The recitation of epic poetry was called in historical times "rhapsody."
To these may be added the rhapsody 6 on the taking of " Szabacs " (1476); the Katalin-Legenda, a metrical " Legend of St Catherine of Alexandria," extending to over 4000 lines: and the Fedddenek (Upbraiding Song), by Francis Apathi.
In 1859 appeared a life of Defoe by William Chadwick, an extraordinary rhapsody in a style which is half Cobbett and half Carlyle, but amusing, and by no means devoid of acuteness.
Of these the first is etymologically correct (except that it should rather be " stitcher of verse "); the second was suggested by the fact, for which there is early evidence, that the reciter was accustomed to hold a wand in his hand - perhaps, like the sceptre in the Homeric assembly, as a symbol of the right to a hearing.3 The first notice of rhapsody meets us at Sicyon, in the reign of Cleisthenes (600-560 B.C.), who " put down the rhapsodists on account of the poems of Homer, because they are all about Argos and the Argives " (Hdt.
He was always assiduously graceful, always desiring to present his idea, his image, his rhapsody, in as persuasive a light as possible, and, particularly, with as much harmony as possible.