The Margites, a comic mock-epic of Ancient Greece, is about an idiot named "Margites" (from ancient Greek μάργος margos, 'raving, mad; lustful') who was so dense he did not know which parent had given birth to him.[1] His name gave rise to the recherché adjective, margitomanes used by Philodemus.[2]

It was commonly attributed to Homer, as by Aristotle (Poetics 13.92): "His Margites indeed provides an analogy: as are the Iliad and Odyssey to our tragedies, so is the Margites to our comedies"; but the work, among a mixed genre of works loosely labelled "Homerica" in Antiquity, was more reasonably attributed to Pigres, a Greek poet of Halicarnassus, in the massive medieval Greek encyclopedia called Suda. It is written in mixed hexameter and iambic lines, an odd whim of Pigres, who also inserted a pentameter line after each hexameter of the Iliad as a curious literary game.[3]

Margites was famous in the ancient world but only these following lines passed from Medieval tradition:

Him, then, the Gods made neither a delver nor a ploughman,
Nor in any other way wise; he failed every art.
as quoted by Aristotle
He knew many things, but he knew them badly…
as quoted by Plato
There came to Colophon an old man and divine singer,
a servant of the Muses and of far-shooting Apollo.
In his dear hands he held a sweet-toned lyre…
as quoted by Atilius Fortunatianus
The fox knows many a wile;
but the hedgehog's one trick can beat them all.
as quoted by Zenobius (attributed simply to "Homer")

Fortunately, in Oxyrhynchus, a few papyrus fragments were found and published (P.Oxy 2309, 3693 and 3694). The collected fragments were included in volume II of Iambi et Elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati by M.L. West.


  1. ^ Stuart Kelly, The Book of Lost Books, New York: Random House, 2005.
  2. ^ Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon revised edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940.
  3. ^ Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquity, New York, 1898.


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  • Margites — (Μαργίτης) fue el héroe de un poema cómico épico que se atribuía en la antigüedad a Homero, y así lo consideraban Platón y Aristóteles. Margites era de Colofón, ciudad donde se creía que había nacido Homero. La Suda, en cambio, se lo atribuye a… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Margites — Margites,   fragmentarisch erhaltene Parodie auf die Odyssee, bis ins 3. Jahrhundert v. Chr. Homer, später Pigres von Halikarnassos (1. Hälfte des 5. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.) zugeschrieben; die Tölpelgeschichte entstand wohl im 6. Jahrhundert v. Chr …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Margītes — Margītes, in der griechischen Volkssage eine komische. Person, welche bei natürlicher Bornirtheit u. Einfalt sich für klug hält. Er war der Held eines komischen Gedichtes, welches man dem Homer zuschrieb u. als Anfang der Attischen Komödie ansah; …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Margītes — Margītes, ein dummer Mensch, der vieles, aber nichts ordentlich wußte, Held eines von den Alten bewunderten, dem Homer zugeschriebenen komischen Epos; Pigres, Bruder der Königin Artemisia, erweiterte es durch Einschiebung von iambischen Versen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Margites — Margītes, komische Figur der griech. Volkssage, tölpelhafter Mensch, der sich selbst für klug hält, der Held eines dem Homer zugeschriebenen komischen Gedichts …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Margitès — Le Margitès (du grec ancien μάργος, « fou ») est un poème comique en grec ancien qui a longtemps été attribué à Homère[1] mais dont l auteur réel est inconnu[2]. Composé en hexamètres entrecoupés de trimètres iambiques[2], il développe… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Margites fulvidus — Научная классификация промежуточные ранги Домен:  …   Википедия

  • МАРГИТ —    • Margītes,          Μαγείτης, Μαργίτης, личность в греческих народных сказаниях, представлявшая из себя олицетворенную глупость, но в то же время считавшая себя умной. М. составляет, таким образом, противоположность с нашим Иванушкой дурачком …   Реальный словарь классических древностей

  • Homère — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Homère (homonymie). Homère …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pigres of Halicarnassus — Pigres, a native of Halicarnassus, either the brother or the son of the celebrated Artemisia, satrap of Caria. He is spoken of by the Suda (s.v. where, however, he makes the mistake of conflating Artemisia the wife of Mausolus with Artemisia the… …   Wikipedia

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