ΕΥΡΙΠΙΔΑΡΙCΤΟΦΑΝΙΖΩΝ: An Unnoticed Euripidean Motif in Aristophanes

  Diggle, James. 2023. “ΕΥΡΙΠΙΔΑΡΙCΤΟΦΑΝΙΖΩΝ: An Unnoticed Euripidean Motif in Aristophanes.” In “Γέρα: Studies in honor of Professor Menelaos Christopoulos,” ed. Athina Papachrysostomou, Andreas P. Antonopoulos, Alexandros-Fotios Mitsis, Fay Papadimitriou, and Panagiota Taktikou, special issue, Classics@ 25.

I begin with a scene in the Lysistrata. Enter a chorus of aged, decrepit Athenian men, carrying live coals in pitchers and humping logs on their shoulders to make a bonfire to burn out the women who have seized the Acropolis. As they struggle up the slope they complain of the heaviness of their burdens and of the smoke which gets in their eyes. They are like certain old men in Euripides who arrive complaining of the effort they must make to reach their destination: the chorus of old men at the beginning of Heracles (107–130), or the two Old Men who grumble, one at the steepness of the slope to Electra’s cottage (Electra 487–492), the other of the steepness of the path to the temple at Delphi (Ion 735–746). But this is not the Euripidean motif which my title advertises. That comes in the chorus of women which follows.

Enter the chorus of women, rushing to the rescue of their endangered colleagues:

          λιγνὺν δοκῶ μοι καθορᾶν καὶ καπνόν, ὦ γυναῖκεϲ,
320    ὥϲπερ πυρὸϲ καομένου· ϲπευϲτέον ἐϲτὶ θᾶττον.

          πέτου πέτου, Νικοδίκη,                                                            [ϲτρ.
          πρὶν ἐμπεπρῆϲθαι Καλύκην
          τε καὶ Κρίτυλλαν περιφυϲήτω
          ὑπό τ᾽ ἀνέμων ἀργαλέων
325    ὑπό τε γερόντων ὀλέθρων.
          ἀλλὰ φοβοῦμαι τόδε· μῶν ὑϲτερόπουϲ βοηθῶ;
          νῦν δὴ γὰρ ἐμπληϲαμένη τὴν ὑδρίαν κνεφαία
          μόλιϲ ἀπὸ κρήνηϲ ὑπ᾽ ὄχλου καὶ θορύβου καὶ πατάγου
330    δούλαιϲιν ὠϲτιζομένη
          ϲτιγματίαιϲ θ᾽, ἁρπαλέωϲ
          <τεῦχοϲ ὕπερθεν κεφαλῆϲ> [1]
          ἀραμένη ταῖϲιν ἐμαῖϲ
          δημότιϲιν καομέναιϲ
          φέρουϲ᾽ ὕδωρ βοηθῶ.

335    ἤκουϲα γὰρ τυφογέρον-                                                           [ἀντ.
          ταϲ ἄνδραϲ ἔρρειν …

Lysistrata 319–336

I think I see a sooty glow and smoke, ladies,
as from a burning fire. We must hurry all the faster!

Fly, fly, Nikodike, before Kalyke
and Kritylla are combusted,
fanned from all sides by terrible winds
and deadly old men.
But I fear one thing: is it with belated step that I come to the rescue?
For only now, after scarcely managing to fill my pitcher
from the fountain in the dark
because of the crowd and hubbub and clatter of pots,
jostled by slave-girls
and slaves with tattoos, [2] eagerly hoisting
<the vessel onto my head>
I come bringing water
to the rescue of my fellow townswomen,
who are being set on fire.

For I have heard that some crazy old
blokes are on their damn way … [3]

How different is the entry of these women from that of the old men. The old men entered to the steady but laboured tread of iambic tetrameters catalectic: 254 χώρει, Δράκηϲ, ἡγοῦ βάδην, εἰ καὶ τὸν ὦμον ἀλγεῖϲ (– – ⏑ – | – – ⏑ – | – – ⏑ – | ⏑ – –). [4] The women rush in to the more tripping rhythm of iambo-choriambics: 319 λιγνὺν δοκῶ μοι καθορᾶν καὶ καπνόν, ὦ γυναῖκεϲ (– – ⏑ – | – ⏑ ⏑ – | – ⏑ ⏑ – | ⏑ – –). And there is a change in the linguistic register. Not the penny-plain language of the prosy dotards but the vocabulary of poetry: 319 λιγνύϲ (Aeschylus and Sophocles), [5] 324 ὑπό τ᾽ ἀνέμων ἀργαλέων [6] (echoing Homer Iliad 13.795 οἱ δ᾽ ἴϲαν ἀργαλέων ἀνέμων ἀτάλαντοι ἀέλληι), 326 ὑϲτερόπουϲ “with belated step” (like the Euripidean ὀπιϲθόπουϲ and ὑϲτέρωι ποδί, “with laggard step,” and the Aeschylean ὑϲτερόποινοϲ, “with belated vengeance”), [7] 327 κνεφαῖοϲ (Hipponax and tragedy), [8] 329 πάταγοϲ (epic, lyric and tragedy), [9] 332 ἁρπαλέωϲ (epic, elegy and lyric), [10] and later at 344 χρυϲολόφα (Anacreon and Bacchylides). [11]

A commentator writes that “The lofty (and partly paratragic) language . . . is humorously incongruous with their references to mundane domestic tasks,” [12] and he cites two passages which are significantly different from this one. [13] In both of them an elderly chorus recalls some mundane activity which it performed in its youth. The chorus in Lysistrata is speaking of a mundane activity which it performed just a moment ago, before it arrived on the scene. For that the appropriate comparison is a series of passages in Euripides.

I begin with Hippolytus 121–130:

          Ὠκεανοῦ τιϲ ὕδωρ ϲτάζουϲα πέτρα λέγεται,
          βαπτὰν κάλπιϲι πα-
          γὰν υτὰν προιεῖϲα κρημνῶν.
125     τόθι μοί τιϲ ἦν φίλα
          πορφύρεα φάρεα
          ποταμίαι δρόϲωι
          τέγγουϲα, θερμᾶϲ δ᾽ ἐπὶ νῶτα πέτραϲ
          εὐαλίου κατέβαλλ᾽· ὅθεν μοι
130    πρώτα φάτιϲ ἦλθε δεϲποίναϲ …

There is a cliff which is said to drip water from the Ocean,
pouring forth from the rock-face
a running stream to dip pitchers in.
It was there that a friend of mine,
washing crimson robes
in the river water,
was laying them out on the surface of a rock
that was warm in the sunlight. From there
it was that news first came to me of my mistress …

Here again is a spring. The women of Aristophanes use the spring to fill their pitchers. The friend of the women in Euripides uses it to do her laundry. Another mundane activity, but expressed in the language of high poetry. This sets the time and scene for the arrival of momentous news. “From there it was (that is, from the woman laundering her linen at the spring) that news first came to me of my mistress.” News arrives in both passages. In Lysistrata the news is the cause of the mundane activity described: the women fill their pitchers because of the news they have heard. In Hippolytus the mundane activity is a prelude to the arrival of news.

There is a similar scenario in the Helen 179–184:

          κυανοειδὲϲ ἀμφ᾽ ὕδωρ
180    ἔτυχον ἕλικά τ᾽ ἀνὰ χλόαν
          φοίνικαϲ ἁλίωι
          †πέπλουϲ χρυϲέαιϲιν αὐγαῖϲ
          ἀμφὶ δόνακοϲ ἔρνεϲιν·
          ἔνθεν οἰκτρὸν ὅμαδον ἔκλυον …

Beside the azure water
and the twining greenery I happened
to be drying my crimson garments
on stalks of reed in the sun’s
golden rays. [14]
From there it was that I heard a pitiful sound …

Again a mundane activity, described in highly-coloured language, sets the time and scene for something heard by the chorus. In Hippolytus the verb describing that activity is the imperfect κατέβαλλε. In Helen it is the periphrastic ἔτυχον . . . θάλπουϲα, “I happened to be drying,” which is equivalent to an imperfect. In both passages an aorist verb (ἦλθε, ἔκλυον) marks a new, sudden, decisive event.

A third passage, from the Hecuba (923–932; cf. Appendix). Differently from the preceding passages, this is sung by the chorus not as it enters but in its final choral ode. The captive Trojan women recall the night when Troy fell. There was singing and dancing and feasting in the city, because the Greek fleet had departed. Now it is deep into the night. The singer describes her husband, lying in bed, his spear hung upon a peg on the wall. Then she describes herself:

          ἐγὼ δὲ πλόκαμον ἀναδέτοιϲ
          μίτραιϲιν ἐρρυθμιζόμαν
925    χρυϲέων ἐνόπτρων λεύϲ-
          ϲουϲ᾽ ἀτέρμοναϲ εἰϲ αὐγὰϲ
          ἐπιδέμνιοϲ, ὡϲ πέϲοιμ᾽ ἐϲ εὐνάν.
          ἀνὰ δὲ κέλαδοϲ ἔμολε πόλιν·
          κέλευμα δ᾽ ἦν κατ᾽ ἄϲτυ Τροίαϲ τόδ᾽· Ὦ
930a  παῖδεϲ Ἑλλάνων, πότε δὴ πότε τὰν
          Ἰλιάδα ϲκοπιὰν
          πέρϲαντεϲ ἥξετ᾽ οἴκουϲ;

I was arranging my hair
in a headband, gazing into the fathomless brightness of my golden mirror,
sitting on the bed, so that I might tumble into it. [15]
A noise went through the city,
and this battle order was heard throughout the town of Troy:
“Sons of the Greeks, the time has come for you
to sack Troy’s pinnacle
and return to your homes.”

A mundane activity again: a woman doing her hair, gazing into a mirror, before she goes to bed. And this activity, introduced again by an imperfect verb, ἐρρυθμιζόμαν, because it is still ongoing, is brought to a stop, as it was in Helen, by a sudden cry, expressed by an aorist verb (ἀνὰ … ἔμολε). [16]

Into this pattern fits a passage from the Troades (542–557), which captures the same moment. The Wooden Horse has been wheeled into Troy:

          ἐπὶ δὲ πόνωι καὶ χαρᾶι                                                            (ἀντ.)
          νύχιον ἐπεὶ κνέφαϲ παρῆν,
          Λίβυϲ τε λωτὸϲ ἐκτύπει
545    Φρύγιά τε μέλεα, παρθένοι δ᾽
          ἄειρον ἅμα κρότον ποδῶν
          βοάν τ᾽ ἔμελπον εὔφρον᾽, ἐν
          δόμοιϲ δὲ παμφαὲϲ ϲέλαϲ
          πυρὸϲ μέλαιναν αἴγλαν
550    <ἐπιδ>έδωκεν ὕπνωι.

          ἐγὼ δὲ τὰν ὀρεϲτέραν                                                               [ἐπωιδ.
          τότ᾽ ἀμφὶ μέλαθρα παρθένον
          Διὸϲ κόραν ἐμελπόμαν
555    χοροῖϲι· φοινία δ᾽ ἀνὰ
          πτόλιν βοὰ κατέϲχε Περ-
          γάμων ἕδραϲ …

And after our toil and joy,
when the darkness of night came on,
the Lydian pipe and Phrygian melodies
began to ring out, and girls
were raising and tapping their feet
as they sang a cheerful song,
while in the houses the gleaming torchlight
has shed its black radiance over sleep. [17]
And I at that time was singing and dancing
in honour of the mountain maiden, daughter of Zeus,
beside her temple [18] —when a bloody cry
throughout the city took hold
of the seat of Pergamum …

Here we have innocent merriment rather than mundane domestic activity. But the pattern is the same. Imperfect verbs (ἐκτύπει, ἄειρον, ἔμελπον, ἐμελπόμαν) again set the time and scene, and a sudden cry, again expressed by an aorist (κατέϲχε), brings all to a close. [19]

Finally one more passage of Aristophanes. In the Frogs Aeschylus concocts a parody of Euripidean lyrics. Here is one section of it, in which an old woman sings of the loss of her pet cockerel (1346–1355):

          ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἁ τάλαινα
          προϲέχουϲ᾽ ἔτυχον ἐμαυτῆϲ
          ἔργοιϲι, λίνου μεϲτὸν ἄτρακτον
          εἱειειλίϲϲουϲα χεροῖν,
          κλωϲτῆρα ποιοῦϲ᾽, ὅπωϲ
1350  κνεφαῖοϲ εἰϲ ἀγορὰν
          φέρουϲ᾽ ἀποδοίμαν·
          ὁ δ᾽ ἀνέπτατ᾽ ἀνέπτατ᾽ ἐϲ αἰθέρα
          κουφοτάταιϲ πτερύγων ἀκμαῖϲ·
          ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ἄχε᾽ ἄχεα κατέλιπε,
          δάκρυα δάκρυά τ᾽ ἀπ᾽ ὀμμάτων
1355  ἔβαλον ἔβαλον ἁ τλάμων.

Poor me,
I happened to be busy
with my work, wi-i-i-inding a spindle
full of flax with my hands,
making a skein,
to take it in the dark
to the market to sell it.
And up he flew, yes up he flew, up to heaven
on the ever-so-light tips of his wings,
leaving me grief, yes grief,
and I shed, yes I shed, tears, yes tears
from my eyes, poor me.

The same pattern again. A mundane domestic activity, [20] still ongoing, expressed by the equivalent of an imperfect verb—the periphrasis προϲέχουϲ᾽ ἔτυχον is like ἔτυχον … θάλπουϲα in Helen. It is cut short by a sudden event, expressed in the aorist. And anadiplosis, a notable feature of Euripidean lyric style, is laid on thick. [21] Aristophanes has recognised a typical Euripidean motif, and he has decorated that motif with a typical feature of Euripidean style.

Euripides himself, in the Frogs, said that he prided himself on οἰκεῖα πράγματ᾽ εἰϲάγων, οἷϲ χρώμεθ᾽, οἷϲ ξύνεϲμεν, “introducing domestic matters, which we are used to, which we live with” (Frogs 959). We have seen him doing that in Hippolytus, Helen and Hecuba, and we can see him doing it again in Aristophanes’ parody in the Frogs. And a pattern has emerged: an activity (mundane and domestic in those plays, innocent and carefree in Troades) is followed, sometimes cut short, by a climactic event, usually the arrival of news or a sudden sound. In Lysistrata, with which I began, ἤκουϲα, “I heard,” strikes a familiar note. It is synonymous with ἔκλυον in Helen. So that, although in this case what is heard precedes in time the mundane activity described, I think that we may regard this passage as a variation on the more regular pattern, and that here too we can see Aristophanes, in the coinage of Cratinus (fr. 307 KA), Εὐριπιδαριϲτοφανίζων, “Euripidaristophanizing.” [22]

Appendix: Hecuba 923–926

          ἐγὼ δὲ πλόκαμον ἀναδέτοιϲ
          μίτραιϲιν ἐρρυθμιζόμαν
925    χρυϲέων ἐνόπτρων λεύϲϲουϲ᾽ ἀτέρμοναϲ εἰϲ αὐγὰϲ
          ἐπιδέμνιοϲ, ὡϲ πέϲοιμ᾽ ἐϲ εὐνάν.

The passage is conventionally punctuated (as I myself punctuated it in 1984) with a comma at the end of 925. This leaves ἐπιδέμνιοϲ ὡϲ πέϲοιμ᾽ ἐϲ εὐνάν to mean “so as to fall onto the bed (ἐπιδέμνιοϲ) into bed (ἐϲ εὐνάν),” a pleonasm which commentators struggle to justify. Collard 1991:107 translates “onto the bed, upon its coverings,” making a distinction (as Hermann had done) [23] between δέμνιον “(the structure of the) bed” and εὐνάν “bedding.” [24] Others make distinctions no less fine and no more compelling (“on the cushions of my couch” (Tierney 1946:111), “on the cushions of our bed” (Davie 1998:72), “on my bed’s coverlet” (Morwood 2000:26), or find merit in the pleonasm (“for emphasis, conveying the narrator’s sense of pleasurable anticipation” (Gregory 1999:157)). Hermann compared Bacchae 1111–1112 χαμαιπετὴϲ (χαμαιριφὴϲ Murray e Chr. Pat. 1430) | πίπτει πρὸϲ οὖδαϲ. But “groundward-falling (or groundward-flung) to the earth” is less remarkable that “onto the bed into bed.” And in Andromache 104 ἄγαγετ᾽ εὐναίαν εἰϲ θαλάμουϲ Ἑλέναν (“took to be bedded into the bridal chamber”), compared “for the redundancy” by Battezzato 2018:199, there is no redundancy, since θάλαμοι is not synonymous with εὐνή. Others evade the pleonasm by ignoring it: “to fall into bed” (Kovacs 1995:483), “um dann aufs Bett niederzusinken” (Matthiessen 2010:207). [25]

Earlier critics were less tolerant. Wakefield proposed ἐϲ ὕπνον, Musgrave ἐπιδείπνιοϲ (“coena peracta”), Porson ἐπιδέμνιον (“torum vestibus stratum,” an adventurous translation).
We should punctuate after ἐπιδέμνιοϲ. The adjective then adds a further detail to the picture that precedes: she is doing her hair in the mirror while sitting on the bed. There is now no pleonasm, nor any need to look for a distinction between δέμνιον and εὐνάν. The distinction which exists lies in the prepositions: ἐπιδέμνιοϲ means “on the bed,” ἐϲ εὐνάν “into bed.”
We can now see the point of the purpose-clause ὡϲ πέϲοιμ᾽ ἐϲ εὐνάν. With the conventional punctuation the woman is doing her hair and gazing into the mirror “in order to tumble into bed.” Tumbling into bed will be consequence of what she is doing; it is not its purpose. Not surprisingly, some translators decline to see purpose here and consequently mistranslate: “avant de me laisser tomber” (Méridier 1997:216), “readying myself to fall” (Kovacs 1995:483), “before sinking” (Davie 1998:72), “about to fall” (Morwood 2000:26). She was sitting on the bed (as opposed to a chair) in order that, as soon as she had tied up her hair, she might fall straight into bed. The daughter of Creon, while doing her hair in the mirror, sat on a chair (Medea 1161–1163). But she was not ready to tumble into bed, like the woman of Troy. [26]



CGL = Diggle, J., B. L. Fraser, P. James, O. B. Simkin, A. A. Thompson, and S. J.Westripp, eds. 2021.The Cambridge Greek Lexicon. Cambridge.
KA = Kassel, R, and C. Austin, eds. 1983–2001. Poetae Comici Graeci. Berlin.
LSJ = Liddell, H. G., R. Scott, H. S. Jones, eds. 1940. A Greek–English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford.
PMG = Page, D. L., ed. 1962. Poetae Melici Graeci. Oxford.
Allan, W. 2008. Euripides. Helen. Cambridge.
Battezzato, L. 2018. Euripides. Hecuba. Cambridge.
Breitenbach, W. 1934. Untersuchungen zur Sprache der euripidischen Lyrik. Stuttgart.
Barlow, S. A. 1986. Euripides. Trojan Women. Warminster.
Blaydes, F. H. M. 1880. Aristophanis Lysistrata. Halle.
Burian, P. 2007. Euripides. Helen. Oxford.
Collard, C. 1991. Euripides. Hecuba. Warminster.
Dale, A. M. 1967. Euripides. Helen. Oxford.
Davie, J. 1998. Euripides. Electra and Other Plays. Harmondsworth.
Diggle, J. 1981. Studies on the Text of Euripides. Oxford.
———. ed. 1984. Euripidis Fabulae. Vol. 2, Supplices, Electra, Hercules, Troades, Iphigenia in Tauris, Ion. Oxford Classical Texts. Oxford.
———. 2004. Theophrastus. Characters. Cambridge.
Grégoire, H., and L. Parmentier. 1961. Euripide. Vol. 5, Hélène, Les Phéniciennes. 2nd ed. Paris.
Gregory, J. 1999. Euripides. Hecuba. Atlanta.
Hall, F. W., and W. M. Geldart, eds. 1901. Aristophanis Comoediae. Vol. 2, Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ranae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus, Fragmenta. Oxford Classical Texts. Oxford.
Henderson, J. 1987. Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. Oxford.
Hermann, G. 1831. Euripidis Hecuba. Leipzig.
———. 1845. Review of R. Enger, Aristophanis Lysistrata. Zeitschrift für die Altertumswissenschaft, 617–631.
———. 1877. Opuscula. Vol. 8. Ed. T. Fritzsche. Leipzig.
Jendza, C. 2020. Paracomedy: Appropriations of Comedy in Greek Tragedy. Oxford.
Kovacs, D., ed. 1995. Euripides. Vol. 2, Children of Heracles, Hippolytus, Andromache, Hecuba. Loeb Classical Library 484. Cambridge, MA.
———, ed. 1999. Euripides. Vol. 4, Trojan Women, Iphigenia among the Taurians, Ion. Loeb Classical Library 10. Cambridge, MA.
———, ed. 2002. Euripides. Vol. 5, Helen, Phoenician Women, Orestes. Loeb Classical Library 11. Cambridge, MA.
———. 2018. Euripides, Troades. Oxford.
Lee, K. H. 1976. Euripides. Troades. London.
Matthiessen, K. 2010. Euripides. Hekabe. Berlin.
Méridier, L. 1997. Euripide. Vol. 2, Hippolyte, Andromaque, Hécube. 3rd ed. Paris.
Morwood, J. 1997. Euripides. Medea, Hippolytus, Electra, Helen. Oxford.
———. 2000. Euripides. Hecuba, Trojan Women, Andromache. Oxford.
Parker, L. P. E. 1997. The Songs of Aristophanes. Oxford.
Parmentier, L., and H. Grégoire. 1925. Euripide. Vol. 4, Les Troyennes, Iphigénie en Tauride, Électre. Paris.
Pearson, A. C. 1903. The Helena of Euripides. Cambridge.
Rau, P. 1967. Paratragodia: Untersuchung einer komischen Form des Aristophanes. Munich.
Synodinou, K. 2005. Εὐριπίδης . Ἑκάβη. Athens.
Tierney, M. 1946. Euripides. Hecuba. Dublin.
von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, U. 1922. Griechische Tragödien III. 6th ed. Berlin.
———. 1927. Aristophanes. Lysistrate. Berlin.
Wecklein, N. 1907. Euripides. Helena. Leipzig.
Willink, C. W. 1990. “The Parodos of Euripides’ Helen (164–90).” Classical Quarterly 40:77–99.
———. 2010. Collected Papers on Greek Tragedy. Ed. W. B. Henry. Leiden.
Wilson, N. G. 2000. “Two Textual Problems in Aristophanes.” Classical Quarterly 50:597.
———, ed. 2007a. Aristophanis Fabulae. Vol. 2, Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ranae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Oxford Classical Texts. Oxford.
———. 2007b. Aristophanea: Studies on the Text of Aristophanes. Oxford.


[ back ] 1. I have marked a lacuna after 331 (as Blaydes 1880, Wilamowitz 1927, Parker 1997:369–370), not after 330 (as Hermann 1845:623 = 1877:275, Hall and Geldart 1901, Henderson 1987, Wilson 2007a). A lacuna after 330 separates ϲτιγματίαιϲ θ᾽ from δούλαιϲιν, which form a natural pair, and it is hard to see what might appropriately be interposed. The supplement which I have proposed adds an appropriate, indeed desirable detail (“man vermißt … ein Objekt zu ἀραμένη,” Wilamowitz 1927:143). For τεῦχοϲ in this connection, cf. Euripides Electra 140 θὲϲ τόδε τεῦχοϲ ἐμᾶϲ ἀπὸ κρατὸϲ ἑλοῦϲ’, for ὕπερθεν κεφαλῆϲ Hesiod Opera 545 κεφαλῆφι … ὕπερθεν. This leaves 331 ϲτιγματίαιϲ θ᾽, ἁρπαλέωϲ (– ⏑ ⏑ – | – ⏑ ⏑ –) to correspond with 345 πολιοῦχε, ϲὰϲ ἔϲχον ἕδραϲ (⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – |– ⏑ ⏑ –). Correspondence of choriamb with iambic metron is acceptable (there is an instance at 326 ~ 340), but the resolved anceps in the iambic metron, on top of this irregular correspondence, is objectionable (on this see Parker). I should therefore accept Bentley’s neglected transposition ϲάϲ, πολιοῦχ᾽, ἔϲχον ἕδραϲ, which restores a choriamb for the iambic metron. The resulting separation of the two vocatives (ὦ χρυϲολόφα . . . πολιοῦχ᾽) is readily exemplified (examples in Diggle 1981:41 and 1994:167).
[ back ] 2. For the noun ϲτιγματίαϲ, see my note on Theophrastus Characters 28.2 (2004:491).
[ back ] 3. For the sense of ἔρρειν, see CGL ἔρρω 1 “(of unwelcome persons) be damn well coming.”
[ back ] 4. And when syncopation is introduced (i.e. a syllable is suppressed) at 256–257 ~ 271–272 (x – ⏑ – | x – ⏑ – |· – ⏑ – | ⏑ – –), we feel the foot (metrical and physical) falter.
[ back ] 5. Aeschylus Septem contra Thebas 494, Sophocles Antigone 1128, Trachiniae 794. Aristophanes uses it again in Aves 1241 (paratragic) and Thesmophoriazusae 281.
[ back ] 6. τ᾽ ἀνέμων Oeri: τε νόμων codd.: τε νότων Wilson. The echo remains, even if Wilson’s conjecture (2000:597 and 2007:137–138) is preferred.
[ back ] 7. ὀπιϲθόπουϲ Euripides Hippolytus 54, ὑϲτέρωι ποδί Hippolytus 1243, Hercules 1040, ὑϲτερόποινοϲ Aeschylus Agamemnon 58, Choephori 383.
[ back ] 8. Hipponax 16.2 West, [Aeschylus] Prometheus Vinctus 1029, Euripides Alcestis 592. Aristophanes has it again at Vespae 124 and Ranae 1350 (for the latter see further below). Cf. Rau 1967:134.
[ back ] 9. Homer Iliad 13.283, 16.769, 21.9, 21.387, Anacreon PMG 356 (b) 2, Pindar Pythian 1.24, Aeschylus Septem contra Thebas 103, 239, Sophocles Antigone 125, Trachiniae 518, Euripides Heraclidae 832, also thrice in Herodotus. Aristophanes has it again at Acharnenses 539, Nubes 382, Pax 155. Cf. Rau 1967:96–97.
[ back ] 10. Homer Odyssey 6.250, 14.110, Mimnermus 12.8 West, Theognis 1046, Bacchylides 13.131.
[ back ] 11. Anacreon PMG 346 fr. 11+3+6.18, Bacchylides fr. 20 A.13.
[ back ] 12. Henderson 1987:107.
[ back ] 13. Acharnenses 211–218, Vespae 236–239.
[ back ] 14. The meaning of ἀμφὶ δόνακοϲ ἔρνεϲιν, and the role played by the reeds, is sometimes misunderstood. Not “in the neighbourhood of (reeds)” (Pearson 1903:84), “near the young bulrushes” (Dale 1967:79), “by the youthful shoots of the bulrushes” (Morwood (1997:124). ἀμφί with dative means “on.” So the meaning is “über das Röhricht” (Wecklein 1907:29), “sur la tige des jones” (Grégoire 1961:57), “upon young shoots of bull-rush” (Burian 2007:69), “on stalks of reed” (Allan 2008:173), more loosely “on standing reeds” (Kovacs 2002:33, reflecting Willink 1990:91 = 2010:190–191). Women draping their linen to dry on stalks of reed by the banks of the river in which they have washed it are shown in the opening scene of Pedro Almodóvar’s film Dolor y Gloria.
[ back ] 15. For the punctuation (after, not before, ἐπιδέμνιοϲ) see the Appendix.
[ back ] 16. Tmesis, in the sense “went through” (so LSJ and CGL ἀναμολεῖν). I take πόλιν to be synonymous with the following ἄϲτυ. Similarly Davie 1998:72 (“Then a shout went ringing through the town”) and Matthiessen 2010:207 (“Da kam Lärm in die Stadt”). Not, therefore, “A cry came up to the citadel” (Collard 1991:107), “But up went a shout to the citadel” (Kovacs 1995:483), “Τότε μεγάλη κραυγή ἔφταϲε πάνω ϲτήν ἀκρόπολη” (Synodinou 2005:209). The translations “Or, voici qu’une clameur monta par la ville” (Méridier 1997:216) and “But a shout rang up through the city” (Morwood 2000:26) fall between two stools.
[ back ] 17. For the text of 546 see Diggle 1981:64–5. I shall argue for my supplement <ἐπιδ>έδωκεν in 550 on a later occasion.
[ back ] 18. Correctly understood by Wilamowitz 1922:322 (“vor ihrem Hause”), Parmentier 1925:51 (“près de sa demeure”), i.e. “temple” (Lee 1976:172, Kovacs 1999:69), not “palace” (Barlow 1986:97, Morwood 2000:53), nor “either the chorus members’ houses or . . . the royal palace” (Kovacs 2018:214).
[ back ] 19. We must accept Wilamowitz’s conjecture κατέϲχε for κατεῖχε in 556. I shall argue this point more fully on a later occasion.
[ back ] 20. The description of the woman’s spinning calls to mind Euripides Orestes 1431–1433 (Hermione spinning when Orestes and Pylades burst in on her).
[ back ] 21. For a catalogue of instances of Euripidean anadiplosis, see Breitenbach 1934:214–221.
[ back ] 22. By which I mean “imitating Euripides Aristophanically.” What Cratinus meant by his coinage is disputable: for a recent discussion, see Jendza 2020:30–35.
[ back ] 23. Hermann 1831:105–106.
[ back ] 24. Similarly Méridier 1997:267 (“sur les couvertures de mon lit”), Synodinou 2005:209 (“γιά να πέϲω ϲτῆϲ κλίνηϲ μου τά ϲκεπάϲματα”). LSJ’s translation of ἐπιδέμνιοϲ as “on the bed or bedclothes” looks like a muddled echo of this distinction.
[ back ] 25. But he is forthright in his commentary (“pleonastisch”).
[ back ] 26. This interpretation of ἐπιδέμνιοϲ was first proposed in CGL (“or perh. sitting on a bed”).