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Headword: Μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν
Adler number: mu,701
Translated headword: after the Lesbian singer
Vetting Status: high
A proverb applied to those who take second place. The Lesbian citharodes were the first whom the Lacedaemonians used to invite, for when the city was in discord, a prophecy ordered them to 'send for the Lesbian singer'; they sent for Terpander from Antissa,[1] when he was in exile because of blood-guilt, and they listened to him in their messes and were brought into good order.
[Note] that when the Lacedaemonians were quarreling they summoned the musician Terpander from Lesbos, who put their souls in order and settled the strife. So after this whenever the Lacedaemonians listened to a musician they said [he was second] "after the Lesbian singer."
Greek Original:
Μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν: παροιμία λεγομένη ἐπὶ τῶν τὰ δεύτερα φερομένων: οἱ γὰρ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοὺς Λεσβίους κιθαρῳδοὺς πρώτους προσεκαλοῦντο: ἀκαταστατούσης γὰρ τῆς πόλεως αὐτῶν χρησμὸς ἐγένετο τὸν Λέσβιον ᾠδὸν μεταπέμπεσθαι: οἱ δ' ἐξ Ἀντίσσης Τέρπανδρον ἐφ' αἵματι φεύγοντα μεταπεμψάμενοι ἤκουον αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς συσσιτίοις καὶ κατεστάλησαν. ὅτι οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι στασιάζοντες μετεπέμψαντο ἐκ Λέσβου τὸν μουσικὸν Τέρπανδρον, ὃς ἥρμοσεν αὐτῶν τὰς ψυχὰς καὶ τὴν στάσιν ἔπαυσεν. εἴποτε οὖν μετὰ ταῦτα μουσικοῦ τινος ἤκουον οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, ἔλεγον μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν.
Cratinus fr. 243 Kock (263 K.-A.); Photius mu318 Theodoridis; Zenobius 5.9 and other paroemiographers; 'prov[erbial] of a second-rate musician' (LSJ s.v. ᾠδός ).
On Terpander, see generally tau 354. The traditional date for his visit to Sparta is 676 BCE, when he was believed to have re-founded the Spartans' Karneia festival.
[1] Antissa: alpha 2726.
Keywords: biography; chronology; comedy; daily life; ethics; food; geography; history; meter and music; poetry; proverbs; religion
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 23 April 2003@01:07:04.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 23 April 2003@03:20:08.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note; another keyword) on 17 May 2009@10:40:06.
Catharine Roth (betacode detail, keyword) on 26 May 2009@22:11:51.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 17 May 2013@07:07:10.


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