Rhapsodes (literally "singer of stitched verse") were performers of epic poetry in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. They were well known for melodically performing the works of Hesiod and Homer and having an excellent memory, with some being able to recite the entirety of works such as the Iliad from memory. Often, rhapsodes are depicted in Greek art, wearing their signature cloak and carrying a staff, implying that rhapsodes were travelling performers, moving from town to town. However, rhapsodes were also known to be competitive, journeying from all around to attend poetic competitions in Athens, Sicyon, and many other cities.
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