Sotades (Σωτάδης, ) was a Greek language poet who flourished in the third century BC.

Sotades was born in Maronaea (Maroneia), either the one in Thrace, or in Crete. He was the chief representative of the writers of obscene satirical poems, called Kinaidoi, composed in the Ionic dialect and in a metre named after him "sotadic." He lived in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285 BC-247 BC). . He composed in Ionic dialect and in a peculiar metre named after him (Sotadeus or Sotadicus versus, Σωτάδεια ᾄσματα) poems called κίναιδοι or φλύακες, malicious satires partly on indelicate subjects, which were intended for recitation accompanied by a mimic dance, and also travesties of mythological subjects, such as the Iliad of Homer.

For a violent attack on the king, on the occasion of his marriage to his own sister Arsinoe, Sotades was imprisoned, but escaped to the island of Caunus, where he was afterwards captured by Patroclus, Ptolemy's admiral, shut up in a leaden chest, and thrown into the sea (Athenaeus xiv. p. 620; Plutarch, De educatione puerorum, 14).

Only a few genuine fragments of Sotades have been preserved; those in Stobaeus are generally considered spurious. Ennius translated some poems of this kind, included in his book of satires, under the name of Sola.

Sotades was also the author of some of the first recorded palindromes, and many credit him with the invention of that particular genre of composition.

Richard Francis Burton named the Sotadic zone, a supposed geographical belt where he hypothesized homosexuality was unusually prevalent, after Sotades.


Sotades (2) ( from Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1867)

Sotades (3) , Greek Vase Painter

Adapted from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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