(28.) A fragment from Theognis (also attributed to Mimnermus
) provides an interesting comparandum.
Afterthe intervention of Apollo in the Ashbery poem, the bass presentssettings of various lyric fragments from the sixth and fifth centuriesBC by Mimnermus
, Archilochus, Sappho, and Ibycus reflecting aspects ofthe modern poem.
The Sun god's daily journey was detailed by the poet Mimnermus
(7th century BC), who said Helios rises from the far east, where he meets his waiting chariot and horses.
Simonides' poem on Plataea was a narrative elegy on an historical subject and we know of other such elegies which dealt with historical themes, such as Mimnermus
' Smyrneis and Semonides' Archaiologia.(28) Simonides himself wrote poems about all of the major battles of the Persian Wars: apparently both an elegiac and a lyric poem about Artemisium, a lyric (or possibly elegiac) poem about Salamis, the Plataea elegy, and perhaps an elegy on Marathon.(29) These poems would have been a prime source for any later writer who wished to challenge the Herodotean version of events.
[sup.b.The] Poetics of Old Age in Greek Epic, Lyric, and Tragedy(16) looks especially at Nestor and Priam in the Iliad, Laertes in the Odyssey, Hesiod's Myth of the Ages, old(er) women in epic, Archilochus, and Sappho, the Hymn to Aphrodite, Mimnermus
, and Anacreon, Solon's ten ages, the Children of Heracles and Phoenician Women, and Oedipus at Colonus.
It is far more in keeping with traditional deliberative elegy as practiced by Mimnermus
, Archilochus, Solon, Theognis, and others.
English text by John Ashbery; ancient Greek text from Plato, Hes-iod, Aeschylus, Euripedes, Mimnermus
, Archilochus, Sappho, Homer, lbycus, and the Homeric hymns.
(36) At the risk of over-reading, and in a further piece of polysemy repeatedly sounded in sympotic discourse, the springtime announced by the inscription could also refer to the burgeoning pais-, as the common conceit first found in Mimnermus
To quote Theognis, 'blessed, fortunate, and blissful is he who goes down to the dark house of Hades without having experienced labours.'(43) According to Mimnermus
, the fates of death, keres, hold two lots of men, one of 'hateful old age' and the other of death; it is better to die young and thus to avoid the suffering which will come sooner or later, because 'there is no one to whom Zeus would not give many sorrows'.(44) The story of Cleobis and Biton, on whom Hera bestowed early death as a special divine blessing, bears witness to the popularity of this idea.(45)
From Archibald Allen [comes.sup.B**] The Fragments of Mimnermus
, Text and Commentary.(4) He gives us 23 Testimonia, followed by a discussion and some conclusions about Mimnermus
' life and work: he was born c.670 B.C.; a man of Smyrna, not Colophon as the Alexandrians had it; an aristocrat, not a commoner as Wilamowitz suggested; and his Nanno, in two Alexandrian book-rolls, contained all his elegies with perhaps a total of between 2,000 and 4,000 lines of poetry.
(4.)The Fragments of Mimnermus
. Text and Commentary.
Griffith, ~Man and the Leaves: a Study of Mimnermus