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As for the contests at Delphi, there was one in early times between citharoedes, who sang a paean in honor of the god; it was instituted by the Delphians. But after the Crisaean war, in the time of Eurylochus,1 the Amphictyons instituted equestrian and gymnastic contests in which the prize was a crown, and called them Pythian Games. And to the citharoedes2 they added both fluteplayers and citharists who played without singing, who were to render a certain melody which is called the Pythian Nome. There are five parts of it: angkrousis, ampeira, katakeleusmos, iambi and dactyli, and syringes. Now the melody was composed by Timosthenes, the admiral of the second Ptolemy, who also compiled The Harbours, a work in ten books;3 and through this melody he means to celebrate the contest between Apollo and the dragon, setting forth the prelude as anakrousis, the first onset of the contest as ampeira, the contest itself as katakeleusmos, the triumph following the victory as iambus and dactylus, the rhythms being in two measures, one of which, the dactyl, is appropriate to hymns of praise, whereas the other, the iamb, is suited to reproaches (compare the word "iambize"), and the expiration of the dragon as syringes, since with syringes4 players imitated the dragon as breathing its last in hissings.5

1 On the time, compare 9. 3. 4 and footnote.

2 The citharoedes sang to the accompaniment of the cithara, and their contests must have had no connection with those of the fluteplayers and the citharists, whose performance (of the Pythian Nome) was a purely instrumental affair.

3 If the text of this sentence is correct, Strabo must be referring to the melody played as the Pythian Nome in his own time or in that of some authority whom he is quoting, earlier compositions perhaps having been superseded by that of Timosthenes (fl. about 270 B.C.). But since the invention of the Pythian Nome has been ascribed to Sacadas (Pollux 4.77), who was victorious with the flute at the Pythian Games about three hundred years before the time of Timosthenes (Paus. 6.14.9, 10.7.4), Guhrauer (Jahrb. für Class. Philol., Suppl. 8, 1875-1876, pp. 311—351 makes a strong argument for a lacuna in the Greek text, and for making Strabo say that the melody was composed by Sacadas and later merely described by Timosthenes in one of his numerous works. Cp. also H. Riemann, Handb. der Musikgeschichte 1919, vol. i, pp. 63-65.

4 "Pipes."

5 "Pipings."

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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