Un’antica fonte magno-greca nel De musica attribuito a Plutarco: Glauco di Reggio


  • Antonietta Gostoli Università di Perugia




Ps. Plutarch’s De musica, Glaucus of Rhegium, Heraclides Ponticus, Kitharōidia, Aulōidia, Oral tradition of ancient music


Glaucus of Rhegium is often cited in Ps. Plutarch’s De musica as an important source for reconstructing the history of ancient Greek music and lyric poetry. The cultural background of Glaucus’ activity was Rhegium and the Magna Graecia at the end of V century B.C. While Theagenes, his fellow citizen, who was a rhapsode, gave rise to the Homeric studies (VI century B.C.), Glaucus, who was a musician, started the classification and historiography of lyric poetry. He is cited by Ps. Plutarch’s De musica mostly in chapters derived from Heraclides Ponticus. It has been widely questioned whether the author of the De Musica had direct access to Glaucus’ work or deduced its content from Heraclides. Nevertheless, Ps. Plutarch underlined a great difference between Glaucus and Heraclides: the latter founded his research on written sources, whereas, when Glaucus compared Terpander’s melodies to Orpheus’, we cannot think he could have used any sources with musical notation for such ancient pieces of music. Evidently, he referred to orally transmitted melodies attributed to Orpheus and Terpander. Indeed, elsewhere in the De musica Glaucus refers to musical knowledge acquired by directly listening to ritual songs.


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