, Timotheus is constructing not only his own musical identity, but those of his would-be critics as well; he is writing the script of his own reception. Like Orpheus’ and Terpander’s, his music is classically, and, in a broad politic sense, “democratically” all-inclusive. Conservative Athenian critics of his “new humnoi” are implicitly aligned with the aristocratic-oligarchic Spartans; they are anti-democratic. [347] But, just as damningly, they are by default shown to be no more respectful of the old Muse than the New Music composers they claim to despise; they are anti-classical. By contrast, Timotheus, a poet of the classical mold, knows how authoritatively to assign praise and blame. He in fact is the true bulwark against the corruption, musical and social, introduced by kainotomia, that is, kainotomia that lacks the proper respect for tradition that Timotheus’ has, of which the present nomos is the proof. In the epilogue of the nomos, which takes the form of a condensed paean, Timotheus calls upon the god of the lyre in his capacity as protector of cities:
ἀλλ’ ἑκαταβόλε Πύθι’ ἁγνὰν
ἔλθοις τάνδε πόλιν σὺν ὄλβῳ,
πέμπων ἀπήμονι λαῷ
τῷδ’ εἰρήναν θάλλουσαν εὐνομίᾳ.
Far-shooter Pythian Apollo, come to this holy city with prosperity, sending to this people, that they may be untroubled, a peace that flourishes through good order (eunomia).
Timotheus Persians 237–240
The final word of the nomos is thus eunomia, which surely refers not only to the proper sociopolitical order overseen by Apollo, but also to the good musical order of the present nomos. [348] Timotheus thus answers, at the emphatic final cadence of his song, the charges of paranomia that had been brought against him, not only in Sparta, but, more importantly, in Athens; the present nomos is in no way transgressive, but wholly legitimate. Timotheus is not only defending the aesthetic and generic integrity of his music, however. More profoundly, he is laying claim to the storied legacy of the cosmic power of kitharôidia, which is recalled by the praise of his predecessors Orpheus and Terpander, as well as Apollo, who is invoked not only in the epilogue, but also in another paeanic section at the beginning of the sphragis, in which the god is enlisted as the special epikouros ‘auxiliary’ of the citharode in his struggle with the oppressive Spartans: “O you who foster the new-fashioned Muse of the golden kitharis (ὦ χρυσεοκίθαριν ἀέ- | ξων μοῦσαν νεοτευχῆ), come, healer Paean, as auxiliary to my humnoi” (202–205). [349] Timotheus is thus suggesting that with his nomos he has the same Apollonian mandate to effect proper sociopolitical order in Athens (or indeed in any city) that Terpander once brought to bear with his nomoi at the Carneia, when he sounded Sparta’s famed eunomia into being. Ironically, the Spartans, or any of the critics implicitly aligned with them, cannot appreciate this; their hostility to Timotheus may in fact indicate that they have become alienated from the pacificatory effects of kitharôidia, that it is they who have lost their eunomia.
The image of Timotheus’ humnoi cutting across the social divisions of age and uniting the entire populace (213–215) now takes on a still deeper resonance. It evokes at once the transcendent charms of the Orphic lyre as well as Terpander’s legendary harmonization of the fractious Spartans. [350] While the invocation of Pythian Apollo (237), “the helping and hymnic god of the musical Old Guard,” is on the one hand a legitimating and archaizing gesture, on the other hand it may be meant to underscore a specific link to Terpander, whose own connections to Delphi—the oracle supposedly instructed the Spartans to listen to the Lesbian Singer—and the Pythia, where he was said to have won four victories, were an integral part of his legend. [351] In addition, Apollo’s epithet ἑκαταβόλος ‘far-shooter’ is highly traditional, almost generic, but it may not be a coincidence that we find it in a Terpandrean prooimion (fr. 2 Gostoli = PMG 697).
If Persians was performed at the Panathenaia in 410 BCE, Timotheus’ self-fashioning as an Orphic/Terpandrean/Apollonian master of lyric eunomia would have been especially timely. The oligarchic coup of the Four Hundred had taken place the year before. In the context of this recent social turmoil, Timotheus would conceivably be offering himself to the Athenians as an Ionian Terpander, promising to guarantee with his music, under the guidance of Apollo, continued peace and order in the restored democracy. [352] Of a piece with Timotheus’ (Ionian-Athenian) adaptation of the (Spartan) Terpandrean tradition is his manipulation of the term eunomia. While eunomia could be viewed as a virtue of Solonian democracy (Solon fr. 4.31–38W; cf. Demosthenes 18.255)—the democratic citizen’s adherence to the egalitarian constitution—it was colored above all by its aristocratic-oligarchic associations, not only in Sparta, but in Athens as well, where it served as a catchword for the pro-Spartan, anti-democratic oligarchs, some of whom may have been among Timotheus’ most prominent critics. [353] Timotheus’ appropriation of eunomia entails its ideological transvaluation: true musical and political eunomia now belongs to democratic Athens, which heeds the nomoi of Timotheus—nomoi dedicated to demotically friendly narratives such as Salamis—just as the Spartans, now neglectful of true eunomia, once paid heed to those of Terpander. [354] Of course, secondary audiences beyond Athens presumably picked up on none of these local political complexities, nor did they need to. For them, Timotheus (or a reperformer of Persians) would simply have been fulfilling the classic function of the citharode, bringing order, musical and political, to their cities and communities. [355]
Another timely promise of a citharodic restoration of political order might be latent in lines 235–236, which come immediately before the epilogue. Timotheus styles his home polis of Miletus as ἁ δυωδεκατειχέος | λαοῦ πρωτέος ἐξ Ἀχαιῶν ‘the city of a twelve-walled people that is foremost of the Achaeans’. [356] The “twelve-walled people” must be the Ionian confederation of 12 cities, which dates to the Archaic period (Herodotus 1.141–146). Herodotus 8.95 refers to the members of the confederation as οἱ δυωδεκαπόλιες Ἴωνες ‘the Ionians of the twelve cities’. The epithet δυωδεκατειχής ‘twelve-walled’ sounds like a marked deviation from this more straightforward formulation. [357] We may note that the valorizing invocation of Miletus and the political strength and unity of the Ionian confederation is prefaced by Timotheus’ optimistic appraisal of his innovative kitharôidia:
νῦν δὲ Τιμόθεος μέτροις
ῥυθμοῖς τ’ ἑνδεκακρουμάτοις
κίθαριν ἐξανατέλλει
θησαυρὸν πολύυμνον οἴ-
ξας Μουσᾶν θαλαμευτόν·
And now Timotheus makes the kitharis again spring up with eleven-struck meters and rhythms, having opened the many-songed, chambered treasure-house of the Muses. [358]
Timotheus Persians 229–233
The close proximity of kithara and city walls in lines 229–236 cannot but evoke Amphion’s construction of the walls of seven-gated Thebes with his heptachord lyre. At Seven Against Thebes 284 Aeschylus refers to the ἑπτατειχεῖς ἐξόδους ‘seven-walled exits’ of Thebes; Timotheus’ δυωδεκατειχής may specifically recall the Aeschylean epithet, underscoring the allusion to Amphion and Thebes. The numerology of the Persians sequence is impressionistic but nevertheless suggestive. We are meant to draw a meaningful connection between Milesian Timotheus’ eleven-stringed kitharis—itself an outgrowth of Aeolic Terpander’s “ten songs” (225–226)—and the notionally twelve-walled Ionian confederation: the former has, Timotheus implies, the Amphionic power to provide the musical foundation for the unity of the latter. [359]
In the historical context of 410 BCE, such power was desperately needed, for by this point the confederation, to the extent that it was still recognized to exist, and the cities in it were in violent disorder. [360] In 412 Alcibiades, in exile from Athens, had used his personal contacts with certain leading men in Miletus, presumably aristocrats, to provoke its defection from the Delian League, along with several other Ionian cities, to the side of the Spartans. The Milesian revolt was immediately followed by the treaties between the Spartans and the Persians, which essentially entailed Sparta’s selling out of Miletus to Persia (Thucydides 8.17; cf. 8.18, 8.37, 8.58 for the treaties). During this traumatic period, Timotheus, who may have belonged to one of the democratic factions in his native city, probably made Athens his home base. [361] Athens was itself badly shaken by the loss of its Ionian allies, particularly Miletus, whose recovery it saw as vitally important to its chances of success against Sparta in the East (Thucydides 8.25.5). The idealized vision of Ionian unity in Persians thus corresponds to no current reality; it is purely idealized nostalgia and wishful fantasy, whose realization, however, notionally lies in the hands of Timotheus. Just as the citharode “makes the kitharis again spring up with eleven-struck meters and rhythms,” so might the “twelve walls” of the Ionian confederation be re-harmonized, made to spring to new life under the exemplary influence of its music, as the walls of Thebes had once arranged themselves (for the second time) under the spell of Amphion’s kitharôidia. The promise of an orderly, unified Miletus and Ionia would of course appeal to Athenians nostalgic for a time before Ionian fractiousness and rebellion had become the rule, when their city’s Panionian dominance was still firmly in place. The post-Periclean Panathenaia was a fitting context for such an appeal, given its strong imperial and Panionian agenda. Indeed, a Panathenaic audience would likely have appreciated that Timotheus was reminding not only the Athenians, but, just as importantly, the wavering Ionian allies, those present and those now absent, of Athens’ glorious service against the Persians, the “great kosmos of freedom” that legitimated its empire. [362]

iv. Paeanic frames

The fact that the entire sphragis section itself takes the form of a virtual paean, bookended as it is by the two paeanic invocations of Apollo (202–205, 237–240), further reinforces Timotheus’ rhetoric of musico-political salvation (whether or not it is specifically responsive to the events of 411 BCE). [363] The paean, although never as common in Athens as in other poleis, including Sparta, was nevertheless acknowledged to be the classic choral expression of communal cohesion and stability, an “an icon for solidarity among male members of the community.” [364] Timotheus draws upon that politico-choral ideology to enrich his claims for the social inclusiveness and ordering properties of his music—although monodic, it has the effect of orchestrating consensus and cooperation in the manner of a paeanic performance. The paeanic framing of the sphragis also has the effect of fusing Timotheus’ personal appeal to “healer Paean” to help him defend his music against the Spartans with his appeal to the god to protect the broader interests of the polis in which he is performing the nomos (τάνδε πόλιν ‘this city’, 238). The successful reception of Timotheus’ nomos is made inseparable from its success in securing the favor of Apollo for all.
Further, Timotheus’ assimilation of his nomos to a paean is a conspicuously archaizing gesture. The citharode brings the new nomos back to its earliest roots, as it were, in the old-time song culture, tendentiously overwriting its more contemporary Dionysian models, dithyramb and drama. The definitive influence of those genres had of course been on full audible and visual display for the previous 200 plus verses of the omphalos. Yet the transition from the chaos of the the narrative to the orderly stability of the sphragis is itself cannily mediated by a narrated paean, the choral celebration of victory performed by the Greeks:
οἱ δὲ τροπαῖα στησάμενοι Διὸς
ἁγνότατον τέμενος, Παιᾶν’
ἐκελάδησαν ἰήιον
ἄνακτα, σύμμετροι δ’ ἐπε-
κτύπεον ποδῶν
ὑψικρότοις χορείαις.
But when they [the Greeks] had set up victory monuments (tropaia) to Zeus to be a most holy sanctuary, they called on Paean healer lord and in equal time (summetroi) they began stamping with high-pounding dances (khoreiai) of their feet.
Timotheus Persians 196–201
This paeanic performance, no doubt mimetically reenacted by Timotheus with his kithara, marks a fitting end to the narrative of the battle of Salamis, but it also marks a transition in musical and performative style and ethos. [365] The fragmented and scattered “mad, sad, and foreign voices” heard in the preceding laments are capped by the organized choral song (keladein, 198) of the triumphant paean. [366] Set against the pathetic and unrestrained postures of the suffering barbarians is the image of the disciplined, “symmetrical” khoreiai of the victorious Greeks. [367] The contrast would be dramatically registered in the alteration of Timotheus’ own bodily mimesis; after “playing the other,” his own citharodic identity, Hellenic and Apolline, at this point would begin to reemerge in preparation for his appearance in propria persona in the sphragis. We can expect that this contrast in characterization was reflected in the musical score as well. [368] Text, score, and performance thus would have conspired to express the subordination of the exotic and the experimental “Dionysian” music of the omphalos to the ordered “Apollonian” music of the archaic paean, which in turn leads into the paeanically framed nomic sphragis. [369] The Salamis paean marks the restoration of proper order to Greece and to the nomos; in terms of the latter, Dionysian paranomia makes way for Apollonian eunomia.
This “bipolar” structural logic of Persians is, I argue, ideologically and rhetorically determined. The sonic and mimetic excess and otherness of the New Music are fully explored—and their pleasures no doubt fully enjoyed by the audience—but they are in the end safely contained, closed off from the sphragis, in which Timotheus speaks for himself, or rather, plays an idealized version of himself: the audience is presented with Timotheus of Miletus, the classically grounded citharodic innovator. Unlike Aristophanes’ Agathon, the poet-musician whose identity is inextricably bound up with multiple mimetic fantasies, Timotheus kitharôidos is a distinct, stable, indisputably Greek and masculine figure. [370]
By juxtaposing his own invocation of “Healer Paean” with the paeanic khoreiai for “Paean healer lord” around the tropaia, Timotheus invites the identification of the performance of the nomos with the performance that is the paean. The latter serves as a validating model for the former, imparting its aura of classical, indeed near-mythical grandeur and sanctity to the music of the here-and-now. [371] In line with the Panhellenically genericizing tendency of Persians, the singers and dancers at Salamis are a unified collective without specific political identities. [372] But the primus inter pares status of Athens that is operative in all things Salamis may be implicit here as well. It is tempting to speculate that Timotheus is intending to evoke one particularly resonant scene from the Athenian history of the battle (or at least its lore), that of a sixteen-year-old Sophocles leading a chorus at the Salamis tropaion with his lyre (Life of Sophocles 3; cf. Athenaeus 1.20e–f). [373] If this story is authentic, or at least if it had currency in the later fifth century, Timotheus’ Athenian audience may well have been inclined to call to mind the image of this iconically patriotic performance, whose lyre-playing protagonist would grow up to become a beloved star of the tragic stage—as such, a fittingly aspirational archetype for the dramatizing citharode par excellence.

v. Greek music in the Persian tent

It is tempting too to speculate that the exemplary performance of the Greeks at the Salamis tropaia was intended also to recall the political and architectural history of the very structure in which Timotheus performed Persians in Athens, the Periclean Odeion. The history of the Odeion is in fact fundamentally connected to Salamis and the second Persian War in general; indeed, it may well have been viewed by Athenians of Timotheus’ day as a tropaion of Athenian victories over Persia. The primary sources for the Odeion attest to its constitutive appropriation of Persian materials and visual motifs. According to Plutarch Pericles 13.9, “They say that the Odeion was a visual replica (mimêma) of the tent (skênê) of the Persian King” (εἰκόνα λέγουσι γενέσθαι καὶ μίμημα τῆς βασιλέως σκηνῆς); Pausanias 1.20.4 describes the Odeion as a “structure that is said to have been built as a replica (es mimêsin) of the tent (skênê) of Xerxes (κατασκεύασμα, ποιηθῆναι δὲ τῆς σκηνῆς αὐτὸ ἐς μίμησιν τῆς Ξέρξου λέγεται). A different angle is presented in Vitruvius 5.9.1: “[O]n your left as you leave the theater is the Odeion, which Themistocles roofed over with the masts and spars of ships from the Persian spoils when its stone columns were arranged in order.” So the Odeion of Pericles is said to have been a replica of the tent (skênê) of Xerxes; Vitruvius adds the information that Themistocles was involved in the construction of a “proto-Odeion” before Pericles’ in the same or a nearby location, and that he used naval spoils from the Persian wars (probably Salamis, perhaps Artemision) for the roof. It would be exhausting to rehearse in full the various theories that have been put forward to make sense of these disparate reports. [374] The following syncretic account is reductive, but it may suffice. [375]
Soon after 479 BCE a structure was erected near the Theater of Dionysus, under the supervision of Themistocles, that incorporated elements of the spoils from the Persian wars—the masts and spars of barbarian ships to which Vitruvius refers, but also the tent of Xerxes captured at Plataea. [376] Accordingly, the structure would have served as a sort of massive tropaion, commemorating victories both at Salamis and Plataea. [377] The question remains what function, if any, this “proto-Odeion”—which may not have been called the Odeion at all—served beyond its not unimportant significance as a monument of victory. Was it used as a music hall? The testimony of Plutarch Pericles 13.11, which indicates that only in Pericles’ time were the agônes held in the Odeion, would suggest not. We should keep in mind, however, that Themistocles knew how to appropriate musical culture for political ends, so the possibility remains. [378]
Whatever its original function, the “proto-Odeion” was either renovated or totally reconstructed by Pericles as the Odeion, where the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes were to be held. The tent-like, Persoid appearance of the Periclean Odeion was a holdover from the older building. As such, it would have constituted an “archaic” layer of architectural symbolism that projected a visual and conceptual association between the new building, the old Themistoclean “tropaion,” and the victories at Salamis and Plataea that the former structure commemorated. The retention of this connection to the valorized Athenian past, indeed to the very events upon which the empire was based, must have had an ideological purpose, one that was closely tied to Pericles’ renewed promotion of Panathenaic musical culture and to the city’s broader imperial agenda. When the Athenians and their allies and visitors gathered together in the Odeion to witness the spectacle of the mousikoi agônes, the very structure under whose roof they assembled was an impressive testament to both the political and musical hegemony of the city. [379] The architectural and functional rhetoric of the building in fact suggests that the two were mutually complementary.
If Timotheus did sing his Persians in Athens, then it was in this ideologically resonant space that he sang it. The temptation is strong to view the nomos as a deliberately “metatheatrical” response to the Odeion, a musico-poetic echo of its potent historical and political aura. Indeed, both Persians and Odeion are in their respective forms stylized mimetic artifacts of the barbarian culture vanquished, or, perhaps better, “captured,” in the second Persian War. The Odeion is a replica (mimêma) of the captured Persian tent designated to showcase the primacy of Panathenaic musical culture; Persians is devoted in large part to the representation of barbarian laments following the Battle of Salamis, stylized and performed for the pleasure, ideological and aesthetic, of the Athenian audience. Like the Odeion, the nomos is ultimately a celebration of empire. If the Odeion serves to advertise at once Athens’ privileged “possession” of the sublime prestige of the Persian wars and the culture of Panhellenic mousikê at its Panathenaia, then Persians represents a kitharôidia expressive of and commensurate with these imperial ambitions. [380]
Timotheus’ descriptive reenactment of the paean at the tropaia might then carry a specific, Athenian-localized reference to the Odeion’s storied connections to Salamis and its spoils. The reference might come across rather obliquely on the page, but we may assume that it took on a greater immediacy when sung out in the “Persian tent,” before an audience that was familiar with the layered historical meanings of the building. [381] Another allusion to the Odeion might be heard toward the end of the King’s lament (178–195), when he commands his men to load his riches onto wagons and to burn the skênai ‘tents’ so that the Greeks may not profit from his wealth (191–195). The setting of the scene is probably meant to be the foot of Mt. Aegaleos, from which point Xerxes watched the battle of Salamis unfold (Herodotus 8.90; Aeschylus Persians 466–467). Neither Herodotus nor Aeschylus mentions the fate of the Persian tents at Salamis, however, and Herodotus makes it seem as if there was indeed no immediate danger posed to the mobile wealth of the Basileus after the rout of the Persian naval forces (8.97). The singular presence of the skênai in Timotheus’ account—placed emphatically at the end of the King’s lament, no less—seems purposeful, and more than a little arch, for Timotheus and his audience, assembled in the Odeion, would have had the satisfaction of knowing that Xerxes’ command was not entirely carried out. The royal skênê, at least, was in fact conveyed to Plataea, and from there to Athens, where it had been (at least notionally) transformed into the splendid music hall where Persians was being performed.
What emerges from the close constellation of references to the skênê of Xerxes, the tropaia at Salamis, and the victory song of the Greeks sung at the tropaia is a kind of impressionistic aetiological pastiche of the Odeion, accounting for the traditions behind the architectural history of the building as well as its function as a music hall, a “place of song,” and so in a sense tracing in the heroic past the continuum between its present form and function. Gorgias records in his Epitaphios the commonplace notion that the tropaia of victories over the barbarians demand songs (humnoi). [382] Like the archaic paean sung around the tropaia at Salamis that it invokes as a model, Persians could be heard as a modern musical response to the Odeion, still in its sophisticated Periclean incarnation a vestigial tropaion of the victory over Xerxes.

12. Timotheus the Classic

By the fourth century BCE, the new nomos had become the dominant practice in kitharôidia, and the once-controversial compositions of Timotheus—thanks in large part to his own extramusical self-promotional genius, well evidenced in Persians—had become classics in their own right, subject to reperformance on a Panhellenic scale, just as the Terpandrean nomoi had previously been. Pylades’ reperformance of Persians to an enthusiastic audience at the Nemean games in the late third century BCE vividly attests to the undisputed popularity of the Timothean nomos. [383] The popular canonization of Timotheus’ works began in the citharode’s own lifetime. Before his death around 360 BCE, the citharist Stratonicus, known more for his criticisms than commendations, could vouch for the classic status of the Milesian’s nomoi: they possessed the authority of “laws” (nomoi), while those of a younger rival, Philotas, a student of Polyeidus, were mere psêphismata ‘decrees’ (Athenaeus 8.352b). [384] Another indication that Timotheus’ nomoi had achieved wide-scale cultural legitimacy in his own time is the testimony of Aristoxenus to the effect that Timotheus had inspired a dedicated school of citharodic parodists: “Just as some devised comic parodies of [epic] hexameter poetry, so Oenopas first devised parodies of kitharôidia. Polyeuctus of Achaea and Diocles of Cynaetha emulated him” (Aristoxenus fr. 135 Wehrli ap. Athenaeus 14.638b). [385] Athenaeus elsewhere cites Aristoxenus as saying that the earliest of these parodists, Oenopas (or, as he is also called, Oenonas), was an Italian, and that he “brought on stage the Cyclops whistling and a shipwrecked Odysseus speaking bad Greek” (Κύκλωπα εἰσήγαγε τερετίζοντα καὶ ναυαγὸν Ὀδυσσέα σολοικίζοντα, Athenaeus 1.20a). The object of the parody may well have been Timotheus’ Cyclops, which inspired separate parodies in early-fourth-century dithyramb and comedy. [386] We can probably date Oenopas’ parody to the early fourth century as well. [387]
The fourth century saw rival schools of citharodes emerge, however, and some of these must have enjoyed considerable popularity. We have already mentioned Philotas, the disciple of Polyeidus of Selymbria, who was, like Timotheus, a dithyrambic composer as well as citharode. [388] A fourth-century writer cited in “Plutarch” On Music 21.1138b, very likely Aristoxenus, claims that in his own time “the citharodes have virtually (skhedon) rejected the style (tropos) of Timotheus in favor of kattumata and the compositions (poiêmata) of Polyeidus.” [389] First, it is important to note the adverb skhedon ‘virtually’, which is a deliberately understated qualifier of what is surely an overstated observation—it is clear in fact that a majority of later Classical citharodes had not “virtually” abandoned the style of Timotheus. Our writer, a conservative critic of the legacy of the New Music, seems somewhat too eager to consign Timotheus to oblivion. [390] But there can be no doubt that the style of Polyeidus had its moment in the sun, and then some. Inscriptional evidence suggests that his nomoi were ranked alongside those of Timotheus by late Hellenistic citharodes, one of whom, Menecles of Teos, performed pieces by Timotheus and Polyeidus while on a diplomatic mission-cum-concert tour in Crete in the second century BCE (I.Cret. I xxiv 1). Unfortunately, it is impossible to say how exactly his nomoi, and those of his protégés, differed in style and content from those of Timotheus. A late Roman source observes that the compositions of Timotheus and Polyeidus exhibit the same manner of metrical freedom, but that is not saying much. [391]
It is possible, however, that the On Music passage means to equate the compositions of Polyeidus with kattumata. These are literally leather shoe patches, but here the word probably refers to “medleys, by contrast with structurally more organized pieces.” [392] We might connect these post-Timothean citharodic kattumata with a fourth-century style of composition described in a play of Middle Comedy, Antiphanes’ Third Actor: “Today’s poets compose ivy-twisted, fountainy, flower-flitting, wretched songs, with wretched words, into which they weave (emplekontes) melodies from other compositions (allotria melê)” (fr. 207 K-A). [393] The speaker is invidiously comparing the insipid music and poetry of his day with the now-classic “new dithyramb” of Philoxenus. The contemporary style he describes is thus primarily dithyrambic, but his comment probably applies equally to the nomos, given the assimilation of the two genres that had begun in the later fifth century. The speaker seems to be criticizing makers of medleys (cf. allotria melê ‘melodies from other compositions’); the metaphor of “inweaving” resembles that of patching in kattumata. [394] What seems to be happening in both kitharôidia and dithyramb is the recycling of stock melodies, presumably popular tunes of past and present, to cobble together musical pastiches or potpourris. The reduced emphasis placed upon original melodic composition surely reflects the ever-increasing popularity of virtuoso citharodic and auletic performance. Agonistic music of the fourth century, it seems, was increasingly focused on the star singer rather than the song. [395] Other citharodes may have attempted to revive the Archaic and Classical style of the nomos, or stylized recreations thereof. We have no direct fourth-century evidence for this, but Aristoxenus refers to an archaizing tendency among dithyrambic composers, which would suggest a parallel affectation in kitharôidia (fr. 76 Wehrli ap . “Plutarch” On Music 31.1142b–c; cf. 21.1137f–1138c). [396]
Nero surely inherited, broadly speaking, the “classical” Timothean tradition, as did his teachers and contemporaries. While it is unlikely that the original musical settings of Timotheus’ nomoi remained intact hundreds of years after their original performances, their texts were written down at an early point—the Abusir papyrus containing the poetic text, without musical notation, of Persians dates to the fourth century BCE—and probably maintained their integrity well into the Imperial period, although some creative customization is not unimaginable. [397] Dio Chrysostom 19.5 says that most of what citharodes and actor-singers perform in his era, the later first and early second centuries CE, are “ancient works” (arkhaia), by which he seems to mean only the old texts—with what degree of modification we can only guess—but not the old music. An inscription from the first half of the second century CE makes the claim that C. Aelius Themison, a Milesian musician, probably a citharode, was the “first and only to set Euripides, Sophocles, and Timotheus to music (melê) of his own” (SEG xi 52c). The claim is difficult to take at face value. [398] Perhaps what is meant is that Themison was the “first and only” to present all three of these poets’ complete texts in entirely new musical settings, which was no doubt an impressive feat. But tragic singers and citharodes, including Nero, had long been rescoring selected works of Classical tragedy, or even setting to music the iambic sections of tragedy that were originally spoken without melody, a procedure that had already become exceedingly popular by the time of Dio Chrysostom. [399] Similarly, Themison’s adaptation of Timotheus was probably not unique, although we might understand the language of the inscription to suggest that some citharodes, at least, were not singing Timotheus’ nomoi to their own melê, but were following a score that was, or, more likely, was thought to be, the original.
It has been suggested that the nomos Nero sang at his debut performance in Naples is the same piece he would perform the following year at the Neronia in Rome, a treatment of the tragic myth of Niobe (Suetonius Nero 21). [400] Could this Niobe have been the same nomos, or some adapted version thereof, composed by Timotheus over 400 years earlier (PMG 786–787)? [401] We know that Nero had a citharodic song called the Nauplios in his repertoire, which is also the name of a Timothean composition (PMG 785), very probably a nomos. [402] Nero composed his own nomoi as well, in which he seems to have followed the Timothean preference for tragically colored, pathos-suffused, and affectively intense mythical subject matter. Indeed, Nero’s other great artistic pursuit, tragoedia cantata, the singing of monodic arias adapted from tragic drama to accompanying pipes, would not have been so far from Timothean kitharôidia in its performative techniques and modes of self-presentation, and it is likely that the same themes, if not the same texts, could have straddled both media, sung now as tragic arias, now as citharodic nomoi. [403] Nero is said to have set to citharodic melê versions of the Oresteia and the Antigone (Philostratus Life of Apollonius of Tyana 4.39), while, as a tragic singer, he performed in the roles of Orestes and Antigone. [404] According to Dio Cassius 61.20.2, at his performance during the Juvenalia of 59 Nero sang a song called, alternatively, Attis or Bacchae—we do not know if the composition was Nero’s own—which, as one scholar argues, “under either name and sung in either voice, whether of a lamenting castrato or maenad, has plenty of room in it for falsetto histrionics, and the effeminate/feminizing nature of the song is clearly an issue for Dio in his account of its premiere performance.” [405] The emperor’s musico-dramatic representation of the exotic “other” is a distinct echo of the Timothean aesthetic of extremes.

Footnotes

[ back ] 1. I follow Shapiro 1989:2, who dates Peisistratus’ third seizure of power in Athens to 546 BCE, after the Battle of Pallene.
[ back ] 2. Cf. Davison 1958:37; Shapiro 1992:65–66, who notes the ambiguities inherent in interpreting these early images, which are, however, not entirely obstructive. First, we cannot be sure how many of the citharodes are meant to represent Apollo. A reasonable view might be that some are Apollo, but others very probably are not. We will return to this problem below. Second, are they citharodes or citharists? Musicians who are not depicted singing pose particular difficulty. My assumption, however, is that the great majority of figures playing kitharai on Attic vases, Archaic and Classical, are citharodes, given the unarguably greater popularity and prestige of kitharôidia. Also, there is the sheer fact that more citharodes than citharists performed: in the fourth century, five prizes were awarded to citharodes, only three to citharists (and, notably, to rhapsodes; IG II2 2311.1–11, 15–19). Cf. similar reasoning in Kotsidu 1991:106. Third, because the citharodes are not depicted on the official Panathenaic amphorae that were distributed to victors, and because neither judges nor spectators nor a bêma ‘platform’ are shown in the scenes, a Panathenaic performance setting cannot be certain. But in most images there is fortunately “an unmistakable allusion to the Panathenaia in the columns that flank the scene on both sides” (Shapiro 1992:65). A citharode appears on a Panathenaic-shaped amphora from 550–540 BCE (British Museum, London B 139; Shapiro, p. 66 with fig. 43). Images of aulodes and auletes from the same period are more distinctly shown in agonistic settings suggestive of the Panathenaia; see Shapiro 1992:61.
[ back ] 3. Cf. Shapiro 1992:66–67; Bundrick 2005:161–163.
[ back ] 4. A trend that will continue through the fifth century as well. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:105. Aulodes and auletes, however, outnumber citharodes in the period 550–540 BCE; cf. Shapiro 1992:61, with discussion below.
[ back ] 5. Herington 1985:250n61. Cf. Aloni 1984.
[ back ] 6. “Plato” Hipparchus 228b and Aelian Historical Miscellanies 8.2; Aristotle Athenian Constitution 18.1–2 says that Hipparchus sent too for “other poets,” and we should probably include the dithyrambic composer Lasus of Hermione in that group. See Herington 1985:92–93. Lasus, as Herington argues, likely produced choral dithyrambs in the time of Hipparchus. The institution of dramatic contests at the City Dionysia dates from the 530s, when Peisistratus was still in power (Herington 1985:87–91, who notes the continuities between the tragic contests and the Panathenaic musical contests).
[ back ] 7. “Plato” Hipparchus 228b–c.
[ back ] 8. On the “Socratic” biases of the Hipparchus, see Herington 1985:250n64.
[ back ] 9. As recognized by Davison 1958:36–41 (who believes, however, that musical contests were suspended after the Persian Wars and restarted by Pericles); cf. Shapiro 1989:41, 1992:57–58; Kotsidu 1991:32; Herington 1985:86; Bundrick 2005:171, all of whom argue for the unbroken continuity of the contests from the time of the Peisistratids.
[ back ] 10. A scholion to Aelius Aristides 13.189.4–5 has Peisistratus establishing the Great Panathenaia; Marcellinus Life of Thucydides 2–4, perhaps citing Pherecydes of Athens, says that the new festival was established in the year Hippocleides was archon (Eusebius Chronicle Olympiad 53.3–4 supplies the 566/5 date for the reorganization). Hippocleides likely led a “coalition of leading elites,” including Peisistratus: Forsdyke 2005:117.
[ back ] 11. Thus Herington 1985:84; cf. Kotsidu 1991:187n46. The friendship with Cleisthenes notoriously went sour when Hippocleides, spurred on by the music of the aulos, performed a shamelessly exhibitionist dance (orkhêsis kai anaideia) at the very symposium that was meant to celebrate his engagement to Cleisthenes’ daughter. Hippocleides thus “danced away” his prestigious marriage in Sicyon, although he proverbially responded to the tyrant’s dismissal of him by claiming, “Hippocleides doesn’t care” (Herodotus 6.129). Could this tale represent a critical reflex of Hippocleides’ Panathenaic politics, a piece of propaganda circulated by his rivals, the Alcmaeonids? It has been thought that Herodotus is channeling a pro-Alcmaeonid, anti-Philaid version of the events at Sicyon: McGregor 1941:269, with further bibliography. It is significant that Hippocleides’ vulgar breach of aristocratic decorum is precipitated by a “contest of mousikê” held among the symposiasts (ἔριν εἶχον ἀμφί τε μουσικῇ), a key detail that might reflect an Alcmaeonid dig at Hippocleides’ ambitious, perhaps incipiently tyrannical involvement in staging mousikoi agônes. However, Thomas 1989:266–270 has challenged the theory that Herodotus derived his account from Alcmaeonid tradition, arguing rather that the story has a “popular provenance” (cf. Kurke 1999:144). If the story is focalized through a popular, anti-elite perspective, then the valency of Hippocleides’ performance changes; no longer a disgraceful faux pas, it is now rather a pointed renunciation, expressed through the socially loaded practice of mousikê, of aristocratic cultural pretension, elegantly capped by the proverbial counter-rejection of Cleisthenes, “Hippocleides doesn’t care!” Cf. Luria 1929 on Aesopic elements in the story, which may also point to a “popular provenance.” Even on the “popular” reading, the Philaid’s role in the history of the Panathenaia could be at issue, in this case celebrated rather than undermined.
[ back ] 12. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:105.
[ back ] 13. Maas and Snyder 1989:11–23.
[ back ] 14. Cf. Shapiro 1991:126, who suggests that the lyre assimilates Theseus to Apollo.
[ back ] 15. London, British Museum 1971.11–11; Maas and Snyder 1989:46, fig. 9a.
[ back ] 16. A kithara player in fancy dress is included, alongside an aulos player, in a scene of women’s festivity, probably wedding-related, on a black-figured fragment from the later first half of the sixth century BCE (Athens, National Museum, Acropolis 2203; Maas and Snyder 1989:47, fig. 10).
[ back ] 17. Cf. Koller 1956:166.
[ back ] 18. Cf. Roller 1981:3–5; Kyle 1987:19.
[ back ] 19. Cf. Part II.10. Two other possible representations of solo citharodic performance in pre-Peisistratean Athens. (1) A late seventh-century BCE fragment of a large terra-cotta plaque from the North Slope of the Acropolis shows a bearded man in a short-sleeved chiton holding up a seven-stringed phorminx, whose ornamented arms, however, anticipate those of the concert kithara; a pair of hands—the attached body has broken off—reaches out to touch, perhaps even take hold of (or hand over), the instrument (Athens, Agora AP 1085; Maas and Snyder 1989:43, fig. 3a; cf. Glowacki 1998:82–83, with fig. 8.1, who argues that the plaque comes from a metope or wall panel of a temple). The image recalls a slightly earlier depiction on a Delian amphora of Apollo playing a kithara-like phorminx before his sister, Artemis, who similarly extends her hands toward her brother’s instrument (Delos, Archaeological Museum B 4260; Maas and Snyder 1989:45, fig. 7). (The bearded musician notably resembles too an Apollo kitharôidos, also wearing a short-sleeved garment, depicted on a slightly older amphora from Melos; Athens 911; Maas and Snyder 1989:42, fig. 2.) But the setting of the scene on the plaque is a mystery. The man could be a soloist, but whose hands are those? A choral dancer’s? A member of a ritual procession that the musician accompanies? (2) A phorminx player appears on another plaque fragment from c. 580 BCE (Athens, National Museum 2523; Maas and Snyder 1989:44, fig. 5b). The musician wears a long chiton and a decorated mantle akin to the elaborate outfit of Apollo kitharôidos. He stands next to a flaming altar, as we see in some later “Panathenaic” scenes (e.g. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz F 2161 [Plate 11]). But the presence of a woman playing a rattle suggests that the context is cultic-ritual rather than agonistic.
[ back ] 20. Probably the earliest depiction of an aulodic contest has all of these features (London, British Museum, B 141, c. 550–540 BCE). Cf. Shapiro 1992:61–65; Vos 1986. Papaspyridi-Karouzou 1938 argues that an early sixth-century amphora with a depiction of an aulete, whom she identifies as the legendary aulete Olympus, playing to an audience of two men and one very intent goose on the obverse and a horse and rider on the reverse (Athens, National Museum 559), is a “proto-Panathenaic” amphora from around 570. She accordingly submits the vessel as evidence for the possibility of equestrian events and mousikoi agônes at a pre-566 Panathenaia. But the amphora may be later than 566 and reflect rather auletic contests at the reorganized festival; cf. Davison 1958:27–28, Shapiro 1992:64.
[ back ] 21. Cf. Shapiro 1992:61 on the “sizable corpus of both aulodes and auletes in a Panathenaic setting in the period ca. 550–530, before our earliest certain picture of a Panathenaic kitharode or kitharist.”
[ back ] 22. Cf. Brown 1947:130–131 on the predominance of the aulos at early Athenian symposia. But Brown overstates the case when he argues that Hipparchus and his circle actively favored the lyre over the aulos. The Peisistratids after all patronized Lasus of Hermione, a prominent aulodic composer. There may, however, be something to the contention that Critias’ later-fifth-century assessment of Anacreon as “the opponent of the auloi, the lover of the barbitos” (αὐλῶν ἀντίπαλον, φιλοβάρβιτον, fr. 1.4 D-K ap. Athenaeus 13.600e) alludes to the historical role Anacreon played under Hipparchus in the “lyricization” of reed-centric Athenian music. For Critias’ own rhetorical appropriation of an “anti-aulos” Anacreon, see Wilson 2003b:190–191. By the same token, Athenian symposiasts would of course have been somewhat familiar with East Greek lyric songs before the time of Hipparchus. One anecdote has Solon learning a melos of Sappho from his nephew (Stobaeus Florilegium 3.29.58). Perhaps Solon had mentioned Sappho in his elegy, as he may have Arion (John the Deacon Commentary on Hermogenes = Solon fr. 30aW, with Pickard-Cambridge 1962:99). It may be significant, however, that in the anecdote it is Solon’s nephew who teaches him the novel song, suggestive perhaps of a generation gap between aulodic elegy and lyric. For pre-Peisistratean images of the aulos in comastic/convivial contexts, see Shapiro 1992:64. Stringed instruments begin to appear in comastic iconography in the third quarter of the sixth century, well after their appearance in Laconian and Corinthian art. See e.g. an Attic psykter with comasts dancing to a phorminx (Rhodes 12.200; Maas and Snyder 1989:44, fig. 6); the phorminx in this image anticipates the comastic role of the barbitos in images that appear a decade or so later.
[ back ] 23. Barker 1984:213n58; cf. Davison 1958:40.
[ back ] 24. Pausanias 10.7.4–6; 586 BCE is Pausanias’ date. For the likelihood of the 582 date, see Mosshammer 1982. The story related by Pausanias, that the aulodic contests were dropped immediately after their debut because sung elegy sounded too gloomy, seems a clever but groundless attempt to explain a gap in the Pythian victor lists. Cf. West 1974:5.
[ back ] 25. Kyle 1987:21–22 offers convincing arguments that would link Solon’s attempts to “democratize” aristocratic athletic culture to the “civic athletics” promoted at the Panathenaia.
[ back ] 26. Cf. Davison 1958:38.
[ back ] 27. Irwin 2005b. See Bowie 1986 for the complementary private/sympotic and public/festival contexts for Archaic elegiac performance. Short-form and “personal” elegy was at home in the former; in the latter, aulodes performed “substantial narratives of their city’s history, narratives that in some respects resembled hexameter epic, but that may also have had features symptomatic of their form’s relationship to ‘personal’ poetry” (34).
[ back ] 28. Cf. Shapiro 1996:218; Bundrick 2005:160.
[ back ] 29. Brown 1947:102–132.
[ back ] 30. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:28–29.
[ back ] 31. See especially Nagy 1996:65–66, with bibliography; cf. Skafte Jensen 1980; Aloni 1984; Shapiro 1992:72–75, 1993; Irwin 2005b:277–280.
[ back ] 32. Citharodic epic would, however, continue to rival rhapsodic epic through the fifth century BCE. It is worth noting the fact that we have not one representation of an agonistic rhapsode from the years of the tyranny, while we have numerous depictions of citharodes (not to mention aulodes and auletes). The numbers surely reflect popular enthusiasm for the more colorful and engaging spectacle of citharodic performance. But this popularity in turn gives us some indication of the importance of kitharôidia in Peisistratean Kulturpolitik.
[ back ] 33. Cf. Part III.12n217.
[ back ] 34. Shapiro 1989:50.
[ back ] 35. Cf. Anderson 2003:163. On the Sicyonian Pythian games established by Cleisthenes as an analogously competitive response to the reorganized Delphic Pythia, see Power 2004.
[ back ] 36. Discussion in Nagy 1990b:160–162; cf. Aloni 1984.
[ back ] 37. Cf. Nagy 1990b:159–160; Watrous 1982:167. Onomacritus was also involved in “editing” Homeric poetry; he may have performed as a rhapsode. See Part III.8; cf. Martin 2001.
[ back ] 38. Relevant is the patronage of the Athenian cult of Apollo Pythios by Peisistratus, which involved some significant conflation with the (Delian-oriented) cult of Apollo Patroos (see Hedrick 1988). Peisistratus established the sanctuary of Pythian Apollo (Suda, Photius s.v. Πύθιον). See Shapiro 1989:50–52.
[ back ] 39. The figure of Heracles kitharôidos, who often has a quiver slung across his back, visually and conceptually evokes Apollo: see Plate 6, with Part II.11; cf. Bundrick 2005:161 for a related line of argument.
[ back ] 40. Watrous 1982:167–168, following Boardman 1978b:231; cf. Böhr 1982:50. If this interpretation is correct, the Athenian Heracles kitharôidos might then represent the tyrants’ “re-appropriation” of this Alcmaeonid characterization of them as Heraclean anti-Apollos. But Shapiro 1989:62–64 has lodged significant objections. As Watrous points out, the (late) literary sources for the Struggle over the Tripod reflect the anti-Peisistratus/Heracles and pro-Alcmaeonid/Apollo/Delphi tradition.
[ back ] 41. Cf. Shapiro 1989:62–64; more vigorously, Neer 2001:292–294.
[ back ] 42. Shapiro 1989:63–64, with bibliography. The image is reproduced as Shapiro’s plate 30e. The vase has been heavily restored, and this hinders confident interpretation.
[ back ] 43. E.g. an amphora attributed to the Leagros Group, Worcester Art Museum, Austin C. Garver Fund (1966.63); Bundrick 2005:161, fig. 95.
[ back ] 44. See Scheibler 1988; Shapiro 1992:201n82.
[ back ] 45. Geneva, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire HR 84; Chamay and von Bothmer 1987, plate 7. Cf. discussion in Shapiro 1992:65.
[ back ] 46. Cf. Neer 2001:296, who notes the interesting fact that Pausianias 10.7.6 says the first Pythian victor in aulôidia, Echembrotus, dedicated his winning tripod to Heracles in Thebes.
[ back ] 47. Neer 2001:296 sees in the Struggle for the Tripod on the pediment of the Siphnian treasury an allusion to athletic agônes: “As much as it relates to the oracle, therefore, the pediment also depicts an ‘athletic’ contest: like the games for Patroklos, the Struggle for the Tripod is an agôn.”
[ back ] 48. Watrous 1982:165.
[ back ] 49. See Parker 1996: “The foreign religious centre with which the Peisistratids were associated was not Delphi but Delos” (87).
[ back ] 50. Cf. Shapiro 1989:49. Athenian claims to being “the eldest land of the Ionians” (πρεσβυτάτη γαῖα Ἰαονίας, Solon fr. 28a) had a long history. See Hedrick 1988:204 for the historical facts behind the claims.
[ back ] 51. Cf. Shapiro 1989:48–49. Shapiro notes that Peisistratus “anticipated a political strategy used later by the Athenians, in the 470s, with the founding of the Delian League, and yet again in 426, with the second purification of Delos.”
[ back ] 52. Herington 1985:161 and 187 dates the restoration of the contests to 417 BCE, when Nicias likely sponsored a very polished theoric choral performance on Delos (Plutarch Life of Nicias 3.4–5). But note that this was a choral production, and Thucydides 3.104.6 makes clear that choruses had always been a part of the Delian festivities, even when the contests were not held. The restoration of the contests likely took place at a time closer to 426; cf. Parker 1996:150.
[ back ] 53. Parker 1996:88. On the fifth-century dating of the neglect of the Delian agônes, see Barron 1983:11. Janko 1982:112 argues for the late sixth century.
[ back ] 54. Shapiro 1989:48–49, who believes too that that festival would only have included choral performance. Again, this is not supported by the text.
[ back ] 55. Suda s.v. Πύθια καὶ Δήλια and ταῦτά σοι καὶ Πύθια καὶ Δήλια; Hesiod fr. 357 M-W. Cf. Janko 1982:112–115; Burkert 1979; Aloni 1989; West 1999b:368–372. We should note the possibility that Polycrates took a special interest in promoting “Homeric” kitharôidia alongside rhapsôidia. Stesander of Samos first performed Homer, beginning with the Odyssey, at the Delphic citharodic agôn (Timomachus FGrH 754 F 1). Stesander’s primacy in performing the Homeric Odyssey at Delphi suggests an early date; perhaps he was a contemporary of Polycrates. Cf. Part II.7n139. Could Polycrates then also have had an interest in promoting kitharôidia on Delos, at the combined Delian and Pythian agônes? And might we suspect some competition between the Athenian and Samian tyrants for possession of citharodic prestige? By comparison, Hipparchus’ recruitment of Anacreon could be read as a deliberate attempt to appropriate the sympotic-lyric prestige of Polycrates.
[ back ] 56. Cf. n64 below.
[ back ] 57. Cf. Allen, Halliday, and Sikes 1904 ad 179–182; Càssola 1975:498.
[ back ] 58. Shapiro 1989:58 notes the correlation between the long “Ionian” chiton Apollo kitharôidos wears on later-sixth-century Attic vases and the “Ionian Greeks, who are characterized in the Hymn as ἑλκεχίτωνες [‘with trailing chitons’] (147).”
[ back ] 59. The scene of choral lyric performance on Olympus may also belong to a specifically Delian hymnic perspective, as it provides a fitting exemplar for the quasi-divine proceedings of the Delian festival, the choral performance of the Delian Maidens, “a great wonder, whose fame will never perish” (156), before an audience of notionally “immortal and unaging” Ionians (151). Cf. Lonsdale 1994/1995 for the Olympian chorus as a “prototype and paradigm” for the Delian festivity.
[ back ] 60. In the Pythian section, when Apollo arrives at Delphi, it is as if for the first time (279–286); the initial visit after Delos has been forgotten. Indeed, the deeper into the Pythian section we go, the more the rhapsode draws exclusively upon Delphian narrative traditions (cf. West 1999b:369). In these traditions, Cretan lyric culture is recognized as the signal influence on that of Delphi; accordingly, near the end of the Hymn, Apollo is evoked in his specifically Pythian musical aspect as leader of the Cretan paean. The Delian Apollo kitharôidos has also been forgotten.
[ back ] 61. Shapiro 1989:54–58, with the relevant vase paintings assembled in his plate 27.
[ back ] 62. Hannover 753; Shapiro 1989, plate 28a. Note that here Leto holds a flowery frond in her hand, which may allude to the recurring motif of flower-sniffing listeners at mousikoi agônes, probably the Panathenaic, depicted on contemporary vases. See too a fragmentary neck amphora in Orvieto (Duomo 333, Shapiro 1989, plate 27c), on which Leto also holds a palm frond before a performing Apollo kitharôidos. An intriguing variation on this theme is to be seen on a black-figured neck amphora also from around 510 (Brooklyn Museum 62.147.2; Pinney and Ridgway 1979:50–51, no. 22). On the reverse side is a scene of a Dionysian revel, a maenad dancing and playing clappers, flanked by two satyrs. On the obverse Apollo plays the kithara in between two women, presumably Leto and Artemis; the latter holds clappers to her nose, as if she were sniffing a flower. The Dionysian coloring of the Delian scene is in line with a general tendency in later-sixth-century Athenian musical culture (and the art that reflects it) to elide the spheres of public kitharôidia and the Dionysian symposium. See discussion below.
[ back ] 63. Shapiro 1989:58. The second temple of Apollo Patroos in the Agora was constructed in the fourth century BCE. See Hedrick 1988.
[ back ] 64. Shapiro 1989:52; cf. Hedrick 1988: Peisistratus was responsible for the civic institution of the cult (206). It is significant that the only (fragmentarily) preserved statue of Apollo kitharôidos from the Archaic period comes from Delos (Delos, Archaeological Museum 4092). This was not the primary Delian cult statue of the god (on which see Fehr 1979), but likely a member of a sculptural group of the Twelve Gods, the Dodekatheon (see Long 1989:11, with previous bibliography). Dating is uncertain; Long puts it c. 500 BCE, but an earlier date is entirely possible; cf. Flashar 1992:14. We cannot say whether the dedication of the statue could be connected in any way to a Peisistratean intervention on Delos, but, given its probable contemporaneity with a similar cult statue in Athens, it is tempting to conjecture a significant pairing of Ionian citharodic Apollos, meant to amplify essential political and musical resonances between Athens and the site of the Panionian festivities. On Peisistratus’ construction of a stone temple and possible statuary dedications on Delos, see Courby 1931: 193–194, 207–215.
[ back ] 65. Fourth-century identifications of Apollo Pythios and Patroos are also known (Demosthenes 18.141, with further evidence assembled in Hedrick 1988:200–201), but the Delian associations of Apollo Patroos, which Hyperides’ oration suggests had an ancient cast, are undeniable. See Parker 1996:224; Aloni 2000:88.
[ back ] 66. Cf. Shapiro 1989:58–59. Scenes of Delian Apollo with the tortoise-shell lyre are rare in sixth-century vase painting. See Bundrick 2005:226n28. Such scenes become more frequent in the fifth century, as Apollo is increasingly “deprofessionalized” in the Classical iconography, his kithara replaced by the lyre, his elaborate costume replaced by a simple, unadorned chiton and/or himation. The god who was before assimilated to the glamorous citharode is now cast more commonly as the amateur gentleman musician, a transition that reflects, to some extent, at least, elite divestiture from the public culture of kitharôidia. Cf. Sarti 1992. See e.g. a red-figured amphora from around 460 BCE (London, British Museum E 274; Bundrick 2005:147, fig. 86), showing Apollo holding the lyre and pouring a libation before his sister and a Delian palm tree.
[ back ] 67. Wilson 2004:280 notes the markedly non-Athenian character of such lyrico-political symbolism: myths of the musical formation of city walls attach to Megara and Thebes; Sparta’s good constitution was linked to the citharodic nomoi performed at the Carneia; the Dorian city of Camarina reorganized its citizenry on the model of a lyric harmonia (see Cordano 1994). On the Ionian aesthetic in tyrannical Athens as a response to Peloponnesian style, see Boardman 1995:12–13. In his Persians, Timotheus of Miletus perhaps imagines a political dimension to his own “Ionian” appropriation of the “Aeolic” lyre of Orpheus and Terpander. After vaunting his eleven-stringed kitharis (229–231), he refers to the Ionian confederacy as the “twelve-walled people” (δυωδεκατειχέος λαοῦ, 235–236). The subtext of the passage would appear to be Amphion’s building of the walls of Thebes. It is as if the cosmic power of the lyre were now an Ionian property. See discussion in Section 11.iii below.
[ back ] 68. On the coincidence of these events, see Shapiro 1989:51. Vase: London, British Museum B 260; Shapiro 1992:66, fig. 42a, b.
[ back ] 69. Shapiro 1992:65. Cocks are more common on top of Panathenaic columns, but sphinxes and other forms can stand in. See the pairing of sphinx and cock columns on reverse and obverse of a black-figured amphora attributed to Group E in San Antonio (Picon and Shapiro 1996, no. 40).
[ back ] 70. See comments in Bundrick 2005:162. As Shapiro 1992:65–66 notes, the only detail that really distinguished the two figures is the beard of the mortal citharode.
[ back ] 71. Cf. Bundrick 2005:144.
[ back ] 72. Parker 1996:149–151 notes the “curious echoes” between the Delian interventions of Periclean Athens and those of Peisistratus. Cf. Smarczyk 1990:504–525.
[ back ] 73. On the statue, see Palagia 1980:13–20, with figs. 6–17; Flashar 1992:50–60. See too Roccos 1989, who argues convincingly that the Apollo of the Palatine temple dedicated by Augustus in 28 BCE, which also wore the peplos (Roccos, p580), was not the Rhamnusian Apollo of Scopas, as is usually thought, but a “neo-Attic” Roman work modeled on Euphranor’s Apollo. Other Imperial statues of Apollo citharoedus feature the peplos (see Plate 4).
[ back ] 74. Shapiro 1989:58.
[ back ] 75. Roccos 1989: “Apollo Patroos is the first citharodic type to wear the Attic peplos” (580n45).
[ back ] 76. Palagia 1980:18 notes that “the affinity of the Patroos with the Athena Parthenos may indicate an affiliation of the patron deities of Athens.” Arguably, this reimagining of Apollo kitharôidos as practically transcendent ideal is a “civic” reflex of the fifth-century process, motivated by the sociocultural elite of Athens, whereby the god was gradually transformed from professional agônistês to amateur lyre player. The study of statuary of citharodic Apollo by Flashar (1992) confirms a general trending away from “professional” toward idealized—the nude, seated Apollo with kithara or lyre is a striking instance—portrayals in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
[ back ] 77. An early third-century BCE inscription found at the Athenian Theater of Dionysus that records the multiple victories of the Tarentine citharode Nicocles graphically attests to the preeminence of the Hellenistic Panathenaia. In the center of the inscription, in outsized letters, Nicocles’ citharodic victory at the Great Panathenaia is commemorated, flanked by mentions of victories at presumably lesser contests such as the Pythian and Isthmian games (IG II2 3779). Cf. Reisch 1885:23n5 and especially Bélis 1995:1052–1053 (with photograph of the inscription on p1053). Bélis notes that the graphic arrangement of the victories represents a hierarchy of “dignity” and “prestige.” Yet her comments on the inscription seem to me mistaken in two respects. First, she claims that Nicocles won at the Great Panathenaia in the dithyrambic contest. This is unlikely. For although, like Timotheus, Nicocles was a dithyrambic composer as well as a citharode, he was first and foremost a citharode—a sculpture on the Sacred Way in Athens represented him as such (Pausanias 1.37.2; cf. Stephanis 1988:328); and while a dithyrambic victory at the Lenaia is mentioned (explicitly marked dithuramboi), we have no reason to think that the other victories, unmarked as to contest, were not citharodic. Although dithyrambs were performed at the Panathenaia (cf. Wilson 2000:36), kitharôidia was still the better-known event at that festival. Second, Bélis implies that since the inscription was set up in Athens, Nicocles showed favoritism to the city by centering his Panathenaic victory. This may be true in part, but it is still not a strong argument against the Hellenistic prominence of the Panathenaia. The monument, after all, was meant primarily to celebrate the comprehensive prestige of Nicocles’ own career. We have the remains of what appears to be a white-ground Panathenaic prize amphora from the early second century BCE, with Athena in peplos on the obverse and a chiton-wearing citharode in performance on the reverse: Edwards 1957:346, with plate 84. The amphora was presumably only a supplement to the cash prizes won by citharodes at the highly remunerative Panathenaic agôn, as the fourth-century BCE prize inscription IG II2 2311 attests.
[ back ] 78. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz F 2161; Schauenburg 1979:72, Abb. 21 and 22.
[ back ] 79. On earlier vases Athena is depicted as a citharodic spectator: Shapiro 1992:65–66.
[ back ] 80. Bundrick 2005:164 also reads the image as heralding the newly democratic tenor of the Panathenaic contests.
[ back ] 81. Hedrick 1988:200. However, he overlooks the distinctly Attic ethos brought to the traditional Ionian elements by the peplos. Fehr 1979 makes the relevant argument that the fifth-century Athena Parthenos of Pheidias, a work whose influence is detectable in the Euphranor Apollo (cf. Palagia 1980:18–19), was modeled on the Archaic cult statue of Apollo on Delos. There was thus a significant circulation of Delian and Athenian imagery around the figure of Apollo Patroos.
[ back ] 82. Lycurgus and the statue of Apollo Patroos: Mitchel 1970:34–35, 44; Hedrick 1988:209; Flashar 1992:58–59.
[ back ] 83. Plutarch Lives of the Ten Orators 841d–842a.
[ back ] 84. Lycurgus and the Panathenaia: Shear 2001:569–575. Lycurgus financed the building of a new Panathenaic stadium: Plutarch Ten Orators 841d. Plutarch also attests to Lycurgus’ interest in musical contests outside the Panathenaia and Dionysia. He added comic competitions to the Anthesteria (841f) and instituted the performance of cyclic choruses at a festival of Poseidon in the Piraeus (842a).
[ back ] 85. Macedonian citharodic ambitions go back to the later fifth century, when Timotheus of Miletus was a guest of Archelaus: Plutarch On the Fortune of Alexander 334b. On the political intrigues of fourth- and third-century BCE citharodes, see Part I.21.
[ back ] 86. Epigraphic evidence shows that kithara-accompanied theoric choruses from Lycurgan Athens were well represented in the musical culture of Delphi. See Wilson 2004:278; Parker 1996:250.
[ back ] 87. Parker 1996:222–223.
[ back ] 88. Cf. Stephanis 1988, no. 1638.
[ back ] 89. Cf. Stephanis 1988, no. 1448.
[ back ] 90. On the dating, see now Knoepfler 1993.
[ back ] 91. See Parker 1996:146–149 on the politics of the Amphiaraia.
[ back ] 92. I.Délos 104.82, 120; cf. Parker 1996:222.
[ back ] 93. Plutarch Lysander 15.4 (an elaborated version of a shorter account in Xenophon Hellenica 2.2.23): ὁ δ’ οὖν Λύσανδρος … πολλὰς μὲν ἐξ ἄστεος μεταπεμψάμενος αὐλητρίδας, πάσας δὲ τὰς ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ συναγαγών, τὰ τείχη κατέσκαπτε καὶ τὰς τριήρεις κατέφλεγε πρὸς τὸν αὐλόν, ἐστεφανωμένων καὶ παιζόντων ἅμα τῶν συμμάχων, ὡς ἐκείνην τὴν ἡμέραν ἄρχουσαν τῆς ἐλευθερίας (“After Lysander sent for many aulêtrides from the city and gathered together all of those in the camp, he tore down the walls and burned the triremes to the music of the aulos, while the allies [of the Spartans] donned crowns and danced, since they believed this was the first day of their eleutheria ‘freedom’”). Two other détournements of Athenian musical and political culture are enacted here. First, the crowns (stephanoi) donned by the allies as they revel to the music of the aulêtrides evoke the comastic/convivial ambience of the Attic-Ionic symposium. Second, the Athenian catchword of eleutheria is turned against the defeated “tyrant city.”
[ back ] 94. Cf. comments of Wilson 2004:280. The identification of musically conservative Sparta with the seven-stringed lyre long persisted: Plutarch On Monarchy, Democracy, and Oligarchy 827b.
[ back ] 95. On the festival, see Habicht 1970:243–244. Lysander 8.4 explicitly cites the tyrant Polycrates of Samos as a model for Lysander. Plutarch here and elsewhere in the biography likely draws on traditions hostile to Lysander’s imperialist ambitions after the Peloponnesian War; cf. Bearzot 2004.
[ back ] 96. Aristonous’ Panathenaic victory is recorded in Parian Marble Ep. 67; cf. Stephanis 1988, no. 369. We do not know from what polis Aristonous came. Could he have been an Athenian? His probably slightly older Athenian contemporary, Execestides, was also a Pythian and Panathenaic citharodic victor (Polemon fr. 47 Preller ap. scholia ad Aristophanes Birds 11).
[ back ] 97. Plutarch Lysander 18.5: ἐπεὶ μέντοι ὁ κιθαρῳδὸς Ἀριστόνους ἑξάκις Πύθια νενικηκὼς ἐπηγγέλλετο τῷ Λυσάνδρῳ φιλοφρονούμενος, ἂν νικήσῃ πάλιν, Λυσάνδρου κηρύξειν ἑαυτόν, ‘ἦ δοῦλον;’ εἶπεν.
[ back ] 98. Both ethnic and patronymic are indicated in a fragment of Timotheus, PMG 802, in which the citharode “quotes” the kêrux who once announced his victory over his older rival, Phrynis of Mytilene: μακάριος ἦσθα, Τιμόθε’, ὅτε κᾶρυξ | εἶπε· νικᾷ Τιμόθεος | Μιλήσιος τὸν Κάμωνος τὸν ἰωνοκάμπταν (“Blessed you were, Timotheus, when the herald said, ‘Timotheus, a Milesian, defeats the son of Kamon, that bender of Ionian melody’”). Cf. Kurke 1993:142–144 on the wording of athletic victory announcements. Phrynis’ father may have actually been named Skamon; cf. Part III.12n217. The shortened version (also recorded in Pollux Onomasticon 4.66) could be Timotheus’ own punning allusion to the melodic kampai ‘bends’ for which the comedians (Aristophanes Clouds 970–972, with scholia ad loc.) as well as Timotheus himself (ἰωνοκάμπταν) criticize Phrynis.
[ back ] 99. See Kurke 1993:158n39. The kharis ‘favor’ that Astylus repaid the tyrant was surely a return for monetary payment. Cf. Nicholson 2005:9 for further discussion and related examples.
[ back ] 100. See Bearzot 2004.
[ back ] 101. For Hieron as tyrannical patron of citharodes, see Part III.15.
[ back ] 102. Wilson 2004:301.
[ back ] 103. Parker 1996:64; cf. Hedrick 1988:203. See Wilson 2004:278 on the aristocratic affiliations of the genê in respect to musical activity.
[ back ] 104. Rejection of aulos: Wilson 1999, with the important qualifications in Martin 2003. (Palagia 1980:16 argues that the Lycurgan citharodic Apollo Patroos referred to the Marsyas myth, but there is nothing to indicate why this would be the case.) I would note the deliberately mixed signals sent by aristocrats such as Alcibiades and Critias in regard to auletic culture, which suggest that their rejection is a disingenuous sociocultural performance aimed at maintaining their own distinction. Critias significantly marks the aulos as a distinctly unsympotic instrument in comparison to the stringed barbitos, which he associates with his aristocratic sympotic exemplar Anacreon (1.4 D-K; cf. Wilson 2003b:190–191). But Critias also composed ‘public’ aulodic music (for tragedy) and, like another famous rejecter of the aulos, Alcibiades, enjoyed playing it himself (Chamaeleon of Heraclea ap. Athenaeus 4.184d, where we learn too that Alcibiades supposedly studied the aulos under the star virtuoso Pronomus). There clearly developed in the fifth century a double standard about what was appropriate musical practice where and for whom: elites could both denigrate and play the aulos, but always on their own terms; it was a sign of their own cultural mastery that they could make the rules under which such behaviors were not contradictory. I would take this as a strategic response to the challenge to elite musical hegemony presented by the rising musical professionalism of later-fifth-century Athens.
[ back ] 105. A later-fifth-century BCE allusion, darkly ironic in tone, to the citharodic Apollo Patroos may be heard in Euripides Ion 897–906: Creusa criticizes Apollo for neglecting her and their son, Ion, while he “makes a racket on the kithara (κιθάρᾳ κλάζεις), singing paeans.” Paternal Apollo is anything but; he is antisocially absorbed in his kitharôidia. Further, the god’s apathy and hypocrisy are ironically underscored by the fact that he sings solo paeans; paeans were normally a choral form that celebrated healthy social integration. Creusa thus imagines a “perversely autistic performance,” as Wilson 2004:279 well puts it; cf. Rutherford 1994/1995. (We might also suspect that some deliberate antiquarianism is in play here, an allusion to the belief that the citharodic nomos had in time past evolved from the paean.) I would argue, however, that Euripides is drawing on the contemporary superstar status of the professional citharode in his depiction of this aloof Apollo Patroos rather than the god’s aristocratic, “lyric” narcissism.
[ back ] 106. Kolb 1977:107 views the tyrants’ interest in Apollo Patroos (an “Aristokratengott”) as being at odds with their Volksinteresse. Yet the dedication of the shrine in the Agora is rather a characteristically strategic negotiation of the claims of Adel and Volk.
[ back ] 107. Jacoby 1944:72–73; cf. Hedrick 1988:203; Parker 1996:49n26.
[ back ] 108. Jacoby 1944:74; Forsdyke 2005:116, with further bibliography. On similarities in the style of social and cultural management of Solon and Peisistratus, see now Irwin 2005b:263–280.
[ back ] 109. Cf. Hedrick 1988:200.
[ back ] 110. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:28. And perhaps by Hippocleides the Philaid as well, if he was the festival’s primary reorganizer. Further, if musical contests had been put on by wealthy families at privately funded festal events prior to their rule, the tyrants obviously would have been eager to trump these shows of aristocratic largesse on a grand civic scale.
[ back ] 111. See Stahl 1987:246–255. Cf. Zimmermann 1992:32–33 on the tyrants’ use of Dionysian choral culture to integrate the various social strata of Athens.
[ back ] 112. See Kotsidu 1991:114 for Heracles as an agonistic “Vorbild und Schutzpatron.” On the inherent athleticism of citharodic performance, see Part I.18.
[ back ] 113. Cf. Bundrick 2005:162, with 230n104 on the frame-breaking kithara. We may note how the sides of the decorative frame approximate the appearance of the columns that in other images connote Panathenaic performance.
[ back ] 114. Cf. Shapiro 1992:66–67.
[ back ] 115. On the staff as a marker of social privilege, see Stansbury-O’Donnell 2006:186; cf. Shapiro 1989:43.
[ back ] 116. As were, and indeed from an earlier point (see discussion above), aulodic and auletic contests. Spectators of aulêtikê and aulôidia are similarly attired: examples and discussion in Shapiro 1992:62–64. Some spectators in early scenes of such contests also sit on stools. These are probably judges, but cf. Bundrick 2005:163. Seated spectators/judges would appear in citharodic scenes in the later sixth century, e.g. a black-figured pelike attributed to the Leagros Group (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Kassel, Antikensammlung T.675; Shapiro 1992:69, fig. 47).
[ back ] 117. On the flower sniffing, cf. Shapiro 1989:42. Cf. Bundrick 2005:163, who sees in the gesture an attempt to put on an “air of studied nonchalance.” I would detect a greater focus and intensity in the listening postures of these spectators, although they are far less focused than the elite youth shown listening in deep concentration to citharodic performance on the early-fifth-century amphora by the Brygos Painter (Plate 2). The spectators on the amphora of the Andokides Painter are self-consciously “performing” their appreciation of the music; the youth on the Brygos Painter’s seems, at least, rather genuinely “lost in the music”; cf. Bundrick 2005:165. (But is his “rapture” merely another pose? Cf. Part I.14). The Andokides Painter repeats the flower motif in a scene of an aulodic performance (Basel BS 491; Shapiro 1992:67, fig. 45)
[ back ] 118. Compare the slightly later eye-cup by Psiax (Plates 7a and b): a citharode and his two stylish spectators depicted on one side are on the other side “transformed” into heroic figures.
[ back ] 119. We see this assimilation on other late Archaic scenes as well, e.g. a pelike in Kassel (n116 above) where citharode and seated spectator/judges are, however, all bearded, and all less flamboyantly attired than the figures on the Louvre amphora.
[ back ] 120. Anderson 1994:193 notes that the prominent buttocks of the well-known citharode by the Berlin Painter (New York 56.171.38) have “an almost feminine gracefulness of line.” But his contention that “this young performer deviates markedly from the physical ideals set forth for the youth of Athens by Aristophanes” is puzzling.
[ back ] 121. Bundrick 2005:163, fig. 97.
[ back ] 122. On the “tag,” see Shapiro 1989:43; cf. Shapiro 2004. Another aristocratic name with kalos inscription, [Me]las, is inscribed on the bêma, probably a reminder of another member of this fashionable coterie who is not pictured; cf. Bundrick 2005:164, with further scholarship. From the early fifth century, citharodes (and citharists), both young and older, are occasionally designated kalos (see Plates 1 and 13).
[ back ] 123. Thus Shapiro 1989:43.
[ back ] 124. Cf. Bundrick 2005:164, with relevant observations on the scene as occasion for display of aristocratic social status. However, there is no need to speculate that actual physical attendance at the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes was “a privilege of the elite.” That would go very much against the socially integrative agenda of the Peisistratean Kulturpolitik in which they took root. Again, the vase paintings only idealize the exclusivity of the Archaic agônes. Of course, it is entirely conceivable that elite spectators took in the contests from privileged viewing positions, “front row seats,” as it were. Judges, who were presumably drawn from the upper ranks of society, would certainly have taken positions close to the performer.
[ back ] 125. See Martin 2003 for a sympathetic approach to the representations of the aulos in Archaic Athens. The diversity of musical references in Pindaric poetry also suggests the catholicity of elite Archaic attitudes to mousikê; see Barker 1984:54–61.
[ back ] 126. Aristotle Politics 8.1341a33–36 names one Thrasippus, a khorêgos who supplied auletic accompaniment for his own chorus. Cf. Wilson 2000:131.
[ back ] 127. For the significantly greater number of citharode/citharist images relative to those of other agonistic musicians in the sixth and indeed throughout the whole of the fifth century, see Vos 1986:123 (who counts c. 90 citharodes/citharists from 550–540 to the end of the fifth century, out of around 140–150 scenes of agonistic music); cf. Kotsidu 1991:105.
[ back ] 128. Cf. the remarks on the circulation of images of cherished athletic victors through Athenian symposia in Neer 2002:93–95.
[ back ] 129. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:109–110.
[ back ] 130. For a vivid evocation of the thrill of performing before a mass Panathenaic audience, see Plato Ion 535e.
[ back ] 131. On the Archaic symposium as a theatrical, mimetic experience, see now Nagy 2007a; cf. Lissarrague 1990.
[ back ] 132. See Frontisi-Ducroux and Lissarrague 1990. On the relationship of sympotic to comastic performance in the “Anacreontic” vases, see Nagy 2007a:240–241. On the mimesis of concert citharodic performance permitted by comastic performance on the barbitos, see Part III.15n275. In respect to this last point, it is worth noting that, on two vases from the last quarter of the sixth century BCE, a woman who is very likely meant to be Sappho is depicted with a kithara instead of a lyre or barbitos: a fragment from a belly amphora of c. 525 BCE, perhaps by the Andokides Painter (Stuttgart, Landesmuseum, 4.692; Schefold 1997:74–75, fig. 11); a black-figured lekythos of c. 500 BCE attributed to the Diosphos Painter (Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe 1984.497). See discussion in Yatromanolakis 2001:161n16. The casting of this icon of aristocratic lyric-sympotic song as a citharode reflects, I suggest, not so much the reality that her songs were sung to the kithara at symposia (or at agônes), but rather the citharodic fantasy in which Athenian symposiasts themselves could engage as they performed the Lesbian poet’s songs. On the flirtation with kitharôidia inherent in Sapphic poetry, see Part II.9.i.
[ back ] 133. Cf. Shapiro 2004:9–10 (with bibliography in his n34) on the “trend of the Late Archaic, to show satyrs mimicking the mores and manners of the Athenian élite. The humor seems to reside in the utter incongruity of the bestial satyrs masquerading as good Athenian citizens, sometimes even in citizen dress.”
[ back ] 134. Cf. Padgett 2000:57. The frontal view of the bald spectator/judge’s face might also add to the intimations of satyric humor in the scene. Sympotic auditors of music sometimes face the viewer, e.g. a calyx krater of Euphronius (Munich, Antikensammlung 8935; c. 520–505 BCE), on which a frontal-faced symposiast listens to an aulêtris; cf. Bundrick 2005:113, with fig. 69.
[ back ] 135. On the satyric propensity for kithara playing, cf. Hedreen 2007:166–167.
[ back ] 136. See Wegner 1949:210; representative images in Castaldo 2000:234–237, 240–241. Hedreen 2007:168 notes that, before around 520 BCE, reveling satyrs were portrayed exclusively with auloi; their novel adoption of kitharai thus reflects the increased interest in kitharôidia among the sympotic aristocracy at this time. As a variant of these scenes we may note vases that depict a citharodic contest on one side and a scene of Dionysian revelry on the other, e.g. a black-figured kylix, Group of London B 460 (London, British Museum B 460); a black-figured pelike attributed to the Leagros Group (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Kassel, Antikensammlung T.675). Cf. Webster 1972:160.
[ back ] 137. Ferrara, Museo Archeologico Nazionale 4110; Castaldo 2000:241, fig. 125.
[ back ] 138. Norfolk, VA, Chrysler Museum of Art 2003.18. Apollo does not, however, stand on a bêma. For other examples of the schema, see Castaldo 2000:120.
[ back ] 139. I follow an interpretation of Hermes’ presence as spectator of Heracles kitharôidos offered by Bundrick 2005:160.
[ back ] 140. Cf. Sarti 1992; cf. Wilson 2004:283–286. Sarti (p101) notes the sociomusical implications of the appearance in late-fifth-century vase painting of the kithara in the hands of Marsyas, the one-time auletic opponent of Apollo kitharôidos. On her reading, the images signal that kitharôidia has been fully integrated into the demotic sphere of Dionysian aulodic, civic mousikê and is no longer the “possession” of the lyric elite. Boardman 1956 thinks these images were inspired by a dithyramb of Melanippides, which might suggest a deliberate attempt on the part of aulodic composers to appropriate the music of the kithara; cf. Csapo 2004:213.
[ back ] 141. Wilson 2004:287n45 reads the scene attractively as a “positive, if playful, proclamation of the increased assumption—from ‘below’—of a proud place in the technê, and one in which the influence of Dionysos was increasingly felt.” But the cultural transformation in kitharôidia that Wilson would see reflected might be premature c. 460 BCE, and I am somewhat less inclined to accept it than I was in Power 2007:191. The satyric kitharôidos seems rather a reconfirmation of elite mastery of citharodic culture “from above.”
[ back ] 142. See Janko 1982:141–143; Görgemanns 1976 would date the Hymn to the early fifth century. His interpretation, however, strongly favors an Athenian context for its composition (see below).
[ back ] 143. Brown 1947:102–110. Brown’s arguments are too complex and in some ways problematic to deal with in detail here. The salient points are expressed above (although Brown seems to believe too that the Hymn was performed before a private audience at the court of Hipparchus, which seems to me unlikely). Brown’s scenario for the Hymn’s Athenian performance finds a notable adherent in Webster 1975:92; on Atticisms in the text, see Càssola 1975:174. Among proponents of an Olympic performance are Càssola 1975:174, Janko 1982:142, Burkert 1984, and West 2003:14. The fact that Athens is not mentioned in the text is no indication that it was not first performed there; Olympia, after all, is not named either. The Hymn was a Panhellenically oriented composition that would have been carried by rhapsodes from place to place. An overt reference to Athens would be out of place in its mythical topography, and would thus compromise the supra-local potential of its performance. Against the Olympic scenario, we may also recall that mousikoi agônes were not held at the Olympic Games. More recently, Johnston 2002 has proposed a number of alternatives to performance at Olympia, including Delos and Delphi, but she leaves Athens out of consideration.
[ back ] 144. It is worth noting that Alcaeus composed a hymn to Hermes, perhaps a lyric response to a citharodic hymn already in the repertoire of the Lesbian Singers (fr. 308). It is unclear, however, whether Alcaeus’ hymn dealt with the god’s invention of the lyre; cf. Hägg 1989:51–52. Perhaps Hermes’ invention of the lyre was a “mainland” rather than Eastern Aegean/Lesbian citharodic tradition; cf. Part II.9.i. Hermes is notably left out of the Aeolic-Ionic lyric genealogy described in Timotheus Persians 221–231, which includes only Orpheus, Terpander, and Timotheus; Apollo is the only lyric god acknowledged in the text.
[ back ] 145. On the lyre as hetaira, see now Richardson 2007:88–89.
[ back ] 146. The khoros here likely refers to dance in the sympotic environment, bookended as it is by feast and revel. For the “Dionysian chorus” of the symposium, see Part I.6.i. But another possible identity for the “lovely khoros” should be considered. On a black-figured Attic amphora from c. 550 BCE, four men playing lyres move in choral procession, two of them taking giant steps as they go, a movement that recalls the “fine and high step” of Apollo the paeanic kitharistês in Homeric Hymn to Apollo 516 (Paris, Louvre G 861; Maas and Snyder 1989:51, fig. 15c). Could these musicians themselves be engaged in a paeanic choral performance of some kind? At the Spartan Hyacinthia kithara-playing boys marched in a paeanic procession, strumming to the tune piped by an accompanying aulete (Polycrates FGrH 588 F 1). There is, however, no aulos in the Attic procession. That is not a problem, but the lack of any known festival occasions for paeanic performance in Athens is (cf. Wilson 2007:165–166). Perhaps the procession is part of some other civic festival, even the Panathenaia (although these lyre players are presumably not citharodic agonists). Alternatively, some sort of private festivity is possible. The aristocratic clan of the Euneidai (see Part III.8) were known to provide lyric music for festival processions (Pollux Onomasticon 8.103), although Pollux does not specify occasion. Indeed, the ceremonially attired lyre players on the Louvre amphora may well be Athenian elites rather than professional musicians; perhaps the image even captures the Euneidai in action. Interpretation is complicated, however, by a series of images on late-sixth- and early-fifth-century black-figured vases that visually resemble the lyric procession depicted on the amphora. These images feature marching satyrs playing kitharai (and in one case lyres) in processional groups, sometimes high stepping as well (Szilágyi 1977:361; Hedreen 2007:164–168; images collected in Castaldo 2000:242–244). These images have been read as representations of real-life proto-satyr-play choral performances (e.g. Hedreen 1992:113–114) or pre-aulodic, “Arionic” satyric-citharodic dithyrambs, for which there is, however, no good evidence outside of the images themselves and an arbitrary synthesis of some disparate nuggets of testimony in the Suda entry on Arion. (Pace Koller 1962, there is no reason to believe that Arion composed his Corinthian dithyrambs for kitharai rather than auloi; also, Pratinas PMG 708 is almost certainly a late-fifth-century aulodic dithyramb rather than an Archaic “citharodic dithyramb,” as Zimmermann 1986 shows.) Another scenario: men—including the Euneidai, perhaps, who had connections with Dionysian cult (IG II2 5056)—dressed as satyrs could have marched with kitharai at the Anthesteria, where “satyr play” and behavioral inversion were at home (cf. Seaford 1984:7), and where there may have been string contests as well (Friis-Johansen 1967:192; Smith 2007:162). It seems preferable, however, to read the marching satyrs, who are notably not depicted as men in costume but as purely mythical beings, as creatures of fantasy (cf. Hedreen 2007:167), akin to the kithara-playing satyrs in the make-believe hyperspace of the Dionysian thiasos depicted on contemporary Attic vases. Like those satyrs, these processional satyrs represent the culture of citharodic music in Dionysian, sympotic drag; they are ultimately figures of fun and the sympotic imagination rather than cultic reality (cf. Castaldo 2000:122; Part III.9n159). The sort of lyric processional we see on the Louvre amphora may well be their primary point of reference. But the satyrs may offer up too a funhouse reflection of competitive citharodes at the Panathenaia. On an early fifth-century lekythos (Taranto 6250; Castaldo 2000:244, fig. 129, with comments on p121), three satyrs proceed through “an urban religious sanctuary defined by herm, bema, and altar. The architectural elements suggest the kind of place where competitive song and dance was performed, such as the Agora at Athens” (Hedreen 2007:166). But the central place of the bêma suggests above all a citharodic agôn; one of the satyrs is in fact shown mounting it, as citharodic agonists commonly do. The “Singers at the Panathenaia” krater by Polion from c. 425 BCE represents a late variation on the motif of the citharodic satyr procession (New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund 1925 [25.78.66]; Hedreen 2007:165, fig. 54). Here the costumed satyrs are clearly intended to parody Panathenaic citharodes, rather more critically, it seems, than those in the Archaic images; the scene, which includes an aulete, is likely based on a dramatic work, either a satyr play (Froning 1971:25–26) or perhaps a comedy (Roos 1951:227; cf. Storey 2003b on satyric comic choruses). For the kithara in Dionysian ritual and comastic contexts in Laconian art, see Stibbe 1992.
[ back ] 147. Cf. Richardson 2007:86. On the alternation of the names for the lyre in the Hymn, see Càssola 1975:166–170. See Hägg 1989 on various traditions of Hermes’ invention of the lyre. On the lyre as the notionally “primitive” antecedent to the sophisticated concert kithara: Part III.5n60.
[ back ] 148. West 2003:149; the translation of these lines is also West’s. On lyric ἐνδέξια cf. Storey 2003a:322.
[ back ] 149. A few sources claim that lyric skolia were so called because of the “crooked” course the lyre took as it was passed, out of order, among the most skilled singers (sunetôtatoi) in the room, i.e. skolia did not simply go “to the right.” The earliest proponent of this theory is the late-fourth-century BCE Peripatetic Dicaearchus (fr. 88 Wehrli). But there is no compelling reason to think that his etymology reflects sixth-century practice (cf. Part III.15n265); his scholarly predecessor Aristoxenus (fr. 125 Wehrli) by contrast proposed that the songs were called skolia because of the crooked (yet sequential) path they traveled due to the arrangement of couches at the symposium. However, if Dicaearchus’ claim is somehow reflective of Archaic practice, then we might assume that Hermes and Apollo are facing each other, and that the lyre will go “out of order,” i.e. to the left, as it is passed from god to god, both sunetôtatoi. The Hymn would thus imagine the gods’ citharodic-sympotic encounter as a “breaking of the rules” of endexia before the fact. Such cleverness would not be out of keeping with the sophisticated wit of the Hymn, but the “lateral” reading proposed above seems more probable.
[ back ] 150. On sympotic “capping,” see Aristophanes Wasps 1219–1227 (where the singing of skolia to the aulos rather than the lyre is described), with Collins 2004:84–146, who notes intriguing formal parallels between sympotic song performance and Panathenaic rhapsôidia, despite the ideological differences between the two institutions.
[ back ] 151. Cf. Barker 1984:103n16.
[ back ] 152. Brown 1947:97. See Kurke 2003:97n29 for a perhaps too harsh critique of Brown’s “crude sociologizing.” It is true that Brown’s Marxist-influenced reading of the Hymn verges on naïve allegorizing, but his attention to its socioeconomic subtext and context does in fact anticipate more sophisticated New Historicist-inflected approaches to literary production taken by Kurke and others.
[ back ] 153. On the rarified socioeconomics of lyric paideia, see Plato Protagoras 326b–c: only the richest and most powerful citizens have access to it. Winnington-Ingram 1988 discusses the identity and status of professional teachers of mousikê in fifth-century Athens. Socrates’ kitharistês, Konnos, may have had a career as a citharode (scholia ad Aristophanes Wasps 675).
[ back ] 154. On the theme of Hermes’ integration into the Olympian order, see Clay 1989:100–103, 149–151. It is important to note that in other accounts of the myth Apollo and Hermes did come into direct conflict over possession of the lyre. Pausanias 9.30.1 describes a bronze sculpture on Helicon that portrayed Apollo and Hermes “fighting over the lyre” (καὶ Ἀπόλλων χαλκοῦς ἐστιν ἐν Ἑλικῶνι καὶ Ἑρμῆς μαχόμενοι περὶ τῆς λύρας). The theme seems to be illustrated on two red-figured Attic vase paintings of the fifth century BCE as well: see Overbeck 1889:419–420. At Argos, however, Hermes’ role as inventor seems to have been acknowledged by and integrated into Apollonian cult: Pausanias 2.19.7 reports that in the sanctuary of Apollo Lycius there was a statue of Hermes taking hold of the tortoise to make the lyre. Unfortunately, there is no indication in the text of the monument’s date.
[ back ] 155. In his study of Attic vases featuring musical contest scenes, T. B. L. Webster presumes that the vases were commissioned by friends, family, and admirers of musical victors for sympotic celebrations, at which the victors would have been guests of honor (Webster 1972:158–171). That may be true in some cases, in particular those vases with name-labeled musicians, at least some of whom represent “aristocratic agonists” (Webster, p49, with discussion in Section 7 below), but there is no reason to think that professional citharodes would regularly have been invited to participate at symposia as “equals,” even if their charismatic images were welcome there.
[ back ] 156. For such “egalitarian fictions” operative in the production and consumption of Athenian painted pottery at this time, see Neer 2002:131–132. It is notable that some of the “Pioneer” vase painters who portrayed themselves (or their colleagues) as if they were the aristocratic “equals” of their clients depict themselves (or their colleagues) making music in elite milieux, e.g. a hydria by Phintias (Munich 2421): on the body of the vase the painter Euthymides is shown receiving instruction in the lyre; on the shoulder above, a hetaira reclining at a symposium toasts him, “This one’s for you, Euthymides!” Discussion in Neer 2002:102. Cf. Hedreen 2003, however, for the view that the scene is parodic.
[ back ] 157. The early-fifth-century BCE “schoolroom” cup by Douris (Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz F 2285) suggests that Archaic elite youths would learn some bits of the citharodic repertoire as part of their training with the kitharistês. A boy studies a scroll containing a hexametric verse that appears to represent the prooimion to a citharodic song (PMG 938e). See West 1971:308; Part II.9.ii.
[ back ] 158. We have no idea what sorts of prizes were given to musical victors at the Peisistratean Panathenaia, or in the fifth century for that matter, but there is every reason to believe that lucrative cash-and-valuables awards were granted, as they were in the fourth century (IG II2 2311). As Aristotle Constitution of Athens 60.3 puts it, “The prizes for winners in the mousikoi agônes are of silver and gold.” Most agonists were, after all, itinerants, who would appreciate cash-and-carry prizes (cf. Herington 1985:246n28). The lack of true Panathenaic amphoras showing musical contests strongly indicates that musicians were not awarded olive oil as were athletic victors. There is one example of what would seem to be a fifth-century Panathenaic oil amphora representing a citharodic performance (St. Petersburg 17295; c. 430–425 BCE), but its size is irregular—54 cm compared to the 59.9 to 69 cm that are standard in the sixth and fifth centuries—and its status as an official prize amphora thus in doubt; cf. Davison 1958:38; Kotsidu 1991:90. At most it represents an ad hoc exception to the cash rule. There are not strong grounds for the claim, made by Kotsidu 1991:100, that after 403/2 BCE cash-and-valuables prizes suddenly replaced less explicitly “chrematitic” crown-and-oil awards (cf. Davison 1958:37–38, who anticipates Kotsidu, though far less vigorously). Kotsidu (p91) points to an inscription from 402/1 (IG II2 1388.36–37) that records the dedication of a citharode’s golden crown to Athena, but there is no reason to take this as evidence of a change in prize policy during that year. Her appeal to the thesis elaborated in Valavanis 1987 (cf. Davison, p37), that after the fall of the Thirty the Panathenaia was reformed, is unpersuasive: changes to the Panathenaia may well have been made under the restored democracy, but there is no reason to believe that the prize policy was affected. Further, two pieces of literary testimony point to cash-and-valuables prizes before the fourth century. At Plato Ion 530d (set in the late fifth century) the rhapsode Ion says he deserves to win the “golden wreath” at a contest that is almost certainly the Panathenaia; cf. also his mercenary observation (535e) that if he makes his audience cry, he will in turn laugh when he gets his cash prize (αὐτὸς γελάσομαι ἀργύριον λαμβάνων). At Athenaeus 15.698d–699a we learn that the parodic singer Hegemon of Thasos won a second prize of 50 drachmas cash at Athens. Kotsidu makes the argument that this victory took place at the Panathenaia between 420 and 412 BCE, when parôidia seems to have been introduced into the agônes (p89, with sources collected there). See Shapiro 1992:58–59 for visual indices of cash prizes in the iconography.
[ back ] 159. The “large fees and gifts” for Simonides mentioned in the Hipparchus refer to the maintenance of the poet in his public and private capacities, respectively. As a composer of civic choral melic, Simonides worked openly for misthos ‘fee’; as a private, sympotic companion of the tyrant, he received instead “gifts,” in accord with the non-professional ideology of the symposium; cf. Part III.15n298 for Anacreon’s monetary disinterest at Polycrates’ court.
[ back ] 160. Cf. Davison 1958:40; Kotsidu 1991:76.
[ back ] 161. Raubitschek 1949, no. 84.
[ back ] 162. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:79.
[ back ] 163. Raubitschek 1949, no. 86.
[ back ] 164. Raubitschek 1949, no. 85; cf. Kotsidu 1991:77–78.
[ back ] 165. Although his tyrannical patrons, the Emmenidai, may have brokered (and perhaps paid for) the commission; cf. Part III.15n294.
[ back ] 166. Davison 1958:40.
[ back ] 167. Cf. the prudent assessment of Wilson 2004: “Fine and costly states need not entail kaloikagathoi dedicators, but at this period, they certainly point in that direction” (284). We may note that the only other bronze statue of a mortal musician erected on the Acropolis of which we know was that of the ultimate exemplar of aristocratic lyric mousikê, Anacreon (Pausanias 1.25.1); the dedicator was surely a wealthy elite. See Part II.13n333. Also relevant is the fact that the patronymics of assuredly professional citharodes such as Phrynis and Nicocles seem to have been included in their victory announcements and inscriptions (PMG 802; IG II2 3779, Nicocles son of Aristocles); perhaps we should consider another factor besides class behind the absence of patronymic on the Acropolis monuments.
[ back ] 168. Webster 1972:49; but see cavils about Webster’s reading of all contest scenes as commissions for epinician symposia in n155 above.
[ back ] 169. The vase (ABV 673) is unpublished. Shapiro 1989:43n210 describes it.
[ back ] 170. Shapiro 1989:43; Bundrick 2005:164, less specifically, calls him a “proficient musician.”
[ back ] 171. Shapiro 1989:43 compares Kydias of Hermione, a musician and poet—one of his erotic songs is cited in Plato Charmides 155d—who is depicted making music among aristocrats in comastic contexts on two Attic vases from c. 515–510 BCE. On a psykter by the Dikaios Painter in London he is shown as a satyrically balding, bearded bon vivant playing the barbitos (London E 767; Shapiro 1982, plate 26c); on a cup in Munich, a youthful reveler labeled Kydias plays the aulos, although the label might apply rather to the bearded barbitos player who stands nearby (Munich 2614; Shapiro 1982:73, fig. 1). Kydias must, like his fellow Hermionean, Lasus, have come to Athens under the tyrants. As Plato’s reference and the vase paintings suggest, he was mainly known, like Anacreon, as a habitué of the aristocratic symposium and kômos, treating erotic themes to the barbitos and aulos, rather than a citharode or aulete on the festival bêma; cf. Webster 1972:53–54; Shapiro 1982:72. Of course, it is not impossible that he moved between the two worlds. The scholia to Aristophanes Clouds 967 provide further testimony to the activity of Kydias, who is called in them, however, Kydides (cf. PMG 948; Kydias/Kydides presumably is not to be confused with Kedeides or Kekeides, an old-fashioned dithyrambic composer mentioned at Clouds 985, for whom see Stephanis 1988, no. 1391). From the scholia we glean that elite schoolboys of old learned pieces by Kydias and Lamprocles of Athens. At Clouds 967, Better Argument quotes with approval the dactylic opening of an old song by the former, τηλέπορόν τι βόαμα ‘A far-sounding cry’, a reference to the sound of the lura itself (according to the scholia). The song’s genre is impossible to determine; a short lyric piece is likely. One scholiast, however, says that the verse comes from Κυδίδου τοῦ Ἑρμιονέως κιθαρῳδοῦ ‘Kydides (Kydias) the citharode’. The citharode identification is intriguing; the dactylic meter would be in keeping with early kitharôidia, and schoolboys may in fact have learned excerpts of citharodic song, as the Douris school cup suggests. But the scholiast may simply be making an inference from the putative reference to the lura in the quoted fragment. On Lamprocles, known primarily as a dithyrambic composer and aulete, as well as a music teacher with ties to the aristocratic intelligentsia of Athens, see Wallace 2003. The song of his that Aristophanes has the boys learning, possibly a hymn to Athena, was presumably an aulodic composition. Its initial verse, partially quoted by Better Argument (Παλλάδα περσέπολιν δεινάν) was also dactylic, and some ancient scholars attributed it to Stesichorus.
[ back ] 172. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 21.88.73; Richter and Hall 1936, no. 126.
[ back ] 173. Cf. Webster 1972:50.
[ back ] 174. On the Nikai motif in Periclean Athens, see Shapiro 1996: “Fluttering Nikai are now an almost indispensable accompaniment of musical victors. The victor himself is seldom seen actually performing, but instead stands quietly receiving his accolades … These vases not only reflect the allegorizing tendency of High Classical art, but also seem for the first time to elevate the victorious musician to a heroic stature equal to that of athletic victors” (218). (I would, however, qualify the latter observation. As we have seen, citharodes had in fact been implicitly assimilated to the image of the athlete and hero in Archaic art; the figure of Heracles kitharôidos emblematizes such assimilation.) Cf. Kotsidu 1991:117–122; Bundrick 2005:167–168 (with further bibliography at 231n30), who sees in the Nikai motif an increased appreciation of the “professionalism and personal achievement” of the citharode, which is also reflected in the increased isolation of the “spotlit” citharode from his audience, although I am not as sure as she is that these developments reflect an increasingly “democratic” re-envisioning of the contests. As we see on the Brygos Painter’s amphora, the elite spectator continues to play a “starring role,” isolated in equal splendor on his own side of the vase. It was previously thought that the absence of musical contest scenes in the iconographical record indicated a suspension of the contests after the Persian Wars, until Pericles revived them at mid-century (so Davison 1958). But Schafter 1991 argues compellingly that the kitharai-bearing Nikai represent the ongoing agônes. The temporary turn away from depicting musical contestants with their kitharai was more likely motivated by an artistic fashion set by the Berlin Painter than sociological or ideological factors. Cf. too Vos 1986:128. An early Classical neck amphora by the Providence Painter depicting a Nike with kithara includes the inscribed kalos name Timonides, perhaps an aristocratic victor (Vienna 698; cf. Webster 1972:164). Webster 1972:67–68 discusses two earlier neck amphoras by the Dutuit Painter that also involve Nikai and a named victor: on one an isolated citharode is labeled “Arkhinos kalos” (Naples 3155); on the other two Nikai are depicted on the neck; “Arkhinos kalos” is written along both sides (Louvre G 137). Webster thinks that the two vases were “a pair made to celebrate Archinos’ victory in a contest for citharodes.”
[ back ] 175. Wilson 2000:43, 327n177; Parker 2005:473.
[ back ] 176. London E 495; Warsaw 142355. On the latter vase, which may commemorate a dramatic or dithyrambic production in which the two kinsmen were involved, see discussion in Beazley 1928:54–56, Webster 1972:71–72; on the former, see Matheson 1995:285, with plate 177.
[ back ] 177. Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 13.202; cf. Caskey and Beazley 1954:43–44, who discuss this distinguished family and provide an inventory of the vases on which the name Alkimakhos, referring to both uncle and nephew, appears.
[ back ] 178. Louvre G 457. Webster 1972:57 thinks that this is “probably a younger Alkimakhos than the successful citharode,” but the chronology certainly allows the identification. The tondo of the cup shows a mythical schoolroom scene featuring two famous lyre singers: Linus holds a book scroll before Musaeus.
[ back ] 179. Ferrara, Museo Archeologico Nazionale T 617; cf. Webster 1972:58.
[ back ] 180. A contemporary stamnos in Florence invites a similar reading (Museo Archeologico 4066; CVA Florence 13, plate 640, 3 and 4). On the obverse, an unnamed young man stands atop a bêma with his kithara (distinctly a Thamyris kithara like that of Alkimakhos—see below), attended by two Nikai. On the reverse, a youth with a khelus-lyre stands between two young male admirers.
[ back ] 181. Cf. Vergara 2003:65.
[ back ] 182. See inventory in Webster 1972:166–170; representative images in Beck 1975, plates 44–46. There are considerably earlier black-figured genre scenes of school contests without Nikai, e.g. a Nikosthenic pyxis from c. 520 BCE (Vienna, Antikensammlung, Kunsthistorisches Museum IV 1870; Shapiro 1992:54, fig. 32a, b, c).
[ back ] 183. The boys’ contest in kitharistikê at the Panathenaia may have been dominated largely by elite Athenian youths (and perhaps sons of the gentry from neighboring poleis) eager to display their excellent lyric paideia to the city. If so, it would have served as a bridge between the schoolroom and the adult festival bêma. We are uninformed about the demographics of the Panathenaic contest, however. Conceivably, the sons of musically professional Athenian families could have prevailed in the contests. The most famous citharist of the fourth century, the probably non-elite Stratonicus of Athens, presumably competed in (and won at) the boys’ contest at the later-fifth-century Panathenaia. We can be more certain that it was aristocratic youths who displayed their musico-poetic learning in the boys’ rhapsodic agôn at the Apatouria festival, which is described in Plato Timaeus 21b–c (with Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus 1.88–89). The prizes in the contest were provided by the boys’ fathers; schoolroom prizes similarly were provided by parents (Theophrastus Characters 22).
[ back ] 184. Wilson 2000:338n97. On the schoolroom Mouseia, cf. Fisher 2001:136 and Murray 2004:379, with references to further testimonia.
[ back ] 185. On neaniskos vs. pais, see Dover 1989:85–86; cf. Austin and Olson 2004:99.
[ back ] 186. See lines 15 and 22d in the restored text in Shear 2003:103–104.
[ back ] 187. See discussion in Part I.7. One suspects, however, that, unlike the athletic agônes, where age divisions were very strictly patrolled, if rather hazy (to us, at least: see Golden 1998:104–112), more leeway was allowed at the mousikoi agônes, at least for slightly younger competitors who wanted to compete against older ones.
[ back ] 188. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:58. A Panathenaic-type amphora of c. 530 BCE (Reggio 4224; Kotsidu 1991, Tafel 8) illustrates what appears to be the performance of a boy citharist. On boy aulodes, a class also attested in IG II2 2311 (line 22a in the text of Shear 2003), on sixth- and fifth-century vases, cf. Shapiro 1992:60–62, who notes that “all the extant representations [of aulôidia] from the time of Perikles and later show a boy aulode.” Images of agonistic solo auletes, for whom there was only one Panathenaic contest, are correspondingly rare in the fifth century. The relatively low prize amounts for both men’s aulodic and auletic Panathenaic victors attested in IG II2 2311.12–14, 20–22 are relevant. Athenians seem to have been far more invested in rhapsôidia and kitharôidia than in the agonistic music of the aulos. Perhaps the boys’ contest in aulôidia continued to be the subject of vase painting in the later fifth century because elite Athenian boys continued to enter the contest; mature professional aulodes and auletes attracted far less attention. We may note that the inscription attests that only two prizes, first and second, were issued to the men’s aulodes and to the (men’s) auletes; perhaps only two were granted to winning boy aulodes as well. Because of the fragmentary nature of IG II2 2311, we do not know the value of the boys’ prizes in aulôidia or kitharistikê. At the festival of Artemis in Eretria, boy aulodes received 50 and 30 drachmas (IG XII ix 189). At this festival there does not seem to have been a contest for adult aulodes.
[ back ] 189. Pace Vos 1986:128.
[ back ] 190. Berlin Painter: Panathenaic-shaped amphora (formerly in the Hunt Collection; Shapiro 1992:58, fig. 37); pelike by the Pan Painter, whose bearded citharode mounts a bêma labeled kalos (New York, Solow Art and Architecture Foundation; Bundrick 2005:167, fig. 98).
[ back ] 191. London, British Museum E 460; Bundrick 2005:169, fig. 99.
[ back ] 192. Shapiro 1992:58; cf. Part I.7n123.
[ back ] 193. And we should not overlook the small but notable pool of apparently non-elite Athenian citharodic professionals. We have the names of two such musicians from the fifth century BCE. (1) Meles son of Peisias, father of Cinesias the new dithyrambist (Pherecrates fr. 6 K-A; Plato Gorgias 501e; cf. Stephanis 1988, no. 1630). (2) Arignotus son of Aristomenes; like Meles, a member of a family of music and dramatic professionals (Aristophanes Wasps 1275–1283, Knights 1278; cf. Stephanis 1988, nos. 301 and 399). (3) A debatable case: Polemon fr. 47 Preller ap. scholia ad Aristophanes Birds 11 records that Execestides, who is mocked in Aristophanes Birds 11, 764, and 1527 for being a phony Athenian citizen, was a victor at the Pythia, the Carneia, and twice at the Panathenaia, perhaps one of those times in 414 BCE, the year Birds was produced, which would explain why Aristophanes mentions him three times. Davison 1958:40 takes literally the comedian’s abuse: “In spite of his fine old Athenian name [Execestides] was apparently an interloper.” Perhaps he was a resident alien (metoikos) who pretended to citizen status. In a fragment from Eupolis’ Prospaltians an Exekestos is mentioned in proximity to the words kitharôidos and metoikos (fr. 259). Could this Exekestos be our citharode? Cf. Storey 2003a:233. The name Execestides (the name of Solon’s father) might then be a comic sobriquet playing on his aspirations to Athenian citizenship. Yet Aristophanes’ invective excess—the citharode is called a slave and a barbarian from Caria—might be taken to suggest that the opposite is in fact the case, that he was in fact an Athenian. Cf. Stephanis 1988, no. 842; MacDowell 1993:364–365. Could Execestides’ itineracy have prompted the joke that he was a foreigner? At Birds 11 he is invoked as a paradigmatically “homeless” wanderer. Further, could the “Eastern” associations of kitharôidia have prompted his characterization as a barbarian?
[ back ] 194. The date of Phrynis’ victory/the first Periclean Panathenaia was probably 446 BCE: Davison 1958:41. The claim made in the scholia to Aristophanes Clouds 969 that Phrynis was the “first” (prôtos) to play the kithara for the Athenians must express the fact that he was the first winner at the reformed Periclean agôn (cf. Davison, p40). Cf. Part III.15n283.
[ back ] 195. On early kitharistikê, see Barker 1984; Power 2004:432–434.
[ back ] 196. Cf. Vergara 2003:65. The long hair of the victorious player of a Thamyris kithara on a pelike by the Painter of Athens 1183, contemporary with the Plovdiv pelike, suggests that he is pre-ephebic, although such details are not always to be taken literally (Athens, National Archaeological Museum 1183; Bundrick 2005:29, fig. 16). See, however, the following note.
[ back ] 197. Cf. Part II.8n172. A late-fifth-century fragmentary khous has a group of what are clearly paides, two with tortoise-shell lyres and one with a Thamyris kithara, engaged in a musical contest, presumably at the Anthesteria, and presumably, in light of their age, a citharistic one (Basel, Collection of Herbert A. Cahn 649; Smith 2007:163, fig. 8.8, with comments on 162–164). Boy lyre players are commonly portrayed on khoes (references in Smith, p162n27; cf. Friis-Johansen 1967:192 on musical contests at the Anthesteria). Wilson 2004:281n30 makes the appealing proposition that the Anthesteria “may have remained a home for the ‘amateur ideal’ of public string performance.” There is, however, no clear evidence for a men’s citharodic contest, but cf. n146 above.
[ back ] 198. Bucharest 03207; CVA Bucharest 1, plate 32, 1.
[ back ] 199. Cf. Part II.6n119.
[ back ] 200. Cf. n197 above.
[ back ] 201. Testimony in Wilson 2004:281. On the problematic inscriptional evidence (IG I3 82.14, 31–33) for music at the Hephaistia, see Kotsidu 1991:154–158; Miller 1997:233n94; Wilson 2000:35 and 2009:74. On music at the Eleusinia, cf. Part II.12n280.
[ back ] 202. Our ancient sources for the festival are unhelpful in this important question. Ex silentio we may infer that citharodes did not formally compete at the Lesser Panathenaia. The penteteric model of agônes at the Panhellenic festivals on which the Panathenaia was based supports this inference. But Reisch 1885:18 reasons that since dithyrambic choruses were presented yearly at the Panathenaia, at least by the later fifth century (cf. Lysias 21.1), we may do well not to disregard completely the possibility of yearly mousikoi agônes as well; cf. Hose 1993:9n37.
[ back ] 203. Cf. Bundrick 2005: “[C]learly he must have been one of the star performers who traveled from contest to contest” (173).
[ back ] 204. Morrissey 1978:122, who bases his argument largely on the probability that the decree was proposed by Pericles, whose interest in musical agônes is otherwise attested by his reform of the Panathenaia and his building of the Odeion (Plutarch Pericles 13.10–11); cf. Wilson 2004:302n76.
[ back ] 205. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:26, with bibliography in 186n41.
[ back ] 206. Cf. West 1992:373; 2002:131.
[ back ] 207. Phrynis was said to be the “first” (prôtos) citharodic victor at the Panathenaia, i.e. at the reformed agônes; cf. n194 above.
[ back ] 208. The performance is also recorded in Pausanias 8.50.3. Cf. Miller 2001:8n13.
[ back ] 209. Miller 2001:13.
[ back ] 210. Pindar Olympian 9.88–89 commemorates the victory his client Epharmostos of Opous won as a pais at the Marathonian Herakleia; cf. Pythian 8.79.
[ back ] 211. Alkimakhos’ crossover success would find a parallel in the fascinating agonistic career of Hedea of Tralles in Asia Minor, who won the children’s contest of kitharôidia at the first-century CE Athenian Sebasteia, as well as athletic victories at the Nemean and Isthmian games (SIG3 802). But the familial and cultural circumstances surrounding Hedea’s achievements are radically different from those of Alkimakhos’. Cf. Part I.7n118.
[ back ] 212. A more aggressive strain of anti-tyrannical sentiment might, however, manifest itself in early-fifth-century musical iconography: scenes of young Heracles beating to death his kitharistês, Linus. Might we see in these images the reflection of some politicized mythical revisionism, the tendentious transformation of the tyrants’ citharodic hero into a paradigmatic figure of amousia? On the theme, which appears only in the late Archaic and early Classical periods, see Bundrick 2005:71–74.
[ back ] 213. Scholia ad Aristophanes Clouds 965c: ἐσπούδαζον δὲ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι περὶ κιθαρῳδίαν.
[ back ] 214. Plutarch Themistocles 5.3: τῇ δὲ φιλοτιμίᾳ πάντας ὑπερέβαλεν, ὥστ’ ἔτι μὲν ὢν νέος καὶ ἀφανὴς Ἐπικλέα τὸν ἐξ Ἑρμιόνος κιθαριστὴν σπουδαζόμενον ὑπὸ τῶν Ἀθηναίων ἐκλιπαρῆσαι μελετᾶν παρ’ αὐτῷ, φιλοτιμούμενος πολλοὺς τὴν οἰκίαν ζητεῖν καὶ φοιτᾶν πρὸς αὐτόν.
[ back ] 215. Plutarch Themistocles 5.6 suggests the intimacy between Themistocles and another fixture of late Peisistratid musico-poetic culture, Simonides.
[ back ] 216. For Themistocles’ amousia, see Harmon 2003; Wilson 2004:299–300. The context in which Ion of Chios cites his boast is significant. Ion is relating, in his quasi-travelogue Epidemiai, how as a young man he witnessed Cimon, the primary aristocratic rival of Themistocles, performing a song at an Athenian symposium. The other symposiasts laud him as being “more sophisticated” (dexiôteros) than Themistocles, who cannot kitharizein (FGrH 326 F 13 by way of Plutarch Cimon 9.1–2). Lyric mousikê apparently played a part in the two men’s political self-positioning vis-à-vis one another. We might view Themistocles’ association with Epicles as a specific attempt to trump the elitist musical capital of Cimon, although the chronology—Cimon is over ten years younger—makes this somewhat difficult. Themistocles’ musical “open house,” however, possibly finds an echo in Cimon’s populist policy of opening up his fields and his house to Athenian citizens in need of free fruit or dinner (Plutarch Cimon 10.1; cf. Aristotle Constitution of Athens 27.3–4). (Stesimbrotus of Thasos, a contemporary of Ion, records a contradictory biography of Cimon, according to which he had, like Themistocles, acquired no musical education at all, but rather had a genuinely noble, “Peloponnesian” character unaffected by Attic sophistication [FGrH 107 F 5 by way of Plutarch Cimon 4.5]. Stesimbrotus’ account is more likely than Ion’s to be tendentious, however. It may derive from sources hostile to Cimon, as Jacoby thought, or it may represent an attempt to distinguish Cimon from his later rival, the musically accomplished Pericles.)
[ back ] 217. Cf. Duplouy 2006:30 on this type of strategy of social recognition, which “makes evident the rank of the individual at the same time as it contributes to the acquisition of the prestige necessary for [the realization of his social] ambitions.”
[ back ] 218. Cf. Wilson 2004:300; Mosconi 2000:250–270. See further discussion of the Themistoclean structure below.
[ back ] 219. Davison 1958:41.
[ back ] 220. The Odeion’s construction has been variously dated, from the 450s to the 430s; see Bundrick 2005:233n160.
[ back ] 221. Plutarch Pericles 13.9–10 (= Cratinus fr. 73 K-A). Cf. Mosconi 2000:276–280; Hose 1993. On the shadowy role of Damon, a sophist and mousikos who served as a close advisor to Pericles, see Wallace 2004, who speculates that Damon’s own ostracism may have been prompted by his musico-political activities in connection to Pericles’ Panathenaic interventions, including the construction of the Odeion. Cf. Wilson 2004:292–293.
[ back ] 222. Kotsidu 1991:141–149; Miller 1997:218–242, who believes the Odeion was not constructed for the purpose of housing the agônes, but that they were held there “possibly quite soon after construction” (234). Cf. Robkin 1976:92–94. Odeion and music: Suda s.v. ᾠδεῖον; Anecdota Graeca 317.33; Hesychius s.v. ᾠδεῖον says that the contests of rhapsodes and citharodes are held in the theater, but before were held in the Odeion. The move to the theater may have taken place as early as the fourth century BCE (see Kotsidu 1991:154).
[ back ] 223. Kotsidu 1991:145 assembles the relevant sources; cf. Miller 1997:220, a “wild heterogeneity” of functions.
[ back ] 224. Cf. Hose 1993:6.
[ back ] 225. Miller 1997:234, who observes that the Odeion “was almost twice as long as the Parthenon and twice the width.” It was the largest roofed structure in the Greek world: Meinel 1980:155.
[ back ] 226. Vos 1986:129 thinks that Pericles may have introduced the boys’ aulodic contest, but the iconography does not support this; cf. Bundrick 2005:232n155.
[ back ] 227. “Plutarch” On Music 8.1134a cites an “inscription (graphê) on the Panathenaic mousikos agôn” that attests to the performance of aulodic elegy at the Panathenaia. If this graphê is connected to the Periclean reforms, it would probably indicate that Pericles’ regulations for performers were not innovative, since aulodic elegy had long been practiced at mousikoi agônês.
[ back ] 228. On psêphismata in the fifth-century Athenian democracy, see Hansen 1978:316.
[ back ] 229. Cf. Davison 1958:36.
[ back ] 230. Cf. Shapiro 1992:57 for the tyrannical precedent for the Periclean reforms; Wilson 2000:36–37.
[ back ] 231. Bundrick 2005:172. Amphora: Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 96.719. Cf. Shapiro 2001 for a broader discussion of red-figured Panathenaic amphoras against the background of Delian politics.
[ back ] 232. Cf. Barron 1983:11.
[ back ] 233. For the inscriptional evidence, see Smarczyk 1990:525–592. For the mid-fifth-century date, see Shapiro 2001:122. Cf. Parker 1996:149–151 on Periclean Athens’ Delian appropriations.
[ back ] 234. Shapiro 1992:58.
[ back ] 235. Cf. Sarti 1992:100–101. We should not, however, be misled by this partially indicative yet nonetheless isolated trend or by the pessimistic absolutism of fourth-century elites such as Plato into imagining a complete rupture between mass and elite at the fifth-century Panathenaic agônes. After all, aristocratic agonists such as Alkimakhos continued to make a showing at the contests, and elites must have continued to patronize the contests as spectators, although there may have been a new sense that such individual displays must now be safely integrated into the democratic structure of the festival. For the Classical Panathenaic procession as a site of democratically contained aristocratic display, see Shapiro 1996:221; Maurizio 1998. The kithara players on the idealized procession of the Parthenon frieze may represent elite Athenians rather than professional agonists; cf. Part I.3.iiin43.
[ back ] 236. On the democratization of Athenian musical ideology signaled by the Odeion, see the exhaustive study of Mosconi 2000; cf. Musti 2000.
[ back ] 237. On Execestides, see n193 above. He seems to have been an influential citharode, as is suggested not only by his multiple victories but also by Hesychius s.v. Ἐξηκεστιδαλκίδαι· παρὰ τὸν Ἐξηκεστίδην καὶ Ἀλκίδην τοὺς κιθαρῳδούς (“Exekestidalkidai: from the citharodes Execestides and Alcides”). We hear nothing else of Alcides, although he may be the same as the Alcaeus, perhaps a Lesbian citharode, who is mentioned in Eupolis Golden Race fr. 303 K-A; cf. Storey 2003a:275. In any case, Execestides and Alcides were stylistically linked. Together they were figured (probably in Old Comedy) as new Terpanders, the co-founders of a line of citharodes, the “Exekestidalkidai.”
[ back ] 238. We do not know the titles of nomoi composed by Phrynis, as we do for those by Timotheus. Phaenias fr. 10 Wehrli ap. Athenaeus 14.638c remarks on the classic status of the nomoi of Phrynis as well as Terpander, which could suggest that the former were still being performed as late as the end of the fourth century BCE. See Aristotle Metaphysics 1.993b15 for the profound influence of Phrynis on Timotheus: εἰ δὲ μὴ Φρῦνις, Τιμόθεος οὐκ ἂν ἐγένετο (“If there had been no Phrynis, there would have been no Timotheus”).
[ back ] 239. I leave out of account the Artemis (PMG 778), which seems to have been a humnos for Artemis of Ephesus rather than a nomos, although the latter genre is not to be entirely excluded (cf. Hordern 2002:11). No fragments of or testimonia about Timotheus’ Laertes (PMG 784) and Phineïdai (PMG 795) survive, so both must remain generically indeterminate. As for the latter, the violent and grotesque aspects of the myth—Phineus’ blinding of his sons, the attacks of the Harpies—would suggest a highly dramatic, volatile musical score. Argonautic-related myth was probably a common subject of early kitharôidia, which might be a point in favor of supposing the Phineïdai was a nomos.
[ back ] 240. Wilamowitz 1903:81 argues cogently that Timotheus’ Niobe was a nomos rather than a dithyramb. Cyclops was very likely a nomos: Wilamowitz 1903:81, 107; cf. Power 2011 (forthcoming). Timotheus did, however, deal with Odyssean themes in two dithyrambs, the Scylla (PMG 793–794 ) and Elpenor (PMG 779). It has been argued that he composed an Odyssean dithyrambic “cycle,” including the Elpenor, Cyclops, Scylla, and Laertes; cf. discussion in Hordern 2002:12–13, who is skeptical. Odyssean scenes had likely been a definitive resource for earlier Classical kitharôidia, and the Scylla and Elpenor (and perhaps the Laertes, if it is not a nomos) could rather represent a dithyrambic appropriation of traditionally citharodic material. Cross-generic influence went both ways; cf. Philoxenus’ dithyrambic Cyclops, discussed below.
[ back ] 241. For the dithyrambic language of the new nomos, see Csapo 2004:215 (“the language [of the nomos was] altered to give it the pathos and volubility of the dithyramb”); Hordern 2002:47–50 on the compounds that were characteristic of new dithyrambic and nomic texts.
[ back ] 242. Cf. Hephaestion On Poems 3.3 for the “free verse” of Timotheus.
[ back ] 243. In the same passage, “polychord and panharmonic” stringed instruments are called mimêmata ‘imitations’ of the aulos. The polukhordia ‘many-notedness’ of the aulos was due to the “aulete’s capacity for generating a wide variety of notes from only a few finger-holes, by means of techniques for breath- and lip-controls” (Barker 1984:132n29). Cf. “Plutarch” On Music 29.1141c; Pindar Isthmian 5.27, Olympian 7.12; Simonides fr. 46 = PMG 947b. Pindar Pythian 12 is a vivid testament to the inherent mimetic capability of the aulos. The “polychord” mimeticism of the aulos was itself increasingly elaborated throughout the fifth century; see, e.g. “Plutarch” On Music 21.1137f–1138b; Athenaeus 14.631e; cf. Barker 1984:97. The emulation of the aulos by the Apollonian kithara finds a comic reflection on a bell krater by Polion (New York 25.78.66, c. 425 BCE). Three men costumed as aged satyrs play kitharai in a confrontational manner before an aulete, who holds his auloi at his sides unplayed, as if he has been upstaged by the satyrs. An inscription running above the heads of the satyrs bills them as “Singers at the Panathenaia”—that is, they are citharodes. The image may be based on a comedy or a satyr play that was critical of “modern” trends in kitharôidia. The middle satyr has a polychord kithara with eight strings.
[ back ] 244. Cf. McClary 1991:80–111.
[ back ] 245. Henehan 1980:24, quoted in McClary 1991:101–102.
[ back ] 246. Wilamowitz 1903:80n2.
[ back ] 247. Cf. Hordern 2002:11.
[ back ] 248. The story about the dithyrambist Cinesias’ critique of the Timothean Artemis (n260 below) may be a reflex of the same sort of territorial rhetoric.
[ back ] 249. Philoxenus PMG 819, 822; cf. Power 2011 (forthcoming).
[ back ] 250. Boardman 1956; cf. n140 above.
[ back ] 251. The dithyrambs performed by Demetrius were a Persephone (by another composer, Nicarchus of Pergamon), an Andromeda (his own composition), and a Horse (Kallippos of Maronea). The inscriptional evidence is now assembled and convincingly restored in Ma 2007:221, 234, who argues for the solo performance of these pieces. On Demetrius cf. Stephanis 1988, no. 636.
[ back ] 252. Cf. Ma 2007:232n28. An earlier record of a victory in dithyramb at the Athenian Lenaia, which is inscribed alongside numerous citharodic victories on a monument that was erected for the early-third-century citharode Nicocles of Tarentum (IG II2 3779), has been taken to mean that Nicocles accompanied the winning dithyramb with his kithara (e.g. Pickard-Cambridge 1927:76, Bélis 1995:1052–1053). But this conclusion is far from certain. Like citharodes such as Arion and Timotheus before him, the talented Nicocles more likely composed dithyramb qua poet for regular choral, aulodic performance (cf. Sutton 1989:100). Another possible Hellenistic citharodic hybrid, however, is attested in Polybius 4.20.8–9: the third-century Arcadians chorally reperformed the nomoi of Timotheus and Philoxenus to the music of the aulos. But perhaps Polybius means to say dithyrambs rather than nomoi, or he is using nomoi in a generic sense (“melodies”), as Philoxenus did not compose citharodic nomoi and Timotheus did compose choral dithyramb. Cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1927:78; West 1992:381–382. The report in Clement of Alexandria Stromateis 1.133 that Timotheus was the first to perform citharodic nomoi with a chorus is highly improbable; it is perhaps based on a misunderstanding of Polybius’ testimony, or the simple fact that Timotheus also composed choral dithyramb. Cf. Hordern 2002:27.
[ back ] 253. See Porter 1994:199–207; cf. Basset 1931:159–161, with further parallels. Herington 1985:276n37 sums up Bassett’s key points: “[Bassett] names Euripides’ Antiope, Hypsipyle, and Phoenissae, besides Orestes [as showing the influence of Timotheus]. Perhaps the most remarkable parallel to which he points is the verbal and metrical correspondence between Orestes 1397 Ἀσιάδι φωνᾷ βασιλέων and line 147 of Timotheus’ poem, Ἀσιάδι φωνᾷ διάτορον.” Cf. Csapo 2004:240, who notes what could be the allusive mention of nomoi in the Eunuch’s song (1426, 1430). To the echoes adduced by Bassett and others I would add a phrase from an earlier play, Trojan Women, καινοὶ ὕμνοι (511), which may echo καινά in Timotheus PMG 796 (cf. Schönewolf 1938:37). This is the only example of kainos describing music in Euripides. It is conceivable that not only Timotheus’ music but also his programmatic vocabulary influenced Euripides. The plots of Antiope and Hypsipyle deal with mythical lyre players and thus draw upon currents in the contemporary Athenian culture of kitharôidia: see Wilson 1999/2000. For Euripides and the New Music in general, see Csapo 1999/2000.
[ back ] 254. Wilamowitz 1903:81n1.
[ back ] 255. See discussion in Part I.17.
[ back ] 256. Agathon supposedly introduced the “effeminate” chromatic genus into tragic music (Plutarch Sympotic Questions 645e), an innovation that was alternately ascribed to Euripides (Michael Psellus [?] On Tragedy 5). Cf. Austin and Olson 2004:87. It may be significant in this regard that Aristoxenus ap. “Plutarch” On Music 20.1137e claims kitharôidia employed the chromatic genus “from the start.” Cf. Hordern 2002:34n97; Part II.5n98.
[ back ] 257. Cf. Muecke 1982:46. The metaphor was also applied to dithyramb, however; Philoxenus earned the nickname Myrmex ‘Ant’ (Suda s.v. Φιλόξενος).
[ back ] 258. Cf. Muecke 1982:46.
[ back ] 259. For Agathon as Dionysus, see Bierl 2001:164–168, 173, 321n60; as Apollo, Muecke 1982:44.
[ back ] 260. PMG 778 = Plutarch On Superstition 10; cf. Plutarch How the Young Man Should Listen to Poetry 4.
[ back ] 261. Bothe 1845:111 thinks that the chorus represented by Agathon consists of Trojan girls, and that the hymn parodies a choral song from a play of his on the fall of Troy. That must remain pure speculation, but it is interesting to note the apparent prominence of the theme in kitharôidia (cf. Part II.9.ii); Euripides’ choral song on the fall of Troy in his Trojan Women alludes to the conventions of the citharodic hymn (511–515).
[ back ] 262. See Austin and Olson 2004:96 for the preferability of δοκίμων (Schöne) to the transmitted δόκιμον; cf. Muecke 1982:48.
[ back ] 263. A scholiast to Women at the Thesmophoria 120 in fact claims that Ἀσιάδος κρούματα is a parody of a passage from the Erechtheus of Euripides (= Euripides fr. 64 Austin = 370 N). Other mentions of the Asiatic kithara: Cyclops 443–444; Hypsipyle fr. 64 II.98 Bond. Strabo 10.3.17 cites a line from an unnamed poet of uncertain date that mentions the kithara Asiatis; cf. Cassio 2000:106.
[ back ] 264. Webster 1967:18.
[ back ] 265. The glosses of Asias kithara by Duris of Samos (FGrH 76 F 81) and in “Plutarch” On Music 6.1133c (perhaps drawn from Heraclides of Pontus) both explain the term in connection with the Lesbian citharodes and their proximity to Asia, by which Lydia above all is meant. See Cassio 2000:107; for Pindar’s reception of this tradition in fr. 125 S-M, see Part III.15.
[ back ] 266. Cf. Wilson 2004:305n82; Cassio 2000:109–110.
[ back ] 267. See Wilson 2009. The satyric Panathenaic citharodes on Polion’s bell krater play Thracian kitharai (cf. n243 above).
[ back ] 268. Cf. Austin and Olson 2004:111–112. For Agathon as Anacreon, see Snyder 1974; Muecke 1982:50. It is unclear whether one or both of the stringed instruments are held or played by Agathon. They are mentioned by Mnesilochus in an inventory of seemingly random objects, including an oil-flask, a mirror, and a sword, that have apparently come out with Agathon on the ekkuklêma (137–140). Most of them must be on the ground around Agathon, but he is presumably wearing the chiton and the headband that are mentioned as well. It is worth noting that the lyre could act as the default sign for poet-composer or trainer in any genre, even aulodic ones, and this probably reflects real compositional and rehearsal methods. On the Pronomus vase, Pronomus is shown with his auloi, while the poet Demetrius sits near a lyre (cf. Wilson 2000:352–353). Another figure, standing next to Pronomus and holding a lyre, named Charinus, is probably the chorus trainer (cf. Waywell 1973:268, Trendall and Webster 1971:29). So it would be appropriate to show Agathon with a stringed instrument as he composes. Of course, if he does hold the lyre or barbitos, he may be only pretending to play it. That is, the comic aulete may be supplying the actual musical accompaniment. The visual-aural effect would nicely iconicize the Dionysian “aulization” of the Apollonian kithara that is thematized in the song itself.
[ back ] 269. Such “playing the citharode” may already have been a part of the Dionysian boundary-blurring of the Anacreontic symposium/kômos; see Part III.15n275. The krokôtos was typically worn by women (Austin and Olson 2004:102)—Agathon is explicitly cross-dressing—but agonistic musicians also wore costly dyed garments. The famous aulete Antigeneidas wore a krokôtos when he accompanied a dithyramb called The Comast, perhaps a work of Philoxenus (Suda s.v. Ἀντιγενίδης = PMG 825).
[ back ] 270. Cf. Austin and Olson 2004:110–111.
[ back ] 271. Cf. n237 above.
[ back ] 272. “Self-staging”: Nagy 2007a:245–246; cf. Bierl 2001:158–165.
[ back ] 273. See Cooper 1920.
[ back ] 274. Austin and Olson 2004:96.
[ back ] 275. On the “travesties of gender” in the representation of Agathon, see Zeitlin 1996:383–384; cf. Muecke 1982, who sees the hymned kitharis as “the deified personification of Agathon’s μελοποιία” (48).
[ back ] 276. For θηλυδριῶδες, see Austin and Olson 2004:98, with bibliography. Mnesilochus’ exclamation of wonder at the New Music of Agathon may allude to the eroticized awe shown by Apollo at Hermes’ proto-citharodic performance in Homeric Hymn to Hermes 436–462. Like Agathon, Hermes has sung a lyric hymn; like Mnesilochus, a somewhat confounded Apollo interrupts to ask a series of questions about the identity of the performer and his “new” tekhnê. Of course, Mnesilochus’ reaction is far less politely expressed and far more qualified than Apollo’s.
[ back ] 277. See Csapo 2004:230–232.
[ back ] 278. Cf. Totaro 1991:153–154 for the erotic double entendres in the passage.
[ back ] 279. “For now everyone knows Arignotus who knows the color white (to leukon) and the Orthios nomos.” See Totaro 1991:155–157 for the sexual punning. At Women at the Thesmophoria 191–192, we learn that Agathon is good looking, white skinned (leukos), clean shaven, and has the voice of a woman (gunaikophônos). Arignotus, we might surmise, is similarly a citharodic exponent of this glamorously androgynous New Music “look.”
[ back ] 280. Cf. Dover 1989:74.
[ back ] 281. In light of such an implicit rivalry, it is worth considering Timotheus’ own conspicuous attempts at humor. In the sphragis of Persians, he borrows the tropes and verbal style of the comic invective that was leveled at the New Music composers (himself included) to attack his own New Music rivals: μουσοπαλαιολύμαι ‘defilers of the Old Muse’, λωβητῆρες ἀοιδᾶν ‘debauchers of songs’ (215–218; for the imagery, cf. Pherecrates fr. 155 K-A). Similarly, at PMG 802, from the sphragis of another nomos, he uses the comic compound ἰωνοκάμπτας ‘bender of Ionian melody’ to undercut his rival Phrynis (cf. n98 above for other comic elements in this fragment). Probably also comedic is the speech of the Phrygian captive in Persians 146–161, with its solecistic Ionic Greek. The speech may well have been played for laughs; it has clear affinities with comic imitations of barbarians trying to speak Greek. Cf. Herington 1985:156; Hall 2006:279; Colvin 1999:56; van Minnen 1997:255.
[ back ] 282. For the rivalry and even appropriation inherent in comedy’s critique of New Music in general, see Zimmermann 1993; Dobrov and Urios-Apirisi 1995.
[ back ] 283. The evidence is the fourth-century BCE Paestan bell krater by Asteas (Salerno Pc 1812), which appears to illustrate a scene from Demes. See Taplin 1993:42, with ill. 16.16; cf. Storey 2003a:169–170, 332. On Phrynis’ clean-shaven appearance, perhaps a reflection of his androgynous New Music persona, see Part I.7n123.
[ back ] 284. Cf. Storey 2003a:275, 333. Two other possible “para-citharodic” scenes: (1) In Plato Women Returning from Sacrifice fr. 10 K-A someone (a citharode?) asks to be brought a kithara and costume; perhaps a citharodic performance followed. (2) If the satyric “Singers at the Panathenaia” on Polion’s krater were inspired by a comedy or satyr play (cf. n146 above), we might assume some parodic agôn was enacted in the original drama.
[ back ] 285. Kambitsis 1972:38 compares the portrait of a cross-dressing Agathon in Women at the Thesmophoria. Bothe 1825–1826 ad loc. already noted the allusion to the citharodic skeuê in γυναικόμιμον μόρφωμα. For the commentary on contemporary kitharôidia built into Antiope, see Wilson 1999/2000, who shows Euripides’ Amphion to be a sociomusically overdetermined figure, not entirely dissimilar to Agathon: part new-style citharode wowing the masses with his musical flights of fancy (fr. 911 N, with Wilson, p441), part anti-demotic aristocrat entrenched in the “lyric counterculture” of the symposium.
[ back ] 286. “Mad, sad, and foreign voices”: Hall 1999:101n27.
[ back ] 287. Cf. Gambetti 2001:49–50, who identifies the drowning anax as Xerxes’ brother Ariamenes. The man is apparently called an “islander” at line 47, however. If the epithet is to be taken literally—and not as a metaphorical description of his shipwrecked state—Hordern’s suggestion that he is from the islands of the Red Sea appeals (2002:156).
[ back ] 288. A recurring theme/image in Persians is the barbarians’ loss of control over their mouths (stoma, cf. 85, 91, 148), grotesquely marking their divorce from reason and articulate logos, their animalistic reduction to pathetic bodies emanating unrestrained sound. The teeth gnashing (γόμφους ἐμπρίων, 69) of the drowning man recalls a feature of the auletic Puthikos nomos, an instrumental representation of Apollo’s slaying of the Pythian serpent. Pollux Onomasticon 4.84 says that one section of the nomos includes “gnashings (ὀδοντισμόν) like those of the serpent as it grinds its teeth (συμπρίοντος τοὺς ὀδόντας) after being pierced with arrows” (trans. Barker 1984:51). Timotheus may have taken this bit of auletic mimesis as a model for his aria. The gaping mouth of the lamenting Gorgon was the source of the “music” Athena first adapted for the aulos: Pindar Pythian 12.20–21.
[ back ] 289. Hall 2006:278.
[ back ] 290. On the text and translation, see Hordern 2002:219. On the debt of the King’s lament to the choral kommos of Aeschylus’ Persians, see Rosenbloom 2006:153.
[ back ] 291. Cf. “Plutarch” On Music 15.1136b; Janssen 1984:115.
[ back ] 292. The performance of Persians has been masterfully reconstructed along similar lines in Herington 1985:151–160; cf. Hall 2006:275–280; West 1992:363.
[ back ] 293. τ‹ῷ› τε νικῆ[σ]αι παύσασθ[αι] καταφ̣[ρ]ο̣[νούμ]ενον [αὐτίκα τὸ]ν̣ Τι̣[μόθεον], Satyrus Life of Euripides (P.Oxy 1176 fr. 39 XXII, with supplements of Wilamowitz = T 4.24 Kovacs).
[ back ] 294. On Satyrus as biographer, see now Schorn 2004.
[ back ] 295. Cf. Schorn 2004:344–345 for the latter possibility. Maas 1938:1336 is inclined to accept the collaboration with Euripides, arguing that “das συμποιεῖν ist in jener Zeit nicht selten.” He compares Aristophanes Frogs 944, where Aristophanes has Euripides acknowledge his collaboration in the writing of his monodies with a man named Cephisophon; cf. Frogs 1408, 1452–1453; 596 K-A, where Cephisophon’s help in writing music (melôidia) is emphasized. See further references and discussion in Sommerstein 2003/2004. But that collaboration may have had more basis in the comic imagination than in reality; Cephisophon was said to have been Euripides’ slave and the seducer of his wife. At Women at the Thesmophoria 157–158, dramatic collaboration (on a satyr play) is figured as a sex act. Cf. Hordern 2002:16.
[ back ] 296. Cf. Hordern 2002:5. Scullion 2003 argues that Euripides’ Macedonian sojourn was a posthumous biographical fiction.
[ back ] 297. A point made by Schorn 2004:345n853.
[ back ] 298. For Euripides’ controversial reception, see Stevens 1956; Roselli 2005. From the perspective of fourth-century conservative elites, the fifth-century New Music was an entirely populist phenomenon. But there are indications that in reality certain fifth-century elites were the earliest appreciators of modern musical techniques; cf. the praise of the eleven-stringed lyre in the sympotic elegy of Ion of Chios (fr. 32 West, with discussion in Power 2007).
[ back ] 299. Cf. Power 2011 (forthcoming) on the lower tolerance for innovation in the nomos versus dithyramb and drama. It is notable that in the litany of the New Music transgressors against Mousikê in Pherecrates fr. 155 K-A, Phrynis and Timotheus (qua citharode) top the list, trumping the dithyrambists Melanippides and Cinesis with their outrages.
[ back ] 300. Proclus Chrestomathia ap. Photius Bibliotheca 320b8–10 preserves testimony that suggests Phrynis similarly attempted to avoid excessive kainotomia, perhaps more carefully at an earlier point in his career, when he won at the Panathenaia. We should recall that Timotheus may have produced “adaptations” of Terpandrean nomoi. See Part III.5.
[ back ] 301. Basset 1931; cf. Hansen 1984 (which includes a review of earlier conjectures); Janssen 1984 (who opts for the lower end of the 412–408 window); Herington 1985:151–152; van Minnen 1997; Phillips 2003:211–213; Wilson 2004:305–306. Hordern 2002:15–17 is critical of the arguments for an Athenian first performance, but offers no conjectures of his own.
[ back ] 302. Bassett 1931:163n1; Herington 1985:151–152 and Phillips 2003:212–213 are more confident in assigning the premier to the Panathenaia of 410/9. Hansen 1984 dates the Athenian premier to 410/9, but thinks Persians was performed at the festival of Artemis Munichia, which involved the annual commemoration of the battle of Salamis. The idea is appealing, but there is no evidence for mousikoi agônes at this festival, which had considerably lower wattage than the Panathenaia. The Panathenaia had its own historical Salamis connections. Bowra 1961:344 has suggested that Simonides’ choral melic Sea-battle of Salamis (PMG 536) was sung as a prosodion in the Panathenaic procession, accompanying the ship-cart whose “sail” was the peplos of Athena. Cf. Rutherford 1990:200–201, who speculates that the Sea-battle (and/or its companion, piece, the Sea-battle at Artemision) was a paean; cf. Rutherford 1996:169–173. (Heliodorus Aethiopica 1.10.1 says that a paean for Athena was sung by ephebes during the procession of the ship-cart at the Great Panathenaia.) The date of the introduction of the ship-cart is uncertain. One scholar has recently offered convincing arguments for a date “shortly after the Persian Wars,” which would suit the chronology of the Simonides poem. She argues for the use of “one of the boats from the battle of Salamis to celebrate and recall the saving of the city,” a symbolic gesture that would be in line with the overall focus of the festival on the “common theme of salvation” (Barber 1992:114, 209n27; cf. Mansfield 1985:54, 68, 101). The emphasis on political salvation in the epilogue of Persians (237–240) is notable in this respect.
[ back ] 303. Wilamowitz 1903: “Kein Themistocles, kein Aristeides, weder Salamis noch Psyttaleia genannt, überhaupt kein Eigenname” (61).
[ back ] 304. Wilamowitz 1903:63 proposed a specific occasion, the Panionion at Mycale in 398–396 BCE. However, in a follow-up to his study of Persians published three years later (1906:49–50) Wilamowitz changed his mind about the location, deciding now in favor of Miletus, on the grounds that there is no evidence for mousikoi agônes at the Panionion; cf. Janssen 1984:13.
[ back ] 305. Aron 1920:37, 40 and Ebeling 1925:318 argue for a performance at the Ephesia festival in Ephesus between 399 and 396 BCE. Rosenbloom 2006:149 has recently advocated this line as well: “The song’s first performance fits better between 396 and 394 [at Ephesus] when the Spartan king Agesilaus led an invasion of the Persian empire.” Gambetti 2001:63 proposes a first performance in Miletus in 404–403 BCE “davanti un pubblico spartano o filo-spartano.”
[ back ] 306. See especially Janssen 1984:13–22.
[ back ] 307. Cf. the remarks of Wilamowitz 1903:39 on the continuing Athenian cultural hegemony in the fourth century. In the Harmonides of Lucian a dialogue is imagined between the fourth-century BCE Theban aulete Timotheus and his ambitious student Harmonides, in which the status of Athens as the musical “big time” is taken for granted. Cf. Wilson 2000:336n82.
[ back ] 308. Basset 1931:153–154; Janssen 1984:15.
[ back ] 309. Cf. Hordern 2002:129. On similar attempts to maintain a balance between Athenian “localization” and interpolitical appeal in the genre of tragedy, see Taplin 1999.
[ back ] 310. On the potential of Salamis to express at once both Panhellenic and Athenian pride, see Hall 1996:1–12, with specific reference to Aeschylus’ Persians, which is also notably reticent to name (Greek) names. Goldhill 1988:192 sees this reticence as reflective of democratic ideology: “[T]he subsumption of the individual into the collectivity of the polis is a basic factor in fifth-century Athenian democratic ideology. This may provide an interesting light in which to view the anonymity of the Greek soldiers in [Aeschylus’] Persae. It is as if they are being portrayed as a unified, collective body (which can be contrasted with the lists of Persian contingents, Persian dead, and Persian kings).” Perhaps a similarly democratic subtext lies beneath the anonymous collectivity of Timotheus’ Greeks.
[ back ] 311. Cf. n347 below. Compliment: Wilamowitz 1903:61.
[ back ] 312. Cf. Phillips 2003:212–213 on the morale-building effect of Persians in this context of geopolitical anxiety.
[ back ] 313. Plutarch Philopoemen 11; trans. Campbell 1993a:92. Cf. Pausanias 8.50.3.
[ back ] 314. Podlecki 1966:8–26; cf. Loraux 1986:161–163; Euben 1986, 1997:66, 89–90.
[ back ] 315. Pelling 1997:9–12, who concludes, “We can believe that from the outset both Marathon and Salamis became Panathenian themes, themes which all Athenians would thrill to, not the stuff of partisan ideology” (12).
[ back ] 316. Cf. n353 below. It is fair to note, however, that one later-fifth-century oligarchic elite, “Xenophon” (the Old Oligarch), who criticizes the bullying political hegemony of the oarsmen in democratic Athens (Constitution of the Athenians 1.2), claims that the dêmos has done away with elites who practice traditional mousikê, which it ironically does not consider kalon ‘noble’, while it “sings … and dances and mans the fleet” (1.13). See Wilson 1997:93–94 on this passage.
[ back ] 317. Loraux 1986:161.
[ back ] 318. Thus the argument of Loraux 1986:161–162. Cf. the counter-arguments of van Wees 1997:172n16, who sees in the scene an expression of Aeschylus’ pro-hoplitic sympathies.
[ back ] 319. So of course did Miletus and the cities of Ionia, which fought on the losing side at Salamis (Herodotus 7.94). The lack of definite historical referents in the Persians serves, however, to obscure that memory.
[ back ] 320. Though Plutarch Philopoemen 11 sets it up as a happy coincidence: Philopoemen and his troops “had just entered the theater, when by chance (kata tukhên) Pylades the citharode was singing the Persians of Timotheus.”
[ back ] 321. Hall 1996:1. An earlier, influential tragic treatment of Salamis was Phrynichus’ Phoenician Women. The music from this play endured as representative “classical music” into the later fifth century, beloved by the older generation. The chorus of “good old boys” in Aristophanes Wasps 219–221 calls Philocleon out of his house by singing the “old-fashioned honeyed Sidon songs of Phrynichus”; cf. Frogs 1299–1300.
[ back ] 322. It may be significant that Aeschylus was known for borrowing from the old-time citharodic nomoi of his time when he composed his choral odes (Aristophanes Frogs 1281–1300), making him an especially appropriate model for a citharode in need of traditional credibility. On the verbal and narrative echoes of the tragic Persians in the nomos, see Croiset 1904:330–335, Reinach 1903:78n2; Brussich 1970:69–71, 78–79; Janssen 1984, index s.v. Aeschylus Pers.; Hordern 2002:122; Hall 2006:275–280; Rosenbloom 2006:153–154. There were revivals of Aeschylean dramas, including Persians, in the later fifth century (Hall 1996:2; Biles 2006/2007). We may note the apparent irony in the fact that Timotheus’ own “revival” of Aeschylus likely anticipated by five years the tragedian’s more fantastically imagined revival (from the dead) in the Frogs of Aristophanes, that great critic of the New Music. But for both poets, Aeschylus represents an effective figure of rhetoric, a means of mobilizing the nostalgia for an idealized past to authorize their respective cultural (and, more so for Aristophanes, political) positions.
[ back ] 323. Bassett 1931:159 gestures toward this interpretation. Cf. Euben 1997:64–90 on how Salamis “became bounded, memorialized, and culturally inscribed, thereby organizing and legitimating certain forms of Athenian thought and action” (p66). The historical epic Persika by the innovative rhapsode-poet Choerilus of Samos offers some interesting parallels to Persians. The two works were probably composed and performed in Athens at roughly the same time (cf. Huxley 1969:12–13). The Persika was a more expansive work than Persians, but the poem is cited in Suda s.v. Χοιρίλος as The Victory of the Athenians over Xerxes, which suggests that the battle of Salamis was the focus of the work or at least a central episode. The Suda attests to the enormous success of the epic in Athens: “Choerilus received a golden stater per line of the poem and it was decreed that it be publicly recited along with the works of Homer.” If (at least partly) true, the testimony indicates that Persika, or rather an Athenocentric excerpt (probably devoted to Salamis), was so popular that it surmounted the long-established Panathenaic Rule of the Panathenaia, whereby only the Iliad and Odyssey were performed (cf. Kotsidu 1991:41). This speaks to the compelling power of the Salamis theme to legitimize (and reward monetarily) new works at the Panathenaic agônes, something Timotheus clearly also recognized.
[ back ] 324. Cf. Hansen 1990:192; Korzeniewski 1974:38. On the secondary proemial function of the arkha, see Part II.15.
[ back ] 325. Cf. Herington 1985:154 on the traditionalizing rhetoric of the hexameter.
[ back ] 326. Fr. 77 S-M ap. Plutarch On the Fame of the Athenians 7.350a. The dithyramb was sufficiently well known in later fifth-century Athens to be parodied in Aristophanes Knights 1239 (according to scholia ad Acharnians 637). See Zimmermann 1992:53–54. Athens is called the Ἑλλάδος ἔρεισμα ‘bulwark of Greece’ in the opening lines of the dithyramb (fr. 76 S-M); the phrase may be faintly echoed by Ἑλλάδι κόσμον in PMG 788. Cf. Hordern 2002:121–122.
[ back ] 327. Bassett 1931:155; cf. Hordern 2002:128, who proposes “the Athenian dêmos” and reviews other suggestions.
[ back ] 328. Reinach 1903:67 suggests either the battle itself or Ares as subject. Cf. Bassett 1931:155n1.
[ back ] 329. A reading proposed in Rosenbloom 2006:148; already developed in Power 2001:122–124.
[ back ] 330. Cf. the description of Pindar’s own songmaking as teukhein at Isthmian 1.14. On Pindaric metaphors of “songcraft,” see Ford 2002:113–130.
[ back ] 331. Nagy 1990b:145n45, citing Pindar fr. 194 S-M and Odyssey 8.489. Cf. Walsh 1984:8–13; Stehle 2001:111; Ford 2002 passim. Epinician song regularly refers to itself as a kosmos and its effects as kosmein, e.g. Bacchylides 3.95, 12.7; Pindar Nemean 6.46.
[ back ] 332. Cf. Walsh 1984:95.
[ back ] 333. Kosmos may analogously describe political constitutions (e.g. Herodotus 1.65.4) as well as the transcendent ordering of the universe (e.g. Xenophon Memorabilia 1.1.11): Nagy 1990b:145; cf. Ford 2002:36–37. Nagy suggests that the expression τειχίζωμεν … ποικίλον κόσμον ‘let us construct an intricate kosmos’ in fr. 194.2–3 S-M figures the act of choral songmaking and performance as Amphion’s construction of the walls (teikhê) of Thebes, an idealized conflation of musical and political kosmos. Could there be a latent reference to the Amphionic myth in PMG 788 as well? We will return to Timotheus’ claims to a “cosmic kitharôidia” below.
[ back ] 334. One could see in the final word of the nomos, eunomia (240), a sort of ring-composition echo of eleutheria in the first line. It is as if Timotheus wanted to appropriate as equivalent programmatic terms for his new music the ideologically resonant catchwords of both the fifth-century Athenian democracy (see Hordern 2002:128 on the “highly emotional associations” of eleutheria in Athens) and the Spartan oligarchy (on eunomia, see Section 11.iii below).
[ back ] 335. Similarly, Pindar can refer to the victor or his victory as a kosmos for his polis, e.g. Nemean 2.8, where Timodemus is a κόσμον Ἀθάναις ‘kosmos for Athens’.
[ back ] 336. Cf. Ford 2002:111. Similarly, if more obliquely, the “brilliant foundation (krêpis) of freedom” laid by the Athenian sailors at Artemision also describes its choral celebration through Pindar’s song (fr. 77 S-M). For krêpis ‘foundation’ as a musico-poetic and performative metaphor, see Pindar fr. 194.1 S-M, with comments in Ford 2002:125.
[ back ] 337. See Perysinakis 2006 for discussion of variant supplements and readings.
[ back ] 338. Cf. Stehle 2001:111; Perysinakis 2006.
[ back ] 339. Cf. n349 below.
[ back ] 340. Cf. Herington 1985:158; Nieddu 1993; Wilson 2004:305–306; Power 2007:204–205.
[ back ] 341. Athenaeus 3.122c–d. The context of the citation is itself interesting, however. Timotheus is quoted by Cynulcus, who is defending his less-than-classical use of the Greek language against the (anticipated) criticism of the classicizing lexicist Ulpian. An interesting, witty choice on Cynulcus’ part: Timotheus is invoked as a classical “authority” to justify the rejection of (oppressive) classical authority! The perception of Timotheus as a “classic of anti-classicism” articulated here well reflects the paradoxical nature—consecrated iconoclasm—of his Nachleben.
[ back ] 342. Cf. Herington 1985:152; Nieddu 1993:526–527; Wilamowitz 1903:65. Alternately, they could have been sung after the success of Persians, when Timotheus was more confident in the reception of his kainotomia. On possible Terpandrean allusions, see Part III.5.
[ back ] 343. For the democratic musico-political subtext of these lines, contrasted with the negative image of the closed-off “Spartan aristocracy” that criticizes Timotheus’ music, see Wilson 2004:306; Power 2007:205.
[ back ] 344. See Part III.5 on Timotheus’ self-promotional re-envisioning of citharodic tradition in these lines.
[ back ] 345. The comic-sounding compound μουσοπαλαιολύμαι ‘defilers of the old Muse’ has been taken to mean “people who spoil the Muse in an old-fashioned manner” (Janssen 1984:135; similarly, Wilamowitz 1903:27, Meyer 1923:156, Nieddu 1993:525, Hordern 2002:239). Brussich 1970:73n80 notes “una forte ambiguità di significato (μουσοπαλαιολύμης = corruttore dell’antica musa o antico corruttore della musa”). But Campbell’s “corrupters of the old muse” is more in keeping with the rhetorical sophistication of the sphragis (1993a:111); cf. Wilson 2004:306n83. On the invective force of kêrukes ‘heralds’, cf. Hordern 2002:240. There is likely a “meta-agonistic” level of humor. Timotheus could be saying that his foils are no more artful than the heralds or criers who announce victories to the large crowds at agônes (cf. κᾶρυξ, PMG 802.1). The inference would be that his opponents should not be competing at citharodic agônes, but rather performing the less elevated, unmusical duty of the herald. Heralds themselves did have their own contests, as Hordern notes (cf. Pollux Onomasticon 4.91; Demosthenes 19.338); these had, of course, none of the prestige of the citharodic contests.
[ back ] 346. Cf. n98 and n281 above.
[ back ] 347. The Spartan hostility described by Timotheus was surely real. He was no doubt persona non grata at the Carneia thanks to his polukhordia and related innovations (although the anecdotal tradition about the ephors cutting his strings more probably derives from the Persians itself than from any one historical event). But the Spartans of the Persians are above all a rhetorical construct designed to secure Athenian favor, on two levels. First, Timotheus pointedly conflates their essential aristocratic-oligarchic character and their excess hostility (“the great leader [megas hagemôn] of Sparta, well-born and age-old, a people teeming with the flowers of youthful manhood, buffets me, flaming, and drives at me with fiery blame,” 206–210). The implication is that for an Athenian to resist Timotheus on the grounds that he dishonors music is to take a typically Spartan position. The Spartans are at war with Athens, and with Timothean kitharôidia; a de facto alliance is intimated between the latter. Thus Timotheus’ new humnoi become a political issue: what is at stake in their reception is not merely the expression of individual taste but the affirmation of shared political identity. Cf. Janssen 1984:17–20. Further, the curious reference to Sparta’s megas hagemôn ‘great leader’ may serve to assimilate Sparta to Persia and its megas Basileus ‘great King’ (cf. Hordern 2002:325). Such assimilation would be especially noticeable if Persians was performed in 410 BCE, soon after Sparta had formed an alliance with Persia. We may note too that the image of Sparta as “a people teeming with the flowers of youthful manhood (hêba)” echoes the lament of Xerxes, who refers to his lost force as the “many-manned hêba of young men” (ἥβαν νέων πολύανδρον, 180–181). This phrase recalls a series of lines from Aeschylus’ Persians, in which the army of Persia is said to be its anthos ‘flower’ and hêbê (59, 252, 512, 922–927). Cf. Tuplin 1994: “Sparta and Persia could strike any Athenian as a natural pair, since they were states whose enmity played a crucial role in creating, defining and (conjointly) destroying the Empire” (136).
[ back ] 348. For the hard-to-miss musico-political punning of eunomia in Persians, see Bassett 1931:163; Janssen 1984:148; Csapo 2004:239–240; Wilson 2004:306.
[ back ] 349. Rutherford 1996:182 and 2007b notes the probability of an allusion in epikouros (202) to Simonides’ Plataea elegy, in which Simonides also invokes the Muse as an epikouros in praising the Spartan-led victory at Plataea (fr. 11.21 W2). On the “agonistic” tenor of the allusion, see Wilson 2004:305n82, with further bibliography. On the semantics of epikouros in Simonides’ poem, cf. Stehle 2001. For Simonides as a model of innovation for Timotheus, see Part III.5–6.
[ back ] 350. For a possible reference in these lines to the age-graded choral culture of the Spartan Gymnopaidiai, see Power 2007:205n97.
[ back ] 351. “Old Guard”: Wilson 2004:305.
[ back ] 352. Cf. Bassett 1931:163.
[ back ] 353. See e.g. “Xenophon” (the Old Oligarch) Constitution of the Athenians 1.8–9, who rails against Athenians’ rejection of eunomia in place of democratic kakonomia. Stenger 2004:294n115 is a concise review of scholarship on eunomia in fifth-century Athens; cf. Bowra 1961:414–415 on the semantic evolution of the word in poetry. The Old Oligarch is also a stern critic of demotic musical culture (1.13). It would be a mistake, however, to assume that with his assertion of eunomia Timotheus is trying only to answer elite, anti-democratic critics. Accusations of paranomia were probably more widely made among the dêmos, as the testimony of Satyrus and Plutarch suggests.
[ back ] 354. Cf. Wilson 2004:306. Eunomia may already at the time of the performance of Persians have been a politically contested concept, just as eleutheria was contested and claimed by the Spartans in the later fifth century; cf. Boegehold 1999:34 on the ambiguous status of personified Eunomia in late-fifth-century Attic vase painting. Of course, the concept had cosmic implications that transcended any one city-state. Hesiod Theogony 902 has Eunomia flourishing alongside Eirênê ‘Peace’ (Εὐνομίην … καὶ Εἰρήνην τεθαλυῖαν) and Dikê ‘Justice’ as children of Zeus and Themis (collectively, the Horai ‘Seasons’). Persians 240 (εἰρήναν θάλλουσαν εὐνομίᾳ) may well allude to this line, but the association is traditional. Cf. related references in Hordern 2002:248; Ostwald 1969:62–75, with more on the Athenian context. Hansen 1990 argues that PMG fr. adesp. 1018b, a prayer to the Fates to send Eunomia, Dikê, and Eirênê to “this city” (tande polin) is a fragment from the prooimion to Persians, because its diction and choriambic meter echo those in the epilogue of the nomos. But Bowra’s attribution of the verses to a choral song of Simonides, tentative as it is, remains far more convincing (1961:404–415). For Simonidean poetry as an intertext for Persians, see n349 above and the discussion of PMG 788 on allusions to the Plataea Elegy. If Bowra is correct to suspect that the “Prayer to the Fates” was composed to support the dominance of an oligarchic faction (perhaps in post-Persian War Corinth, p415), then an allusion to it by Timotheus would represent an analogous repurposing of oligarchic poetic capital within the “democratic” nomos.
[ back ] 355. Note the generic deictics (τάνδε πόλιν, λαῷ τῷδε) of the epilogue. As Herington 1985:158–159 observes, “The final quatrain of the song seems designed to be sung anywhere, any time, not merely at the premiere in Athens … from now on the Persians will presumably become a standard item in our migrant poet’s baggage.” Cf. Janssen 1984:147. Wilamowitz 1903:64 understood Timotheus to be indicating his pro-Spartan leanings by ending the nomos with eunomia. While this is to overlook the sly, appropriative rhetoric that attended the announcement of the term in Athens, it is entirely possible that secondary audiences in oligarchic and pro-Spartan cities heard Timotheus’ claim to eunomia in a straightforward, totally unironic sense.
[ back ] 356. On the difficulties presented by the form πρωτέος, see Basset 1931:162n1; Janssen 1984:145; Horden 2002:246. The meaning, however, is clearly not temporal, but “first” in the sense of “foremost.” The reference to “Achaeans” in line 236 has caused more strictly interpretive problems. Janssen 1984:145 argues reasonably that it should be taken as an expression of Panhellenic sentiment, in keeping with the generic tenor of the nomos. The synecdoche is traditional, Homeric. Wilamowitz 1903:62 cannot admit this, because it would read as an insult to Sparta. He would see instead an oblique invocation of the supposed ancestral links between Ionians and Achaeans in the Peloponnese (Herodotus 1.145), and thus a deliberate snub of Athens and compliment to Sparta (i.e. the implication that soil shared in the deep past trumps Ionian-Athenian blood ties). Cf. now Rosenbloom 2006:150. But, as Wilamowitz admits, this argument is weakened by the fact that it was the Achaeans who supposedly drove the Ionians out of the Peloponnese (according to Herodotus). Basset 1931:162 also sees a reference to the ancient Peloponnesian ties between Ionians, Achaeans, and Spartans, but one that suggests an entirely different political position-taking: Timotheus is implicitly claiming that the Ionians are the “real” Achaeans, and so represent a challenge to the Peloponnesian hegemony of the Spartans (cf. the use of laos here to 209, where it describes the Spartans). Herodotus 1.145 emphasizes the fundamental homology between the 12 cities of Achaea and Ionia, which is something Timotheus may be picking up on as well. Some combination of Janssen’s generic interpretation and Bassett’s passive-aggressive one is certainly possible.
[ back ] 357. The markedness of the epithet was perhaps still more striking in light of the fact that, at least in the 420s BCE, the cities of Ionia were unwalled (Thucydides 3.33.2). Gorman 2001:237–238 suggests that the absence of walls was a deliberate consequence of Athenian imperial policy, and that after the revolt of 412 Miletus would have been free to build a wall. The temptation might then be to read Timotheus’ δυωδεκατειχὴς λαός as a coded defiance of Athenian imperialism. But there is no real indication in Thucydides’ narrative of the Athenian attempts to retake the city (8.24–27) that anything like a proper wall had or had not been constructed in Miletus after 412. Archaeological remains of a Milesian city wall date to the early fourth or late fifth century (Gorman, p241), but it is impossible to connect with any certainty its construction to the events in 412. (Conceivably, the wall could have been constructed before 412, when Athens and Miletus were still allies.) The metaphorical/mythical sense of “walls” in δυωδεκατειχής is uppermost.
[ back ] 358. For the emphasis placed upon the civic inclusiveness of Timothean kitharôidia by the image of the “treasure-house of the Muses,” see Power 2007:205.
[ back ] 359. Indeed, Timotheus seems to use the (archaizing) word kitharis to mean not just the kithara but the entire medium of kitharôidia. Cf. Pindar Pythian 5.65.
[ back ] 360. As Hordern 2002:245 notes, “Although the confederation may not have been in existence in the later fifth century, it is possible that its memory was strongly preserved and had a deep emotional content.”
[ back ] 361. Cf. Phillips 2003:224n79; cf. Hordern 2002:6–7.
[ back ] 362. Cf. Bassett 1931:159; Phillips 2003:212–213.
[ back ] 363. On the verbal and metrical parallels between the two passages, see Korzeniewski 1974:23.
[ back ] 364. Rutherford 2001:85.
[ back ] 365. Cf. Herington 1985:158.
[ back ] 366. The verb keladein and the noun kelados are regularly used to describe the traditional style of singing practiced by (male, Greek) paeanic (e.g. Aeschylus Persians 388; Bacchylides 16.12; Euripides Heracles 691–694, Ion 93) and epinician choruses (e.g. Pindar Nemean 4.16, Olympian 1.9). The verb notably occurs in a non-choral context as a self-referential “performative future” in one of the Terpandrean citharodic prooimia (fr 4.2 Gostoli).
[ back ] 367. For the sociopolitical connotations of this term, see van Minnen 1997:253. The chorus, itself a symbol of communal solidarity, here “performs” the harmonious political equality that exists among its members.
[ back ] 368. Perhaps involving a modulation to the Dorian mode. Paeans and Dorian: “Plutarch” On Music 17.1136f; scholia ad Pindar Olympian 1.26. Cf. Rutherford 2001:80. Rutherford makes the point that references to the Lydian and Locrian harmoniai in the paeans of Pindar and later composers suggest that modes besides the Dorian could be used in the genre (80–81; cf. 383–384). This was probably the case, but it seems clear that the most traditional/male/Hellenic choral song genre was generally associated with the most traditional/male/Hellenic harmonia. Moderate, manly ethos of Dorian: Plato Republic 399a–c is the locus classicus; cf. too Plato Laches 188d, Heraclides Ponticus ap. Athenaeus 14.624d; “Plutarch” On Music 16.1136d–f.
[ back ] 369. The regularity of the Aeolic meter that is introduced in 196–201 is continued through much of the sphragis. This suggests a continuity of mood and perhaps music.
[ back ] 370. Cf. McClary 1991, who examines the way that “mad scenes” in Western vocal music—representations that typically invite a range of innovatory procedures—are often tempered by cadential “frames” of traditional, familiar musical discourse. These frames instantiate “the musical voice of reason,” insuring that “the ravings of the madwoman will remain securely marked as radically ‘Other’, so that the contagion will not spread” (86). Hall has discussed an analogous logic of excess and frame in the epirrhematic scenes of Attic tragedy, in which impassioned lyric arias, almost always sung by women and/or barbarians, are contained, or restrained, by the rational iambic trimeters spoken by Greek men (1989:131; 1999:117–118). There is an ideological dimension to this framing of song by speech. While the singing voice of women and/or non-Hellenes in extremis elicits fascination and pleasure, its difference and excess, if not properly framed, can also produce embarrassment, anxiety; its “contagion” can pose a threat to the masculine political order. Cf. Sultan 1993 on historical legislation against women’s lament and its refraction in tragedy.
[ back ] 371. The juxtaposition also invites identification between the Greeks’ struggle against Persia and Timotheus’ against the Spartans. See Janssen 1984:125; Nieddu 1993:521; van Minnen 1997:253, 256; Rutherford 2001:122.
[ back ] 372. So the pre-battle paean described at Aeschylus Persians 388–394 is Panhellenic.
[ back ] 373. Cf. Bassett 1931:157.
[ back ] 374. See especially Broneer 1944; Davison 1958:33–36; Robkin 1976; Meinel 1980; Kotsidu 1991:141–149; Miller 1997: 218–242; Camp 2004:101.
[ back ] 375. I primarily follow Davison 1958:33–35 and Kotsidu 1991:141–144, although Kotsidu, unlike Davison, does not think that either Themistocles’ or Pericles’ “Odeia” were used for musical contests. Miller 1997:221 is skeptical of Vitruvius’ testimony about a Themistoclean prototype for the Odeion.
[ back ] 376. The tent was in fact occupied by Mardonius at Plataea (Herodotus 9.70), but Herodotus 9.82 strongly implies that Xerxes had given Mardonius his tent on his retreat from Greece. The word Herodotus uses there is κατασκευή, which, as Kotsidu 1991:141 points out, is echoed in Pausanias’ description of the Odeion as a κατασκεύασμα (1.20.4). Of course, the Themistoclean structure need not have incorporated the actual tent of Xerxes (or Mardonius), but it was perhaps, like Pericles’ Odeion, a replica of it. This view is taken by Kotsidu 1991:144 (with previous scholarship); it helps to answer the legitimate objection that “it is very unlikely that of all the Greeks at Plataia the Athenians rather than the Lakedaimonians were awarded the greatest prize” (Miller 1997:236). Herodotus 9.70 does not mention to whom the tent was awarded. For Athenian dedications of captured Phoenician triremes, see Herodotus 8.121; cf. Thompson 1956.
[ back ] 377. Cf. Kotsidu 1991:143.
[ back ] 378. Cf. Davison 1958:35, who attempts to reconcile Vitruvius’ testimony with Plutarch’s. Broneer 1944 argues that Xerxes’ tent was originally used by Themistocles as the scenic backdrop for his production of Phrynichus’ Phoenician Women and later Pericles’ production of Aeschylus’ Persians. Cf. the modifications of Kotsidu 1991:143–144; counter-arguments of Miller 1997:235–236.
[ back ] 379. Miller 1997 takes a different approach to the history of the Odeion, arguing against any relation between the Odeion and the tent of Xerxes and seeing it rather as influenced directly by royal Apadana palace architecture, which the Athenian dêmos had appropriated to glorify its own imperial status. But her assessment of the Odeion’s symbolic valency is nevertheless in line with the notion that it was a replica of Xerxes’ tent: “Resonating against its Persian models, [the Odeion] is a proud statement of empire” (241).
[ back ] 380. Cf. Phillips 2003:224n82.
[ back ] 381. We may note that in the paeanic epilogue of Persians (237–240), Timotheus refers to the city in which he is performing (i.e. Athens, foremost) as ἁγνά ‘holy’ (237). The epithet recalls the description of the place where the Salamis victors set up their tropaia and performed the paean: the “most holy sanctuary of Zeus” (Διὸς ἁγνότατον τέμενος, 196–197). Cf. van Minnen 1997:253, who argues that the adjective hagnos should have the more politically inflected sense of ‘inviolable’ in both passages.
[ back ] 382. τὰ μὲν κατὰ τῶν βαρβάρων τρόπαια ὕμνους ἀπαιτεῖ (Epitaphios fr. 5b).
[ back ] 383. For more on the post-Classical reception of Timotheus, see Hordern 2002:73–79. Despite Timotheus’ canonization, however, for certain conservative elites of the Hellenistic and Imperial eras, his name—alongside those of other composers of the Athenian New Music—would remain a rhetorically convenient byword for cultural scandal and iconoclasm. See n341 and Part I.22.ii.
[ back ] 384. Stratonicus’ career overlapped with that of Timotheus, but he really belongs to the next generation of professional musicians (he was active from around 410 to 360 BCE; West 1992:367–368). It is probable that his own instrumental music was influenced by that of the older citharode, however. Phaenias fr. 32 Wehrli says that he “introduced polukhordia” into instrumental kithara playing; in so doing he was likely taking his cue from the master of the eleven-stringed kithara, Timotheus, who had paved the way for the legitimacy of this innovation (Persians 229–231). But we should be wary about taking Stratonicus’ praise of the Milesian at face value (cf. Wilson 2004:290). It is more likely the case that Timotheus was praised because he had lost; he was no longer a (cross-generic) rival of Stratonicus. Indeed, another anecdote has Stratonicus viciously criticizing Timotheus’ dithyramb Birth Pangs of Semele (Athenaeus 8.352a)—the citharist, whose stock in trade was musical mimeticism, may have felt especially threatened by the ambitious (auletic) mimeticism of this work. The citharodic style of Polyeidus, however, was ascendant by the mid-fourth century, temporarily eclipsing the novelty of Timothean kitharôidia (“Plutarch” On Music 21.1138b), and Stratonicus would have been eager to put it in its place. This strategy of praising the “classics” by way of denigrating contemporaries and rivals is one Timotheus himself deploys in the Persians.
[ back ] 385. On the practice of epic parody in the fourth century, see Olson and Sens 1999:5–13.
[ back ] 386. Philoxenus Cyclops or Galateia (PMG 815–827); Aristophanes Wealth 290, with scholia. See Power 2011 (forthcoming).
[ back ] 387. Cf. West 1992:366.
[ back ] 388. Parian Marble Ep. 68; Diodorus Siculus 14.46, who adds that he was also a painter.
[ back ] 389. τῶν δὲ κιθαρῳδῶν τοῦ Τιμοθείου τρόπου, σχεδὸν γὰρ ἀποπεφοιτήκασιν εἴς τε τὰ καττύματα καὶ εἰς τὰ Πολυείδου ποιήματα. Translation based on Barker 1984:227.
[ back ] 390. I discuss the complex critical agenda of this passage of On Music in a forthcoming article, “Aristoxenus and the Neoclassicists.”
[ back ] 391. Censorinus 6.608 Keil.
[ back ] 392. Barker 1984:227n139.
[ back ] 393. οἱ νῦν δὲ κισσόπλεκτα καὶ κρηναῖα καὶ | ἀνθεσιπότατα μέλεα μελέοις ὀνόμασιν | ποιοῦσιν ἐμπλέκοντες ἀλλότρια μέλη.
[ back ] 394. Cf. West 1992:372.
[ back ] 395. Besides Polyeidus and Philotas, we may have the names of two other composers of citharodic kattumata: Argas, who is mentioned, alongside one Telenicus of Byzantium, by the fourth-century BCE scholar Phaenias as a composer of μοχθηρὰ ᾄσματα ‘worthless songs’ that could not compare to those of both Terpander and, more tellingly, that forerunner of Timotheus in the new nomos, Phrynis (Phaenias fr. 10 Wehrli ap. Athenaeus 14.638c). Cf. discussion in Part II.12.
[ back ] 396. Demetrius of Phalerum may have encouraged the revival of “Homeric” kitharôidia: see Part II.8.
[ back ] 397. On the papyrus containing Persians, see Hordern 2002:62–73 and van Minnen 1997, who compellingly reconstructs the reception the nomos (qua written text) among the Hellenomemphite community of Ionian Greeks in Egypt, one of whom had owned the papyrus. One wonders if that community was familiar with a living citharodic performance tradition of Persians as well. For possible remains of citharodic texts on papyri from Ptolemaic Egypt, see West 1999a; n399 below.
[ back ] 398. Cf. discussion of issues involved in Part III.5.
[ back ] 399. Dio says that sung iambic excerpts from tragedy were in fact more popular than original lyric parts (19.5). On the recycling of passages from Classical tragedy by virtuoso singers in the Hellenistic and Roman theater, see Gentili 1979. West 1999a speculates that some unpublished papyrus scraps in the Ashmolean Museum (inv. 89B/29–33), from third- to second-century BCE Egypt, may contain texts (with some musical notation) from a “citharodes’ repertoire, either excerpts from tragedies or citharodic nomes or dithyrambs” (53). West thinks that one scrap may even preserve the traces of the sphragis of a nomos (C13; p57). We hear of an early-second-century performance at Delphi by the aulete Satyrus of Samos of a “kitharisma from Euripides’ Bacchae” (FD III 3, 128 = SIG 648 B). The nature of this kitharisma is a mystery. Was it a purely instrumental interpretation of scenes from the tragedy played on the kithara by the multi-talented Satyrus? Or did it involve the singing of the chorus that is also mentioned in the inscription? In that case, was an aulos employed in addition to a kithara? See Sifakis 1967:96–97; West 1992:376; Wilson 2000:308–309. In any case, it suggests that citharodic settings of Attic tragedy may not have been uncommon as early as the Hellenistic period.
[ back ] 400. Lesky 1949:400 = 1966:346 makes this assumption; cf. Champlin 2003:116.
[ back ] 401. Wilamowitz 1903:81. Some manuscripts of the Suetonius Nero give the title in its Greek (accusative case) form, Nioban (instead of Latin Niobem). West 1992:382 also supposes that both Nero’s Niobe and his Nauplios may have been Timothean nomoi.
[ back ] 402. Nero’s Nauplios: Suetonius Nero 39.3; cf. Part I.22.i.
[ back ] 403. Cf. Part I.17. See Kelly 1979 on the overlap between citharoedia and tragoedia in Nero’s time and the later Empire; cf. Lesky 1949 = 1966.
[ back ] 404. As well as other associated characters. Sources and discussion in Champlin 2003:77. The tragic roles ascribed to Nero in Suetonius Nero 21.3 all have a touch of the Grand Guignol: Canace Giving Birth, Orestes the Matricide, Oedipus Blinded, Hercules Insane.
[ back ] 405. Freudenburg 2001:169. Sullivan 1978 supports the view presented in the scholia to Persius Satires 1 that lines 93–106 of that poem parody several specific verses from a Neronian composition, which Sullivan presumes to be the Attis mentioned by Dio. It is true that Catullus 63 might have been an influence on the citharodic Attis (if it is Nero’s work), but we should, I think, assume that Nero sang his Attis in Greek rather than in Latin, as contemporary citharodes, almost all Greek, would have sung their nomoi. Therefore, while Persius might be allusively mocking the overwrought and socially inappropriate poetry performed by Nero, direct quotation from the citharodic Attis is unlikely. (Pure speculation, but could the Attis that Nero sings, if it was not his composition, be the work of a Hellenistic citharode?) Of course, Nero could have written an independent, non-citharodic treatment of the Attis story in Latin hexameters. Similarly, although he wrote an epic poem in Latin called the Troica, which he recited at the Second Neronia (Dio Cassius 62.29; cf. Griffin 1984:151), the Capture of Troy (Halôsis Iliou), which he sang as a citharode in 64 CE (Dio Cassius 62.18.1; Suetonius Nero 38.2, who also gives the Greek title), was probably a separate citharodic nomos, with text in Greek.