A poet, born in Maronea, who lived in Ptolemaic Egypt in the 3rd century BC (the date 275 is kicked around, but we don't know if that marks birth or death.)

What is noteworthy about Sotades, aside from his obscenity (which we will be getting to in a bit) is that he's on the record as having invented the quasi-literary form of the palindrome, for which he has been both praised and damned by poets and critics from Antiquity to the present. Apparently to demonstrate the rigourousness of this form it is rumoured that he rewrote the Illiad in the form of a palindrome, but if that was in fact the case the adaptation has been lost to the scourges of time.

As well as being formally playful, it seems that the content of his poems was at times more than a little... racy. (Some have gone so far as to label them lascivious!) This is where the obscenity came in - rather than being on the erotic side of racy, his verses leaned rather more towards the "telling naughty rumours about what kind of unclean and immoral things the King's wife gets up to in the bedroom with entities other than the King" school, which though a long-established literary form of its own, has traditionally been frowned upon by authority figures.

This was to be no exception. In a PR coup, King Ptolemy II had Sotades wrapped in lead and thrown into the sea.

As his legacy the adjective "sotadic" was long applied to verses both of a palindromic and of a "scurrilous" nature.