The City as Comedy: Society and Representation in Athenian Drama

By Gregory W. Dobrov | Go to book overview
44.
The word ἄνωθεν is later repeated in contexts where it appears to mean "from up-country," as Sommerstein translates it (e.g., 1522, 1526), but nothing activates this meaning at 1509, and it clearly once again means from above vertically at 1551, when Prometheus once again worries about Zeus seeing him. The word also occurs at 844, in relation to the birds' relation to man.
45.
Cf. Ko-Ko and Pooh-Bah discussing the financing of the former's wedding in Gilbert and Sullivan The Mikado:

Ko. But you said just now "Don't stint yourself, do it well."

Pooh. As Private Secretary.

Ko. And now you say that due economy must be observed.

Pooh. As Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Ko. I see. Come over here, where the Chancellor can't hear us.

46.
On his role in Birds, see esp. Rau 1967, 175-77.
47.
Antiphanes fr. 204 K.-A.; cf. Plato corn. fr. 237 K.-A. See Sommerstein 1987 at 1549. Phrynichus was in fact competing against Aristophanes at this very festival with his play The Hermit, whose title character was very similar, as his fr. 19 K.-A. shows: ὄνοU+3BCα ;4ὲ μοὔστι U039Cονότροποος/ζω + ̑ δὲ Τίμωνος βίον. . . . We cannot speculate what made Timon so topical in 414.
48.
See Sommerstein 1987 ad loc. on the halcyon.
49.
In light of the use of the theme of apate elsewhere in Aristophanes (see esp. Slater 1993), the two competitors' terms for each others' activities are of interest here. Poseidon warns Heracles against Peisetaerus' deceptive speech (ἐξαπατώμενος, 1641), while Peisetaerus, the consummate demagogic politician, accuses his opponent Poseidon of sophistry (περσοφίζεται, 1646). The echo of sophistic debates about the origin of the Trojan War and Helen's responsibility or innocence in line 1639 (ΔΗμει + ̑ς περὶ γυναικὸς μια + ̑ς πολεμήσομεν;) encourages us to read this in the light of contemporary sophism.
50.
Patterson 1990 is the best and most recent treatment of the νόϕος in Athenian law and society. She does take Peisetaerus' citation of Solon in lines 1661-66 as generally accurate (51), although given what we know of Peisetaerus' methods of argument, there is ample room for doubt.
51.
See Sommerstein 1987 ad loc. on the force of νυ + ̑ν in this line. Its use is not definitely proven for the fifth-century theatre, although Sommerstein cites Clouds 292 (ᾔσθου φωνη + ̑ς ἅμα καὶ βροντη + ̑ς) and Sophocles OC 1456ff. as parallels.

Bibliography

Arrowsmith William. 1973. "Aristophanes' Birds: The Fantasy Politics of Eros." Arion, n.s., 1.1.119-67.

Austin J. L. 1962. How to Do Things with Words. Oxford.

Blundell Mary Whitlock. 1989. Helping Friends and Harming Enemies. Cambridge.

Csapo Eric. 1993. "Deep Ambivalence: Notes on a Greek Cockfight." Phoenix 47.1-28, pls. 1- 4; 115-24.

Dobrov Gregory. 1993. "The Tragic and the Comic Tereus." AJP 114.2.189-234.

Fish Stanley 1980. Is There a Text in This Class? Cambridge, Mass.

Goldhill Simon. 1990. "The Great Dionysia and Civic Ideology." In Nothing to Do with Dionysos? Athenian Drama in Its Social Context, edited by John J. Winkler and Froma I. Zeitlin, 97-129. 101 Princeton.

Green J. R. 1985. "A Representation of the Birds of Aristophanes." Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2.95-118. Malibu.

Konstan David. 1990. "A City in the Air: Aristophanes' Birds." Arethusa 23.183-207.

Luppe W 1972. "Die Zahl der Konkurrenten an den komischen Agonen zur Zeit des peloponnesischen Krieges." Philologus 116.53-75.

-93-

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