Stesichorus

Lyric poet, probably from Himera on Sicily, who lived during the first half of the 6th century BC. The name Stesichorus actually means "Chorus Master", so it might have been a title and not a name. His real name might have been Tisias.

Stesichorus was very creative and prolific, and is considered the first literary celebrity in Greece. He influenced many poets with his long, narrative poems with mythological themes. Not much of his work has survived, but we know that he wrote in the Doric dialect, and that he was inspired by Homer. He wrote "The Wooden Horse", "The Capture of Troy", "Homecoming" and "Oresteia". The latter surely inspired Aeschylus.

These poems were accompanied by a chorus or maybe a solo singer and a flute. He is traditionally credited with inventing the triad: three stanza metrical groupings, which were later used in verses and Athenian stage dramas: strophe: turn, antistrophe: counterturn, and epodos: after song.

Stesichorus also wrote two poems about Helen of Troy: one true and one false. According to the false one, Helen was never in Troy, but a phantom of her was sent there by the gods. According to an anecdote, Stesichorus was struck blind after he had written the first, traditional version, and did not regain his sight until he had completed the second one.

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Greece history
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