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epithalamium(ĕp'ĭthəlā`mēəm), song or poem written to celebrate a marriage. An elaborate form of pastoralpastoral,
literary work in which the shepherd's life is presented in a conventionalized manner. In this convention the purity and simplicity of shepherd life is contrasted with the corruption and artificiality of the court or the city.
..... Click the link for more information. , the epithalamium usually tells of the happenings of the wedding day. Nymphs, shepherds, and appropriate mythological figures are present to share the poet's joy. Epithalamiums were written in ancient times by Pindar, Sappho, and Catullus. The biblical Song of Solomon is a classic of the genre as is Edmund Spenser's "Epithalamium" (1595), written to celebrate his own marriage.
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poem in honor of bride and groom. [Western Lit.: LLEI, 1: 283]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.