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August 25    Scripture



People - Ancient Greece: Hipponax
Ancient Greek iambic poet.

Hippōnax in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (Ἱππώναξ). A Greek iambic poet of Ephesus, who about B.C. 540 was banished to Clazomenae by Athenagoras and Comas, tyrants of his native city. At Clazomenae, two sculptors, Bupalus (Hor. Epod. vi. 14) and Athenis, made the little, thin, ugly poet ridiculous in caricature; but he avenged himself in such bitter iambic verses that, like Lycambes and his daughter, who were persecuted by Archilochus (q.v.), they hanged themselves. The burlesque character of the poems which he composed in the Ionic dialect found an appropriate form in his favourite metre, which was probably invented by himself. This metre is known as the choliambus (“the halting iambus”), or the scazon (“limping”), from its having a spondee or trochee in the last place, instead of the usual iambic foot. He is also reckoned among the very first to produce parodies of epic poetry, and in his satire he spared neither his own parents nor the gods. Of his poems we have only a few fragments, which are collected by Bergk in his Poetae Lyrici Graeci (4th ed. 1878).

Hipponax in Wikipedia Hipponax of Ephesus was an Ancient Greek iambic poet. Expelled from Ephesus in 540 BC by the tyrant Athenagoras, he took refuge in Clazomenae, where he spent the rest of his life in poverty. His deformed figure and malicious disposition exposed him to the caricature of the Chian sculptors Bupalus and Athenis, upon whom he revenged himself by issuing against them a series of satires. They are said to have hanged themselves like Lycambes and his daughters when assailed by Archilochus of Paros, the model and predecessor of Hipponax.[1] His coarseness of thought and feeling, his want of grace and taste, and his numerous allusions to matters of merely local interest prevented his becoming a favourite in Attica. He was considered the inventor of parody and of a peculiar metre, the scazon ("halting iambic" as Murray calls it [2]) or choliamb, which substitutes a spondee for the final iambus of an iambic senarius, and is an appropriate form for the burlesque character of his poems. He composed in a form of Ionic Greek that includes an unusually high proportion of Lydian loanwords[3]. Among his aphorisms is "There are two days when a woman is a pleasure: the day one marries her and the day one buries her."

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