Iulis was the birthplace of the lyric poets Simonides and Bacchylides, the philosophers Prodicus and Ariston, and the physician Erasistratus; the excellence of its laws was so generally recognized that the title of Cean Laws passed into a proverb.
Timocreon thereupon attacked him most bitterly (see Plutarch, Themistocles, 21); and Simonides, the friend of Themistocles, retorted in an epigram (Anth.
Simonides of Amorgos >>
Gelo's brother and successor, Hiero(478-467), kept up the power of the city; he won himself a name by his encouragement of poets, especially Aeschylus and Simonides, and philosophers; and his Pythian and Olympian victories made him the special subject of the songs of Pindar and Bacchylides; among the recently discovered works of the latter are three Odes (iii.
"David was to be henceforth his Simonides, Pindar and Alcaeus, his Flaccus, Catullus and Severus."
He is acquainted with the poems of the epic cycle, the Cypria, the Epigoni, &c. He quotes or otherwise shows familiarity with the writings of Hesiod, Olen, Musaeus, Bacis, Lysistratus, Archilochus of Paros, Alcaeus, Sappho, Solon, Aesop, Aristeas of Proconnesus, Simonides of Ceos, Phrynichus, Aeschylus and Pindar.
Iambic poets (3): Simonides of Amorgos, Archilochus, Hipponax.
Lyric poets (9): Alcman, Alcaeus, Sappho, Stesichorus, Pindar, Bacchylides, Ibycus, Anacreon, Simonides of Ceos.
147-156; Simonides, fr.
Simonides of Ceos was.
As described in the writing of Cicero, Simonides, a Greek poet who lived around 600 BC, was hired by a nobleman named Scopas to write a poem in his honor.
He told Simonides he was only going to pay him half the fee and if he wanted the other half, he should collect it from Castor and Pollux.
Later that evening when Simonides was at a banquet with Scopas, he got word that two young men were outside looking for him.
While Simonides was outside, the roof of the house caved in and killed everyone.
Although the bodies in the collapsed house were mangled beyond recognition, Cicero records that Simonides was able to close his eyes and recall where each banquet guest had been sitting.
That's what interests me about this story (which may or may not be purely true): What Simonides did—recalling the names and locations of everyone at a large banquet—is described as entirely possible and an enviable, practical skill.
If you went back in time and talked to these people, like Simonides, and you told them there would be a day in the future where you will have access to all the information in the world through books and the Internet but that the cost of this was a substantially lessened memory, I believe they would have said, No thank you.