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By Stephen E. Kidd

This publication examines the idea that of 'nonsense' in historic Greek concept and makes use of it to discover the comedies of the 5th and fourth centuries BCE. If 'nonsense' (phluaria, lēros) is one of those language felt to be unworthy of interpretation, it may possibly support to outline sure facets of comedy that experience proved tough to understand. now not least is the recurrent belief that even if the comedian style should be significant (i.e. include political views, ethical sentiments and aesthetic tastes), a few of it's only 'foolery' or 'fun'. yet what precisely is that this 'foolery', this a part of comedy which allegedly lies past the scope of significant interpretation? the answer's to be present in the idea that of 'nonsense': by way of studying the ways that comedy doesn't suggest, the genre's courting to critical that means (whether it's political, aesthetic, or ethical) will be considered in a clearer gentle.

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Thin Cinesias and his bowel lawsuits ninety one song in Pherecrates’ Mousikē,13 and consistently disparaged as an airy-fairy dithyrambist,14 he appeared to were anything just like the Euripides of the dithyrambic style: that's, well known, leading edge, and so, an impossible to resist objective for the comedians. The comedian poet Strattis dedicated his Cinesias totally to him,15 and a dithyrambist named Cinesias additionally looks on degree in either Aristophanes’ Birds and, most likely, Gerytades. Nor used to be Cinesias mocked purely for his poetry and track, yet really, in comparable phrases to that of Phanias’ assault, for his frail and sickly actual visual appeal. In Aristophanes’ Gerytades, an embassy of poets is shipped all the way down to Hades, might be which will verify who the simplest dwelling poet is. sixteen Cinesias is chosen because the consultant from the dithyrambists, Meletus from the tragedians, and Sannyrion from the comedians. 17 the foundation of this option, in spite of the fact that, isn't the more desirable poetic ability of those 3 artists; quite they're selected simply because they're all “Hades-visitors” (ἁιδοφοῖται) – “skinny,” “frail,” or, within the English idiom, people with “one foot within the grave. ”18 Cinesias the Hades-visitor used to be no stranger to sickness, and his cauterized pustules brought on Galen to maintain the subsequent fragment of Plato Comicus (200 KA): Κινησίας / σκελετός, ἄπυγος, καλάμινα σκέλη φορῶν, / φθόης προφήτης, ἐσχάρας κεκαυμένος / πλείστας ὑπ’ Εὐρυφῶντος ἐν τῶι σώματι “Cinesias, skeletal, flat-bottomed,19 with reed-thin legs, prophet of degradation, cauterized with a number of burn-scars on his physique through [the medical professional] Euryphon. ” thin and scarred, this “prophet of deterioration” already seems to be decomposing in comedy, lengthy ahead of Phanias’ assault. As Phanias’ speech claims, Cinesias needed to take heed to those shameless scoffs approximately his disorder and actual features (not to say his poetry) 12 months after yr. however the shamelessness of the mockery extends additional nonetheless: might be with regards to his persistent affliction which left him so skinny, Cinesias appeared to have at some point soon (or might be greater than as soon as) suffered an unlucky thirteen 14 15 sixteen 17 18 19 Pherecrates one hundred fifty five. 8–13 KA. defined as “chorus-killing” at Strattis, Cinesias fr. sixteen KA (τοῦ χοροκτόνου Κινησίου). Av. 1372–1409; Ran. 1437. Cf. dithyrambic descriptions at Nub. 333–9, Pax 827–31, Av. 918. For a learn of depiction of Cinesias’ poetry in comedy, see Kugelmeier (1996) 208–48. For a potential (and smart) reconstruction of the plot, see Orth (2009) 100–29. He indicates a date of no longer lengthy after 408–405 (on the root of the mocking of Sannyrion who's merely heard of securely within the final decade of the fifth century). Cf. Sommerstein advert Ran. 153 who dates it to 414–411. So Kaibel (quoted in KA ii. 2. 101): “ipsi poetae legatos de suo numero electos advert inferos misisse finguntur, non tam opinor de emendanda arte Aeschylum aliosve antiquiores consulturi quam quaesituri quis inter vivos principem locum tenere videatur vel recentiores num antiquis poetis inferiores putandi sint. ” Sannyrion is seemingly no longer above throwing stones from his it sounds as if glass condominium: Sannyrion fr.

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