of Tegea (Ἀνύτη Τεγεᾶτις
), the authoress of several epigrams in the Greek Anthology, is mentioned by Pollux (5.5) and by Stephanus Byzantinus (s. v. Τεγέα
She is numbered among the lyric poets by Meleager (Jacobs, Anthol.
1.1, 5.5), in whose list she stands first, and by Antipater of Thessalonica (Ibid.
2.101, no. 23), who names her with Praxilla, Myro, and Sappho, and calls her the female Homer (Θῆλυν Ὅμηρον
), an epithet which might be used either with reference to the martial spirit of some of her epigrams, or to their antique character. From the above notices and from the epigrams themselves, which are for the most part in the style of the ancient Doric choral songs, like the poems of Alcman, we should be disposed to place her much higher than the date usually assigned to her, on the authority of a passage in Tatian (ad v. Graecos,
52, p. 114, Worth.), who says, that the statue of Anyte was made by Euthycrates and Cephisodotus, who are known to have flourished about 300 B. C.
But even if the Anyte here mentioned were certainly the poetess, it would not follow that she was contemporary with these artists. On the other hand, one of Anyte's epigrams (15, Jacobs) is an inscription for a monument erected by a certain Damis over his horse, which had been killed in battle. Now, the only historical personage of this name is the Damis who was made leader of the Messenians after the death of Aristodemus, towards the close of the first Messenian war. (Paus. 4.10.4
.) We know also from Pausanias that the Arcadians were the allies of the Messenians in that war.
The conjecture of Reiske, therefore, that the Damis mentioned by Anyte of Tegea is the same as the leader of the Messenians, scarcely deserves the contempt with which it is treated by Jacobs.
This conjecture places Anyte about 723 B. C.
This date may be thought too high to suit the style and subjects of some of her epigrams.
But one of these (17) bears the name of " Anyte of Mytilene,
" and the same epigram may be fixed, by internal evidence, at 279 B. C. (Jacobs, xiii. p. 853.) And since it is very common in the Anthology for epigrams to be ascribed to an author simply by name, without a distinctive title, even when there was more than one epigrammatist of the same name, there is nothing to prevent the epigrams which bear traces of a later date being referred to Anyte of Mytilene.