See also:poetry in which the character of the dithyramb is preserved . It remains quite uncertain what the derivation or even the
See also:primitive meaning of the Greek word &Obpayi3os is, although many conjectures have been attempted . It was, however, connected from earliest times with the choral worship of Dionysus . A dithyramb is defined by
See also:Grote as a
See also:round choric dance and
See also:song in
See also:honour of the
See also:god . The earliest dithyrambic poetry was probably improvised by priests of Bacchus at
See also:solemn feasts, and expressed, in disordered numbers, the excitement and frenzy
See also:felt by the worshippers . This
See also:element of unrestrained and intoxicated vehemence is prominent in all poetry of this class . The dithyramb was traditionally first practised in
See also:Naxos; it spread to other islands, to
See also:Boeotia and finally to Athens .
See also:Arion is said to have introduced it at Corinth, and to have allied it to the worshir of
See also:Pan . It was thus " merged," as
See also:Professor G . G .
See also:Murray says; " into the Satyr-
See also:choir of
See also:mountain-goats" out of which sprang the earliest
See also:form of tragedy . But when tragic drama had so
See also:developed as to be quite
See also:independent, the dithyramb did not, on ' That is, the right of claiming military service, and the right of bringing capital offenders to
See also:justice .
thataccount, disappear . It flourished in Athens until after the age of Aristotle . So far as we can. distinguish the form of the
See also:ancient Greek dithyramb, it must have been a kind of irregular wild poetry, not divided into strophes or constructed with any
See also:evolution of the theme, but imitative of the
See also:enthusiasm created by the use of wine, by what passed as the Dionysiac
See also:delirium . It was accompanied on some occasions by flutes, on others by the
See also:lyre, but we do not know enough to conjecture the reasons of the choice of instrument . Pindar, in whose hands the ode took such magnificent completeness, is said to have been trained in the elements of dithyrambic poetry by a certain
See also:Lasus of Hermione .
See also:Ion, having carried off the prize in a dithyrambic contest, distributed to every Athenian
See also:citizen a
See also:cup of Chian wine . In the opinion of antiquity, pure dithyrambic poetry reached its
See also:climax in a lost poem, The Cyclops, by Philoxenus of Cythera, a poet of the 4th century B.C . After this
See also:time, the composition of dithyrambs, although not abandoned, rapidly declined in merit . It was essentially a Greek form, and was little cultivated, and always without success, by the Latins . The dithyramb had a spectacular character, combining
See also:verse with
See also:music . In
See also:modern literature, although the adjective " dithyrambic " is often used to describe an enthusiastic
See also:movement in lyric language, and particularly in the ode, pure dithyrambs have been extremely rare . There are, however, some very notable examples .
The Baccho in Toscana ofFrancesco Redi (1626-1698), which was translated from the
See also:Italian, with admirable skill, by Leigh
See also:Hunt, is a piece of genuine dithyrambic poetry .
See also:Alexander's Feast (1698), by
See also:Dryden, is the best example in
See also:English . But perhaps more remarkable, and more genuinely dithyrambic than either, are the astonishing improvisations of Karl Mikael Gellman (1740-1795), whose Bacchic songs were collected in 1791 and form one of the most remarkable bodies of lyrical poetry in the literature of Sweden . (E .
DITHMARSCHEN, or DITMARSH (in the oldest form of th...
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