Anacreontic Poetry

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Anacreontic poetry as a genre originates with the Greek lyric poet Anacreon, a native of the Aegean island of Teos, who lived from ca. 570 B.C. until ca. 480 B.C. Anacreon’s style was widely imitated by Greek poets in antiquity, but also, from the mid-sixteenth century onwards, by a great many European poets who re-developed the genre in various ways.

Even though ancient sources say that Anacreon’s poetry could fill five volumes (i.e. papyrus rolls), only a small part of that work has survived, mostly in fragmentary state, ranging from a single word to a few lines. Despite this, surviving evidence is enough to give the modern reader a fairly good sense of the style and content of Anacreon’s poetry. Anacreon wrote in the Ionic dialect, using a variety of metrical forms, which are

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Citation: Achilleos, Stella. "Anacreontic Poetry". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2008 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

5536 Anacreontic Poetry 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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