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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Epode \Ep"ode\, n. [L. epodos, Gr. ?, fr. ?, adj., singing to, sung or said after, fr. ? to sing to; 'epi` upon, to + ? to sing: cf. F. ['e]pode. See Ode.] (Poet.)

  1. The after song; the part of a lyric ode which follows the strophe and antistrophe, -- the ancient ode being divided into strophe, antistrophe, and epode.

  2. A species of lyric poem, invented by Archilochus, in which a longer verse is followed by a shorter one; as, the Epodes of Horace. It does not include the elegiac distich.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1590s, a kind of lyric poem in which a short line follows a longer one (invented by Archilochus, also used by Horace), from Latin epodos, from Greek epodus "after-song, incantation," from epi "after" (see epi-) + odein "to sing" (see ode). Related: Epodic.


n. 1 (context poetry English) The after song; the part of a lyric ode which follows the strophe and antistrophe. 2 (context poetry English) A kind of lyric poem, invented by (w: Archilochus), in which a longer verse is followed by a shorter one.


Epode, in verse, is the third part of an ode, which followed the strophe and the antistrophe, and completed the movement.

At a certain point in time the choirs, which had previously chanted to right of the altar or stage, and then to left of it, combined and sang in unison, or permitted the coryphaeus to sing for them all, while standing in the centre. With the appearance of Stesichorus and the evolution of choral lyric, a learned and artificial kind of poetry began to be cultivated in Greece, and a new form, the epode-song, came into existence. It consisted of a verse of iambic trimeter, followed by a verse of iambic dimeter, and it is reported that, although the epode was carried to its highest perfection by Stesichorus, an earlier poet, Archilochus, was really the inventor of this form.

The epode soon took a firm place in choral poetry, which it lost when that branch of literature declined. But it extended beyond the ode, and in the early dramatists we find numerous examples of monologues and dialogues framed on the epodical system. In Latin poetry the epode was cultivated, in conscious archaism, both as a part of the ode and as an independent branch of poetry. Of the former class, the epithalamia of Catullus, founded on an imitation of Pindar, present us with examples of strophe, antistrophe and epode; and it has been observed that the celebrated ode of Horace, beginning Quem virum aut heroa lyra vel acri, possesses this triple character.

Usage examples of "epode".

Epode 2 alpha, Strophe alpha 1, Strophe beta 2, Antistrophe alpha gamma, Antistrophe beta gamma, Antistrophe beta gamma, Antistrophe alpha gamma, Epode 1 gamma, Epode 2 gamma.

The Poet seems, in the first Ode particularly, to design the Epode as a complete air to the Strophe and Antistrophe, which have more the appearance of Recitative.

This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.