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A Skolion ( Greek σκόλιον to σκόλιος “crooked, treacherous”) is a song performed in early Greek antiquity on the occasion of a symposium that was expected by all participants in the banquet as a contribution to the intellectual debate. A myrtle twig or the lyre were passed as an accompanying instrument like an invitation to a lecture to the next guest, mostly to the right, but sometimes surprisingly all over the place to the better singer, from which the name originates according to Plutarch .

In addition to verses by contemporary or older poets that were recited here, Scolia were also often impromptu poems in the metrical form of elegy or epigram ; two- and four-line lines predominated in popular stanzas . Contrary to today's popular opinion, the Skolion is not a drinking song , as it dealt with philosophical or - at the time current - political topics, fatherland, love, wine, the invocation of the gods or proverbs on the one hand, price songs on heroes and murderers of tyrants ( Harmodios and Aristogeiton ) in the other case. The singers liked to use ironic or satirical forms.

Terpandros is considered to be the inventor of the Scolion in the 7th century BC. Chr .; some chants by Alkaios , Anacreon and Sappho belong to this genre. Pindar later wrote choral scolias and expanded the genre. Pindar later created choral scolias as hymns of praise. The tradition of original Scolia, which in ancient times was collected in the manner of a Kommers book , contains only a few texts in the present, including the fragments of Timocreon with his polemics against Themistocles and the collection of the Attic Scolia , which Athenaios gave in the Deipnosophistai . It is controversial whether the text fragment on the Seikilos stele can be viewed as a Skolion.

The democratization of the Attic state by Kleisthenes of Athens in the 5th century BC BC put an end to the aristocratic custom of lecturing Scolia. The German-language poetry between the late Renaissance ( Georg Rodolf Weckherlin ) and the Baroque era ( Martin Opitz ) revived the Skolion from Anacreon's model and pseudo-anacreontic sources, from which the German anacreontic originated. It also forms a starting point for the French poésie fugitive . August Wilhelm Schlegel was the first to deal with the Skolion in literary history .


  1. ^ Klaus-Dieter Linsmeier: Dawn of Music . In: Adventure Archeology 3/2006, p. 28.
  2. The web link only reflects a research opinion that is not generally accepted.


  • Richard Reitzenstein : Epigram and Skolion. A contribution to the history of Alexandrian poetry . Giessen 1893 (Reprographic edition: Hildesheim 1970)
  • Bernhard Abraham van Groningen: Pindare au banquet. Les fragments des scolies édités avec un commentaire critique et explicatif . Leiden 1960
  • Klaus Fabian (Ed.): Oinēra teuchē. Studi triestini di poesia conviviale . Alessandria 1991 ISBN 88-7694-081-2