How to use Rhapsodists in a sentence
On this a scholiast says that the name "Homeridae " denoted originally descendants of Homer, who sang his poems in succession, but afterwards was applied to rhapsodists who did not claim descent from him.
These Homeridae, then, belonged to Chios, but there is no indication of their being rhapsodists.
It is not certain indeed that the practice of reciting a long poem by the agency of several competitors was ancient, or that it prevailed elsewhere than at Athens; but as rhapsodists were numerous, and popular favour throughout Greece became more and more confined to one or two great works, it must have become almost a necessity.
Again, the Platonic dialogue Hip parchus (which though not genuine is probably earlier than the Alexandrian times) asserts that Hipparchus, son of Peisistratus, first brought the poems to Athens, and obliged the rhapsodists at the Panathenaea to follow the order of the text, " as they still do," instead of reciting portions chosen at will.
Such attempts usually start with the tacit assumption that each of the persons concerned - Lycurgus, Solon, Peisistratus, Hipparchus - must have done something for the text of Homer, or for the regulation of the rhapsodists.Advertisement
Only that Homer was recited in fragments by the rhapsodists, and that these partial recitations were made into a continuous whole by Peisistratus; which does not necessarily mean more than that Peisistratus did what other authorities ascribe to Solon and Hipparchus, viz.
Feeling the difficulty of supposing that all the ancient minstrels sang of the " wrath of Achilles " or the " return of Ulysses " (leaving out even the capture of Troy itself), he was led to assume that two poems of no great compass dealing with these two themes became so famous at an early period as to throw other parts of the Trojan story into the background, and were then enlarged by successive generations of rhapsodists.
But if Garrison, Phillips and Sumner and Mrs Stowe were to be the rhapsodists of the long emancipation struggle, Whittier was its foreordained poet-seer.
The result of the notices now collected is to show that the early history of epic recitation consists of (r) passages in the Homeric hymns showing that poets contended for the prize at the great festivals, (2) the passing mention in Herodotus of rhapsodists at Sicyon, and (3) a law at Athens, of unknown date, regulating the recitation at the Panathenaea.