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Seikilos Epitaph
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The Seikilos Epitaph. His song is in the bottom half of the inscription, taking up all but the final existing line.

Since the early 1900s scholars have debated Seikilos's true purpose in creating the memorial, because the abbreviation of the name "Euter" can mean different things. It could be a patronym, as in "Seikilos son of Euterpes", or a reference to the Muse Euterpe, goddess of song and elegiac poetry. These readings suggest the Epitaph was not a tombstone but an example of a votive column, which were installed in Ancient Greek cemeteries to commemorate personal triumphs (such as a victory in a music competition) and thank the appropriate deities. This could help explain why Seikilos took the very unusual step of "self-publishing" his tune here. Grave and votive column inscriptions were meant to draw attention from passersby and spread a person's fame.
Added by: Anonymous
4/21/2012
 
 

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