The Thebaid or Thebais (Greek : Θηβαΐς, Thēbais) is an Ancient Greek epic poem of uncertain authorship (see Cyclic poets) sometimes attributed by early writers to Homer (8th century BC or early 7th century BC). It told the story of the war between the brothers Eteocles and Polynices, and was regarded as forming part of a Theban Cycle. Only fragments of the text survive.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.
Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
|title=(help). (The link is to the 1st edition of 1914.) English translation with facing Greek text; now obsolete except for its translations of the ancient quotations.
The Loeb Classical Library is a series of books, originally published by Heinemann in London, today by Harvard University Press, which presents important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience, by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, and a fairly literal translation on the facing page. The General Editor is Jeffrey Henderson, holder of the William Goodwin Aurelio Professorship of Greek Language and Literature at Boston University.
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Antimachus of Colophon, or of Claros, was a Greek poet and grammarian, who flourished about 400 BC.
The Epic Cycle was a collection of Ancient Greek epic poems, composed in dactylic hexameter and related to the story of the Trojan War, including the Cypria, the Aethiopis, the so-called Little Iliad, the Iliupersis, the Nostoi, and the Telegony. Scholars sometimes include the two Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, among the poems of the Epic Cycle, but the term is more often used to specify the non-Homeric poems as distinct from the Homeric ones.
The Naupactia is a lost epic poem of ancient Greek literature. In antiquity the title was also written Naupaktika, and it is also in the present day sometimes referred to among scholars by the Latin phrase carmen Naupactium. Naupactus is a city in Greece on the Corinthian Gulf.
The Aethiopis or Aithiopis is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. It was one of the Epic Cycle, that is, the "Trojan" cycle, which told the entire history of the Trojan War in epic verse. The story of the Aethiopis comes chronologically immediately after that of the Homeric Iliad, and is followed by that of the Little Iliad. The Aethiopis was sometimes attributed by ancient writers to Arctinus of Miletus. The poem comprised five books of verse in dactylic hexameter.
The Iliupersis, also known as The Sack of Troy, is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. It was one of the Epic Cycle, that is, the "Trojan" cycle, which told the entire history of the Trojan War in epic verse. The story of the Iliou persis comes chronologically after that of the Little Iliad, and is followed by the Nostoi ("Returns"). The Iliou persis was sometimes attributed by ancient writers to Arctinus of Miletus. The poem comprised two books of verse in dactylic hexameter.
The Nostoi, also known as Returns or Returns of the Greeks, is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. It was one of the Epic Cycle, that is, the "Trojan" cycle, which told the entire history of the Trojan War in epic verse. The story of the Nostoi comes chronologically after that of the Iliou persis, and is followed by that of the Odyssey. The author of the Nostoi is uncertain: ancient writers attributed the poem variously to Agias, Homer, and Eumelos. The poem comprised five books of verse in dactylic hexameter. The word nostos means "return home".
The Telegony is a lost ancient Greek epic poem about Telegonus, son of Odysseus by Circe. His name is indicative of his birth on Aeaea, far from Odysseus' home of Ithaca. It was part of the Epic Cycle of poems that recounted the myths of the Trojan War as well as the events that led up to and followed it. The story of the Telegony comes chronologically after that of the Odyssey and is the final episode in the Epic Cycle. The poem was sometimes attributed in antiquity to Cinaethon of Sparta, but in one source it is said to have been stolen from Musaeus by Eugamon or Eugammon of Cyrene. The poem comprised two books of verse in dactylic hexameter.
The Cypria is a lost epic poem of ancient Greek literature, which has been attributed to Stasinus and was quite well known in classical antiquity and fixed in a received text, but which subsequently was lost to view. It was part of the Epic Cycle, which told the entire history of the Trojan War in epic hexameter verse. The story of the Cypria comes chronologically at the beginning of the Epic Cycle, and is followed by that of the Iliad; the composition of the two was apparently in the reverse order. The poem comprised eleven books of verse in epic dactylic hexameters.
The Theban Cycle is a collection of four lost epics of ancient Greek literature which related the mythical history of the Boeotian city of Thebes. They were composed in dactylic hexameter verse and were probably written down between 750 and 500 BC.
Callinus was an ancient Greek elegiac poet who lived in the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor in the mid-7th century BC. His poetry is representative of the genre of martial exhortation elegy in which Tyrtaeus also specialized and which both Archilochus and Mimnermus appear to have composed. Along with these poets, all his near contemporaries, Callinus was considered the inventor of the elegiac couplet by some ancient critics.
Martin Litchfield West, was a British classical scholar.
Antimachus of Teos was an early Greek epic poet. According to Plutarch, he observed an eclipse of the sun in 753 BC, the same year in which Rome was founded. The epic Epigoni, a sequel to the legend of Thebes, was apparently sometimes ascribed to Antimachus of Teos. However, confusion is possible with the much later literary poet Antimachus of Colophon, who wrote an epic Thebais on what must have been an overlapping subject.
Cinaethon of Sparta is a legendary Greek poet to whom different sources ascribe the lost epics Oedipodea, Little Iliad and Telegony. Eusebius says that he flourished in 764/3 BC.
Epigoni was an early Greek epic, a sequel to the Thebaid and therefore grouped in the Theban cycle. Some ancient authors seem to have considered it a part of the Thebaid and not a separate poem.
The Alcmeonis is a lost early Greek epic which is considered to have formed part of the Theban cycle. There are only seven references to the Alcmeonis in ancient literature, and all of them make it clear that the authorship of the epic was unknown. It told the story of Alcmaeon's killing of his mother Eriphyle for having arranged the death of his father Amphiaraus, whose murder was narrated in the Thebaid. One of the surviving fragments is quoted by Athenaeus in the Deipnosophistae: he chose it because it describes a funeral banquet. The lines have very little in common with descriptions of feasts in the Iliad and Odyssey.
The Melampodia is a now fragmentary Greek epic poem that was attributed to Hesiod during antiquity. Its title is derived from the name of the great seer Melampus but must have included myths concerning other heroic seers, for it was at least three books long.
The Oedipodea is a lost poem of the Theban cycle, a part of the Epic Cycle. The poem was about 6,600 verses long and the authorship was credited by ancient authorities to Cinaethon (Κιναίθων), a barely known poet who lived probably in Sparta. Eusebius says that he flourished in 764/3 BC. Only three short fragments and one testimonium survived.
The Megalai Ehoiai, or Great Ehoiai, is a fragmentary Greek epic poem that was popularly, though not universally, attributed to Hesiod during antiquity. Like the more widely read Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, the Megalai Ehoiai was a genealogical poem structured around the exposition of heroic family trees among which myths concerning many of their members were narrated. At least seventeen fragments of the poem are transmitted by quotations in other ancient authors and two second-century CE papyri, but given the similarities between the Megalai Ehoiai and Catalogue of Women it is possible that some fragments attributed to the Catalogue actually derive from the less popular Hesiodic work. Indeed, most of the scholarly attention devoted to the poem has been concerned with its relation to the Catalogue and whether or not the title "Megalai Ehoiai" in fact referred to a single, independent epic.
Asius of Samos was an ancient Greek poet whose work survives in the form of fragments quoted by other ancient authors. All that is known about the man is that he was from Samos and that his father's name was Amphiptolemus. His era is inferred from the style and content of the remains, which suit the archaizing movement of the sixth century BCE. Antiquity left no titles or synopses, so the number, scope and focus of his works is unknown, but to judge from the ancient testimonia and the content of the fragments themselves he appears to have specialized in genealogical epic comparable to the fragmentary Hesiodic Catalogue of Women. Asius' preserved genealogies show a preoccupation with Hesiod's Boeotia, in addition to details concerning his own native Samos. Besides the 13 fragments surviving from his hexametric poetry, there is a short and enigmatic fragment in elegiacs.
The Phoronis is a lost work by the fifth-century Greek historian Hellanicus of Lesbos. It takes its title from the local Tirynthian culture hero Phoroneus. It was an account of Argolic tradition, consisting mostly of genealogies, with short accounts of various events included, from the time of Phoroneus, the "father of mortal men", to the "Return of the Heracleidae".