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pg 693Frags. 208, 209

The speaker of 209 (which comes from an unnamed play) imagines the horrors of a wedding-party where there are present many relations of the bride; a wedding-party, since this is an occasion when men and women drink together. Wilamowitz plausibly connected this with frag. 208, from Θυρωρόϲ‎, where the speaker congratulates himself (or another) on getting a bride who has no relations (SB Berlin 1907, 10).

2: The form ἑώρακα‎ for ἑόρακα‎ (due to analogy with ἑώρων‎) occurs in papyri and inscriptions from the third century b.c. There is no other place in comedy where it is required by the metre, but there is no easy way of avoiding it here. 'Has not even heard of an uncle': for this construction of ἀκούω‎ with acc. of person perhaps cf. Ar. Thesm. 164, καὶ Φρυνίχοϲ· τοῦτον γὰρ οὖν ἀκήκοαϲ‎. K–G i. 360, Schwyzer, ii. 107, understand it this way. But others suppose 'you have heard Phrynichos' to mean 'you have heard Phrynichos' songs'.

3: The reading of Photios, ὀλιγοϲτούϲ‎, is dubious in sense; 'low in the range of ordinal numbers' is not the equivalent of 'few'. The singular ὀλιγοϲτόϲ‎ may mean 'one of a few', but that is not to the point. Since ὀλιγοϲτούϲ‎ would also be metrically exceptional in Menander, as violating the rule of median diaeresis in the trochaic tetrameter, everywhere observed except at Sam. 484, it is better emended.

4 τρίκλινον‎: Neut. noun, properly 'dining-room', hence 'dinner-party', as in Anaxandrides frag. 70 K, τρίκλινον δʼ εὐθέωϲ ϲυνήγετο‎.

ϲυγγενείαϲ‎: 'Kinsfolk', LSJ s.v. II.

6: The right reading is hard to find. The MSS. of Athenaios give παραίνεϲιϲ πέπαικεν‎. Schweighauser proposed παραινέϲειϲ πέπαικεν‎ (is that Greek?). With πέπαιχε‎, the perfect of παίζω‎, the phrase would mean 'he has played the game of "Advice" '. No such game is known; could the speaker imagine one? A further difficulty is that πέπαιχα‎ is, not surprisingly, very rare. The perfect indicates the present result of a past action, and so Plutarch can write, Demosthenes 9, Ἀντιφάνηϲ τουτὶ πέπαιχεν‎, 'there is this jest by Antiphanes'. If πέπαιχεν‎ is right here, it may indicate that the father remains conscious of the game he has played. πέπαικα‎ is the perfect of παίω‎, and not known in classical Greek except in the compound ὑπερπέπαικα‎. If it were combined with Meineke's suggestion παραινέϲαϲ‎, possibly the meaning might be 'having given his advice, he has thumped me on the back'. But again the perfect is odd, and it may be doubted whether the mother would also treat the guest so roughly. Meineke wrote πέπωκεν‎, but that word connotes the effects of drinking, which should not be apparent so early in the proceedings. An alteration perhaps no less likely than any pg 694of these would be παραινέϲει πέπαιχεν‎, 'has used the giving of advice to make jokes'.

7 τήθη‎: 'Grandmother'. Meineke was perhaps right in changing to τηθίϲ‎, 'aunt', in view of the next line. But 'some grandmother' is intelligible as expressing impatience, and the MS. impossible.

παραλαλεῖ‎: 'Breaks in with some chatter': the word recurs in Dio Cassius lxix. 4, εἶπε τῷ Ἁδριανῷ παραλαλήϲαντί τι ὅτι "ἄπελθε καὶ τὰϲ κολοκύνθαϲ γράφε"‎. Meineke's παρακαλεῖ‎, 'exhorts', brings no improvement.

8 γραῦϲ καλοῦϲα φίλτατον‎: 'An old woman who calls you "darling" '. Since no relationship is stated it may be suspected that this is an old slave-woman, perhaps the bride's former nurse.

9 ὁ δέ‎: Apparently the father nods his approval. But there is another possibility, i.e. that 4–8 are part of a reported speech, and that ὁ δέ‎ refers to the man to whom it was originally delivered.

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