Menander, Kitharistes (The Lyre Player)

LCL 459: 118-119

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(The Berlin papyrus begins in mid-scene, with Moschion probably in conversation with his mother. Only the ends of the last 27 lines of the scene are preserved, and assignment of individual lines to either of the two speakers is in most cases impossible:]νον πολύν τινα 1, (Μοσχ.) ]ω φιλτάτη 2, ]η δεδυκέ[ν]αι 3, ]ει κ[α]ρδίαν 4, ]ος δ᾿ ἦν τῷ κακῷ 5, ]υν γάμου 7, ]μια 8, ]εν. . . ς 9, ] κατέλιπες 10, ]ω 11, ]τε δὴ 12, ]ων 13, σ]υναπήρκει δέ μοι 14, ]λθης τῆς ἐμῆς 15, ]νως πως ἄφνω 16, (Μήτηρ)]ν λέγων τρέχεις 17, ]εται 18, ] ὕβρει τὸ γεγονὸς 19, ] βίᾳ 20, ]ων αὐτὴν σύ μοι 21, ]ν μητέρα 22, ].αι τί σοι 23, ο]ὐθένος 24, ]ουν ἔδει 25, ] λάθρᾳ 26, ]ερων 27.

After line 27 there is a blank space three lines in extent (=28–30 in the traditional line–numbering followed here)

In the apparatus to this play, those supplements whose author is not named were made in the first edition of the Berlin papyrus by U. von Wilamowitz, Berliner Klassikertexte, V. ii (Berlin 1907), 115–122.

  • 6Abrasion has removed all traces of letters in this line.
  • 9-15]ενο[..]ο and ]λοπε respectively read by Schubart, Wilamowitz; ]ενα τις tentatively and ]λθης by Arnott.



(The Lyre Player)

(SCENE: A street somewhere in Athens, probably with two houses visible to the audience. One belongs to Phanias the lyre player, the other to Moschion’s father.)

(The Berlin papyrus preserves mutilated portions of 101 lines probably from the end of the second act and the beginning of the third.1 When the papyrus begins, Moschion appears to be on stage in conversation with his mother, according to the hypothesis which seems to me most reasonable.2 Of this scene, however, only the final 27 line-ends are preserved, yielding a series of disconnected words and phrases which can scarcely ever be attributed to a definite speaker: a lot of [time (?)] 1, dearest as an address to a woman (and so spoken by Moschion) 2, to have entered/ sunk 3, heart 4, was . . . in (?) trouble 5, of marriage 7, you deserted as a statement or a question 10, was enough for me 14, of (?) my 15, somehow suddenly 16, saying . . . you (masculine) run (spoken by Moschion’s mother) 17, by (?)

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_comic_poet-kitharistes_lyre_player.1997