The Ancient Library

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trasted with another writer's description of the diction of Philemon, as <r\)VT\pTin*.evi\v Kal otov ilff^aXiff^vnv rots ffvvdfofiiois. (Meineke, pp. xxxvi, xxxvii.)

To criticise the poetry of Menander is to describe the whole spirit and genius of the New Comedy, of which his plays may be safely taken as the normal representatives. This has been done with a most masterly hand by Schlegel, in his seventh lecture, from which the following passage is quoted: — " The New Comedy, in a certain point of view, may indeed be described as the Old Comedy tamed down: but, in speaking of works of genius, tame-ness does not usually pass for praise. The loss incurred in the interdict laid upon the old, unre­stricted freedom of mirth, the newer comedians sought to compensate by throwing in a touch of earnestness borrowed from tragedy, as well in the form of representation, and the connection of the whole, as in the impressions, which they aimed at pro­ducing. We have seen how tragic poetry, in its last epoch, lowered its tone from its ideal elevation, and came nearer to common reality, both in the characters and in the tone of the dialogue, but especially as it aimed at conveying useful instruction on the proper conduct of civil and domestic life, in all their several emergencies. This turn towards utility Aristophanes, has ironically commended in Euri­pides. (Ran. 971—991.) Euripides was the forerunner of the New Comedy; the poets of this epecies admired him especially, and acknowledged him for their master. Nay, so great is this affinity of tone and spirit, between Euripides and the poets of the New Comedy, that apophthegms of Euripides have been ascribed to Menander, and vice versa. On the contrary, we find among the fragments of Menander maxims of consolation, which rise in a striking manner even into the tragic tone." (It may be added, that we have abundant testimony to prove that Menander was a great admirer and imitator of Euripides. An elaborate comparison of the parallel passages is instituted by Meineke in an Epimetrum to his Trag. Com. Graec. vol-. iv. p. 705.)

" The New Comedy, therefore, is a mixture of sport and earnest. The poet no longer makes a sport of poetry and the world, he does not resign himself to a mirthful enthusiasm, but he seeks the sportive character in his subject, he depicts in hu­man characters and situations that which gives occasion to mirth ; in a word, whatever is pleasant and ridiculous."

Menander is remarkable for the elegance with which he threw into the form of single verses, or short sentences, the maxims of that practical wis­dom in the affairs of common life which forms so important a feature of the New Comedy. Various *' Anthologies " of such sentences were compiled by the ancient grammarians from MenanderVworks, of which there is still extant a very interesting specimen, in the collection of several hundred Hires (778 in MeinekeV edition), under the title of I>di|Uai fjiovoffrixoi. Respecting the collection en­titled Me^ai/Spot, Kal &i\urTtwvos adyKpuris, see philistion.

.The number of Menander's comedies is stated at a few more than a hundred ; 105, 108, and 109, according to different authorities. (Suid. s.v.; Anon. d& Com. p. xii.; Donat. Vit. Ter. p. 753 ; Aul. Gell. xvii. 4.) "We only know with certainty the date of one of the plays, namely, the '0/377?,



wnicn was brought out in b.c. 32 1, when Me­nander was only in his twenty-first year. (Clinton, F. H. sub ami.; Meineke, p. xxx.) We have fragments of, or references to, the following plays, amounting in all to nearly ninety titles: — *A5eA-</>o£ (imitated by Terence, who, however, has mixed up with it the ^vvairo6v^ffKovres of Diphilus), 'AAae?s not 'AAa£ 'Apa^rjviSes, 'AAieTs, *AraTt0€-pevri % Metrcnjz'ia, 'ArSpfa (mixed up with the Tleptvdia in the Andria of Terence), 'Avdpoyvvos ft KpTJs, 'Are^tof, "Airiaros, 'Afflrjtyopos f) Av\rj-rpis, *Afrirfe, AtiTov irevQtav, 'AQpotiiona, Botwr/a, AaKTvAtos, AdpSavos, AeurtSaljjiwv, y AlSiSjUai, Als elcwremwj', AifovcoAos, TifjL<apovfjLevos (copied by Terence), 'Ey-ji«ri7rpajueJ% 'ETrayyeAAojuci/os, *Eiri-/cAijpos, 'EiriTpeirwTes (the plot of which was simi­lar to that of the Hecyra of Terence), Efoovxos (imitated by Terence, but with a change in the dramatis personae}, 'E</>e(noy, 'Hyio^os, wHpws, ®a'fo, 0€TTaA?7, ©eotypovftevri, ®r]ffavp6s (trans­lated into Latin by Lucius Lavinius),


(from which Plautus probably took Poenulus\ KaTa^gv&fytewy, K€p/cv$aAo$, rrrfs, KwSia, K<fAa| (partly followed in the Eunuchus of Terence), Koveia^o^vai (perhaps better KaH>iafo/uej>cu)? K.v€epvfjrai, Aev/coSfa, Ao-Kpoi, Me0>7, WLrivaytipTris, TAuroyvvris (reckoned by Phrynichus the best of all Menander's comedies, Epit. p. 417), MKrovfjLevos (another of his best plays, Liban. Orat. xxxi. p. 701), NaitoA^poy, Nofjiodertfis, Hei/oAoyos, 'OAw&'a, 'O/AOirdrptoi, *Op7?f, na<8W, ITaAAa/of, napaKaraB^iaj^ Tlepi-IIepti/0fa, IlAo/aoiP, Updya^oi^ ITpo-


XaA/cem, XaA/tfs, XT/pa, There are also about 500 fragments which cannot be assigned to their proper places. To these must be added the IVefytcu ^ovocrrix0^ some passages of the rvwfjtat (or ^yKpttris) M€vdi>8pov Kal *zA*<r-rtwvos, and two epigrams, one in the Greek An­thology (quoted above), and one in the Latin ver­sion of Ausonius (Epig. 139). Of the letters to Ptolemy, which Suidas mentions, nothing survives, and it may fairly be doubted whether they were not, like the so-called letters of other great men of antiquity, the productions of the later rhetoricians. Suidas ascribes to him some orations, \6yovs ir\ei(TTOvs Kara\oyd^^ a statement of which there is no confirmation ; but Quintilian (x. 1. § 70) tells us that some ascribed the orations of Charisius to Menander.

Of the ancient commentators on Menander, the earliest was Lynceus of Samps, his contemporary and rival [lynceus]. The next was the gram­marian Aristophanes, whose admiration of Menan­der we have spoken of above, and whose work, entitled TrapaAA^Aot Me*/aj>8poi; re Kal a<£* £v €K\€\l>ev etcXoyai, is mentioned by Eusebius (Praep. Evan. x. 3), who also mentions a work by a cer­tain Latinus or Cratinus, irepl rwv ovk itiiwv Me-yavSpou. Next comes Plutarch's Comparison of Menander and Aristophanes : next Soterides of Epidaurus, who wrote a vird/nvrjfJLa els MevavSpov (Eudoc. p. 387 ; Suid. vol. iii. p. 356) j and lastly Homer, surnamed Sellius, the author of a work en­titled irepioxal twv M.evdvo'pov ^pafjuxrosv. (Suid,-

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