The nine lyric poets (nine melic poets) were a canon of archaic Greek composers esteemed by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria as worthy of critical study.
In most Greek sources the word melikos is used (from melos "song"), but some authors have lyrikos, which eventually becomes the regular word in Latin (lyricus) and in the modern languages.
The ancient scholars defined the genre on the basis of the metrical form and not the content. Thus some types of poetry which would be included under the label "lyric" in modern literary criticism are nevertheless excluded, namely the elegy and the iambus.
The poetry of these poets are traditionally divided into choral lyric and monodic lyric. This division is, however, contested by some modern scholars.
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