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Simonides of Ceos

Simonides of Ceos (sĪmŏnˈĭdēz, sēˈŏs) [key], c.556–468? B.C., Greek lyric poet, b. Ceos. At Athens for a time under the patronage of Hipparchus, he seems then to have gone to Thessaly, returning to Athens at the time of the Persian Wars. He was a friend of most prominent Athenians. After the wars he went (with his nephew Bacchylides) to the court of Hiero I of Syracuse, where he was a rival of Pindar. There are only fragments left of his work, but they contain some of the finest Greek poetry. He wrote, in an epigrammatic manner, verses of many kinds; some of these—encomia, epinicia, and dirges—he brought to a new perfection. Two of his finest epitaphs are on the fallen at Marathon and at Thermopylae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Classical Literature: Biographies


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