Concept

Dithyramb

Summary
The dithyramb (ˈdɪθɪræm; διθύραμβος, dithyrambos) was an ancient Greek hymn sung and danced in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility; the term was also used as an epithet of the god. Plato, in The Laws, while discussing various kinds of music mentions "the birth of Dionysos, called, I think, the dithyramb." Plato also remarks in the Republic that dithyrambs are the clearest example of poetry in which the poet is the only speaker. However, in The Apology Socrates went to the dithyrambs with some of their own most elaborate passages, asking their meaning but got a response of, "Will you believe me?" which "showed me in an instant that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them." Plutarch contrasted the dithyramb's wild and ecstatic character with the paean. According to Aristotle, the dithyramb was the origin of Athenian tragedy.
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