Cradias nomos

Both existing testimonies regarding the Fig nome (Ps.-Plut. De mus. 1133F and Hesych. κ 3918) probably originate in the same passage of Hipponax. It recorded that Mimnermus played this nome on the aulos during the rite of expelling a “scapegoat”, who was beaten with fig branches whilst driven out of the polis. Such detail could only have been known to Hipponax, who lived a century later, if Mimnermus had been not only the performer but also the composer of the Fig nome, which from then on was traditionally played at this ceremony. The hypothesis that Hipponax’ words had a metaphorical meaning — that is, mocking Mimnermus, whose mourning elegies he believed to be only worth performing to scapegoats, — is unacceptable. An unexpected reference to elegies set to the music in the text of Pseudo-Plutarch is a result of unskillful excerpting, and does not prove that the Fig nome had anything in common with elegies.

Almazova N.A. Cradias nomos