Ibycus in Wikipedia

Ibycus (Ancient Greek: Ἴβυκος) (6th century BC), was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. He was included in the canonical list of nine lyric poets by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria. The extant fragments of his work contain the earliest-known example of the triadic choral lyric and epinician poetry.[citation needed] Life Ibycus was born in Rhegium, Italy, but emigrated to the island of Samos where he became associated with the court of Polycrates. Little is known of his life, and that little may be partly legendary. Supposedly he had been offered the tyrantship of Rhegium but declined it, whence came a traditional saying, "Stupider than Ibycus." He was buried at Rhegium. According to legend while Ibycus was on his way to the Isthmian Games he was attacked and mortally wounded by a band of robbers. In his dying moments, Ibycus saw a flock of cranes flying over head and swore "Those cranes will avenge me." Shortly afterward one of robbers was sitting in a theater and saw a flock of cranes flying by. He joked to a friend "there go the avengers of Ibycus." Ironically this was overheard and the robbers were arrested.[1] It is possible that this legend is a play upon the poet's name and the bird ἶβυξ (ibyx), although according to Hesychius (s.v. iota 138) this is another form of ibis, while the common Greek word for "crane" (γέρανος, geranos) is used of the birds associated with the death of Ibycus.[2] The phrase "the cranes of Ibycus" became a proverb among the Greeks for the discovery of crime through divine intervention.[3] Centuries later in 1797 Friedrich Schiller wrote a ballad called "The Cranes of Ibycus" based on this legend.[4] Poetry Alexandrian scholars in the 3rd or 2nd century BC assembled his work into seven books or papyrus rolls, probably on the basis of meter.[5] Only fragments of these books survive. In modern times fragments papyrus containing poetry attributed to Ibycus were discovered in Oxyrhynchus (now al-Bahnasā, Egypt). The surviving fragments his poems consisted mainly of narrative choral lyric and encomia (Greek choral hymns) in the manner of Stesichorus. This similarity sometimes made it hard for ancient scholars to tell their work apart. Although the meter and dialect are Dorian, which is normally not particularly euphonious, the poems have the spirit of Aeolian melic poetry.[citation needed]In the Phaedrus (242D) by Plato, Socrates mentions a saying of Ibycus, "I was distressed, lest I be buying honour among men by sinning against the gods." Ibycus wrote primarily narrative verse and paederastic erotic verse. He was noted for his free adaptation of mythology, and as the only source for certain variants of myths. [6] His style has been described as "graceful and passionate," [7], and the ancients considered him one of the most openly and intensely erotic of poets [8].

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Ibycus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)

(Ἴβυκος). A Greek lyric and erotic poet of Rhegium in Lower Italy, who flourished about B.C. 530. Like Anacreon, he led a roving life, and spent much of his time at the court of Polycrates of Samos. According to his epitaph, he died in his native town; but according to the legend made familiar by Schiller's poem, he was slain on a journey to Corinth, and his murderers were discovered by means of a flock of cranes, which, as he died, he had invoked as his avengers. The story goes that, after his murder, when the Corinthians were gathered in the theatre, the cranes appeared; whereupon one of the assassins who was present cried out, "See the avengers of Ibycus!" thus giving a clue to their detection. Hence arose the expression used of the cranes, Ἰβύκου γέρανοι. His poems, which were collected into seven books, survive in scanty fragments only. They dealt partly with mythological themes in the metres of Stesichorus and partly with love-songs in the spirit of Aeolic lyric poetry, full of glowing passion and sensibility. It was mainly to the latter that he owed his fame. The fragments are given in Schneidewin's Delectus Poesis Graecorum Elegiacae (1833), and Bergk's Poetae Lyrici Graeci (vol. ii.). See Holsten, De Stesichori et Ibyci Dialecto et Copia Verborum (1884).

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