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 Among the illustrious natives of Magnesia were Hegesias the orator, who first introduced the Asiatic fervour, as it was called, and corrupted the established Attic style of eloquence; Simon (Simus?) the lyric poet, who also corrupted the system and plan of former lyric poets, by introducing the Simodia; it was still more corrupted by the Lysiodi and Magodi;1 Cleomachus the pugilist, who was enamoured of a certain cinædus, and a female servant, who was maintained by the cinædus, imitated the sort of dialect and the manners of the cinædi. Sotades was the first person that employed the language of the cinædi, and he was followed by Alexander the Ætolian; but these were only prose writers. Lysis added verse, but this had been done before his time by Simus. The theatres had raised the reputation of Anaxenor, the player on the cithara, but Antony elevated him as high as possible, by appointing him receiver of the tribute from four cities, and by giving him a guard of soldiers for the protection of his person. His native country also augmented his dignity, by investing him with the sacred purple of Jupiter Sosipolis, as is represented in the painted figure in the forum. There is also in the theatre a figure in brass, with this inscription: “‘It is truly delightful to listen to a minstrel such as he is, whose voice is like that of the gods.’2” The artist who engraved the words was inattentive to the space which they would occupy, and omitted the last letter of the second verse, αυδηι, (voice,) the breadth of the base not being large enough to allow its insertion; this afforded an occasion of accusing the citizens of ignorance, on account of the ambiguity of the inscription; for it is not clear whether the nominative αυδη, or the dative αυδηι, is to be understood, for many persons write the dative cases without the ι, and reject the usage, as not founded on any natural reason.
1 These innovations or corruptions were not confined to the composition of pieces intended for the theatre, but extended also to the manner of their representation, to music, dancing, and the costume of the actors. It was an absolute plague, which corrupted taste, and finally destroyed the Greek theatre. We are not informed of the detail of these innovations, but from what we are able to judge by comparing Strabo with what is found in Athenæus, (b. xiv. §14, p. 990, of Bohn's Classical Library,) Simodia was designated by the name of Hilarodia, (joyous song,) and obtained the name Simodia from one Simus, or Simon, who excelled in the art. The Lysiodi and Magodi, or Lysodia and Magodia, were the same thing, according to some writers. Under these systems decency appears to have been laid aside.
2 Od. ix. 3.
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