Attributed Fragments


ὅδ᾿ ἐστίν, ὅς ποτ᾿ ἀμφ᾿ ἐμοὶ βέλος γελωτοποιὸν, τὴν κάκοσμον οὐράνην, ἔρριψεν οὐδ᾿ ἥμαρτε· περὶ δ᾿ ἐμῷ κάρᾳ πληγεῖσ᾿ ἐναυάγησεν ὀστρακουμένη, 5χωρὶς μυρηρῶν τευχέων πνέουσ᾿ ἐμοί

Athenaeus 1.17c; Eustathius on Odyssey 17.462; Philodemus, On Poems 213 Janko (τὴν κά[κ]σμον αὐράνην [sic] ἔρρι[ψ]εν);1 several grammarians mention that Aeschylus used the word οὐράνη


Palamedes is a figure unknown to, or ignored by, the poet(s) of the Iliad and Odyssey, but the tale of how he was treacherously murdered during the Trojan War, by Odysseus—in some versions alone, in others with Diomedes and sometimes Agamemnon as accomplices—was a popular one from the cyclic epics onwards, and was dramatized by all three of the great tragedians. Odysseus’ motive is sometimes revenge, Palamedes having unmasked him when he tried to avoid serving in the war by pretending to be mad (Cypria Arg. §5 West), sometimes jealousy of his cleverness. The later accounts, doubtless deriving from one or more of the tragic treatments, regularly have Palamedes




This1 is the man who once threw in my direction an object designed to make me a laughing-stock, the evil-smelling chamber-pot, and he did not miss his aim; it struck me on the head and smashed into fragments, wafting over me an odour very unlike that of perfume-jars.


being condemned by the army on a trumped-up charge of treason and put to death by stoning; frr. 181a and 182 would fit well into such a scenario as part of a defence speech. Aeschylus’ play, however, went on beyond Palamedes’ condemnation and execution, since fr. 181 shows that Palamedes’ father, Nauplius, came to Troy (as Sophocles later made him do in The Arrival of Nauplius) and protested, doubtless to little effect, about what had been done to his son; the story was that he took revenge later by causing the Greek fleet to be wrecked on its way home and/or by encouraging the leaders’ wives to have adulterous affairs.

I have tried to establish, in the article cited below, what can be inferred with greater or lesser confidence about the structure of this play; I also argue there that fr. 451k Radt (here fr. 180a) gives us the opening lines of its prologue, on the grounds that none of the ten other known Trojan War plays of Aeschylus (except Myrmidons [q.v.], which we

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aeschylus-attributed_fragments.2009