The Ancient Library

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poets, he was made to feel strongly both the favor and the inconstancy of the people. The scholiast on Aristophanes says that Crates used to bribe the spectators, a charge which Meineke thinks may have been tak­en from some comic poet who was an enemy of his. There is much confusion among the ancients about the number and titles of his plays. Some grammarians assign to him seven and eight comedies respectively. The result of Meineke's analysis of the statements of the ancient writers is in favor of eight. Of these eight plays fragments are still extant. There are also several fragments which can not be assigned to their proper plays. The language of Crates is pure, elegant, and simple, with very few peculiar words and constructions. He uses, however, a very rare metrical peculiarity, namely, a spondaic ending to the anapaestic te­trameter. The fragments are given by Meineke, Comic. Grcsc. Fragm., vol. i., p. 78, seqq., ed. min.

III. hegemon ('H-y^/Aw)*1 a native of Thasos, but established at Athens, was more celebrated for his parodies than his regular comic pieces. Ar­istotle makes him the inventor of parody. He was nicknamed $a.Krj, on account of his fondness for that kind of pulse. Hegemon lived in the time of the Peloponnesian war, and was contemporary with Cratinus, when the latter was an old man, and with Alcibiades. His parody of the Gigantomachia was the piece to which the Athenians were listening when the news was brought to them in the theatre of the total failure of the ex­pedition to Sicily, and when, in order not to betray their feelings, they re­mained in the theatre to the end of the performance. The only comedy of his which is mentioned is the $>i\iv)i, of which one fragment is pre­served by Athenseus, who also gives some amusing particulars respect­ing him.2

IV. phrynichus ($pvvixos), of Athens, not to be confounded with the tragic poet of the same name, already mentioned, began to exhibit B.C. 435.3 He was ranked by the grammarians among the most distinguished poets of the old comedy,4 and the elegance and vigor of his extant frag­ments confirm this judgment. Aristophanes, indeed, attacks him, togeth­er with other comic poets, for the use of low and obsolete buffoonery,5 but the scholiast on the passage asserts that there w^as nothing of the sort in his extant plays. He was also charged with corrupting both lan­guage and metre, and with making use of the labors of others. These accusations, however, are probably to be regarded rather as indications of the height to which the rivalry of the comic poets was carried, than as the statement of actual truths. On the subject of metre we are in­formed that Phrynichus invented the Ionic a minore catalectic verse, which was named after him.6 His language is generally terse and elegant, but he sometimes uses words of peculiar formation. The celebrated gram­marian Didymus, of Alexandrea, wrote commentaries on Phrynichus7

1 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Athen., i., p. 5, B; Aristot., Poet., 2; Ritter, ad loc.

3 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v., where B.C. 429 is thought the more probable date, and Suidas, who gives B.C. 435, is supposed to be in error. Compare Clinton, s. v.

4 Anon,,DeComoed.,p. xxviii. 6 Ran., 14. 6 Marius Victor, p. 2542, Putsch- 7 Athen,, ix.? p. 371, F; Smith, Diet. Biogr., s, v.

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