Poet who worked
in Sparta in the first half of the 7th century BC. He wrote hymns and lyrics
for choirs in the Doric dialect, and was said to have conducted the choirs
himself, both vocally and the dance steps the choir took.
Not much has survived by Alcman, but the oldest hymn in the western world is attributed to him. It is sung by a choir of ten girls, divided in two. The choir tells the story of various criminals and their punishments in the myths, and they race and joke with the rival choir.
The ancient Greeks credited Alcman as the inventor of love poetry.