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Chapter Summary

A brilliant poet, Hipponax of Ephesus was, according to tradition, an ugly and malicious man, a &t;bitter wasp&t; as ancient authors call him, who took pleasure in slander and abuse. was believed to have invented choliambic metre and begun to compose after an old woman called Iambe had told him off in choliambic verse. In addition to choliambus also the inventions of iambic trimeter, comic tetrameter and the genre of parody are ascribed to Hipponax. As to the development of Hipponax' biographical tradition, it is generally agreed that it is based on the information drawn from the poet's verses, supplemented with scarce information from some other sources (inscriptions, local chronicles) and, mainly in the Hellenistic period, uncritically embellished with colourful and sometimes comical details.

Keywords: Ephesus; Hellenistic period; Hipponax; inscriptions



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