The Lycambids were a family believed to have personally known the archaic poet Archilochos of Paros. Tradition tells of their collected suicide being motivated by criticisms launched at them in his Iambic verse, and this is sometimes mistaken for historical fact. However, analysis of the conventions of the Iambic genre reveals that it is not sincere invective that Iambus is composed but rather humorous mockery. Inconsistencies in the characterization of the Lycambids in these verses, and the aptitude of those verses for sympotic ritual, are considered in light of this understanding to demonstrate that this tragic family is most likely a figment of Archilochos’s verse designed to increase the breadth of his art.
Bruckel, William FCRH '11
"Fabrication and Execution: The Lycambids and their Iambic Aptitude,"
Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://fordham.bepress.com/furj/vol2/iss1/3