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For the hummingbird genus, see Archilochus.
Archilochus (?), Moscow, Pushkin museum

Archilochus, or, Archilochos (Greek: Ἀρχίλοχος) (c. 680 BC – c. 645 BC)[1] was an Archaic or a Classical Greek poet and supposed mercenary, or, at least, a warrior. Besides his actual poems (or surviving fragments thereof), his main claim to fame rests on being the first known one to write lyric poetry (in the "Western Tradition"), in the first person[2].

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Life and poetry

The details of his life are inferred from his poetry, doubtless including details that were traditional in antiquity (although, in this case, biographical details may also have been inferred from his poetry, rather than a separate tradition): "it is often easiest and certainly entertaining to imagine that the words spoken in a poem are those of real persons, or at least a stylized description of an actual encounter in the poet's life," warns John Van Sickle[3] in assessing the extent of biographical subject matter in a fragment of an epode containing an erotic dialogue, which was discovered in a papyrus now at Cologne. Archilochus was born on the island of Paros. His father, Telesicles, who was from a noble family, had conducted a colony to Thasos, in obedience to the command of the Delphic oracle. To this island, Archilochus himself, hard pressed by poverty, afterwards removed. Another reason for leaving his native place was personal disappointment and indignation at the treatment he had received from Lycambes, a citizen of Paros, who had promised him his daughter Neobule in marriage but had afterwards withdrawn his consent. Archilochus, taking advantage of the license allowed at the feasts of Demeter, poured out his wounded feelings in unmerciful satire. He accused Lycambes of perjury and recited such verses against his daughters that Lycambes and his daughters are said to have hanged themselves.[4]

A series of archaeological discoveries on Paros have added to our knowledge of Archilochus.[5] Two stones inscribed in the 3rd century B.C.E. tell the story of a legend concerning a meeting between Archilochos and the Muses. According to the stones, "the young Archilochos was sent to town by his father to sell a cow, and met on his way a group of jolly women, who asked if the cow was for sale; when told that it was, they said they would give him a good price, whereupon they and the cow disappeared and Archilochos found a lyre before his feet. Soon after, his father was told by Apollo at Delphi that his son would be immortal and famous."[6] Another inscription, which is in fragmentary form, tells of Archilochos's introduction to Paros of a new form of worship of Dionysus, for which he was punished by his fellow citizens, but ultimately vindicated by Apollo. The later choral poet Pindar had a low opinion of Archilochus.[7]

1) Colonized Thasos; was part of general ‘colonization’ efforts of his era (750-550 B.C.; 2) Was a mercenary soldier by profession—typical of many landless, rootless ‘younger’ or illegitimate sons (no inheritance) in Archaic Greece, when ‘overpopulation’ was a major problem; 3) Was a ‘Lyric’ = ‘personal’ topics, poet; the 1st of the known Lyric poets, who broke with Homeric Epic poetry style to write of their own lives, experiences, feelings, attitudes. Other sig. Lyric poets included Sappho, Alcman, etc

Along with the epics of Homer and Hesiod, the satires of Archilochus were one of the mainstays of itinerant rhapsodes, who made a living declaiming poetry at both religious festivals and private homes.

In the historical and poetic imagination, Archilochus represents the romantic intersection of the fighting and the poetic spirits; this dual aspect of his personality is captured with brevity in the following poetic fragment, wherein he describes himself as both a warrior and a poet:

Εἰμὶ δ' ἐγὼ θεράπων μὲν Ἐνυαλίοιο ἄνακτος,
καὶ Μουσέων ἐρατὸν δῶρον ἐπιστάμενος.
Although I am a servant of Lord Enyalios [Ares, god of war],
I also know well the lovely gift of the Muses.

Though it is thought by some that at Thasos the poet passed some unhappy years or that his hopes of wealth were disappointed, one can interpret quite the opposite from the following fragment which suggests that Archilochus cares little for materialistic things, nor does he have any kind of intense lust for power. The following fragment suggests Archilochus acknowledges the rationality of stoic philosophy:

These golden matters
Of Gyges and his treasuries
Are no concern of mine.
Jealousy has no power over me,
Nor do I envy a god his work,
And I do not burn to rule.
Such things have no
Fascination for my eyes.

According to him, Thasos was the meeting-place of the calamities of all Hellas. The inhabitants were frequently involved in quarrels with their neighbors, and in a war against the Saians— a Thracian tribe— he threw away his shield and fled from the field of battle. He does not seem to have felt the disgrace very keenly, for, like Alcaeus, he commemorates the event: in a surviving fragment he congratulates himself on having saved his life, and says he can easily procure another shield:

Some barbarian is waving my shield,
since I was obliged to
leave that perfectly good piece of equipment behind
under a bush.
But I got away, so what does it matter?
Life seemed somehow more precious.
Let the shield go; I can buy another one equally good.

After leaving Thasos, he is said to have visited Sparta, but to have been at once banished from that city on account of his cowardice and the licentious character of his works (Valerius Maximus vi. 3, externa 1). He next visited Magna Graecia, Hellenic southern Italy, of which he speaks very favorably. He then returned to his native home on Paros, and was slain in a battle against the Naxians by one Calondas or Corax, who was cursed by the oracle for having slain a servant of the Muses.

The writings of Archilochus consisted of elegies, hymns— one of which used to be sung by the victors in the Olympic games— and of poems in the iambic and trochaic measures. Greek rhetors credited him with the invention of iambic poetry and its application to satire. The only previous measures used in Greek poetry for which we have extant, literary testimony had been the epic hexameter, and its offshoot the elegiac meter; but the slow measured structure of hexameter verse was utterly unsuited to express the quick, light motions of satire. There is good reason to believe that the lyric meters are just as old as that of epic (dactylic hexameter). Just as Homer did not create his own meter, the lyric poets did not create their meter but employed the meter of past poets. Evidence for this can be seen in Homer, particularly in the Iliad (1.472-74; 16.182-83; 18.493).[8] Thus, Archilochus had options when choosing his meters. Tradition may have been as important a factor in Archilochus' selection of verse as it was for Homer, and his decision may have been influenced by his relationship to Demeter and Dionysus and rituals surrounding these particular deities (as is briefly alluded to above). These rituals would have strengthened cultural mores through a demonstration of the opposite. The connection is tied to the definition of ἵαμβος (iambos). Iambos was a type of poetry not simply a metric device, and an expected subject matter accompanied the performance of this type of poetry.[9] There were of course common meters of iambos/iambic poetry.

Archilochus made use of the iambus and the trochee, and organized them into the two forms of meter known as the iambic trimeter and the trochaic tetrameter. The trochaic meter he generally used for subjects of a vicarious nature; the iambic for satires. He was also the first to make use of the arrangement of verses called the epode. Horace in his meters to a great extent follows Archilochus. All ancient authorities unite in praising the poems of Archilochus, in terms that appear exaggerated. His verses seem certainly to have possessed strength, flexibility, nervous vigor, and, beyond everything else, impetuous vehemence and energy: Horace speaks of the "rage" of Archilochus, and Hadrian calls his verses "raging iambics." His countrymen reverenced him as the equal of Homer, and statues of these two poets were dedicated on the same day. The hero cult of Archilochus on Paros had a history of 800 years[10]. His poems were written in the old Ionic dialect.

Archilochus' poetry survives only in fragments, most of which come from Egyptian papyri.[11]

Recent discoveries

Thirty lines of a previously unknown poem in the elegiac meter by Archilochos describing events leading up to the Trojan War, in which Achaeans battled Telephus king of Mysia, have recently been identified among the Oxyrhynchus papyri and published in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume LXIX (Graeco-Roman Memoirs 89).[12]

References

  1. ^ While these have been the generally accepted dates since Felix Jacoby, "The Date of Archilochus," Classical Quarterly 35 (1941) 97-109, some scholars disagree; Robin Lane Fox, for instance, in Travelling Heroes: Greeks and Their Myths in the Epic Age of Homer (London: Allen Lane, 2008, ISBN 978-0713999808), p. 388, dates him c. 740-680.
  2. ^ Rayor, Diane J, Sappho's Lyre: Archaic Lyric and Women Poets of Ancient Greece (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991, ISBN 978-0-520-07336-4)
  3. ^ Van Sickle, "Archilochus: A New Fragment of an Epode" The Classical Journal 71.1 (October - November 1975:1-15) p. 14.
  4. ^ Gerber, Douglas E., A Companion to the Greek Lyric Poets, BRILL, 1997. ISBN 9004099441. Cf. p.50
  5. ^ David A. Campbell, "Greek Lyric Poetry, p. 137
  6. ^ Campbell at p. 137.
  7. ^ Pindar, 2nd Pythian Ode, ll. 100-01.
  8. ^ Jeffrey M. Hurwit. The Art and Culture of Early Greece.
  9. ^ See the Loeb edition of Greek Iambic (introduction).
  10. ^ Encyclopedia of ancient Greece By Nigel Guy Wilson Page 353 ISBN 9780415973342
  11. ^ Davenport, Guy., Archilochus, Alcman, Sappho: Three Lyric Poets of the Seventh Century B.C. University of California Press, 1980. ISBN 0520052234, p.2.
  12. ^ Text and translation of the new Archilochus fragment at Oxyrhynchus Online

Quotes

  • "For 'tis thy friends that make thee choke with rage". (1)
  • "The fox knows many things; the hedgehog one great thing." (cf. The Hedgehog and the Fox)
  • "Wretched I lie, dead with desire, pierced through my bones, with the bitter pains the Gods have given me."

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Nothing can be surprising any more or impossible or miraculous, now that Zeus, father of the Olympians has made night out of noonday... after this, men can believe anything, expect anything.

Archilochus [Ἀρχίλοχος] (c. 680 BC - c. 645 BC) Greek poet and mercenary; his name is also rendered as Archilochos or Arkhilokhus.

Contents

Sourced

Take the joy and bear the sorrow,
looking past your hopes and fears:
learn to recognize the measured
dance that orders all our years.

Fragments

Fragments of Archilochus known primarily from quotations by other ancient writers
  • πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἐχῖνος δ'ἓν μέγα
    • The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
    • Variant translations:
    • The fox knows many things; the hedgehog one great thing.
    • The fox knows many tricks; the hedgehog one good one.
    • The fox knows many tricks; and the hedgehog only one; but that is the best one of all.
  • Heart, my heart, so battered with misfortune far beyond your strength,
    up, and face the men who hate us.
    Bare your chest to the assault
    of the enemy, and fight them off. Stand fast among the beamlike spears.
    Give no ground; and if you beat them, do not brag in open show,
    nor, if they beat you, run home and lie down on your bed and cry.
    Keep some measure in the joy you take in luck, and the degree you
    give way to sorrow.
    All our life is up-and-down like this.
    • Fragment 67, as translated by R. Lattimore
    • Variant translations:
    • Soul, my soul, don't let them break you,
      all these troubles.
      Never yield:
      though their force is overwhelming,
      up! attack them shield to shield...
    • Take the joy and bear the sorrow,
      looking past your hopes and fears:
      learn to recognize the measured
      dance that orders all our years.
      • "Archilochos: To His Soul" : A fragment, as translated from the Greek by Jon Corelis
  • ὦ Ζεῦ͵ πάτερ Ζεῦ͵ σὸν μὲν οὐρανοῦ κράτος͵ σὺ δ΄ ἔργ΄ ἐπ΄ ἀνθρώπων ὁρᾶις λεωργὰ καὶ θεμιστά͵ σοὶ δὲ θηρίων ὕβρις τε καὶ δίκη μέλει.
    • Oh Zeus, father Zeus, Yours is the Kingdom of Heaven, and you watch men's deeds, the crafty and the right, and You are who cares for beasts' transgression and justice.
      • Fragment 177
  • Nothing can be surprising any more or impossible or miraculous, now that Zeus, father of the Olympians has made night out of noonday, hiding the bright sunlight, and . . . fear has come upon mankind. After this, men can believe anything, expect anything. Don't any of you be surprised in future if land beasts change places with dolphins and go to live in their salty pastures, and get to like the sounding waves of the sea more than the land, while the dolphins prefer the mountains.
    • Variant: Zeus, the father of the Olympic Gods, turned mid-day into night, hiding the light of the dazzling Sun; and sore fear came upon men.
  • Some Saian mountaineer
    Struts today with my shield.
    I threw it down by a bush and ran
    When the fighting got hot.
    Life seemed somehow more precious.
    It was a beautiful shield.
    I know where I can buy another
    Exactly like it, just as round.
    • Variant: A Saian boasts about the shield which beside a bush
      though good armour I unwillingly left behind.
      I saved myself, so what do I care about the shield?
      To hell with it! I'll get one soon just as good.
    • Variant: I don't give a damn if some Thracian ape strut
      Proud of that first-rate shield the bushes got.
      Leaving it was hell, but in a tricky spot
      I kept my hide intact. Good shields can be bought. (as translated by Stuart Silverman)
    • Variant: Let who will boast their courage in the field,
      I find but little safety from my shield.
      Nature's, not honour's, law we must obey:
      This made me cast my useless shield away,
      And by a prudent flight and cunning save
      A life, which valour could not, from the grave.
      A better buckler I can soon regain;
      But who can get another life again?
  • These golden matters
    Of Gyges and his treasuries
    Are no concern of mine.
    Jealousy has no power over me,
    Nor do I envy a god his work,
    And I do not burn to rule.
    Such things have no
    Fascination for my eyes.
    • Variant: The affairs of gold-laden Gyges do not interest me
      zealousy of the gods has never seized me nor anger
      at their deeds. But I have no love for great tyranny
      for its deeds are very far from my eyes.

Be bold! That's one way

A fragment as translated by Guy Davenport
  • Be bold! That's one way
    Of getting through life.

    So I turn upon her
    And point out that,
    Faced with the wickedness
    Of things, she does not shiver.
  • I know how to love those
    Who love me, how to hate.
  • You whom the soldiers beat,
    You who are all but dead,
    How the gods love you
    And I, alone in the dark,
    I was promised the light.

Quotes about Archilochus

  • There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus which says: "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Scholars have differed about the correct interpretation of these dark words, which may mean no more than that the fox, for all his cunning, is defeated by the hedgehog's one defence. But, taken figuratively, the words can be made to yield a sense in which they mark one of the deepest differences which divide writers and thinkers, and, it may be, human beings in general. For there exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single, universal, organizing principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has significance — and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory... Their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects for what they are in themselves, without, consciously or unconsciously, seeking to fit them into, or exclude them from any one unchanging, all-embracing, sometimes self-contradictory and incomplete, at times fanatical, unitary inner vision. The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classification, we may, without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense, Dante belongs to the first category, Shakespeare to the second.

External links

Wikipedia
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ARCHILOCHUS, Greek lyric poet and writer of lampoons, was born at Paros, one of the Cyclades islands. The date of his birth is uncertain, but he probably flourished about 650 B.C.; according to some, about forty years earlier but certainly not before the reign of Gyges (687-652), whom he mentions in a well-known fragment. His father, Telesicles, who was of noble family, had conducted a colony to Thasos, in obedience to the command of the Delphic oracle. To this island Archilochus himself, hard pressed by poverty, afterwards removed. Another reason for leaving his native place was personal disappointment and indignation at the treatment he had received from Lycambes, a citizen of Paros, who had promised him his daughter Neobule in marriage, but had afterwards withdrawn his consent. Archilochus, taking advantage of the licence allowed at the feasts of Demeter, poured out his wounded feelings in unmerciful satire. He accused Lycambes of perjury, and his daughters of leading the most abandoned lives. Such was the effect produced by his verses, that Lycambes and his daughters are said to have hanged themselves. At Thasos the poet passed some unhappy years; his hopes of wealth were disappointed; according to him, Thasos was the meeting-place of the calamities of all Hellas. The inhabitants were frequently involved in quarrels with their neighbours, and in a war against the Saians - a Thracian tribe - he threw away his shield and fled from the field of battle. He does not seem to have felt the disgrace very keenly, for, like Alcaeus and Horace, he commemorates the event in a fragment in which he congratulates himself on having saved his life, and says he can easily procure another shield. After leaving Thasos, he is said to have visited Sparta, but to have been at once banished from that city on account of his cowardice and the licentious character of his works (Valerius Maximus vi. 3, externa I). He next visited Siris, in lower Italy, a city of which he speaks very favourably. He then returned to his native place, and was slain in a battle against the Naxians by one Calondas or Corax, who was cursed by the oracle for having slain a servant of the Muses.

The writings of Archilochus consisted of elegies, hymns - one of which used to be sung by the victors in the Olympic games (Pindar, Olympia, ix. I) - and of poems in the iambic and trochaic measures. To him certainly we owe the invention of iambic poetry and its application to the purposes of satire. The only previous measures in Greek poetry had been the epic hexameter, and its offshoot the elegiac metre; but the slow measured structure of hexameter verse was utterly unsuited to express the quick, light motions of satire. Archilochus made use of the iambus and the trochee, and organized them into the two forms of metre known as the iambic trimeter and the trochaic tetrameter. The trochaic metre he generally used for subjects of a serious nature; the iambic for satires. He was also the first to make use of the arrangement of verses called the epode. Horace in his metres to a great extent follows Archilochus (Epistles, i. 1 9.2 3-35). All ancient authorities unite in praising the poems of Archilochus, in terms which appear exaggerated (Longinus xiii. 3; Dio Chrysostom, Orationes, xxxiii.; Quintilian x. i. 60; Cicero, Orator, i.). His verses seem certainly to have possessed strength, flexibility, nervous vigour, and, beyond everything else, impetuous vehemence and energy. Horace (Ars Poetica, 79) speaks of the "rage" of Archilochus, and Hadrian calls his verses "raging iambics." By his countrymen he was reverenced as the equal of Homer, and statues of these two poets were dedicated on the same day.

His poems were written in the old Ionic dialect. Fragments in Bergk, Poetae Lyrici Graeci; Liebel, Archilochi Reliquiae (1818); A. Hauvette-Besnault, Archiloque, sa vie et ses poe'sies (1905).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Alternative spellings

Etymology

From Ancient Greek Ἀρχίλοχος (Arkhilokhos).

Proper noun

Singular
Archilochus

Plural
-

Archilochus

  1. An Ancient Greek name, particularly borne by a 7th century Archaic or a Classical Greek poet.

Translations


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Trochiliformes
Familia: Trochilidae
Subfamilia: Trochilinae
Genus: Archilochus
Species: A. alexandri - A. colubris

Name

Archilochus, Reichenbach, 1854

References

  • J.Orn. 1 Beil.zuExtraheft p.13

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