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witticisms with which the revellers assailed the bystanders (see the description of the phallophori at Sicyon in Athen. xiv. p. 622), just as the chorus in the Frogs of Aristophanes, after their song to lacchus, begin ridiculing Archedemus (417, &c.). This origin of comedy is indicated lay the name Kco/^Sta, which undoubtedly means " the song of the kotos'." This appears both from the testimony of Aristotle that it arose out of the phallic songs and from Demosthenes (c. Meid. p. 517), where we find mentioned together 6 /ccD/xos Kal ol KO)/J.y-801. (Comp. MUller, Hist, of Gr. Lit. vol. ii. p. 4, Dor. iv. 7. § 1 ; Bode, Gesch. der Hellen. Dichtk. vol. ii. part 2, p. 4, &c. ; Kanngiesser, die alte Komisclie B'ulme zu Atlien, p. 32.) Other derivations of the name were however given even in antiquity. The Megarians, conceiving it to be connected with the word /cco/xt?, and to mean " village-song," appealed to the name as an evidence of the superiority of their claim to be considered as the originators of comedy over that of the Athenians (Arist. Poet. 3). This derivation was also adopted by several of the old grammarians (see Tzetzes, in Cramer's Anecd. Gr. vol. iii. pp. 335, 337 ; Anonym. Trtpl Ko>,u,eo5ias in Meineke, Hist. Or it. Comic. Graec. pp. 535, 538, 558, and in Bekker's Anecd. Gr. p. 747, where a very absurd account of the origin of comedy is given), and has the sanction of Bentley, W. Schneider, and even Bernhardy (Grundriss d. Griecli. Lit. vol. ii. p. 892).
It was among the Dorians that comedy first assumed any thing of a regular shape. The Megarians, both in the mother country and in Sicily, claimed to be considered as its originators (Arist. Poet. 3), and so far as the comedy of Athens is concerned, the claim of the former appears well founded. They were always noted for their coarse humour (Aristoph. Vesp. 57, with the schol. ; Anthol. Pal. xi. 440 ;'Suidas, s. v. ye\u>s ; Bode, vol. ii. pt. 2. p. 27), and their democratical constitution, which was established at an early period, favoured the development of comedy in the proper sense of the word. In the aristocratical states the mimetic impulse, as connected with the laughable or absurd, was obliged to content itself with a less unrestrained mode of manifestation. The Lacedaemonians, who had a great fondness for mimetic and orchestic amusements, had their Set/c^Ai/crou, whose exhibitions appear to have been burlesques of characters of common life. The favourite personages were the fruit-stealer and the foreign quack, for the representation of which they had a peculiar mimetic dance. (Pollux, iv. § 105 ; Athen. xiv. p. 621 ; Pint. Ages. 21. p. 607, d, Apophth. Lac. p. 212, &c. ; Schol. ad Apollon. i. 746 ; Miiller. Dor. iv. 6. § 9 ; Bernhardy, 1. c. p. 894.) Analogous to the Sez/cTjAi/crai were the /SpuaA-. XiKTai (Hesych. s. v.}. Among the forerunners of comedy must be mentioned the Phallophori and Ithyphalli at Sicyon. It was here, where at an early period the dithyramb also was dramatised, that the iw/h.qs first assumed a more dramatic form, and Dionysus was even said to have invented comedy at Sicyon (Anthol. Pal. xi. 32). The Phallophori had no masks, but covered their faces with chaplets of wild thyme, acanthus, ivy, and violets, and threw skins round them. After singing a hymn to Dionysus, they flouted and jeered at any one of the bystanders whom they selected. The Ithyphalli wore masks represent-
ing drunken persons, and were equipped in other respects in a manner which, if not very decent, was appropriate to the part they had to sustain. (Athen. /. c.) It was the iambic improvisations of the exarchi of such choruses which gave rise to the later comedy. Antheas of Lindus is spoken of as a poet who composed pieces for such comuses of phallus-bearers, which were called comedies (Athen. x. p. 445). Such pieces have been styled lyrical comedies by many scholars (as Bb'ckh, Corp. Inscript. No. 1584, note ; and Miiller, Hist, of the Lit. of Greece., vol. ii. p. 5), to distinguish them from the comecly proper. Lobeck and Hermann however stoutly deny that there was any such thing as lyrical tragedy or comecly distinct from dramatical tragedy and comedy, and yet not the same wTith dithyrambs or phallic songs, and affirm that the tragedies and comedies which we hear of before the rise of the regular drama were only a species of dithyramb and phallic song. (Hermann,* de Tragoedia Comoediaque Lyrica, in Opusc. vol. vii. p. 211, &c.) The dispute is more about names than about things ; and there seems no great objection to applying the term lyrical tragedy or comedy to pieces intended to be performed by choruses, without any actors distinct from the chorus, and having a more dramatic cast than other purely lyrical songs. This, apparently, was the point to which comedy attained among the Megarians before Susarion introduced it into Attica. It arose out of the union of the iambic lampoon with the phallic songs of the comus, just as tragedy arose cut of the union of rhapsodical recitations with the dithyramb.
Among the Athenians the first attempts at comedy, according to the almost unanimous accounts of antiquity, were made at Icaria by Susarion, a native of Tripodiscus in Megara. (Schol. ad Dionys. Thrac. in Bekker's Anecd. Gr. p. 748 ; Aspasius, Ad Aristot. Eth. Nic. iv. 2. 20. fol. 53, B.) Icaria was the oldest seat of the worship of Dionysus in Attica (Athen. ii. p. 40), and comus processions must undoubtedly have been known there long before the time of Susarion. lambistic raillery was also an amusement already known in the festivals of Bacchus and Demeter (Miiller, Hist, of Lit. of Gr. vol. i. p. 132 ; Hesychius, s. v. Tttyvpia-Tcd • Suidas, s. v. yttyv-pifav ; Schol. Arist. Acliarn. 708). From the jests and banterings directed by the Bacchic comus, as it paraded about, against the bystanders, or any others whom they selected, arose the proverb ra e| a/jt-atys (Schol. Arist. Equit. 544, Nub. 296 ; Suidas, s. v. ; Ulpianus ad Demosth. de Cor. p. 268, ed. Reiske ; Bode, I. c. p. 22 ; Photius, Lex. s. v. ra e/c t&v a/naffii/). This amusement continued customary not only at the rural Dionysia, but at the Anthesteria, on the second day of the festival [DiONYSJA]. . It was in the third year of the 50th Olympiad (b.c. 578), that Susarion introduced at Icaria comedy in that stage of development to which it had attained among the Megarians (Mar. Par. ep. 40. in Bockh's Corpus Inscript. vol. ii. p. 301). It is not however easy to decide in what his improvements consisted. Of course there were no actors beside the chorus or comus ; whatever there was of drama must have been performed by the latter. The introduction of an actor separate from the chorus, was an improvement not yet made in the drama. According to one grammarian, Susarion was