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Special Note: Anacreon and Anacreontic Poetry  
   Anacreon at

Anacreon of Teos (c. 570 - 485 bce) was a Greek poet known in his day as the master of the wine poem (as well as poems about love, feasting, and roses).  The few fragments of his poetry that have survived come to us via other writers of antiquity who spoke of him and his poetry.  Over the centuries, however, his name has been attached to a volume of poetry that spans some 600 years, including works that modern linguistic detectives identify as other than Greek in origin.  This mass of poetry from the past, called the Anacreontea, cannot be accurately credited to the bard of Teos who died in 485 bce.  “Anacreon”, through either innocent error or marketing mischief (“Anacreon” had become a strong “brand name”), has become the pseudonym of these unidentifiable poets of antiquity.  The wine poems from this group speak in a common lyrical style of wine, revelry, and romance as one imagines them celebrated in ancient Greece and Rome.  These poems are author-indexed at  under the pseudonym “Anacreon”, with no parenthetical birth and death dates as with most other poets.  They form the archetype of what most folks envision when contemplating the concept “ancient wine poem”.

Over three centuries (17th through early 20th), these poems credited to Anacreon were so popular that many poets, in many languages, imitated his style and wit.  These poems form a body of imitative work known as Anacreontics, a phenomenon unparalleled in the history of poetry.  Poetical tributes to Anacreon also abound. You can find the path to all these Anacreon-related wine poems with the links in the side-bar areas that accompany the wine poems credited to Anacreon

As an interesting side note to this side note, Anacreon's influence can be heard at the opening of every major sporting event in the United States of America.  In 1814, Frances Scott Key wrote a poem as he watched a British frigate bombard Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812.  Star-Spangled Banner became the national anthem of the USA in 1931, sung to the tune of a drinking song by British composer John Stafford Smith. The name of the drinking song was To Anacreon in Heaven.  [YouTube: The Anacreon Song
S.H. Bass
The Rhyme Maker

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