Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory


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3. Late Classical Interlude

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Another timely promise of a citharodic restoration of political order might be latent in lines —, which come immediately before the epilogue. Herodotus 8. And now Timotheus makes the kitharis again spring up with eleven-struck meters and rhythms, having opened the many-songed, chambered treasure-house of the Muses.

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In the historical context of BCE, such power was desperately needed, for by this point the confederation, to the extent that it was still recognized to exist, and the cities in it were in violent disorder. During this traumatic period, Timotheus, who may have belonged to one of the democratic factions in his native city, probably made Athens his home base.

The idealized vision of Ionian unity in Persians thus corresponds to no current reality; it is purely idealized nostalgia and wishful fantasy, whose realization, however, notionally lies in the hands of Timotheus. The post-Periclean Panathenaia was a fitting context for such an appeal, given its strong imperial and Panionian agenda. The citharode brings the new nomos back to its earliest roots, as it were, in the old-time song culture, tendentiously overwriting its more contemporary Dionysian models, dithyramb and drama.

The definitive influence of those genres had of course been on full audible and visual display for the previous plus verses of the omphalos. But when they [the Greeks] had set up victory monuments tropaia to Zeus to be a most holy sanctuary, they called on Paean healer lord and in equal time summetroi they began stamping with high-pounding dances khoreiai of their feet.

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The sonic and mimetic excess and otherness of the New Music are fully explored—and their pleasures no doubt fully enjoyed by the audience—but they are in the end safely contained, closed off from the sphragis , in which Timotheus speaks for himself, or rather, plays an idealized version of himself: the audience is presented with Timotheus of Miletus, the classically grounded citharodic innovator.

The latter serves as a validating model for the former, imparting its aura of classical, indeed near-mythical grandeur and sanctity to the music of the here-and-now. It is tempting to speculate that Timotheus is intending to evoke one particularly resonant scene from the Athenian history of the battle or at least its lore , that of a sixteen-year-old Sophocles leading a chorus at the Salamis tropaion with his lyre Life of Sophocles 3; cf.

Athenaeus 1. It is tempting too to speculate that the exemplary performance of the Greeks at the Salamis tropaia was intended also to recall the political and architectural history of the very structure in which Timotheus performed Persians in Athens, the Periclean Odeion. The primary sources for the Odeion attest to its constitutive appropriation of Persian materials and visual motifs. According to Plutarch Pericles A different angle is presented in Vitruvius 5.

It would be exhausting to rehearse in full the various theories that have been put forward to make sense of these disparate reports. Soon after BCE a structure was erected near the Theater of Dionysus, under the supervision of Themistocles, that incorporated elements of the spoils from the Persian wars—the masts and spars of barbarian ships to which Vitruvius refers, but also the tent of Xerxes captured at Plataea.

Was it used as a music hall? The testimony of Plutarch Pericles We should keep in mind, however, that Themistocles knew how to appropriate musical culture for political ends, so the possibility remains. The tent-like, Persoid appearance of the Periclean Odeion was a holdover from the older building.

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If Timotheus did sing his Persians in Athens, then it was in this ideologically resonant space that he sang it. Like the Odeion, the nomos is ultimately a celebration of empire. The setting of the scene is probably meant to be the foot of Mt. Aegaleos, from which point Xerxes watched the battle of Salamis unfold Herodotus 8. Neither Herodotus nor Aeschylus mentions the fate of the Persian tents at Salamis, however, and Herodotus makes it seem as if there was indeed no immediate danger posed to the mobile wealth of the Basileus after the rout of the Persian naval forces 8. Gorgias records in his Epitaphios the commonplace notion that the tropaia of victories over the barbarians demand songs humnoi.

Athenaeus The fourth century saw rival schools of citharodes emerge, however, and some of these must have enjoyed considerable popularity. We have already mentioned Philotas, the disciple of Polyeidus of Selymbria, who was, like Timotheus, a dithyrambic composer as well as citharode. Our writer, a conservative critic of the legacy of the New Music, seems somewhat too eager to consign Timotheus to oblivion. Inscriptional evidence suggests that his nomoi were ranked alongside those of Timotheus by late Hellenistic citharodes, one of whom, Menecles of Teos, performed pieces by Timotheus and Polyeidus while on a diplomatic mission-cum-concert tour in Crete in the second century BCE I.


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I xxiv 1. A late Roman source observes that the compositions of Timotheus and Polyeidus exhibit the same manner of metrical freedom, but that is not saying much. It is possible, however, that the On Music passage means to equate the compositions of Polyeidus with kattumata.

The contemporary style he describes is thus primarily dithyrambic, but his comment probably applies equally to the nomos , given the assimilation of the two genres that had begun in the later fifth century. The speaker seems to be criticizing makers of medleys cf. The reduced emphasis placed upon original melodic composition surely reflects the ever-increasing popularity of virtuoso citharodic and auletic performance.


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  • Agonistic music of the fourth century, it seems, was increasingly focused on the star singer rather than the song. An inscription from the first half of the second century CE makes the claim that C. The claim is difficult to take at face value. But tragic singers and citharodes, including Nero, had long been rescoring selected works of Classical tragedy, or even setting to music the iambic sections of tragedy that were originally spoken without melody, a procedure that had already become exceedingly popular by the time of Dio Chrysostom.

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    It has been suggested that the nomos Nero sang at his debut performance in Naples is the same piece he would perform the following year at the Neronia in Rome, a treatment of the tragic myth of Niobe Suetonius Nero Davison ; Shapiro —66, who notes the ambiguities inherent in interpreting these early images, which are, however, not entirely obstructive.

    First, we cannot be sure how many of the citharodes are meant to represent Apollo. A reasonable view might be that some are Apollo, but others very probably are not. We will return to this problem below. Second, are they citharodes or citharists? Musicians who are not depicted singing pose particular difficulty. Also, there is the sheer fact that more citharodes than citharists performed: in the fourth century, five prizes were awarded to citharodes, only three to citharists and, notably, to rhapsodes; IG II 2 Images of aulodes and auletes from the same period are more distinctly shown in agonistic settings suggestive of the Panathenaia; see Shapiro Shapiro —67; Bundrick — A trend that will continue through the fifth century as well.

    Kotsidu Aulodes and auletes, however, outnumber citharodes in the period — BCE; cf. Shapiro , with discussion below.

    Acknowledgments

    Herington n Aloni See Herington — Lasus, as Herington argues, likely produced choral dithyrambs in the time of Hipparchus. The institution of dramatic contests at the City Dionysia dates from the s, when Peisistratus was still in power Herington —91, who notes the continuities between the tragic contests and the Panathenaic musical contests. As recognized by Davison —41 who believes, however, that musical contests were suspended after the Persian Wars and restarted by Pericles ; cf.

    Shapiro , —58; Kotsidu ; Herington ; Bundrick , all of whom argue for the unbroken continuity of the contests from the time of the Peisistratids. A scholion to Aelius Aristides Thus Herington ; cf. Kotsidu n It has been thought that Herodotus is channeling a pro-Alcmaeonid, anti-Philaid version of the events at Sicyon: McGregor , with further bibliography. Kurke Maas and Snyder — Shapiro , who suggests that the lyre assimilates Theseus to Apollo.

    London, British Museum Koller Roller —5; Kyle Two other possible representations of solo citharodic performance in pre-Peisistratean Athens. Glowacki —83, with fig. But the setting of the scene on the plaque is a mystery. The man could be a soloist, but whose hands are those? A member of a ritual procession that the musician accompanies?

    But the presence of a woman playing a rattle suggests that the context is cultic-ritual rather than agonistic. Probably the earliest depiction of an aulodic contest has all of these features London, British Museum, B , c.

    Shapiro —65; Vos But the amphora may be later than and reflect rather auletic contests at the reorganized festival; cf. Davison —28, Shapiro Brown — on the predominance of the aulos at early Athenian symposia. But Brown overstates the case when he argues that Hipparchus and his circle actively favored the lyre over the aulos. The Peisistratids after all patronized Lasus of Hermione, a prominent aulodic composer. By the same token, Athenian symposiasts would of course have been somewhat familiar with East Greek lyric songs before the time of Hipparchus.

    One anecdote has Solon learning a melos of Sappho from his nephew Stobaeus Florilegium 3. Stringed instruments begin to appear in comastic iconography in the third quarter of the sixth century, well after their appearance in Laconian and Corinthian art. See e. Barker n58; cf. Davison Pausanias For the likelihood of the date, see Mosshammer The story related by Pausanias, that the aulodic contests were dropped immediately after their debut because sung elegy sounded too gloomy, seems a clever but groundless attempt to explain a gap in the Pythian victor lists.

    West Irwin b. Shapiro ; Bundrick Brown — Kotsidu — See especially Nagy —66, with bibliography; cf. Skafte Jensen ; Aloni ; Shapiro —75, ; Irwin b— Citharodic epic would, however, continue to rival rhapsodic epic through the fifth century BCE. It is worth noting the fact that we have not one representation of an agonistic rhapsode from the years of the tyranny, while we have numerous depictions of citharodes not to mention aulodes and auletes.

    The numbers surely reflect popular enthusiasm for the more colorful and engaging spectacle of citharodic performance. Part III. Shapiro Anderson On the Sicyonian Pythian games established by Cleisthenes as an analogously competitive response to the reorganized Delphic Pythia, see Power Discussion in Nagy b—; cf. Nagy b—; Watrous See Part III. Martin Relevant is the patronage of the Athenian cult of Apollo Pythios by Peisistratus, which involved some significant conflation with the Delian-oriented cult of Apollo Patroos see Hedrick Peisistratus established the sanctuary of Pythian Apollo Suda , Photius s.

    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory
    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory
    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory
    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory
    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory
    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory
    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory
    Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory Making Kleos mortal: Archaic Attic funerary monuments and the construction of social memory

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