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(mĭmnûr`məs), fl. late 7th cent. B.C., Greek elegiac poet of Colophon in Ionia. Only fragments of his poetry survive. Although he mainly wrote love poetry, he did write some martial and historical verse as well. His work is marked by tenderness and melancholy sentiment. One collection was called Nanno, for a girl he loved.



Greek poet of the second half of the seventh century B.C., born in Colophon (Asia Minor).

Mimnermus is considered the originator of the erotic elegy in ancient Greek literature. The influence of his elegies on the Alexandrian and Roman poets, such as Tibullus and Propertius, remains questionable. A collection of Mimnermus’ elegies, Nanno, of which only fragments survive, was named after his beloved. Mimnermus’ epic narrative, Smirneis, dealt with the struggle between the Lydians and the Greeks who were colonizing the coastal regions of Asia Minor.


In Anthologia lyrica graeca, fasc. 1. Edited by E. Diehl. Leipzig, 1954.
Ellinskie poety v perevodakh V. V. Veresaeva. Moscow, 1963. Pages 285–88.


Sobolevskii, S. I. et al., eds. Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 195–97.
Frankel, H. Dichtung und Philosophic des frühen Griechentums, 3rd ed. Munich, 1969.
References in periodicals archive ?
After the intervention of Apollo in the Ashbery poem, the bass presents settings of various lyric fragments from the sixth and fifth centuries BC by Mimnermus, Archilochus, Sappho, and Ibycus reflecting aspects of the modern poem.
English text by John Ashbery; ancient Greek text from Plato, Hes-iod, Aeschylus, Euripedes, Mimnermus, Archilochus, Sappho, Homer, lbycus, and the Homeric hymns.