Lesches in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

(Λέσχης) or Lescheus (Λέσχευς). A Cyclic poet, a native of Mitylené or Pyrrha, in the island of Lesbos, and considerably later than Arctinus. The best authorities concur in placing him in the time of Archilochus, or about B.C. 708-676. Hence the account which we find in ancient authors, of a contest between Arctinus and Lesches, can only mean that the latter competed with the earlier poet in treating the same subjects. His poem, in four books, which was attributed by many to Homer, and, besides, to very different authors, was called the "Little Iliad" (Ἰλιὰς Μικρά), and was clearly intended as a supplement to the great Iliad. It is learned from Aristotle (Poet. 23) that it comprised the events before the fall of Troy, the fate of Aiax, the exploits of Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, and Odysseus, which led to the taking of the city, as well as the account of the destruction of Troy itself; which statement is confirmed by numerous fragments. The last part of this (like the first part of the poem of Arctinus) was called the "Destruction of Troy" (Ἰλίου Πέρσις), from which Pausanias makes several quotations with reference to the sacking of Troy and the partition and carrying away of the prisoners. See Cyclici Poetae; Homerus.

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