Hipponax (Ancient Greek: Ἱππῶναξ), of Ephesus and later Clazomenae, was an Ancient Greek poet who composed verses depicting the vulgar side of life in Ionian society in the sixth century BC. He was celebrated by ancient authors for his malicious wit, and ancient literary critics credited him with inventing literary parody and "lame" poetic meters suitable for expressing vigorous abuse. Little of his work survives despite its interest to Alexandrian scholars, who collected it in two or three books.
- τίς ὸμφαλητόμος σε τὸν διοπλῆγα
ἔψησε κἀπέλουσεν ἀσκαρίζοντα
- What navel-snipper [midwife] wiped and washed you as you squirmed about, you crack-brained creature?
- Attributed by Aelius Herodianus (fl. 2nd c. CE), 'On Inflections'; as cited by Douglas Gerber, Greek Iambic Poetry, Loeb Classical Library (1999), page 367
Quotes about Hipponax
- If you are a scoundrel, do not approach the tomb; but if you are honest and from worthy stock, sit down in confidence and, if you like, fall asleep.