450νῦν δ᾿ οὗτος ἐν ταῖσιν τραγῳδίαις ποιῶν τοὺς ἄνδρας ἀναπέπεικεν οὐκ εἶναι θεούς· ὥστ᾿ οὐκέτ᾿ ἐμπολῶμεν οὐδ᾿ εἰς ἥμισυ. νῦν οὖν ἁπάσαισιν παραινῶ καὶ λέγω τοῦτον κολάσαι τὸν ἄνδρα πολλῶν οὕνεκα· 455ἄγρια γὰρ ἡμᾶς, ὦ γυναῖκες, δρᾷ κακά, ἅτ᾿ ἐν ἀγρίοισι τοῖς λαχάνοις αὐτὸς τραφείς. ἀλλ᾿ εἰς ἀγορὰν ἄπειμι· δεῖ γὰρ ἀνδράσιν πλέξαι στεφάνους ξυνθηματιαίους εἴκοσιν.
ἕτερον αὖ τι λῆμα τοῦτο 460κομψότερον ἔτ᾿ ἢ τὸ πρότερον ἀναπέφηνεν. οἷα κατεστωμύλατο οὐκ ἄκαιρα, φρένας ἔχουσα καὶ πολύπλοκον νόημ᾿, οὐδ᾿ ἀσύνετ᾿, ἀλλὰ πιθανὰ πάντα. 465δεῖ δὲ ταύτης τῆς ὕβρεως ἡμῖν τὸν ἄνδρα περιφανῶς δοῦναι δίκην.
τὸ μέν, ὦ γυναῖκες, ὀξυθυμεῖσθαι σφόδρα Εὐριπίδῃ, τοιαῦτ᾿ ἀκουούσας κακά, οὐ θαυμάσιόν ἐστ᾿, οὐδ᾿ ἐπιζεῖν τὴν χολήν. καὐτὴ γὰρ ἔγωγ᾿,—οὕτως ὀναίμην τῶν τέκνων—μισῶ 470τὸν ἄνδρ᾿ ἐκεῖνον, εἰ μὴ μαίνομαι.
Women at the Thesmophoria
only half badly. But now this guy who composes in the tragedy market 35 has persuaded the men that gods don’t exist, so my sales aren’t even half what they were. I therefore urge and advise all women to punish this man for his many crimes, for wild are his attacks upon us, since he himself was raised among wild herbs. But I’m off to the market: I’ve got an order to plait garlands for a group of twenty men.
This second courageous testimony turns out to be even classier than the first! The stuff she ranted on about wasn’t irrelevant, owned good sense and close-woven thought, and wasn’t silly but altogether convincing. For this outrage the man must pay us the penalty in no uncertain terms!
It is not surprising, ladies, that you are very keenly enraged at Euripides when he slanders you this way, indeed that your bile is aboil. Why, let me have no profit in my children if I myself don’t hate the man; I’d have to be crazy not to!
- 35Implying commercialization of the tragic art.
- 36This speech, like Dicaeopolis’ in Acharnians (497–566), is modelled on a speech by the hero of Euripides’ Telephus, the Greek king of Mysia whose land the Greeks mistakenly attacked on their way to Troy. Telephus disguises himself as a beggar, enters Agamemnon’s palace, and pleads his case. Exposed and threatened with death, he seizes Agamemnon’s son, the baby Orestes, and takes refuge at an altar; this scene is also parodied in Acharnians (325–51) and later in this play (688 ff.).