Greek writers


Alcmanes was a Greek lyric poet who wrote mainly choral songs. He was born in 690 BC (Sardis in Lydia) and died in the 7th century BC.

Alkman lived in Sparta, where he was a prisoner of war. Here he was a slave of a Spartan nobleman, who later freed him, and so Alcman lived to a ripe old age.

Alcman was one of the founders of personal lyricism. In his works he often alternates between choral passages (especially for girls' church choirs) and solo passages. The content is a combination of gaiety, Spartan austerity and Lydian lightness. He even created several new verse formations (Alkmanic verse) and elaborate strophes, which other poets adopted from him.

He was to write about six books of ritual songs, but only fragments have survived.