Epicharmus

Epicharmus

▪ Greek poet

born c. 530 BC
died c. 440 BC

      Greek poet who, according to the Suda lexicon of the 10th century AD, was the originator of Sicilian (or Dorian) comedy. He was born in a Dorian colony, either Megara Hybaea or Syracuse, both on Sicily, or Cos, one of the Dodecanese islands. He has been credited with more than 50 plays written in the Sicilian dialect; titles of 35 of his works survive, but the remains are scanty.

      Many of Epicharmus' plays were obviously mythological burlesques in which even the gods were satirized. Major features of his works were set debates, and the stock characters, such as the parasite and the rustic, were later characteristic of Middle and New Comedy. Some of his titles suggest parodies of tragedies. Though they seem to have had some musical accompaniment, the plays had no chorus.

      Epicharmus' style was lively, and his comedies seem more akin to mime and to New Comedy than to the Old Comedy of his time. They were apparently short and largely farcical but contained an admixture of philosophical moralizing in the form of gnomic maxims. These maxims were later collected separately and sometimes forged; hence, perhaps, his posthumous reputation in antiquity as a philosopher. Ancient authorities also attributed to him works on ethics and medicine, and tradition made him a pupil of Pythagoras.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • EPICHARMUS — Tityri (ut Suid, scribit) vel Chimari fil. Siculus, Olymp. 84. Poeta Comicus, et Philosophus, cui nonnulli inventum Comoediae tribuunt, Pychagorae auditor. Horat. l. 2. Ep. 1. v. 58. Plautus ad exemplum Siculi properare Epicharmi. Ο῝ς παισίν… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Epichármus — Epichármus, griech. Komödiendichter im 5. Jahrh. v. Chr., geb. auf Kos, gest. zu Syrakus; Hauptvertreter der dor. sizil. Komödie, Bruchstücke hg. von Lorenz (1864) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Epicharmus — Epicharmus, griech. Dramatiker, geb. im 5. Jahrh. auf der Insel Kos, Pythagoräer und Arzt, wanderte nach Sicilien aus und lebte zuletzt am Hofe Hieron zu Syrakus. Er war Schöpfer der sicilisch dorischen Komödie, behandelte besonders die Mythen… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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  • EPICHARMUS —    a Greek philosopher and poet in the island of Cos; studied philosophy under Pythagoras; conceived a taste for comedy; gave himself up to that branch of the drama, and received the name of the Father of Comedy ; lived eventually at the court of …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Epicharmus of Kos — Epicharmus is considered to have lived within the hundred year period between c. 540 and c. 450 BC. He was a Greek dramatist and philosopher often credited with being one of the first comic writers, having originated the Doric or Sicilian comedic …   Wikipedia

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  • Metrodorus of Cos — For other people of the same name, see Metrodorus. Metrodorus of Cos, lived c. 460 BC, was the son of Epicharmus. Like several of his family he addicted himself partly to the study of Pythagorean philosophy, partly to the science of medicine. He… …   Wikipedia

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