Simonides of Ceos, one of the nine lyric poets enshrined in what is conventionally thought of as the Hellenistic Lyric Canon, is a relatively mysterious figure despite his renown in the classical world. Few historical and biographical facts about him have survived, and only fragments of his non-epigrammatic poetry.
This volume is intended to complement Orlando Poltera's full-scale text and commentary on Simonides' lyrics (Schwabe, 2008), offering an up-to-date edition and commentary covering, for the most part, those poems in elegiac distichs now called epigrams and elegies. In addition to these forms, Simonides wrote in a few other non-lyric metrical patterns involving dactyls and iambs: these are also included for the sake of completeness, since they are properly absent from Poltera's edition.
As authenticity is in question for all but a very few of the epigrams ascribed to Simonides, the volume's scope extends to cover every poem ascribed to him in antiquity, including some poems that are surely not by him: these poems have never before been treated in such detail and the large body of scholarship generated by the corpus as a whole is taken into account here for the first time. Each poem and fragment is accompanied by a new English translation, where applicable, and detailed exegetic line-by-line commentary; a comprehensive general Introduction sets Simonides and his works into their historical context and provides a thorough examination of the textual transmission of the elegies and epigrams.