Simonides was born on the Greek island of Ceos around 556 B.C.E. and appears to have worked in the Athenian court of the tyrant Hipparchus as a paid professional poet, a role Simonides is credited with inventing. Widely celebrated by ancient and modern critics for the quality and range of his work, Simonides wrote in many forms, including lament, elegy, and epigram. Several pieces (including the three translated here) survive intact, although only a small portion of the considerable output attributed to Simonides remains. The recent discovery of a papyrus containing substantial portions of a long, previously unknown poem by Simonides—an epic elegy on the battle of Plataea—gives an illuminating new example of the poet’s treatment of events in the Persian Wars, which he often commemorated on commission. The discovery of this papyrus has quadrupled the available Simonidean corpus.
AGNI has published the following work by Simonides:
|•Fr. 2 FGE [Epitaph for Those Fallen at Euripus] (translated from the ancient Greek by Kelli Boyles)|
|•Fr. 9 FGE [Epitaph for Those Fallen with Leonidas] (translated from the ancient Greek by Kelli Boyles)|
|•Fr. 521 PMG [Being Human . . .] (translated from the ancient Greek by Kelli Boyles)|