Simonides of Ceos

Simonides of Ceos sīmŏn´ĭdēz, sē´ŏs [key], c.556–468? BC, 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.

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