Onomacritos or Onomakritos was an Athenian poet who lived at the court of Pisistratus, about 520 BC - 485 BC. He is said to have prepared an edition of the Homeric poems, and was an industrious collector, as well as a forger of old oracles and poems. He was detected forging an oracle of Musaeus and was banished from Athens by the son of Pisistratus because of it; but he later reconciled with them. Those poems attributed to the name of Orpheus are regarded as having been composed, for the most part, by Onomacritus; but it should be noted that the line in those days between writing poems of your own and editing those of others was less sharply drawn than it is today.

According to Herodotus, Onomacritos induced Xerxes I, the King of Persia, by his alleged oracular responses, to decide upon his war with Greece.

And Pausanias, in explaining the presence of the Titan Anytos at Lycosura, said that "Onomacritos took the name of the Titans from Homer and composed orgies for Dionysus and made the Titans the actual agents in the sufferings of Dionysos." Therefore, Onomacritos is responsible for inventing an important aspect of the mythology concerning the Titans.


  • Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, by Harry Thurston Peck. New York. Harper and Brothers, 1898.
  • Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, by Jane Ellen Harrison, Cambridge, 1903.
  • Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomacritos"

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