One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The second section of an ancient Greek choral ode or of one division of it.
- ‘The dance consisted of three sections: strophe, antistrophe and epode.’
- ‘This was a ‘regular ode’ in that it closely followed Pindar's scheme of all strophes and antistrophes conforming to one stanzaic pattern, and all epodes following another.’
- ‘The strophe and the antistrophe had the same number of lines, and the meter was also the same; the epode had a different number of lines and a different meter.’
- ‘The antistrophe, which contains the words of Agamemnon, is spoken (more than recited) by a single male voice.’
- ‘They are ritual phrases which the listener soon learns to anticipate until, eventually, the child and the teller are enacting a dialogue, strophe and antistrophe, in which understanding what the sentence means has little place.’
Mid 16th century (as a term in rhetoric denoting the repetition of words in reverse order): via late Latin from Greek antistrophē, from antistrephein ‘turn against’, from anti ‘against’ + strephein ‘to turn’.
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