Several of those who quote fragments specify that this play was satyric; but it is not easy to guess which incident in the life of Amphiaraus lent itself to satyric treatment. Some have suggested that the play dealt with the time when Amphiaraus, knowing that the expedition of his brother-in-law Adrastus against Thebes would end in disaster, went into hiding to avoid having to accompany him. Others have thought of the part taken by Amphiaraus in113
ὁ πινοτήρης τοῦδε μάντεως χοροῦ
Schol. VΓ Ald. on Aristophanes, Wasps 1510
πινοτήρης Dindorf: πινοτὴρ VΓ: πιννοτήρης Ald.121
καὶ Σοφοκλῆς δὲ τούτῳ παραπλήσιον ἐποίησεν ἐν Ἀμφιαράῳ σατυρικῷ τὰ γράμματα παράγων ὀρχούμενον
Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 10, 454F
the foundation of the Nemean Games, featured in the Hypsipyle of Euripides. Comedies with this title were written by Aristophanes, Apollodorus of Carystus, and Philippides, and tragedies by Cleophon phon?) and perhaps Carcinus II; the comedy of Aristophanes dealt with happenings at the oracular and healing shrine of Amphiaraus at Oropus on the Boeotian border of Attica which was established after his death. See fr. 958.113
The sentinel crab of this prophetic chorusa . . .121
In a similar way Sophocles in the satyr play Amphiaraus brings on a man who dances the letters.a
- aThe Pinna is a bivalve shellfish, and the metaphor is taken from “the so-called Pinna-guard, a little crab which makes its home within the Pinna’s shell, and acts as sentinel” (D’Arcy Thompson, A Glossary of Greek Fishes, 1957, 202).
- aAthenaeus has just quoted a number of passages from plays in which an illiterate person describes the letters of a particular word.