Nine Lyric Poets

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The nine muses: Clio, Thalia, Erato, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Calliope, Terpsichore, Urania, Melpomene

The Nine Lyric or Melic Poets were a canonical group of ancient Greek poets esteemed by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria as worthy of critical study. In the Palatine Anthology it is said that they established lyric song. [1]

They were:

In most Greek sources the word melikos (from melos, "song") is used to refer to these poets, but the variant lyrikos (from lyra, "lyre") became the regular form in both Latin (as lyricus) and in modern languages. The ancient scholars defined the genre on the basis of the musical accompaniment, not the content. Thus, some types of poetry which would be included under the label "lyric poetry," in modern criticism are excluded—namely, the elegy and iambus which were performed with flutes.

The Nine Lyric Poets are traditionally divided among those who primarily composed choral verses, and those who composed monodic verses. This division is contested by some modern scholars.[2]

Antipater of Thessalonica proposes an alternative canon of nine female poets.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ J. M. Edmonds - Lyra Graeca (p.3) Wildside Press LLC, 2007 ISBN 1434491307 [Retrieved 2015-05-06]
  2. ^ Cf. esp. M. Davies's "Monody, Choral Lyric, and the Tyranny of the Hand-Book" in Classical Quarterly, NS 38 (1988), pp. 52–64.
  3. ^ Fernandez Robbio, Matías S. (2014) «Musas y escritoras: el primer canon de la literatura femenina de la Grecia antigua (AP IX 26)». Praesentia, v. 15, 2014, pp. 1-9. ISSN (en línea): 1316-1857. (online)