Departmental Papers (Classical Studies)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

July 1988


In a note in Heph. 3.1 ( = Hipponax Testim. 21 Dg), Choeroboscus relates several etymologies of the term "iambos." The first is the familiar derivation from the mythical Iambe, the servant of the King Celeus of Elusis, who cheered up the grieving Demeter by mocking her. This story, well known to us from the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (198-211), functioned as an ation of the ritual jesting and abuse practiced at the various festivals of Demeter, and, by extension, of the poetic genre known as iambos.1


Reprinted from American Journal of Philology, Volume 109, Issue 2, 1988, pages 174-179.
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Date Posted: 25 September 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.