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 • Central Macedonia
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Timotheus of Miletus
Birth: unknown
Death: unknown

Ancient Greek Musician, Poet. His innovations in Greek song and combative attitude made him the most notorious of the 5th Century "New Music" composers. Timotheus, who lived from 446 to 357 BC, was born in Miletus, Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey). A virtuoso kitharode (a singer-composer who accompanied himself on a kithara), he courted controversy from the start of his career by rejecting the dignified severity of classical Greek music. "I sing not the old songs, for my new songs are better, and a young Zeus is king now" he declared. From what we can gather his dithyrambs and nomes (astrophic songs) showed a predilection for tales of madness, agony and sorrow, set to vividly theatrical accompaniments. In "The Birthpangs of Semele" he allegedly imitated the pangs. He also increased the number of strings on his kithara to 12 to create novel sounds. Timotheus's efforts were not appreciated at first. In Sparta, home of the legendary musician Terpander, he so offended the populace that he was run out of town; his kithara, stripped of its extra strings, was nailed to a meeting house wall as an example to others. From then on he made a point of proclaiming himself Terpander's one true heir. He was hissed off the stage at his Athens debut and comic poets had a field day. Pherecrates penned a satire in which Music, personified as a woman, complains to Justice that Timotheus insists on raping her with his "ant-crawling" busy style. But he had an early champion in the playwright Euripides and soon his provocative new music became enormously popular. His best known work was "The Persians", a nome describing the Persian defeat at Salamis, with a prelude by Euripides. It won the music competition at the Athenian Games in 416 BC. Most of his later life was spent traveling and he ended his days at the Macedonian court in Pella, where he died at 89. The 10th Century historian Suidas credited Timotheus with some 90 compositions - dithyrambs, nomes, hymns. His music is lost and all that survives of the lyrics are 11 titles and 19 fragments, the most substantial being from "The Persians". Ancient critics mocked his verse as too elaborate and obscure, a verdict endorsed by modern historians; one noted translator called it "boring". Others have found the language of "The Persians" (in the original Greek) inherently musical, featuring experiments with onomatopoeia and syntax for dramatic effect. That he was greatly influential in his time is beyond question. In a comment rendered sadly ironic by history, Aristotle said in the 4th Century BC that "if Timotheus had not been born, there is a lot of music we would not have". (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Archontiko Necropolis
Archontiko
Regional unit of Pella
Central Macedonia, Greece
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Mar 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86241315
Timotheus of Miletus
Added by: Anonymous
 
Timotheus of Miletus
Added by: Anonymous
 
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- L Hamilton
 Added: Oct. 27, 2014
Rest in Peace, Timotheus. See you in the orchestra in Heaven.
- Mary
 Added: Sep. 26, 2013

- Mellissa Lake Co. Illinois
 Added: Sep. 2, 2013
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