Article

Herodas

Graham Zanker

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0105
Herodas

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Herodas, a poet of the early 3rd century bce whose name also appears in ancient sources as Herondas and Herodes, is the inventor of mimiambs, mimes in iambic verse, which have come down to us in eight poems, a fragmentary ninth, and quotations. They combine considerable literary sophistication with “low” subject matter. This includes a bawd tempting a young woman to form a liaison with a young man (Mimiamb 1), a brothel keeper suing an alleged kidnapper of one of his girls (2), the beating of an unruly schoolboy by his teacher under the direction of the boy’s desperate mother (3), two women’s admiration of statues and a painting by Apelles during a visit to a temple of Asclepius (4), a sadistic punishment by a female owner of a slave who has shared his sexual favors with another woman (5), an intimate conversation between two women about a missing dildo (6), a visit to a shoemaker who is probably selling dildoes on the sly (7), and a dream of Herodas’s in which he defends his poetic invention (8). Herodas is not known to have written poetry of any other kind.

Article.  7111 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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