Talk:Alcaeus of Mytilene

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The cat is in[edit]

I continue to be surprised at how little has been done at WP on articles like this, especially since there are some real scholars working here. I guess they are leaving articles like this for a winter's evening when they have nothing better to do. But folks should never leave steak lying around or the cat will get to it and I'm in like Flynn. I'll use Campbell's 'Greek Lyric Poetry' as my main source. All going to plan, I should be licking my paws and purring out under the moon within a few days. Amphitryoniades (talk) 02:55, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm also making fairly extensive use of the Easby-Smith text, digitalized by Google. Unfortunately it comes with no page numbers and some of the digitalizing is like a wild guess, but it's a wonderful source and the prose is charmingly uninhibited in its rhetorical flourishes, like the whiskers of a Victorian/Edwardian gentleman out for a stroll on a glorious afternoon. Amphitryoniades (talk) 00:33, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I've finished my edit (I think) with an amusing anecdote about Maurice Bowra, the Oxford Don. I'm sure Alcaeus would approve mention of Bowra, not just as a scholar who has contributed to our understanding of his poetry, but as a thread in the great tapestry of life surrounding that poetry. Alcaeus himself liked to take in the big picture - which is why he suffers from fragmentation more than Sappho. Anyhow, the study of archaic poetry should be fun or nobody will bother to study it. Though I suppose somebody will disagree. Amphitryoniades (talk) 01:22, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Requested move 22 January 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:57, 9 February 2017 (UTC)



– The archaic lyric poet Alcaeus is the clear primary topic for Alcaeus. It gets more pageviews than the rest of the articles linked from the dab page put together (as per the page-view tool, linked below). Among classical scholars, the lyric poet is referred to as "Alcaeus", without disambiguation (e.g. in E. M. Voigt's Sappho and Alcaeus, and D. A. Campbell's Greek Lyric I: Sappho and Alcaeus), while Alcaeus of Messene is usually referred to as such (e.g. [1], [2]), and finding articles or books primarily about any of the other Alcaeuses is difficult enough that I can't even establish how they are usually referred to. Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 11:09, 22 January 2017 (UTC) --Relisting. JudgeRM (talk to me) 15:46, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

Page views

I'm not sure. Alcaeus of Mytilene is certainly the most important of the persons, historical and mythological, but the others aren't inconsequential, or unlikely to come up in different areas of classical studies. Other classical references do disambiguate between Alcaeus of Mytilene and Alcaeus of Messene using those styles; in fact that seems to be the usual manner of referring to each of them out of context. The problem with using sources that refer to "Sappho and Alcaeus" is that they provide that context; the association of Sappho with Alcaeus of Mytilene is well-known, and so any time you see the name "Alcaeus" in connection with Sappho, you may presume that Alcaeus of Mytilene is intended, unless clearly stated otherwise. And if there were any doubt, reading the work in question would certainly resolve it. My instinct is that it's better not to designate a primary topic in this case. P Aculeius (talk) 01:07, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Re. "Sappho" as an implicit disambiguator. "Alcaeus" without disambiguation frequently refers to Alcaeus of Mytilene even when not juxtaposed with Sappho, though. "When did the Trojans turn into Phrygians? Alcaeus 42.15", "Horacs Odes Book I and the Alexandrian Edition of Alcaeus", "Iambic Motifs in Alcaeus' Lyrics", "Alcaeus on the Career of Myrsilos", "Reconstructing the Cologne Alcaeus" all found simply by looking at the first two pages of a google scholar search for "Alcaeus". All are referring to Alcaeus of Mytilene. (in the same two pages, I get one article on Alcaeus of Messene, which uses the phrase "Alcaeus of Messene" in the title; none referring to any other Alcaeus, and none which contain "Alcaeus of Mytilene" in the title...) Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 08:13, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I think subject-specific encyclopedias are probably the best way to establish how Classical studies as a whole tends to think. Brill's New Pauly has under "Alcaeus" "[1] Grandfather of Hercules, [2] Original name of Hercules, [3] Son of Hercules, [4] Lyric poet, [5] Attic poet of the outgoing Old Comedy, [6] of Messene Epigram poet, c. 200 BC." This suggests that Cecil in the Garden is correct. Furius (talk) 11:04, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
In response to Caecilius, what I'm saying is that when the name appears in the title of a work, the work necessarily explains who it refers to, although in the particular instance of "Sappho and Alcaeus" only one Alcaeus would make any sense due to the context. But you could just as easily have a treatise on one of the other Alcaei and not identify which one in the title, since the work itself would explain which is meant, if not by disambiguating his name, then by describing him in some way that makes it clear. As for Furius, I think the fact that Brill's New Pauly lists the mythological ones first and the historical ones second is actually an argument against making one of the poets primary for the title. The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology also begins with the mythological ones, then moves through the poets in alphabetical order, with "Alcaeus, of Messene" followed by "Alcaeus, of Mytilene". It's true, Alcaeus of Mytilene has around 2 1/2 columns, while Alcaeus of Messene only gets about 2/3 of a column, and even combined with the others Alcaeus of Mytilene has more text devoted to him. But my point isn't that he's not the most important, the first who comes to mind, or the one most likely to be searched for. It's that due to the ubiquity of the name, the fact that there are several other significant Alcaei (including at least two poets), and the fact that "Alcaeus of Mytilene" is a familiar and useful title, it makes more sense for it to stay where it is, and for "Alcaeus" to remain a disambiguation page. P Aculeius (talk) 15:26, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree with P Aculeius. Paul August 01:56, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.