), or POLYMNASTUS, the son of Meles of Colophon, was an epic, elegiac, and lyric poet, and a musician.
He flourished not long after Thaletas, in honour of whom he made a poem at the request of the Spartans (Paus. 1.14.3
), and earlier than Alcman, who mentioned him (Plut. Mus.
It seems, therefore, that he was in part contemporary with both these poets, and the period during which he flourished may be roughly stated at B. C. 675-644.
He belongs to the school of Dorian music, which flourished at this time at Sparta, where he carried on the improvements of Thaletas.
He cultivated the orthian nomes, and invented a new kind of auloedic nome, which was named after him, Πολυμνήστιον
(Plut. de Mus.
pp. 1132-1135 ; Suid. s.v. Hesych. s. v. Πολυμνήστιον ᾁδειν
). The Attic comedians attacked his poems for their erotic character. (Aristoph. Kn. 1287
; Cratinus, apud Schol. ibid.
) As an elegiac poet, he may be regarded as the predecessor of his fellow-coun-tryman, Mimnermus. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. ii. p. 135; Bode, Gesch. d. Hellen. Dichtk.
vol. ii. pt. 1, passim ;
Ulrici, Gesch. d. Hell. Dichtk.
vol. ii. pp. 291, 292, et alib. ;
Clinton, F. H.
vol. i. s. a.
665, 657, 644, and p. 365.)