Theognis


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Theognis

(thēŏg`nĭs), fl. 6th cent. B.C., Greek didactic poet of Megara. An aristocrat with fierce partisan feelings, he wrote for his young friend Cyrnus a series of elegies, often passionate in hate and in love, counseling moderation, faithfulness, and duty. Among the 1,400 surviving lines attributed to him are some known to be by other writers.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Theognis

 

(also Theognis of Megara). Flourished in the second half of the sixth century B.C. Greek lyric poet.

An aristocrat, Theognis took part in the political struggle and spent much of his life in exile. Two books of didactic verse attributed to him, the Elegies to Cyrnus, have been preserved. Theognis’ world view is dominated by the cult of family valor, hatred of the victorious “rabble,” and a thirst for wealth and power. Because, however, of the elegies’ traditional injunctions to honor the gods and one’s ancestors, he enjoyed considerable popularity in antiquity.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Elegii. Translated by A. Piotrovskii. Petrograd, 1922.
Elegii. In Ellinskie poety. Translated by V. Veresaev. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
In a word, there is no more solid ground for treating Perses and his quarrel with Hesiod as fictitious than there would be for treating Cyrnus, the friend of Theognis, as mythical.
SOCRATES: And are you aware that not you only and other politicians have doubts whether virtue can be taught or not, but that Theognis the poet says the very same thing?
Thus, the young Christian of Caesarea would be able to find many examples of virtue in Homer, Hesios, Theognis, Solon and Euripides and the philosophers, above all Plato, whom he quotes on several occasions.
(63) The classical authors whose works he translates in the third book (Talbot, 1879) are Tyrtaeus, Theognis, pseudo-Phocylides, Solon, Simonides, and Horace (the only Latin author).
(28.) A fragment from Theognis (also attributed to Mimnermus) provides an interesting comparandum.
Sokrates Antwort versetzte das Problem auf eine hohere Ebene, indem er die Kalokagathie, die sittliche Vollkommenheit nannte, die man freilich nicht von Parfumverkaufern beziehen konne, sondern gemass dem Ausspruch des Theognis (Thgn.I.35-36) durch den Verkehr mit Edlen gewonne, was Lykon seinen Sohn zu beherzigen bat.
In support of this, the author quotes Theognis (665-6 and 797-8).
Some famous Greek relationships were Achilles and Patroclus, Orestes and Pylades, Socrates and Alcibiades, and Theognis and Anacreon.
Although his argument that the Greeks were unique in their development of a free culture may be speculative and not conclusive, his attention to the spectrum of dimensions of Greek culture provokes his reader to investigate further the influence of more obscure authors, such as Alcaeus or Theognis, or the inspiration the Greeks drew from its contact with the other great empires.