Pindar’s Homer: The Lyric Possession of an Epic Past

  Use the following persistent identifier:

12. Authority and Authorship in the Lyric Tradition

§1. Having compared the authority of Pindar’s traditions in song with the authority of traditions in poetry and prose, we are ready to consider the actual medium of Pindaric song as a key to understanding the concept of authorship in lyric poetry. So far we have concentrated on the epinician tradition represented by Pindar. But now we must situate this tradition within the broader framework of Archaic Greek lyric poetry.

§2. Let us begin with the concept of choral lyric poetry, which is the specific medium of Pindar. The khoros ‘chorus’ of choral lyric is a group that represents, by way of singing and dancing, a given community. [1] In Archaic choral lyric poetry, the community can be represented as the city-state, the polis itself. [2] This is not to say, however, that the representation of the polis by the chorus does not aim at Panhellenic prestige. [3]

§8. In Pindar’s Isthmian 2, this same word khrēmata ‘property, possessions’ is used in a context where one of the Seven Sages, in reaction to his personal loss of both property and friends (11) exclaims bitterly: χρήματα χρήματ’ ἀνήρ ‘Man is nothing more than khrēmata! Yes, khrēmata!’ (ibid.). [15] Another variation on this bitter reaction is quoted in the monodic poetry of Alcaeus (F 360 V), again in a context where the Sage is bewailing the equation of self-worth with purely material value. [16] In other words the ethic of sympotic monody, as presented by Alcaeus and represented by Pindar, is the transcendence of purely material value. But the anecdote about Arion suggests that the art of sympotic monody is nevertheless founded on the dynamics of material value. So too with choral lyric poetry, as dramatized in Pindar’s Isthmian 2: the poem is admitting that its art is founded on the dynamics of material value, but it proclaims the intent of transcending the purely material, claiming the ethic of old-fashioned sympotic monody as a model. Pindaric song fuses the contemporary art of monody, which is professional, into the transcendent ethic of monody, which rejects the superficial equation of khrēmata ‘possessions’ with self-worth. Pindar’s fusion of the professional with the ethical—so that the professional aspect of monody is no longer evident—is itself an ethical gesture, corresponding to a parallel fusion that is ongoing within his own choral medium. This ideology of {341|342} fusion should not lead to our own confusion about professionalism and non-professionalism in monody.

§11. In a word the symposium was a last stand for nonprofessional performance of both monodic and choral compositions. Still the choral medium was already professionalized in the dimension of composition, and the monodic, in the dimension of transmission through such specialized skills as kitharōidiā ‘lyre singing’. {342|343}

§12. Given these patterns of differentiation between the choral and monodic media, we may ask about their diachronic relationship to each other. As the discussion proceeds, we encounter a series of indications that the direction of long-range development proceeded from choral lyric to monody as a differentiated offshoot. Further, monody can be seen as a midstage in the differentiation of song into poetry.

§15. The first katastasis ‘establishment’, that is, the ostensibly first phase of lyric traditions at Sparta, is traditionally attributed to Terpander (“Plutarch” {343|344} On Music 1134b). This composer of the so-called ‘first katastasis’ was reputedly a singer from Lesbos who moved to Sparta, where he was the first of all winners at the reputedly oldest festival of Sparta, the Feast of Karneia (Hellanicus FGH 4 F 85 by way of Athenaeus 635e). [25] The second katastasis is attributed to Thaletas of Gortyn, Xenocritus of Locri, Polymnestus of Colophon (On Music 1134bc). [26] These composers of the so-called second katastasis are associated with the Feast of the Gumnopaidiai at Sparta, as well as the Feast of the Apodeixeis in Arcadia and the Feast of the Endumatia at Argos (On Music 1134c). [27] I draw attention to the opposite notions of ritual undressing and dressing inherent in the names Gumnopaidiai (henceforth “Gymnopaidiai”) and Endumatia native to the traditions of Sparta and Argos, respectively. As for the Arcadian Apodeixeis, plural of the noun apo-deixis ‘public presentation’, we shall appreciate the significance of this name better at a later point, when we consider the related verb apodeiknumai ‘make a public presentation’ in the context of a report by Herodotus about a local festival where female choral groups perform (5.83.3). [28] Earlier, we have seen the same word in a different but ultimately related context, the first sentence of the Histories of Herodotus, in referring to the ‘public presentation’, apo-deixis, of his historiā ‘inquiry’. [29] For now, however, it is enough to stress that such festivals are a key to our upcoming consideration of the process of ongoing choral recomposition. There is a striking description, in Sosibius FGH 595 F 5 by way of Athenaeus 678bc, of choral events at the Spartan Feast of the Gymnopaidiai, featuring reperformances of compositions attributed to Thaletas, Alcman, and Dionysodotus.

§17. In order to understand the progressive reshaping over time of the persona who claims the composition of a choral lyric performance in societies like that of Archaic Sparta, we must explore in greater detail the fundamental characteristics of the Archaic Greek khoros, the singing and dancing {344|345} ensemble or chorus. To begin, I stress that the khoros is by nature a microcosm of society. [31] The Spartans, for example, actually referred to the interior of their civic space as the Khoros (Pausanias 3.11.9). [32] As a microcosm of society, it is equally important to note, the khoros is also a microcosm of social hierarchy. Within the hierarchy that is the chorus, as the detailed investigation of Claude Calame has shown, a majority of younger members act out a pattern of subordination to a minority of older leaders; this acting out conforms to the role of the chorus as an educational collectivization of experience, including various forms of institutionalized or stylized homosexual experience serving as an initiation into the heterosexual status of marriage. [33] The concept of older leaders, within the hierarchy of the chorus, is in most instances embodied in the central persona of the khorēgos ‘chorus leader’. There is a pervasive choral convention of emphasizing the superiority of the khorēgos and the subordination of the “I” that speaks for the choral aggregate; while the collectivity of the choral aggregate is egalitarian, the superiority of the khorēgos is a fundamental model of hierarchy. [34] In this connection Calame has observed in detail how various patterns of institutionalized homosexual sentiment as expressed by the choral “I” tend to center on the person who occupies superior status in the choral group. [35]

§20. It seems then that the two characters of two choral leaders in Alcman PMG 1, Agido and Hagesikhora, are acting out, on the level of the ritual presented by the chorus, the roles of the two Leukippides, who are cult figures that exist on the level of myth. [44] There is in fact independent evidence for such acting out: there is a report about an institution, at Sparta, where girls ‘serve as priestesses’ (ἱερῶνται) to the Leukippides and are in that capacity explicitly called Leukippides themselves (Pausanias 3.16.1). [45] It is crucial to stress this explicit identification here, by name, of distinct human and superhuman characters. The human characters are acted out by ‘priestesses’ who are the variable element in the identification, in that they are continually being replaced by upcoming generations, in the progression of time, while the immortal superhuman characters are the constant, with an unchanging identity that provides the ultimate model. [46] Just as the human Leukippides {346|347} are not, from our standpoint, real people but instead characters filled by different real people at the different times of seasonally recurring ritual events, so also the figures named as Agido and Hagesikhora in Alcman PMG 1 are for me not real people per se but choral characters. Specifically I suggest that Agido and Hagesikhora are characters in a sacred mimesis, through the ritual of choral performance, of the cult figures known to Pausanias as the Leukippides (3.16.1). [47]

§27. It remains to ask what relationship exists between the authority of the role model who is represented as leading the choral group and the authority of the composer who is credited with the representation. To put it another way: how does the authority of the khorēgos ‘choral leader’, as the focus of potential Panhellenic prestige for the local community, relate to the authority of the composer, real or re-created, who speaks through this persona? The answer should help define the concept of authorship that emanates from such authority.

§28. To begin, it is important to notice that, in a choral composition like Alcman PMG 1, the two chorus leaders represented, Agido and Hagesikhora, seem not to have speaking parts: rather it is the aggregate that speaks about them, represents them, in all admiration. It is as if the chorus leaders were mainly dancing, while the choral group was all along singing and dancing.

§30. These different patterns of specialization are indirectly reflected in the semantic vicissitudes of a form of choral lyric that is classified in later times as the huporkhēma, where the component of dancing is specified as an accompaniment to the component of song, as indicated by the elements hupo- in the sense of ‘in support’ and orkh- meaning ‘dance’. [65] The supporting role of a given component of choral lyric can entail an intensification of virtuosity for the performer of the supporting component. In Lucian On Dance 16, for example, it is specified that the huporkhēma is composed for a stratified type of chorus where the group in general executes one level of dancing while some of the best dancers stand out from the rest in executing a higher level of dancing to the words being sung. There is similar testimony from Polycrates FGH 588 F 1 by way of Athenaeus 139e on the dancing at the Spartan Feast of Huakinthia: it is specified that dancers who stand out from among the singing khoroi ‘choruses’ of youths perform an ancient form of dance that is hupo- ‘in support’ to the playing of the aulos ‘reed’ and to the singing of the song. [66] We may compare the picture on a Corinthian aryballos where a virtuoso dancer leaps ahead of four other boys and is labeled προχορευόμενος ‘dancing in the forefront’ (CEG 452). [67] A stylized {351|352} example occurs in Odyssey viii 256–265, with a description of a performance of dancing that leads into the description of a song that the blind singer Demodokos sings about Ares and Aphrodite (266–366), followed by yet another description of virtuoso performance, this time, of “ball dancing” by soloists (367–380). It has been observed that “the seated blind bard in all this seems to be a leader with voice and lyre presiding over some kind of elaborate mime.” [68] There is a compressed version of such choral lyric performance in Iliad XVIII 603–606, where the group dancing by the chorus is a backdrop to a higher level of dancing by two virtuosi, described as exarkhontes ‘leaders’ (606); also at Odyssey iv 17–19, where again there are two virtuosi described as exarkhontes (17). In the world of post-Classical scholarship, the description of the virtuoso dancers as exarkhontes was considered incongruous, in that the singer/lyre player was expected to be the leader (Athenaeus 180de). [69] Still, the application of exarkhōn ‘leader’ could be legitimately reassigned to a lead dancer so long as the singer/lyre player continued to be the real leader, in that his singing or lyre playing controlled the enactment performed center stage, as it were, by the dancers.

§31. This topic brings us back to the choral lyric traditions of Archaic Sparta. In a composition like Alcman PMG 1, the figures of the choral leaders Agido and Hagesikhora may not necessarily have a speaking part, that is, singing part, in the song (to be contrasted with the reference at line 99 to singing by an ensemble of ten). Even if they do not have a speaking part, they are in the forefront of the dancing. Meanwhile, it is explicitly the choral aggregate who speaks for the chorus leaders, and it is implicitly the composer who speaks through the chorus members. In another example, Alcman PMG 39, the chorus members actually identify the composer of their song: they refer to the figure of Alcman by name, in the third person, as the one who composed what they sing. Further, in Alcman PMG 38, the chorus members praise the kitharistēs ‘lyre player’, a performer on the musical instrument who may or may not be visualized as distinct from the composer.

§32. There are, however, other situations where the singer/lyre player may differentiate himself from the choral group by speaking in his own persona instead of theirs, as most dramatically illustrated by the declaration in Alcman PMG 26, where the singer says that he is too old and weak to dance with the chorus. [70] Such conventions of stylized separation and self-introduction may help explain the distribution of roles in Iliad XVIII 567–572, the description of a lyre playing boy who sings the Linus song in the midst of a festive chorus of boys and girls: here the singing is apparently in accompaniment to the lyre playing and dancing, as we see from the expression λίνον δ’ ὑπὸ {352|353} καλὸν ἄειδε ‘he sang, in accompaniment [hupo-], the Linus song’ (570). So also in Hymn to Hermes 499–502: Apollo first struck up the lyre, and then ὑπὸ καλὸν ἄεισεν ‘he sang beautifully, in accompaniment [hupo-]’ (502). Just as dancing in accompaniment required heightened virtuosity and could be described in terms of choral leadership, so also here the singing of Apollo in support, in accompaniment, is a virtuoso performance. The distinction between the patterns of accompaniment in Iliad XVIII 567–572, where the boy’s song responds to the lyre, and in Odyssey viii 256–265/367–380, where the dancing responds to the song, seems to be missed by later generations in the post-Classical era, as, for example, in Athenaeus 15d (though his explanation of huporkhēma at 628d takes note of the actual fact of support or accompaniment implied by hupo- in this word). [71]

§33. The archetypal virtuoso performance of Apollo, where he first struck up the lyre and then ὑπὸ καλὸν ἄεισεν ‘sang beautifully, in accompaniment [hupo-]’ (Hymn to Hermes 502), is morphologically a prooimion, which can be translated roughly as ‘prelude’ but which I prefer to render with the more neutral Latin borrowing, ‘prooemium’. [72] The prooimion is a framework for differentiated virtuoso singing by the individual kitharōidos ‘lyre [kitharā] singer’, and it literally means ‘the front part of the song [oimē]’ (just as pronāos means ‘the front part of the temple [nāos]’). [73] The prooimion or prooemium took the form of a prayer sung to a given god who presided over the occasion of a given seasonally recurring festival where the song was performed in competition with other songs. A clear reflex of this form can be found in the actual structure of the Homeric Hymns. [74] In fact Thucydides (3.104.3–4) uses the word prooimion in referring to the version of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo that he knew. [75] That the dramatized context of these Hymns is one of seasonally recurring festivals where contests in song are held is clear from the use of hōrā ‘seasonal time’ in Hymn 26.12–13 and of agōn ‘contest’ in Hymn 6.19. [76] That these Hymns are morphologically preludes, with the inherited function of introducing the main part of the performance, is illustrated by references indicating a shift to the performance proper, such as μεταβήσομαι ἄλλον ἐς ὕμνον ‘I will shift to the rest of the song [humnos]’ at Homeric Hymns 5 (verse 293), 9 (verse 9), and 18 (verse 11). [77] To sum up the essence of the prooimion, I quote the wording of {353|354} Quintilian (Institutio oratoria 4.1.2): quod οἴμη cantus est, et citharoedi pauca illa, quae antequam legitimum certamen inchoent, emerendi favoris gratia canunt, prooemium cognominaverunt… ‘that oimē is song and that the kitharōidoi refer to those few words that they sing before their contest proper, for the sake of winning favor, as prooimion…᾽. [78]

§35. Still, the medium of the Homeric Hymns, which is poetry recited in dactylic hexameter, is several stages removed from the medium of kitharōidiā, that is, song. We have to step back and ask what form the prooimion ‘prelude’ would have had in the context of kitharōidiā ‘lyre singing’ and, further, what kind of performance can be expected to have followed the prooimion in this same context of kitharōidiā. {354|355}

§37. Another part of the answer to the question about the actual form of the prooimion can be found in the diction of Pindar. So far we have examined the association of prooimion and nomos in the general context of kitharōidiā, but we have yet to see a reference to this association in a specifically choral context of kitharōidiā. The references in Plato clearly presuppose a monodic rather than choral context. Turning to the choral context, however, let us examine two passages taken from Pindar, Nemean 5.21–26 and Pythian 1.1–4. In Nemean 5, we see the representation of a khoros ‘chorus’ of Muses (23) who are specifically singing (ἄειδ’ 22), and in their midst is the god Apollo himself, taking control as he strikes up a lyre that is heptaglōssos ‘having seven languages’ (24), leading the choral performance of ‘all sorts of nomoi’ (παντοίων νόμων Nemean 5.25). We have seen that the seven-string lyre, supposedly the “invention” of Terpander, could fit a wide variety of set melodic patterns, called nomoi, within a new interrelated system reflecting Panhellenic synthesis. [89] Here too, in the passage from Pindar, these melodic patterns are explicitly called nomoi. But in this case the nomoi that are represented as being performed are not monodic, which was the case when Arion sang his nomos (again Herodotus 1.24.5), but clearly choral: it is the khoros ‘chorus’ of Muses who are actually {355|356} singing the nomoi (again Nemean 5.21–26). Moreover, this ensemble of Muses is represented here as actually singing the words of the prooimion. Although the word prooimion is not used in this passage, the phraseology of the Muses’ paraphrased words (Nemean 5.25–26) is perfectly in accordance with the proper syntax and rhetorical strategy of attested prooemia. [90] The chorus of Muses is represented as performing not just the subsequent nomoi but also the prooimion that is expected to introduce a nomos, with Apollo’s overall control being represented simply by his act of striking up the lyre.

§39. This Pindaric picture, however, of a prooimion as if performed by the chorus is idealized. Another example of such idealization is Pindar Nemean 3.1–12, where the chorus members are described, five lines into the composition, as if waiting for the voice of the Muse, which is to be their cue to start their performance; then, at lines 10–11 of the composition, the Muse is invoked to start (ἄρχε 10) the humnos ‘song’ (11), while the “I” of the lyre player, the persona of the composer, distributes the song to the chorus members and to the lyre (11–12). [92] The word for “lyre” here is twelve lines into the composition, and yet the context itself presupposes that it had started the whole performance, just as the chorus has been presumably performing the entire composition ever since the first line. Still another example is Pindar Nemean 2.1–3, [93] where the beginning of the composition describes the prooemium of a performance without being a prooemium itself in that no {356|357} divinity has been directly invoked to start the performance. The prooemium being represented in Nemean 2.1–3 is specifically the prelude of a Homeric performance: the Homēridai ‘Sons of Homer’ (2.1), who are described as the aoidoi ‘singers’ (2.2.) of ‘stitched-together words’ (ῥαπτῶν ἐπέων 2.2), are said to ‘start’ (ἄρχονται) their performance by invoking Zeus Prooimios, the “Zeus of prooemia” (2.3). [94] The first word of Nemean 2, ὅθεν ‘starting at the point where…’, is transitional, to be expected after the given divinity has already been invoked. Then, at the very end of the composition, the chorus as polītai ‘polis-dwellers’ (24) are called upon to ‘lead’, as conveyed by the verb exarkhō (25), in celebration. In a functional prooemium this verb could be expected at the beginning of the performance. [95]

§40. The stylized prooemia in Pindar then are idealizations. It is as if the traditions of differentiated monodic composition and performance had never happened. Yet the context of monody had already developed the form of the prooimion far beyond its native choral context of striking up the lyre for the chorus. There is evidence that what we call the prooimion had already undergone, by Pindar’s time, a vast stretch of evolution in traditions of composition and performance in monodic song and even in poetry. This evolution serves as backdrop for the use, in Thucydides (3.104.4–5), of the word prooimion in referring to the Homeric Hymn to Apollo. The entire tradition of kitharōidikoi nomoi ‘citharodic nomes’, as attributed to the “invention” of Terpander, presupposes a corresponding tradition of monodic prooimia or “preludes” that literally led into these “nomes,” and it was within the framework of these “preludes” that the kitharōidos ‘lyre singer’, set apart from the chorus, could speak about himself in his own persona. We have already noted the declaration in Alcman PMG 26, where the singer says that he is too old and weak to dance with the chorus. Elsewhere too, although it may well be the chorus itself that is speaking in the persona of the chorus leader, we can still see that this persona is set apart from the rest of the chorus in the context of self-introduction, the prooemium:

Μῶσ’ ἄγε Καλλιόπα, θύγατερ Διός, | ἄρχ’ ἐρατῶν ἐπέων, ἐπὶ δ’ ἵμερον | ὕμνῳ καὶ χαρίεντα τίθη χορόν

Alcman PMG 27

§42. From the standpoint of a later source, the compositions attributed to Terpander are not just monodic but simply a collection of monodic preludes: it is reported in “Plutarch” On Music 1133bc that the compositions of Terpander were prooimia, supposedly serving as preludes simply to poetry, including specifically the poetry of Homer and the like. This formulation, though it has {358|359} a validity with respect to etymology, is false with respect to function, as I now argue. [105] We have observed that the Homeric Hymns, as they have come down to us, are indeed prooimia with respect to etymology in that they presuppose, with such phrases as μεταβήσομαι ἄλλον ἐς ὕμνον ‘I will switch [from the prooimion] to the rest of the song [humnos]’, that the performance proper is to follow. [106] This performance to follow is to be imagined as Homeric poetry itself, as we see from the internal evidence of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo: here the self-characterization of the speaker, within the framework of a prooimion, as a blind singer from Chios whose songs will win over all others in the future (172–173) corresponds to the idealized character of Homer himself. [107] Similarly with Terpander: in a relatively late source like the one that we are considering, “Plutarch” On Music 1133bc, the corpus of Terpander could legitimately be considered a collection of monodic prooimia, composed predominantly in dactylic hexameter and therefore deemed suitable as preludes to Homeric poetry. From the standpoint of such a late source, it is as if the nomoi of Terpander, as introduced by the prooimia, had never existed. [108] Further, it is as if all the prooimia of Terpander had been composed in dactylic hexameter, as suggested in “Plutarch” On Music 1133c and more explicitly in 1132d. Such fragments as Terpander PMG 697 contradict this distorted view. [109] True, the meter of this fragment is closely related to the dactylic hexameter, and there may indeed have been a majority of hexametric prooimia in the Terpander tradition. Still the point is that the medium of kitharōidiā ‘lyre singing’ attributed to Terpander is not necessarily a functional prelude, as it is understood in “Plutarch” On Music 1133c. Rather it is a monodic form of lyric composition that evolved out of the morphology of the prooimion.

§45. We started our survey of the prooemium with the vision of Apollo as he struck up the lyre for the very first time and then ὑπὸ καλὸν ἄεισεν ‘sang beautifully, in accompaniment [hupo-]’ (Hymn to Hermes 502). [117] Yet singing in response to the musical instrument of Apollo is a feature not only of Apollo himself as archetypal player of preludes. There are also specialists in the art of the prelude. I mean those supreme experts in song, the Muses, as they execute their special skills: as we have seen in the Hesiodic Shield of Herakles (201–206), the Muses are described as choral leaders in song (exarkhō ‘lead the chorus’ in combination with aoidē ‘song’: 205) by virtue of their responsiveness to the lyre of Apollo. [118] Paradoxically the subordination of the Muses to the choral leadership of Apollo in the overall domain of {360|361} choral performance, where Apollo controls all three components of song, dance, and musical instrumentation, is a key to the choral leadership of the Muses in the specific domain of song. Apollo generally dances and plays the lyre, while the Muses’ function is more specifically that of singing or reciting. It is after all a Muse, not Apollo, who inspires the “song” of the Iliad (I 1), the “song” of the Odyssey (i 1). To put it another way: the specialization of the Muses as experts in the words of song, as differentiated from Apollo, who is overall master of all the components of song, is comparable to the specialization of Greek song as differentiated from a general category that I have been calling SONG. [119] As the generalist of SONG, Apollo is the ultimate chorus leader of the Muses, their authority in the choral integration of singing, dancing, and instrumentation. [120] As for the Muses, they are specialized chorus leaders of song, in stylized descriptions such as we have seen in the Shield of Herakles (205).

§46. These divine models for the role of chorus leader are formalized, to repeat, in the noun khorēgos ‘chorus leader’: in the case of Alcman PMG 1, for example, we have seen that the character Hāgēsikhorā ‘she who leads the chorus’ is described as a khorēgos ‘chorus leader’ (44) and that, as such, she functions on the level of ritual as a substitute for a cult figure on the level of myth. There is a corresponding verb-plus-object combination that expresses the same model: it consists of verb histēmi ‘set up, establish’ plus the object of khoros, as in the expression θεῶν | ἵστησι χορούς ‘he sets up [= verb histēmi] the choruses [khoros {plural}] of the gods’ at Aristophanes Birds 219–220, with a lyre-playing Apollo as subject. [121] This combination recurs as the compound formation stēsi-khoros ‘he or she who sets up the chorus’, as in the expression στησίχορον ὕμνον ἄγοισαι ‘introducing a stēsikhoros song [humnos]’ inscribed on a kylix found at Naukratis (PMG 938[c]), where the understood subject of ἄγοισαι is apparently “Muses,” in the context of a choral presentation. [122] The same compound stēsikhoros recurs on the François Vase, where one of the Muses, whose name elsewhere is Terpsikhorē ‘she who delights in the chorus’ (e.g., Hesiod Theogony 78), is instead labeled Stēsikhorē ‘she who sets up the chorus’. [123] Finally, the {361|362} name of the poet Stesichorus is identical with this epithet stēsikhoros, the mark of divine choral leaders (cf. Suda s.v. Στησίχορος). [124]

§49. A premier example is the figure of Archilochus. The compositions ascribed to Archilochus take the form of a specialized kind of poetry that is differentiated from song: he belongs to the repertoire of a rhapsōidos ‘rhapsode’, not a kitharōidos ‘lyre singer’. [131] Still the figure of Archilochus retains a choral personality, as evidenced by his self-description as an exarkhōn ‘choral leader’ of the specific genres known as the dithurambos ‘dithyramb’ (Archilochus F 120 W) and the paiēōn [= paiān] ‘paean’ (F 121 W). [132] Again we see that the genre is the occasion in such instances of dramatized individual initiative. The choral personality of Archilochus is also evident in the Life of Archilochus tradition as preserved by the Mnesiepes Inscription (Archilochus T 4 Tarditi). This inscription, of a relatively late date (ca. third century B.C.), is highly Archaic in theme: it narrates the life of Archilochus, giving context to “quotations” of the transmitted compositions that were attributed to him. The Life of Archilochus tradition, as memorialized by the Mnesiepes Inscription, motivates the hero-cult of Archilochus; in fact the setting for the Mnesiepes Inscription was the Arkhilokheion, the sacred precinct at Paros where Archilochus was worshipped as a cult hero. [133] The Mnesiepes Inscription gives explicit testimony about a {363|364} traditional myth, native to the island of Paros, that represented Archilochus as a chorus teacher of his community (T4 III 16–57). [134] Given that the figure of the poet Archilochus remains a choral personality, we may now move on to observe the tradition that represents Archilochus as a ritual substitute of his divine choral models: the story has it that Archilochus is killed through the indirect agency of Apollo, who at the same time promotes his status as cult hero, pronouncing the dead poet to be the ‘therapōn of the Muses’ (Delphic Oracle 4 PW). [135]

§50. The theme of the poet as ritual substitute could be pursued further, but we must stay on track with the topic at hand, which is, the role that the poet—let us call him or her the author—actually plays in the chorus. What needs to be shown is that the authority of Apollo over song, as formalized by his function as khorēgos, is the fundamental model for the concept of authorship in choral lyric, as embodied in figures like the poet Alcman. A crucial passage in this regard is Herodotus 5.83, a precious glimpse of a local festival on the island of Aegina, where female choral groups perform in worship of two daimones ‘spirits’ (5.83.3), [136] called Damia and Auxesia (5.83.2), whose wooden statues or agalmata ‘cult representations’ (5.82, 5.83.2) are the centerpieces of the ritual event. From independent evidence, we know that both these names reflect epithets applied in the cults of the goddess Demeter. [137] We may compare in this regard the name Hāgēsikhorā in Alcman PMG 1, which is an appropriate epithet for visualizing, through a choral substitute, a cult figure as the focal point of a choral group. Even more important, we must take note of a significant detail in the description of the Aeginetan festival concerning the nature of the leadership over the female choral groups who perform at the Feast of Damia and Auxesia: χορηγῶν ἀποδεικνυμένων ἑκατέρῃ τῶν δαιμόνων δέκα ἀνδρῶν ‘and there are ten men who are chorus leaders [khorēgoi], making public presentation [= verb apodeiknumai] for each of the daimones [= Damia and Auxesia]’ (Herodotus 5.83.3). The noun that corresponds to the verb apo-deiknumai ‘make a public presentation’ is apo-deixis, which we have seen is the name of a premier festival of choral song in Arcadia. [138] Ι infer that this seasonally recurring festival featured the public presentation of ten presumably competing female choral performances, each one being ‘presented’ by a male khorēgos whose relationship to the female group corresponds to the stylized relationship of {364|365} Apollo to the Muses. [139] Such a relationship also corresponds to the relationship of the male figure Alcman to the female choral groups at Spartan festivals who sing and dance “his” compositions. [140] In the description of the Aeginetan festival, it is specified that the worship of the cult figures takes the form of ritual strife, where the characters in the chorus engage in mutual mockery (cf. κερτόμοισι: Herodotus 5.83.3). [141]

§52. Another detail in this tradition bears special emphasis: the number sixteen here stems from the fact that two women are chosen from each of the eight phūlai ‘tribal divisions’ of Elis (Pausanias 5.16.7). Perhaps we are to understand that each of the two representatives of each phūlē ‘tribal division’ {365|366} was assigned to one or the other of the two cult figures, Hippodameia and Physkoa. It may well be then that there were eight choral performances entailing two rival choral subdivisions, assigned to each of the two figures Hippodameia and Physkoa, with each of the sixteen women assigned as khorēgos to each of the sixteen choral subdivisions. Whatever the precise nature of these configurations may have been, I draw attention to the actual patterns of division, modeled on the patterns of division that make up the whole society, that is, the eight phūlai. [144] Such patterns of division in the setting up of the rival choral performances, where the notion of “setting up” is expressed by the traditional combination of verb histēmi ‘set up’ plus the object khoros ‘chorus’, can be connected with the attested negative meanings of stasis as ‘conflict’. This noun stasis, derivative of histēmi ‘set up, establish, take a stand’, means not only ‘setting up, establishment, standing, station, status’ both in general applications (e.g., Herodotus 9.21.2, Euripides Bacchae 925) and in more specific applications to the chorus (e.g., Suda s.v. χοροδέκτης) [145] but also ‘division, conflict, strife’ in general applications to the community at large (Theognis 51, 781; Herodotus 3.82.3). The negative theme of conflict is associated with stasis in the navigational sense that we see in the expression ἀνέμων στάσιν ‘stasis of the winds’ at Alcaeus F 208.1 V, where the ship’s pilot must contend with the contrary ‘lie’ or ‘setting’ of the winds. [146] I would argue that stasis in the negative sense of ‘conflict’ is a {366|367} metaphor, within the larger metaphor complex of the Ship of State in the crisis of a seastorm (as in Theognis 667–682), [147] for the ritualized interpersonal divisions that are acted out in the process of establishing or constituting choral performance; this constitution is in turn achieved through the literal divisions into which chorus members are systematically assigned when the chorus is organized. [148]

§55. The very constitution of society, as visualized in the traditions of a polis like Sparta, is choral performance. We have already seen that the name for “civic space” in Sparta is in fact Khoros (Pausanias 3.11.5). [155] Moreover, {367|368} Spartan myth insists that Chorus had to precede Constitution: in Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus (4.2–3), we see that Lycurgus, the lawgiver of Sparta, who is the culture hero credited with the institutional totality that is the Constitution of Sparta, brought his laws from Crete to Sparta only after he had already sent ahead the lyric poet Thales/Thaletas, whose songs had in them the qualities of kosmos ‘order’ (τὸ κόσμιον 4.3) and katastasis ‘establishment’ (καταστατικόν ibid.). [156] This same Thaletas figures in the so- called second katastasis of Spartan traditions in songmaking (“Plutarch” On Music 1134bc). [157] The Spartan tradition stresses that the social effects of the lyric poet are like those of the most powerful nomothetēs ‘lawgiver’ (Plutarch Life of Lycurgus 4.2). In this particular tradition, poet and lawgiver are differentiated as Thaletas and Lycurgus respectively. But in other traditions, the two roles are represented by one persona, as in the case of Theognis: he speaks not only as a choral lyric personality, singing and dancing to the lyre (Theognis 791) [158] or singing to the lyre and reed (531–534), [159] but also as a lawgiver (Theognis 543–546, 805–810). [160] In the case of a differentiated choral lyric personality like Thaletas, his affinities with the constitution of his community are made explicit.

§56. The metaphor of the chorus, as conveyed by the concept of stasis, helps explain the use of the word koruphaios ‘top person, leading figure’ in the Debate of the Constitutions, Herodotus 3.82.3, where the Great King of the Persians is represented as cynically restating the poetic tradition, according to which the unmistakable mark of oligarkhiā ‘oligarchy’ is the spontaneous generation of stasis, which in turn leads to phonos ‘killing’, which in turn {368|369} leads to monarkhiā ‘monarchy’, that is, tyranny. The same sequence is attested in Theognis 51–52, where stasis (plural, 51) leads to phonoi ‘killings’ (51), which lead to monarkhoi ‘monarchs’ (52). [161] In the description of the oligarchy that generates stasis, it is pointed out that each and every member of the society, in his private pursuit of aretē ‘excellence’, is in effect competing to become the koruphaios, the ‘top person’ or ‘leading figure’ (Herodotus 3.82.3); this same word, koruphaios, is the technical term for ‘leader of the chorus’ as used by Aristotle Politics 1277a11, in the context of arguing that not every citizen of a polis has the same degree of aretē ‘excellence’, just as a koruphaios in a chorus has more aretē than the other members. [162] This vision of stasis can be compared with the description, in Herodotus 1.59.3, of the division of early Athenian society into three constituencies, each called a stasis and each having a prominent Athenian ‘standing in the front’ (cf. προεστῶτος). These three are Peisistratos, the once and future tyrant of Athens; Megakles of the lineage of the Alkmaionidai; and one Lykourgos (ibid.). In such a context the word stasis is conventionally translated as ‘faction’, and the story as retold by Herodotus reinforces the initial impression that these three “factions” were spontaneously generated by the society of Athens in the era that preceded the tyranny of the Peisistratidai. It can be argued, however, that the three constituencies described here are a reflex of a preexisting institution, a constitutional mechanism of tripartition where the principle of rotating power is expressed by the concept of trittus ‘third’. [163]

§58. We have seen how, in compositions like Alcman PMG 1, a differentiated khorēgos who is composer and who is offstage, as it were, makes the collectivized “I” of the chorus speak about another differentiated khorēgos, the alter ego of the composer, who is the mute virtuoso dancer and who is center stage, the focus of collectivized experience, either male or female. But there are other kinds of “I” besides the collectivized “I” of the chorus. Given that the khorēgos is the choral expression of the individual who momentarily stands out from among the collective, we have yet to see how the persona of the khorēgos itself would speak if it found a voice to go with the role of chorus leader as a composer and performer, on the model of Apollo as he simultaneously sings, dances, and plays the lyre.

§59. One way for such a voice to be present can be found in the “I” of a khorēgos who engages in a dialogue with the rest of the chorus. I cite Bacchylides 18 SM, which represents a dialogue between Aigeus, the father of Theseus, and the chorus. It seems that it is the khorēgos here who represents Aigeus.

§62. It should be clear then that I understand the monodic form to be not antithetical to the choral but rather predicated on it. A figure like Sappho speaks as a choral personality, even though the elements of dancing and the very presence of a choral group are evidently missing from her compositions. Still, these compositions presuppose or represent an interaction, offstage, as it were, with a choral aggregate.

§69. The concept of mīmēsis, in conveying a reenactment of the realities of myth, is a concept of authority as long as society assents to the genuineness of the values contained by the framework of myth. Correspondingly the speaker who frames the myth, or whose existence is reenacted as framing the myth, is an author so long as he or she speaks with the authority of myth, which is supposedly timeless and unchanging. The author has to insist on the {373|374} timelessness and unchangeability of such authority, which resists the pressures of pleasing the interests of the immediate audience by preferring the pleasure of timeless and unchanging values transmitted to an endless succession of audiences by way of mīmēsis.

§70. These thought patterns are particularly evident in two passages from Theognis of Megara. In the first the persona of Theognis declares that only the one who is sophos, that is, ‘skilled’ in the decoding and encoding of poetry, [190] can execute a mīmēsis ‘reenactment’ of Theognis:

οὐ δύναμαι γνῶναι νόον ἀστών ὅντιν’ ἔχουσιν·
οὔτε γὰρ εὖ ἔρδων ἁνδάνω οὔτε κακῶς·
μωμεῦνται δέ με πολλοί, ὁμῶς κακοὶ ἠδὲ καὶ ἐσθλοί·
μιμεῖσθαι δ’ οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀσόφων δύναται.

Theognis 367–370

In the second and related passage, we see that the notion of mīmēsis is an implicit promise that no change shall occur to accommodate the interests of any local audience in the here and now, that is, of the astoi ‘townspeople’. The reperformance of a composition, if it is a true reenactment or mīmēsis, can guarantee the authenticity of the “original” composition. In the second passage, where the persona of Theognis actually identifies himself by name, thereby authorizing himself, there is an explicit self-description of the author as someone who practices sophiā, the ‘skill’ of decoding or encoding poetry, {374|375} and as one who therefore possesses the authority of timeless and unchanging value, resisting the necessity of having to please merely the audience of the here and now:

Κύρνε σοφιζομένῳ μεν ἐμοὶ σφρηγὶς ἐπικείσθω
          τοῖσδ’ ἔπεσιν, λήσει δ’ οὔποτε κλεπτόμενα,
οὐδέ τις ἀλλάξει κάκιον τοὐσθλοῦ παρεόντος,
          ὧδε δὲ πᾶς τις ἐρεῖ· Θεύγνιδός ἐστιν ἔπη
τοῦ Μεγαρέως· πάντας δὲ κατ’ ἀνθρώπους ὀνομαστός·
          ἀστοῖσιν δ’ οὔπω πᾶσιν ἁδεῖν δύναμαι.

Theognis 19–24

Kyrnos, let a seal [sphrāgis] be placed by me, as I practice my skill [sophiā],
upon these my words. This way, it will never be undetected if they are stolen,
and no one can substitute something inferior for the genuine thing that is there.
And this is what everyone will say: “These are the words of Theognis of Megara, whose name is known among all mortals.”
But I am not yet able to please [= verb handanō] all the townspeople [astoi].

The composer must risk alienation in his own here and now in order to attain the supposedly universal acceptance of the ultimate audience, which is the cumulative response of Panhellenic fame, [
194] achieved through the authority and authenticity of mīmēsis. Implicitly, only the pleasure of exact reperformance, the ongoing achievement of mīmēsis, is truly lasting. [195] The pleasure elicited through changes in response to an immediate audience is ephemeral.

§71. Before we leave the topic of solo singers or poets who speak as choral personalities even though their persona has become detached from the chorus, I draw attention to a remarkable case where the solo singer is represented as potentially becoming attached to a chorus as their khorēgos, only to stay detached in the end. In the Homeric Hymn to Apollo 150, there is a description of a festival on the island of Delos where contests in choral performance take place. [196] In this context, the figure of Homer describes a choral ensemble on the island of Delos, known as the Deliades, who can mīmeisthai ‘make a mimesis’ (Hymn to Apollo 163) of anyone who comes {375|376} to the festival where they perform (162–164). [197] By implication they could make a mimesis of Homer as well. By performing Homer they could represent Homer. That is, they could be the speakers, the “I” of the performance, with Homer as their khorēgos and speaking through their identity. They would be like the girls in Alcman PMG 1, through whom Alcman speaks when they sing his words in choral ensemble. More fundamentally they would be like the Muses, through whom Apollo speaks when they sing the words of choral performance. But the figure of Homer indirectly declines the occasion, calling on the good will of the Deliades in the same way that the performer of a prelude calls on the good will of the god who is the subject and occasion of the prelude, so that the same performer may go on to the rest of the performance (Hymn to Apollo 166). He promises to sing about them as he proceeds on his way to give performances throughout the various cities of the Hellenic world (174–175). [198] Instead of staying in Delos as a choral personality who finds expression through the local quasi-Muses, the Deliades, he will be a Panhellenic personality whose “I” speaks for itself, and it will be through him that the Panhellenic Muse of the Iliad and Odyssey finds her own self-expression. [199]

§74. It is time to sum up what we have observed so far about the khoros ‘chorus’ as a formal expression of the simultaneity of hierarchy and egalitarianism in the polis. It is implicit that the khorēgos ‘chorus leader’ is diachronically a combination of composer and leading performer, while the rest of the khoreutai ‘chorus members’ are performers. The key to choral performance is the public presentation, the apo-deixis, of the khorēgos. The authority of the khorēgos is presented through the performance of the “I” that is the chorus, and it is from this authority that his authorship emanates. It is useful to cite a particularly interesting ethnographic parallel, taken from the following description of choral composition and performance in Andamanese society: [203]

Every man composes songs, and the boys begin to practise themselves in the art of composition when they are still young. A man composes his song as he cuts a canoe or a bow or as he paddles a canoe, singing it over softly to himself, until he is satisfied with it. He then waits for an opportunity to sing it in public, and for this he has to wait for a dance. Before the dance he takes care to teach the chorus to one or two of his female relatives so that they can lead the chorus of women. He sings his song, and if it is successful he repeats it several times, and thereafter it becomes part of his repertory, for every man has a repertory of songs that he is prepared to repeat at any time. If the song is not successful […] the composer abandons it and does not repeat it. Some men are recognized as being more skillful song-makers than others.

§75. In what precedes, I have also stressed that the presentation through the {377|378} chorus is the representation that is mimesis. The “I” of the choral ensemble is not just the collectivization of persons who are singing and dancing at the ritual: it is also the impersonation of characters that belong to whatever myth is being represented in the ritual. We have seen in compositions like Alcman PMG 1 how a differentiated khorēgos who is composer and who is offstage, as it were, makes the collectivized “I” of the chorus speak about another differentiated khorēgos, the alter ego of the composer, who is the mute virtuoso dancer and who is center stage, the focus of collectivized experience, either male or female.

§76. With these observations in mind, let us move away from the patterns of evolution in choral lyric as attested in a polis like Sparta and shift the emphasis to another possible pattern of evolution, within the highly complex institution of the dramatic festivals, especially the Feast of the City Dionysia, in the polis of Athens. [204] Here, to begin, the khorēgos ‘chorus leader’ has become ultimately differentiated as a contemporary nonperformer, who organizes and subsidizes both the composition and the performance. [205] Meanwhile, the differentiated function of a performing chorus leader is further differentiated by another split in functions, with a marked “first actor” on one hand and an unmarked chorus leader on the other. This further differentiation is represented in the story that tells of Thespis’ “invention” of the first actor (Aristotle in Themistius Orations 26.316d; Charon of Lampsacus FGH 262 F 15). [206] A dialogue between the differentiated “first actor” and the undifferentiated chorus leader would be a further differentiation of a dialogue between the khorēgos and the chorus (cf. Aristotle Poetics 1456a25). [207] Finally, there are yet further stages of differentiation with the “invention” of the “second actor,” attributed to Aeschylus (Aristotle Poetics 1449a15), and of a “third actor,” attributed to Sophocles (ibid.). [208] The first actor, of course, is diachronically the composer. Such was the situation with Aeschylus, [209] whereas with Sophocles there is further differentiation between composer and actor, in that Sophocles, tradition has it, ceased to act in the later stages of his career. [210] It is in the interaction between first and second actor, I {378|379} suggest, that the singular form of poetry in dialogue, iambic trimeter, probably becomes differentiated out of the plurality of various different forms of song in choral presentation. [211]

§80. Such references to the self in the compositions of Pindar and Bacchylides should help solve the problem of a reference in Pindar Pythian 5.75 to the Aigeidai, a lineage orginating in Thebes and extending into important offshoots at Sparta and its colonies. [218] In the case of Pythian 5, a composition in honor of a chariot race victory of Arkesilas, king of Cyrene, the Aigeidai are described as participating in the colonization of Thera, from where the polis of Cyrene was in turn colonized (76 and following). In this context, the Aigeidai are described as ἐμοὶ πατέρες ‘my ancestors [pateres]’, and the problem is whether the word ἐμοὶ ‘my’ here refers to Pindar or to the chorus. [219] The second choice is unlikely if the body politic of Cyrene, as ostensibly represented by the chorus, is not ideologically derivable from the single lineage of the Aigeidai, even by way of ellipsis. And it would be special pleading to posit a Cyrenaean chorus consisting exclusively of members of the Aigeidai. It seems more plausible, then, to interpret ἐμοὶ πατέρες ‘my ancestors’ as a proud reference by the poet Pindar to his own lineage. [220] From the standpoint of Panhellenic prestige, the lineage of the Aigeidai can rival in distinction the corresponding lineage of any of the historical personages whom Pindar praises. If we can take Pindar’s pride in his own Theban ancestry as a given, we can better understand the ideology of a Pindaric composition like Isthmian 8, which extends the symmetry in the reciprocal {380|381} relation between the giver of praise, the poet, and the receiver of praise, the victor, to an overarching symmetry between their respective cities, Thebes and Aegina: since the nymphs Thebe and Aegina were twin sisters, as myth has it, the noble populations that were generated from them are in turn related to each other (Isthmian 8.15–23). [221] The metaphor of a genetic affinity between poet and victor has force, I suggest, if Pindar’s lineage is comparable in status to that of the athletic victor from Aegina.


[ back ] 1. Cf. Ch. 5§10.

[ back ] 2. Cf. Ch. 5§14.

[ back ] 3. Cf. Ch. 5§16.

[ back ] 4. See Ch. 4, Ch. 5.

[ back ] 5. See Ch. 3§53.

[ back ] 6. Cf. Calame 1977 I 18–20, 117, 249.

[ back ] 7. Cf. Ch. 5§53.

[ back ] 8. Cf. Ch. 5§10. For a useful survey of city festivals serving as contexts for choral performance in the Greek-speaking areas of Italy and Sicily, see Burnett 1988.129–147.

[ back ] 9. Cf. Ch. 3§5. For a cross cultural view of the maintenance of a distinction between solo and chorus, see Schneider 1957.4–5.

[ back ] 10. Cf. Ch. 3§7, 3§14.

[ back ] 11. Cf. Ch. 3§5.

[ back ] 12. Cf. Ch. 6§9.

[ back ] 13. Woodbury 1968.532–533.

[ back ] 14. Cf. Ch. 3§9.

[ back ] 15. That this figure is one of the Seven Sages, at least in one particular variant of the Seven Sages theme, is made explicit in the scholia to the passage (iii pp. 215–216 Drachmann: the authority is Andron of Ephesus). See also the following note.

[ back ] 16. In Alcaeus the name of the Sage is specified as Aristodemos, and his saying is localized in Sparta (F 360.1-2 V); in Pindar, by contrast, the Sage is called ‘the Argive’ (τὠργείου Isthmian 2.9). In Diogenes Laertius 1.41, where the traditions about alternative membership in the flexible theme of the Seven Sages are being discussed, Aristodemos is named as one of the Seven. For more on the theme of the poet as a righteous man who is bereft of his possessions and betrayed by his friends, see Ch. 14§31–32.

[ back ] 17. Cf. Ch. 3§29.

[ back ] 18. On which see Lewis 1985; cf. N 1982.61–62,1985.51–56.

[ back ] 19. Kurke 1988.204-207; cf. Burnett 1988.139.

[ back ] 20. Cf. Ch. 3§54–60 and following.

[ back ] 21. Ibid.

[ back ] 22. In this connection I cite Schneider 1957 for a useful cross cultural survey of collective performance. Although this work is in some respects outdated, many of its formulations have a lasting value, such as the following: “But the participation of a [chorus] not only helps the regularity of the rhythmic movement: it also contributes materially to the unification of the melodic line” (p. 4). As an example, he cites the following observation about collective performance in African pygmy society, which normally begins “with a wild cry for all the singers out of which a comparative union gradually emerges. The melodic line and the various rhythms of the opening gradually adjust themselves to one another and in the end there emerges a completely regular community chant” (ibid.). As Schneider notes further on, “the powerful influence of collective performance on the development of primitive music can be seen from the fact that even funeral music and love-songs are also very largely choral” (ibid.).

[ back ] 23. A pathfinding work in this regard is Calame 1977.

[ back ] 24. On the strict preservation of performance traditions in song at Sparta, see Athenaeus 633f.

[ back ] 25. See Ch. 3§7.

[ back ] 26. Cf. Barker 1984.214. On Xenocritus of Locri, as an exponent of Aeolian harmoniā, see Ch. 3§27.

[ back ] 27. This passage is the only extant reference to either the Arcadian Apodeixeis or the Argive Endumatia. On the Feast of the Gumnopaidiai at Sparta, see also Pausanias 3.11.9, and other passages surveyed by Nilsson 1906.140–142.

[ back ] 28. Cf. Ch. 12§49.

[ back ] 29. Ch.8.

[ back ] 30. Herington 1985.25–26.

[ back ] 31. See Ch. 5§10–13.

[ back ] 32. Cf. Calame 1977 I 277. The choral performances at the Feast of Gymnopaidiai (on which see Ch. 12§15) took place within this space: Pausanias 3.11.9.

[ back ] 33. Cf. Calame 1977 I 437–439.

[ back ] 34. Cf. Calame ibid.

[ back ] 35. Ibid.

[ back ] 36. That the αὔτα of verse 45 refers to Hagesikhora is argued by Calame 1977 II 47n3; cf. also Calame 1983.326.

[ back ] 37. That the mention of khorēgos at Alcman PMG 1.44 refers to Hagesikhora: Calame 1977 II 46–47; also Calame 1983.326.

[ back ] 38. Calame II 46–47. Cf. Griffiths 1972.24–26.

[ back ] 39. Detailed comparison in Calame II 123–126.

[ back ] 40. I am using here the word mimesis in the sense outlined in the discussion of mīmēsis at Ch. 1§44 and following.

[ back ] 41. That the Hagesikhora figure is not divine is clear from the comparison with those quasi-Muses, the Sirens, to whom she is said to be inferior because they are goddesses (σιαὶ γάρ Alcman PMG 1.98); cf. Calame 1983.346–347.

[ back ] 42. On Helen and the Leukippides, see Kannicht 1969 II 381–382. Also Calame 1977 I 326–330, who shows that the theme of radiant horses is a sacred symbol for the dawn, a cult topic shared by the figure of Helen with the Leukippides, who in turn are consorts of the Dioskouroi, brothers of Helen. On the traditional association of Helen and the Dioskouroi with the symbolism of the dawn, see N 1973.172–173n94; note too N 1979.200 for a discussion of the epithet of Helen, Dios thugatēr ‘daughter of Sky/Zeus’ (Odyssey iv 227), which is inherited from the figure of Eos, the dawn goddess par excellence. It is important to note that the chorus of Alcman PMG 1 seems to be worshipping a dawn goddess, Aōtis (verse 87): see Calame II 124–125.

[ back ] 43. Calame 1977 II 126–133. The possible rivalry of Agido and Hagesikhora is to be noted for a later stage in the discussion.

[ back ] 44. Calame I 323–333.

[ back ] 45. Ibid.

[ back ] 46. In Polyaenus 8.59, we read of the appearance of a priestess of Athena who is dressed in full armor, like the goddess; cf. Connor 1987.46.

[ back ] 47. The association of the Leukippides with the theme of radiant horses can be correlated with the comparison of Agido and Hagesikhora to two resplendent racehorses in Alcman PMG 1.50–59. For the choral application of racehorse imagery, see Calame II 83 on the equation of khorēgos and cheval conducteur. Calame II 70 shows that these horses in the Alcman passage are represented as Scythian and Lydian. Such foreign associations assert the Panhellenic prestige of Spartan traditions, in that they reflect the widespread contacts enjoyed by the polis; they also reinforce the theme of “foreign is native,” on which see Ch. 10, especially §29 and following.

[ back ] 48. Pausanias 3.16.1 gives the names of the Spartan Leukippides as Hilaeira and Phoibē, and Calame I 325 provides indications that they were considered daughters of Apollo.

[ back ] 49. Cf. Calame I 69, 181–182 and II 124; also Connor 1987.44.

[ back ] 50. Calame II 140–141, with n3. For more on the Agiadai, see Ch. 6§18.

[ back ] 51. On the reading Agēsidāmos as distinct from Hāgēsidāmos, see Calame 1983.457. On dēmos as ‘local population’, see Ch. 2§12.

[ back ] 52. Commentary in Calame 1983.414–415; also Calame 1977 II 106.

[ back ] 53. Calame II 141–142. Note too the naming of the father of Agēsidāmos, mentioned in the same composition, Alcman PMG 10(b).12: Dāmotīmos ‘he who has the honor [tīmē] of the local population [dēmos]’. Specifically the father is named here by way of a patronymic adjective applied to Agesidamos: Dāmotīmidās. The use of the patronymic form here in Alcman PMG 10(b).12 seems parallel to the generic application of Polupāidēs ‘son of the one who possesses much’ to the figure of Kyrnos in Theognis 191 et passim, as discussed in N 1985.55–56. For more on expressive patronymics, see the references in N 1979.17§4n1.

[ back ] 54. On the Gymnopaidiai, see Ch. 12§15; as we shall see later, n56, this Spartan festival plays a significant role in the narrative strategy at Herodotus 6.67.2.

[ back ] 55. For more on the semantics of sēma ‘sign, symbol, distinguishing feature’, from which a-sēmos ‘without distinction’ is derived, see Ch. 7§10 and following.

[ back ] 56. Cf. also Plutarch Banquet of the Seven Sages 149a: in this retelling of the story, the person in charge of organizing the choral event, presumably again the Feast of Gymnopaidiai, is specified as the arkhōn ‘leader’ of the festival. We may compare a passage in Herodotus 6.67.2, where Demaratos, who at this point has been deposed as king of Sparta, is pictured as attending the Gymnopaidiai, and where he is insulted by Leotychides, the king who replaced him. Leotychides addresses to Demaratos the insulting question: how does it feel ‘to be leader’ [verb arkhō] after having been king [verb basileuō]? By implication Demaratos was an arkhōn ‘leader’ at the festival. In light of the Spartan lore about king and status at the Gymnopaidiai, the insult here has special pertinence. When Demaratos answers that at least he has experienced both positions, that is, both leadership at the Gymnopaidiai and kingship, whereas Leotychides has occupied only the second of the two (Herodotus 6.67.3), the pointed implication is that the present status of Demaratos as arkhōn at the Gymnopaidiai may have more to do with the question of real political power than does his former status as king of Sparta. Reinforcing such an implication, Demaratos adds that the mocking question of Leotychides will have enormous consequences, either great misfortune or good fortune, for the Spartans, whereupon he leaves the polis and defects to the Persians (Herodotus ibid.). The overall narrative of Herodotus further reinforces this whole set of implications when, at a later point, Demaratos is pictured as returning to threaten all Hellas as chief advisor of the invading Persians.

[ back ] 57. Cf. Plutarch Sayings of Spartans 219e (King Damonidas) and Diogenes Laertius 2.73 (Aristippos). In the former case the King addresses the organizer of the choral event as khorēgos. The usage of khorēgos here may be parallel to what we see in Herodotus 6.67.2, on which see n56. Or it may reflect, anachronistically, the Classical Athenian meaning, on which see Ch. 12§40.

[ back ] 58. For a metaphorical perversion of such institutional mimesis by a Spartan king, at least from a Spartan point of view, see Thucydides 1.95.3, where the suspicions of the Spartans against their king Pausanias are described as follows: τυραννίδος μᾶλλον ἐφαίνετο μίμησις ἢ στρατηγία ‘there was an appearance more of a mimesis of tyranny than a generalship’. As Nehamas 1982.57 points out, it is not that Pausanias is counterfeiting a tyrant: rather that he is emulating one. I agree with Nehamas that “even in the latter half of the fifth century, [the term mīmēsis and its cognates] did not go hand in hand with the Platonic notions of the counterfeit, the merely apparent, the deceitful, and the fake” (ibid.). For instances of mīmēsis as an emulation of forerunners, Nehamas, p. 75n49, adduces passages like Herodotus 5.67.1, where Kleisthenes the Reformer of Athens is said to have ‘made a mimesis’ (ἐμιμέετο) of his maternal grandfather, Kleisthenes the Tyrant of Sikyon. In this connection we may note the etymological links in Latin between the adjective aemulus ‘striving to equal’ and the verb imitārī ‘follow the actions or conduct of, imitate’; related to imitārī is the noun imāgō ‘representation; death mask of ancestor’ (cf. Pliny Natural History 35.6).

[ back ] 59. Here I part company with previous commentators, who seek to find single historical occasions for compositions like Alcman PMG 1.

[ back ] 60. On the poetics of the oikos ‘home, homestead, household’ as the centripetal focus of Panhellenic prestige, especially as attested in the words of Pindar, see Kurke 1988.45–65; also Hubbard 1985.12–15.

[ back ] 61. Lane 1954.13; cf. Merriam 1964.174.

[ back ] 62. The verb melpomai, as at Hymn to Hermes 476, covers both singing and dancing. On the undifferentiated designation of both components by this verb, see Calame 1977 I 163–165. In Hymn to Hermes 425–433, Hermes is represented as performing the first song ever performed, a theogony that represents an undifferentiated type of singing; commentary in N 1982.56–57. But when Hermes gives his lyre to Apollo (434–512), a differentiation in their roles happens in the process, on which see N ibid. Given that Hermes is a model for an undifferentiated and prototypical form of SONG, we may note with interest that the most undifferentiated representation of Apollo as master of song is presented in the words of Hermes himself (again Hymn to Hermes 475–476).

[ back ] 63. On kharis as ‘pleasurable compensation, through song or poetry, for a deed deserving of glory’, see Ch. 2§27.

[ back ] 64. The specialty of the Muses, song, in this case overlaps with dance by way of the verb melpomai at Shield of Herakles 206. On melpomai as ‘sing and dance’, see Ch. 12§26. For a rare glimpse of the Muses in their less differentiated role as singers and dancers, I cite Hesiod Theogony 1–21. Note that the Muses in this less differentiated role are pictured as local, living on Mount Helikon, whereas they become more differentiated as they move up to Panhellenic status at their new home on Mount Olympus (Theogony 22 and following); discussion in N 1982.55–57.

[ back ] 65. The earliest attestation of huporkhēma is in Plato Ion 534c, where it is treated as parallel to dithurambos ‘dithyramb’, enkōmion ‘encomium’, epos, and iambos (all forms occurring in the plural here). Note the usage of huporkhēma in Athenaeus 617b-f, who then quotes as illustration the text of Pratinas PMG 708; for an informative discussion of why Athenaeus refers to this particular composition of Pratinas as a huporkhēma, with special attention to the prescriptive self-references, at lines 6–7 of PMG 708, concerning the traditional subordination of dance to song, see Seaford 1977–1978.87–88. Seaford (pp. 92–94) argues convincingly that this passage from Pratinas, PMG 708, deliberately mocks, by parody, the style of dithurambos ‘dithyramb’ as perfected by the likes of Lasus of Hermione. On the semantics of huporkhēma, I have also benefited from the discussion of Mullen 1982.13–17.

[ back ] 66. Cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1968.255n2.

[ back ] 67. Cf. Mullen 1982.16.

[ back ] 68. Mullen, p. 13.

[ back ] 69. I agree with West 1971.309 in adducing the full text of Iliad XVIII 604–605.

[ back ] 70. Cf. Calame 1977 I 394–395.

[ back ] 71. For more on the huporkhēma, see also Seaford 1977–1978.87–88: it seems clear that the semantics of huporkhēma progressed over time from more general to more specific. So also in the case of skolion, as discussed at Ch. 3§48.

[ back ] 72. Cf. Ch. 8§5 and following, with reference to the mechanics of the prooimion in Archaic Greek poetry as compared with the first sentence of the Histories of Herodotus.

[ back ] 73. Koller 1956.191.

[ back ] 74. Detailed demonstration by Koller, pp. 174–182, 195–206.

[ back ] 75. Definitive discussion by Koller, pp. 173–174.

[ back ] 76. The latter passage is quoted at Ch. 2§47.

[ back ] 77. Full repertoire of examples, along with detailed interpretation, discussion, and commentary, in Koller 1956.174–182. More on humnos as ‘song’ in the discussion that follows. Koller, p. 177, stresses that humnos is the totality of performance; cf. ἀοιδῆς ὕμνον ‘humnos of the song’ at Odyssey viii 429. We explore further below whether the ‘rest of the song’ that supposedly follows each of the Homeric Hymns may be a stylized formal convention rather than an actual sequel.

[ back ] 78. Commentary by Koller, p. 193, who shows that the certamen ‘contest’ of the kitharōidoi, that is, what the Greeks would call their agōn, corresponds to the agōn ‘contest’ of the rhetoricians, as in the beginning of Demosthenes On the Crown: πρῶτον μὲν, […] τοῖς θεοῖς εὔχομαι πᾶσι καὶ πάσαις, […] τοσαύτην [sc. εὔνοιαν] ὑπάρξαι μοι παρ’ ὑμῶν εἰς τουτονὶ τὸν ἀγῶνα ‘First of all, I pray to all the gods and goddesses that as much good will [as I have accorded to the community] will also be accorded to me from you, for this present contest [agōn]’.

[ back ] 79. Cf. N 1982.53–55.

[ back ] 80. Argued at length in N ibid.; cf. Koller, pp. 181–182.

[ back ] 81. On which see Ch. 12§29 above.

[ back ] 82. The adjective hāgēsikhoros ‘chorus-leading’ here is identical with the name Hāgēsikhorā ‘she who leads the chorus’, as in Alcman PMG 1.

[ back ] 83. Cf. Ch. 12§12.

[ back ] 84. Cf. Ch. 3§9.

[ back ] 85. Cf. ibid.

[ back ] 86. Cf. ibid.

[ back ] 87. Cf. Koller 1956.183.

[ back ] 88. Koller, pp. 183, 188.

[ back ] 89. Cf. Ch. 2§13.

[ back ] 90. For ὕμνησαν Διὸς ἀρχόμεναι ‘made a song [humnos], starting with Zeus’ at Nemean 5.25, cf. Ἥλιον ὑμνεῖν … ἄρχεο Μοῦσα ‘start to make a song [humnos], Muse, about Helios…᾽; also ὅθεν περ καὶ Ὁμηρίδαι | ῥαπτῶν ἐπέων τὰ πόλλ’ ἀοιδοὶ | ἄρχονται ‘from which point the Homeridai, singers [aoidoi] of stitched-together words, most often take their start, from Zeus Prooimios [= “Zeus of prooemia”]’ at Nemean 2.1-3 (where “Zeus prooimios” = “Zeus of the prooemium”); further details below. For πρώτιστον μὲν … ὥς ‘at the very beginning, how it happened that…᾽ at Nemean 5.25–26, cf. ὡς τὰ πρῶτα (same translation) at Hymn to Hermes 427, where a paraphrase begins to recap the contents of the prooemium sung by Hermes (cf. Ch. 12§33 above).

[ back ] 91. Cf. Ch. 12§33.

[ back ] 92. I use the word “line” here simply as a visual reference to the text as printed. For an interpretation of Pindar Nemean 3.11–12 that differs from the paraphrase just presented, see Hubbard 1987b.

[ back ] 93. On which see also n90.

[ back ] 94. Commentary by Koller 1956.190–192.

[ back ] 95. Cf. Mullen 1982.27. Mullen, p. 234n36, cites, with reservations, Fränkel [1975] 429n6 who thinks that Pindar’s Nemean 2, with its concluding sentence calling upon the chorus to start, was composed “so as to be repeated da capo as often as necessary, so that all the spectators lining the streets along the route might hear it in its entirety.” Shifting the emphasis from performance to composition, Kurke 1988.29 offers compelling observations about the “looping effect” of an ending that proceeds into the beginning. I would observe, in addition, that it is a lyric ending that comes full circle to a Homeric beginning.

[ back ] 96. Note the prayer in Homeric Hymn 10.5 that the god who presides over the occasion of performance may grant an aoidē ‘song’ that is hīmeroessa ‘full of desire’.

[ back ] 97. On kharis as ‘pleasurable compensation, through song or poetry, for a deed deserving of glory’, see Ch. 2§27.

[ back ] 98. The verb tithēmi has two objects here; with the first I translate this verb as ‘put’; with the second, as ‘set up’.

[ back ] 99. Cf. Ch. 3§9.

[ back ] 100. Cf. Ch. 12§36.

[ back ] 101. The usage of ἀμφί ‘about’ here in Terpander PMG 697 is morphologically parallel to what we find in the prooemium framework of Homeric Hymn 7.1 and 19.1. Cf. Aristophanes Clouds 595; also Euripides Trojan Women 511–513.

[ back ] 102. In Photius s.v. ἀμφιανακτίζειν, it is said that this introductory phraseology can fit three possible nomoi of Terpander: the Boeotian, the Aeolian, or the Orthios (cf. Ch. 3§9).

[ back ] 103. Cf. Ch. 3§48.

[ back ] 104. Cf. ibid.

[ back ] 105. Perhaps it is this kind of formulation that led Cicero to think it typical of citharoedi (= kitharōidoi ‘lyre singers’) to sing a prooemium (= prooimion) that tends to be disconnected thematically from the corpus of the whole performance (De oratore 2.80).

[ back ] 106. Cf. Ch. 12§32.

[ back ] 107. Cf. N 1979.5, 8–9.

[ back ] 108. Koller 1956.183–184.

[ back ] 109. On this meter, cf. West 1982.130; also Gentili and Giannini 1977.35–36.

[ back ] 110. Cf. Ch. 12§33.

[ back ] 111. Ibid.

[ back ] 112. Cf. Ch. 12§30.

[ back ] 113. Note too the details of usage characteristic of the prooemium: ἀμφί ‘about’ at viii 267, on which see the parallels at Ch. 12§40, and ὡς τὰ πρῶτα ‘at the very beginning, how it happened that…᾽, on which see the parallels at Ch. 12§37.

[ back ] 114. Cf. also Odyssey viii 499 and the commentary of Koller 1956.190n1.

[ back ] 115. Koller 1956.203–206.

[ back ] 116. See the Appendix.

[ back ] 117. Cf. Ch. 12§33 above.

[ back ] 118. Cf. Ch. 12§29 above.

[ back ] 119. I am using here the schematic notions of SONG and song as developed in Ch. 1.

[ back ] 120. The testimony of Archaic iconography on this theme is neatly articulated in Pausanias 5.18.4, who describes the image, on the Chest of Kypselos, of a lyre-playing Apollo in the midst of the chorus of Muses.

[ back ] 121. Cf. also [χο]ροστάτις = khorostatis ‘she who sets up the chorus’, applied to Hagesikhora at Alcman PMG 1.84; commentary by Calame 1983.342. For a collection of other passages showing the same traditional combination of verb histēmi ‘set up, establish’ plus the object of khoros, see Calame I 88–87n91; also p. 61n23.

[ back ] 122. Calame I 107n131.

[ back ] 123. Stewart 1983.56.

[ back ] 124. Calame I 96n114. We may note the prelude in Stesichorus PMG 278, where a single Muse is invoked to sing, accompanied by a lyre. For an argument against the notion, as proposed, for example, by West 1971, that Stesichorean performance is monodic, essentially the performance of a kitharōidos ‘lyre singer’, see Burkert 1987.51–55, who proposes that it is instead choral. Burkert, p. 52, points to a reference by the “Old Oligarch,” pseudo-Xenophon Constitution of Athens 1.13, concerning a lavish type of song-performance that became obsolescent in Athens under the democracy: “Stripped of its polemical overtones, this remains an interesting account of musical events before the democratic revolutions.” Burkert associates such “musical events” with Stesichorean performances; I do not agree, however, with his proposal (Ch. 1§63-2§1) that such events were performed by chorus members who were itinerant professionals. It would be enough to say instead that the scale and the virtuosity of choral performance at festivals and other such events would be different in aristocratic and democratic settings, and that Stesichorus represents a decidedly aristocratic setting. Cf. Burnett 1988.129–147. As a description of the kind of musical event represented by Stesichorus, Burkert adduces the passage in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo where the figure of “Homer” meets the chorus of Deliades at a festival on the island of Delos; he interprets lines 162–165 as a reference to the “performance of choral lyrics” (Ch. 2§6). On this passage, see further at Ch. 12§70 and following.

[ back ] 125. Cf. Iliad XXIV 721–722, where specialized singers of a differentiated form of lament, thrēnoi, are the exarkhoi ‘starters’ of the performance; then the women respond (ἐπί … 722) as a group, in a less differentiated form of lament, the goos. Cf. Ch. 1§15.

[ back ] 126. The goos is a less differentiated form of lament than the thrēnos. Still the goos too has a built-in hierarchy where someone has to lead off in performance, as designated by the verb exarkhō in the case of Andromache at Iliad XXIV 23, Hekabe at 747, and finally Helen at 761.

[ back ] 127. In this context, we may observe that the very concept of genre becomes necessary only when the occasion for a given speech-act, that is, for a given poem or song, is lost. Such is the case of the Hellenistic poets, as described by Williams 1968.35: “so they composed hymns to the gods, without any idea of performing them, or they wrote epitaphs, without any idea of inscribing them on a gravestone, or they wrote symposiastic poetry, without any real drinking-party in mind.” Cf. also Rossi 1971.75.

[ back ] 128. N 1979.279–316.

[ back ] 129. Ibid.

[ back ] 130. Ibid.

[ back ] 131. Cf. Chs. 1§7, 1§15, 1§17, 1§18, 13§24, and following.

[ back ] 132. Cf. Chs. 1§7, 13§27, and following. For a stylized representation of Apollo as choral leader of the paiēōn [= paiān] ‘paean’, see Hymn to Apollo 514–519.

[ back ] 133. Details in N 1979.303–308. Note especially my argument at p. 304§4n3 about the name of Mnēsiepēs, ‘he who remembers the words [as in epos ‘word’]’: “As the figure to whom Apollo ordains the cult of Archilochus in the Arkhilokheion, Mnesiepes bears a name that seems to correspond to his own function.”

[ back ] 134. Details at Ch. 13§30 and following.

[ back ] 135. Detailed commentary in N, pp. 301–302.

[ back ] 136. On the appropriateness of this word daimōn in designating either a god or a hero in the realm of cult: N 1979.128–129, 154.

[ back ] 137. The sources are collected by Nilsson 1906.414.

[ back ] 138. Cf. Ch. 12§12 and following.

[ back ] 139. As Calame 1977 I 141 points out, there are attestations of female choruses with male khorēgoi, but not of male choruses with female khorēgoi. For an ethnographic parallel, see Ch. 12§73.

[ back ] 140. Note the first-person feminine in Alcman PMG 3.81, 83 (on the latter, cf. the commentary of Herington 1985.21–22). In light of the internal references to choral competition in Alcman PMG 1, I draw special attention to the use of agōn ‘contest, place of contest’ in Alcman PMG 3.8.

[ back ] 141. I infer that the expression epikhōriai gunaikes ‘local women’ in Herodotus 5.83.3 refers to the members of the choruses; the point being made here by Herodotus is that only ‘local women’ are mocked in these choral performances, and not men. We may compare the scene in the Life of Archilochus tradition where a youthful Archilochus, as he is driving his cow in the countryside, meets a group of females whom he proceeds to mock, thinking that they are farmworkers who are leaving their work behind and heading for the city (Mnesiepes Inscription, Archilochus T 4.27–30 Tarditi). These country women, as it turns out, are the Muses themselves (T 4.37). See N 1979.303. The juxtaposed picture of a mocking Archilochus is analogous to his persona as an exarkhōn ‘choral leader’, on which see Ch. 12§49 above. At Ch. 13§34, we see that the theme of Archilochus as a master of mockery is connected with the figure of Demeter; moreover, there are distinct parallelisms between Demeter and the figures of Damia and Auxesia (again Nilsson 1906.414–416). The theme of Archilochus and the Rustic Muses may be compared with the traditions about the astrabikon, where choral performance is visualized as shifting from the polis to the countryside: Ch. 11§40.

[ back ] 142. Commentary by Calame 1977 I 60–62.

[ back ] 143. On the marriage of Pelops and Hippodameia as a fundamental model of power and political authority: Ch. 4 above.

[ back ] 144. On phūlē ‘tribal division’ as a model of simultaneous integration and differentiation, see N 1987. We may compare the latter-day bureaucratic and military usage of division in the sense of a large functioning unit.

[ back ] 145. In the Suda entry, a χοροδέκτης = khorodektēs ‘chorus receiver’ is described as a proexarkhōn who ‘receives’ the ‘stasis’ of the chorus. I take it that his function is to approve, by receiving, the constitution or constituency of a given choral group. Cf. Aristophanes Wealth 954, where stasis ‘station, position’ is found in collocation with koruphaios ‘chorus leader’ (953, used here in a figurative sense; more on this word at Ch. 12§56 above). Cf. also the usage of the compound katastasis ‘establishment’ in the traditions about the institution of Spartan choral festivals, as discussed at Ch. 12§15 above. As for stasis in the expression στάσιν μελῶν at Aristophanes Frogs 1281, see Cingano 1986, who shows that the first interpretation offered by the scholia for this line, claiming that the word denotes a stationary position for the chorus, does not square with the facts of choral performance. Cingano argues for the validity of the second interpretation offered by the scholia, that stasis here means sunodos (σύνοδον, scholia to 1281), where the word sunodos is to be interpreted in the sense of ‘the coming together resulting from juxtaposition’ (Plato Phaedo 97a, as translated in LSJ s.v.; cf. “Longinus” 10.3). Further, Cingano, p. 143, compares the relationship of stasis and sustasis (as in λόγων σύστασιν Plato Republic 457e) with that of thesis and sunthesis (as in τῶν ἐπῶν σύνθεσιν Diodorus Siculus 5.74.1). The meaning of thesis, as in the expression ἐπέων … θέσιν at Pindar Olympian 3.8, is composition, which helps explain the gloss in Hesychius s.v. στάσις: here the first three definitions of stasis are θέσις. χορός. συνέδρα ‘composition [thesis], chorus [khoros], conference [sunedrā]’ (Cingano ibid.). I agree with Pickard-Cambridge 1968.251 that the derivative stasimon means not that the chorus was standing “but that they had reached their station (στάσις) in the orchestra (they had not yet done this in the parodos; in the exodos they were leaving it).”

[ back ] 146. Cf. N 1985.24§2n2. A neutral context for this sense of the ‘lie’ or ‘setting’ of the winds is evident in, for example, Herodotus 2.26.2.

[ back ] 147. Extensive commentary in N 1985.22–36, 53, 64–68, 71, 76, 80–81.

[ back ] 148. Cf. Gluckman 1965.165 on the concept of multiple ties that bind, hence “divided loyalties,” as an ideological foundation of society.

[ back ] 149. There is a description of the female agōn ‘contest’ in running by Pausanias 5.16.2–6 (note especially the specific use of agōn at 5.16.2 and 5.16.4 in referring to the race).

[ back ] 150. Trozen, not “Troizen”: Barrett 1966.12.

[ back ] 151. More at Ch. 4 above on such formalized relationships between myth and ritual.

[ back ] 152. Cf. Loraux 1987.108–112, 1987d.50–55, with reference primarily to the political aspects of stasis.

[ back ] 153. On the terms unmarked and marked: Introduction §11.

[ back ] 154. This formulation is pertinent to the discussion at Ch. 12§12.

[ back ] 155. Cf. Ch. 12§17.

[ back ] 156. More detailed discussion, with further comparative data, in N 1985.40–41.

[ back ] 157. Cf. Ch. 12§15. There is a similar story about Terpander under the entry μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν in the Suda: when the polis of Sparta was in disorder, an oracle told them to send for the singer from Lesbos; when Terpander arrived at Sparta, he put an end to the stasis ‘social strife’ (ibid.). Finally, in a fragment of a story reported by Philodemus On Music, p. 18 Kemke, Stesichorus is pictured as putting a stop to discord among the people of a city, by singing in their midst, just as Terpander had reputedly done in Sparta (ibid.); in another mention of this parallelism between Stesichorus and Terpander, Philodemus describes the social discord as stasis (On Music, p. 87).

[ back ] 158. The reference at Theognis 791 to singing and dancing accompanied by the lyre is to be supplemented by 776–779, an explicitly choral scene.

[ back ] 159. The reference to the performance of song accompanied by lyre and reed in Theognis 531–534 does not explicitly differentiate the choral element, as in Theognis 791 (cf. 776–779), from the monodic. Elsewhere, as at Theognis 759–764, the singing accompanied by lyre and reed is dramatized in the context of a symposium (cf. also the references to the reed at 825–830, 943–944, 1055–1058, 1065–1068). Such sympotic contexts indicate the differentiated forms of monody. In general the figure of Theognis speaks less as a generalized choral personality and more as a specialized sympotic personality (cf. especially Theognis 239–243).

[ back ] 160. Commentary in N 1985.36–41. Although the figure of Theognis seems to be more differentiated than that of Thaletas in the form of his poetry (p. 24), he is less differentiated in function: the point remains that his personality as poet is undifferentiated from his personality as lawgiver.

[ back ] 161. See Ch. 6§62, 6§64; also N 1985.42–46.

[ back ] 162. Cf. the use of koruphaios ‘leading figure’ at Herodotus 6.98.2, quoted at Ch. 10§46.

[ back ] 163. N 1987.255.

[ back ] 164. Cf. Ch. 12§49.

[ back ] 165. Calame 1977 ΙΙ 126–127 makes a plausible argument that, while the characters Agido and Hagesikhora in Alcman PMG 1 represent the Leukippides, the chorus as a group represent a set of eleven cult figures known as the Dionysiades (on whom see Pausanias 3.13.6–7, Athenaeus 574d; also Calame Ι 323–333).

[ back ] 166. See Calame 1977 Ι 367–372 (also 126–127) for a detailed and persuasive discussion.

[ back ] 167. Cf. Ch. 12§30. In this connection Ι note the following observation of Mullen 1982.34: “What is most noticeable about instances of Pindar’s going out of his way to distinguish himself from the dancers is that he usually does so only by way of foil, that is, only in brief passages where he is relinquishing his role as leader to someone else.” According to Mullen (ibid.), this pattern of relinquishing choral leadership is simply a rhetorical strategy in Isthmian 8.1–4 (let someone other than me start the kōmos ‘revel’) and in Nemean 4.13–16 (if the victor’s father were still alive, he would be the choral lyric poet for this occasion), while it may be literally happening in other compositions where others are specified as having taken Pindar’s place in training and leading the chorus (Aineias in Olympian 6.88 and Nikasippos in Isthmian 2.47).

[ back ] 168. On Alcman as didaskalos ‘teacher’ of the daughters of the Spartans, as also of their ephēboi ‘citizen-initiates’, in the activity of patrioi khoroi ‘ancestral choruses,᾽ see lines 30–37 of the commentary in PMG, p. 30 (Oxyrhynchus Papyri 2506); cf. Herington 1985.24. Note too the vivid description of choral performances at the Spartan festival of the Huakinthia, Polycrates FGH 588 F 1 by way of Athenaeus 139e, where the compositions of Alcman were most likely at least part of the repertory (cf. the papyrus commentary to Alcman, PMG 10[a].5).

[ back ] 169. N 1985.30–36.

[ back ] 170. N, pp. 76; cf. 41–46, 74–76. In this case, however, the figure of the poet is less of a choral personality and more of a sympotic one: Ch. 12§55.

[ back ] 171. West 1971.

[ back ] 172. Burkert 1987.51; Burnett 1988.129–147, especially pp. 133–135.

[ back ] 173. See Ch. 12§46.

[ back ] 174. Cf. Ch. 12§48.

[ back ] 175. Cf. West 1971.302, 309, 313. On the basis of Oxyrhynchus Papyri 2617, it has been calculated that the Geryoneis of Stesichorus “contained at least 1,300 verses, the total being perhaps closer to two thousand” (West, p. 302). West concludes (ibid.): “Indeed, these were epic poems, in subject and style as well as in length: epics to be sung instead of recited.” Such calculations have been challenged by Burnett 1988.129–133.

[ back ] 176. On this point see n124 above.

[ back ] 177. Cf. Ch. 3§29.

[ back ] 178. On which see Ch. 3§7, 3§29, 3§42.

[ back ] 179. Cf. Ch. 3§42.

[ back ] 180. Cf. N 1979.279–308.

[ back ] 181. N 1979.296–297.

[ back ] 182. Ibid.

[ back ] 183. Koller 1956.166–167.

[ back ] 184. Koller, p. 167.

[ back ] 185. Pausanias ibid. worries about this visual association, in light of the laurel wand that the Muses give to Hesiod as a skēptron ‘scepter’ at Theogony 30. But there exist iconographical attestations of poetic figures who are pictured simultaneously with laurel branch and lyre, as in the case of Musaeus (documentation in Koller 1956.165n4).

[ back ] 186. See Ch. 2§49 and following.

[ back ] 187. See Ch. 1§44.

[ back ] 188. Such is the case of Hagesikhora, as discussed at Ch. 12§17 and following.

[ back ] 189. This is the sense of mīmēsis in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo 163, as discussed at Ch. 1§47 and following.

[ back ] 190. On sophos ‘skilled’ as a programmatic word used by poetry to designate the ‘skill’ of a poet in encoding the message of the poetry, see Ch. 6§4. A successful encoder, that is, poet, is by necessity a successful decoder, that is, someone who has understood the inherited message and can therefore pass it on. Not all decoders, however, are necessarily encoders: both poet and audience are decoders, but only the poet has the authority of the encoder. On the terms code and message as applied to general poetics, see Ch. 6§4.

[ back ] 191. In this and related contexts, astoi ‘townspeople’ seems to be the programmatic designation of local audiences, associated with the special interests of their own here and now.

[ back ] 192. The “doing,” of course, may amount simply to the performative level of “saying” by way of poetry.

[ back ] 193. The translation here may have veered too far from English idiom, which resists the notion of reenacting a person; accordingly we may choose to paraphrase thus: “But no one who is not skilled can reenact my existence.”

[ back ] 194. This theme of the alienated poet is examined at length in N 1985.30 and following.

[ back ] 195. On the reenactment, through poetry, of both choral and sympotic settings in the compositions attributed to Theognis, see Ch. 12§55.

[ back ] 196. Thucydides refers to these contests as agōn (3.104 passim), comparing the festival, as he reconstructs it from the Hymn to Apollo, to the contemporary pan-Ionian festival of the Ephesia, on which see Nilsson 1906.243–247.

[ back ] 197. Cf. Ch. 1§47 and following.

[ back ] 198. Commentary in N 1979.8.

[ back ] 199. To be contrasted is Iliad II 594–600, with the elliptic description of a negative encounter between the Muses and a figure called Thamyris (on the meaning of thamuris as ‘assembly’, synonymous with agōn, see N 1979.311§2n6). This figure Thamyris fits the description of a kitharōidos (Iliad II 599–600, with the commentary of Koller 1956.160).

[ back ] 200. The hupokritēs is ordinarily the second actor, as distinct from the prōtagōnistēs ‘protagonist’ (cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1968.127).

[ back ] 201. N 1982.53–57.

[ back ] 202. Ibid.

[ back ] 203. Radcliffe-Brown 1948.132; cf. Merriam 1964.175.

[ back ] 204. For a synopsis of the evolution of Athenian dramatic forms, see Ch. 13§5 and following.

[ back ] 205. For a review of the facts, see Calame 1977 I 92–93. There is an explicit formulation in Athenaeus 633b, to the effect that the Spartans use the word khorēgos not as ‘the one who hires the chorus’ but as ‘the one who leads the chorus’. The differentiation of the khorēgos as one who sponsors instead of performs is for me schematically parallel to the differentiation of an “athletic” victor in the Panhellenic festivals who has sponsored a four-horse chariot team instead of having driven it himself.

[ back ] 206. Pickard-Cambridge 1968.130–131.

[ back ] 207. See also Pickard-Cambridge, p. 131n3. For an example of dialogue between khorēgos and chorus, I cite again Bacchylides 18 SM, as discussed at Ch. 12§58.

[ back ] 208. For another version, see Pickard-Cambridge, p. 131.

[ back ] 209. Cf., for example, Athenaeus 21e–22a and the comments of Mullen 1982.20; also Pickard-Cambridge, pp. 250–251.

[ back ] 210. Testimonia in Pickard-Cambridge, p. 130 and n4. In earlier stages of his career, Sophocles himself reportedly played the lyre when he played the role of Thamyris in the Thamyris, and he played ball with great skill when he played the role of Nausikaa in the Nausikaa (Athenaeus 20e-f; commentary in Pickard-Cambridge, p. 251). Mullen, p. 20, remarks: ‘In Sophocles the unity of poet, dancer, and musician reaches its akmē among dramatists’.

[ back ] 211. Cf. Ch. 1§7 and following.

[ back ] 212. Pickard-Cambridge, pp. 127–132. Note the phrasing at p. 127: “Without any conscious differentiation of actors and chorus”; for the tendency to apply the words tragōidoi and kōmōidoi to the protagonists in old plays, while the other actors are called hupokritai or sunagōnistai, see p. 129.

[ back ] 213. Plato Laws 658b, as discussed at Ch. 3§42.

[ back ] 214. For case-by-case refutations of various theories that various poems in the epinician corpus of Pindar are not really epinicians, see Young 1983.

[ back ] 215. See Mullen 1982.28, who cites Pindar Olympian 7.13–14; Pythian 2.3–4; Isthmian 5.21–22 and 6.20–21 as illustrations. This is not to go so far as to say that the poet of choral lyric should be considered a soloist (for arguments in that direction, see Lefkowitz 1985.47–49; also Lefkowitz 1988).

[ back ] 216. See again Mullen ibid., who cites Pindar Olympian 6.84–86, 10.85; Pythian 2.3–4, 4.299; Isthmian 6.74–75, 8.16.

[ back ] 217. Ibid. For further discussion of the Pindaric “I,” see Lefkowitz 1963, Slater 1969b.89, and Hamilton 1974.113–115, where we see that the “I” of an epinician gravitates toward the khorēgos, while that of, say, a paean gravitates toward the khoros.

[ back ] 218. On the Aigeidai, see Ch. 6§60n136. On the Aigeidai as Thebans, see the reference in Pindar Isthmian 7 (14–15), a composition celebrating the victory of a Theban athlete.

[ back ] 219. Cf. Kirkwood 1982.3; cf. Lefkowitz 1985.45–47.

[ back ] 220. Cf. Farnell 1932.178–179; also Hubbard 1985.129n83, in disagreement with Bornemann 1891, who argues that the designation of the Aigeidai applies to Thebans in general. In Pindar Isthmian 7.14–15, the Aigeidai are indeed acknowledged as the Thebans; still, even if the poet were to say that the Aigeidai are the Thebans, such a vaunt could serve to acknowledge the prestige of an exclusive family by way of ellipsis, that is, the definition of the whole by way of a prominent part of the whole. Cf. the remarks on the Aiakidai at Ch. 6§58.

[ back ] 221. Cf. Ch. 7§6.

[ back ] 222. Mullen 1982.27.

[ back ] 223. Cf. Ch. 12§37.

[ back ] 224. Mullen, p. 27; cf. Slater 1969b.

[ back ] 225. Cf. Ch. 12§76.

[ back ] 226. Cf. Ch. 1§44 and following.