Telling of stories was a recognized form of entertainment at all feasts and gatherings, and it was the necessity of the reciter which gradually worked them into a regular form, by which the memory was relieved and the artistic features of the story allowed to be more carefully elaborated.
It was not until two centuries later that the historikos, the reciter of stories, superseded the historeon (to-Top&w), the seeker after knowledge.
Herodotus himself was as much a scientific explorer as a reciter of narrative, and his life-long investigation was historie in his Ionian speech.
Of these the first is etymologically correct (except that it should rather be " stitcher of verse "); the second was suggested by the fact, for which there is early evidence, that the reciter was accustomed to hold a wand in his hand - perhaps, like the sceptre in the Homeric assembly, as a symbol of the right to a hearing.3 The first notice of rhapsody meets us at Sicyon, in the reign of Cleisthenes (600-560 B.C.), who " put down the rhapsodists on account of the poems of Homer, because they are all about Argos and the Argives " (Hdt.
We can only suppose that the lyre in the hands of the epic poet or reciter was in reality a piece of convention, a " survival " from the stage in which narrative poetry had a lyrical character.