The Ancient Library

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the decisive evidence of the celebrated passage from the comic poet Pherecrates, in which the musicians of the day are violently attacked as corrupters of the art (Plut, de Mus. 30, p. 1141, f. ; Meineke, Frag. Coin. Graec. vol. ii. pp. 326 — 335). It is evident that this attack was aimed principally at Timotheus, whom the personification of Music mentions last of all, as having inflicted more numerous and more serious injuries upon her than either of his predecessors, Melanippides, Cinesias, or Phrynis. The following are the lines referring to him: —

6 8e Ti/j.6d€6s /a', c

ko! SiaKCKvaiK aJfcrx/ffTa. A. TIo^os ovrooi

TiuoQeos ; M. Mi\7](ri6s ns Tlvppias *

kolko, yuoi 7rape(T%6Z/ • ovros airavras ovs \ey«

cfapuoviovs v7T€p€o\alovs t* avoaiovs,


<TTT€p T6 TO,S

ko.v evrvxi) nov uoi

aireSvffe /caz/eAvcre xopfiais 8c68eKa.

Respecting the details of his life we have very little information. He is said to have spent some time at the Macedonian court ; and reference will presently be made to a visit which he paid to Sparta, He appears to have formed his musical style chiefly on that of Phrynis, who was also a native of Miletus, and over whom he on one occa­sion gained a victory. He was at first unfortunate in his professional efforts. Even the Athenians, fond as they were of novelty, and accustomed as they were to the modern style of music introduced by Melanippides, Phrynis, and the rest, were offended at the still bolder innovations of Timo­theus, and hissed off his performance. On this oc­casion it is said that Euripides encouraged Timo­theus by the prediction that he would soon have the theatres at his feet (Plut. An seni sit gerend. Respub. 23, p. 795, c. d.). This prediction appears to have been accomplished in the vast popularity which Timotheus afterwards enjoyed. Plutarch records his exultation at his victory over Phrynis (De se ipsum laudand. 1, p. 539, b. c.) ; and even xvhen, on one occasion, he was conquered by Phi-lotas, a disciple of Polyi'dus, he could console him­self with the rebuke administered to the boasting master of his successful competitor by the witty Stratonicus, on aurbs jicej/ (i. e. Poly'idus) ^/7](pi(7-/Aara Trote?, TiuoOeos Se vo/jlovs. (Ath. viii. p. 352, b. : the point of the saying is in the double mean­ing of v6jj.ovs, laws and musical strains, and is un-translateable into English.) The Ephesians re­warded him, for his dedicatory hymn to Artemis, with the sum of a thousand pieces of gold (Alex. Aetol. ap. Macrob. Sat. v. 22): the last accom­plishment, by which the education of the Arcadian youth was finished, was learning the nomes of Timotheus and Philoxenus (Polyb. iv. 20 ; Ath. xiv. p. 626, c.): and there is still extant a decree of the Cnossians, probably of the second century u. c., in which Timotheus and Polyi'dus are men­tioned with the highest praise, and their names associated with those of the ancient Cretan poets (see polyidus, p. 467, b.). Timotheus died in Macedonia, according to Stephanus of Byzantium

* The meaning of this epithet is doubtful. See Schmidt, pp. 97, 98, and Lehrs, Quaest Epic. pp. 20, 21.


(I. c.), who has preserved the following epitaph upon him. (Also in Jacobs, Anth. Pal. App. No. 295, vol. ii. p. 851.)

ndrpa. mi'atjtos Ti/crei Mowrann , Ktddpas 8e|ibz/

The general character of*the music of Timotheus, and the nature of his innovations, are pretty clearly described in the fragment of Pherecrates above quoted, and in other passages of the ancient writers. He delighted in the most artificial and intricate forms of musical expression, " windings like the passages in ant-hills " (Pherecr. I.e.): he used instrumental music, without a vocal accompaniment, to a greater extent than any previous composer (at least if Ulrici is right in his interpretation of the words u6vri fta8i£ov(Tr) in Pherecrates) : and, in direct opposition to the ancient practice, he preferred the chromatic to the other genera of music, and employed it to such an extent, as to be by some considered its inventor. (Boeth. de Mus. i. 1, p. 1372, ed. Basil.) But perhaps the most important of his innovations, as the means of introducing all the others, was his addition to the number of the strings of the cithara. Respecting the precise nature of that addition the ancient writers are not agreed ; but it is most pro­bable, from the whole evidence, that the lyre of Timotheus had eleven strings. The eight-stringed cithara, formed by the addition of the chord of the octave which was wanting in the heptachord of Terpander, was used in the time of Pindar [T»R-pander]. The ninth string appears to have been added by Phrynis (Plut. Apophtheg. Lacon. p. 220, c.). There were already ten strings to the cithara in the time of Ion of Chios, the contemporary of Sophocles (Ion, Epigr. ap. Euclid. Introd. Harmon. p. 19, ed. Meibom.) ; and the conjecture appears therefore probable that the tenth was added by Melanippides. There remains, therefore, only the eleventh string to be ascribed to Timotheus, for it is most probable that the mention of a twelve-stringed lyre, in the above passage of Pherecrates, according to the present text, arises from some error, and the word eV8e/ca may be substituted for 8c68e/ca in the last verse, without injuring the metre. The positive testimonies for ascribing the eleventh string to Timotheus, are that of Suidas (s. v.), who, however, makes him the inventor of the tenth string also, which the testimony of Ion proves to be an error ; and the tradition that, when Timotheus visited Sparta, and entered the musical contest at the Carneia, one of the Ephors snatched away his lyre, and cut from it the strings, four in number, by which it exceeded the seven-stringed lyre of Terpander, and, as a memorial of this public vindication of the ancient simplicity of music, and for a warning to future innovators, the Lacedae­monians hung up the mutilated lyre of Timotheus in their Scias. (Paus. iii. 12. § 8 ; Plut. Instit. Lacon. 17, p. 238, c., Agis, 10 ; Artemon. ap. Ath. xiv. p. 636, e.; Cic. de Legg. ii. 15 ; the number of the additional strings is only stated in the first of these passages, but, besides the agreement of that number with the other evidence, it must be remem­bered that Pausanias actually saw the lyre hanging in the Scias at Sparta). It is quite a mistake to argue, in the spirit of a pseudo-rationalistic criti­cism, against the truth of this tradition, from the fact of the very same story being told about the nine-stringed lyre of Phrynis (Plut. Agis, 10, Apophth. Lacon. p. 220, c.) ; for the conduct

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