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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an ancient Greek wandering reciter or chanter of epic poetry. In contrast to the aoidos, the rhapsodist recited in a drawn-out chant, without musical accompaniment, the texts of epic poems, especially those of Homer, that were already established in oral or written tradition.

During the classical period of ancient Greece (fifth and fourth centuries B.C.), the art of the rhapsodist became a part of theatrical art; it existed until the beginning of late antiquity (first century A.D.), becoming a type of rhythmic recitation with musical accompaniment.


Losev, A. F. Gomer. Moscow, 1960.
Webster, T. B. L. From Mycenae to Homer. London, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It analyzes representative pieces by three influential rhapsodists during the Western Jin: Fu Xuan, Zhang Zai, and Zuo Si, who bridged the verisimilar style from the Han rhapsody to Southern Dynasties poetry.
Pan-Slav identity of the Romantic epoch was conceived--just like Wagner's Germanism, the national awareness of the Scandinavian countries as Bedrich Smetana had encountered it in Sweden, and mutatis mutandis of all European countries--as having its roots in a supposed ancient common origin of all Slavs and a historical-mythical background, eagerly elaborated in authentic or less authentic tales of heroes, epic battles and erotic episodes sung by bards and rhapsodists and entering the historical memory of nations.
As a result, the earliest evangelists would have resembled poetic rhapsodists like the Homeric poets of German philologist Friederich August Wolff's influential Prolegomena ad Homerum (1795).
Rhapsodists from Bosnia are invited each year to the home of the Vizier to recite passages from the ancient epic in the Bosniak language (that is, the Slav language of the Bosnian Muslims), accompanied on the single-stringed Serb gusla.
Note that in his influential collection, A Victorian Anthology (1895), Edmund Stedman's name for the "spasmodic" poets--Bailey, Massey, and Alexander Smith--is "The Rhapsodists."
Last but not least, neo-McLuhanite rhapsodists often overlook the extent to which old and new media forms overlap and affect each other.
Here Socrates distinguishes himself and ordinary men from the wise men, namely, "you, the rhapsodists and actors, and those men whose poems you chant" (532d7-8).
Hesiod's authorship of the Theogony has been questioned but is no longer doubted, though the work does include sections inserted by later poets and rhapsodists. The discovery of a Hurrian theogony similar to Hesiod's seems to indicate that Hesiod's theogony owes significant episodes to Middle Eastern models.
Alongside Sir William Jones's translations of mythological material from the East we have delicate morsels from the golden quill, of the Della Cruscan rhapsodists. The alliance between literature and Natural Philosophy is memorialized in excerpts from Erasmus Darwin (along with that worthy's detailed prose explanations).
Hanyu dacidian [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] cites a famous line from Yang Xiong's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (53 B.C.E.--18 C.E.) Fayan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: "The poets' expositions are measured in their beauty; the rhapsodists' expositions are excessive in their beauty" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
The mode of transmission from the heroic age or even the 'schwabisches Zeitalter', of epic or lyrical texts in older Germanic dialects might, in Muller's eyes, best be compared with that of the songs of Homer as they passed through many hands and became remoter from the texts that the rhapsodists had once sung.
Originally, they were rhapsodists (singer-reciters of Homeric epics), but by the 4th century BC they had apparently ceased to perform and had become judges of rhapsodists competing at the Panathenaea.