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Like others of the early poets, Hipponax was distinguished for his love of liberty. The tyrants of his native city, Athenagoras and Comas, having expelled him from his home, he took up his abode at Clazomenae, for which reason he is sometimes called a Clazomenian. (Sulpicia, Sat. v. 6.) He there lived in great poverty, and, according to one account, died of want.
In person, Hipponax was little, thin, and ugly, but very strong. (Athen. xii. p. 552, c. d.; Ae-lian. V. H. x, 6 ; Plin. /. c.) His natural defects, like the disappointment in love of Archilochus, furnished the occasion for the development .of his satirical powers. The punishment of the daughters of Lycambes by the Parian poet finds its exact parallel in the revenge which Hipponax took on the brothers Bupalus and Athenis. These brothers, who were sculptors of Chios, made statues of Hipponax, in which they caricatured his natural ugliness ; and he in return directed all the power of his satirical poetry against them, and especially against Bupalus. (Plin. I. c. ;.Horat. Epod. vi. 14; Lucian, Pseudol. 2; Philip. Epiyr. in Anth. Pal. vii. 405; Brunck. Anal. vol. ii. p. 235 ; Julian. Epist. 30; Schol. ad Aristopk. Av. 575; Suid. s. v.) Later writers improved upon the resemblance between the stories of Archilochus and Hipponax, by making the latter poet a rejected suitor of the daughter of Bupalus, and by ascribing to the satire of Hipponax the same fatal effect as resulted from that of Archilochus. (Acron. ad Horat. Lc.) Pliny (1. c.) contradicts the story of the suicide of Bupalus by referring to works of his which were executed at a later period. As for the fragment of Hipponax (Fr. vi. p. 29, Welcker) fl KA.afb/xci'oioi, BovaraAos KareKreiOev, if it be his (for it is only quoted anonymously by Rufinus, p. 2712, Putsch.), instead of being considered a proof of the story, it should more probably be regarded as having formed, through a too literal interpretation, one source of the error.
The most striking feature in jthe satirical Iambics of Hipponax is the change which he made in the metre, by introducing a Spondee or Trochee in the last foot, instead of an Iambus. This change made the verse irregular in its rhythm (a/5/)u0juoj>), and gave it a sort of halting movement, whence it was called the Choliambus (xo>\iaiJi.€6s9 lame iambic), or Iambus Scazon (<ricdfay9 limping). By this change the Iambic Trimeter
/ / / / x x
w — w — w — w» — o — «•» —
was converted into
/ / r / xx
W — «w» — W — W» — \J — — \J
Much ingenuity has been expended in the explanation of the effect of this change ; but only let the reader recite, or rather chaunt, a few verses of Hipponax according to the above rhythm, and he will have little difficulty in perceiving how admirably adapted if is to the warm, but playful satire of the poet. He introduces similar variations into the other Iambic metres, and into the Trochaic Tetrameter.
When the variation on the sixth foot of the trimeter coexists with a spondee in the fifth place, the verse becomes still more irregular, and can, in fact, hardly be considered an Iambic verse, but is rather a combination of an iambic dimeter with a
trochaic monometer. Such lines are called by the grammarians Ischiorrhogic (broken-backed) : they are very rarely used by Hipponax. The choli-ambics of Hipponax were imitated by many later writers : among others, the Fables of Babrius are composed entirely in this metre. (Clem. Alex. Strom. i. p. 308. d. ; Cic. Orat. 56 ; Athen. xv. p. 701, f.; and the Latin grammarians, see Welcker, p. 18; Bockh, de Metr. Find. p. 151.) A few of the extant lines of Hipponax are in the pure iambic metre ; but there is no evidence that he used such verses in connection with cholianibi in the same poem.
We know, from Suidas, that he wrote other poems besides his cholianibi and his parody. His cholianibi formed two books, if not more. (Bekker, Anecd. vol. i. p. 85 ; Pollux, x. 18.) The other poems mentioned by Suidas were probably lyrical. (See Welcker, p. 24.) As to parody, of which Suidas and Polemo (Athen. xv. p. 698, b.) make him the inventor (though it is sell-evident that the origin of parody is much older), we possess the opening of a poem in heroic metre which he composed as a parody on the Iliad. (Athen. Lc.) The Achilles of the parody is an Ionian glutton, and the object of the poet seems to have been to satirize the luxury of the Ionian s. (See Mozer, Ueber d. parod. Poes. d. Griech. in Daub and Creu-zer's Studien, vol. vi. p. 267, Heidelb. 1811.)
The choliambics of Hipponax, though directed chiefly against the artists Bupalus and Athenis, embraced also other objects of attack. He severely chastised the effeminate luxury of his Ionian brethren; he did not spare his own parents ; and he ventured even to ridicule the gods. The ancients seem to have regarded him as the bitterest and most unkindly of all satirists, generally coupling his name with the epithet irwpos. (Eustath. in Od. xi. p. 1684, 51, et alib.; Cic. Epist. ad Fam. vii. 24.) Leonidas of Tarentum, in an elegant epigram, warns travellers not to pass too near his tomb, lest they rouse the sleeping wasp (Brunck. Anal. vol. i. p. 246, No. 97) ; and Alcaeus of Mes-sene says that his grave, instead of being covered} like that of Sophocles, with ivy, and the vine, and climbing roses, should be planted with the thorn and thistle. (Brunck, Anal. vol. i. p. 490, No. 18.) But Theocritus, probably with greater truth, warns the wicked alone to beware of his tomb, and invites the good to sit near it without fear, applying to the poet at the same time the honourable epithet of hovgottoios. (Brunck, Anal. vol. i. p. 382, No. 20.) He maybe said to occupy a middle place between Archilochus and Aristophanes. He is as bitter, but not so earnest, as the former, while in lightness and jocoseness lie more resembles the latter. Archilochus, in his greatest fury, never forgets his dignity: Hipponax, when most bitter, is still sportive. This extends to his language, which abounds with common words. Like most satirists, he does not spare the female sex, as* for instance, in the celebrated couplet in which he says that " there are two happy days in the life of a married man—that in which he receives his wife, and that in which he carries out her corpse."
There are still extant about a hundred lines of his poems, which are collected by Welcker (Hip-ponactis et Ananii lambographorum Fragmenta,, Getting. 1817, 8vo.), Bergk (Poetae Lyrid Graeei), Schneidewin (Delect. Poes. Graec.)9 and by Mei-neke, in Lachmann's edition of Babrius. (Babrii