The dithyrambic poet Philoxenus, by birth of Cythera, won his fame in Sicily, and other authors of lost poems are mentioned in various Siceliot cities.
He flourished about 625 B.C. Several of the ancients ascribe to him the invention of the dithyramb and of dithyrambic poetry; it is probable, however, that his real service was confined to the organization of that verse, and the conversion of it from a mere drunken song, used in the Dionysiac revels, to a measured antistrophic hymn, sung by a trained body of performers.
The riot of his dithyrambic hymns sounded a strange note of nature amid the conventional music of the Gustavians.
The first of these (by no means the best) was Les Femmes de la revolution (1854), in which Michelet's natural and inimitable faculty of dithyrambic too often gives way to tedious and not very conclusive argument and preaching.
At the outset we have an almost dithyrambic address to the goddess Roma, whose glory has ever shone the brighter for disaster, and who will rise once more in her might and confound her barbarian foes.
These were followed in 1782 by Two Dithyrambic Odes on Enthusiasm and Laughter, and by a series of Tales in Verse.