The Poets of Old Comedy


6 Athenaeus 269f

ὁ μὲν ποταμὸς ὁ Κρᾶθις ἡμῖν καταφέρει μάζας μεγίστας αὐτόματος μεμαγμένας, ὁ δ᾿ ἕτερος ὠθεῖ κῦμα ναστῶν καὶ κρεῶν ἑφθῶν τε βατίδων εἰλυομένων αὐτόσε. 5τὰ δὲ μικρὰ ταυτὶ ποτάμι᾿ ἐνμεντευθενὶ ῥεῖ τευθίσιν ὀπταῖς καὶ φάγροις καὶ καράβοις, ἐντευθενὶ δ᾿ ἀλλᾶσι καὶ περικόμμασι, τῃδὶ δ᾿ ἀφύαισι, τῇδε δ᾿ αὖ ταγηνίαις. τεμάχη δ᾿ ἄνωθεν αὐτόματα πεπνιγμένα10εἰς τὸ στόμ᾿ ᾄττει, τὰ δὲ παρ᾿ αὐτὼ τὼ πόδε, ἄμυλοι δὲ περινάουσιν ἡμῖν ἐν κύκλῳ.

7 Photius p. 591.9

τίς τρόπος ἵππων; ὡς δ᾿ ὀρχοῦνται τὸν βαρβαρικὸν τρόπον οὗτοι.




6 The River Crathis carries huge barley loaves, self-kneaded, downstream for us, and the other river [Sybaris] drives a wave of cakes and meats and boiled skates still wriggling along there. The little streams on the far side here teem with roasted squid and sea bream and crawfish, and on this side with sausages and minced meat, over here with minnows, over there with pancakes. Fish slices that barbecue themselves fly from above right into the mouth, others <appear> at our feet, while wheat rolls drift round about us in a circle.

7 What’s all this horsing around? These men are dancing in barbarian fashion.

Brief fragments: (F 8) “platter,” (F 9) “to beat up” and “I was beaten up.”

Homer (Hostage?) or Men-In-Training or Sophists

The exact title of this comedy is in doubt. All three citations of the play agree that one title was Homer, whose name in Greek also means Hostage; as F 19 parodies a line from Homer, it has been attributed to this play and taken to indicate that the title was Homer. F 10, 12 are cited from Homer, F 11 from Homer or Sophists, while the Suda (T 1) knows of a comedy Homer or Men-in-Training. The matter is complicated somewhat by the fact that Platon wrote a Sophists and Aristomenes a Dionysus in Training. The reference to the fall of Naupactus c. 400 (Diodorus 14.34.2) argues for a date in the early 390s.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.metagenes-testimonia_fragments.2011