S. Douglas Olson (ed.), Broken Laughter: Select Fragments of Greek Comedy

Find Location in text

Main Text


B1–B20. Cratinus' The Wineflask (frr. 193–217) and Dionysalexandros (frr. 39–51) are important exceptions to the rule that little can be said about the plots of individual fragmentary fifth-century comedies. Much remains obscure about both plays. But the fragments (only the most interesting of which are printed here) offer a sense of what an 'Old Comedy' by someone other than Aristophanes looked like, and preserve traces of many of the genre's standard structural elements (further discussed in B21–B46).

Other late fifth-century comedies whose plots can be at least partially reconstructed include Aristophanes' Babylonians (frr. 67–100; first place at the City Dionysia in 426; see Olson, Acharnians, pp. xxviii–xxix) and Eupolis' Demes (frr. 99–146; mid- to late 410s; see E10 introductory n.), Marikas (frr. 192–217; see B42 introductory n.), and Taxiarchs (frr. 268–85; undated; see Storey 246–60).

B1–B12. At the Lenaia in 425, Aristophanes (who had been victorious for the first time at the City Dionysia the previous year) and Cratinus (who won the first of his nine victories probably in the mid-450s, at the City Dionysia) both staged comedies, and Aristophanes took the prize with a play that included several nasty personal attacks on his older rival (Ach. 848–53, 1173). Cratinus took second, with The Storm-Tossed. At the same festival the next year, Aristophanes made a pretence of praising Cratinus as a great figure in the history of Attic comedy, while simultaneously characterizing him as a drunk who ought to be encouraged to retire rather than embarrass himself with his increasingly feeble dramatic efforts (Eq. 526–36; cf. Eq. 400). Aristophanes again took the prize, while Cratinus was again second, with Satyrs. According to Σ‎veΓ‎3Θ‎m Ar. Eq. 400 (= The Wineflask test. ii), at the City Dionysia in 423 Cratinus responded to the attacks in Knights with a comedy entitled Πυτίνη‎ (The Wineflask), which he wrote 'about himself and his drunkenness, making use of a plot of the following sort. He represented Comedy as his wife, who wanted to give up living with him and had got the right to bring a suit against him for abuse. But Cratinus' friends, when they encountered her, asked her not to do anything rash and enquired about the cause of her hostility; she complained that he was no longer writing comedies but spending his time getting drunk' (or perhaps 'spending his time with Drunkenness', who would then be the 'other woman'); the scholium then quotes B1. Hellenistic scholars regularly mined literary texts for biographical information about the author, and we cannot be sure that the poet who appeared on stage in The Wineflask was actually called 'Cratinus'; and even if he was, the character cannot simply pg 81be identified with the historical author of the play. But Cratinus' fondness for wine is treated as notorious not just in Knights (534–5) but at Ar. Pax 700–3, and it is difficult to escape the impression that The Wineflask offered what was intended to be understood as fictionalized autobiography answering Aristophanes' remarks at the Lenaia the previous year; cf. B1. 4 n.; B6. 1 n.; B9 introductory n.; B11 introductory n.; B12 introductory n. Presumably the action ended with the poet's reconciliation with Comedy and his return to writing plays (cf. B6–B7; B12); that he made her realize that his love of wine and extramarital adventures (cf. B3) were of no significance for his relationship with her seems more likely than that she convinced him to moderate his drinking. The Wineflask also included attacks on Aristophanes (fr. 213; see B42 introductory n.), Socrates' associate Chairephon (fr. 215; cf. F1–F5 n.), and a number of contemporary democratic politicians (B6–B7; frr. 212; 214), and the parabasis took up political matters and probably the Peloponnesian War (esp. B9; cf. B13–B20 n.). The play (test. i) took first place, defeating Amipsias' Connus (see F4 with introductory n.), the original version of Aristophanes' Clouds, and two unidentified plays; for Aristophanes' disgusted comments on the outcome, see Nu. 520–5; V. 1043–50. B41 is perhaps from The Wineflask as well. For further discussion, see Taplin 43–4 with plate 8 (a possible illustration of the play on a mid-fourth-century Apulian vase); Rosen, in Rivals, 23–39; Ruffell, CQ ns 52 (2002), 138–63, esp. 155–62; Biles, AJP 123 (2002), 169–204, esp. 180–8.

B1–B3. From the prologue. For other fragments of 'Old Comic' prologues, see B21–B24 with nn.

B1. The text is seriously corrupt and is printed here with a number of minor improvements not adopted by Kassel–Austin. But there can be no doubt that Comedy is complaining about 'Cratinus', who used to pursue other women occasionally (2–3) but whose behaviour has deteriorated even further now that he is old (4; and see B3 introductory n.). The complaint (to which B2–B3 most likely belong as well) is addressed to 'Cratinus'' friends (see B1–B12 n.), who were probably represented by other actors as well as by the chorus, like the female conspirators in Ar. Ec. (cf. B4 introductory n.).

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Eq. 400, at the end of the note that summarizes the plot of The Wineflask (B1–B12 n.).

Iambic trimeter.

1. τὸν λόγον‎: 'the story' (cf. B39. 1; D6. 2; Ar. V. 54), i.e. the plot of the play, the speaker having gone off momentarily on a tangent, perhaps as part of the process of warming up the audience at the very beginning of the action (cf. B24 introductory n.).

pg 82

2. πρότερον‎ is adverbial, 'before this, in the past', as also in B2.

ἐκεῖνος‎: i.e. 'Cratinus', who must have been referred to earlier, before Comedy took up the secondary issue that requires her to return to her main subject in 1.

2–3. πρὸς ἑτέραν γυναῖκ‎(α‎) ἔχων‎ | τὸν νοῦν‎: 'when he was paying attention to another woman'. For the idiom, see H13. 2 n.

4. ἅμα μὲν τὸ γῆρας‎: cf. Ar. Eq. 533 (of Cratinus) γέρων ὤν‎.

B2. Another fragment of Comedy's complaint (see B1 introductory n.). Her point is not that the marriage is legally over, but that it might as well be: 'Cratinus' no longer takes any interest in her.

Preserved by Porphyry, Homeric Enquiries, p. 83. 20 Schr. (on H. Il. 5. 533 and Od. 8. 186), as evidence for the Attic first-person singular form ἦ‎ < εἰμί‎.

Iambic trimeter.

πρότερον‎: see B1. 2 n.

B3. Probably another fragment of Comedy's complaint about 'Cratinus'. The imagery is explicitly sexual ('Cratinus' reacts to a fine wine in the way a devoted pederast reacts to a pretty boy; see B29. 3 n.) and perhaps helps make sense of B1 (where see introductory n.): things were not so bad when 'Cratinus' chased women, but now he is driven by other, even more consuming desires.

Preserved at Athenaeus 1. 29d (manuscripts CE only), in an extended collection of literary references to different varieties of wine, but with no mention of the title, and assigned to The Wineflask by Runkel.

Iambic trimeter.

1–2. Μενδαῖον‎ … | οἰνίσκον‎: 'a little Mendaean wine'; οἰνίσκος‎ is an affectionate diminutive < οἶνος‎, like νεανίσκος‎ < νέος‎. Wine from Mende (a city on the western side of the Chalcidice peninsula) is routinely mentioned, along with Lesbian, Chian, and Thasian, as a particularly fine local variety; see H7 introductory n.

1. ἡβῶντ‎(α‎) ἀρτίως‎: 'that has just recently reached adolescence' (cf. J12. 1–2 with 2 n.), i.e. 'become drinkable'.

3. οἴμ‎(οι‎): here an expression of frustrated desire; 'Damn!' vel sim. Cf. Ar. Nu. 773 with Dover ad loc.; Th. 1185; Labiano Ilundain 260.

ὡς‎ is exclamatory, 'how ἁπαλὸς καὶ λευκός‎ (it is)!'; cf. B26. Both adjectives can be used of wine, but are commonly applied to attractive women and boys as well (e.g. Ar. Av. 668; adesp. com. fr. 735. 2; Pl. Smp. 195c, 196a; cf. I7. 17 with n.).

οἴσει τρία‎;: 'will it support three (measures of water for every one of wine)?'; cf. H10 with nn.; Ar. Eq. 1187–8 'Take this wine to pg 83drink mixed three and two!'—'How sweet it is, by Zeus, and how well it bears the three!'

B4. Spoken by a male character (note 4 σποδῶν‎), presumably one of 'Cratinus" friends, who is eager to put an end to his drinking and reconcile him to Comedy.

Preserved at Athenaeus 11. 494b–c, in a collection of comic passages that refer to an oxybaphon (6 with n.) as a drinking vessel.

Iambic trimeter.

1–2. The anaphora (repetition) reflects the speaker's bafflement.

2. τοῦ λίαν πότου‎: 'his excessive drinking'. λίαν‎ communicates subjective disapproval (Thesleff § 197; cf. B38. 1; C8. 1–2; G5. 10; J18. 1).

3. ἐγὦιδα‎ = ἐγὼ οἶδα‎.

γάρ‎ is explanatory (Denniston 59), marking what follows as a description of the idea referred to obliquely in ἐγὦιδα‎.

τοὺς χοᾶς‎: 'his pitchers' (e.g. Ar. Pax 537 with Olson ad loc.; Anaxandr. fr. 33. 1; cf. G18. 19 n.).

4. τοὺς καδίσκους‎: 'his little wine-buckets' (diminutive < κάδος‎; see H9. 12 n.; Amyx 186–90), used for drinking wine at Stratt. fr. 23.

συγκεραυνώσω‎: 'I will blast as with a thunderbolt (κεραυνός‎), smash to bits'. Cf. Archil. fr. 120. 2 'thunderbolt-blasted (συγκεραυνωθείς‎) in my mind with wine' (the only earlier attestation of the verb) with B8 introductory n.; Antiph. fr. 193. 4 τύπτειν κεραυνός‎ ('as for passing out blows, I'm a thunderbolt!') Mendelsohn, CJ 87 (1992), 105–24.

5. 'and all the other vessels involved in his drinking', i.e. his cups (see B32. 7 n.) and mixing bowl (see H1. 8 n.).

6. ὀξύβαφον‎: a small vessel properly used to hold vinegar (ὄξος‎), in which one could dip (βάπτω‎) individual bits of food (cf. G12. 10 n.; Ar. fr. 158), although this one is to be used for wine (οἰνηρόν‎), as at e.g. Antiph. fr. 161. 5 (preserved in the same section of Athenaeus).

B5. From the beginning of a speech most likely made by 'Cratinus' in response to an attack on him by Comedy, and addressed to his friends (note the plural γιγνώσκετε‎).

Preserved at Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis vi. 20. 3, along with a number of parallel passages from the orators, as an example of plagiarism. But this must in fact be a forensic trope; see below.

Iambic trimeter.

τὴν‎ … παρασκευήν‎: 'the preparation (of my opponent)', i.e. 'the care with which she made her case'. Orators seem to have been taught to refer to their opponents' παρασκευή‎ (e.g. And. 1. 1; Lys. 19. 2) as a way of painting them as desperate and conniving.

pg 84

B6–B7. The individual addressed is male (note B6. 1 ἔχων‎; B7 ἀποσβέσας‎) and is most likely 'Cratinus', who is engaged in a debate with an unidentified interlocutor (Comedy? one of his friends? another comic poet?) about whom to attack and how in a new play. But γράφω‎ is normally used of adding an item to a list or the like, or of drawing a picture, rather than to describe the process of composing poetry (for which ποιέω‎ is expected; cf. B12. 5; B42. 2 n.); and 'Cratinus' and the other character are presumably constructing a catalogue of contemporary Athenians he will mock in his next comedy—making it clear that by this point in the play, at any rate, he has chosen to stick with his old trade/wife. Perhaps from the agon; cf. B32–B35 with nn.

B6. 'Cratinus' must have shown some reluctance to mention Cleisthenes in his comedy, and his interlocutor none too respectfully urges him on.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Nu. 355, as evidence that Aristophanes was not the only poet who mocked Cleisthenes for effeminacy. The Suda (κ‎ 1758), doubtless drawing on a related source, cites 1–2 only to prove the same thing. Iambic tetrameter catalectic.

1. ληρεῖς ἔχων‎: 'you keep babbling!', a charge reminiscent of Aristophanes' hostile remarks about Cratinus at Eq. 531, 536. For the participle of ἔχω‎ used to add 'a notion of duration to that of present action', see LSJ s.v. B. IV. 2; Austin–Olson on Ar. Th. 852.

2. ἐν ἐπεισοδίωι‎: defined by ancient lexicographers as 'properly what is added to a play for the sake of laughter, independent of the main thesis' (e.g. AB p. 253. 19–21); cf. B39. 1 (the only other attestation of the word in comedy); Norwood, CP 25 (1930), 217–23.

2–3. Κλεισθένης‎ (PAA 575540 ~ 575545) must have been a prominent social and political figure, and is ridiculed constantly by Aristophanes for his lack of a beard (which is probably the point of the unmetrical ἐν τῆι τοῦ κάλλους ἀκμῆι‎, 'at the height of his beauty') and supposed sexual depravity (see Olson on Ach. 117–18, with further references). The reason he will be 'laughable' (γελοῖος‎) if depicted shooting dice (κυβεύων‎; see D12. 3 n.) is most likely that this is generally depicted as a juvenile activity and thus appropriate for a beardless individual; K–A note that the effeminate Amynias is also mocked for his love of dicing at Ar. V. 74–6.

B7. For Hyperbolus, a wealthy lampmaker (cf. Ar. Nu. 1065 ̔Υπέρβολος‎ … οὑκ τῶν λύχνων‎; Pax 690; And. fr. 5 Blass) and important political figure, see B9 introductory n.; E23–E25 n.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Pax 692, as evidence that Hyperbolus sold lamps.

Iambic tetrameter catalectic.

pg 85

ἀποσβέσας‎ plays on the idea that Hyperbolus is a lampmaker, who can accordingly be 'snuffed out' (i.e. eliminated from public life), like one of the lamps he sells, and returned to the marketplace. Cf. E4 introductory n.

ἐν τοῖς λύχνοισι‎: 'in the lampmarket'; see J1 introductory n.

B8–B9. From the epirrhemmatic section of the parabasis; cf. B36–B45 with nn.

B8. A quotation of Archil. fr. 109 <ὦ‎> λιπερνῆτες πολῖται‎, τἀμὰ δὴ συνίετε‎ | ῥήματα‎ (adapted again three years later at Ar. Pax 603–4, at the beginning of a nominally serious speech about the origins of the Peloponnesian War, ὦ σοφώτατοι γεωργοί‎, τἀμὰ δὴ ξυνίετε‎ | ῥήματ‎ʼ, as well as at B44. 1–2. The reference to Archilochus is interesting, given the tradition that Cratinus' poetry had a markedly Archilochean character (test. 17. 1–3; and note the title Archilochoi); cf. B4. 4 n. Probably from the initial address of the chorus (speaking for their poet) to the audience.

Preserved along with Archil. fr. 109 in a scholium on Ar. Pax 603.

Trochaic tetrameter catalectic.

λιπερνῆτες‎: obscure; perhaps 'impoverished'.

B9. The subject must be Athens' triremes, which are allegedly denied the protection (or rest?) they deserve. Probably a response to Ar. Eq. 1300–15, where personified triremes complain about Hyperbolus' (see B7 introductory n.) plan to send them against Carthage.

Preserved at Pollux x. 184 (a book of Pollux that is particularly rich in comic fragments and may be directly dependent on Eratosthenes' On Comedy; see Nesselrath 87–8), along with several other passages from comedy that mention κάνναι‎.

Trochaic tetrameter catalectic.

1. πάντα ποιοῦσαι‎: 'no matter what they do'.

νεωσοίκων‎: 'ship-sheds', in which triremes were kept when not in service, both to protect them from damage and in order that their hulls could dry out and repairs could be made; see Olson on Ar. Ach. 96; Harrison, JHS 119 (1999), 168–71.

2. κάννης‎: 'a reed mat', and thus 'fencing made of reed mats' (cf. Ar. V. 394 (κάνναι‎ used to fence off a hero-shrine)) as a temporary substitute for a ship-shed.

B10. The speaker might be either 'Cratinus', who at last sees the error of his ways, or Comedy recognizing that she has treated her husband worse than he deserves.

Preserved at Priscian, Inst. Gramm. 18. 209, who remarks similiter nos: cogito quae sunt difficultates stoliditatis meae (which would seem to guarantee pg 86that he read the text in something very close to the form to which it has been restored here).

Iambic trimeter.

1. ἀτάρ‎ marks a break in the thought or a sudden change of tone (Denniston 51–3) and is probably colloquial (Stevens 44–5); δῆτα‎ adds emphasis, a function more often performed by δή‎ (cf. Denniston 278–9), hence Nauck's δή τι τῆς‎.

B11. Meier attributed this line to The Wineflask, and if this is correct, the speaker is most likely 'Cratinus'; but see below on the fragment's dubious origin. The idea that intellectual and verbal brilliance (including the ability to write good poetry) is closely associated with drinking wine is a commonplace (Archil. fr. 120; Epich. fr. 131; Phryn. Com. fr. 74), but is developed in particular in the prologue of Aristophanes' Knights (esp. 88–96).

Preserved at AP xiii. 29. 2 (= HE 2712), as the second line in an epigram attributed to Nicaenetus, and identified there as a quotation from Cratinus (τοῦτ‎ʼ ἔλεγεν‎ … | Κρατῖνος‎). In addition, the epigram is quoted at Athenaeus 2. 39c in a variant form known to a number of other witnesses, all of whom cite only the second line (Zenob. 2. 53; Phot. p. 615. 17 = S υ‎ 53 = Apostol. 17. 52), and is referred to by Horace (Epist. i. 19. 1–3): prisco si credis, Maecenas docte, Cratino, | nulla placere diu nec vivere carmina possunt | quae scribuntur aquae potoribus.

Iambic trimeter.

σοφόν‎: for σοφία‎ as a basic defining characteristic of good poetry, see Dover, Frogs, pp. 12–14; and cf. B36 with n.; B37. 2; B44. 3; D11. 4 with n.; Ar. Nu. 520, 522, 1377–8; Pax 798; fr. 392 (ironic).

B12. Someone (Comedy? the chorus?) responds to a rush of verses (5 ποιήμασιν‎), presumably produced by 'Cratinus', who has returned to composing poetry. Comparing a powerful stream of words to a flood is a commonplace (e.g. B16; Ar. Ach. 379–81; Ra. 1005 τὸν κρουνὸν ἀφίει‎ ('send forth your spring of words!'; addressed to Euripides); see Taillardat §504), and it is impossible to know whether Cratinus is being praised or condemned. But the description is strikingly reminiscent of Ar. Eq. 526–8 'Cratinus, who once upon a time, pouring forth with much praise, used to flow through the smooth plains and, sweeping from their place the oaks and the plane-trees and his enemies, carried them off, roots and all', to which these line are perhaps a pointed response.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Eq. 526 πολλῶι ῥεύσας ποτ‎ʼ ἐπαίνωι‎ (of Cratinus), with the—historically impossible—suggestion that Aristophanes may be alluding to this passage, which dates to the year after it.

pg 87Iambic trimeter.

1. ἄναξ Ἄπολλον‎: Invocations of Apollo are a common colloquial response to an astonishing or horrible sight, sound, or remark (e.g. C3. 4; C17. 4; H11. 6; Men. Asp. 86; Dysc. 293, 415); often accompanied by a genitive of exclamation (e.g. Ar. V. 161; Pax 238), as here (τῶν ἐπῶν τοῦ ῥεύματος‎, 'what a stream of words!').

2–3. δωδεκάκρουνον κτλ‎. explains why 'the streams are gurgling': 'Cratinus" mouth has twelve springs (or perhaps 'twelve spouts', as if he were a fountain-house; in either case, 'twelve' means simply 'a very large number') and runs as full as the ̓Ιλισός‎, the river just outside Athens' walls which Socrates and his interlocutor walk along at the beginning of Plato's Phaedrus (229a–b).

4–5. A future most vivid condition, of something feared.

4. ἐπιβύσει‎: 'stick a plug into'.

B13–B20. Dionysalexandros was a parody of the story of the Judgment of Paris/Alexandros and the abduction of Helen (see Gantz 567–76), with Dionysus disguising himself for much of the action as the Trojan hero, hence the title. The chorus consisted of satyrs (B13. 38), as also in the Satyrs of e.g. Callias (Lenaia 438/7?) and Cratinus (Lenaia 425/4; see B1–B12 n.), and the action was set on Mt. Ida near Troy (B13. 22).

The claim that Dionysalexandros was directed against the Athenian statesman Pericles (B13. 40–4; for Pericles and his image in comedy, see E10–E14 with nn.) must have had some basis in the text, although how extensive the identification was and whether Pericles is supposed to have been represented by Paris or by Dionysus is unclear. The latter possibility finds support in the peculiar reference to Pericles as 'king of the satyrs' in E14. 1 (where see n.); cf. Revermann, JHS 117 (1997), 197–200. But it is Paris who brings war on Troy in Cratinus' play, by deciding to hold on to Helen (B13. 33–5 with n.); and it may have been he who was identified, if only late in the play, with Pericles, who was thus indirectly blamed for bringing the Peloponnesian War on Athens for the sake of his mistress Aspasia, as also in Aristophanes' Acharnians 526–39. For Aspasia, see E13 introductory n. Dionysalexandros is normally dated to 430; but if the war in question was instead the one against Samos around 440 (cf. E10–E28 n.; E11. 2 n.), which Plutarch repeatedly reports was begun by Pericles to gratify Aspasia, who was from there (Per. 24. 2; 25. 1), it might belong a decade earlier. See J. T. M. F. Pieters, Cratinus (Leiden, 1946), 63–131 (on Pericles in Cratinus), 169–72 (on this play) (in Dutch); J. Schwartze, Die Beurteilung des Perikles durch die attische Komödie (Zetemata 51: Munich, 1971), 6–24; R. M. Rosen, Old Comedy and the Iambo-graphic Tradition (Atlanta, 1988), 49–55; Mattingly, in K. H. Kinzl (ed.), pg 88Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean in Ancient History and Prehistory (Festschrift Fritz Schachermeyr: Berlin and New York, 1977), 243–4; Heath, G&R 37 (1990), 144–7; J. F. McGlew, Citizens on Stage (Ann Arbor, 2002), 25–56, esp. 46–55; Storey, in L. Kozak and J. Rich (eds.), Playing Around Aristophanes (Nottingham, 2005), 105–25 (with extensive bibliography). Eupolis too is reported to have called Aspasia 'Helen' (fr. 267).

B13. A fragmentary hypothesis consisting of an extended plot summary (2–41) and a brief note about the political intentions of the play (41–5). The fragment begins with the departure from the stage of Hermes (5–6), who must already have described the quarrel among the goddesses (most likely in the prologue) and made arrangements to resolve it. Dionysus' discovery of the situation and decision to try to pass as Paris (taken for granted in what follows) must also belong to the first half of the play. The parabasis came next (6–9), followed by a mocking exchange between Dionysus and the chorus (10–12); the disguised Dionysus' judgment among the goddesses (12–19) and exit for Sparta (20–1); his return, accompanied by Helen (21–3); a messenger-speech informing Dionysus and Helen of the arrival of the Achaeans in the land (23–6); Dionysus' desperate attempt to keep the two of them from being captured (26–30); the arrival of the real Paris, accompanied by herdsmen or servants, and his capture of Dionysus and Helen (30–4); her plea not to be returned and his decision to keep her as his wife (34–6); and the dispatch of Dionysus to the Achaean ships, followed by the chorus singing their exodos-song (37–41).

Preserved in POxy. iv 663 (second/third century ad; = CGFPR 70), in which the text appears in two columns (my 1–25 and 26–45), with the words


   η‎ [


at the top of the second. (It is unclear whether the eta in the second line marks this as the eighth play in the collection (i.e. η‎′), or means 'or' (i.e. ἤ‎) and was followed by an alternative title such as Luppe's ̓Ιδαῖοι‎; cf. Cratin. fr. 91, which perhaps refers to the Judgment of Paris.)


6. οὗτοι‎: the chorus.

8. π‎(ερὶ‎) τῶν ποιη‎(τῶν‎): 'the (other) poets', i.e. Cratinus' rivals (not yet including Aristophanes or Eupolis), who were doubtless criticized for their failings of originality, poetic grace, imagination, and the like; cf. B40–B42 n. This is Körte's expansion and emendment of the papyrus' πυωνποιη‎. K–A print π‎(ερὶ‎) ὑῶν ποιή‎(σεως‎), which ought to mean pg 89'about the production of pigs', although Rutherford, CR 18 (1904), 440 (followed by Handley, BICS 29 (1982), 109–17) argues for taking it 'about the generation of sons (υἱῶν‎)', in reference to a supposed attempt to legitimize Pericles' bastard son by Aspasia (see E13 introductory n.), Pericles II. See Luppe, ZPE 72 (1988), 37–8; Austin, QUCC ns 63 (1999), 39–40.

10–12. The Satyrs' mockery is most likely connected with the fact that Dionysus is now dressed not as a god but as Paris, a simple shepherd. Cf. B14–B15 with nn.

12–19. Blass (followed by K–A) marked a lacuna after παραγενομένων‎, which must then have introduced a list of characters present during the next scene (cf. 30–1 παραγενόμενος δ‎' 'Αλέξανδρος‎). Alternatively, the word might be taken with παρὰ μ‎(ὲν‎) Ἥρα‎[ς‎] τυραννίδο‎(ς‎) ἀκινήτου‎, πα‎[ρ‎]ὰ δ‎ʼ Ἀθηνᾶς‎(ας‎) κ‎(α‎)τ‎(ὰ‎) πόλεμο‎(ν‎) to form a genitive absolute ('with unshakeable kingship made available to him from Hera, and courage made available from Athena'), with the construction shifting slightly with τῆς δ‎ʼ Ἀφροδί‎(της‎) (sc. παρά‎, 'and from Aphrodite that he be …'). That the participle ought in that case properly to be present tense rather than aorist is only a weak objection to this interpretation, since this is late and clumsy Greek. Hera and Athena were probably played by mutes (hence a third party's description of Athena's offer in B16, which may belong to this scene); but perhaps Aphrodite was represented by an actor. B17 appears to be a retrospective description of the action in this part of the play.

18. ἐπέραστον‎: 'sexually desirable'.

19. ταύτην‎: i.e. Aphrodite.

20–22. The events referred to in πλεύσας εἰς Λακεδαίμο‎(να‎) (καὶ‎) τὴν ̔Ελένην ἐξαγαγών‎ take place off stage between scenes.

22. ἐπανέρχεται‎: 'he returns'.

26–9. Dionysus attempts to conceal himself and Helen in a way that fits the bucolic setting (cf. 23), by putting her in a basket (τάλαρον‎) of a type used elsewhere for making cheese (H. Od. 9. 247; Ar. Ra. 560; Theoc. 5. 86 with Gow ad loc.) and storing wool (H. Od. 4. 125, 131), and 'changing his own costume/appearance to make himself look like a ram' (ἑαυτὸν‎ … εἰς κριὸ‎[ν‎] μ‎(ε‎)τ‎(α‎)σκευάσας‎). Cf. B19.

30–2. B18 may belong to this scene.

31–2. φωράσας‎: 'after catching (them)'.

32–3. ἑκάτερο‎(ν‎) ἄγειν ἐπὶ τὰς ναῦς πρ‎(οσ‎)τάττει‎: 'gives orders (sc. to the individuals who accompany him on stage; cf. fr. 49) to take them both to the (Greek) ships', so as to prove his own innocence and put an end to the quarrel (cf. 23–6).

pg 90

34–6. The implication would seem to be that Paris expected Helen to want to return to Sparta and Menelaus, but that she was reluctant to do so and took advantage of his good nature, leading to an otherwise avoidable war.

36. ἐπικατέχ‎(ει‎): 'he keeps hold of, detains'.

38–41. συνακολουθ‎(οῦσι‎) (sc. τῶι Διονύσωι‎)

κτλ‎.: a description of the exodos. Cf. the end of Euripides' Cyclops, where the chorus of satyrs exit proclaiming their continuing allegiance to Dionysus (708–9 with Olson, Hermes, 116 (1988), 502–4).

39–40. παρακαλοῦντες‎: 'encouraging (him)'.

43–4. δι‎(ὰ‎) | ἐμφάσεως‎: 'via innuendo' vel sim. (cf. LSJ s.v. III. 2).

44. ἐπαγηοχώς‎ is perfect active participle < ἐπάγω‎; a post-classical form.

B14. Someone (the disguised Dionysus? Helen?) is accused of wanting to live like a king (or queen), sc. rather than a cowherd. Pieters took B15 to be Dionysus' response. Cf. B13. 10–12 n.

Preserved at Pollux vii. 122, in a collection of architectural terms.

Iambic trimeter.

παραστάδας καὶ πρόθυρα‎ … ποικίλα‎: 'doorposts and painted porticoes', such as would be found in a palace.

B15. See B13. 10–12 n.; B14 introductory n.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Lys. 575, in a gloss on the rare word οἰσπώτην‎ (the accent on which is disputed).

Iambic trimeter.

βόλιτα‎ … κ‎(αὶ‎) οἰσπώτην‎: 'cow-manure and sheep-shit'.

πατεῖν‎: sc. βούλομαι‎ (cf. B14).

B16. If this fragment belongs to Dionysalexandros (as Gelzer suggested), it must represent a summary of Athena's offer to Dionysus (disguised as Paris) and an oblique reference to Pericles' rhetorical power (see E10 introductory n.); see B13. 12–19 n.

Preserved at Photius α‎ 414 = Συναγ‎.b α‎ 404, in a gloss on the words ἀείνως γλῶττα‎.

Iambic dimeter (the third verse catalectic).

2. ἐν δήμωι‎: i.e. 'in the Assembly' (cf. 4 n.), where 'the people' gathered for political purposes.

3. καλῶν λόγων ἀείνων‎: '(full of) ever-flowing, lovely words' (modifying γλῶτταν‎ in 1). For the image, see B12 introductory n.

4. πάντα νικήσεις λέγων‎: 'you will always carry your point when you make a speech'; cf. Ar. Nu. 432 (the Clouds' initial offer to Strepsiades) ἐν τῶι‎ pg 91 δήμωι γνώμας οὐδεὶς νικήσει πλείονας ἢ σύ‎ ('No one will get more motions approved in the Assembly than you'); V. 594.

B17. Probably a description of Dionysus' reaction when one of the goddesses attempted to bribe him to judge her the most beautiful and he had trouble containing himself (thus Pieters); see B13. 12–19 n.

Preserved at Photius α‎ 629, in a gloss on the rare word αἱμωδεῖν‎.

Iambic trimeter.

1. εὐθύς‎: 'immediately' (cf. A12. 4 n.).

ἡιμώδεις‎ is < αἱμωδέω‎, 'grind one's teeth', either to produce a grimace of eager anticipation, as at Timocl. fr. 11. 6, or in terror.

2. τοὺς προσθίους ὀδόντας‎: 'your front teeth'; cf. A1. 3 n.

B18. The individual referred to is clearly Dionysus, and Speaker A is probably Paris, who is attempting to discover who assumed his identity in order to judge among the goddesses and then stole Helen from Menelaus. Cf. B13. 30–2 with n.

Preserved at Macrobius, Saturnalia v. 21. 6, in a collection of poetic passages that mention the drinking vessel known as a καρχήσιον‎ (2).

Iambic trimeter.

1. δὲ δή‎: ' often in surprised, or emphatic and crucial questions' (Denniston 259).

τοῦτό μοι φράσον‎ suggests impatience; cf. above.

2. κροκωτόν‎: a saffron-dyed chiton, normally worn by women, but part of Dionysus' costume also at Ar. Ra. 46; Callix. FGrHist 627 F 2 (p. 169. 16; describing the costume of a statue of the god carried in a procession in early third-century Alexandria, which also included a golden καρχήσιον‎). See Austin–Olson on Ar. Th. 137.

ποικίλον‎: defined at Pollux vii. 47 as 'Dionysus' bacchic chiton' (cf. Eup. fr. 280) and at Hesychius π‎ 2717 as 'a multi-coloured (ζωγραφητόν‎) himation' (a definition that works better here, since the god's inner garment has already been mentioned).

καρχήσιον‎: a tall, two-handled, footless drinking cup (thus Callix. FGrHist 627 F 3, cited at Ath. 11. 474e at the beginning of his discussion of the vessel, to which Kaibel added this passage from Macrobius); cf. Boardman, JHS 99 (1979), 149–51. According to Pherecydes (FGrHist 3 F 13), Charon of Lampsacus (FGrHist 262 F 2), and Herodorus of Heracleia (FGrHist 31 F 16), Zeus gave a καρχήσιον‎ to Alcmena when he seduced her disguised as Amphitryon; so perhaps Dionysus put his cup to use as a love-gift for Helen.

B19. A mocking description of the disguised Dionysus' attempts to avoid capture by Paris (thus Körte; cf. B13. 28–32).

pg 92Preserved at Photius β‎ 130 = Et.Gen. β‎ 105 = Suda β‎ 250, in a gloss on the word βῆ‎, and at Eustathius pp. 768. 14; 1721. 26 (citing the second-century ad grammarian Aelius Dionysius), in a pair of notes derived from a very similar lexicographic source.

Trochaic tetrameter catalectic.

βῆ βῆ‎: 'baa!, baa!' (important evidence for ancient Greek pronunciation, since although the sound the letter beta represents may have changed, sheep still make the same noise they did two and half thousand years ago).

βαδίζει‎: colloquial vocabulary; cf. B26; B32. 9; Olson on Ar. Ach. 393–4.

B20. Probably an assentient answer ('(Yes), because you're not, in fact, the first …'; cf. Denniston 89, 549–50) from the agon (cf. B32–B35 with nn.). Fr. 46 ('after going to dinner † of the uninvited leech-throats themselves †'; also anapaestic tetrameter catalectic) must belong to the same section of the play. But who is speaking and to whom (Dionysus denounced for having abused Menelaus' hospitality?) is unclear. For uninvited guests at dinner parties, see A13 introductory n.; B45.

Preserved at Photius α‎ 1940 = Suda α‎ 2443 = Συναγ‎.b α‎ 1383, as well as at Athenaeus 2. 47a, in a pair of closely related glosses on the rare word ἄνηστις‎. In addition, φοιτᾶις κτλ‎. is preserved at Et.Gen. s. ἄνηστις‎ and Συναγ‎.b α‎ 2259 (s. ἄσταχυς καὶ ἀσταφίς‎), in related notes that probably derive from the same source.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic.

ἄνηστις‎: 'fasting', i.e. 'intensely hungry'. The initial α‎ is an intensifier rather than a privative, and the adjective is equivalent in sense to the more common νῆστις‎.

B21–B24. Additional 'Old Comic' prologue fragments; cf. B1–B3; and see Whittaker 181–2; Storey 349–50. Pl. Com. fr. 182 may also be from a prologue.

B21. Addressed to the audience; doubtless the speaker's isolation was invaded shortly after he spoke these words. For The Recluse (which took third place at the City Dionysia in 415/4, behind Amipsias' Revellers and Aristophanes' Birds), see Ceccarelli, in Rivals, 461–2. For the political ideology at least glancingly referred to here, cf. E2 with introductory n.

Preserved at Photius α‎ 375 (ἄδουλος βίος ἐρεῖς‎, τούτεστιν ὁ μὴ δοῦλον ἔχων‎) = Συναγ‎.b α‎ 374, in a note about the use of βίος‎ with various adjectives that appears to be little more than a prose version of this fragment.

Iambic trimeter.

pg 93

1. Μονότροπος‎: 'Mr Recluse, He-who-lives-alone'.

2. Τίμωνος βίον‎: 'a life of Timon', i.e. 'a life like Timon's' (further defined in 3–4). Timon was a notorious misanthrope mentioned repeatedly by the comic poets (Ar. Av. 1548–9; Lys. 808–20 (he never shaved, and lived by himself, cursing other men); Pl. Com. fr. 237; Antiphanes' Timon (fr. 204); cf. Neanth. FGrHist 84 F 35; Luc. Timon (based at least in part on Antiphanes' play?); Hawkins, GRBS 42 (2001), 143–62). Most likely he was a proverbial character rather than a real person (despite Armstrong, G&R 34 (1987), 7–11).

3–4. The manuscripts' ἄζυγον‎ in 3 is unmetrical, and if Hermann's ἄδουλον‎ (supported by the lemma in Photius) is right, the first six adjectives fall neatly into complementary pairs ('with no wife or slave; easily angered and unapproachable; never laughing or speaking with anyone'), with ἰδιογνώμονα‎ ('keeping my own counsel') summing up the description.

B22–B23. Two fragments of a mock-Euripidean prologue; the reference to Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris in B23 dates the play to no earlier than 414/13 or so. For the story of Hypsipyle and the Lemnian women, who murdered all the men on their island except Hypsipyle's father Thoas (whom she concealed) and later used the services of Jason and the Argonauts to repopulate the place, cf. H. Il. 7. 467–9; Pi. P. 4. 251–7; Hdt. vi. 138. 4; [Apollod.] Bib. i. 9. 17; Gantz 345–6. Ar. frr. 374–6 may also be from the prologue, in which case the Argonauts have already arrived on Lemnos (fr. 375) and Hypsipyle has fallen in love with Jason (cf. fr. 377 with K–A ad loc.), and the speaker is most likely Hypsipyle's old nurse (thus Kaibel), who has left her mistress inside the palace in the bath (cf. fr. 376) and come outside to complain about her troubles, like Phaedra's Nurse in the opening scene of Euripides' Hippolytus. For the reception of Euripides in Attic comedy, see D11–D12 n.

B22. The speaker identifies the setting of the play ('(This is) Lemnos …'), but refers to the land not in a dignified, heroic way (e.g. E. HF 4–7; Hel. 1–3) but as a source of excellent … beans. Lemnos (a large but mostly barren volcanic island in the north-east Aegean) had been subject to Athens since the beginning of the fifth century (Hdt. vi. 140 with How and Wells ad loc.) and remained so through the 320s, except for a brief period of independence in the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War. See Inventory, 756–7.

Preserved at Athenaeus 9. 366c–d, along with Pherecr. fr. 89, in response to a request at 9. 366a for examples of literary uses of the adjective τακερός‎.

Iambic trimeter.

κυάμους‎: 'fava beans', often eaten as symposium dainties (τραγήματα‎; see H2. 3 n.); cf. Ephipp. fr. 13. 2; Olson–Sens on Archestr. fr. 60. 15.

pg 94

B23. A parodic reference to Euripides, IT 30–3 Ταύρων χθόνα‎, | οὗ γῆς ἀνάσσει βαρβάροισι βάρβαρος‎ | Θόας‎, ὃς ὠκὺν πόδα τιθεὶς ἴσον πτεροῖς‎ | ἐς τοὔνομ‎ʼ ἦλθε τόδε ποδωκείας χάριν‎ ('the land of the Taurians, over which country rules, as a barbarian over barbarians, Thoas, whose foot is as fast as wings, and who got his name on account of his swiftfootedness').

Preserved at Ammonius Grammaticus, Adfin. Voc. Diff. 480, as an example of the word τύραννος‎ used to refer to a king (βασιλεύς‎).

Iambic trimeter.

1. ἐνταῦθα‎: i.e. 'on Lemnos'.

2. βραδύτατος‎ … δραμεῖν‎: As the passage of Euripides parodied here (see introductory n. and Platnauer ad loc.) makes clear, the personal name Θόας‎ can be punningly connected with θοός‎ ('quick'), hence the humour in claiming that he is not swift-footed but, in fact, the slowest runner there is.

τῶν ἐν ἀνθρώποις‎: 'of all those among human beings', i.e. 'of human beings'; a deliberately absurd paratragic periphrasis, echoing passages such as E. Med. 471; Ph. 440; frr. 403. 7; 1030.

B24. The prologue-speaker is a personified festival-day (2), like Calligeneia in Aristophanes' second Women Celebrating the Thesmophoria (fr. 331). For the way she identifies herself to the audience (not necessarily at the very beginning of her speech; cf. B1. 1 n.), cf. Men. Asp. 146–8. At the Apatouria festival, boys were introduced into their father's phratry ('brotherhood', i.e. 'kin-group'). But Heracles (the title character of the play) was a bastard and thus ineligible for phratry-membership, a point that may have been at issue in the play (cf. Ar. Av. 1641–75, esp. 1667–70)—along with his gluttony (see A1 introductory n.).

Preserved at Athenaeus 4. 171d, along with Ar. Nu. 1196–1200; Pherecr. fr. 7; and an Attic decree from either 366/5 or (less likely) 323/2, all of which refer to προτένθαι‎, as part of an extended catalogue of the names of classes of individuals involved in preparing or serving food.

Iambic trimeter.

1. For βούλεσθε‎; addressed to the audience in similar situations, cf. Men. Dysc. 46; Philem. fr. 50.

δῆτ‎(α‎) marks some logical connection with what preceded (Denniston 269–70).

2. According to Hesychius (δ‎ 2222), Δορπία‎ (cognate with δόρπον‎, 'meal') was the name of the first day of the Apatouria festival, which must have involved a common meal and was followed the next day by a sacrifice to Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria and a feast; see Parke 88–92; Olson on Ar. Ach. 145–6 (with further bibliography). The first day of the festival probably belongs to τῶν προτενθῶν‎ (literally 'the anticipators', i.e. pg 95'foretasters') because they had the right to eat the food before anyone else, although who these men were and why this privilege was extended to them is unclear; see Dover on Ar. Nu. 1198.

B25–B31. Parodos fragments (B25–B29 spoken by characters observing the chorus' entrance, B30–B31 spoken by the chorus itself). Cf. Cratin. frr. 133; 171; 253; Eup. fr. 207; and see Whittaker 183–4.

B25. Speaker B has just announced that he can see some of the Islands (sc. that belong to the Athenian empire; cf. B26 introductory n.; B27–B29 n.), and Speaker A—who is expecting to see real islands rather than women—expresses puzzlement. Ar. Nu. 323–8, esp. 325–6, is similar.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Av. 296, as an example of the use of the word εἴσοδος‎ (2) to refer to the passageway by which the chorus entered the Theatre.

Iambic trimeter.

1. τί σὺ λέγεις‎;: 'What are you talking about?, What do you mean?' (e.g. Ar. Ach. 768; Nu. 207).

2. αἱδί‎: accompanied by a gesture.

κατ‎(ὰ‎) αὐτὴν ἣν βλέπεις τὴν εἴσοδον‎: '(who are) coming down the very entrance-way you're looking toward'.

B26. A character comments on the appearance of an individual member of the chorus, whose posture reflects the mistreatment she has suffered at the hands of the Athenians (thus Bergk). Cf. B25; B27–B29 n.

Preserved at Photius p. 311. 16 = Suda ξ‎ 129, along with Ar. fr. 46, in a gloss on the verbal form ξυννένοφεν‎.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic.

ὡς‎ is exclamatory ('how …!'); cf. B3. 3 n.

κύψασα‎ is < κύπτω‎, 'stoop', sc. in shame or dejection, as at Ar. Eq. 1354; Th. 930; Eup. fr. 192. 120. ξυννενοφυῖα‎ is < ξυννέφω‎, 'cloud over' (e.g. Ar. Av. 1502; fr. 46) and thus metaphorically in the perfect 'with a gloomy expression on her face' (also E. El. 1078; cf. E. Ph. 1308 with Mastronarde ad loc.).

B27–B29. Individual members of the chorus of Eupolis' Cities (sc. That Belong to the Athenian Empire; probably late 420s) are introduced as they come on stage for the first time, and a witty remark is made about each. Most likely each 'city' wears a costume appropriate to 'her' (cf. B29. 1 with introductory n.). B29 shows that two characters are on stage as the chorus enters, but B28 makes it clear that the introductions are carried out primarily for the benefit of the audience in the theatre. Ar. Av. 268–304, esp. 294–304, where the chorus of birds enters, seemingly accompanied by four lavishly pg 96costumed specialized dancers, is similar, as are Ar. fr. 71 (a comment on the tattoos worn by one member of the chorus of Babylonians/allied states) and Eup. fr. 298 (part of a catalogue of at least eighteen men with disabilities who most likely represent the chorus of The Golden Race). Cf. F4 introductory n.; Wilson, CQ ns 27 (1977), 278–83 (on individualized choruses generally); Rosen, in G. W. Dobrov (ed.), The City as Comedy (Chapel Hill, NC, and London, 1997), 149–76, esp. 153–64 (on the sexual dynamics of the poet's decision to present Athens' subject-allies as women); Storey 216–30, esp. 217–21.

B27. The first two words (1) are presumably to be assigned to the same character as B28, who must be Speaker B in B29. The rude remark that follows, on the other hand, most likely belongs to his interlocutor, i.e. Speaker A in B29. Tenos (one of the Cyclades) appears in the Athenian tribute lists at e.g. IG I3 281. II. 50 (paying 2 talents in 430/29; for the tribute, see E11. 1 n.); 287. I. 13, and is listed at Th. vii. 57. 4 among the allied states participating in the Sicilian Expedition in 414. See Inventory, 776–8. The island seems to have been notorious for harbouring venomous snakes and the like (cf. Antim. fr. 91 Matthews (preserved by the same source as this fragment); Plin. Nat. 4. 65), and the claim that it was also full of political informers (2) must have had some contemporary significance that escapes us.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Pl. 718, as evidence that 'Tenos appears to be infested with savage creatures'.

Iambic tetrameter catalectic.

2. συκοφάντας‎: literally 'fig-revealers', according to Istrus, FGrHist 334 F 12 in reference to an early embargo on the export of figs from Attica that led to denunciations of those who violated it. But the true etymology of the word is obscure, and the term functioned above all else as an imaginative category (routinely appealed to in comedy, e.g. Ar. Ach. 818–28, 910–58) that allowed the Athenians to discuss perceived problems of legal excess and abuse; see M. R. Christ, The Litigious Athenian (Baltimore and London, 1998), 48–71 (with further bibliography). For the implicit comparison of a sycophant to a scorpion or other poisonous creature, see E9. 1–4; Ar. Pl. 883–5 (a magic ring that protects the wearer against 'informer stings'); and cf. Ar. Th. 528–30 (a proverb about scorpions lurking under every stone, but adapted to refer to politicians).

B28. Unlike B27, addressed to the audience in the theatre (2 ὑμῖν‎; cf. B44. 2; B45. 1). The city of Chios (located on the island of the same name just off the coast of Asia Minor) was large and wealthy. As 2–3 make clear, Chios was an exceptionally loyal Athenian ally (cf. Ar. Av. 877–80, with Theopomp. Hist. pg 97FGrHist 115 F 104), which paid no tribute and furnished ships and men instead (Th. ii. 9. 5; vi. 31. 2; vii. 57. 4), although it finally revolted from the empire at Alcibiades' urging in 412 (Th. viii. 14. 1–2). See Inventory, 1064–9. The lacuna in 1 (at least COMMENTARY and perhaps COMMENTARY) must have contained another adjective, a participial clause, or the like that emphasized Chios' cooperative attitude or docility, and which was then glossed (note 2 γάρ‎) in 2–3. Unlike Tenos, who brings only trouble (B27), Chios is presented as an ideal woman, in that she offers the man or men in her life access to enormous resources but none the less remains completely submissive; cf. A19. 2–5 with nn.; I4. 7 n.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Av. 880, in a note on Athenian relations with Chios.

Iambic tetrameter catalectic.

2. ναῦς μακράς‎: i.e. 'warships, triremes' (e.g. Ar. Eq. 1366).

3. τ‎(ὰ‎) ἄλλα‎: accusative of respect.

ἄπληκτος‎: literally 'unstruck', i.e. 'that needs no goad (to make it do as its master wants)'.

B29. Cyzicus (located on the Asian side of the Propontis) was another extremely wealthy allied city (e.g. IG I3 281. III. 9 (paying over 8.5 talents tribute in 430/29; cf. E11. 1 n.); Th. viii. 107. 1), and was known for its electrum coinage (referred to in 1, where see n.). See Inventory, 983–6. 'Full of staters' in 1 perhaps describes some aspect of 'Cyzicus" costume.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Pax 1176, as support for the thesis that Cyzicus had a reputation for sexual depravity.

Iambic tetrameter catalectic.

1. στατήρων‎: a generic term for large coins; see I11. 12 n. For Cyzicene staters in particular, e.g. IG I3 378. 21; 383. 108–9; D. 34. 23 (equal in value to 28 Athenian drachmas); Kraay 260–5.

2. τοίνυν‎ ('Well, …') marks this as a comment that responds to Speaker B's remark (Denniston 572–3), and the point would seem to be that, even if Cyzicus is full of money now, things were not always so (3–4).

φρουρῶν‎: 'standing watch', i.e. as part of an Athenian garrison, as at Ar. V. 236–7 (where the chorus describe similar mischief they got into on guard-duty in Byzantion in their youth).

3. ἐκίνουν‎: 'I screwed'; a metaphorical use of the verb (literally 'move') and thus perhaps less offensive than the unambiguously obscene βινέω‎ ('fuck'; cf. I6. 21 with n.; I8. 22). Cf. Maculate Muse, § 205–6.

κολλύβου‎: gen. of price. κόλλυβοι‎ were tiny bronze coins (cf. Ar. Pax 1200 with Olson ad loc.), and the point is that the price for sex was ridiculously low; cf. I6. 17 n.; I11. 18 n.

καὶ παῖδα καὶ γέροντα‎: That an adult male pg 98might want to have sex with a handsome boy is routinely treated as normal (e.g. B3; C11. 7; J12 with introductory n.; Ar. Eq. 1384–7; Av. 137–42). But the claim to have buggered an old man as well is different; the local inhabitants were desperate, and the speaker was able to run absolutely wild as a result, and καὶ γέροντα‎ is accordingly reserved for the end of the verse as a punchline (cf. A6. 8; B41 introductory n.; D1. 7; D14. 5 n.; E7. 17–21 n.; E9. 2, 4; E15. 2; E22. 2 n.; F2 introductory n.; F11 introductory n.; H8. 12 n.).

4. τὸν κύσθον‎ is a primary obscenity, 'its cunt' (see Maculate Muse, 35 and § 107); and regardless of whether ἐκκορίζειν‎ is cognate with κόρη‎ ('girl'), κορέω‎ (A) ('sweep'), or κόρις‎ ('bedbug'), it must be a colloquial term for sexual activity, as also at Ar. fr. 277.

B30. The chorus of nanny-goats describe their habits. See in general Wilkins and Rackham, in Rivals, 341–54, esp. 348–50; Storey 67–74. Rackham (whose identification of the individual plants mentioned I have followed) notes that Eupolis' catalogue includes a number of things real goats either refuse to eat or eat with great reluctance (marked in the translations below with an asterisk). Presumably the poet was more interested in finding plausible words of the right metrical shapes than with strict zoological accuracy.

Preserved at Plutarch, Quaestiones convivales iv. 1. 3 (= Mor. 662d–e), as evidence that animals do not live on an exceedingly simple diet, and taken over from him by Macrobius, Saturnalia vii. 5. 8, whose text of Plutarch was much better than what we have.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic.

1. ἐλάτης πρίνου κομάρου τε‎: 'of fir, prickly-oak, and strawberry tree'.

2. καὶ πρὸς τούτοισιν ἔτ‎(ι‎): 'and, moreover, in addition to these things', i.e. the πόρθους‎ ('shoots').

ἄνθην‎: 'greenery, leaves'; but the text is uncertain.

3. 'and also tree-medick and fragrant sage* and leafy yew(?)'.

4–5. The leisurely, adjective-filled pace of 3 yields to a straightforward catalogue style: 'wild olive, lentisk*, manna-ash, white poplar, holm oak, oak, ivy, heather, | (unknown; LSJ suggest willow), (a thorny shrub of some sort), Jerusalem sage*, asphodel*, rock-rose*, Valonia oak, thyme, savory*'.

B31. The chorus of heroes offer the audience (1 ὦνδρες‎) a warning in the course of introducing themselves. For heroes causing sickness for those who offend them, see Hp. Morb.Sacr. 4 (vi. 362. 3–6 Littré); Ar. Av. 1490–3 with Dunbar ad loc.; and cf. Ar. fr. 712; Men. fr. 348; L. R. Farnell, Hero Cults of the Greeks (Oxford, 1921), 71–94. A list of benefits reserved for those who behaved well must have followed eventually (but see 7 n.).

pg 99Preserved in P.Mich. 3690 (second/third century ad; = CGFPR *58). Anaclastic glyconics ('Wilamowitzians') (COMMENTARY).

1. πρὸς ταῦτ‎(α‎): 'wherefore' (in reference to something said in the preceding lines).

3–4. οἱ ταμίαι‎ | τῶν κακῶν καὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν‎: 'the stewards of bad things and good', the point being that they can deal these out to whomever they wish.

5. ἀναθροῦντες‎ is < ἀναθρέω‎, 'keep a close watch on'.

5–6. καὶ κλέπτας καὶ λωποδύτας‎ gives specific content to ἀδίκους‎. κλέπται‎ are thieves (who, in contrast to robbers, work discreetly and without violence), while λωποδύται‎ were a specialized type of mugger who stripped their victims of their clothes; cf. Ar. Av. 496–8 with Dunbar on 497; Austin–Olson on Ar. Th. 816–18.

7. τούτοις‎ might be either all the evil-doers referred to in 5–6, in which case 12 must have resumed the point (hence Handley's [ταῦ‎]τ̣α̣‎ [τοῖ‎]ς̣ κλέπτα‎[ις‎]) and a δέ‎-clause referring to the treatment of the just was offered within a verse or two, or the λωποδύται‎ only (hence Barrett's [τοῖ‎]ς̣ δ̣‎[ὲ δ‎]ὴ̣ κλέπτα‎[ις‎] in 12).

8–11. A catalogue of ugly chronic conditions, all in apposition to νόσους‎ in 7: 'to have an enlarged spleen (i.e. malaria) (or) a cough (i.e. tuberculosis or the like) (or) suffer from dropsy | (or) have a runny nose (or) mange (see D1. 7 n.) (or) gout | (or) be mad (or) have eruptions on one's skin | (or) swollen glands (or) a chill (or) a fever'.

12. For the text, see 7 n.

B32–B35. Agon-fragments; cf. B6–B7; B20; B44 introductory n.; D2; E4; Phryn. Com. fr. 73; Pl. Com. frr. 132; 167; Theopomp. Com. frr. 56–7; and see Whittaker 184–7. For the formal structure of the agon, see Introduction pp. 20–1.

B32–B34. The theme of Schlaraffenland (the land of Cockaigne, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Katroo, Woodunzburunzy), a fantastic place where all good things are available free and in enormous quantities, is ill represented in Aristophanes' preserved plays (although cf. B35 and Tagênistai (Frying-Pan Men) test. iii) but common in the fragments of the other 'Old Comic' poets. Athenaeus 6. 267e–70a preserves an extensive collection of such passages, which also includes Cratin. fr. 176 (from Gods of Wealth); Pherecr. fr. 113 (from Miners); Nicophon fr. 21 (from Sirens); and Metag. fr. 6 (from Thurio-persians), and which Athenaeus cites in the order (retained here) in which they were performed (6. 268e), except for the plays by Nicophon and Metagenes, which were never produced (6. 270a). For further discussion, see Baldry, G&R 23 (1953), 49–60; J. C. Carrière, Le Carnaval et la politique (Annales litteraires pg 100de l'Université de Besanç‎on 212: Paris, 1979), 85–118; Ceccarelli and Ruffell, in Rivals, 453–8 and 473–506, esp. 474–86 (with further bibliography), respectively; M. Farioli, Mundus alter: Utopie e distopie nella commedia greca antica (Milan, 2001), 27–137 (pp. 57–74 on Crates' Wild Beasts, pp. 74–91 on Teleclides' Amphictyonies, pp. 104–15 on Pherecrates' Persians).

B32. The plot of Wild Beasts seems to have involved a dispute over whether a life of extraordinary luxury (described in part in Crates fr. 17, which Athenaeus says followed 'immediately after' fr. 16) or a relatively spare and simple style of existence would be more likely to make men happy. Speaker B has advanced some radical proposal to transform human existence, but Speaker A is dubious; B35 is at least superficially similar. Although the meal Speaker B describes in 5–10 includes a fish (see G6 introductory n.), the food he mentions is in general very plain and homely. He must therefore be arguing in favour of simplicity (thus Kock), and 1–2 probably represent an accurate if slanted summary of what he said in the immediately preceding verses: in the ideal new world he imagines, no one will own slaves (cf. Pherecr. fr. 10; contrast Ar. Pl. 510–18)—but only because there will be no need for them.

Preserved at Athenaeus 6. 267e–f.

Trochaic tetrameter catalectic.

2. δῆτ‎(α‎) indicates that the question springs from what the other speaker has just said (Denniston 269, 271–2), as again in 4.

3. οὐ δῆθ‎ʼ ('Certainly not!' see Denniston 274–5) negates the assertion made in 2, but not the one made in 1.

ὁδοιποροῦντα‎: i.e. 'capable of moving itself'.

4. τί δῆτα τοῦτ‎(ο‎) αὐτοῖς πλέον‎;: 'What advantage will they get from this?' For the use of δῆτα‎, see 2 n.

αὔθ‎' = αὐτό‎, 'of its own accord', like αὐτή‎ in 6. Automatism is a common theme in Schlaraffenland-descriptions; cf. B33. 3 αὐτόματ‎(α‎); B34. 3 αὐτόματοι‎; Ar. Ach. 36 with Olson ad loc.

5. τῶν σκευαρίων‎: 'of his household equipment', as at e.g. C1. 12; Ar. Pax 201; Ec. 753.

5–9. ὅταν καλῆι τις κτλ‎.: Although abbreviated, the orders trace the normal course of preparations for a drinking party: the table is put in position and set (5–6; cf. G16. 2 n.; H1. 2 n.); cakes are made (6, 8; cf. H4. 3); wine is poured (7); and food is served (8–9; cf. H2. 3 n.).

5. παρατίθου‎: 'set yourself beside (me)!'

6. αὐτή‎: see 4 n.

μάττε θυλακίσκε‎: 'Knead (some barley-cakes), my little grainsack!'; cf. 8 with n. For the use of a grainsack (θύλακος‎) to bring barley groats (ἄλφιτα‎; cf. J2. 3 n.) home from the marketplace, see Ar. Ec. 819–20.

pg 101

7. A particularly lighthearted moment: the ladle (κύαθε‎; see Richter–Milne 30–1, with figs. 183–4) is ready to get to work drawing wine out of the central mixing-bowl (see H1. 8 n.), but the drinking cup (κύλιξ‎; see Richter–Milne 24–5 and figs. 152–66) into which it will pour itself is missing; when the cup does finally appear, it is dirty and has to be sent to wash up.

8. ἀνάβαινε‎: 'get up (onto the table)!'

μᾶζα‎: 'barley-cake', the product of the order (now successfully completed) given to the grainsack in 6. μᾶζαι‎ were made of rough-cut barley-meal (ἄλφιτα‎; see 6 n.) mixed with milk, wine, oil, or the like, and were eaten unbaked, as a staple food; see B33. 4–6 n.; B45. 12 (a metonymy for 'food'); G1. 1–3; Olson on Ar. Pax 1; Olson–Sens on Matro fr. 1. 91–2.

τὴν χύτραν χρῆν ἐξερᾶν τὰ τεῦτλα‎: 'the cookpot should have been pouring out the beets!', which have been stewing in it. χύτραι‎ are common lidless cookpots used for making soup (e.g. Epich. fr. 30) and boiling and stewing foods of all kinds (e.g. Alc. Com. fr. 24 (cabbage); Timocl. fr. 23. 3–4 (beans); Matro fr. 1. 48 (blackened from having been placed over a fire)); see Amyx 211–12. For beets, see García Soler 54–5. χρῆν‎/ἐχρῆν‎ (also C8. 10; H1. 5–6 with n.), like ἔδει‎ (D3. 29; E18. 3; H10. 5; H17. 1; I4. 1), indicates unfulfilled obligation (KG i. 204–5; Gildersleeve § 364) the cookpot (like the drinking cup in 7 and the fish in 9–10) is running behind schedule, as slaves generally were routinely accused of doing (G9. 5 n.).

9–10. The behaviour of the fish at B33. 6–7 is similar.

9. (ἐ‎)πὶ θάτερ‎(α‎): 'on the other side'.

10. οὔκουν‎ … πάσεις‎: is equivalent to an imperative (KG i. 176–7; cf. Gildersleeve § 198); cf. C3. 1; D3. 23; H20. 9. πάσεις‎ is future indicative < πάσσω‎, 'sprinkle' (the vox propria for seasoning food). For the use of salt as a seasoning, see G7. 7; Olson–Sens on Archestr. fr. 14. 7; García Soler 327–32; and cf. A20. 4 n.

σεαυτόν‎ is the common object of both participles and the main verb.

ἀλείφων‎: 'basting yourself (with olive oil)'.

B33. A god (Dionysus?) or perhaps an ancient king of Attica (Amphictyon, the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha?) is speaking.

Preserved entire at Athenaeus (1) 6. 268a–d. In addition, 1 is quoted by Sextus Empiricus, Against the Grammarians 6. 15; 2 is quoted by Photius κ‎ 393 = Suda κ‎ 863; and 12 is quoted again by Athenaeus at (2) 2. 64f (manuscripts CE only) and (3) 14. 644f.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic.

1. τοίνυν‎ ('Well') followed by emphatic ἐγώ‎ suggests that this is all a pointed response to a very different programme described by the previous speaker pg 102(Denniston 572–3).

ἐξ ἀρχῆς‎: 'from of old, in the old days'; to be taken with παρεῖχον‎.

2. πρῶτον ἁπάντων‎ is adverbial, 'first of all'.

ὥσπερ ὕδωρ κατὰ χειρός‎: 'just like water (poured) down over one's hand(s)', sc. to wash with; i.e. 'widely and easily available'. The image is borrowed from banqueting (see G12. 3 n.) and sets up the idea (developed in 4–13) that life in the speaker's day was an endless feast.

3. οὐ δέος οὐδὲ νόσους‎: perhaps to be taken to mean 'no dangerous creatures or poisonous plants'. But the larger point is that nothing bad or troublesome for men had yet come into existence; cf. Hes. Op. 90–2 (on life before Pandora opened the vessel of troubles) 'For before this the tribes of men used to live on the earth separate, apart from troubles, harsh toil, and baneful sicknesses, which bring doom to men'.

αὐτόματ‎(α‎): see B32. 4 n.; B34. 3.

4. ἅπασ‎(α‎) … χαράδρα‎: 'every torrent-gully', which are normally dry but flow with tremendous force when full. For similar images, see 9; B34. 6.

4–6. μᾶζαι δ‎(ὲ‎) ἄρτοις ἐμάχοντο‎ | κτλ‎.: The idea is taken up again in 13; cf. Nicophon fr. 21. 4 (another passage cited by Athenaeus in this section of the Deipnosophists) 'Let a cake urge (the diner) to eat him!' ἄρτος‎ is 'baked bread' (normally made of wheat flour), as opposed to unbaked μᾶζα‎ (made of barley); cf. B32. 8 n.; F10. 10 with n.; J3. 1; Cratin. fr. 176. 2 (also cited by Athenaeus in this section of the Deipnosophists).

5. καταπίνειν‎: 'to gulp down' (also in 10); τὰς λευκοτάτας‎ in 6 is the object of the infinitive. Cf. B33. 10; G11. 11.

6. εἴ τι φιλοῖεν‎: 'if they would be so kind'.

τὰς λευκοτάτας‎: i.e. 'the very best (of them)', since high-quality flour and meal were sifted to remove the bran, producing bread or cakes that were whiter than those made with less expensive ingredients; cf. F10. 10 n.; G1. 1–2 n.

οἴκαδ‎(ε‎) ἰόντες‎: i.e. from the marketplace, where one would normally have to go to fetch them (G5–G6; J6–J7).

7. For self-roasting fish, see B32. 9–10.

ἂν παρέκειντ‎(ο‎): 'would lie beside (the dinner guests)'.

8. Cf. B34. 3–4; Metag. fr. 6. 1–8; Nicophon fr. 21. 3 ζωμὸς διὰ τῶν ὁδῶν κυλινδείτω κρέα‎ ('Let broth roll chunks of meat through the streets!') (all cited by Athenaeus in this section of the Deipnosophists).

ζωμοῦ‎: 'broth', which naturally contains numerous chunks of warm meat (κρέα θερμά‎). Cf. C11. 3 n.; G9. 1–2 with n.; Olson on Ar. Pax 715–17.

τὰς κλίνας‎: 'the couches', on which banqueters reclined to eat; cf. A13. 14 n.

9. ὑποτριμματίων‎: 'little sauces'; see G10. 3 n.

ὀχετοί‎: 'streams'; cf. B34. 7.

τούτων τοῖς βουλομένοισι‎: 'for those who wanted (to eat some) of these things'.

pg 103

10. 'with the result that there was no reason to begrudge a man for soaking his mouthful (in the sauces (cf. 9), to make it) soft, and gulping it down'; cf. 5 n.; E3. 12 (for another use of ἔνθεσις‎ in this sense); G12. 10 n. Monopolizing the tastiest portions of the meal (in this case the ὑποτριμμάτια‎) is generally represented as bad—if understandable—behaviour (cf. C12; G11. 11–18; G17); but in the speaker's day there was more than enough to go around.

11. λεκανίσκαισιν‎: 'little dishes' (diminutive < λεκάνη‎, 'basin'). As the text stands, this must be the vessel in which the food further described as ἡδυσματίοις κατάπαστα‎ ('sprinkled with seasonings'; cf. B32. 10 n.) was served; but something has gone badly wrong somewhere, and what is preserved may be the beginning of one verse and the end of the next. ἥδυσμα‎ is a generic term for seasonings of all sorts; see Olson–Sens on Archestr. fr. 23. 3–4.

12. κίχλαι‎: see B34. 10 n.

ἀμητίσκων‎: diminutive < ἄμης‎, a type of cake made with milk (e.g. Ar. Pl. 999; Ephipp. fr. 8. 3; Alex. fr. 168. 5 with Arnott ad loc.).

13. See 4–6 n.

πλακοῦντων‎: a generic term for unbaked cakes of all sorts; cf. J3. 3; Olson–Sens on Archestr. fr. 60. 15.

ἀλαλητός‎: 'an uproar, shouting' (despite LSJ s.v. I. 3).

14. Cf. Cratin. fr. 176. 2 (of Cronus' time; also quoted by Athenaeus in this section of the Deipnosophists) 'when they played knucklebones with loaves of bread'; Ar. Pl. 816–17.

μήτρας‎ … τόμοις καὶ χναυματίοις‎: 'with slices of sow's womb'—a delicacy, here served stuffed like a sausage; cf. Antiph. fr. 219. 3 'sow's womb, the most delicious meat'; Olson–Sens on Archestr. fr. 60. 7–8—'and little trimmings (of meat)'.

ἂν ἠστραγάλιζον‎: 'they used to play neckbones, knucklebones' (ἀστράγαλοι‎), which were used much like dice (κύβοι‎); see D12. 3 n.

15. πίονες ἦσαν‎: For the Greeks (unlike for us), being fat was a good thing; cf. Ar. Pax 1170.

μέγα χρῆμα Γιγάντων‎: literally 'a big affair of Giants'; a colloquialism (Stevens 21) equivalent to 'big Giants' and thus here 'as big as the Giants, immensely tall'. For the Giants, see A12 introductory n.

B34. Someone has just praised agriculture and the craftsmen that make it possible (1–2). But getting food that way involves hard work, and the speaker of this fragment describes instead a world of spontaneous natural abundance, where delicious things stream forth like water from springs (3–5), rain off a roof during a storm (6–8), or leaves from the proverbially countless trees in the mountains (9–10).

Preserved at Athenaeus 6. 269c–e.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic.

pg 104

1–2. 'Ploughs' (ἀροτῶν‎) and 'yokemakers' (ζυγοποιῶν‎) go naturally together in 1 to refer to the preparation of the soil at the beginning of planting-season, just as the matched pairs 'sicklemakers' (δρεπανουργῶν‎; also mentioned at Ar. Pax 548) and 'smiths' (χαλκοτύπων‎, sc. to make agricultural tools generally), and 'sowing' (σπέρματος‎) and 'staking' (χαρακισμοῦ‎, sc. to support vines and small trees) in 2 describe—in no particular order-the back-breaking work that follows.

3. αὐτόματοι‎: 'spontaneous, of their own accord'; see B32. 4 n.; B33. 3.

3–4. ζωμοῦ μέλανος‎ is to be taken with ποταμοί‎, 'rivers of black broth' (a traditional delicacy made with blood, whence its colour, and often described as eaten with μᾶζαι‎ or another starch; see Eup. fr. 380; Alex. fr. 145. 7–8; Olson–Sens on Matro fr. 1. 93–4). For the image, cf. B33. 8 with n.

λιπαροῖς ἐπιπάστοις‎ | … καὶ Ἀχιλλείοις μάζαις κοχυδοῦντες ἐπιβλύξ‎: 'gushing abundantly with rich sprinkle-bread'—whatever that may be—'and cakes of the finest barley'. For 'Achillean' (i.e. top-quality) barley-groats and the cakes made from them, see Ar. Eq. 819; Thphr. HP viii. 4. 2, 10. 2; Ath. 3. 114f.

5. τοῦ Πλούτου‎: for the personified god Wealth (e.g. Hes. Th. 969–74; carm. conv. PMG 885; Hippon. fr. 44; Timocr. PMG 731; cf. Cratinus' Gods of Wealth), see Sommerstein's edition of Aristophanes' Wealth, pp. 5–8.

σφῶν ἀρύτεσθαι‎: 'to draw for ourselves from them', i.e. 'so that we can draw from them'; an epexegetic infinitive (KG ii. 4).

6. ὕων οἴνωι καπνίαι‎: 'raining with καπνίας‎ wine', i.e. rather than with mere water. καπνίας οἶνος‎ (mentioned also at Pl. Com. fr. 274; Anaxandr. fr. 42. 71) is most likely 'wine that has been treated with smoke' (καπνός‎) (thus Hsch. κ‎ 716); cf. Colum. i. 6. 20; H8. 6 n. For the image, cf. Nicophon fr. 21. 1–2 (one of the other passages quoted by Athenaeus in this section of the Deipnosophists), 'Let it snow barley! let it drizzle loaves of baked bread! let it rain pea-soup!'

κατὰ τοῦ κεράμου βαλανεύσει‎: 'will pour (it, i.e. the wine) down over the tiling'—i.e. the roof—'like a bathman' as he ladles water over his customers. For bathmen (a common urban occupation), see Pl. R. 344d; Thphr. Char. 9. 8 with Diggle ad loc.; Olson on Ar. Pax 1103.

7–8. ὀχετοὶ βοτρύων‎ … | ὀχετεύσονται‎: 'streams of grape-clusters will pour forth'.

7. μετὰ ναστίσκων πολυτύρων‎: sc. πλακούντων‎ (cf. B33. 13 n.), 'accompanied by little (cakes) stuffed with a lot of cheese' (a common ingredient; see Olson on Ar. Ach. 1124–5). ναστίσκος‎ is a diminutive < νάστος‎, 'stuffed (cake)'; see Dunbar on Ar. Av. 567.

ἔτνει‎: 'pea-soup, bean-soup' (e.g. Crates fr. 11. 1; Call. Com. fr. 26; Ar. Ach. 246 with Olson ad loc.).

λειριοπολφανεμώναις‎ is obscure. But a λείριον‎ is a delicate flower of some type, perhaps a lily (Cratin. fr. 105. 2), πολφός‎ is a type of pg 105porridge (Metag. fr. 18. 2 with Pellegrino, in Tessere 336–7), and Hesychius α‎ 4882 glosses ἀνεμώνη‎ as 'a type of barley-cake'; so these must be fancy cakes of a perhaps imaginary kind.

9. χορδαῖς‎ … ἐριφείοις‎: 'sausages' (literally 'intestines'; see G13. 3 n., and cf. A10) 'stuffed with kid-meat' (for which, see B35. 3–4 n.).

10. φυλλοροήσει‎: 'will shed leaves with' + dat., i.e. 'will drop (dat.) rather than leaves'.

τευθιδίοις‎: 'baby squid' (Fishes, 260–1); a delicacy (e.g. G5. 4; Pherecr. fr. 50. 3; Metag. fr. 6. 6; Eub. fr. 14. 8; Archestr. fr. 55. 1 with Olson–Sens ad loc.).

κίχλαις‎ … ἀναβράστοις‎: 'stewed thrushes' (Birds, 148–50), another delicacy (e.g. B33. 12; B35. 3; I6. 8–9; Pherecr. fr. 113. 23; Ar. Nu. 339; Alex. fr. 168. 3–5 with Arnott ad loc.).

B35. Speaker A is a god (note ὑμᾶς‎ in 14), who proposes to make good food of every sort available to the Athenians throughout the year as a reward for their piety (13); in contrast to B32–B34, the fantasy is firmly and emphatically set within a modern cash-economy (3, 9, 10). But Speaker B (more likely a god of a different, more traditional sort rather than a human being) is dubious of the plan, which he characterizes as confusing (6–7), expensive (10), and likely to make the city a very different place from what it ought to be (15); and the gods to whose worship Speaker A refers are most likely foreign deities such as Sabazius (mentioned in Ar. fr. 578, from the same play), whose cult was introduced into Athens probably sometime in the 420s (MacDowell on Ar. V. 9). For the phenomenon of 'new gods' in late fifth- and fourth-century Athens, see J19; R. Parker, Athenian Religion: A History (Oxford and New York, 1996), 152–98. The chorus of Seasons (for whom, see G16. 6 n.) was doubtless sympathetic to Speaker B's case (esp. 6–7, 15 with n.) and hostile to Speaker A, whose plan would have eliminated them.

Preserved at Athenaeus 9. 372b–d, where the speaker claims that he and his fellow-diners were reminded of the passage when gourds (κολοκύνται‎; see 6 with n.) were unexpectedly served in mid-winter. Nicander fr. 72 Schneider follows.

Trochaic tetrameter catalectic.

1. ὄψει‎: sc. 'if I am allowed to carry out my programme'; cf. 5 ἴδοις ἄν‎.

σικυοὺς βότρυς ὀπώραν‎: 'cucumbers, grape-clusters, summer fruit generally'. Theophrastus' Dolt quarrels with his slave when the latter fails at the impossible task of purchasing cucumbers in winter (Char. 14. 9). For eating cucumbers and grapes, see Olson–Sens on Matro frr. 4; 1. 113, respectively; García Soler 49, 116–17, respectively.

2. στεφάνους ἴων‎: for garlands of violets (to be worn at symposia; see H1. 7 n.), cf. Ar. Ach. 637 with Olson ad loc.; Thphr. HP vi. 8. 1. οἶμαι κτλ‎.: a cynical aside, which Speaker A ignores; contrast 6–7.

pg 106

κονιορτὸν ἐκτυφλοῦντα‎: 'a blinding dust-storm' (cf. F11. 8; J13. 6); normally a far more common sight in mid-winter than fresh produce in the marketplace, but also a pointed response to ὄψει‎ in 1 ('What I really expect my eyes to be full of is … dust!').

3–4. αὑτὸς δ‎ʼ ἀνῆρ πωλεῖ‎: Many individual vendors in Athens' marketplace handled specific, limited categories of items (see J1–J3 with nn.), and Speaker A's point is that he will produce such a super-abundance of goods (cf. 1–2, 5, 8–9) that this will no longer be true and everyone will sell delicious food of every sort. The present tense verb (contrast 1) produces a vivid picture of what is likely to happen (Goodwin § 32).

κίχλας κτλ‎.: 'thrushes, pears, honey-comb, olives, | beestings, after-birth pudding, swallow-figs, cicadas, still-born kids'. For thrushes (a delicacy), see B34. 10 n. Beestings (another delicacy) are the rich, yellowish milk produced by a she-goat immediately after she gives birth; see Olson on Ar. Pax 1150; García Soler 272–3. For after-birth pudding (honey and milk cooked in the foetal envelope of a sheep or goat), see Arnott on Alex. fr. 178. 13. For 'swallow-figs', see Epigen. fr. 1. 2; Macho 427; Poll. vi. 80–1. For eating cicadas, see Ar. fr. 53. 1; Alex. fr. 167. 13 with Arnott ad loc. Still-born lambs and kids were presumably valued as food because their meat was so tender.

5. ὑρίσους‎ … νειφομένους σύκων ὁμοῦ τε μύρτων‎: 'harvest-baskets full of a mixture of figs and myrtle-berries, pouring down thick as snow'. For ὕρισοι‎, see Arnott on Alex. fr. 133. 3 (where the word appears in the form σύριχος‎). For figs, see G1. 4 n. For myrtle-berries (a dainty), e.g. Ar. Pax 575; Theopomp. Com. fr. 68; Thphr. Char. 11. 4 with Diggle ad loc.; and see García Soler 118. For the image 'thick as snow', see H. Il. 3. 222; Taillardat § 661.

ἴδοις ἄν‎: sc. 'should I be allowed to do what I propose'. Contrast the use of the future indicative in 1.

6–7. The point of the question is that turnips (ταῖς γογγυλίσιν‎) were a winter crop, gourds (κολοκύντας‎) a summer crop (cf. Thphr. HP vii. 1. 2), so that sowing (ἀροῦσιν‎ < ἀρόω‎) them simultaneously is a sign of not knowing 'what time of the year it is' (ὁπηνίκ‎(α‎) ἐστι τοῦ‎ (ἐ‎)νιαυτοῦ‎). For turnips (simple, inexpensive food), see Austin–Olson on Ar. Th. 1185. For gourds (in a catalogue of homely foods at Metag. fr. 18. 2), see Heller, ICS 10 (1985), 102–11; Pellegrino, in Tessere, 337–8; García Soler 48–9; and cf. F6. 16.

8. <ἆρ‎ʼ οὐ‎> μέγιστον ἀγαθόν‎;: sc. ἐστι‎, 'Isn't this the greatest good (there could be)?'

ἔστι‎: 'it is (possible)'.

δι‎(ὰ‎) ἐνιαυτοῦ‎: 'throughout the year, at any time of year'.

9. λαβεῖν‎: here 'to buy', as also at G5. 5–7.

μὲν οὖν‎: 'to the contrary' (cf. D2. 3; F15. 3; Denniston 475).

pg 107

10. εἰ μὴ‎ … ἦν‎: 'If this weren't the case', i.e. if one couldn't buy whatever food one wanted whenever one wanted it (cf. 8–9).

ἐδαπανῶντο‎ is middle (rather than passive), 'spend money'.

11. τοῦτ‎(o) ὀλίγον χρόνον χρήσας‎: after lending (LSJ s. χράω‎ B) this'—i.e. the opportunity described in 8–9—'for a short time'.

13. τούτοις‎: i.e. the Athenians.

τοὺς θεοὺς σέβουσιν‎: Although Athenian authors often refer to the city's supposed great piety (see Dover on Ar. Nu. 310), the gods in question must be not the traditional Olympians but 'new' deities, and the good things promised above are offered only on condition that Athens accepts these new gods.

14. ἀπέλαυσαν κτλ‎.: an ironic remark, as 15 makes clear.

ἄρα‎ conveys scepticism about the assertion attributed to the other party (ὡς σὺ φήις‎); see Denniston 38–9.

τιὴ τί‎;: 'Why?' or 'What do you mean?' An emphatic expression of puzzlement; cf. Austin–Olson on Ar. Th. 84.

15. For Egypt as a land without seasons, see Hdt. ii. 77. 3. But the claim that, under the speaker's proposal, Athens will have been transformed into another Egypt, is implicitly hostile, and the more substantial point is that the city has no need of Egypt's plethora of absurd deities; cf. A1 introductory n. (on Egypt in comedy); Anaxandr. fr. 40 (on the impossibility of an alliance between Athenians and Egyptians because of religious differences).

B36–B45. Parabasis fragments, in many of which 'the poet' speaks directly to the audience through his chorus. Cf. B8–B9; B13. 6–9; E19 (but apparently not from a parabasis); Cratin. frr. 105; 182 (probably from a 'second parabasis'); 251; *361; Crates fr. 18 (from the pnigos); Telecl. fr. 4; Pherecr. frr. 34; 52; Ar. frr. 30–1; 58–9; 112–13 (probably from a 'second parabasis'); 264–5; 428–31; Eup. frr. 99. 1–34 (the antode and antepirrhema); 173 (probably from a 'second parabasis'); Philonid. frr. 4–5; adesp. com. fr. 209; and see Whittaker 188–90.

B36. A flattering initial address to the audience in the 'parabasis proper', like B37 (even more obviously tongue-in-cheek).

Preserved at Hephaestion, Enchiridion 15. 12, on account of the metre.

Hephaestion identifies this as a 'Platonikon', which he describes as two and a half dactylic feet, an iambic central section, and two and a half dactylic feet, i.e. in Maas' terminology D – e – D.

For the initial greeting χαῖρε‎, cf. B37. 1.

παλαιογόνων‎: probably an allusion to the Athenian claim to be an autochthonous people (e.g. Ar. V. 1076; fr. 112. 1; Th. i. 2. 5; cf. N. Loraux, The Children of Athena (Princeton, pg 1081993; originally published in French in 1984), 37–71). But the idea that the members of the audience are very old also serves to explain their allegedly extraordinary wisdom; cf. Ar. Av. 688–90 (the birds use the great antiquity of their race as a basis to demand that the audience pay attention to their words).

παντοσόφων‎: 'clever in every way'. For the audience (or a portion thereof) addressed as σοφοί‎ at the beginning of a parabasis section, see Ar. Nu. 575; and cf. B11 n.; B37. 2 (of the poet); Ar. Nu. 535; V. 1049; Ra. 1118.

B37. Another flattering initial address to the audience (cf. B36 with n.) who, the chorus claim, are routinely taken in by bad material, but are then full of insights as to who ought to have got the prize—one day too late. Cf. p. 19 (on the judging at the festivals); B43 with nn.

Preserved at Hephaestion, Enchiridion 15. 2, on account of the metre.


1. μέγα‎ is adverbial, 'loudly'.

ἀχρειόγελως‎: 'that laughs to no purpose, for no good reason', i.e. 'at bad jokes'—which is to say, 'at the jokes of our poet's rivals'. Cf. B40–B42 with nn.; Ar. Nu. 560 (of the unoriginal rubbish staged by the poet's rivals) 'may anyone who laughs at these things take no pleasure in mine'.

ταῖς ἐπίβδαις‎: 'on the days that follow festivals'; cf. Braswell on Pi. P. 4. 140.

2. τῆς ἡμετέρας σοφίας‎: see B11 n.; B36.

3. εὐδαίμον‎(α‎) is ironic, and the point is that the spectators have the luxury of being offered wonderful comic material by the poet for whom the chorus speaks; clamouring for the prize to be given to someone else; and then archly criticizing the decision after the festival is over.

ἰκρίων ψόφησις‎: 'the noise produced by the benches, bleachers', i.e. by the spectators who sit on them in the theatre. The term ἴκρια‎ ('planks, decking') was used of the temporary stands of scaffolding set up to accommodate spectators for processions and (at least before an infamous collapse sometime early in the fifth century) theatrical shows in the Agora (Pratin. TrGF 4 T 1. 3–4; Hsch. α‎ 1695; ι‎ 501; π‎ 513; Phot. ι‎ 95). After the dramatic festivals were transferred to the theatre of Dionysus, the word continued to be used of the rows of seats there; cf. Ar. Th. 395 with Austin–Olson ad loc. In apposition to μήτηρ‎.

B38. 'The poet' explains his supposedly reluctant decision to address the audience in his own defence (i.e. against the slanders of his rivals); cf. B40–B42 n.; Ar. Ach. 628–32; Pax 734–8. J17 is from the same play.

Preserved in a scholium on Ar. Pax 734, as part of an extended note on the staging of parabases.

pg 109Eupolideans (COMMENTARY); also used in the 'parabasis proper' at e.g. B42; B43. 6; Cratin. fr. 105; Pherecr. fr. 34; Ar. Nu. 518–62. Cf. Poultney, AJP 100 (1979), 133–44.

1. ὦνδρες‎: for the audience addressed thus, e.g. Pherecr. fr. 84. 1; Ar. Pax 13; Lys. 1044; Pl. Com. fr. 182. 7. That women are ignored does not necessarily mean that they were not present in the theatre.

εἰ μὲν μὴ λίαν‎ … ἠναγκαζόμην‎: 'were I not under terrible pressure' vel sim.; cf. B4. 2 n.

2. στρέψαι δεῦρ‎(ο‎) ('to turn around in this direction'), like παρέβην‎ (< παραβαίνω‎, cognate with παράβασις‎), refers both to the chorus's movements, as they turn to face the audience after the actors have left the stage, and to the 'direction' in which circumstances have forced the poet to go in this section of his play.

B39. 'The poet' reminds his audience of the constant novelty that distinguishes his productions, and the pleasure they get from them, the implication being that his rivals are not generally so original. Cf. B40 with introductory n.; Pherecr. fr. 84 'Pay attention, gentlemen, to this new invention: folded anapaests!'; Ar. Nu. 546–8 (also from a parabasis) 'nor do I try to deceive you, by bringing the same things on stage two or three times; instead, I display my skill by always introducing new ideas, utterly unlike one another and all of them clever' (followed in 551–9 by a denunciation of other comic poets for endlessly reworking the same material); V. 56–66; Pax 739–47 (also from a parabasis; 'the poet' lists some of the tired jokes and typical scenes his rivals use but he does not). See in general Pellegrino, in Tessere, 326–32 (detailed commentary on this fragment).

Preserved at Athenaeus 10. 459b–c, as a parallel in support of the main narrator's plan to have his characters move on to a different topic of discussion the next night.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic, also used in the 'parabasis proper' at e.g. B40–B41; Cratin. fr. 251; Ar. Ach. 628–58; Philonid. frr. 4–5.

1. κατ‎(ὰ‎) ἐπεισόδιον μεταβάλλω τὸν λόγον‎: 'I vary my plot ἐπεισόδιον‎ by ἐπεισόδιον‎' (see B6.2 n.), i.e. 'I add variety to my plot by inserting ἐπεισόδιοα‎ʼ. For this distributive use of κατά‎ + accusative, e.g. C2. 1; D3. 11; E3. 9. For λόγος‎ in this sense, see B1. 1 n.

2. καιναῖσι παροψίσι καὶ πολλαῖς‎: 'with many novel appetizers'; καί‎ is to be left untranslated when it links a form of πολύς‎ and another adjective. For παροψίδες‎ (appetizers or secondary side-dishes, which add interest to a meal but are not its focus, just as ἐπεισόδια‎, enjoyable as they may be, make only a peripheral contribution to a play), see G12. 6–7 n.

pg 110

εὐωχήσω‎: for comedy as a feast served to the audience, see also Cratin. fr. 182; Ar. Eq. 538 (of Crates) 'who used to give you an inexpensive breakfast and send you off'; fr. 347; cf. F5 (of tragedy).

τὸ θέατρον‎: 'the audience', as at e.g. Ar. Ach. 629; Eq. 233; Amphis fr. 14. 3; cf. B44. 1.

B40–B42. Aristophanes repeatedly asserts the superiority of his own poetry to that of his rivals (e.g. Nu. 524–5, 537–44, 551–60; V. 54–66; Pax 736–74), whom he occasionally mentions by name (Ach. 848–53, 1173; Eq. 400, 531–6 (all Cratinus; see B1–B12 n.); Nu. 553–6 (Eupolis; see B42 introductory n.), 557 (Hermippus); Pax 700–3 (Cratinus)), and these fragments make it clear that on-stage attacks of this sort were scarcely unusual among the 'Old Comic' poets. Cf. B13. 8 with n.; Ar. V. 1025 ~ Pax 762–3 (personal criticism of Eupolis); Eup. fr. 62 (criticism of the staging of Ar. Pax); Pl. Com. fr. 86 (criticism of the staging of Ar. Pax).

B40. The imagery is borrowed from fulling, a process in which dirty clothes were trampled in a basin containing water and a crude detergent; beaten with rods, rinsed, and dried; brushed (κνάπτω‎, whence κναφεύς‎, 'fuller') to raise the nap (cf. ἀνακνάψας‎); bleached with sulphur (θεῖον‎, whence θειώσας‎); and pressed. See Blümner i2. 170–90; Forbes iv. 82–90, 93–5. In this way an old garment could be made to look new (or at least newer), and the point of the assertion made in this fragment is that 'the poet' does not merely recycle ideas already put on stage by others (cf. B42 introductory n.), but comes up with new ones of his own. For the image (poetry as a garment), cf. Ar. Nu. 553; fr. 58 (both from the parabasis).

Preserved in Pollux at (1) vii. 41, in a discussion of terms related to fulling; and (2) vii. 77, in a discussion of names for different types of clothing.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic.

B41. If a full stop is placed at the end of the first verse (thus K–A), the second verse becomes a response to the spectator's question ('[I'm] someone …'). But more likely no punctuation is wanted and the adjectives in 2 represent a series of increasingly elaborate glosses on κομψός‎ (here 'subtle, clever' (as at C9. 1; Cratin. fr. 182. 3; Ar. Ra. 967), but with overtones of 'haughty'; contrast B45. 2 with n.), with εὐριπιδαριστοφανίζων‎ reserved for the end as the punchline (cf. B29. 3 n.; Ar. Eq. 18 κομψευριπικῶς‎). In any case, the final word amounts to a public slap at one of Cratinus' most important rivals during the final years of his career (cf. B1–B12 n.) by 'the poet', who indirectly represents himself as most emphatically not a 'Euripidaristophanizer'. Cf. Luppe, in Rivals, 15–20. For the reception of Euripides in comedy, see D11–D12 n. For comments (imaginary or not) from the audience, cf. C2. 4–5 n.

Preserved in a scholium on Pl. Ap. 19c (Socrates claims that much of the pg 111prejudice against him can be traced to the—allegedly utterly false—portrait presented in Aristophanes' Clouds), as evidence in support of the observation that 'Aristophanes was made fun of in comedy for mocking Euripides but imitating him'.

Anapaestic tetrameter catalectic.

2. ὑπολεπτολόγος‎: λεπτολογέω‎ is 'quibble about ideas', and the prefix adds the sense 'somewhat, a bit' (LSJ s. ὑπό‎ F. II).

γνωμιδιώκτης‎: formed from the contemptuous diminutive γνωμίδιον‎ (cf. Ar. Eq. 100; Nu. 321) rather than γνώμη‎, which would produce γνωμοδιώκτης‎.

εὐριπιδαριστοφανίζων‎: Aristophanes constantly criticizes Euripides for being a chatterer (e.g. Ach. 414–47 (which Cratinus will have known); Ra. 1069–73; fr. 392), and after ὑπολεπτολόγος‎ and γνωμιδιώκτης‎, part of the point must be that he is just as much of one himself.

B42. At Clouds 553–4, Aristophanes insists that Eupolis wrote Marikas (a satire on the demagogue Hyperbolus, probably Lenaia 422/1; see E5; E23–E25 n.; E23 introductory n.; Storey 197–214) 'by turning our Knights (Lenaia 424) clumsily inside out' (cf. fr. 58, which may be another allusion to the quarrel), and an ancient commentator on the passage offers this fragment (probably from the early 410s) to show that Eupolis argued the opposite. (The dispute may have been older and more complicated than this, for Cratinus in The Wineflask (fr. 213) at the City Dionysia in 423 is said to have 'abused Aristophanes for using Eupolis' words' (see B1–B12 n.; and cf. E19 introductory n.; Hermipp. fr. 64 (a similar charge directed against Phrynichus)). There can be no doubt that the comic poets saw one another's plays performed, and occasionally borrowed (or 'stole') ideas from their rivals; for examples, see C7 introductory n.; G5. 3–4 with n.; I2 introductory n.; I8 introductory n.; Ar. Th. 215 with Austin–Olson ad loc. But the seemingly autobiographical remarks by 'the poet' at Ar. V. 1017–22 (cf. Eq. 512–17, 542–4) suggest that they also worked together on occasion, reviewing drafts, suggesting jokes, and the like (cf. Halliwell, GRBS 30 (1989), 515–28; Storey 278–300); and Eupolis and Aristophanes may thus both be right about the tangled origins of Knights, Marikas, and the 'demagogue-comedy' (for which, see E23 introductory n.). J19 (where see introductory n.) is from the same play.

Preserved entire in a scholium on Ar. Nu. 554, and in an incomplete form in scholia on Eq. 1291 and Nu. 540.

Eupolideans (see B38 introductory n.).

2. ξυνεποίησα‎: 'I collaborated with'. ποιέω‎ in the compound has the specific sense 'write poetry'; cf. D4. 3; D9. 3.

τῶι φαλακρῶι‎: 'the bald guy', i.e. Aristophanes (Eq. 550; Nu. 545; Pax 771–4).

pg 112

B43. The phrasing of the threat in 5–7 makes it clear that these remarks were preceded by hostile comments about the judges at a previous festival (in contrast to τοῖς δὲ κριταῖς‎ | τοῖς νυνὶ κρίνουσι‎, 'the judges judging now' (1–2)), at which Pherecrates failed to take the prize. For similarly pointed 'advice' to the judges in the theatre, see Pherecr. fr. 126; Ar. Nu. 1115–30; Av. 1102–17; Ec. 1154–62; and cf. B37. The speaker throughout the fragment is 'the poet', with the reference to Pherecrates in the third person in 6 merely adding solemnity to the threat.

Preserved at Photius p. 647. 22 = EM, p. 793. 43 = Suda φ‎ 342, in a gloss on Φίλιος Ζεύς‎.

Line 6 is a Eupolidean (see B38 introductory n.), and 1–5 are a variant thereof, = the first half of a Eupolidean (i.e. an anaclastic glyconic) COMMENTARY

3–4. μὴ‎ (ἐ‎)πιορκεῖν μηδ‎(ὲ‎) ἀδίκως‎ | κρίνειν‎: The second order gives specific content to the first. Cf. Ar. Ec. 1160 (also addressed to the judges) μὴ‎ ʼπιορκεῖν‎, ἀλλὰ κρίνειν τοὺς χοροὺς ὀρθῶς ἀεί‎ ('not to violate their oath, but to always judge the choruses properly').

4. ἤ‎: 'or (else)', i.e. if they fail to follow this advice.

νὴ τὸν φίλιον‎: 'by the god of friendship', a cult-title of Zeus (e.g. Diod. Com. fr. 2. 5; Men. fr. 53; Pl. Phdr. 234e); probably invoked here because Pherecrates and the judges (or the audience generally?) have been said in the immediately preceding verses to have always maintained a close and amicable relationship, which the alleged treachery of awarding the prize to someone else has betrayed and which ought now to be emphatically reaffirmed (sc. by voting for the current play). Cf. Ar. Nu. 518–62; V. 1043–59.

5. εἰς ὑμᾶς‎: 'in regard to you, about you'.

B44. 'The poet' reproaches the audience for their failure to show adequate appreciation for young Athenian playwrights (presumably including himself, given ἀπολογήσομαι‎ in 2 and ἡμῶν‎ … νέων‎ in 8). The trochaic metre would seem to identify this as part of an epirrhema or antepirrhema, although Storey 300–3, suggests that it belongs to an agon instead. In any case, 1 is clearly the beginning of the section, while the appeal in 8 to the audience (or the other party) to change their ways probably comes at the end; and up to a dozen verses or so containing a more specific description of the complaint might easily have been lost between 2 and 3.

Preserved at Stobaeus iii. 4. 32 (only in Tr and Voss, which are in turn dependent on a lost portion of S), under the heading 'Concerning folly'.

Trochaic tetrameter catalectic.

1. For the audience addressed as θεαταί‎ ('spectators') in the parabasis, e.g. Ar. Nu. 575; V. 1071; Av. 753; cf. B39. with n.

pg 113

1–2. τὰ‎ (ἐ‎)μὰ καὶ ξυνίετε‎ | ῥήματ‎(α‎): an allusion to Archil. fr. 109; cf. B8 (also from an epirrhema or antepirrhema) with n.

2. εὐθύ‎ and πρῶτον‎ are both adverbial, 'immediately at the beginning' (sc. of this section of my parabasis). The priority the topic is given reflects how seriously 'the poet' takes it, and although the lacuna makes it impossible to know what charge (or implied charge) he defended himself against, the obvious conclusion from 3–8 is that he insisted he ought to have been awarded a prize that went to someone else. Cf. Ar. Nu. 524–5 (from the 'parabasis proper'); V. 1015–59, esp. 1051–5 (from the 'parabasis proper' and the pnigos).

3. ὅ τι μαθόντες‎: 'what got into your heads, that …'. Colloquial; cf. Dover on Ar. Nu. 402; Olson on Ar. Ach. 826.

τοὺς ξένους‎: Meineke suggested taking this as a hostile reference to Aristophanes, who may have been from Aegina (Ach. 652–4). But Eupolis and Aristophanes were about the same age (cf. Eup. test. 7), and given τις ἡμῶν‎ … νέων‎ ('one of us young men', apparently contrasted with the 'foreigners') in 8 (corrupt?), the target must be someone else, although none of the comic poets of the previous generation are known to have come from outside Attica. (Contrast tragic poets such as Neophron of Sicyon (TrGF 15) and Ion of Chios (TrGF 19); and cf. B45. 14 n.)

4. ἐνθάδ‎(ε‎) αὐτοῦ‎: 'right here', i.e. from Athens itself.

μηδὲ ἓν χεῖρον φρονῶν‎: 'thinking nothing worse', i.e. 'who is no less brilliant'; echoed in 5 δοκεῖ κακῶς φρονεῖν‎ and 6 παραρρεῖ τῶν φρενῶν‎.

5. ἐπιτιθῆται‎ is middle, 'applies himself to' + dat.

6. παραρρεῖ τῶν φρενῶν‎: 'drifts away from his senses'.

τῶι σῶι λόγωι‎: 'according to you', as at X. Mem. iii. 10. 12.

7. μεταβαλόντες τοὺς τρόπους‎: found in the same position in the line in a similar request at Ar. Ra. 734 (near the end of the antepirrhema).

8. μὴ φθονεῖτ‎(ε‎) κτλ‎.: cf. μὴ φθονεῖθ‎ʼ ἡμῖν‎ at the end of the epirrhema at Ar. Eq. 580.

μουσικῆι‎: used here as a general term for 'poetic activity', as at e.g. Ar. Ach. 851; Antiph. fr. 207. 6; Anaxil. fr. 27. 1.

B45. The chorus of 'flatterers' (i.e. parasites; see A13 introductory n.; C11–C12; G14–G17) explain their way of life to the audience (1 πρὸς ὑμᾶς‎; cf. B28. 2; B44. 2); cf. Cratin. fr. 105 (from the 'parabasis proper'); Ar. V. 1071–90, 1102–21 (the epirrhema and antepirrhema); Av. 753–68 (the epirrhema). Flatterers (test. i) was performed at the City Dionysia in 421 and took first place, defeating Aristophanes' Peace, Leucon's Phratries, and most likely two unidentified plays. Much of the play was apparently devoted to mocking the wealthy and extravagant Callias son of Hipponicus (PAA 554500).

pg 114Preserved at Athenaeus 6. 236e–7a, as evidence that 'the ancient poets' called parasites 'flatterers', as part of an extended history of the institution of parasitism that also includes A13; C11; F11; G14.

COMMENTARY, like F2 (perhaps from the same play), where see introductory n.; Ar. frr. 30–1 (from the parabasis of Amphiaraus).

1–2. ἀλλ‎(ά‎)2 is progressive ('Well …, So …'; Denniston 21–2) and marks the request that follows as fulfilling the proposal put forward in ἀλλὰ‎ … λέξομεν‎.

κομψοί‎: here 'elegant, smart' (e.g. Ar. Lys. 89; Arar. fr. 8. 1); contrast B41. 1.

3. For the παῖς ἀκόλουθος‎ (a slave who accompanied his master when he went out, carried whatever goods the master might need or purchase, and the like), e.g. Ar. Ec. 593; fr. 145; D. 54. 4; Thphr. Char. 9. 3; 21. 4; and cf. A13. 8.

4. ἀλλότριος τὰ πολλά‎ ('generally belonging to someone else!') is a humorous gloss on παῖς ἀκόλουθος‎ in 3; cf. μᾶζαν ἐπ‎ʼ ἀλλόφυλον‎ at the beginning of 12, capping ἐπὶ δεῖπνον‎ in 11.

5–10. The description moves abruptly into the singular; contrast 11, and cf. J7. 5–6 n.

5. ἱματίω‎ … μοι δύ‎(ο‎) ἐστὸν χαρίεντε τούτω‎: 'I have these two lovely himatia (outer garments)', which Fritzsche took as a mocking reference to the inside and the outside of a single robe, which the impoverished speaker turns inside-out on alternate days (6); cf. A13. 14.

6. οἶν μεταλαμβάνων‎ … θάτερον‎: 'changing one for the other of which'; cf. 5 n.

7. εἰς ἀγοράν‎: sc. because that is where one can see who is buying food (cf. G5–G6) or hiring a cook (see G7 introductory n.) for a dinner party to be held later in the day, and thus pick one's target (a man wealthy enough to be purchasing something worth eating, but foolish enough to be easily buttered up). Cf. G15; J1–J4 with nn.

8. εὐθὺς περὶ τοῦτόν εἰμι‎: 'I'm all over him immediately'.

9. κ‎(αὶ ἐ‎)άν τι τύχηι λέγων‎: i.e. 'whatever he says, no matter what he says'.

ὁ πλούταξ‎: 'the rich guy' (colloquial; attested elsewhere only at Men. fr. 351. 10).

10. 'and I pretend that I'm stunned with pleasure at his words'.

11. ἐπὶ δεῖπνον ἐρχόμεσθ‎(α‎): sc. because the strategy described in 9–10 has been successful and invitations to share the meals for which the shopping was being done (7–8) have been obtained. Note the abrupt return to the plural (contrast 5–10).

ἄλλυδις ἄλλος‎: a snatch of Homeric language (e.g. Il. 11. 486; Od. 5. 71).

12 μᾶζαν ἐπ‎(ὶ‎) ἀλλόφυλον‎: see 4 n.; B32. 8 n.

pg 115

12–13. For the parasite's need to flatter his host and be gracefully amusing, e.g. A13. 3–4; Antiph. fr. 80. 9–10; Anaxandr. fr. 10. 2; Alex. frr. 188; 229. 1–2; Diod. Com. fr. 2. 35–40.

14. Acestor (PAA 116685; TrGF 25) was a tragic poet active in the final third of the fifth century. The comic poets repeatedly refer to him as a foreigner and a barbarian (Ar. V. 1221; Av. 31 with Dunbar ad loc.; Metag. fr. 14; Theopomp. Com. fr. 61; cf. B44. 3 n.), hence the claim that he has been tattooed (τὸν στιγματίαν‎; cf. D1. 19 n.).

15. σκῶμμα‎ … ἀσελγές‎: 'an insolent joke', i.e. one at the host's expense; cf. A13. 5 with A13. 3–6 n.

ὁ παῖς‎: i.e. the doorkeeper at the house where the party was being held (cf. C9. 16).

16. ἔχοντα κλωιόν‎: 'wearing a collar' of a sort fitted around the necks and hands of condemned criminals also at e.g. Ar. V. 897; adesp. com. fr. *618; X. HG iii. 3. 11.

Οἰνεῖ‎: i.e. ' to death', since τὸ βάραθρον‎, a gully into which individuals condemned of crimes against the state were cast, sometimes alive (e.g. Ar. Eq. 1362; Alex. fr. 159. 1 with Arnott ad loc.; X. HG i. 7. 20), was located in the deme Oinoe.

B46. Probably a boast about the immense amount of effort invested in the play by the poet (cf. B39–B40), and thus interesting evidence for how far in advance an author might begin to plan for a festival; but perhaps Cratinus simply failed to get a chorus the first time around, and self-serving exaggeration must be suspected in any case. Identified by Aelius Aristides (below) as coming from the exodos. For other exodos-fragments, cf. B13. 37–40; Whittaker 190–1. E12–E13 are also from Cheirons, which must date to sometime between Pericles' rise to power in the late 440s or early 430s and his death in 429.

Preserved at Aelius Aristides, Oration 29. 92, as an example of the comic poets' habitual boastfulness.

Dactylic hexameter, like the exodos-song in Aristophanes' Frogs (1528–33).

ταῦτα‎: i.e. the play now coming to an end.

ἡμῖν‎ is probably a dative of advantage ('worked out for us', i.e. the chorus).

logo-footer Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.