titles, he seems to have written comedy of the same sort as Aristophanes, although Cronus suggests a burlesque of myth. Two titles (Muses, Tragic Actors) imply a theme of poetry and poets, but most of the titles suggest comedy with a contemporary Athenian setting, in two instances with a god present (Dionysus in F 10, Hermes in F 61). He makes frequent jokes at real people (nineteen in eighty-six fragments—compare that with fewer than twelve in three hundred fragments of Pherecrates). One ancient source (T 11) records that he was criticised for crude jokes, the poor quality of his plays, stealing material from other poets, and irregularities in his use of metre. But these are all likely derived from comments in comedy, like that in the opening of Frogs (T 10).
Recent bibliography: Harvey, in Rivals 91–134; M. Chantry, RPh 75 (2001) 239–47.Testimonia
i Suda φ 763
Φρύνιχος, Ἀθηναῖος, κωμικὸς τῶν ἐπιδευτέρων τῆς ἀρχαίας κωμῳδίας. ἐδίδαξε γοῦν τὸ πρῶτον ἐπὶ πϛ΄ Ὀλυμπιάδος. δράματα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐστι ταῦτα· Ἐφιάλτης, Κόννος, Κρόνος, Κωμασταί, Σάτυροι, Τραγῳδοὶ ἢ Ἀπελεύθεροι, Μονότροπος, Μοῦσαι, Μύστης, Ποάστριαι, Σάτυροι.
ii Anonymous On Comedy (Koster III.9–13, 32–34)
τούτων δέ εἰσιν ἀξιολογώτατοι Ἐπίχαρμος, Μάγνης, Κρατῖνος, Κράτης, Φερεκράτης, Φρύνιχος, Εὔπολις, Ἀριστοφάνης.
Φρύνιχος †† <Πολυ>φράδμονος ἔθανεν ἐν Σικελίᾳ. Εὔπολις Ἀθηναῖος. ἐδίδαξεν ἐπὶ ἄρχοντος Ἀπολλοδώρου, ἐφ᾿ οὗ καὶ Φρύνιχος.
i Phrynichus: of Athens, a poet belonging to the second generation of Old Comedy. For he produced for the first time in the 86th Olympiad [436–2]. These are his plays: Ephialtes, Connus, Cronus, Revellers, Satyrs, Tragic Actors or Freed-men, Hermit, Muses, Initiate, Lady Grass-Cutters, Satyrs.
ii The most noteworthy of these are Epicharmus, Magnes, Cratinus, Crates, Pherecrates, Phrynichus, Eupolis, and Aristophanes.
Phrynichus the son of <Poly> phradmon died in Sicily.1
Eupolis of Athens produced in the archonship of Apollodorus [430/29], the same year as Phrynichus.
- 1This is likely not the comic poet, but Phrynichus the early tragic poet, whose father was named Polyphradmon (Σ Birds 749 = TrGF 3 T 10g). It would be no surprise if a dramatist of his reputation became part of the cultural entourage at the court of Syracuse, or there may be a confusion with Aeschylus who did die in Sicily.