Hippeis

Hippeis

The World of Christian Cameron

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Hipponax

540 BC to circa 498 BC. A Greek poet and satirist, considered the inventor of parody. He is supposed to have said “There are two days when a woman is a pleasure: the day one marries her and the day one buries her.”

Temple of Artemis

The remains of the Temple of Artemis looking at the medieval citadel

The Hipponax of the Suda and other commentators is a deformed and malicious figure who indulges in satire due to his own weaknesses. I elected to make him a very different figure with a much more subtle flaw—the Suda and the other ancient commentators, many of whom knew as little or less about the Archaic period then we do now (remember that in 4th c. AD Alexandria, the period of Sappho and Hipponax was almost a thousand years before!) and often make the most trite and simplistic assumptions about characters of the Archaic period from Sappho to Hipponax!

Like Heraclitus, Hipponax lived in ancient Ephesus, one of the mightiest and most beautiful cities of Ionia—indeed, probably of the whole ancient world. Because our memory of Ancient Greece is centered on Athens (and Sparta) is easy to forget that there were other mighty cities with beautiful statues, magnificent temples, and superb thinkers. Ephesus might have rivaled Athens, if not for Persia.