Alcaeus Biography

Alcaeus (c. 620 BC-6th century BC), Ancient Greek lyric poet who supposedly invented the Alcaic verse. He was included in the canonical list of nine lyric poets by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria. He was an older contemporary and an alleged lover of Sappho, with whom he may have exchanged poems. He was born into the aristocratic governing class of Mytilene, the main city of Lesbos, where his life was entangled with its political disputes and internal feuds. 

The poetic works of Alcaeus were collected into ten books, with elaborate commentaries, by the Alexandrian scholars Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace sometime in the 3rd century BC, and yet his verses today exist only in fragmentary form, varying in size from mere phrases, such as wine, window into a man (fr.333) to entire groups of verses and stanzas, such as those quoted below (fr.346). Alexandrian scholars numbered him in their canonic nine (one lyric poet per Muse). Among these, Pindar was held by many ancient critics to be pre-eminent,[9] but some gave precedence to Alcaeus instead.The canonic nine are traditionally divided into two groups, with Alcaeus, Sappho and Anacreon, being 'monodists' or 'solo-singers', with the following characteristics: 

* they composed and performed personally for friends and associates on topics of immediate interest to them; 

* they wrote in their nativee dialects (Alcaeus and Sappho in Aeolic dialect, Anacreon in Ionic); 

* they preferred quite short, metrically simple stanzas or 'strophes' which they re-used in many poems - hence the 'Alcaic' and 'Sapphic' stanzas, named after the two poets who perfected them or possibly invented them. 

The other six of the canonic nine composed verses for public occasions, performed by choruses and professional singers and typically featuring complex metrical arrangements that were never reproduced in other verses. However, this division into two groups is considered by some modern scholars to be too simplistic and often it is practically impossible to know whether a lyric composition was sung or recited, or whether or not it was accompanied by musical instruments and dance. Even the private reflections of Alcaeus, ostensibly sung at dinner parties, still retain a public function

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Alcaeus

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Poesia Consagrada/Biography Alcaeus Biografía 0 1.409 04/15/2011 - 01:46 Spanish
Poesia Consagrada/Biography Alcaeus Biografia 0 1.001 04/15/2011 - 01:41 Portuguese
Poesia Consagrada/Biography Alcaeus Biography 0 856 04/15/2011 - 01:33 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Wreaths and Myrrh 0 783 04/15/2011 - 01:31 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Winter 0 573 04/15/2011 - 01:30 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Wine's Sting 0 601 04/15/2011 - 01:28 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : To Sappho 0 600 04/15/2011 - 01:27 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : To Castor and Pollux 0 785 04/15/2011 - 01:25 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : To Antimenides 0 584 04/15/2011 - 01:20 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : The Storm 0 656 04/15/2011 - 01:20 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Spring 0 624 04/15/2011 - 01:18 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : The Ship of State under Myrsilus 0 595 04/15/2011 - 01:16 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : The Sea Cockle 0 721 04/15/2011 - 01:16 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Resign Thyself to Peace, Melanippus 0 829 04/15/2011 - 01:15 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Rejoice! The Tyrant is Dead! 0 777 04/15/2011 - 01:14 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Poverty 0 629 04/15/2011 - 01:13 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Pittacus in Power 0 673 04/15/2011 - 01:12 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Pittacus' Ancestry 0 586 04/15/2011 - 01:11 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : On the Stormy Sea 0 613 04/15/2011 - 01:10 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : On His Escape from Sigeum 0 734 04/15/2011 - 01:07 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : No More for Lycus 0 585 04/15/2011 - 01:05 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : In the Afternoon 0 620 04/15/2011 - 01:05 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : In Summer 0 682 04/15/2011 - 01:04 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : In Grief 0 615 04/15/2011 - 01:03 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Alcaeus Poems : Helen and Thetis 0 805 04/15/2011 - 01:02 English