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Nomos

νόμος).


1.

Originally an ancient kind of solo in epic form in praise of some divinity. It was either “aulodic” or “citharodic”—that is, it was sung to the accompaniment of the flute or the cithara. The citharodic nomos was from ancient times used at the festivals of Apollo, whom the Dorians especially worshipped. It received its artistic form from Terpander (about B.C. 675) principally by a systematic distribution into five or seven parts, of which three were the essential portions, the middle one forming the cardinal point of the whole. It formed an important element in the Delphian festival of the Pythian Apollo. On the other hand, the aulodic nomos, which Clonas of Tegea had introduced in imitation of the nomos of Terpander, was early excluded from this festival. By the side of the ancient nomoi, in which the words were sung to an instrumental accompaniment, there arose another variety formed on the same model. In this the song was dramatically recited to the tune of the flute or cithara, according as the nomos was “aulodic” or “citharodic.” Of the former kind was the nomos introduced by the flute-player Sacadas of Argos (about B.C. 580) at the Pythian Games, and hence called the Pythian nomos, a musical representation of the destruction of the dragon Pytho by Apollo. At a later period the province of the nomos was more and more extended and secularized, until it became the most important part of the musician's profession. See Plut. De Mus. cap. iii.-x.; and the article Musica.


2.

A general term for a law. See Ecclesia.

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