Mesomedes of Crete (
Ancient Greek: Μεσομήδης ὁ Κρής) was a
Greek lyric poet and composer of the early 2nd century AD.
He was a
freedman of the Emperor
Hadrian, on whose favorite
Antinous he is said to have written a
panegyric, specifically called a Citharoedic Hymn (
epigrams by him in the
Greek Anthology (Anthol. pal. xiv. 63, xvi. 323) are extant, and a hymn to
Nemesis. The hymn is one of four which preserve the ancient musical notation written over the text. Two other hymns, one to the muse
Calliope and one entitled Hymn to the Sun, formerly assigned to
Dionysius of Alexandria, have also been attributed to Mesomedes. In an article
 published in 2003,
Annie Bélis proves that the Berlin musical papyrus (inv. 6870) contains a
Paean to Apollo written by Mesomedes. A total of 15 poems by Mesomedes are known.
Mesomedes continued in the
Alexandria even after Hadrian's death (138); there the
Historia Augusta reports that during
Antoninus Pius' reign, 138-161 his state salary was reduced. The emperor
Caracalla 212-217 honored Mesomedes with a
cenotaph approximately a 50–60 years after his death.
Prior to the discovery of the
Seikilos epitaph in the late 19th century, the hymns of Mesomedes were the only surviving written music from the ancient world.
 Three were published by
Vincenzo Galilei in his Dialogo della musica antica e della moderna (
Florence, 1581), during a period of intense investigation into music of the ancient Greeks. These hymns had been preserved through the Byzantine tradition, and were presented to Vincenzo by
See J. F. Bellermann, Die Hymnen des Dionysius und Mesomedes (1840); C. de Jan, Musici scriptores graeci (1899); S. Reinach in Revue des études grecques, ix (1896);