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“Mimnermus : —Son of Ligyrtiades, of Colophon or Smyrna or Astypalaea, writer of Elegy. He flourished in the 37th Olympiad (632-629 B.C.), and thus precedes the Seven Sages, though according to some authorities he was contemporary with them. He was also called Ligyastades, because he was sweet-and-clear ( λιγύς ),that is musical. He wrote ... books ...1Suidas Lexicon
“Famous Colophonians are Mimnermus the fluteplayer and writer of Elegy, and Xenophanes ... Pindar also mentions Polymnastus ... and according to some writers we must add Homer.” Strabo Geography [Colophon]

Photius Library (see Callinus p. 44).

“And Mimnermus, who after much suffering found such sweet sound and breath in the soft pentameter, he loved Nanno, and oftentime bound about with the mouthpiece of the gray lotuswood2 made revel with Examyes, and vexed the lives of the ever-grievous Hermobius and the hostile Pherecles because he hated the verse he put forth.3Hermesianax

“That parodists were in some repute in Sicily is thus shown by the tragic poet Alexander of Aetolia in an Elegy : ‘... This man came of ancient lineage, for he had known from his youth up how to behave to strangers as friend to friend,4 and had both reached the summit of the verse of Mimnermus5 and become an equal drinker with the lad's-love-crazy Teian.’6

Alexander of Aetolia [from Polemon]

“ But now [ignorant] backbiters7 who are no friends of the Muse murmur [unseemly] against me because I have not wrought [in honour] either of kings or of [ancient] heroes a single unbroken poem in many thousands of lines, but make one little scroll of verse [as a child might do], though the tens of my years are not few. To the backbiters I say this: ‘You ignorant tribe, whose only skill lies in shrivelling your own hearts, I know well, look you, that I am one of few lines; yet the bountiful Corn-Goddess far surpasses8 the tall oak; and of the two Books of Mimnermus9 it is his short ‘pieces’ that have told us how sweet he is, not the great tall one.10

Callimachus Causes:

“ ‘The short pieces have told us, the great one has not told us’; he means ‘that Mimnermus is sweet’; ὧδε is to be taken thus: ‘sweet in the little ones.’11Scholast on the passage
“Pour thou two ladles as of Nanno and Lyda, one as of the lover's friend Mimnermus, and one as of the discreet Antimachus; with the fifth mix in of myself, and let the sixth, Heliodorus, stand for each and all that ever loved; the seventh call Hesiod's, and the eight Homer's, the ninth the Muses', and the tenth Memory's. I shall have an overflowing cup to drink, Cypris; the rest of love pleases me but little, drunk or sober.” Poseidippus

“ There is another ancient Flute-Nome called Cradias or Fig-Branch , which according to Hipponax was played by Mimnermus. It seems that originally singers to the flute sang Elegiac verse set to music; this is shown by the Panathenaic.

Plutarch Music, Account of the Competition in Music.

“We are told by Chamaeleon in his book On Stesichorus that not only the poems of Homer but of Hesiod and Archilochus, and even of Mimnermus and Phocylides, were sung to music.” Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“If, as Mimnermus believes, there is no joy without love and jests, then you should live in love and jests.” Horace Epistles
“I go home a second Alcaeus, on the other's vote; and who is he on mine? Of course, a Callimachus. If he seems to want more, he swells with a name of his own choice and becomes a Mimnermus.” Horace Epistles
“Mimnermus wrote two brilliant Books.12Porphyrio on the passage
“Alas ! what avails you now to sing high song and cry woe for the walls Amphion's lyre did build? In love Mimnermus' lines count for more than Homer's; love is no savage, love doth seek gentle songs. Go to, lay by your gloomy books, and sing what every maiden would like to know.” Propertius Elegies

See also Ath. 13. 597a.

1 mss corrupt: perh. two Books mostly love-poems

2 i.e. mouth-band of the flute

3 perh. they put forth

4 i.e. to play host to another's guest

5 i.e. practised to the full the counsel indicated by the famous line on love, Mimn. i. 1

6 Anacreon

7 Hunt; lit. Telchines ( see index )

8 lit. outweighs, i.e. corn is much better than acorns though they grow on a tall tree (Hunt)

9 cf. Porphyrio below

10 i.e. the Book which contains a number of short poems, not the Nanno, a poem which seems to have filled a whole Book; γυνή is for περὶ τῆς γυναικὸς βίβλος (see H. J. M. Milne C.R. 1929, 214); ‘pieces’ will do either for poems or for women ; for another mention of M. by Callimachus cf. Ox. Pap. 1011, 341 (Crusius)

11 i.e. recapitulates the words ‘that M. is sweet’ (Milne)

12 reading doubtful; perh. Books of songs to the flute

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