Poets in the Posse, Entertainers in the Entourage

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.2

“At that time, poets spent their time among kings, and even earlier Anacreon found himself at the court of Polycrates of Samos, and  both Aeschylus and Simonides went to Syracuse to visit Hiero. Philoxenus spent time with Dionysius, who was later tyrant in Sicily, while both Antagoras of Rhodes and Aratus of Soli kept company with Antigonus when he ruled the Macedonians. Either Hesiod and Homer happened not to chance upon any kings, or they willingly despised them; Hesiod would have done so from his innate rusticity and aversion to traveling, while Homer spent a lot of time abroad and set the aid accruing to him from the wealth of the powerful at less than the good opinion from the people, since we find even among Homer that Demodocus spent time in the court of Alcinous, and Agamemnon left behind a poet with his wife. There is a grave not far from the gates, on which there is a depiction of a soldier standing next to a horse: I don’t know who it is, but Praxiteles carved both the horse and the soldier.”

Francesco Hayez, Odysseus at the Court of Alcinous

συνῆσαν δὲ ἄρα καὶ τότε τοῖς βασιλεῦσι ποιηταὶ καὶ πρότερον ἔτι καὶ Πολυκράτει Σάμου τυραννοῦντι Ἀνακρέων παρῆν καὶ ἐς Συρακούσας πρὸς Ἱέρωνα Αἰσχύλος καὶ Σιμωνίδης ἐστάλησαν: Διονυσίῳ δέ, ὃς ὕστερον ἐτυράννησεν ἐν Σικελίᾳ, Φιλόξενος παρῆν καὶ Ἀντιγόνῳ Μακεδόνων ἄρχοντι Ἀνταγόρας Ῥόδιος καὶ Σολεὺς Ἄρατος. Ἡσίοδος δὲ καὶ Ὅμηρος ἢ συγγενέσθαι βασιλεῦσιν ἠτύχησαν ἢ καὶ ἑκόντες ὠλιγώρησαν, ὁ μὲν ἀγροικίᾳ καὶ ὄκνῳ πλάνης, Ὅμηρος δὲ ἀποδημήσας ἐπὶ μακρότατον καὶ τὴν ὠφέλειαν τὴν ἐς χρήματα παρὰ τῶν δυνατῶν ὑστέραν θέμενος τῆς παρὰ τοῖς πολλοῖς δόξης, ἐπεὶ καὶ Ὁμήρῳ πεποιημένα ἐστὶν Ἀλκίνῳ παρεῖναι Δημόδοκον καὶ ὡς Ἀγαμέμνων καταλείποι τινὰ παρὰ τῇ γυναικὶ ποιητήν. —ἔστι δὲ τάφος οὐ πόρρω τῶν πυλῶν, ἐπίθημα ἔχων στρατιώτην ἵππῳ παρεστηκότα: ὅντινα μέν, οὐκ οἶδα, Πραξιτέλης δὲ καὶ τὸν ἵππον καὶ τὸν στρατιώτην ἐποίησεν.

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