"Banter." A Thracian woman, daughter of Pan and Echo, and a slave of Metanira, the wife of Hippothoon. Others call her a slave of Celeus. The extravagant hilarity displayed at the festivals of Demeter in Attica was traced to her; for it is said that, when Demeter, in her wanderings in search of her daughter, arrived in Attica, Iambe cheered the mournful goddess by her jokes

She was believed to have given the name to Iambic poetry; for some said that she hanged herself in consequence of the cutting speeches in which she had indulged, and others that she had cheered Demeter by a dance in the Iambic meter.1



  1. Eustathius on Homer, p. 1684.


  • Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library v, 4.
  • Homeric Hymns. Hymn to Demeter, 202.
  • Photius. Bibliotheca, Cod. 239, p. 319 (ed. Bekker).
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 5.1.
  • Scholiast on Nicander's Alexipharmaca, 134.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.