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Sotades (Greek: Σωτάδης; 3rd century BC) was an Ancient Greek poet.

Sotades was born in Maroneia, either the one in Thrace, or in Crete. He was the chief representative of the writers of obscene satirical poems, called Kinaidoi, composed in the Ionic dialect and in the "sotadic" metre named after him. The sotadic metre or sotadic verse is one that reads backwards and forwards the same, as “llewd did I live, and evil I did dwell.” These verses have also been called palindromic

Sotades lived in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285 BC-246 BC). One of his poems attacked Ptolemy's marriage to his own sister Arsinoe, from which came the infamous line: "You're sticking your prick in an unholy hole."[1] For this, Sotades was imprisoned, but he escaped to the island of Caunus, where he was afterwards captured by Patroclus, Ptolemy's admiral, shut up in a leaden chest, and thrown into the sea.

Only a few genuine fragments of Sotades have been preserved; those in Stobaeus are generally considered spurious. Ennius translated some poems of this kind, included in his book of satires under the name of Sola.

Sotades was also the author of some of the first recorded palindromes, and many credit him with the invention of that particular genre of composition.

Richard Francis Burton named the Sotadic zone, a supposed geographical belt where he hypothesized male homosexuality was unusually prevalent, after Sotades.

References

  1. ^ Plutarch, On the Education of Children, 11a; Athenaeus, xiv. 621a. Translation from Graham Shipley, The Greek World After Alexander, 323-30 B.C., page 185. Routledge.

Sources

External links

  • Sotades from the Wiki Classical Dictionary
  • Sotades (2) from Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1867)

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

'SOTADES, Greek satirist, of Maronea in Thrace (or of Crete), chief representative of the writers of coarse satirical poems, called Kivac30c, composed in the Ionic dialect and in a metre named after him "sotadic." He lived in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy II. Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.). For a violent attack on the king, on the occasion of his marriage to his own sister Arsinoe, Sotades was imprisoned, but escaped to the island of Caunus, where he was afterwards captured by Patroclus, Ptolemy's admiral, shut up in a leaden chest, and thrown into the sea (Athenaeus xiv. p. 620; Plutarch, De educatione puerorum, 14) .

Only a few genuine fragments of Sotades have been preserved (see J. G. Hermann, Elementa doctrinae metricae, 1816); those in Stobaeus are generally considered spurious. Ennius translated some poems of this kind, included in his book of satires, under the name of Sota.


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