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Alcaeus (Alkaios)

( Greek lyric poet)

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Biography Alcaeus (Alkaios)
Alcaeus, Alkaios, of Mytilene on Lesbos, VII / VI Centuries. BC. e., Greek lyric poet. A contemporary of Sappho, the most prominent beside her Aeolian poet (ie writing in Aeolic dialect) from the island of Lesbos. Came from an aristocratic kind. Lived in times of political and social struggle in which the aristocracy of the island led to retain their hereditary privileges. A. and his two brothers took an active part in this struggle. Supposedly A. was still too young to participate in the overthrow of the tyrant Melanhra.

After his death the power in Mytilene conquered Mears. After an unsuccessful attempt at this next tyrant A. with the other conspirators was forced to seek refuge in the domains of Pyrrhus, which lay at the other end of Lesbos. The plot belonged to Pittak (cm. Seven Wise Men), . which, . however, . subsequently ruled Mytilene with Mirsilom, . and when he died (the triumphal song of A., . which imitates Horace in his ode on the death of Cleopatra), . Pittak was elected by the people as a "broker" (ie, the regent with special powers, . of which would reduce tension and resolution of internal conflicts) and rules in 590-580 years,

A. considered him a traitor and called in his songs tyrant. A. was driven at least one more time. At this time he visited Egypt, Thrace, Boeotia. Some time later he returned to his homeland, where - according to ancient legend - reconciled Pittakom. A. wrote hymns, Stas (war songs), drinking and love songs. Because of its rich heritage, which scientists Alexandrians gathered and published in 10 books, only fragments remain. Since the beginning of XX century. their numbers are increasing, thanks to the discovery of new papyri. Much of the product A. were hymns in honor of the gods: Athena, Apollo, Hermes, Ares, Eros and others, as well as in honor of the demigods and heroes: Dioscuri, Achilles, Ajax. A prose description of Chimera hymn to Apollo allows us to assume, . that the poet was less concerned about religious expression, . What about the brilliance of the mythological narrative, . as the culmination of work was a manifestation of God on the summer solstice festival at Delphi, . when Nature welcomed his appearance,
. Another hymn was composed at the same time in honor of three gods: Hera, Zeus and Dionysus.

These songs contain a short list of attributes of the gods, and their glorious deeds and events of their lives, as well as requests for favors, usually all the same - to help deal with the enemy or to return home. Still closely associated with political activities A. Stasi, constituting the main part of the heritage of the poet. These were songs designed to perform in a circle of comrades in the struggle, most often during the feast, in a direct and immediate form of expressing feelings and attitudes of social groups involved in the endless and relentless struggle for power. They A. mocked tyrants, especially over the "traitor" Pittakom, expressed pain and despair caused by the fact that power has been seized by impostors called to fight them. In one of the songs he is an incredibly vibrant and plastic sketch of his house, whose interior resembles the arsenal, there are so many brilliant weapons and armor.

This description of A. concluded with a call for armed rebellion. The most famous song, which persisted only the beginning, which describes the ship, carried along by a storm at sea, submerged by waves and close to collapse. This way, later interpreted as an allegory of a nation torn by internal conflicts, had for a. slightly different meaning. He was referring not so much the state in the later sense of the word, as the fate of their social group and the dangers facing her in the struggle for power. Allegories, we find also in other portions of his. Following Archilochus A. also says in one of the songs, like running away from the battlefield, he lost his shield to save lives. Another song he wrote on the occasion of the return of his brother from the Babylonian exile, in her A. praised the military exploits, especially the victory over a warrior-giant.

Close to military songs are drinking. For this genre is characterized by preserved top songs, where the feast is an occasion for joy at the news of the murder of a tyrant. A product of Drinking. distinguish the same intemperate tone. He does not recognize the leisurely, moderate drinking of wine, it is close only wild wassail. Any excuse is good to start drinking: winter storm, summer heat, a description of which he took from Hesiod, the approaching end of the day, an important event, joy and sorrow, from which the wine - the best medicine. Least of all preserved fragments of erotic works, this part of the heritage of A. better known for the works of Theocritus. Among the few fragments noteworthy passage serenade at the doors of his beloved, as well as complaint girl, stricken with love. Perhaps to love songs belonged to a story about the power of love over Helena, which had said that feeling had left her husband to flee from Paris and cause a bloody war. A. wrote on Aeolic dialect. His tongue was simple, with few ornaments, but accurate and juicy.

He used aphorisms and popular sayings: "recognize the lion by his claws," "truth in wine"; national origin have also used them in verse dimensions. Including Alcaic, so named because the poet often it is applied. A. enjoyed great respect in ancient times, and around his personality quickly bred legends. The most famous of them tells of love A. by Sappho, which he also dedicated poems. They were interested in Attic tragedy and comedy in V. BC. e. as well as the authors sholiyy. In the Alexandrian epoch A. was included in the number 9 lyricists. His songs have been collected, processed and published. He took a sample of the outstanding poets of this period: Asclepiades and Theocritus. In Rome admired Cicero, and Horace took over and Alcaic and many motifs and designs A. In I. n. e. Dionysius of Halicarnassus praised A. for elevation, brevity, beauty and poetic force. However, the highest development reached an allegory of the ship-state, which through Theognis, Horace, and many other poets become public domain. Due to the use of dialect Aeolic product A. not included in the range of school-read and so quickly killed. Papyrus finds, however, indicate that A. a long time reading on the outskirts of the Greek world.

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