Nicochares, Testimonia and Fragments

LCL 514: 378-379

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The Poets of Old Comedy


Nicochares belong to the last phase of Old Comedy. The one secure date is the production of his Men of Laconia in 388, competing against Aristophanes’ Wealth. The one kōmōidoumenos in the fragments, Philonides of Melite (F 4), is made fun of by Aristophanes in that same comedy of 388. If Nicochares’ name is to be restored in T 4, then be won a victory at the Lenea at the same time as other comic poets of the early fourth century. The titiles suggest that he wrote mainly mythological burelesques, and while we have no direct parody of tragedy, some of the titles suggest an engagement with the dramatic versions of myth from the


i Suda ν 407

Νικοχάρης, Φιλωνίδου τοῦ κωμικοῦ, Ἀθηναῖος, κωμικός, σύγχρονος Ἀριστοφάνους. τῶν δραμάτων αὐτοῦ Ἀμυμώνη <ἢ> Πέλοψ, Γαλάτεια, Ἡρακλῆς γαμῶν, Ἡρακλῆς χορηγός, Κρῆτες, Λάκωνες, Λήμνιαι, Κένταυροι, Χειρογάστορες.




fifth century, Lemnian Women, Agamemnon. The last title cited by the Suda, Hand-Bellies, has been confused with the attested comedy of that title by Nicophon.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Nicochares is the indirect connection with Aristophanes. The Suda (T 1) describes him as “the son of Philonides the comic poet,” who must be the man whom Aristophanes used on a number of occasions to produce his comedies. T 2 assigns a “Nicochares the comic poet” to the deme of Cydathenaeum, the deme known for Aristophanes and strongly indicated for Philonides (q.v.).


i Nicochares: the son of Philonides the comic poet, of Athens, a comic poet, a contemporary of Aristophanes. His plays are: Amymone <or> Pelops, Galateia, The Marriage of Heracles, Heracles the Producer, Cretans, Men of Laconia, Lemnian Women, Centaurs, Hand-Bellies.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.nicochares-testimonia_fragments.2011