Corinna

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Corinna (or Korinna) was an Ancient Greek poet, probably of the 6th century BC. She came from Tanagra in Boeotia, and according to later legend was the teacher of the much better-known Theban poet Pindar. Most of her work survives only in fragments, but two poems survive in epitome.

Corinna's birthdate is unknown, but if Pindar was indeed her pupil, it may be assumed that she was born some years earlier than his birthdate of 522 BC. Some writers, however, place her in the 5th or 4th century BC. Pausanias says she won a poetry competition against Pindar in honour of which she had a monument erected to her. He says that her success was chiefly due to her beauty and her use of the local Boeotian dialect. Aelian says said she defeated Pindar five times, and in response to these defeats, Pindar called her a sow. Antipater of Thessaloniki lists her in his catalogue of nine mortal muses.

Corinna wrote choral poetry for celebrations in the Boeotian dialect of Greek. It is said that she criticised Pindar for introducing Atticisms into his poems. Unlike Pindar, she focused on local myths, and drew parallels between the world of mythology and ordinary human behaviour. The outlines of two of her poems survive. Minouaie (The Daughters of Minyas), tells of the three adult daughters of King Minyas of Orchomenos: Leukippe, Arsippe, and Alkathoe. Koronaie (The Shuttle Maidens), tells of Orion's two daughters Menippe and Metioche, who cut their throats with their shuttle, "accepting death for their neighbours' sake".

A fragment of Corinna:

Terpsichore [told] me
lovely old tales to sing
to the white-robed women of Tanagra
and the city delighted greatly
in my voice, clear as the swallow's.

de:Korinna fi:Korinna

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