dithyramb

dithyramb (dĭthˈĭrăm) [key], in ancient Greece, hymn to the god Dionysus, choral lyric with exchanges between the leader and the chorus. It arose, probably, in the extemporaneous songs of the Dionysiac festivals and was developed (according to tradition, by Arion) into the literary form to be found, for example, in the dithyrambs of Bacchylides. In its later development by such poets as Philoxenus and Timotheus it became freer in its meter and more musical. The tragedy seems to have come out of the dithyramb, but the dithyramb was also cultivated after tragedy was invented.

See A. W. Pickard-Cambridge, Dithyramb, Tragedy, and Comedy (1927, repr. 1962).

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

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  • Philoxenus - Philoxenus Philoxenus , c.436–c.380 B.C., Greek dithyrambic poet, b. Cythera. Having fallen ...
  • Timotheus, Greek poet and musician - Timotheus Timotheus , c.450–c.357 B.C., Greek poet and musician of Miletus. An innovator in ...
  • Lasus - Lasus Lasus , fl. 6th cent. B.C., Greek poet from the town of Hermione in Argolis. He is said to ...
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