Eumelus of Corinth

Eumelus of Corinth

Eumelus of Corinth or Eumelos of Korinthos, of the clan of the Bacchiadae, is a semi-legendary early Greek poet, the Corinthian author of the "Prosodion", the treasured processional anthem of Messenian independence that was performed on Delos. One small fragment of it survives in a quote by Pausanias. [Pausanias, 4.33.2. "Poetae Melici Graeci" 696. It was Pausanias' opinion that this was his only authentic work.] To Eumelus was also attributed authorship of several antiquarian epics composed in the Corinthian-Sicyonian cultural sphere, notably "Corinthiaca", an epic narrating the legends and early history of his home city Corinth. The "Corinthiaca" is now lost, but a written version of it was used by Pausanias in his survey of the antiquities of Corinth. [Pausanias (2.1.1) gives his father's name as Amphilytus. ] The epics "Europia", "Bougonia" (perhaps the same as "Europia"), "Titanomachy" and "Return from Troy" (one of the "Nostoi") were also ascribed to Eumelus by various later authors. Eumelus was traditionally dated between 760 and 740 BC. According to Martin West [M.L. West, "'Eumelos': A Corinthian Epic Cycle?" "The Journal of Hellenic Studies" 122 (2002), pp. 109-133. West, reviewing the evidence concerning the epic fragments, suggests that "Eumelos" was the only historical name available. ] the epics appear to have been composed in the late seventh or sixth century BC, later than the date traditionally ascribed to Eumelus in the Greek chronographic tradition used, for instance by Eusebius of Caesarea. [Eusebius dates Eumelus as contemporaneous with Archias, his fellow-Bacchiad, who founded Syracuse, about 734BC (West 2002:109 and note 3).]



*"Greek epic fragments" ed. and tr. Martin L. West (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003) pp. 220-251.

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