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Moreover, there were rhapsodists also present at our entertainments: for Laurentius delighted in the reciters of Homer to an extraordinary degree; so that one might call Cassander the king of Macedonia a trifler in comparison of him; concerning whom Carystius, in his Historic Recollections, tells us that he was so devoted to Homer, that he could say the greater part of his poems by heart; and he had a copy of the Iliad and the Odyssey written out with his own hand. And that these reciters of Homer were called Homeristæ also, Aristocles has told us in his treatise on Choruses. But those who are now called Homeristæ were first introduced on the stage by Demetrius Phalereus. Now Chamæleon, in his essay on Stesichorus, says that not only the poems of Homer, but those also of Hesiod and Archilochus, and also of Mimnermus and Phocylides, were often recited to the accompaniment of music; and Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise on Pictures, says—“Simonides of Zacynthus used to sit in the theatres on a lofty chair reciting the verses of Archilochus.” And Lysanias, in the first book of his treatise on Iambic Poets, says that Mnasion the rhapsodist used in his public recitations to deliver some of the Iambics of Simonides. And Cleomenes the rhapsodist, at the Olympic games, recited the Purification of Empedocles, as is asserted by Dicæarchus in his history of Olympia. And Jason, in the third book of his treatise on the Temples of Alexander, says that Hegesias, the comic actor, recited the works of Herodotus in the great theatre, and that Hermophantus recited the poems of Homer.
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