The Age of Pericles: A History of the Politics and Arts of Greece from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War - Vol. 2

By William Watkiss Lloyd | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLV.
PERICLES AND ASPASIA.

UNDER the archon Murichides, 440-39 B.C., is dated a psephism of Antimachus to put a restraint of some kind on comedy (του + ̑ μη κωμωσει + ̑ν), which remained in force about three 1years. The notices of its scope are insufficient, but, in any case, it had no extent approaching to suppression, which could scarcely be thought of, even though we had not allusions to comedies that were produced within the 2interval; neither earlier or later do we hear anything of legal checks upon abuse of general decency. Some restraint on offensive personalities must therefore probably be understood, such as are distinctly specified as put in force at a later date. That this measure, by whomsoever proposed, was adopted out of consideration for Pericles, who was now at the height of his popularity, stands at best as a conjecture; and yet the coincidence should not be overlooked that it falls at the particular date when the Samian war, for all its successful conclusion, is known to have been turned by comoedians into an occasion of base disparagement, and when the comoedian most in vogue was Cratinus--Cratinus, who ever did his best to make Pericles ridiculous, and as eagerly displayed attachment to the memory of Cimon, from whose sister came the sole discontented word at the Epitaphian oration.

L 2

____________________
1
Schol. Aristoph. Acharn.67.
2
Clinton, "Fasti Hellen". sub ann.

-147-

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