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About Old Comedy

About Old Comedy

1 Aristotle Ethics 1128a23

ἴδοι δ᾿ ἄν τις καὶ ἐκ τῶν κωμῳδιῶν τῶν παλαιῶν καὶ τῶν καινῶν· τοῖς μὲν γὰρ ἦν γελοῖον ἡ αἰσχρολογία, τοῖς δὲ μᾶλλον ἡ ὑπόνοια· διαφέρει δ᾿ οὐ μικρὸν ταῦτα πρὸς εὐσχημοσύνην.

2 Aristotle Poetics 1447a13–16

ἐποποιία δὴ καὶ ἡ τῆς τραγῳδίας ποίησις ἔτι δὲ κωμῳδία καὶ ἡ διθυραμβοποιητικὴ καὶ τῆς αὐλητικῆς ἡ πλείστη καὶ κιθαριστικῆς πᾶσαι τυγχάνουσιν οὖσαι μιμήσεις τὸ σύνολον·

1448a23–B2

ἐν τρισὶ δὴ ταύταις διαφοραῖς ἡ μίμησίς ἐστιν, ὡς εἴπομεν κατ᾿ ἀρχάς, ἐν οἷς τε <καὶ ἃ> καὶ ὥς. ὥστε τῇ μὲν ὁ αὐτὸς ἂν εἴη μιμητὴς Ὁμήρῳ Σοφοκλῆς, μιμοῦνται

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About Old Comedy

About Old Comedy

I have included here some of the perhaps less familiar texts concerning the general history and nature of Old Comedy. Well-known passages from the literary tradition, such as Horace Satires 1.4.1–7 or [Plutarch] Comparison of Aristophanes and Menander, are available in Aristophanes V (T 52–95). Citations to Koster are from Scholia in Aristophanem Pars I: fasc. IA.

1 One can perhaps see this also from the comic poets, both old and modern. For the former saying shameful things was a source of humour, but for the latter innuendo. This makes considerable difference where decency is concerned.

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(a) Indeed epic and tragic poetry, as well as comedy and dithyramb, most composition for the aulos and the lyre, when taken together, all happen to be forms of representation.

(b) As we said at the start, there are these three distinctions concerning representation: the medium, <the subject>, and the manner. Thus Sophocles could be the same

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.alcaeus_comic_poet-testimonia_fragments.2011