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The Formation Of Biographical Traditions

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Chapter Summary

The identifiable sources which provide information are local traditions about the poets' families and lives, poets' own verses, some specific sources (lists of victors, for example), traditions formed by particular groups, literary works, writings of chronographers, grammarians, musicologists, etc. The biographical traditions were shaped and transmitted by people who were involved with the performance of poetry and music, the audience who listened to the performances, the scholars who studied different aspects of poets' creation, and groups who wished for one reason or another to link themselves with the poet. Poetic, musical and mantic skills are frequently used for healing diseases or for restoring peace, as is clearly visible from the traditions of Terpander, Archilochus, Hesiod, Homer, Stesichorus, Thaletas, Tyr-taeus, Alcman, Arion, Pythagoras, Melampus, and Epimenides.

Keywords: biographical traditions; Hesiod; Homer; Terpander



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