LCL 321: 462-463
853ΣΥΓΚΡΙΣΕΩΣ ΑΡΙΣΤΟΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΝΑΝΔΡΟΥ ΕΠΙΤΟΜΗ
1. ∗ ∗ ∗ Ὡς μὲν κοινῶς καὶ καθόλου εἰπεῖν πολλῷ προκρίνει τὸν Μένανδρον, ὡς δ᾿ ἐπὶ μέρους καὶ ταῦτα προστίθησι·B
“Τὸ φορτικόν,” φησίν, “ἐν λόγοις καὶ θυμελικὸν1 καὶ βάναυσον ὥς ἐστιν2 Ἀριστοφάνει, Μενάνδρῳ δ᾿ οὐδαμῶς. καὶ γὰρ ὁ μὲν ἀπαίδευτος καὶ ἰδιώτης, οἷς ἐκεῖνος λέγει, ἁλίσκεται· ὁ δὲ πεπαιδευμένος δυσχερανεῖ· λέγω δὲ τὰ ἀντίθετα καὶ ὁμοιόπτωτα καὶ παρωνυμίας. τούτοις γὰρ ὁ μὲν μετὰ τοῦ προσήκοντος λόγου καὶ ὀλιγάκις χρῆται ἐπιμελείας αὐτὰ ἀξιῶν, ὁ δὲ καὶ πολλάκις καὶ οὐκ εὐκαίρως καὶ ψυχρῶς· ἐπαινεῖται γάρ,” φησίν,
ὅτι τοὺς ταμίας ἐβάπτισεν, οὐχὶ ταμίας ἀλλὰ Λαμίας
Summary of a Comparison Between Aristophanes And Menander
1. . . . In general hea much prefers Menander, and in particular he adds what follows:
“Coarseness,” he says, “in words, vulgarity and ribaldry are present in Aristophanes, but not at all in Menander; obviously, for the uneducated, ordinary person is captivated by what the former says, but the educated man will be displeased. I refer to antitheses and similar endings and plays on words. For of these Menander does make use with proper consideration and rarely, believing that they should be treated with care, but Aristophanes employs them frequently, inopportunely, and frigidly; for his punning is applauded,” he says, “in
because he soused the bankers— Though they never were that but damn curs,b
- a“He” seems to mean Plutarch; the compiler of this summary (or the editor who included it among Plutarch’s works) regarding Plutarch as the author of the statements which are introduced in this first sentence.
- bThis quotation is not found in any collection of the fragments of Aristophanes (Bernardakis). The play on words in the Greek consists in the change of the initial letters of the words tamias (“treasurers”) and Lamias, fabulous creatures such as the bugbears with which children are frightened by their nurses.