paeanism, n.
/pee"euhn/, n.
1. any song of praise, joy, or triumph.
2. a hymn of invocation or thanksgiving to Apollo or some other ancient Greek deity.
Also, pean.
[1535-45; < L: religious or festive hymn, special use of Paean appellation of Apollo < Gk Paián physician of the gods]

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      solemn choral lyric of invocation, joy, or triumph, originating in ancient Greece, where it was addressed to Apollo in his guise as Paean, physician to the gods. In the Mycenaean Linear B (Linear A and Linear B) tablets from the late 2nd millennium BC, the word pa-ja-wo-ne is used as a name for a healer god. This god's name was later associated with Apollo and his son Asclepius.

      Paeans were sung at banquets (following the boisterous dithyrambs (dithyramb)), at festivals honouring Apollo, and at public funerals. Armies sang them while on the march and before going into battle, after a victory, and when a fleet was leaving a harbour. The term paean is used to refer to a literary genre found in Homer's Iliad and in the poems of Archilochus (7th century BC). Ancient scholars mentioned as authors of paeans include Alcman (7th century BC) and other poets who wrote in Sparta, where the cult of Apollo was practiced with special devotion. From the 5th century BC there survive fragments of paeans by Pindar (who was especially fond of the Pythian Apollo of Delphi), Bacchylides, and the tragic playwright Sophocles, who composed a paean to Coronis (the mortal mother of Asclepius), who was killed by Apollo or his twin, Artemis, for being unfaithful.

Additional Reading
Ian Rutherford, Pindar's Paeans: A Reading of the Fragments with a Survey of the Genre (2001).

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Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paean — (pronounced as the last two syllables of European , IPAEng|ˈpiːən) is a term used to describe a type of triumphal or grateful song, usually choral though sometimes individual. It comes from the ancient Greek use of the term, which was also used… …   Wikipedia

  • PAEAN — hymnus in laudem Apollinis, sicut Dithyrambus in laudem Bacchi, qui teste Polluce, post victoriam, nonnumquam etiam avertendorum malorum causa cani solebat. Καταχρηςτικῶς autem, pro omni Deorum laude, ponitur. Unde opous suum Pindarus, de Deorum… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Paean — P[ae] an (p[=e] an), n. [L. paean, Gr. paia n, fr. Paia n the physician of the gods, later, Apollo. Cf. {P[ae]on}, {Peony}.] [Written also {pean}.] 1. An ancient Greek hymn in honor of Apollo as a healing deity, and, later, a song addressed to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • paean — (n.) 1590s, from L. paean hymn of deliverance, from Gk. paian hymn to Apollo, from Paian, a name of the god; originally the physician of the gods (in Homer), later merged with Apollo; lit. one who touches, from paio to touch, strike …   Etymology dictionary

  • Paean — PAEAN, ánis, Gr. Παιὰν, άνος, ein Beynamen des Apollo. Er hat solchen, nach einigen, von παίειν, in so fern es heilen heißt; Eustath. ap. Voss. Etymol. in lambus, p. 300. b. weil nämlich Apollo auch ein Gott der Arzeney war. In so fern es aber so …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • paean — index doxology Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • paean — ► NOUN ▪ a song of praise or triumph. ORIGIN Greek paian hymn of thanksgiving to Apollo ; the hymn addressed Apollo by the name Paian, originally the Homeric name of the physician of the gods …   English terms dictionary

  • paean — [pē′ən] n. [L < Gr paian, hymn < Paian, the healing one, epithet of Apollo < paiein, to strike, touch < ? IE base * pēu > PAVE] 1. in ancient Greece, a hymn of thanksgiving to the gods, esp. to Apollo 2. a song of joy, triumph,… …   English World dictionary

  • paean — n. (lit.) hymn of praise 1) to sing a paean 2) a paean to (to sing a paean to smb. s glory) * * * [ piːən] (lit.) [ hymn of praise ] to sing a paean a paean to (to sing a paean to smb. s glory) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • paean — ⇒PÉAN, PAEAN, subst. masc. A. ANTIQ. GR. Hymne d allégresse et de reconnaissance en l honneur d Apollon. Dans les banquets des clubs (...) on chantait le paean en l honneur d Apollon (TAINE, Philos. art., t.2, 1865, p.173). P. ext. Chant… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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