Power, Timothy. 2010. The Culture of Kitharôidia. Hellenic Studies Series 15. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Power.The_Culture_of_Kitharoidia.2010.
Part I. Princeps Citharoedus
1. Setting the Scene: A Citharode in Naples
2. The Emperor-Citharode and Other Pretenders
Even if some audiences could not resist laughing at his apparent overreaching, Nero was deadly, obliviously serious about winning the same acclaim his musical “betters” enjoyed; his quest for perfection in kitharôidia was no lark. Although he began his training much later in life than a professional citharode, who, typically brought up in a family of professional musicians, would have begun his vocational studies as a young boy, he likely devoted more energy to the music of the kithara than he did to anything else in his entire life. According to Suetonius Nero 20.1, at least five years before his appearance in Naples Nero had begun to study under the personal tutelage of the most highly esteemed citharode of the day (citharoedum vigentem tunc praeter alios), a Greek named Terpnus, whose very name advertises the awesome musical pleasure, terpsis, his talent produces in his listeners, and also hearkens back to the legendary founder of the medium, Terpander of Lesbos. He had honed his relatively weak singing voice through the same grueling regimen of exercises and deprivations that the professionals followed, although the routine seems more appropriate for Olympic athletes than musicians. Lying on his back, he balanced a heavy lead plate on his chest, a procedure intended to increase lung capacity and stamina of breath, and he habitually purged and maintained a strict diet—no fruit!—in the interest of vocal strength and clarity.
3. Showing Off: Citharodic Glamour and the Economics of Visual Display
3.1 How skeuê makes the citharode
3.2 Citharodes on parade
ἀγωνίζεσθαι προσόδιον τεῖ θυσίει ἐν τεῖ αὐλεῖ ἔ-
[χο]ντας τὴν σκευὴν ἥμπερ ἐν τοῖ ἀγῶνι ἔχουρ[ι]
all those competing in music
compete in the prosodion ‘processional song’ for the sacrifice in the aulê [an open courtyard area],
wearing the very skeuê they wear in the agôn proper.
The musicians’ playing of the sacrificial prosodion is surely connected to the sacrificial procession, or pompê, in which it is later stipulated they must also participate, and in which, it is entirely reasonable to assume, they are also to wear their skeuai:
μπευόντων δὲ καὶ οἱ τῆς μουσικῆς ἀγωνισταὶ πάντ-
ες, ὅπως ἂν ὡς καλίσστη ἡ πομπὴ καὶ ἡ θυσίη γίνηται.
Let all of the competitors in mousikê also take part in the pompê
so that the pompê and the sacrifice may be as splendid as possible.
Cities financed mousikoi agônes, even modest ones such as those in Eretria, whose operating budget was capped at the lowly sum of 1,000 drachmas (IG XII ix 189.4), for a set of interrelated reasons.  Obviously, there is the motivation to delight the citizenry, but also to raise the profile of the important civic cult to which the agônes are attached, to advertise the city’s cultural prestige, to compete for glory and distinction with other cities hosting contests, and to foster and to demonstrate to all, both citizen and stranger, their political soundness and communal harmony, ideals that resonate especially well in the organization of an orderly musical competition. Eretria instituted the musical agôn at the Artemisia as a way of symbolically marking a new political dawn following its liberation at the hands of Athens from the Macedonian-backed strongman Cleitarchus; the final lines (44–45) of the inscription optimistically assert that the agôn will be held in the prescribed fashion “for as long as the Eretrians are free, prospering, and ruling themselves.” But mousikoi agônes served to stimulate the local economy as well, by attracting large, exuberant crowds eager to listen to and look at the visiting star musicians, even the presumably “B-list” stars who would perform at the small-time Artemisia. The festival context of most agônes was a site of intensive mercantile activity—at the Artemisia a tax-free market was conveniently in effect (lines 32–34)—and a well-attended agôn could mean a good deal of commercial revenue for the citizens of the host polis.  As Hermes puts it in Aristophanes Wealth 1162–1163, “It is most appropriate for Wealth to hold musical and gymnastic agônes.” As god of commerce (empolaios) and contests (enagônios), Hermes knows whereof he speaks.
3.3 Technicolor dreamcoat
4. Apollonian Assimilations and Orphic Icons
Crucial to the performative mimêsis of Apollo enacted prototypically by the legendary citharode Chrysothemis, reputedly the first winner at the Pythian citharodic agôn (Pausanias 10.7.2), is the στολὴ ἐκπρεπής ‘conspicuous raiment’, which historical competitors in the contest long continued to wear.  The logic of myth and ritual in the matter of the skeuê is uroboric: mortal citharodes dress up as their patron god Apollo, who in turn is costumed as a mortal citharode. The Pythian section of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo thus opens with an iconic image of Apollo making his way to Delphi accoutered as a concert citharode, “playing on the hollow phorminx, wearing divine, perfumed garments” (182–184). Archaic and early Classical Attic vase paintings of citharodic scenes seem deliberately to invite confusion between divine model and mortal reenactor. We will examine this visual “feedback loop” between the two at greater length in Part IV.
5. Commemorating Citharodes
6. Erotic Audition
6.1 Seductions of the lyre
6.2 ‘Amazing passion’: Misgolas and company
ὃν ἂν ἴδῃ τὰς χεῖρας οὐκ ἀφέξεται.
καὶ μὴν ἀληθῶς τοῖς κιθαρῳδοῖς ὡς σφόδρα
ἅπασιν οὗτος ἐπιπεφυκὼς λανθάνει.
But this turbot (kitharos) here, if
Misgolas sees him, he won’t be able to keep his hands off.
I tell you, it’s really amazing, how with all the kitharôidoi,
he sneaks his way in really close to them!
The full story behind this comastic paraclausithyron must remain uncertain. Athenaeus calls Aristocles, a star performer of the earlier third century, the king’s erômenos, which would indicate that the two were involved in a reciprocal romantic/sexual relationship, and presumably a high-profile one, as both erastês and erômenos were celebrities.  The anecdote could be read to imply that both men, along with the Stoic philosopher Zeno, were fellow travelers in an elite artistic-intellectual social circuit, which might support this view.  But even if they did move through the same social circles in Athens, Antigonus of Carystus, the original source, in fact says only that the king passionately desired the citharode, which could mean merely than that the king was a smitten fan of Aristocles. His early-morning kômos could thus have been nothing more than an overly enthusiastic and spontaneous expression of one-way desire. But in either case the anecdote confirms that the desires of Misgolas were hardly obscure. Antigonus’ attraction to Aristocles indeed finds a telling echo in anecdotal accounts about another Hellenistic king, Ptolemy Philadelphus of Alexandria, a political rival of Antigonus, whose storied interest in the female citharode Glauce will be discussed below. In both cases the romantic pursuit of citharode by king represents an eroticized expression of a traditional theme: the attraction of royal or tyrannical power to citharodic celebrity.
6.3 The promiscuous appeal of the citharode
The rationalizing approach to mythical exegesis taken by Palaephatus typically results in silliness, and it does here as well.  Nevertheless, his claim to uncovering the “truth” beneath the myth has a certain merit, at least in terms of the socioeconomic reality of contemporary kitharôidia. Palaephatus imagines Amphion and Zethus to have been like the celebrated star citharodes of his own day (κιθαρῳδοὶ οὗτοι ἄριστοι), who gave lucrative and well-attended concerts (epideixeis).  So popular were these stars that Palaephatus can posit as a rational alternative to the mystical scenario of the myth what might appear to us to be an equally “unbelievable” scenario: eager fans would commit to hard labor in exchange for the pleasure of hearing the citharodes perform. But as a metaphor, this explanation is not so far from the historical situation: star citharodes could move mass populations of cities to part with their time and money in exchange for the pleasure of their music. And, in a sense, both the myth and Palaephatus’ attempted demystification of it suggest, through their respective metaphors, the rationally inexplicable influence exerted by the citharode over the body politic.
7. Juvenal on Citharodic Fandom in Rome
vocem vendentis praetoribus. organa semper
in manibus, densi radiant testudine tota
sardonyches, crispo numerantur pectine chordae
quo tener Hedymeles operas dedit: hunc tenet, hoc se
solatur gratoque indulget basia plectro.
quaedam de numero Lamiarum ac nominis Appi
et farre et vino Ianum Vestamque rogabat,
an Capitolinam deberet Pollio quercum
sperare et fidibus promittere. quid faceret plus
aegrotante viro, medicis quid tristibus erga
filiolum? stetit ante aram nec turpe putavit
pro cithara velare caput dictataque verba
pertulit, ut mos est, et aperta palluit agna.
There can be no doubt that these two matronae are figments of Juvenal’s misogynistic imagination, but, satirical distortions aside, the intense emotional attachments of fan to citharodic star that are limned in this passage must have had some basis in reality. The cult of kitharôidia transcended class lines, but Juvenal, ever on the hunt for outrage, predictably fixates on the scandalous interpenetration of the worlds of high society and popular music. This is surely not only a satirical theme, although it is that; Juvenal draws in some measure from real-life examples. There is no reason to doubt, for instance, the gossip that the wife of Emperor Pertinax (ruled 192–193 CE), Flavia Titiana, conducted an open affair—the emperor himself approved—with a citharode (Historia Augusta, Life of Pertinax 13.8), or to think that she was the first high-status Roman wife to do so. As both reality and cultural cliché, such affairs speak to the charisma of the celebrity citharode in post-Neronian Rome.
8. Women in kitharôidia?
8.1 Maria from Pharia
τλήμονες, οἷς ἄγναμπτον ἔχει νόον· ᾧ δ’ ἐπινεύσει, ἄλλος ὅδ’ Ἀγχίσης, ἄλλος Ἄδωνις ὅδε.
εἰ δ’ ἐθέλεις, ὦ ξεῖνε, καὶ ἀμφιβόητον ἀκοῦσαι οὔνομα καὶ πάτρην, ἐκ Φαρίης Μαρίη.
In the final line of the poem we learn that the player of the phorminx/kithara, who is represented in a painting viewed by the poet, is a woman by the name of Maria, a native of Alexandria, which is identified by the substantive epithet Pharia (by way of metonymy with its well-known cult of Isis Pharia).  The speaker’s obsessive gaze is fixed on Maria’s plêktron, which inspires a typically epigrammatic jeu des mots: the real plêktron with which she strikes (krouein) the strings, the notional plêktron ‘goad, sting’ that strikes the heart and incites desire. But there is likely a bawdier subtext to this mildly salacious wordplay: the speaker is aroused by the phallic shape of the device, the “erotic plectrum,” expertly wielded by the hand of this titillating musician. In an epigram devoted to Ariadne, a kithara player, by Paul’s contemporary Agathias, the plectrum is similarly foregrounded in the first verse, here again the focus of the erotic gaze (Palatine Anthology 5.222). 
8.2 Glauce: An Orpheus in Alexandria?
8.3 Painted women, and a citharode in Boscoreale
9. Going Professional
9.1 Musica occulta
9.2 Liminal Naples
Note how the blurring of lines between the public culture of the agônes and the enclosed world of the drinking party, would-be professionalism and amateur enthusiasm, Greek and Roman, prefigures, with some inversion, the semiotics of the Neapolitan performance event. There the public theater takes on the trappings of an “intimate” convivium/symposium; at Rome the emperor’s private feast (familiaribus epulis) becomes a quasi-theater in which he safely, invisibly plays at making a spectacle of himself, singing to an audience of appreciative Greeks—representatives by extension of the mass agonistic audience of their polis, which has already awarded him the prize of victory.
9.3 Roman performance anxieties
10. Popular Music and its (Greek) Discontents
11. Nero Citharoedus in Rome
11.2 New music: The cithara and the urbs
11.3 Playing to the plebs
12. “Bad” Citharodes, Tough Crowds
13. Factional Dramas
14. Theatrokratia, Fantasy and Reality
15. Twin Delight: Aesthetics and Techniques of Kitharôidia
Quintilian’s citharode is thus the consummate musical “multitasker,” effortlessly orchestrating the demands of song and strings: text, melody, rhythm, vocal production, and complex instrumental technique. The preeminent difficulty of kitharôidia is attested in the anecdotal and proverbial traditions of Greece and Rome as well. Cicero cites a saying, common among Greek musicians, that those who cannot succeed as citharodes become aulodes (Pro Murena 13.29). A scholiast to Aristophanes Birds 858 tells of one fifth-century BCE musician, Chaeris, who began his career as a κιθαρῳδὸς ψυχρός ‘frigid citharode’, but later became an aulêtês. This may be an attempt to account for the existence of two later-fifth-century musicians named Chaeris, one a citharode, the other an aulete, but the common assumption that aulos playing is less challenging than kitharôidia in any case informs the scholiast’s comment.  (According to “Aristotle” Problems 19.9 and 49, it was thought that singing to the lyre was generally a more difficult proposition than singing to the aulos, because the fuller sound of the reeds, itself akin to the human voice, disguised the singer’s errors, while the thinner-sounding strings left the voice exposed.)
The perfect fusion of instrument and voice inspires a kind of delightful aporia in its perception, a sensation echoed for the reader in the poem’s juxtaposed and interlaced order of words describing those functions.  This delight is neatly expressed by another late writer, the early Byzantine Aristaenetus, who describes the reaction of an enthusiastic fan to an outstanding citharode’s performance: “Bravo for the voice, bravo for the lyre! How very harmoniously the two sound together in unison! And how attuned is the tongue to the striking of the strings!” (ε γε τῆς φωνῆς, ε γε τῆς λύρας. ὡς ἄμφω μουσικώτατα συνηχεῖ, καὶ πρόσχορδος ἡ γλῶττα τοῖς κρούμασι, Greek Epistles 2.5.1–2). 
Although Plato disapproves of these elaborate effects—as a staunch musical conservative he advocates instead the traditional, homophonic mode of lyre playing, πρόσχορδα τὰ φθέγματα τοῖς φθέγμασι—his vivid polemic indicates that by the fourth century BCE, and thus certainly by Nero’s time, they were standbys of every competitive citharode’s technical repertoire, deployed, judiciously or not, as virtuoso color contrast to delivery all’unisono. 
16. Picking and Plucking
These comments should not inspire too much confidence, for they are premised upon a fundamental confusion of citharodes and citharists; the latter do not sing. Cicero, however, surely knows the difference between citharistae and citharoedi.  His choice of the former designation for the Aspendian statue must reflect the way the Aspendians themselves viewed their famous statue, as a mute κιθαριστής rather than a singing κιθαρῳδός, and how it became conventionally known abroad. A distinction made between inside and outside singing, and their attendant manual techniques, would certainly not be one observed by citharists. Such a distinction probably represents nothing more than a creative inference drawn from a literalizing interpretation of the phrase intus canere, which in turn became the basis for the reconstruction of the Aspendian’s stunt. A one-handed display of virtuosity is entirely imaginable; it would be in line with the gimmicks deployed by citharistic showmen, and no doubt some citharodes as well.
17. The Performative Body: Marching and Mimesis
καλὰ καὶ ὕψι βιβάς· αἴγλη δέ μιν ἀμφιφαείνει
μαρμαρυγαί τε ποδῶν καὶ ἐυκλώστοιο χιτῶνος.
Later in the Hymn, Apollo similarly accompanies the performance of the first paeanic chorus at Delphi καλὰ καὶ ὕψι βιβάς ‘stepping high and handsomely’ (516). In both cases, Apollo’s orchestic high stepping is a function of his role as lyric accompanist (the kitharistês) to a dancing chorus, not strictly as a solo kitharôidos, although that break-out role seems already incipient here.  What this might suggest is that the “march and dance steps” attributed by Phillis to the arkhaioi citharodes were vestigial traces of their own evolutionary origins as accompanists to choral processional and dance.  In performing his Persians, a nomos of the later fifth century BCE, Timotheus of Miletus might have paid homage to this “ancient” alla marcia style, and obliquely acknowledged the choral origins of his own medium, as he sang of, and very likely physically imitated, the chorus of Greeks singing and dancing a paean to celebrate their victory at Salamis: ἐπεκτύπεον ποδῶν ὑψικρότοις χορείαις ‘They beat the ground with the high-stomping dance movements of their feet’ (199–201).  In this moment, the citharode reverts to his primordial role of kitharistês, high-stepping alongside an imaginary chorus.
Plato has Socrates link in his critique the musician’s heavily mimetic score and “diction,” i.e. the text, to his physically mimetic skhêmata ‘gestures’ (or even ‘postures’); the musico-poetic and somatic elements of this phantasmagoric performance are thus complementary. Plato seems to have in mind here primarily virtuoso citharodes rather than auletes, as it would make little sense to say that auletes imitate the sound of the aulos.  But it was probably the auletes, both as agonistic soloists and dithyrambic choral accompanists, who took the lead in introducing novel bodily skhêmata into musical performance. To the old guard this trend represented a debasement of the ethical and somatic propriety of traditional mousikê, appealing to an audience of the lowest common denominator.  The comments of Aristotle are typical:
The context of this passage strongly suggests that Aristotle is referring primarily to auletes, but citharodes are tekhnitai as well, and may be a secondary target of his critique. Pausanias 9.12.4, surely channeling an older, perhaps Peripatetic anti-populist source, says that Pronomus, a famous Theban aulete of the fifth century, whose playing was “most seductive to the masses” (ἐπαγωγότατα ἐς τοὺς πολλούς), “afforded an excess (perissôs) of pleasure (terpsis) to the theaters by means of his facial expression and the movement of his entire body” (λέγεται δὲ ὡς καὶ τοῦ προσώπου τῷ σχήματι καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ παντὸς κινήσει σώματος περισσῶς δή τι ἔτερπε τὰ θέατρα).  Looking beyond the critical frame of these comments, we gain objective insight into the intimate dynamic between music and body in performance. The corporeal hyperkinesis of the aulete “embodies” the sonic lability of the New Music, which was (in)famous for its modulations (metabolai) from one harmonia ‘mode’ to another. Pronomus actually designed a pair of auloi that would allow him to modulate harmoniai in the same composition without changing instruments (Pausanias 9.12.4, Athenaeus 14.631e; citharodes would later achieve similar effects by adding strings to the kithara).  At the same time, the moving body of the musician produces its own powerful terpsis, so powerful, Pausanias’ source suggests, that it threatens, in its visual “excess,” to transcend its supplemental role and overwhelm the primary pleasure of musical audition. If this theatralization of musical experience worried reactionaries, it was nevertheless, as Pausanius puts it, “most seductive to the masses” in the theaters.
18. The Athletic Citharode
The writer presents us with an image of Nero being tortured, figuratively and literally; given that the emperor’s sadistic cruelty is elsewhere discussed at length (8–9), it has probably been chosen for its ironic value. But the sort of hyperextended, balletic pose that Nero is made to strike no doubt carried real mimetic significance vis-à-vis an actual text that was being sung by the citharodes of the day, if not by Nero himself.
19. Neronian Citharodic Politics
Seneca has the god himself do the panegyric heavy lifting. Apollo both prophesies and ratifies the new world order that will come to pass under Nero, while anointing him to be his earthly semblant, his uncanny equal in physical aspect and “song and voice,” that is, in kitharôidia. Appropriately, these ordinances take the form of carmina sung to the cithara. Apollo thus sets a practical model for Nero’s praiseworthy performance of citharodic song even as he cosmically grounds and divinely authorizes it. The phrase legum silentium rumpit ‘he will break the silence of the laws’ refers primarily to the fact that Claudius “had seriously encroached on normal legal activities,” a situation that Nero promised to rectify.  But in the word leges ‘laws’ we may hear too an allusion to the common Greek play on the meanings of nomos as ‘law’ and as the main genre of song performed by citharodes. The politico-legal and the musical are thus implicitly conflated. As princeps, Nero will give new “voice” to the laws; as citharoedus, he will more literally give voice to nomoi in Rome, where previously they have been “silent,” i.e. not heard and appreciated. It is likely, I think, that Seneca initially suggested the prestigious Hellenic cultural precedents in which his young charge could clothe his naked yearning for the concert stage in legitimacy, social responsibility, and even sublimity.
dulcis Apollinea sequitur testudine cantus,
et te credibile est Phoebo didicisse magistro.
The praise is bold: Apollo himself was Piso’s magister (168); his lyre is Apollo’s (167; cf. 171). It is likely also tendentious. This figuring of Piso as Rome’s premier Apollonian lyre player would seem to be a deliberate challenge to his rival Nero’s own outsized claims to identification with Apollo kitharôidos. The poet also compares Piso’s (privately, modestly practiced) lyric enthusiasms to those of Achilles, who, secluded in his tent, sang to his lyre in between battles (Iliad 9.184–191). The implication is that Piso knows how to balance the martial and the musical, while Nero, singing in public to the cithara, does not.
20. Augustan Antecedents
21. Evolving Models of Patronage
There is no reason to doubt the veracity of the story; Memnon is cleverly following in a tradition of capitalizing on citharodic charisma. But the idea of a citharode’s serving officially as the international goodwill ambassador of a powerful man, or indeed as his “secret agent,” is unheard of before Aristonicus. The next we hear of Aristonicus, he is playing alongside the famous aulete Dorion at the public festivities in Macedon celebrating Philip’s victory at Chaeroneia in 338 BCE (Theopompus FGrH 115 F 236 = Athenaeus 10.435b); he has traded up for a new and more powerful patron. That Aristonicus hailed from Olynthus, a city that Philip had razed ten years earlier, indicates the way that lucrative musico-political alliances transcended ethnic loyalties in this cosmopolitan age of commodified celebrity. Most strikingly, we last find the citharode out on campaign with Alexander in Asia in 328, where he is killed fighting for his life as a soldier in a battle at Zaraspia, having unwisely moved too far from his true vocation in music. As Arrian Anabasis 4.16.6–7 puts it, Aristonicus died “not as you would expect of a citharode” (οὐ κατὰ κιθαρῳδόν), but as a “noble warrior” (ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός). Alexander later honored him with a statue erected at Delphi that portrayed the citharode holding both a spear and kithara (Plutarch On the Fortune of Alexander 2.334f)—a fitting tribute to this ambitious social and musical operator, whose career was so long intertwined with those of great military men.
Anaxenor had parlayed his theatrical successes into something more than lucrative patronage; Antony made him into a quasi-autonomous mini-potentate overseeing Imperial business across an interstate network of cities. Indeed, one would imagine that his political responsibilities overshadowed his musical career. (Or did he somehow combine tribute collecting and concertizing?) Strabo says that in his home city of Magnesia the citizens “clad him in purple as one consecrated to Zeus Sosipolis (the ‘City-Savior’), as the γραπτὴ εἰκών ‘painted image’ in the agora shows.” That elaborate monuments to Anaxenor commanded prime real estate in both the theater and the agora demonstrates how deeply the city was invested in this citharode’s prestige, enhanced as it was by his intimacy with Antony; so too does his being adorned in the purple of Zeus Sosipolis, whose cult was among the most important in Magnesia. There was probably a citharodic agôn attached to the local festival of this deity, but the painting would seem to commemorate the appointment of Anaxenor to some distinct honorary position within the cult rather than the mere recognition of a festival victory. (Could his association with Zeus Sosipolis reflect his own reputation as a city-savior? The ideal of the citharode as a musical protector of the polis goes back to Terpander and the accounts of his rescuing Sparta from destructive strife.) There is no question that Antony’s exuberant, wide-eyed philhellenism—his direct participation in living Greek culture(s) high and low, in contrast to the idealized Hellenizing of an Octavian—was an important model for Nero; his ancestor’s political manipulation of citharodic prestige in the case of Anaxenor might well have nourished his own vision of an Imperial politics of kitharôidia. 
22. Nero’s Catastrophic Kitharôidia
22.1 Trojan music
Dio does not explicitly enlist Nero in this gang of politically deleterious citharodes, but his name, as we saw, is invoked as a paradigm, indeed an object of imitation for such perversely destructive music making.
Dio clearly wants to dramatize the fatal link between the emperor’s political irresponsibility and the musical activity that he feels is so unbefitting his office. His Nero, adorned in full citharodic skeuê, climbs to the top of the Palatine Hill to watch the city burn to the ground as he performs, for a very unsettled audience, a composition of his own, the Capture of Troy (Halôsis Iliou in its properly Greek title). That this piece was likely a nomos is an added level of implicit irony—as rumor had it, and as Dio believes (62.16), it was Nero who had ordered the fires to be set, an act of radical disrespect for custom and law, nomos.
εἰσελθὼν ᾆσαι Ναύπλιον Ἡγέλοχος.
Ναύπλιος Ἑλλήνεσσιν ἀεὶ κακὸν ἢ μέγα κῦμα
<νηυσὶν ἐπεμβάλλων> ἢ κιθαρῳδὸν ἔχων.
Once, Lord Caesar, Hegelochus
freed a city of the Greeks when he came to sing the Nauplios.
Nauplios has always meant disaster for the Greeks,
whether hurling a great wave against their ships (?), or with a kitharôidos.
Given the difficulties involved in dating Lucillius himself, we cannot with certainty identify the figures referred to in this poem. But there are good reasons to assume that Hegelochus the kitharôidos is meant to be Nero. Suetonius Nero 39.3 tells us that the emperor had a citharodic song called the Nauplios in his repertoire, which was perhaps a revival of an old classic, the Nauplios by Timotheus of Miletus (PMG 785). Nero conceivably performed this Nauplios on his tour of the Greek agônes, during which he conspicuously granted freedom to the cities of Achaea (Suetonius Nero 24.2). Lucillius has wittily conflated the “disaster” caused by the main character in the nomos, Nauplios, whose false beacons destroyed the Greek ships returning from Troy, with the musical “disaster” visited on Greek audiences by the citharode who sings the nomos, Nero.  The obvious joke is about Nero’s aesthetically disastrous kitharôidia. “Hegelochus,” the name of a proverbially inept actor who mispronounced his lines (Aristophanes Frogs 303; scholia ad Euripides Orestes 279; Suda s.v. Ἡγέλοχος), insinuates that Nero is only pretending to be a citharode, and doing a bad job of it at that.
22.2 Negative exemplars
Philostratus draws on Classical citharodic lore to characterize the antagonism Vindex holds toward the emperor, specifically, the series of anecdotes about Spartan ephors who cut off (ἐκτεμεῖν) with knife or adze the excess, “unlawful” strings from the polychord kitharai that foolhardy citharodes dare to play at that bastion of musical traditionalism, the Carneian agôn. (Any kithara with more than the seven strings first standardized by Terpander qualifies as an outlawed polychord instrument.) Most of these anecdotes involve the New Music celebrity Timotheus, whose own account of his “creative differences” with Spartan authorities is preserved in his Persians (202–212). Other versions have Phrynis, an older rival of Timotheus, or even Terpander himself submitting to the grim censure of the ephors.  The anecdotal tradition, however, speaks above all to the concerns of those critics opposed to the New Music, and it is to them we should source it. The ephors violently enact what among culturally conservative Athenian intellectuals such as Plato and Aristoxenus remains a romantic lost cause, a purely utopian fantasy: the preservation of arkhaia mousikê against the pernicious inroads of musical innovation and still more against the extramusical effects, i.e. social degradation and moral corruption, that lurk in the Trojan Horse of such novelty. 
22.3 Citharoedus scaenicus
22.4 Nero on Lesbos
Lucian is no doubt tailoring this story to suit the anti-materialist message of his essay, the debilitating commodification of culture at the hands of nouveaux riches grasping after social legitimacy by hoarding cultural artifacts. As we saw in Section 3, in the same essay Lucian elaborates the story of the contest between the citharodes Evangelus and Eumelus to express, rather tendentiously, a similiar theme. But it is worth looking beyond this superficial agenda to see the more profound ideological assumptions involved. Like the story of the contest, the tale of Neanthus might not be a Lucianic invention. The backstory to it, the logos of Orpheus’ head and lyre floating to Lesbos, likely dates to the Archaic period. It is tempting to take Lucian at his word that he is working from a local oral account of some real antiquity, a Λέσβιος μῦθος πάλαι γενόμενος ‘Lesbian tale (mûthos) that happened long ago’.
βάρμος, φιλώνων πεδ’ ἀλεμ[άτων
εὐωχήμενος αὔτοισιν ἐπα[
Alcaeus’ invective figures the barmos as one of the symposiasts celebrating alongside Pittacus, and, being a member of such bad company, it performs with an appropriate lack of decorum.  This barmos “feasts lavishly,” pleasing its fellow symposiasts, and in its gluttony it resembles Pittacus himself, whom Alcaeus would damningly have “devour the polis” (δαπτέτω πόλιν, 7), yet who manages to win the confidence of the populace and god-granted κῦδος ἐπήρ[ατ]ον ‘the glory he craves’ (12–13).  At the same time, Alcaeus conflates the barmos with the other symposiasts, those “vain braggarts,” thereby suggesting both the aesthetic and ethical debasement of the instrument’s “voice.” Alcaeus’ contention: as in the public political sphere, so in the private sympotic sphere. In the proper aristocratic symposium, the instrument acts as a decorous prop to good poetic and ethical order, kosmos, and as a graceful musical complement to the politically just discourse circulated there. But as a possession of the Pittacan symposium, it is made to perform a travesty of these noble roles, taking on the character of its déclassé, morally deficient players and auditors. The bad politics of the tyrant are mirrored in his bad lyric culture.  In music and government, Pittacus is a “ridiculous, incongruous pretender.”