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02/12/2007
Anakreon

Bala Katerina
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Eastern Macedonia Ė Thrace Region
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The vivid city of Avdira was influenced by the spiritual life of Ionia. Anakreon who lived in Avdira was the first courtier poet. He was born in Teo, an Ionian city at the coast of Asia Minor, around 570 B.C. and belongs to the ones who were forced to leave homeland in 545 B.C because of the Persian threat. So they settled in Avdira. Stravon is referring to many heroes from Avdira and reproduces Anakreonís characterization on Avdira as a fortunate colony for the ones who came from Teo. His fame of being an important courtier poet was spread and he left Avdira to live the biggest part of his life in Samos, along with Polikratis, in Athens, along with Pisistratidis Iparchos and in the end in Thessaly, at the wealthy house of Alevades.

Anakreon, is one of the members of the lyric poetsí triad along with Sappho and Alcaeus, who expressed the human secret emotions. His works are in simple Ionian dialect, contain erotic poems, symposium poems, hymns for gods, elegies, monodies and iambi celebrating heterosexual and homosexual love, womanís beauty, wine and Dionysus, joys, delights and frustrations of life. Anakreon did not take life seriously, but he enjoyed drinking and looseness. He is a hedonist and that is why women, avlitrides, have a significant place in his work. He was not interested in politics and war and it is said that he also wrote odes for religious rituals.
His poetry is mainly recreational, bringing out enthusiasm at the luxuriant symposia of the spiritual sovereigns. His work resulted to the creation of a school. Posteriors imitated him by composing anakreontia songs (at Anakreonís style), while during the middle years he was popular to secular and religious poets who also imitated him. All poetic works with an iambic two part ending or reflecting ioanian two part line and the sixty ones that are placed in the Palatini anthology, imitate the erotic and symposium poems of Anakreon and are called ďAnakreontiaĒ. These posterior imitations shaped Anacreon as an old drank man surrendered at pleasures. The genuine abstracts of his work reveal a brilliant reasonable man with kind indifference and self control who just describes the intense joy of life.
His friends from Alexandria, Aristophanes from Byzantium and Aristarchos from Samothrace, published Anacreonís poems in five books (3 books with melodies, 1 book with iambs and 1 book with elegies). The 18 epigrams with his name on may be pseudepigraphs. Most of his poems are partially saved.
According to ancient texts, Anacreon died at about the age of 85 years, after a possible return to his homeland, Teo. Even if Anacreon was misinterpreted as drank reveler, he was honored in homeland, Teo, through the cut of coins with his face on them. In Athens they built his statue.