The title of an indecently posthumous and bloated collection of 'previously unheard' recordings by the Beatles, released a quarter of a century after the demise of same. Spread over 3 double CD packages, far too many of the tracks are alternative versions of familiar Beatles songs created by mixing together different discarded takes from the original studio masters. Although there are some original and largely unfuckedaboutwith gems (an alternate version of 'I'm Looking Through You', a first take of 'Strawberry Fields', some nice solo recordings by George Harrison of his later Beatles songs), these albums are strictly for Beatles obsessives, historians and musicologists. When they were released, they were heavily advertised and promoted as items that the general public might be interested in, but that is very far from the truth, and the Beatles' outtake legacy would have been much better served by, say, a 4 disc boxed set, such as the one compiled for the Byrds.

The first anthology was compiled by Meleager of Gadara (in Syria, where the swine came from) in the early first century BCE from the works of forty-six Greek poets. It consisted of epigrams, short poems on various subjects in a variety of styles. It is so called because in an introductory poem Meleager compared each poet's work to a different flower in the garland he was making: such as honeysuckle for Anacreon, the lily for Anyte, the golden bough of Plato, "few, but roses" from Sappho, and ivy clusters from Leonidas.

This doesn't survive to this day, but it was the basis of later anthologies: by Philippus, Strato, Diogenianus under the Romans; by Agathias in the 500s under Byzantium; and the greatest compilation was that by Constantinus Cephalas around 900. It was ousted by a poorer reworking of his by Maximus Planudes around 1300, which was printed in the West in 1494 by a refugee from the fall of Constantinople.

The anthologies of Cephalas and Planudes hold some 3700 works between them, of variable quality, but preserving many of the best short Greek poetry.

The full edition of Cephalas, the famous Palatine Anthology, was not printed until 1776.

An*thol"o*gy (#), n. [Gr. , fr. flower gathering; flower + to gather.]

1.

A discourses on flowers.

[R.]

2.

A collection of flowers; a garland.

[R.]

3.

A collection of flowers of literature, that is, beautiful passages from authors; a collection of poems or epigrams; -- particularly applied to a collection of ancient Greek epigrams.

4. Gr. Ch.

A service book containing a selection of pieces for the festival services.

 

© Webster 1913.

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