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Headword: Νόμοι κιθαρῳδικοί
Adler number: nu,473
Translated headword: citharoedic laws, citharoedic nomoi
Vetting Status: high
Apollo, they say, with a lyre taught to men laws to live by, at the same time soothing their initial brutality with the song[1] and making his command intelligible with the sweetness of the rhythm; and these were called citharoedic 'laws'. Hence in a solemn way, just as it seems to Aristotle also, the musical modes by which we sing are called nomoi.[2]
Greek Original:
Νόμοι κιθαρῳδικοί: Ἀπόλλων, φασί, μετὰ λύρας κατέδειξε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις νόμους, καθ' οὓς ζήσονται, πραύ̈νων τε ἅμα τῷ μέλει τὸ κατ' ἀρχὰς ἐν αὐτοῖς θηριῶδες καὶ εὐπρόσιτον τῇ τοῦ ῥυθμοῦ ἡδύτητι ποιῶν τὸ παραγγελλόμενον: καὶ ἐκλήθησαν ἐκεῖνα νόμοι κιθαρῳδικοί. ἐκεῖθεν δὲ σεμνολογικῶς, ὡς καὶ Ἀριστοτέλει δοκεῖ, νόμοι καλοῦνται οἱ μουσικοὶ τρόποι, καθ' οὓς ᾄδομεν.
Similarly in the Etymologicum Magnum (607.1); cf. Photius nu253 Theodoridis (and nu 478). See also Plato, Laws 700A-D (web address 1); ps.-Plutarch, De musica 1131E-1133D; Pollux 4.66.
[1] For the soothing power of Apollo’s music, cf. Pindar, Pythian 1.5-25 (web address 2).
[2] For another explanation cf. the Aristotelian Problemata 919b38-920a2.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: aetiology; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; meter and music; mythology; philosophy; poetry; religion
Translated by: Ioannis Doukas on 14 May 2007@18:58:38.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 15 May 2007@04:05:09.
David Whitehead on 17 June 2013@04:20:21.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 15 December 2014@15:37:25.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 15 December 2014@23:34:53.
David Whitehead (cosmetic) on 19 May 2016@05:41:37.


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