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*Pra/cilla), of Sicyon, a lyric poetess, who flourished about Ol. 82. 2, B. C. 450, and was one of the nine poetesses who were distinguished as the Lyric Muses (Suid. s.v. Euseb. Chron. s. a.; Antip. Thess. Ep. 23; Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. p. 114, Anth. Pal. 9.26.) Her scolia were among the most celebrated compositions of that species. (Ath. xv. p. 694a.) She was believed by some to be the author of the scolion preserved by Athenaeus (p. 695c.), and in the Greek Anthology (Brunck, Anal. vol. i. p. 157), which was extremely popular at Athens (Paus. apud Eustath. ad Il. 2.711; Aristoph. Wasps 1231, et Schol.). She also composed dithyrambs (Hephaest. 9, p. 22, ed. Gaisf.)

This poetess appears to have been distinguished for the variety of her metres. The line of one of her dithyrambs, which Hephaestion quotes in the passage just referred to, is a dactylic hexameter: it must not, however, be inferred that her dithyrambs were written in heroic verse, but rather that they were arranged in dactylic systems, in which the hexameter occasionally appeared. One species of logaoedic dactylic verse was named after her the Praxilleian (Πραξίλλειον), namely, as in the following fragment:--

διὰ τῶν θυρίδων καλὸν ἐμβλέποισα,
παρθένε τὰν κεφαλὰν, τὰ δ᾽ ἔνρθε νύμφα

which only differs from the Alcaic by having one more dactyl. (Hephaest. 24, p. 43; Hermann, Elem. Doct. Metr. p. 231.) Another verse named after her was the Ionic a Majore trimeter brachycatalectic. (Hephaest. 36, p. 63.)

The few fragments and references to her poems, which we possess, lead to the supposition that the subjects of them were chiefly taken from the erotic stories of the old mythology especially as connected with the Dorians. In one of her poems, for example, she celebrated Carneius as the son of Zeus and Europa, as educated by Apollo and Leto, and as beloved by Apollo (Paus. 3.13.3, s. 5; Schol. ad Theocr. 5.83): in another she represented Dionysus as the son of Aphrodite (Hesych. s. v. Βάκχου Διώνης): in one she sang the death of Adonis (Zenob. Prov. 4.21), and in another the rape of Chrysippus by Zeus. (Ath. xiii. p. 603a.) She belongs decidedly to the Dorian school of lyric poetry, but there were also traces of Aeolic influence in her rhythms, and even in her dialect. Tatian (ad v. Graec. 52, p. 113, ed. Worth) mentions a statue of her, which was ascribed to Lysippus. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. pp. 136, 137; Müller, Hist. of Greek Lit. vol. i. pp. 188, 189; Bode, Gesch. d. Hellen. Dichtkunst, vol. ii. pt. 2. p. 11. n. 120, f.)


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