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 III. Inventions of Terpander
1. Terpander between Myth and History
2. Terpander in Gaza
The idea that Terpander, or any famous agonistic citharode for that matter, employed the services of a “musical assistant” acting in the capacity of a bouncer tasked with the vetting of would-be audience members, should not, of course, be taken seriously. Citharodic culture, not unlike the epideictic oratorical culture developed under the Empire, was, even from an early period, inherently large-scale, indiscriminate, “middling”; citharodes were by and large professional entertainers who relied on establishing mass appeal, on creating broad-based consensus amongst socially differentiated festival audiences, mousikoi and amousoi alike.
3. Contested Legacies
4. The Citharodes’ Citharode
This testimony deserves more detailed discussion, as it has implications for the Panhellenic diffusion of Terpandrean lore beyond Lesbos and Sparta. The writer-compiler of On Music (or his source, perhaps Heraclides of Pontus) has presumably gotten his information about Pericleitus from Hellanicus of Lesbos, who dealt with his countrymen’s citharodic successes in Sparta in his Karneonikai, a work composed in both poetry and a prose versions that recorded the winners at the Carneian mousikoi agônes from the time Terpander supposedly established them (676/3 BCE) up to his own time, the later fifth century BCE. The way in which the information is expressed in On Music is confusing, however. We know that Lesbian citharodes who could place themselves within the diadokhê were in fact still winning contests after the death of Pericleitus, whom we can date to around the middle of the sixth century BCE, or perhaps somewhat later in that century.  Aristocleides (or Aristocleitus), another apogonos of Terpander, was enjoying fame throughout Greece at the time of the Persian Wars.  His student was Phrynis, who won first prize in kitharôidia at the Panathenaic mousikoi agônes in 446, around the time they were reorganized by Pericles.  Phrynis was most likely active in Athens as well as at other agônes through the 420s. So what do we make of the report in On Music that the “continuous tradition” of Lesbian kitharôidia died out with Pericleitus? The passage must not mean that the Lesbian tradition as a whole came to an end before the middle of the sixth century; it means only that the unbroken streak of victories won by the Lesbian Singers at the Spartan Carneia in particular was over by this time.  Further, it is likely that individual Lesbian citharodes did continue to win Carneian victories after the time of Pericleitus; it was just that they did not win every year.
5. Timotheus’ Terpander
The citharodic prooimion is one obvious site for such biographizing-in-performance. The proemial fragment Gostoli fr. 4 = PMG p363 (“For you we will, loving four-voiced song no more, sing new songs to the heptatonic phorminx”) both records and reenacts Terpander’s foundational discovery of the seven-stringed lyre as well as the nomos whose performance that lyre enables; citharodes “become” Terpander by way of commemorating his legacy. The concluding sphragis section of the citharodic nomos would alternately have offered citharodes the opportunity to speak in propria persona about themselves and their tekhnê.  In addition to such self-revelation, it would have provided a fitting textual/performative space for the propagation of the Terpandrean vita, as well as ample opportunity for the contemporary singer to associate himself with the glories of his ancestor.
φεὺς <χέλ>υν ἐτέκνωσεν
υἱὸς Καλλιόπα<ς ⏑ –
— > Πιερίαθεν·
Τέρπανδρος δ’ ἐπὶ τῷ δέκα
ζεῦξε μοῦσαν ἐν ᾠδαῖς·
Λέσβος δ’ Αἰολία νιν Ἀν-
τίσσᾳ γείνατο κλεινόν·
νῦν δὲ Τιμόθεος μέτροις
ῥυθμοῖς τ’ ἑνδεκακρουμάτοις
The rhetorical thrust of this priamel-like survey is that Timotheus’ contribution to kitharôidia is equal to, if not greater than those made first by Orpheus and then by Terpander. Notable here is the way Timotheus boldly reinvents Terpandrean tradition: “Terpander yoked music in ten songs (ôidai); Aeolian Lesbos bore him to be Antissa’s fame.” As Wilamowitz first argued, Timotheus is concerned here to legitimize his own controversial use of the novel eleven-stringed kithara, which had made him, or so he claims, persona non grata in musically conservative Sparta (Persians 206–212; cf. Pausanias 3.12.10, where Timotheus has “excess” strings cut from his polychord kithara in Sparta). He does so by attributing “ten songs”—almost certainly a euphemism for or at least a coy suggestion of ten strings—to the citharode who was famous for inventing the seven-stringed lyre and who had been an “honorary Spartan” to boot.  (Note that Timotheus analogously euphemizes his own controversial eleven strings as “eleven-struck meters and rhythms,” what emerges when the strings are struck.)  Terpander is thus cannily figured as an exponent of the New Music avant la lettre.
6. A Simonidean Intermezzo
What likely appealed to New Musicians about Simonides was not anything particularly forward-looking in his musical style, but rather key ethical components of the Cean’s persona (at least as imagined in his vita): his unapologetically professionalized and profit-driven approach to mousikê, backed by his bold, proto-sophistic self-promotional rhetoric. 
7. Terpander’s Orpheus
Nicomachus (or the excerptor) here integrates a range of conflicting or rival traditions about the myth history of kitharôidia. First, he apparently wants to reconcile what I have called “mainland” traditions, which promote Cadmus and Amphion, Linus and Thamyris as primeval mortal exponents of singing to the lyre, with a Lesbian-Eastern Aegean one, which spotlights Orpheus and Terpander. Second, he wants to account for a specific “problem” that arises within the latter tradition: if the lyre of Hermes that was inherited by Terpander already had seven strings, in what sense can Terpander be called its “inventor”? The inclusive logic of the proposed scenario is ingenious but, even by the elastic standards of mythical chronology, hopelessly contorted. Cadmus’ gift of the lyre to Greece is placed not only after the time of Amphion, whose foundation of Thebes is elsewhere always seen as secondary to the Cadmeian foundation, but also after Terpander, who by any reckoning must be generations younger than Cadmus.  As a whole assemblage, the Nicomachean account is probably the idiosyncratic work of one individual compiler. Yet the discrete narrative details that inform it are surely drawn from other sources that in turn draw from more ancient lore, some of which likely goes back as far as the Archaic period. 
8. Orpheus in Citharodic Performance?
It is possible that only the first part of this sentence refers to the text attributed to Terpander. If so, the poem in question could be a proemial citharodic hymn to Dionysus or even a dithyrambic text that went under the name of Terpander.  In support of the former possibility we may consider a volute krater of the Altamura Painter from around 470 BCE, on whose neck is depicted a victorious citharode and on whose body Zeus is shown presenting a newborn Dionysus to the nymphs of Nysa. The mythical scene could represent the theme of the citharode’s song, presented on some festival occasion in Athens. 
Ταίναρον ἡνίκ’ ἔβην σκοτίην ὁδὸν Ἄϊδος εἴσω,
ἡμετέρῃ πίσυνος κιθάρῃ, δι’ ἔρωτ’ ἀλόχοιο·
And I told you everything I saw and learned
when I went to Taenarum by the dark path into Hades,
relying on my kithara, for love of my wife.
The phrase πίσυνος κιθάρῃ ‘relying on my kithara’ corresponds precisely to the phrase fretus cithara in Vergil’s telling of the katabasis in Aeneid 6, even falling in the same metrical position in the hexameter line (Threicia fretus cithara fidibusque canoris ‘relying on his Thracian cithara and its resounding strings’, 6.120). Both the Argonautica and the Vergilian passages would seem to be dependent on a shared source, a passage from an Orphic katabasis, perhaps of some antiquity.  Although the instrument of Orpheus is variously described as a tortoise-shell lyre or kithara in the Argonautica and in Vergil, the use of kithara in the two passages seems deliberate and marked, and may have been so in the original source. Could that source text have been citharodic, or at least have referred to a citharodic performance tradition of the Orphic Descent? And did Plato know this text as well? We might, after all, hear a faint echo between Phaedrus’ criticism of Orpheus, that the cowardly kitharôidos would not consent physically to die, i.e. to commit suicide, ἕνεκα τοῦ ἔρωτος ‘for love’, and Orpheus’ proud claim in the Argonautica that he went to Hades alive, confident in his musical powers, δι’ ἔρωτ’ ‘for love’ of his wife.
9. The Singer’s Name
10. Terpander in and out of Delphi
Certainly the fancifully aggrandizing local lore recorded by Pausanias about who did—the legendary Delphic celebrities Chrysothemis of Crete and Philammon, Thamyris, and Eleuther—and who did not—Hesiod and Homer (both negatively associated with rhapsôidia, which was never among the mousikoi agônes at the Pythia), Orpheus and Musaeus (both supposedly distracted by their Mysteries from the serious pursuit of agonistic music)—participate in the proto-citharodic agôn in “hymn-singing to Apollo” would by analogy put the supposed involvement of Terpander with it in the category of legend as well.  In reality, early Archaic Pythian musical culture must have been quite humble, and probably exclusively local, as the local color in Pausanias’ legendary victor list suggests, with emphasis placed on the solid execution of paeanic cult hymns rather than creative virtuosity of any sort. Only in the early sixth century BCE, well after Terpander’s notional floruit, would the contest grow in stature as a glamorous international event, more “secular” in nature, attracting skilled soloists from all parts. 
Both sources seem eager to put these reports in a dubious light. That Philammon composed the nomoi later canonized under the name of Terpander was clearly a partisan view—wishful thinking, as the Suda has it—at odds with the mainstream consensus that has Terpander as undisputed prôtos heuretês of agonistic citharodic music. But still, the outside opinion was sufficiently well known to have been reported; the unidentified party (tines) who made the claim must have had some degree of influence. I would suggest that the tines were Delphians wanting to contest the Panhellenically mainstream Lesbian claim to the invention of agonistic kitharôidia and to position it instead as their own legacy by rooting the history of its competition pieces in the legendary past of the Pythian contests. The account preserved in Proclus Chrestomathia ap. Photius Bibliotheca 320b.1–4 that has Chrysothemis first performing nomoi at Delphi could represent an alternative local tradition, but one motivated by the same impulse to locate the origins of competitive kitharôidia deep in the institutional history of the Pythia.  One need not go so far as to say that the prioritization of Philammon or Chrysothemis represents a revision of citharodic tradition that is hostile to Terpander.  It is one rather that shades over his contributions, and the preeminence of the Lesbian line of citharodes, in favor of an epichoric Cretan-Delphic tradition. Terpander’s prestige as a prôtos heuretês was thus diminished at Delphi, but, if his Pythian victories and Phocian paternity were tenets of local propaganda, it is possible that at the same time his fame was co-opted for the greater glory of an invented Pythian legacy.
11. Kitharôidia on Lesbos
12. Megaclo’s Moisai
There can be no doubt that Myrsilus figures the Muses as a kind of chorus of citharodes; ᾄδειν καὶ κιθαρίζειν τὰς πράξεις τὰς παλαιὰς ἐμμελῶς ‘to play the kithara and to sing melodiously of ancient deeds’ is as clear a definition of Archaic and Classical kitharôidia as could be formulated. The “ancient deeds” they sing recall the epic narratives that were the subject of the Terpandrean nomos. Terpander himself was an ἐπαινέτης ἡρωικῶν πράξεων ‘praiser of heroic deeds’ (Plutarch Laconian Institutions 17.238c). Further, the music of the Muses has an enchanting and charming effect (κατεπᾴδειν, θέλγειν) on its listeners, soothing their mutual hostilities, a quality that is central to the image of Lesbian kitharôidia. Indeed, in the myth, kitharôidia is introduced expressly for the purpose of pacification, of restoring proper order. It is tempting to read Macar’s constant quarreling with his wife as a metaphor for Lesbian civil strife—the troubled marriage of the first couple of Lesbos forecasting the island’s stormy political future—and the intercession of the citharodic Muses as an aition for the sociomusical interventions of Terpander and the Lesbian Singers, at home and abroad.  The phrase, “they checked his anger” (κατέπαυον τῆς ὀργῆς), for instance, echoes the language that is used in later texts to describe Terpander’s calming of the Spartans. 
13. Terpander in Sparta
Fourth-century BCE Athenian cultural conservatives such as Demetrius were clearly fascinated by the Terpander in Sparta narrative for its ideologically sympathetic elements. It represented for them the purest fantasy of the hegemony of an “aristocratic” lyric culture, its power to enforce an elitist vision of societal rectitude, power that was felt to be lost in the wake of the populist New Music of late Athenian democracy.  Terpander’s legendary harmonization of the Spartan populace also fitted neatly with (and probably helped to inspire) theories, first propounded by Damon of Oa, then elaborated by culturally and politically elitist Academic, Peripatetic, and, later, Stoic thinkers, about the socio-psychagogic force of musical ethos, the power of melody and rhythm to regulate individual and collective social behavior.  It has even been suggested that Damon invented the story wholesale.  But although Classical Athenian intellectuals and those influenced by them might have romanticized, appropriated, and rhetorically enhanced the Terpandrean narrative—see the discussion of Choricius’ tendentiously “elitist” Terpander in Section 2—it was not their invention. Demetrius’ legousi ‘they say’ points to an oral tradition that we can trace back past Aristotle (fr. 545 Rose; cf. Heraclides Lembus Excerpts from Aristotle’s Politeiai fr. 11 Dilts) to the Cheirons of Cratinus, a comedy of the 430s.  But it does not begin there. For Cratinus, who referred to the saying, “After the Lesbian Singer” (fr. 263 K-A), the respect accorded to the Lesbian citharodes at the Carneia already enjoyed proverbial status, and although we have no earlier direct allusions to it—Sappho fr. 106 celebrates the agonistic success of the Lesbian Singers, but says nothing about their political charms—the tradition must surely go back much further, to early Sparta and the Lesbian Singers themselves. 
14. Music, Blood, and Cult
κάτθανε νοστήσας ἐν Λακεδαιμονίοις,
οὐκ ἄορι πληγείς, οὐδ’ αὖ βέλει, ἀλλ’ ἑνὶ σύκῳ
χείλεα. φεῦ, προφάσεων οὐκ ἀπορεῖ θάνατος.
As we saw above, this “Terpes” must be Terpander (cf. Suda s.v. γλυκὺ μέλι καὶ πνιξάτω); the setting must be the Carneia, where celebrants traditionally gathered in nine special sun-blocking tents called Skiades (Athenaeus 4.141e–f).  In her collection of the Terpandrean testimonia Gostoli prints in line 2 κάτθανεν ἐξαπίνης ‘he died suddenly’. This is the reading of the line as it appears in a later collection of Greek epigrams compiled by Maximus Planudes (1a.36.14). The manuscript containing the Palatine Anthology has the garbled κατθαν’ εν ο στησας, which editors have reasonably corrected to κάτθανε νοστήσας ‘he died after having made his homecoming’. This reading deserves serious consideration as an older variant of Planudes’ rather bland κάτθανεν ἐξαπίνης, which Gostoli defends by pointing out that nowhere else do we hear of Terpander’s nostos ‘homecoming’ in Sparta.  The singularity of the reference is no reason to do away with it. Rather, I would contend that Terpander’s homecoming, not to Lesbos, but to his second home, Sparta, is a theme of the Terpandrean tradition that goes all the way back to the Archaic period, as is his perfectly iconic death at the very agôn he inaugurated—the sweet fruit chokes the sweet singer in the midst of his song.  The Spartan nostos and the exile from Antissa have a structural harmony: Terpander cannot return “home” to die in the city from which he has been exiled, but must return to his adopted home in Sparta, which will possess his postmortem fame in the form of hero cult at the Carneia. Where had Terpander been that he had to return to Sparta? The answer is suggested by the account that has him winning multiple victories at the Pythian citharodic contest at Delphi (“Plutarch” On Music 4.1132e), which could have been circulated from the early sixth century BCE by both the Spartans and the Lesbian citharodes (cf. Section 10 above).  Sparta was Terpander’s center of gravity, but he was imagined to move in an orbit around it, as did his early apogonoi, winning Panhellenic glory as he moved from contest to contest. 
15. Pindar’s Terpander
πρῶτος, ἐν δείπνοισι Λυδῶν
ψαλμὸν ἀντίφθογγον ὑψηλᾶς ἀκούων πακτίδος
Which once upon a time Terpander the Lesbian
first invented, as he heard at the banquets of the Lydians
the plucking that sounds in answer from the tall harp.
The scholarly response to these texts has been to read them as objective testimony either to Terpander’s actual, historical invention of the barbitos and skolia, or at least to a Panhellenically held tradition to that effect. Terpander is clearly intended by Pindar to serve as model for his own song-making practice. What has been missing is the basic recognition that Pindar’s vision of musico-poetic history is inevitably self-interested, that his representation of Terpander is shaped by a rhetorical agenda determined by the generic and occasional circumstances of his own song. This is not to say that Pindar’s claims are not grounded in some mixture of historical practice and traditional belief.  Musical traffic between Lydia and Lesbos was very real, as we have already discussed. Harps such as the pêktis, redolent of Eastern refinement and habrosunê ‘delicacy, luxury’, were in vogue among Archaic Lesbian elites who prided themselves on their privileged access to the East.  The instrument is mentioned by both Alcaeus (fr. 36.5) and Sappho (frs. 22.11, 156.1); Sappho is even said to have been its inventor (Menaechmus FGrH 131 F 4 ap. Athenaeus 14.635d). The pêktis found a place too in the opulent symposia of Polycrates’ Samian court, as Anacreon’s erotic lyric attests: νῦν δ’ ἁβρῶς ἐρόεσσαν ψάλλω πηκτίδα ‘now I pluck delicately (habrôs) the lovely pêktis’ (PMG 373; cf. 386; 374 mentions the magadis). The barbitos was played in the same class-restricted contexts as the harp (see below), and it is probable that long before Pindar’s time it was viewed as a Greco-Lydian hybrid of harp and lyre, a chic, slightly decadent musical accessory to the “lifestyle of habrosunê” pursued by its players.  Aristotle, writing long after an elitist backlash against musical habrosunê had set in, groups together with distaste barbitos and pêktis as instruments a proper gentleman should not play, despite their former popularity with Archaic aristocrats (Politics 8.1341a39–41). The kinship imagined between the two instruments was based more on cultural semiotics and overlapping performance contexts than on objective technical and structural similarities—the barbitos, like the lyre, had only seven strings that were struck with a plectrum rather than plucked—yet Pindar, probably not uniquely, envisages the direct influence of the harp on the construction and technique of the barbitos. 
As the scholiast indicates, Phrynis was repeatedly attacked in Old Comedy. It is possible, then, that a comic source lies behind the testimony that he began his musical career practicing aulôidia, a tekhnê of considerably lesser prestige than kitharôidia—this sounds like a deprecation of the citharode’s skill, or perhaps some joking aition for the aulos-like complexity of Phrynis’ innovative kitharôidia.  Ister’s claim that Phrynis had been a cook and slave probably also derives, at least in part, from comic abuse, despite the fact that it is rejected by the scholiast on the grounds that “the comic poets would not have concealed it” had they known it. Another practitioner of the New Music, the dithyrambist Philoxenus of Cythera, was also assigned servile origins, again, probably first by a comedian.  The truth of the matter, however, must be that Phrynis was a protégé, or at least a closely affiliated successor, of the Terpandrean apogonos Aristocleitus; the two likely came into contact first on Lesbos. 
Although citharodic performance was normally at home in the public festival, tyrannical symposia, larger-scale and more lavish events than the symposia of private citizens, could accommodate, and conspicuously so, command performances by musical stars such as Aristocleitus and Timotheus, who would normally be singing before crowds of thousands.  Such command performances, far more the exception than the rule, would obviously serve to showcase the means and distinction of the tyrant; they might even have included explicitly encomiastic elements. However, the inclusion of fee-earning professional musicians—we think first of all of the χρήματα μεγάλα ‘big money’ amassed by Arion (Herodotus 1.24.1)—into the ethically non-professional, notionally egalitarian Archaic symposium could be ideologically problematic. We see a reflection of this in the anecdote about Timotheus at the court of Archelaus. The crass haggling of musician and king, in song no less, is a sympotic faux pas. Despite the fact that their relationship is mystified as one of reciprocal gift exchange, as if between companions or friends, hetairoi and philoi—we should recall how Aristocleitus is said by Ister to have received gifts from Hieron—it is in fact based on wages and services, and this fact inevitably alters the tone and integrity of sympotic musical culture.