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Headword: Amphiôn
Adler number: alpha,1751
Translated headword: Amphion
Vetting Status: high
This man [was the] discoverer of ancient music.[1] Concerning him, the Transgressor says in a letter: "for you have leisure, and you possess a fine nature, and you love philosophy, if anyone ever has; these three things coming together at the same time were enough to reveal Amphion as the discoverer of ancient music - time, divine inspiration, a love of hymnody. For not even the lack of tools is enough to stand in the way of these, and he who has a share in these three might easily discover them: for indeed do we not accept the tradition that this man discovered not only the scales but also the lyre itself with them, either by using a rather marvellous intelligence or some divine gift, through an unassisted success? And most of the ancients, especially excelling in these three things, seemed in truth to have been philosophers, as they needed nothing else."[2]
Zethos and another Amphion: look under Antiope.[3]
Greek Original:
Amphiôn: houtos palaias mousikês heuretês. peri hou legei ho Parabatês en epistolêi: periesti gar soi kai scholê, kai phuseôs echeis eu, kai philosophias erais, eiper tis allos tôn pôpote: tria de hama tauta xunelthonta êrkesen apophênai ton Amphiona tês palaias mousikês heuretên, chronos, theou pneuma, erôs humnôidias. oude gar hê tôn organôn endeia pros tauta pephuken antitattesthai, kai tauta rhaidiôs an ho tôn triôn toutôn metochos exeuroi: ê gar ouchi touton auton akoêi paradedegmetha ou tas harmonias monon, autên de ep' autais exeurein tên luran, eite daimoniôterai chrêsamenon epinoiai, eite tini theiai dosei, dia tina suntuchian amêchanon; kai tôn palaiôn hoi pleistoi tois trisi toutois eoikasi malista proschontes outi plastôs philosophêsai, oudenos allou deomenoi. Zêthos kai Amphiôn heteros: zêtei en tôi Antiopê.
[1] (Repeated at mu 1299.) See OCD(4) s.v. 'Amphion and Zethus' (p.73); M.L. West, Ancient Greek Music (Oxford 1992) 33. His status as the discoverer of music stems from the tradition that his lyre-playing charmed stones into laying themselves as the walls of Thebes.
[2] Julian "the Apostate", Letter 30, p.36.17-37.9 Hertlein.
[3] alpha 2689; see also zeta 52; but 'another' is wrong (see n.1 above).
Keywords: aetiology; biography; Christianity; ethics; meter and music; mythology; philosophy; religion; rhetoric; science and technology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 31 August 2000@00:43:01.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes; modified keywords cosmetics) on 3 March 2001@10:17:32.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 12 October 2006@07:04:47.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 15 November 2007@12:34:32.
David Whitehead on 21 February 2012@05:55:37.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 30 July 2014@05:38:01.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 24 June 2015@21:17:16.


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