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Sophron

Σώφρων). A native of Syracuse. He was a writer in Greek of mimes, and an elder contemporary of Euripides (about B.C. 460-420). He composed in the Dorian dialect prose dialogues, partly serious, partly comic, which faithfully represented scenes of actual life, mostly in the lower classes, interspersed with numerous proverbs and colloquial forms of speech. In spite of their prose form, Sophron's mimes were regarded as poems by the ancients. In Athens they are said to have become known through Plato, who thought very highly of them, and made use of them for the dramatic form of his dialogues (Quint.i. 10, 17; Diog. Laert. iii. 13). After his death it is said that they were found under his pillow, together with the comedies of Aristophanes. In the Alexandrian Age, Theocritus took them for a pattern in his idylls (especially in the Adoniazusae, Idyl. 15). The Greek grammarians also paid particular attention to them on account of the popular idioms they contained. The fragments preserved are so scanty that they give no notion of the contents and form of the pieces; in any case they cannot have been intended for public representation. Sophron's son, Xenarchus, who lived during the reign of Dionysius I., also wrote mimes. See Mimus.

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