LCL 314: 578-579
Didascalicaa sive Didascalicon Libri
This work of Accius dealt with the same subjects as the Greek διδασκαλίαιb which aimed at producing chronological surveys of playwrights and their plays, with notes on the most famous actors therein. Accius was the first to attempt such a survey in Latin, and including under his title details of wider scope than his Greek models, wrote at least nine books which were undoubtedly in Sotadic metre (Lachmann, in Index Lect., Berl. Akad., 1849 II) and not, as has been maintained, in mixed prose and verse of various metres. They dealt with various matters concerning the stage-plays of the
Gellius, III, 11, 4: Accius . . . in primo Didascalico levibus admodum argumentis utitur, per quae ostendi putat Hesiodum natu priorem; quod Homerus, inquit, cum in principio carminis Achillem esse filium Pelei diceret, quis esset Peleus non addidit, quam rem procul, inquit, dubio dixisset, nisi ab Hesiodo iam dictum videret. De Cyclope itidem, inquit, vel maxime, quod unoculus fuit, rem tam insignem non praeterisset nisi aeque prioris Hesiodi carminibus invulgatum esset.1–3
Nonius, 341, 23: ‘Mactare.’ . . . Accius in Didascalicon lib. I—
Records of the Stage or Books of Stage-Records
Greeks and of the Romans. So far as we can judge from the fragments, the work contained much that was not worth writing, and, as one might expect, possessed little or no merit as poetry. It was dedicated apparently to one Baebius. For various views, cf. S. K. Sakellanopoulos, Γραμματολογικὰ, 1; G. Hermann, Opusc, 8, 390; J. Madvig, Opusc. 70; F. Buecheler, Rh. Mus., LXXXV, 410; Hendrickson, Amer. Journ. Phil., XIX, 303 ff.; Norden, Rh. Mus., XLVIII, 530; Immisch, Phil., LXIX, 66 ff.; Hanler, Wien. Stud., XLI, 176.
The age of Homer:
Gellius: Accius, in the first book of Records of the Stage, uses very flimsy arguments by which it is proved (so he thinks) that Hesiod was born first (sc. before Homer). For, says he, when Homer at the beginningc of his poem had occasion to tell how Achilles was a son of Peleus, he did not go on to say who Peleus was. This information, says Accius, he would without any doubt have given us, if he had not seen that it had been given already by Hesiod.d And again, he says, in describing the Cyclops, Homer would not have failed to make particular mention of so important a detail as the fact that the monster was one-eyed, if his predecessor Hesiod had not already madee it common knowledge, through his poems, just as much as the former example.1–3
Achilles’ gift to Nestor:f
Nonius: ‘Mactare.’ . . . Accius in the rirst book of Records of the Stage—
- cIl., I, 1. Homer at any rate would naturally find a place in Accius’ remarks because so many Greek and Roman tragedies drew from the old epic poems material for their own plots. The first book may have dealt entirely with epic poetry as a source for tragedies.
- dFr. 102 Rzach.
- eTheog., 142 (143).
- fHom., Il., XXIII, 615 ff.