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132
Simonides of Amorgos—Simon's town

who implied that the pope was superior even to the Great Khan, and offered no presents, refused the customary reverences before Baiju, declined to go on to the imperial court, and made unseasonable attempts to convert their hosts. The Frankish visitors were accordingly lodged and treated with contempt: for nine weeks (June and July 1247) all answer to their letters was refused. Thrice Baiju even ordered their death. At last, on the 25th of July 1247, they were dismissed with the Noyan’s reply, dated the 20th of July. This reply complained of the high words of the Latin envoys, and commanded the pope to come in person and submit to the Master of all the Earth (the Mongol emperor). The mission thus ended in complete failure; but, except for Carpini’s (q.v.), it was the earliest Catholic embassy which reached any Mongol court, and its information must have been valuable. It performed something at least of what should have been (but apparently was not) done by Lawrence (Lourenco) of Portugal, who was commissioned as papal envoy to the Mongols of the south-west at the same time that Carpini was accredited to those of the north (1245).

See Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum historiale, book xxxii. (sometimes quoted as xxxi.), chaps. 26–29, 32, 34, 40–52, (cf. pp. 453 A–454 B in the Venice edition of 1591); besides these, several other chapters of the Spec. hist. probably contain material derived from Simon, e.g. bk. xxxi. (otherwise xxx.), chaps. 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, 32; and bk. xxx. (otherwise xxix.), chaps. 69, 71, 74–75, 78, 80. See also d'Ohsson, Histoire des Mongols, ii. 200–201, 221–233; iii. 79 (edition of 1852); Fontana, Monumenta Dominicana, p. 52 (Rome, 1675); Luke Wadding, Annales Minorum, iii. 116–118; E. Bretschneider, Mediaeval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources, vol. i., notes 455, 494 (London, 1888); M. A. P. d'Avezac’s Introduction to Carpini, pp. 404–405, 433–434, 464–465, of vol. iv. of the Paris Geog. Soc.’s Recueil de Voyages, &c. (Paris, 1839); W. W. Rockhill, Rubruck, p. xxiv–xxv (London, Hakluyt Soc., 1900); C. R. Beazley, Dawn of Modern Geography, ii. 277, and Carpini and Rubruquis.

 (C. R. B.) 


Simonides (or Semonides) of Amorgos, Greek iambic poet, flourished in the middle of the 7th century B.C. He was a native of Samos, and derived his surname from having founded a colony in the neighbouring island of Amorgos. According to Suidas, besides two books of iambics, he wrote elegies, one of them a poem on the early history of the Samians. The elegy included in the fragments (85) of Simonides of Ceos is more probably by Simonides of Amorgos. We possess about thirty fragments of his iambic poems, written in clear and vigorous Ionic, with much force and no little harmony of versification. With Simonides, as with Archilochus, the iambic is still the vehicle of bitter satire, interchanging with melancholy, but in Simonides the satire is rather general than individual. His “Pedigree of Women” may have been suggested by the beast fable, as we find it in Hesiod and Archilochus, and as it recurs a century later in Phocylides; it is clear at least that Simonides knew the works of the former. Simonides derives the dirty woman from a hog, the cunning from a fox, the fussy from a dog, the apathetic from earth, the capricious from sea-water, the stubborn from an ass, the incontinent from a weasel, the proud from a high-bred mare, the worst and ugliest from an ape, and the good woman from a bee. The remainder of the poem (96–118) is undoubtedly spurious. There is much beauty and feeling in Simonides’s description of the good woman.

See Fragments in T. Bergk, Poëtae lyrici Graeci; separate editions by F. T. Welcker (1835), and especially by P. Malusa. (1900), with exhaustive introduction, bibliography and commentary.

Simonides of Ceos (c. 556–460 B.C.), Greek lyric poet, was born at Iulis in the island of Ceos. During his youth he taught poetry and music in his native island, and composed paeans for the festivals of Apollo. Finding little scope for his abilities at home, he went to live at Athens, at the court of Hipparchus, the patron of literature. After the murder of Hipparchus (514), Simonides withdrew to Thessaly, where he enjoyed the protection and patronage of the Scopadae and Aleuadae (two celebrated Thessalian families). An interesting story is told of the termination of his relations with the Scopadae. On a certain occasion he was reproached by Scopas for having allotted too much space to the Dioscuri in an ode celebrating the victory of his patron in a chariot-race. Scopas refused to pay all the fee and told Simonides to apply to the Dioscuri for the remainder. The incident took place at a banquet. Shortly afterwards, Simonides was told that two young men wished to speak to him; after he had left the banqueting room, the roof fell in and crushed Scopas and his guests (Cicero, De oratore, ii. 86). There seems no doubt that some disaster overtook the Scopadae, which resulted in the extinction of the family. After the battle of Marathon Simonides returned to Athens, but soon left for Sicily at the invitation of Hiero, at whose court he spent the rest of his life.

His reputation as a man of learning is shown by the tradition that he introduced the distinction between the long and short vowels (ϵ, η, ο, ω), afterwards adopted in the Ionic alphabet which came into general use during the archonship of Eucleides (403). He was also the inventor of a system of mnemonics (Quintilian xi. 2, 11). So unbounded was his popularity that he was a power even in the political world; we are told that he reconciled Thero and Hiero on the eve of a battle between their opposing armies. He was the intimate friend of Themistocles and Pausanias the Spartan, and his poems on the war of liberation against Persia no doubt gave a powerful impulse to the national patriotism. For his poems he could command almost any price: later writers, from Aristophanes onwards, accuse him of avarice, probably not without some reason. To Hiero’s queen, who asked him whether it was better to be born rich or a genius, he replied “Rich, for genius is ever found at the gates of the rich.” Again, when someone asked him to write a laudatory poem for which he offered profuse thanks, but no money, Simonides replied that he kept two coffers, one for thanks, the other for money; that, when he opened them, he found the former empty and useless, and the latter full.

Of his poetry we possess two or three short elegies (Fr. 85 seems from its style and versification to belong to Simonides of Amorgos, or at least not to be the work of our poet), several epigrams and about ninety fragments of lyric poetry. The epigrams written in the usual dialect of elegy, Ionic with an epic colouring, were intended partly for public and partly for private monuments. There is strength and sublimity in the former, with a simplicity that is almost statuesque, and a complete mastery over the rhythm and forms of elegiac expression. Those on the heroes of Marathon and Thermopylae are the most celebrated. In the private epigrams there is more warmth of colour and feeling, but few of them rest on any better authority than that of the Palatine anthology. One interesting and undoubtedly genuine epigram of this class is upon Archedice, the daughter of Hippias the Peisistratid, who, “albeit her father and husband and brother and children were all princes, was not lifted up in soul to pride.” The lyric fragments vary much in character and length: one is from a poem on Artemisium, celebrating those who fell at Thermopylae, with which he gained the victory over Aeschylus; another is an ode in honour of Scopas (commented on in Plato, Protagoras, 339 b); the rest are from odes on victors in the games, hyporchemes, dirges, hymns to the gods and other varieties. The poem on Thermopylae is reverent and sublime, breathing an exalted patriotism and a lofty national pride; the others are full of tender pathos and deep feeling, combined with a genial worldliness. For Simonides requires no standard of lofty unswerving rectitude. “It is hard,” he says (Fr. 5), “to become a truly good man, perfect as a square in hands and feet and mind, fashioned without blame. Whosoever is bad, and not too wicked, knowing justice, the benefactor of cities, is a sound man. I for one will find no fault with him, for the race of fools is infinite. … I praise and love all men who do no sin willingly; but with necessity even the gods do not contend.” Virtue, he tells us elsewhere in language that recalls Hesiod, is set on a high and difficult hill (Fr. 58); let us seek after pleasure, for “all things come to one dread Charybdis, both great virtues and wealth” (Fr. 38). Yet Simonides is far from being a hedonist; his morality, no less than his art, is pervaded by that virtue for which Ceos was renowned—σωΦροσύνη or self-restraint. His most celebrated fragment is a dirge, in which Danaë, adrift with the infant Perseus on the sea in a dark and stormy night, takes comfort from the peaceful slumber of her babe. Simonides here illustrates his own saying that “poetry is vocal painting, as painting is silent poetry.” Of the many English translations of this poem, one of the best is that by J. A. Symonds in Studies on the Greek Poets. Fragments in T. Bergk, Potëae lyrici Graeci; standard edition by F. G. Schneidewin (1835) and of the Danaë alone by H. L. Ahrens (1853). Other authorities are given in the exhaustive treatise of E. Cesati, Simonide di Ceo (1882); see also W. Schröter, De Simonidis Cei melici sermone (1906).

Simon’s Town, a town and station of the British navy in the Cape province, South Africa, in 34° 15′ S., 18° 30’ E., on the