Dithyrambic poetry : Wikis (The Full Wiki)

The dramatic interest of the Dialogue chiefly centres in the youth Charmides, with whom Socrates talks in the kindly spirit of an elder. His childlike simplicity and ingenuousness are contrasted with the dialectical and rhetorical arts of Critias, who is the grown–up man of the world, having a tincture of philosophy. No hint is given, either here or in the Timaeus, of the infamy which attaches to the name of the latter in Athenian history. He is simply a cultivated person who, like his kinsman Plato, is ennobled by the connection of his family with Solon (cp. Tim. 20, 21), and had been the follower, if not the disciple, both of Socrates and of the Sophists. In the argument he is not unfair, if allowance is made for a slight rhetorical tendency, and for a natural desire to save his reputation with the company; he is sometimes nearer the truth than Socrates. Nothing in his language or behaviour is unbecoming the guardian of the beautiful Charmides. His love of reputation is characteristically Greek, and contrasts with the humility of Socrates. Nor in Charmides himself do we find any resemblance to the Charmides of history, except, perhaps, the modest and retiring nature which, according to Xenophon, at one time of his life prevented him from speaking in the Assembly (Mem. 3, 7); and we are surprised to hear that, like Critias, he afterwards became one of the thirty tyrants. In the Dialogue he is a pattern of virtue, and is therefore in no need of the charm which Socrates is unable to apply. With youthful keeping his secret and entering into the spirit of Socrates, he enjoys the detection of his elder and guardian Critias, who is easily seen to be the author of the definition which he has so great an interest in maintaining (262 B). The preceding definition, ‘Temperance is doing one’s own business,’ is assumed to have been borrowed by Charmides from another; and when the enquiry becomes more abstract he is superseded by Critias (cp. Theaet. 168 E; Euthyd. 290 E). Socrates preserves his accustomed irony to the end; he is in the neighbourhood of several great truths, which he views in various lights, but always either by bringing them to the test of common sense, or by demanding too great exactness in the use of words, turns aside from them and comes at last to no conclusion.

SparkNotes: The Birth of Tragedy: Chapters 7 & 8

Thus the chorus was the foundation of the two main kinds of Greek drama (Aristot.
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GREEK LYRIC I FRAGMENTS - Theoi Classical Texts Library

He agrees with Pausanias in maintaining that there are two kinds of love; but his art has led him to the further conclusion that the empire of this double love extends over all things, and is to be found in animals and plants as well as in man. In the human body also there are two loves; and the art of medicine shows which is the good and which is the bad love, and persuades the body to accept the good and reject the bad, and reconciles conflicting elements and makes them friends. Every art, gymnastic and husbandry as well as medicine, is the reconciliation of opposites; and this is what Heracleitus meant, when he spoke of a harmony of opposites: but in strictness he should rather have spoken of a harmony which succeeds opposites, for an agreement of disagreements there cannot be. Music too is concerned with the principles of love in their application to harmony and rhythm. In the abstract, all is simple, and we are not troubled with the twofold love; but when they are applied in education with their accompaniments of song and metre, then the discord begins. Then the old tale has to be repeated of fair Urania and the coarse Polyhymnia, who must be indulged sparingly, just as in my own art of medicine care must be taken that the taste of the epicure be gratified without inflicting upon him the attendant penalty of disease.


Do you know that the spectator is the last of the rings which, as I am saying, receive the power of the original magnet from one another? The rhapsode like yourself and the actor are intermediate links, and the poet himself is the first of them. Through all these the God sways the souls of men in any direction which he pleases, and makes one man hang down from another. Thus there is a vast chain of dancers and masters and under–masters of choruses, who are suspended, as if from the stone, at the side of the rings which hang down from the Muse. And every poet has some Muse from whom he is suspended, and by whom he is said to be possessed, which is nearly the same thing; for he is taken hold of. And from these first rings, which are the poets, depend others, some deriving their inspiration from Orpheus, others from Musaeus; but the greater number are possessed and held by Homer. Of whom, Ion, you are one, and are possessed by Homer; and when any one repeats the words of another poet you go to sleep, and know not what to say; but when any one recites a strain of Homer you wake up in a moment, and your soul leaps within you, and you have plenty to say; for not by art or knowledge about Homer do you say what you say, but by divine inspiration and by possession; just as the Corybantian revellers too have a quick perception of that strain only which is appropriated to the God by whom they are possessed, and have plenty of dances and words for that, but take no heed of any other. And you, Ion, when the name of Homer is mentioned have plenty to say, and have nothing to say of others. You ask, ‘Why is this?’ The answer is that you praise Homer not by art but by divine inspiration.

953); and the term  means what is sung, not while the chorus remains stationary (Schol.
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18/02/2018 · EUMELUS, LIFE

Given that, theatre historians must seriously consider the possibility that tragedy did not naturally grow out of Dionysiac ritual but was somehow layered onto it. Indeed three important theories have been proposed building upon that premise: Murray's suggestions surrounding the "year-spirit," Ridgeway's "Tomb Theory," and Else's proposal that Greek drama is the product of Thespis' and Aeschylus' genius. Let us review them now.

Ancient Greek Poets - Crystalinks

The "earliest mention of dithyramb is found in a fragment of Archilochus, who flourished in the first half of the seventh century B.C.:'I know how to lead the fair song of the Lord Dionysus, the dithyramb, when my wits are fused with wine.'. . .As a literary composition for chorus dithyramb was the creation of Arion of Corinth," Their inspiration is unknown, although it was likely Greek, as explicitly speaks of Arion as "the first of men we know to have composed the dithyramb and named it and produced it in". The word is of unknown but probably non-Greek derivation. The form soon spread to other Greek , and dithyrambs were composed by the poets and , as well as (the only one whose works have survived in anything like their original form).

Plakous, pelanos and other ‘cakes’ of the Hellenic Tradition

The dialogue hardly derives any light from Plato’s other writings, and still less from Scholiasts and Neoplatonist writers. Socrates must be interpreted from himself, and on first reading we certainly have a difficulty in understanding his drift, or his relation to the two other interlocutors in the dialogue. Does he agree with Cratylus or with Hermogenes, and is he serious in those fanciful etymologies, extending over more than half the dialogue, which he seems so greatly to relish? Or is he serious in part only; and can we separate his jest from his earnest?— Most of them are ridiculously bad, and yet among them are found, as if by accident, principles of philology which are unsurpassed in any ancient writer, and even in advance of any philologer of the last century. May we suppose that Plato, like Lucian, has been amusing his fancy by writing a comedy in the form of a prose dialogue? And what is the final result of the enquiry? Is Plato an upholder of the conventional theory of language, which he acknowledges to be imperfect? or does he mean to imply that a perfect language can only be based on his own theory of ideas? Or if this latter explanation is refuted by his silence, then in what relation does his account of language stand to the rest of his philosophy? Or may we be so bold as to deny the connexion between them? [For the allusion to the ideas at the end of the dialogue (439 C) is merely intended to show that we must not put words in the place of things or realities, which is a thesis strongly insisted on by Plato in many other passages] . . . These are some of the first thoughts which arise in the mind of the reader of the Cratylus. And the consideration of them may form a convenient introduction to the general subject of the dialogue.