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Limenios
Birth: unknown
Death: unknown

Ancient Greek Musician. Name also latinized as Limenius. He is the world's earliest known composer of a surviving piece of music. It is a 2000 year-old tribute to Apollo entitled "Paean and Prosodion to the God" (128 BC), better known today as the second of the two "Delphic Hymns". In 1893, French archaeologists discovered the fragments of these compositions inscribed on a wall of the old Athenian Treasury in Delphi, Greece. Both are probably from the same period, though the date and authorship of the "First Delphic Hymn" have not been conclusively established. Additional inscriptions related to the "Second Delphic Hymn" tell us much more. Limenios, son of Thoenus, hailed from Athens and was a virtuoso kithara player; as such he would have belonged to one of the guilds of the Artists of Dionysus, performing throughout Greece and Asia Minor. His "Paean and Prosodion" was performed in competition at the 128 BC Pythian Games at Delphi, Greece's most esteemed musical event, and the effort that went into preserving it in stone suggests that it won a prize. We also learn how elaborate the ceremonies were. Limenios's lyrics refer to the "swarm of artists" from different city-states who descended on Delphi for the games. The Athenian company alone had a chorus of 40, a chorus master and 3 assistants, 14 solo singers (3 doubling as instrumentalists), 7 kitharodes (of which Limenios was one), 2 auletes (wind players), and a comedian. In the "Paean and Prosodion" Limenios and possibly an aulete accompanied the chorus. A cold dose of political reality appears at the end of the piece: Limenios has the chorus ask for the protection of the mighty Roman Empire. The downfall of Ancient Greece was already in progress. What became of the composer after Delphi is lost to history. 20th Century musicologists reconstructed the "Second Delphic Hymn" from its substantial fragments. It is in 10 sections, weaving between three different modes (Lydian, Hypolydian, and Chromatic Lydian) and finally changing rhythm for the concluding "Prosodion"; it has a stately, processional quality befitting sacred music. In performance it lasts about seven minutes. Different arrangements have been recorded. Note: The earliest known complete composition is also of Greek heritage, the "Seikilos Epitaph" of some 300 years later. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Location unknown to historians
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Mar 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87130766
Limenios
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Limenios
Added by: Creative Commons
 
Limenios
Added by: Creative Commons
 
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