Coryphaeus


Coryphaeus

Coryphaeus, or Koryphaios (Greek κορυφαῖος koryphaîos, from κορυφή koryphḗ́, the top of the head), and often corypheus in English. In Attic drama, the coryphaeus was the leader of the chorus. Hence the term (sometimes in an Anglicized form "coryphe") is used for the chief or leader of any company or movement. The coryphaeus spoke for all the rest, whenever the chorus took part in the action, in quality of a person of the drama, during the course of the acts.

The term has passed into a general name for the chief or principal of any company, corporation, sect, opinion, etc. Thus, Eustathius of Antioch is called the coryphaeus of the First Council of Nicaea; and Cicero calls Zeno the coryphaeus of the Stoics.

The Apostle Peter is often entitled Coryphaeus in Christian iconography.

In 1856 in the University of Oxford there was founded the office of Coryphaeus or Praecentor, whose duty it was to lead the musical performances directed by the Choragus. The office ceased to exist in 1899.

Joseph Stalin was also specifically referred to as Coryphaeus during the time of the Personality Cult in the USSR.

References

See also

  • USS Corypheus

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  • CORYPHAEUS — Graece, Κορυφαῖος, Aristoteli Chori Princeps, aliter χοραγὸς; cantum incipiebat, quem proxime παραςτάτης sequebatur, sicut hunc τριτοςτάτης. Et quidem Coryphaeus altiore vocis sonô utebatur, quem ceteri mediocri excipiebant atque subsequebantur.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • coryphaeus — [kôr΄ə fē′əs] n. pl. coryphaei [kôr΄ə fē′ī] [L < Gr koryphaios < koryphē, head, top; akin to korys: see CORYDALIS] 1. the leader of the chorus in ancient Greek drama 2. a leader, as of a sect or movement …   English World dictionary

  • coryphaeus — noun (plural coryphaei) Etymology: Latin, leader, from Greek koryphaios, from koryphē summit Date: 1655 1. the leader of a party or school of thought 2. the leader of a chorus …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • coryphaeus — /kawr euh fee euhs, kor /, n., pl. coryphaei / fee uy/. 1. the leader of the chorus in the ancient Greek drama. 2. the leader of an operatic chorus or any group of singers. [1625 35; < L < Gk koryphaîos leading, equiv. to koryph(é) head, top +… …   Universalium

  • coryphaeus — noun In Attic Greek drama, it meant the leader of the chorus, today though it has come to generally mean any leader or spokesperson …   Wiktionary

  • coryphaeus — cor·y·phae·us || ‚kÉ’rɪ fiːəs n. spokesman; leader of a chorus in ancient Greek drama …   English contemporary dictionary

  • coryphaeus — cor·y·phae·us …   English syllables

  • coryphaeus — cor•y•phae•us [[t]ˌkɔr əˈfi əs, ˌkɒr [/t]] n. pl. phae•i [[t] ˈfi aɪ[/t]] 1) lit. the leader of the chorus in ancient Greek drama 2) a spokesperson • Etymology: 1625–35; < L < Gk koryphaîos leading, der. of koryph(ḗ) head, top …   From formal English to slang

  • coryphaeus — /kɒrəˈfiəs/ (say koruh feeuhs) noun (plural coryphaei /kɒrəˈfii/ (say koruh feeee)) 1. the leader of the chorus in the ancient Greek drama. 2. (in modern use) the leader of an operatic chorus, or of any band of singers. {Latin, from Greek… …   Australian English dictionary

  • coryphaeus —   n. (pl. aei ) chorus leader; spokesman.    ♦ coryphée / feI/, n. leading woman dancer in corps de ballet …   Dictionary of difficult words


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