Fabulae: Tragoediae

Achilles sive Achilles Aristarchi

There seems to be no need to believe, as some do (R. 118), that Ennius wrote two plays in which Achilles played the leading part. It is more probable that our authorities cite two different titles of the same play (V. CCI), as they do also in, e.g., the case of Andromache (see pp. 244 ff.), As in The Ransom of Hector (pp. 272 ff.), the material for Achilles was


Hom., Il., IX, 10–11: φοίτα κηρύκεσσι λιγυφθόγγοισι κελεύων | κλήδην εἰς ἀγορὴν κικλήσκειν ἄνδρα ἕκαστον.

Plautus, Poen., prol. 1–2, 11, 3–4:

1. Achillem Aristarchi mihi commentari lubet;

2. inde mi principium capiam ex ea tragoedia—


11. Exsurge, praeco; fac populo audientiam.



Plays: Tragedies

Achilles or Achilles After Aristarchus

drawn from Homer, but here Ennius’ model was Aristarchus of Tegea, who wrote tragedies at Athens in the time of Euripides (Suidas, s.v. Ἀρίσταρχος, Euseb., Chron.). The play deals chiefly if not wholly with the πρεσβεία πρὸς Ἀχιλλέα. (Iliad, IX.) At the head of the text of each Latin item I have put the probable Homeric source of the fragment.

A. Place of assembly in the Greek camp.


Agamemnon calls a meeting of the army:

Plautus: I want to imitate Achilles after Aristarchus; so I will take my beginning from that tragedy a


Up, herald; get me a hearing with the troops.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ennius-plays_tragedies.1935