Nine lyric poets
- Alcman (choral lyric, 7th cent. BC)
- Sappho (monodic lyric, c. 600 BC)
- Alcaeus (monodic lyric, c. 600 BC)
- Anacreon (monodic lyric, 6th cent. BC)
- Stesichorus (choral lyric, 6th cent. BC)
- Ibycus (choral lyric, 6th cent. BC)
- Simonides (choral lyric, 5th cent. BC)
- Pindar (choral lyric, 5th cent. BC)
- Bacchylides (choral lyric, 5th cent. BC)
In most Greek sources the word melikos is used (from melos "song"), but some authors have lyrikos, which eventually becomes the regular word in Latin (lyricus) and in the modern languages.
The ancient scholars defined the genre on the basis of the metrical form and not the content. Thus some types of poetry which would be included under the label "lyric" in modern literary criticism are nevertheless excluded, namely the elegy and the iambus.
The poetry of these poets are traditionally divided into choral lyric and monodic lyric. This division is, however, contested by some modern scholars.