Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

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order, and five hundred of the second ; and the number of inferior merit is still greater.— See IVolf & Buitmann, Museum der
Alterthumskunde, vol. i.

% 40. Besides the three eminent tragic poets, the grammarians of Alexandria placed
in their canon three others, viz. Ion of Chios, Achaeus of Eretria, and Aga;ho of
Athens, nearly contemporary with the three whose names are so illustrious. Only a
few fragments of their works remain ; they may be found in the collection of Groiius
(cf % 43). The names of above twenty others are recorded as writers of tragedies
before the tiine of Alexander ; but none of them are eminent, and nothing remains of
their works but disconnected fragments. Among them are Euphorion and Bion, sons
of .5^?chylus, and lophon, son of Sophocles. We find alsointhe catalogue, Critias
and Theognis. two of the famous thirty tyrants.

• In the period between Alexander and the capture of Corinth, there were a few tragic
writers, whom the critics of Alexandria ranked in their second canon, the first includ-
ing the masters who wrote before the death of Alexander. Their second canon,
called the tracrjc Pleiades, included seven poets, who liv;ed in the times of the first
Ptolemies. They were Alexander of ^Etolia, Philiscus of Corcyra, Sositheus, Homer
the younger, .Eantides, Sosiphanes, and Lycophron. The first of these has been
named among the elegiac, and the last among the lyric poets. The trifling fragments
of these writers, now extant, are found in the collections of Frobenius (cf § 31) and
Grotius. Another poet, Timon, M'ho for a while taught philosophy at Chalcedon, is
said to have composed sixty tragedies. — Ptolemy Philadelphus, in order to encourage
the dramatic art, established theatrical contests hke those at Athens. But the pro-
ductions of the poets at Alexandria fell far short of those of Athens in the preceding
period. The tragedies were rather works for the cabinet than for the theatre, adapted
for the amusement of princes and courtiers, or the inspection of cold critics, rather
than for popular exhibition. They were productions of sublety and artifice, but com-
paranvely uninteresting and lifeless. — After what is termed the Alexandrine age,
nothing was produced in Greek tragedy.

On the origin of Tragedy; Schneider, De origin, trag. Gr. Vratisl. 1817. S.—Vatrif, Recherches Bur I'orig. et le prog, de la Tra
gedie, in Meni. de T.icad. tome xxiii. xxx. xv. p. 25.t ; xix. p. 219, of Paris ed.— 2>. Blair's Lect. x\v.—Marnwnttl, Poet, tome ii.
—Bru,nmi, Disc sur I'orig. de la Trag. pref. to Theatre dei Grecs.—Rich. Benlley, Resp. ad C. Boyle (Opusc. Philol).

On the history and character of Gr. Trasedy ; /ol. Barnes, Tract de Trag. Vet. Grasc. &c., in his ed. of Euripides. — Le Beau,
Des Tragiques Gr., in Mem. de I'.icad xxxv —J. J. U. Nast, Obs. in rem trag. Grasc. Stuttg. \nS.—Barthe!emy, Acacharsis,
ch. Ixix.— Iixi. — A. Au^en, De la Trag. Gr. he. Par. 1792. — M. Patin, Eludes sur les tragiques Gr on Examen critique d'Eschyle,
de Sophncle, et d'Euripide; prece-ie d'une histoire generale de la IrageJie Grecque. Par '.842. 3 vols. h.—Grufrpe' s Ariadne, oi
' the Tragical Art of the Greeks' is described as " an important work." — Brumcy, Theatre des Grecs, ed. RauMl-Rochette. Par.
1S2P, ss. Containing French translations from the Greek dramatists. Cf. Brumcy. Gk. Theat. transl. into Eng. by Mrs. Lennox.
Lond. 1759. i.—SchlestPs Lecture on Uramat. Lit. (tr. by Black). Lond. 1815. Cf. Land. Quart. Rev. xii. 121, ss.—Theatrt
of the Gruks; or the History, Literature, and Criticism of the Grecian Drama. Cambr. 1830. S.—Sch'Cll, Hist. Litt. Gr. bk. iii.
ch. li.— Cf. Bibl. Repository, No. xviii. p. 415.— Talfourd's I o a has been pronounced a successful imitation of the Greek tragedy.
CC North. Amer. Rev. April, 1837.

^ 41. (2) Comedy. Epicharmus of Cos, who was a professor of the Pythagorean
philosophy at the court of Hiero, in Sicily, about 470 B. C, is usually considersd as
the first writer of comedy. The species cultivated by him is called Sicilian comedy,
which the ancient writers distinguished from the Attic comedy. — Fifty comedies are
ascribed to him, but the fragments preserved (cf the collection oi Hertel. cited §43),
scarcely enable us to judge of their character. Phormis, of Syracuse, was another
writer in the same species. The pieces of Epicharmus are said to have been known
and admired especially by the Athenians, qnd to have given a great impulse to the cul-
tivation of comedy among that people. {Barthelemy^s Anacharsis, ch. Ixix.)

Scholl gives the following account of the origin of Attic comedy. "Between Tm



460 HISTORY OF GREEK LITERATURE.

gedy and Comedy in modern literature there is such an analogy that they are justly
regarded as two species of the same genus. From this it has been imagined, that both
had the same origin among the ancients. But it is not so. Tragedy grew out of the
songs with which the cities of Greece celebrated the festivals of Bacchus. Comedy,
on the other hand, took its origin in the country. The wards or boroughs {cfjuot) of
Attica were accustomed to unite in singing the phaUic songs {<pa\XiKa), in which the
most unrestrained licentiousness was allowed. The performers, drawn in cars, pro-
ceeded from borough to borough ; their numbers increased at every station ; and they
strolled about the country until their excesses forced them to seek repose. Hence
comedy derived its name from KUjxr], a village. The two species of drama followed in
their progress a different course. They were for a long time strangers to each other,
and it was not till a late period that comedy adopted the improvements embraced by
her sister. At length, however, the chorus, which had played the principal part, as in
tragedy, lost its primitive importance, and it finally happened that comedy appeared on
the stage without this accompaniment."

Susarion of Megara, about 570 B. C, is described as traversing the territory of At-
tica wdth an exhibition of these burlesque pieces, which constituted the beginnings of
comedy. Crates, about 500 B. C, is said to have given to them a more complete and.
perfect form. From this time tragedy was not the only representation attending the
iestivals of Bacchus; comedy was associated with it as a novel spectacle.

Mythology furnished but few of the subjects of comedy, in the character wdiich it
first assumed after its introduction from the country to the city. It was a complete
contrast to tragedy. Passing events, the politics of the day, the characters and deeds
of leading chiefs, the civil and military officers, and in short every thing pertaining to
])ublic or private affairs, entered into the materials, with which it amused the hearers.
It was therefore obviously liable to great abuse. No citizen could be secure from
attacks, which were not made by mere allusion, but more frequently by naming the
person and portraying his features upon the mask of the actor. It is this use of per-
sonal satire, which essentially characterizes what is called the old comedy.

'I'he grammarians of Alexandria have ranked, as belonging to the old comedy, six
poets ; viz. Epicharmus, Cratinus, Eupolis, Aristophanes, Pherecrates, and Plato,
called the comic, to distinguish him from the philosopher. The first has already been
spoken of. Aristophanes is tne only one of the rest of whom we have any whole
pieces extant. The fragments of the others may be found in the collection of Grotius
(cited § 43). The plays of Aristophanes justify and illustrate the character above
ascribed to the old comedy. Besides these six poets, more than twenty others are
recorded as authors in this kind of comedy, of several of whom trifling fragments are
preserved.

See p. F. Kanngiesser, Die alte Komische Bahne in Alhen. Breslau, 1817. S.—yalry, La vieille comedie, Mem. Mead. Inscr.
x<£i. 245.

^ 42. The old comedy continued until the time of the Thirty, when, B. C. 404, a
law was enacted which prohibited the use of hving characters and real names, and also
of the napaSadig of the chorus. This gave rise to what is called the middle comedy. All
that we know historically of this, is from the remarks of an ancient grammarian by
the name of Platonius (cf. Hertel, cited § 43). But there is one piece of Aristophanes,
the nXoiVof, which is a specimen of the kind; it was not represented until afier the
law abolishing the old form. The chief peculiarity is the exclusion of personal satire.
It seems also to have consisted in a considerable degree of parodies. — The grammarians
of Alexandria regarded two authors in the middle comedy as classic; viz. Antiphanes
of Rhodes and Alexis of Thurii. No more than insignificant scraps are left of the 360
pieces ascribed to the former, or the 145 of the latter. There were between thirty
and forty other writers whose names are preserved, with the titles of some of their
comedies.

The comic chorus consisted of twenty-four members, even after the tragic was limited to fif-
teen. There were other points of difference. "It frequently happens that there are several
chonises in the same comedy, who at one time all sing together, and in op[)osite positions, and
at other times chani^e with, and succeed each other without any general reference. The most
remarkable peciiliariiy, however, of the comic chorus is the parahasis. an address to the specta-
tors by the chorus, in the name and under the authority of the poet, which has no concern with
the subject of the piece. Sometimes he enlarges on his own merits, and ridicules the pretensions
of his rivals ; at other times he avails himself of his rights as an Athenian citizen to deliver pro-
posals of a serious or ludicrous nature for the public good. The parahasis may be considered as
repugnant to the essence of dramatic representation. All irarricul impressions are by such inter-
mixtures infallibly destroyed; but these intentional interruptions, though even more serious
than the subject of the representation, are hailed with welcome in the comic tone."

Schlega. on Dram. Lit. lect. vi.— ^See also Schni, Hist. Lift. Gr. bk. iii. ch. xiii. on the parts of the comic chores, it ago. p ami,
InigprjpLa, AvrfnlopTjiia, &c. — Le Seau, sur le Plutus d'Aristoph. et sur les caracleres assignes a la comedie moyemie, iu the
M. m. de VJlcad. des Inscr. et Belles Letlres, tome xxx.

'?. 43. The ?iew comedy belongs wholly to^the Alexandrian period of Greek hterature,
in this the chorus wholly disappeared, having been deprived of its m_ost important
l».nciio[i& by the change from the old to the middle. The new comedy instead of in-



p. T. SATYRE. 461

dulging in personal satire with the use of real names hke the old, or turning into ludi-
crous parodies the verses and themes of other poets hke the middle, aimed more to
paint manners. " The new comedy," says Schlegel, " is a mixture of seriousness and
mirth. The poet no longer himself turns poetry and the world into ridicule ; he no
longer gives himself up to a sportive and frolicsome inspiration, but endeavors to dis-
cover what is ridiculous in the objects themselves ; in human characters and situations
he paints that which occasions mirth."

The most celebrated writer in the new comedy was Menander, whose pieces are
spoken of by the ancients with great admiration, and their loss is much regretted.
He began to write at the age of twenty, and is said to have composed a hundred plays.
Besides Menander, the Alexandrian critics recognize four others as possessing classical
merit, Philippides, Diphilus, Philemon and ApoUodorus. Several other names are
also recorded, which it is of no importance to repeat.

Although the plays belonging to the new comedy were very numerous, amounting
it is said to some thousands, not a single original specimen is preserved. We have,
however, several imitations or translations in the Roman authors Plautus and Terence.

On Comedy generally; P. U Bmn, Disc, sur la Comedie, he. Par. 1731.— &cfe)ii«rg'i Entwurf— Huri'j Coninient. on Ep.
Hor. Lond. 1757, 1766.-3/. de Cailtiava, De I'Art de la Comedie Par. 1772. 4 vols. &.— B. Bulw.n, Essay on Comf^y. Lond.

17S2. 8. On the Gr. Comedy; Schlegel, Lect. on Dramal. Ul.—Brumoy, Disc, sur la Com. Gr. in his Theaire des Grecs.—

Thtairt of the Greeks, cited § iO.—Fatry. Recherch. sur I'or. at les prog, de la Com. Gr. in Mem. de VAcad. T. xxv. vol. xvi. p. 3S9.
of Par. eA—FV6%eVs Geschichte d. kom. Literatur.

For the fragments of the comic poets ; Jac. Henel, Vetustis. sapientiss. comicor. Quinquaginta Sententije. Bas. 1560. Brix. 1612.
•~Henr. Stepharnis, Cnmicor. Grasc. Sent. Frankf. 1579. i.—B. Grutius, Excerp. ex Trag. el Com. Gr. Par. 1626. i.—J. Cleri-
tus (Le Clerc), Menandri et Philemonis Fragm. Ams. 1709. 8.

§ 44. (3) Satyre. The following account of the satyric drama is given by Barthelemy.
"After having traced the progress of tragedy and comedy, it remains to speak of a
species of drama, which unites the pleasantry of the latter, to the gravity of the former.
This, in like manner, derives its origin from the festivals of Bacchus, in which cho-
ruses of Siieni and Satyrs intermingled jests and raillery with the hymns they sang in
honor of that god. The success they met with gave the first idea of the satyric drama,
a kind of poem in which the most serious subjects are treated in a manner at once
affecting and comic. It is distinguished from tragedy by the kind of personages it ad-
mits ; by the catastrophe, which is never calamitous ; and by the strokes of pleasantry,
bon-mots, and buffooneries, which constitute its principal merit. It differs from comedy
by the nature of the subject, by the air of dignity which reigns in some of the scenes,
and the attention with which it avoids all personahties. It is distinct from both the
tragic and comic dramas by rhythms which are pecuHar to it, by the simplicity of its
fable, and by the hmits prescribed to the duration of its action ; for the satyre is a kind
of entertainment, which is performed after the tragedies, as a relaxation to the specta-
tors. The scene presents to view groves, mountains, grottoes, and landscapes of every
kind. The personages of the chorus, disguised under the grotesque forms attributed
to the satyrs, sometimes execute lively dances with frequent leaps, and sometimes
discourse in dialogue, or sing, with the gods or heroes, and from the diversity of
thoughts, sentiments, and expressions, results a striking and singular contrast."

" The satyrical drama," says Schlegel, " never possessed an independent existence;
and it was given as an appendage to several tragedies, and from all we can conjecture
was always considerably shorter. In external form it resembled tragedy, and the ma-
terials were in like manner mythological. The distinctive mark was a chorus con-
sisting of satyrs, who accompanied the adventures of the fable with lively songs,
gestures, and movements. The immediate cause of this species of drama was derived
from the festivals of Bacchus, where satyr-masks were a common disguise. As the
chorus was thus composed of satyrs, and they performed the peculiar dances alluded
to{(nKLi>vi] or c'tKivvtg), it was not a matter of indifference where the poet shoald place the
scene of his fable ; the scene must be where such a choir might naturally, according
to Grecian fancy, display itself; not in cities or palaces, but in a forest, a mountain, a
retired valley, or on the sea-shore."

The great tragic authors, jEschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, each distinguished
themselves by pieces of this kind. Several other wrhers in the same age are men
tioned, as Pratinas, Aristias, Xenocles, and Philoxenes. But the most distinguished
of all, in the satyric drama, were Achaeus of Eretia, and Hegemon of Thasus.

"The latter aiJded a new charm to the satyric drama," says Barthelemy, "by parodying sevc
ral well known tragedies. The artifice and neatness with' which he execute'd these" parodies,
rendered his pieces greatly applauded, and freqijently procured them the crown. Dnrins the
representation of his Gig-ajitomachia. and while the whole audience were in a violent fit of
laughter, news arrived of the defeat of the army in Sicily. Hespmon proposed to break off the
piece abruptly; but the Athenians, without removing from their places, covered themselves
with their cloaks, and after having paid the tribute of a few tears to their relatives who had
fallen in the battle, listened with the same attention as before to the remainder of the entertain-
ment."

The Cyclops of Euripides is the only drama of this species that has come down to us. Ita
subject is drawn from Homer's Odyssey; it is Ulysses depriving Polyphemus of his eye, after
having made him drunk with wine. In order to conned with this a chorus of satyrs, the popt

2q2



462



HISTORY OF GREEK LITERATURE.



represents Silenus and his sons the satyrs as seeking over every sea for Bacchus carried away
by pirates. In the search, they are wrecked upon the shores of Sicily, enslaved by Cyclops, and
forced to tend his sheep. When Ulysses is cast upon the same shore, they leaj;ue wiih him
against their master; but their cowardice renders them very poor assistants to him, while they
take advantase of his victory and escupe from the island, by embarking with him. The piece
derives its chief value from its rarity, and being the only specimen from which we can form an
estimate of the species of composition to which it belongs.

Casauboti, ile salyrica Grjecorum poesi. Hate, 1779. S.—H. C. A Eichsl'ddt, De Dram. Graec. Comico-Satyrico. Lips. 1793. 8.
'■Brumoy, Disc, sur le Cyclope d'Euripide, &c. in his Theatre des Grecs.— /. H- BuhLe, de Fabula Satyr. Grsec. Gott. 1787. 4.—
Sulzer's Allg. Theorie, Satire.

^ 45. It is important not to confound these satyrical compositions of the Greeks,
which have now been described, with the satire of the Romans, which was totally
different in its nature.

It may be remarked, however, here, that the Greeks had satire in various forms both
in poetry and prose. The Margites of Homer may be considered as a sort of epic satire.
Of lyric satire (or iambic as it may be called, from the verse generally used), a tew frag-
ments remain from different authors. Archilochus is one of them. Another was Si-
monides of Nimoa in the island of Amorgos, author of a satire upon women. We may
add the name of Hipponax (Hor. Ep. vi. 12), who employed, perhaps invented, the
Choliamhic verse {xco\iani3o;, lafi,8o; crKayov), as best adapted to satirical purposes.

Here also may be mentioned the poems called SiXXoi ; for they were a kind of satire.
They have been called by some didactic satire, as they seem to have ridiculed espe-
cially the pretensions of ignorance. They were a sort of parody, in which the verses
of distinguished poets, Homer particularly, were applied in a ludicrous manner to the
object of the satire. Xenophanes of Colophon is regarded as the first author of this
species. Yet the only writer, of whom it is certain that he composed SiXAoi, is Timon
of Phlius, the skeptic philosopher already named (*& 40) as a dramatist. His satires
formed three books, and were very caustic. A few fragments are extant. He enjoyed
a high reputation with the ancients, and Athenaeus states that commentaries were
written upon his SiXXoi. This is not the place to speak of the prose satire of the Greeks,
but it may be remarked that the principal writers were Lucian and the emperor Julian.

Le Beau, on Homer's Margites, in the Mem. de VJlcad. des Inscr. torn. xxix. xxx. 4to edit.— £. L. D. Htichs, Versuch Qber die
Verdieasle des Archilochus urn die Satire. Zerbst. 1767. S.— The fragments of Hipponax were published by Tlieirph. Fr. JVelcker,
Gott. 1S17. 4.— Tho«e of Simonides, also by n'elcher. Bonn. 1835. 8.— ft. i/et>ir. ia7i5/iciriricA, de Timone sillographo. Lips. 1720-
21. 4.— Sulzer's Allg. Theor. art. Satire.— Scholl, Hist. Gr. Lit. bk. iv. ch. 34— Fi. IVahe. DeGrajcoruni Silas. Varsavias, 1820. 8.
—Fred. Paul, de Sillis GrEcorum. Berol. l!^21. S.—Sallier, Orig. et caract. de la Parodie, in the Mem. Acad. Inscr. vii. 398.—
The fragments may be found in Brunch's Analecta. Cf. § 35.

§ 46. Besides the three regular varieties of the drama already described, the Greeks
had a great number of performances which were of the nature oi farces. At festal
entertainments buffoons were often introduced, whose pantomime was mingled with
extemporary dialogue (airoKalSodXai). In the theatre, ludicrous and indelicate represen-
tations were made by actors called ixTixoi. Pieces of this sort were termed XvaKovot or
fiayio^m. No specimen of them is preserved.

The name of mimes {ptti^oi) was at length given to httle poems designed to bring
before the spectator or reader an incident or story, which was not, like that of trage-
dy, drawn from mythology or heroic adventures, nor like that of comedy, taken from
civil or poliiical life, but iurnished by domestic occurrences. A piece of this sort con-
tained a painting of manners and characters, without a complete fable. Sophron of
Syracuse, B. C. 420, is mentioned as a writer of mimes. His pieces were written in
the Doric dialect, and not in proper verse, but in a kind of measured prose (/caraXoydJ/ji/).
Plato very much admired them, and encouraged at Athens a taste for such perfor-
mances. The few fragments of Sophron' s mimes which remain are not sufficient
to enable us to judge fully respecting their character. The fifteenth idyl of Theo-
critus is an imitation of one of them. A commentary on the mimes of Sophron was
written by Apollodorus of Athens. Another author of mimes was Philistion of Nicea,
who flourished in the last days of Socrates.

For the fragments of Sophron, see Classical Journal, vol. iv. Museum Criticum (Camb. Engl.), No. vii. Nov. 1821. The
sentences of Philistion and Menander were published by Nia Rigouht. Par. 1613. 8.

^ 47. In concluding this sketch of the Grecian drama, it may be remarked that the
Athenians had not, hke the moderns, a regular theatre, daily open for pubhc amuse-
ment. Dramatic representations were appropriated to rehgious festivals. Perfor-
mances designed for public exhibition were submitted to the first archon. When this
magistrate judged them worthy of appearing, he assigned the poet a choir or chorus,
an ornament or appendage so essential that no piece could be performed without it.
Great pomp attended the choral service, that it might seem worthy of the auspices of
a divinity. The expenses w^ere defrayed by the rich citizens to whom the tribes de-
creed the honor, or assigned the tax. The citizens vied with each other in the splendor
and magnificence with which they furnished these theatrical displays, which might
serve to promote their private poUtical interests under the name of generosity and
l>an onage. The labor of the poet was not ended, as in modern times, with furnishing



p. V. PRINCIPAL POETS. 4.6S

the composition for the use of the declaim ers or actors. He was obliged to form hia
band of speakers, distribute the parts, and make them learn and rehearse. He uas
also obliged to instruct the chorus how to coiitbrm their movements to the voice of the
coryphcBus. Often the poet became himself an actor, and assumed one of the more
difhcult parts. The laborious task was expressed by the phrase ii6daKuv t.pana. In this
view the poets were termed 6i6a(jKa\oi , and the instruction given by them to the per-
formers was called technically ^i(5awaXia. This last term, was, however, afterwards
used in another sense in reference to the drama; viz. to signify something like what
we should call a literary notice, giving an account of the title and subject of a play,
the time of its exhibition, its success, its author, and the actors, &c. Aristotle and
the critics of Alexandria composed such notices ('icW/caXrai), which were no doubt
accompanied with critical remarks, and the loss of which is a matter of great regret.

SchSU, Hist. Lilt. Gr. vol. ii. p. 9.— Cf. Hermann, De Distributione, &c. as cited § 37.

§ 47 t. Having glanced in a general manner at the history of Greek poetry in
each of its departments, the plan already pointed out (§ 8) leads us now to no-
tice more particularly the principal poets.

In doing this, it \\\\\ be recollected, we are to arrange the names in chronological
order. To a brief notice of the poet and his works, a view of the more importantedi-
tions, translations, and other illustrative works, will be added. Before commencino'
with individuals, however, we will subjoin here some references to works which



Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 97 of 153)