Stesichorus

, an ancient Greek poet, was born at Himera, a city of Sicily, in the seventh century B. C. His name was originally Tysias, but changed to Stesichorus, on account of his being the first who taught the chorus to dance to the lyre. He appears to have been a man of first rank for wisdom and authority among his fellow citizens and to have had a great hand in the transact; between that state and the tyrant Phalaris. He died at Catana in Sicily at above eighty, in the year 556 B. C. 1

1

Hawkins and Burrey’s Hist. of Music. Warton’s Hist, of Poetry. Ath. Ox. vol. I. New edit. Heylin’s Hist of the the Reformation.

| the people were so sensible of the honour his relics did the city, that they resolved to keep them against the claims of the Himerians. Much of this poet’s history depends upoit the authority of Phalaris’s epistles; and if the genuineness of these should be given up, which is now the general opinion, yet we may perhaps collect from them the esteem and character Stesichorus bore with antiquity. We have no character of ins works on record: Suidas only tells us, in general, that he composed a book of lyrics in the Dorian dialect; of which a few scraps, not amounting to threescore lines, are inserted in the collection of Fnlvius Ursinus, at Antwerp, 1568, 8vo. Majesty and greatness make the common character of his style: and Horace speaks of his “Graves Camoenae.” Hence Alexander, in Dion Chrysostom, reckons him among the poets whom a prince ought to read: and Synesius puts him and Homer together, as the noble celebrators of the heroic race. Quintilian’s judgment on his works will justify all this: “the force of Stesichorus’s wit appears,” says he, “from the subjects he has treated of; while he sings the greatest wars and the greatest commanders, and sustains with his lyre all the weight and grandeur of an epic poem. For he makes his heroes speak and act agreeably to their characters: and had he but observed moderation, he would have appeared the fairest rival of Homer. But he is too exuberant, and does not know how to contain himself: which, though really a fault;, yet is one of those faults which arises from an abundance and excess of genius.1
1

Quiatilian Inst. lib. X. cap. L Voss. de Pott. Grxc. Fabric. Bibl. Grzc. JBurney’t Hist, of Musk-, vol. I,