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OF THE GREEK TRAGEDIANS.
CHERILUS, PHRYNICHUS, AND PRATINAS.
Use begets Use.
GUESSES AT TRUTH.
As soon as Tragedy had once established itself in Greece, it made very rapid advances to perfection. According to the received dates, the first exhibition of Thespis preceded by ten years only the birth of Æschylus, who in his younger days contended with the three immediate successors of the Icarian. CHERIlus began to represent plays in the 64th Ol. 523 B.c.', and in 499 B.C. contended for the prize with Pratinas and Æschylus. It is stated that he contended with Sophocles also, but the difference in their ages renders this exceedingly improbable, and the mistake may easily have arisen from the way in which Suidas mentions the book on the chorus which Sophocles wrote against him and Thespis?. It would seem that Tragedy bad not altogether departed from its original form in his time, and that the chorus was still satyric, or tragic in the proper
Χοιρίλος, Αθηναίος, τραγικός, ξδ' ολυμπιάδι καθείς εις αγώνας και εδίδαξε μεν δράματα πεντήκοντα και ρ. ενίκησε δε ιγ'. Suidas.
2 See Näke's Cheerilus, p. 7. Suidas. Loporàns šypaye Nóyov kataloyáðnv περί του χορού προς θέσπιν και Χοιρίλον αγωνιζόμενος.
sense of the word '. Cheerilus is said to have written 150 pieces , but no fragments have come down to us. The disparaging remarks of Hermeas and Proclus do not refer to him, but to his Samian namesake ", and he is mentioned by Alexis in such goodly company, that we cannot believe that his poetry was altogether contemptible. One of his plays was called the Alopë, and it appears to have been of a strictly mythical character?. Some improvements in theatrical costume are ascribed to him by Suidas and Eudocia ®.
PARYNICH US was the son of Polyphradmon, and a scholar of Thespis'. The dates of his birth and death are alike unknown : it seems probable that he died in Sicily'. He gained a tragic victory in 511 B.C.", and another in 476, when Themistocles was his choragus '?: the play which he produced on this occasion was probably the Phænissæ, and Æschylus is charged" with having made use of this tragedy in the composition of his Persæ, which appeared four years after, a charge which Æschylus seems to rebut in “the Frogs” of Aristophanes ". In 494 B.c. Miletus was taken by the Persians, and Phrynichus, unluckily for himself, selected the capture of that city as the subject of a historical tragedy. The skill of the dramatist, and the recent
3 ηνίκα μεν βασιλεύς ήν Χοιρίλος έν Σατύροις. Anonym.
• The numbers in Suidas are, however, in this instance, not to be depended on, as they are not the same in all the MSS.
3 See Näke's Chærilus, p. 92.
'Ορφεύς ένεστιν, Ησίοδος, τραγωδία,
Παντοδαπά. 1 Pausan, 1. 14, 8 3. Χοιρίλφ δε Αθηναίο δράμα ποιήσαντι Αλόπην έστ' ειρημένα Κερκύονα είναι και Τριπτόλεμον αδελφούς, κ. τ.λ.
ούτος κατά τινας τους προσωπείοις και τη σκευή των στολών επεχείρησεν. 9. Φρύνιχος, Πολυφράδμονος, η Μινύρου: οι δε Χοροκλέους Αθηναίος, τραγικός, μαθητής θέσπιδος. Suidas in Φρύν. The first of the names mentioned here for the father of Phrynichus is the correct
See Schol. Arist. Av. 750. Pausan. x. 31, 2. The name also appears under the form Phradmon. Prol. Arist. p. xxix.
10 Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. p. Xxxi. ; note (t). 11 ενίκα επί της ξζ' ολυμπιάδος. Suidas. 12 'Eνίκησε δε [θεμιστοκλής] και χορηγών τραγωδούς, μεγάλην ήδη τότε σπουδην και φιλοτιμίαν του αγώνος έχοντος. Και πίνακα της νίκης ανέθηκε, τοιαύτην επιγραφήν έχοντα-θεμιστοκλής Φρεάριος εχορήγει, Φρύνιχος έδιδασκεν, 'Αδείμαντος ήρχεν.-Plutarch. in Themist. ν.
13 By Glaucus, in his work on the subjects of the plays of Æschylus, see Arg. ad Persas.
αλλ' ούν εγώ μεν ες το καλόν εκ του καλού
occurrence of the event, affected the audience even to tears, and Phrynichus was fined 1000 drachmæ for having recalled so forcibly a painful recollection of the misfortunes of an ally'. We have already mentioned the introduction of female characters into Tragedy by Phrynichus : he seems, however, to have been chiefly remarkable for the sweetness of his melodies ?, and the great variety and cleverness of his figure dances'. The Aristophanic Agathon speaks generally of the beauty of his dramas“, though of course they fell far short of the grandeur of Æschylus®, and the perfect art of Sophocles. The names of seventeen tragedies attributed to him have come down to us,
1 Αθηναίοι μεν γαρ δήλον εποίησαν υπεραχθεσθέντες τη Μιλήτου αλώσει, τη τε άλλη πολλαχή, και δη ποιήσαντι Φρυνίχο δράμα Μιλήτου άλωσιν, και διδάξαντι, ές δάκρυά τε έπεσε το θέατρον, και έζημίωσάν μιν, ώς αναμνήσαντα οικήϊα κακά, χιλίωσι δραχμήσι και επέταξαν μηκέτι μηδένα χράσθαι τούτο το δράματι.Herod. vi. 21.
"Ενθεν, ώσπερεί μέλιττα,
φέρων γλυκείαν υδάν. Αristoph. Αν. 748. Philocleon, the old Dicast, as we are told by the chorus of his brethren,
ηγείτ' άν άδων Φρυνίχους και γάρ έστιν ανήρ
φιλωδός. Vesp. 269. And a little before, these fellow-dicasts are represented by Bdelycleon as summoning their aged colleague at midnight,
- μινυρίζοντες μέλη
αρχαιομελισιδωνοφρυνιχήρατα. ν. 219. Παρά τα μέλη και την Σιδώνα και τον Φρύνιχον και τα ερατά έμιζεν, οίον αρχαία μέλη Φρυνίχου ερατά και ήδεα .. Φρύνιχος δέ εγένετο τραγωδίας ποιητής, δς έγραψε δράμα Φοινίσσας, εν ω μέμνηται Σιδωνίων. τα δε μέλη [το δε μέλι !] είπε διά την γλυκύτητα του ποιητού. Schol. in Ioc. “ Scribendum-μέλι-cum Suida in αρχαίος et μινυρίζω. Quod Αristarchum in codice suo legisse ex annotatione Scholiastæ cognoscitur. Ares, 748 : ένθεν ώσπερεί μέλιττα Φρύνιχος κ. τ. λ.” -Dindorf. See above, p. , note 2.
3 Plutarch (Symp. iii. 9) has preserved part of an epigram, said to have been written by the dramatist himself, in which he thus commemorates the fruitfulness of his fancy in devising figure-dances—
Σχήματα δ' όρχησις τόσα μοι πόρεν, όσσ' επί πόντω
Κύματα ποιείται χείματι νύξ ολοή. 4 Thesmophor. 164, seqq.
5 The difference between Phrynichus and Æschylus is distinctly stated in several passages of the Ranæ.
τους θεατάς εξηπάτα, μωρούς λαβών παρά Φρυνίχα τραφέντας. 909. Upon which the Scholiast remarks, απατεών γάρ, ώς αφελέστερος ο Φρύνιχος.
The same fact is also forcibly declared in the address of the Chorus to Æschylus in the same comedy
άλλ' ώ πρώτος των Ελλήνων πυργώσας ρήματα σεμνά
και κοσμήσας τραγικόν ληρον. 1004. That the word inpos does not imply anything merely comical and ludicrous in tlie tragedies before Eschylus, is clear from the use of the word ληρείν, in v. 923.
but it is probable that some of these belonged to the other two writers who bore the same name.
We learn from Suidas the following particulars respecting PRATINAS. He was a Phliasian, the son of Pyrrhonides or Encomius, a tragedian, and the opponent of Cherilus and Æschylus, when the latter first represented. As we have already stated', he was the first writer of satyrical dramas as a distinct species of entertainment; and we may connect this circumstance with the place of his birth; for Phlius was near Corinth and Sicyon, the cradles of the old tragedies of Arion and Epigenes. On one occasion, while he was acting, his wooden stage gave way, and in consequence of that accident, the Athenians built a stone theatre. He exhibited fifty dramas, of which thirty-two were satyrical. The Phliasians seemed to have taken great delight in these performances of their countryman', and according to Pausanias , erected a monument in the market-place in honour of “ Aristias, the son of Pratinas, who with his father excelled all except Æschylus in writing satyrical Dramas." Pratinas also wrote Hyporchemes ‘
His son Aristias inherited his father's talents, and competed with Sophocles
1 Above, p. 56.
+ Athen. xiv. p. 617, c. Πρατίνας δε ο Φλιάσιος, αυλητών και χορευτών μισθοφόρων κατεχόντων τάς ορχήστρας, αγανακτείν τινας επί τω τους αυλητάς μη συναυλείν τοις χορούς, καθάπερ ήν πάτριον, αλλά τους χορούς συνάδειν τοίς αυληταίς όν ούν είχε θυμόν κατά των ταύτα ποιoύντων και Πρατίνας εμφανίζει διά τούδε του υπορχήματος. Τίς ο θόρυβος όδε, κ. τ.λ.
Müller suggests (Hist. Lat. Gr. I. p. 295) that this Hyporchenie may have occurred in a satyrical drama. But we have seen above, pp. 19, 56, that the Satyric corresponded rather to the Pyrrhic than to the Hyporchematic dance.
5 Auct. Vit. Sophocl.
Et digitis tria tura tribus sub limine ponit.
Æschylus, the son of Euphorion, was born at Eleusis', in the fourth year of the 63rd Olympiad. (B.c. 525.) In his boyhood he was employed in a vineyard, and, while engaged in watching the grapes, with his mind full of this occupation, and inspired with reverence for the god of the vintage, felt himself suddenly called upon to follow the bent of his own genius, and contribute to the spectacles which had just been established at Athens in honour of Dionysus'. He made his
1 Vit. Anonym., given in Stanley's e lition of this poet, and the Arundel Marble. The invocation to the Eleusinian goddess, which he is made to utter by Aristophanes, may refer to the place of his birth :
Δήμητερ, η θρέψασα την εμήν φρένα,
Είναι με των σων άξιον μυστηρίων.-Ranae, 884. These lines would seem to show that he had been initiated into the mysteries, which is quite at variance with the defence which he set up when accused before the Areopagus. See Clem. Al. quoted below.
2 "Εφη δε Αισχύλος μειράκιον ον καθεύδειν εν αγρώ φυλάσσων σταφυλάς, και οι Διόνυσον επιστάντα, κελεύσαι τραγωδίαν ποιείν. ώς δε ήν ημέρα (πείθεσθαι γάρ εθέλειν) ράστα ήδη πειρώμενος ποιείν. ούτος μεν ταύτα έλεγεν. Ρausan. i. 21, 2.
To this employment of the poet were probably owing the habits of intemperance with which he has been charged, and also bis introduction on the stage of characters in a state of drunkenness. Athenæus tells us (x. p. 428) : Kai τον Αισχύλον εγώ φαίην άν τούτο διαμαρτάνειν, πρώτος γάρ εκείνος και ούχ, ώς έμοί φασιν, Ευριπίδης παρήγαγε την των μεθυόντων όψιν εις τραγωδίαν. έν γάρ τοις Καβείροις εισάγει τους περί τον Ιάσονα μεθύοντας. & δ' αυτός ο τραγωδιoποιός επoίει, ταύτα τοίς ήρωσι περιέθηκε μεθύων γούν έγραφε τάς τραγωδίας διό και Σοφοκλής αυτή μεμφόμενος έλεγεν ότι, 'Ω Αισχύλε, ει και τα δέοντα ποιείς, άλλ' ούν ούκ ειδώς γε ποιείς ως ιστορεί Χαμαιλέων εν τω περί Αισχύλου. The same observation of Suphocles is given in the same words,
p. 22, and is