Corinna in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

(Κόριννα). A poetess of Thebes (fl. B.C. 490), or, according to others, of Tanagra, distinguished for her skill in lyric verse, and remarkable for her personal attractions. She was the rival of Pindar, while the latter was still a young man; and, according to Aelian, she gained the victory over him no less than five times. Pausanias, in his travels, saw at Tanagra a picture, in which Corinna was represented as binding her head with a fillet of victory, which she had gained in a contest with Pindar. He supposes that she was less indebted for this victory to the excellence of her poetry than to her Boeotian dialect, which was more familiar to the ears of the judges at the games, and also to her extraordinary beauty. Corinna afterwards assisted the young poet with her advice. It is related of her that she recommended him to ornament his poems with mythical narrations; but that when he had composed a hymn, in the first six verses of which (still extant) almost the whole of the Theban mythology was introduced, she smiled and said, "We should sow with the hand, not with the whole sack" (Pausan. ix. 22; De Glor. Ath.). She was surnamed "the Fly" (Μυῖα), as Erinna had been styled "the Bee." The poems of Corinna were all in the Boeotian or Aeolic dialect. Too little of her poetry, however, has been preserved to allow of our forming a safe judgment of her style of composition. The extant fragments refer mostly to mythological subjects, particularly to heroines of the Boeotian legends. These remains are given by Bergk in his Poetae Lyrici Graeci (4th ed. 1878).

Read More about Corinna in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities