Leucon, Testimonia and Fragments

LCL 514: 322-323

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The Poets of Old Comedy

iv Hypothesis III Peace

ἐνίκησε δὲ τῷ δράματι ὁ ποιητὴς ἐπὶ ἄρχοντος Ἀλκαίου ἐν ἄστει. πρῶτος Εὔπολις Κόλαξι, δεύτερος Ἀριστοφάνης Εἰρήνῃ, τρίτος Λεύκων Φράτερσιν.



iv The poet won a prize with his play [Peace] at the City Dionysia in the archonship of Alcaeus [422/1]. Eupolis came first with Spongers, Aristophanes second with Peace, and Leucon third with Phratry-Members.

Bag-Bearing Donkey

Donkeys seem to have been good comic material, witness the parody of Odyssey 9 in Wasps and the opening scene of Frogs as well as Archippus’ Donkey’s Shadow and Plautus’ Later Asinaria. The play is known only from the record of The Suda (T 1). Boeckh ingeniously recreated the plot of the comedy from an anecdote in Zenobius (1.74) about a man named Leucon—the tradition has also “the Laconian”—whose donkey fell, revealing the contraband he was hiding in askoi (leather bags).

Envoys [Or Old Men]

The word presbeis can mean “old men” or “envoys,” and we cannot tell which meaning applied (presumably) to the chorus. Athenians usually sent out embassies of three or five or ten members, but increasing the number to twenty-four may have made their excesses more pointed. See Acharnians 61–128. For the suggestion that a vase depicting Heracles pursuing a slave with two cakes belongs to this play, see V 25.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.leucon-testimonia_fragments.2011