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Sophron

Sophron, of Syracuse, writer of mimes, flourished about 430 BC.

He was the author of prose dialogues in the Doric dialect, containing both male and female characters, some serious, others humorous in style, and depicting scenes from the daily life of the Sicilian Greeks. Although in prose, they were regarded as poems; in any case they were not intended for stage representation. They were written in pithy and popular language, full of proverbs and colloquialisms.

Plato is said to have introduced them into Athens and to have made use of them in his dialogues; according to Suidas, they were Plato's constant companions, and he even slept with them under his pillow. Some idea of their general character may be gathered from the 2nd and 15th idylls of Theocritus, which are said to have been imitated from the ‘Aithrrpiai and ‘IcrOutii~ovqat of his Syracusan predecessor. Their influence is also to be traced in the satires of Persius. The fragments will be found in HL Ahrens's De graecae linguae dialectis (1843), ii. (app.). Latest edition by CJ Botzon (1867); see also his De Sophrone et Xenarcho mimographis (1856).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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