The discovery of the Mnesiepes inscription on Paros revealed the third century B.C. belief that the young Archilochos was transformed into a poet by an encounter with the Muses. It also revealed that the poet had become the object of a cult by his fellow islanders as he was transformed in death to a local hero. This is the first attempt to trace the history of this cult from the late sixth century B.C. to the third century A.D.. The author also integrates the iconography of the poet into the history of this cult, and addresses for the first time the larger phenomenon of the cult of poets in the Greek states. This study provides appendices giving sources of information for these cults, including the text of the Mnesiepes inscription. It is illustrated by in-text figures and plates.
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