Online Encyclopedia

SOPHRON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 429 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SOPHRON, of Syracuse, writer of mimes, flourished about 430 B.C. He was the author of prose dialogues in the Doric dialect, containing both male and female characters, some serious, others humorous in style, and depicting scenes from the daily life of the Sicilian Greeks. Although in prose, they were regarded as poems; in any case they were not intended for stage representation. They were written in pithy and popular language, full of proverbs and colloquialisms. Plato is said to have introduced them into Athens and to have made use of them in his dialogues; according to Sufdas, they were Plato's constant companions, and he even slept with them under his pillow. Some idea of their general character may be gathered from the 2nd and 15th idylls of Theocritus, which are said to have been imitated from the 'AitOrptai and 'IaO tt6. ovoai of his Syracusan predecessor. Their influence is also to be traced in the satires of Persius. The fragments will be found in H. L. Ahrens's De graecae linguae dialectis (1843), ii. (app.). Latest edition by C. J. Botzon (1867); see also his De Sophrone et Xenarcho mimographis (1856).
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