Chapter 2. Kômos and Comedy: The Phallic Song between Ritual and Theater

The Choral Culture between Literature and Ritual: Origin or Structural Commonalities?

When one talks today in a scholarly context about ritual and theater, a culturally preformed association usually asserts itself. Under the influence of Aristotle’s theory of entelekheia, which is also expressed in his Poetics, under the influence of the Enlightenment, and especially as a result of the historical and genetic interest of nineteenth-century scholarship, which even today continues to shape the kind of questions our scholarship asks, we normally consider Attic drama as a historical development. Its origin, according to this approach, lies in primitive ritual, from which tragedy or comedy gradually freed itself, until eventually, in the course of the fifth century BCE, in a matter of decades, it became in an almost miraculous fashion the aesthetic and poetic cultural artefact we call “theater.”
In this chapter we will be concerned with leaving behind this teleological mode of thought and will instead emphasize the structural connection of theatrical and ritual forms. The diachronic genesis from ritual beginnings to developed theatrical production is thus replaced by a relationship of interdependency. The two phenomena are accordingly to be understood neither as a “not yet” nor as a “no longer,” but may both be present simultaneously. Their commonality is based on their performativity: both theater and ritual are staged in a spectacular fashion in front of the whole polis.
In the case of the genre of Old Comedy in particular, there are many facts that argue clearly in favor of this paradigm-shift. The dramatic productions take place in a cultic context, in honor of the god Dionysus. Certain comastic celebrations take place both before and after, so that the complex as a whole appears as a ritual continuum. [1] By means of typical strategies of embedment, the ritual and tradition of choral culture are also integrated into drama. The plot structures of Old Comedy are, as has been mentioned, to a considerable extent constructed on the foundation of ritual models that constitute the communal life of the citizens, for the ancient polis defines itself largely through ritual practice.
Ancient drama is first and foremost a public spectacle. A major part of the citizenry actively participates in it. The chorus of the drama forms a representative segment of the entire community and often acts in a ritual fashion. In Aristophanes’ choral songs the members of the comic chorus pray to the gods, for example; they praise them in a hymn, or ask them to appear and mingle with them and take part in the activity being carried out in the here and now. Furthermore, the comic chorus often carries out actions that have little to do with its theatrical role in a naturalistic sense. As in ritual, in comedy there is an absence both of the total merging of the players with their roles that is usual in civic veristic theater and of the clear differentiation between performers and spectators, with the chorus intervening as connecting link. And so the chorus scolds and ridicules people present in the theater, pelting them with rude and obscene expressions, even throwing sweets at their heads. Aiskhrologia and references to festive events and to the ritual calendar are prominent. In particular, the members of the chorus laugh, dance, and sing, which is in itself an expression of choral culture and represents the very essence of ritual action. [2] This property of the chorus is characteristic of those societies that communicate extensively in an oral fashion despite the presence of writing and take their identity primarily from myth and ritual. [3] Beside its real-world function as comic chorus in the here and now, this internal group also experiences a condition of ritual inversion in its dramatic role.
The comic chorus is thus, as has been emphasized several times already, not only derived and descended from ritual, but is to a large extent ritual as well. [4] This thesis is distinct from the scholarly approach that considers ritual in comedy solely from the aspect of origin. Moreover, this theory enables us to set the aspect of literary parody in Aristophanic choral songs, which has until now been considered as central, in context. Even when Aristophanes receives, adopts, and parodically reworks cultic lyric, [5] he is still able to fashion choral performance in a completely new and productive way. Mimesis of a choral culture that resides in the pragmatic is not the equivalent of fundamentally literary imitation, but can mean authentic reenactment, a re-experiencing and recalling of model choruses, which in a society of this nature are omnipresent in mythic imagination as well as in ritual practice. A choral song by Aristophanes is thus part of a cultic choral tradition that was still alive in his own time and that by means of emotional involvement mediates the symbolic connections of a community of people living together. [6] The only difference between pure and dramatic cultic lyric resides of course in the fact that the playwright attempts to embed the ritual substrate in a plot sequence to a greater or lesser degree. Since Old Comedy lacks a syntagmatic dramatic unity, the choral song often remains at the same time tangible as an independent ritual song.
There are two indisputably ritual and predramatic texts, cited by the travel-writer and antiquarian Semos of Delos (ca. 200 BCE), that are of great interest precisely in terms of the concept of performance referred to above. In his work On Paeans, which we know from the Deipnosophistae (622a–d = FGrHist 396 F 24) of Athenaeus (ca. 200 CE), he introduces as examples of the genre one song associated with the Ithyphalloi (fragment 851a PMG) and another with the Phallophoroi (frament 851b PMG). As ritual texts, they have been more or less exclusively discussed using the traditional historical-genetic approach and in terms of the origin of comedy. Aristotle had in fact identified (though rather in passing) the latter as lying with the early singers of phallic songs, which were still customary in his own time (Poetics 1449a9–13). [7] With the phallic songs of Semos it was thought that a link to the origins of comedy had now been discovered. [8] Apart from the parallels to the parabasis the evidence is actually rather scanty, and only a few still subscribe to the theory that the performance of compositions of this nature could only represent a point of departure for Old Comedy. [9] One of the chief difficulties in connecting the two phallic fragments of Semos with the origins of the comic genre is the fact that they come from a period later than Aristophanes. The only way out of this dilemma is to assume that they are survivals, an approach that Aristotle had already demonstrated. A folk practice, so the theory goes, continued to exist in other places as a substrate, while in a local phenomenon limited to Athens it developed into world literature. In principle this cannot of course be excluded, but because of the lack of sources one cannot reach any final conclusion or indeed any proof: everything remains ultimately in the realm of speculation. And the songs of Aristophanes are too complex to be derived from this kind of phallic song alone.
I shall therefore follow a different path here. In what follows, I intend to show how the texts enable us to see the simultaneity of ritual and theater, the common denominator of which is formed by the concept of performance. Phallophoria, an activity quite removed from everyday events, is carried out as a sacred ceremony on the one hand, while on the other it is a ritual action conspicuously located in the theater. The passage of Athenaeus is particularly fruitful for this performative approach, since the quotation from Semos gives a detailed description of the performative context: the realm of visual signs, otherwise almost entirely lost, the ὄψις of the spectacle, that is, the costuming or external decoration, as well as the actors’ sequence of movements in the theater and the action after the actual entrance of the song, are all described.
In order to avoid any misunderstanding, it must first be said that those predecessors who sought the origins of comedy certainly recognized the connection between ritual and the theater of Aristophanes; yet they mostly proceeded on the assumption that the comic genre gradually freed itself from its ritual beginnings and that at the latest stage Aristophanes was already creating a higher literature. The ritual element is thus dismissed as something inferior and primitive and accepted only as a remnant. As an alternative to this evolutionary hypothesis, I offer the idea of a combination of theater, “literature,” and ritual that continues on the diachronic level and that in terms of the time axis is at some no longer determinable starting-point valid both for the time of Aristophanes and for even a much later period. If one leaves aside as an exceptional phenomenon the relatively brief interlude of the modern European theater, purely oriented toward Aristotle, this close interaction of levels can be observed from the spectacle-like performances of most tribal peoples all the way to postmodern theater, which is rediscovering precisely this choral dimension and which is abandoning the “dramatic” in the sense of a closed action in favor of a return to predramatic and pre-expressive forms. [10] In what follows the two fragments of Semos will be considered as documents of a living choral culture. Even though explicit references to the per-formers’ own dance are not found here, in contrast to the central passage in the Thesmophoriazusae (947–1000), the songs are also performed by a chorus, a kômos. Procession (fragment a) and hymn (fragment b) belong accordingly to the realm of choral presentation, if one understands by chorus a cultic group that performs movements while singing at or in a ritual.
In the case of the hymn, on the basis of a misunderstood description by Proclus (in Photius 320a20), who characterizes the performers as ἑστῶτες, a stationary bodily attitude has been assumed. Recent scholarship tends no longer to separate the “real hymn” [11] from the paean, dithyramb, or prosodion, [12] but rather to establish the relationship of these separate genres to hymn as the relation of subspecies to species. The subgroups are thus combined with the generic concept. [13] Immediately preceding this description, Proclus (in Photius 320a18–20) makes a distinction between a prosodion, which is sung while moving toward the altar, and a hymn. The latter, as is well known, is generally performed around the altar. Just as with the prosodion, a hymn may also be accompanied by a dance. In any case, the performers did not sing while rigidly “standing” about the altar; ἑστῶτες must on the contrary be interpreted as meaning that they have formed a formation and now, often in a κύκλιος χορός, and using gestures and body movements, are performing the hymn in honor of the god. [14] The setup possesses a strong similarity to the stasimon, which should not under any circumstances be interpreted as a “standing-still song,” and to the parodos in developed drama. One could describe fragments 851a and b PMG as parodoi in nuce, and the subsequent improvisation in ridicule as a stasimon (στάδην δὲ ἔπραττον, Athenaeus 622d) or epirrhêma. [15]
The central element of comedy is the chorus, through which the dramatic genre is also connected with Greek choral culture. Walter Burkert in a ground-breaking study brings together the concept θεωρία, the “display” of the festival, and the development of theater. He lists three types of spectacular θεωρία incorporated into ritual that represented extensive and emotional events for the archaic citizen: the festive procession, or πομπή; the athletic contest (ἀγών); and presentations by χοροί, which were performed with dance and musical accompaniment and also for the most part in an agonistic context. In the ritual context of the festival a sacrifice was often offered to the gods, which at the same time provided the meat to feed the festive crowd. Within the context of the Great Dionysia, which were first instituted by the Athenian polis at the time of the Peisistratidai on the basis of older, more rural festivals and which also included procession, sacrifice, agôn, and choral performance, Attic drama developed, according to Burkert, as a Gesamtkunstwerk that synaesthetically reconfigured ritual elements. [16]
Not every “display” or “show” attained the level of Attic stagecraft. The songs of Semos do of course combine the same ritual elements: the spectacle (θέα) takes place in the permanent structure of the polis’ θέατρον, which historically replaced as the site of performances the agora, the marketplace, where the players and choruses had previously entertained the spectacle-hungry people. The term χορός, as I have already emphasized in the Introduction, refers simultaneously to the place where a chorus performed. Procession and musical presentation were offered alongside animal sacrifice in honor of a deity. Choral culture is thus just as closely connected to ritual and its ritual occasion as drama, which arose from it. One may pursue the question whether certain songs ought to be regarded as literature rather than ritual in the case of choral lyric as well.
The deficient role identity of the dramatic chorus as dramatis persona and the fact that the actual performers are not completely concealed behind the plot—that is, the narrative complex which is determined within the communication system as a whole and which does not clearly distinguish between inner and outer, between the there of the plot and the here of the current performance—can all be explained by the inherited ritual function of choruses and their social presence and function. [17]
The traditional, purely literary-historical approach points to Alcman’s Great Partheneion (fragment 1 Davies = fragment 1 PMG = fragment 3 Calame) or the epinicians, paeans, and dithyrambs of Pindar as written monuments of archaic lyric, thus effectively detracting from their practical performative context. Despite their indisputably artistic form, these poems continue to remain anchored in their Sitz im Leben. On the other hand, in the case of so-called simple cultic lyric this aspect is never contested. Chance epigraphic finds of ephemeral, customary occasional poetry such as the Palaikastro hymn (see below) or songs connected with folk-practices cannot, however, be neatly separated from so-called high literature and reduced exclusively to their cultic value. These songs too possess the aesthetic trademarks of ritual style, which have been described as follows: repetition, fusion, redundancy, metaphor, alliteration, chiasmus, homoioteleuton, and rhythmically shaped speech. These are all characteristics normally associated with lyrical literature. On the other hand, as modern studies on the orality of archaic literature have in particular made clear, even “high” choral lyric, such as the Great Partheneion of Alcman (fragment 1 Davies), is completely tied to a ritual occasion. A song like this is absorbed to a large degree in its concrete connection to its current context and occasion, which is evident to the local festival audience. For a later reader, of course, the precise circumstances remain unclear. [18]
Festive spectacle only really becomes literature in the time of the Alexandrians with its separation from a ritual performative context, which is a result of the phenomenon of textual transmission. Aristotle is the first to make this decisive step with respect to Attic drama by considering it primarily as a text. [19] Both brilliant choral poetry, such as Alcman’s Louvre Partheneion, and more pedestrian customary songs of ritual practice or popular songs could quickly transcend the ephemeral nature of the one-time performance by being repeated at a later time. The reperformance of choral cultic poetry takes place mostly in the ritual context of seasonally reoccurring annual festivals. [20] Yet one may possibly recognize in this the point of departure of the development that with the introduction of the book trade would ultimately lead to the complete separation of texts composed in writing from festive occasions.

On the Performative Manner of Speech and Self-Reference in Ritual Choruses

I have already described in the previous chapter the extent to which ritual depends on the illocutionary confirmation of its own action, in what way cultic action results from a jussive manner of speech, and how contact with the deity is established. In the actual process of utterance the group or the individual does something. The insistent call invokes the god in a sympathetic fashion and creates a closeness to him. [21] The locating of a ritual in its occasion also causes the chorus to refer to its own activity, to its singing, dancing, and action in the here and now. The emphasis on the chorus’ own rhythmic and musical presentation supports its implementation and is supposed to trigger a heightened state of attention in the deity being called upon. The chorus praises its own performance and its spectacular skill in the display; the spectators become convinced of this by the immediate impressions acting on their senses, and the divine addressee is thought to be addressed directly. The gods as archetypal choral members are sympathetically drawn in through the χάρις of the performance and are invited to reciprocate in turn. [22] The chorus’ self-description and self-reference to its own dancing in the here and now run right through the whole tradition of choral song. Self-referentiality is also a characteristic of rituals. The carrying out of an action needs verbal confirmation: it is in the utterance that the action is completed. [23] In his semantically and thematically oriented analysis of choral lyric, Carlo Odo Pavese has shown that this motif seldom appears in epinicians, but is prominent in the dithyramb, hyporcheme, partheneion, and paean. [24] This is clearly not simply a random semantic characteristic of certain genres. In his structural approach Pavese does not actually recognize the fact that these choral genres include this theme precisely because of their being anchored in ritual. And it is in dramatic choral lyric also, in particular in the songs of Aristophanes, that numerous instances of self-referentiality and descriptions of the chorus’ own performance appear. [25] On the basis of the above it becomes clear that the treatment of this theme by no means constitutes an anachronistic application of poststructuralist interests: rather, the motif has its roots in the ritual nature of the chorus.
But one should not fail to make the observation here that self-referentiality can also of course be indicative of the growing self-awareness of the poet. Although instances of drawing attention to one’s own artistic achievement are generally found in the work of later practitioners of a developed genre, [26] one in fact already encounters this phenomenon in the first preserved examples of Greek poetry. It can increasingly be seen with the expansion of written expression in the fifth century BCE, and in the reading culture of the Hellenistic period this form achieves special significance. But a self-referential procedure of this sort seems to represent only a secondary phenomenon that actually rests on the basis of the illocutionary confirmation of a verbally realized performance situation in the process of written composition. The splitting into ritual and artistic self-reference is almost impossible in a performance, since the “I” of choral lyric can hardly be separated from the voice of the poet. Conversely, from the mixed and polyvalent voices of the speaking “I”/“we” it becomes possible to trace the claim to originality all the way back to the authority of the composer, thereby removing the actor from the picture, in terms of both his actual and his possible fictional identity.
In his hymns Callimachus as literary and self-aware poeta doctus also refers back to this old form of self-referentiality. Although these were never intended for choral performance, only for reading, he reverts to the illocutionary self-reference of traditional performance, following the trend of extensive re-ritualization and strategies of cultic embedment in order to maintain the fiction that these songs of praise are being danced and sung by choruses. [27] Hymnic presentation, which in fact occurs in Semos’ second song (fragment 851b PMG) in a type of prelude to Dionysus, does not therefore stand in opposition to choral dance presentation. Even the Homeric hymns, which function as prooimia to epic/rhapsodic performance, occasionally point back to the ideal performance of an imaginary chorus. [28] Self-reference to activity in the here and now marks Semos’ songs of the Ithyphalloi and Phallophoroi as popular songs connected with ritual custom, anchored in the real world. They can thus be classified as part of the tradition of ritual and communal choral poetry. At the same time, they should be viewed as an artistic representation in the Hellenistic sense. This phenomenon of being on the border between a ritual utterance, a serenade performed in a Hellenistic theater constructed of stone, and a minor artform handed down as literature makes these quotations of particular interest. Yet poetic composition and ritual use, as in the case of Aristophanes, are not mutually exclusive.
In what follows the classification of these songs as part of choral song culture, which is connected with Old Comedy, is based on the kômos in particular. A kômos is a mobile, riotously celebrating choral group [29] that generally stages a carnevalesque world. More recent discussions have seen the kômos as the origin of all dramatic forms. [30] It is true that there is no explicit self-reference to choral dance, but the group does however refer to its song and its movements. The members of the chorus march in more-or-less coordinated fashion into the theater. The choreography stages a controlled “otherness” consisting of a group of young people whom the festive community engages for the purpose of performance.
The kômos, from which Old Comedy apparently developed, represents, like ritual, a particular practice of signification by a group of actors, [31] where there is only occasional indexical reference to the corresponding signified. [32] In the kômos and in comedy one expresses oneself first and foremost through signs and gestures that indicate a transgression of norms (ὕβρις), the inversion of the world, and a return to a primordial and chaotic past. [33] The kômos is constituted as a central network of signs that surrounds and connects the individual significatory phenomena. This choral form explains the motifs of sacrifice, wine, phallic sexuality, and aggression, as well as its connections to Old Comedy. In the archaic symposiastic Männerbund initiation is an important factor. The noisy procession staged at an annual festival represents in particular a reactualization of the ritualized transition from male youth to adulthood in the form of a choral presentation. The dramatic and critical transitional phase in initiation is experienced as an inverted world. [34] Remnants of the archaic initiation of the aristocracy are found in the Athens of the late fifth and the fourth centuries BCE, the time of Aristophanes, in comastic associations of young men formed from aristocratic circles. As an expression of the transgression of norms they are often arranged around the sign of the phallus. The notorious aristocratic gangs of rowdy youths with the scandalous names of Ithyphalloi, Autolekythoi, and Triballoi who make the streets of Athens unsafe after their wild binges are well known from Demosthenes’ oration Against Konon. The Athenian drinking brotherhood of the Ithyphalloi is directly reminiscent of the group of the same name in Semos, so that the Ithyphalloi assume a key position in Hans Herter’s organic theory of the origin of comedy, which is based on Aristotle. [35]
Besides initiation, however, are festivals of fertility or transition or inversion, in particular new year’s festivals, that can be adduced as a possible Sitz im Leben. The three central interpretative categories in the study of the history of religion (fertility, new year, and initiation) do not lend themselves to a neat separation between them, but as in the case of the Thesmophoriazusae, all play a role in the arrangement of this comically distorting practice of signification.

Ritual Analysis of the Songs (fragment 851 PMG)

An in-depth ritual and performative interpretation of the Semos texts will show that the songs, by using redundancy and fusion, expand the synaesthetic occasion of the choral presentation into a sensory ritual experience involving the consumption of wine, sexuality, and sacrifice, and blend this into a “thick” discourse with allusions to the chorus’ own performance. [36] In what follows, the text as transmitted will be considered in its performative context. The form and content of the choral song cannot here be separated: optical and visual, gestural, and kinetic signals in the description of the performance make up a “thick” unit of expression and communication together with its rhythmic form and verbal signs, the content of the linguistic message.
In his entertaining conversations over dinner, Athenaeus presents the extract (Athenaeus 621d–622a) using the following introduction: κωμικῆς παιδιᾶς ἦν τις τρόπος παλαιός (621d) [“There used to be an ancient style of comic paidia”]. In the Greek imagination, as has already been shown, dance and play were often associated with one another. There is an attempt to enact the pleasure of play using movement of the body. In comedy paizein is thus often used synonymously for dance. [37] The Spartan Sosibios (ca. 300 BCE) who is quoted by Athenaeus (FGrHist 595 F 7) subsumes under the Spartan term deikêlistai, which means something like performers in a mimetic presentation, all sorts of popular comic actors who are called different names in different cities. [38]
In this cultural and historical deipnological context the statement that Sosibios enumerates all kinds of expressions for mimes of this type suits Athenaeus’ antiquarian and collector’s interests: they are called Phallophoroi in Sikyon, elsewhere Autokabdaloi (‘improvisers’), in southern Italy Phlyakes, in many places Sophistai, and in Thebes Ethelontai. [39] While these types of improvised scenes drawn from everyday life—Sosibios mentions a theft of vegetables or the burlesque entry of a strange and boastful doctor who uses a strange dialect—are more reminiscent of the speaking parts in Attic comedies, [40] it is possible to connect the following description by Semos with the chorus of Old Comedy. [41] Throughout the whole passage (621d–622d) Athenaeus seems to have thematized the connection of choral celebration and the subsequent improvisation of the performers, which manifests itself in the ritual ridicule of the spectators drawn into the ritual and in other entertaining little gags taken from the everyday world. [42] Athenaeus changes his informant from this point on and quotes both of our comastic songs, using Semos as his source. [43] Like Sosibios, Semos also speaks of Autokabdaloi, who make speeches in improvised form (σχέδην) while crowned with ivy, and says that these choral actors and their “poems” were later termed iamboi. [44] The ivy is already a clear reference to Dionysus. [45] Then, before the actual texts of the songs of the Ithyphalloi and Phallophoroi, Semos gives an extensive description of the ritual and performative context of the occasion that includes their wreaths, masks, costume, and entrance into the theater. In a semiotic code that operates on various levels, individual redundant signifiers are added together with the help of fusion to form a complex symbolic image, which together with the practice of signification in the performance and the verbal concretization of the songs blends into a comprehensive synaesthetic unity of signs. The comic dissolution of the everyday order of things or the inversion of the world is thus indicated as a message or signified in the process of communication. [46] As is clear from the description of the players, the central sign of the celebration is the massive erect phallus [47] that is carried in by an especially prominent actor, the phallus-bearer, accompanied by the choral group. In the biological world the phallus has a particular use in demonstrative behavior. Primates use their erect member for sexual display and to mark out their territory. [48] Humans transform this ethologically ritualized behavior in an expressive fashion into complex ritual forms such as the phallus procession. [49]
The phallus is enlarged for purposes of clarification and becomes an independent iconic symbol, detached from the body. Phalli of this type have for example been found on Delos in a shrine to Dionysus near the theater. Two giant erect marble phalli on stone pedestals have now been installed in this monumental complex, which was constructed by the successful khorêgos Karystios at the end of the fourth century BCE; on the pedestal of the rightmost one a winged phallus-bird has been carved in relief.
Delos, with its famous phallophoria at the Dionysia, has recently been considered by Susan Guettel Cole as a possible Sitz im Leben for these songs, since Semos came from there. [50] Relying on the sequence of procession (pompê) with phallophoria, sacrifice, and procession of revellers (kômos), which precede the actual theatrical agôn at the Great Dionysia in Athens, she interprets the ceremony that lies behind Semos’ description as a ritual activity too, which symbolically marks as an inversion of the normal the transition from everyday life to the festival and to the theatrical competitions that took place there. The location of the rites in a fully formed Hellenistic stone theater is more than clear from the context transmitted along with the songs. Even if their setting on Delos cannot be proved unequivocally, Guettel Cole’s suggestion nevertheless represents an excellent working hypothesis. Joint ritual components that are also expressed in the text of the songs, namely aiskhrologia and tôthasmos, phallic presentation, the drinking of wine at the symposium, sacrifice, marching in a procession accompanied by song, and the comastic procession, may be connected with the entrance into a theater of a chorus, which, as in Old Comedy, oscillates between Dionysiac ritual and artistic theater. [51] Exuberant pleasure at the festival appears next to grotesque transgressions of normal boundaries, to tokens of the Other, the marginal, and death. Dionysus, as addressee of the second song and embodiment of the phallus in the person of Phales, unites these positive and negative aspects.
In Semos’ description further visual features redundantly accompany the central phallus: [52] the Ithyphalloi wear masks of drunkards. Yet the chorus does not here enter wholeheartedly into a fictional role, such as that of satyrs; rather, the simple mask allows the real identity of the citizen chorus honoring the god of wine to shine through clearly. [53] This happens even more obviously in the case of the Autokabdaloi and Phallophoroi, who wear no mask at all, but are visually characterized as worshipers of Dionysus by their headgear and costume, as are the other groups. The Autokabdaloi wear the typical garland of ivy that dramatic choruses in Athens also at times wore. [54] In the case of the Ithyphalloi, the type of garland is not given any further description. The mask that is absent in the case of the Phallophoroi is replaced with a lavish headgear that characterizes the players as wild men of the Outside. A visor-like frame woven from herpyllos (wild, creeping thyme), an evergreen plant sacred to the Muses, [55] and twigs of the paiderôs, whose red flowers had aphrodisiac and sexual connotations, frame their faces; [56] in addition, they wear over this the obligatory “thick wreath,” here made of ivy and violets, which are also appropriate in the context of sacrifice, drinking, and the symposium. [57]
The marking of the period of inversion is further underscored by the long, effeminate robes that are typical of Dionysus, who is often characterized as androgynous. [58] The comic inversion of the world is emphasized by the following signs of transvestism: [59] over a khitôn with white middle-section and flowered sleeves—with the Ithyphalloi indications of plants are generally absent—the Ithyphalloi wear a Tarentine wrap made of a fine, thin, transparent material, which is belted at the waist and which reaches to their ankles. [60] Conversely, the anomaly of the Phallophoroi is strikingly demonstrated by the kaunakê, the Sumerian-Babylonian hairshirt made of sheep’s wool, which transports the actors from the fabric of civilization to the realm of slaves, barbarians, and the animal. [61]
The performative description of these choral entries is of great importance for the fluid transition from theater to ritual. Despite the brevity of the ritual songs, which are grouped with the traditional carmina popularia, Semos surprisingly places the choruses that perform them in the context of the theater. The Ithyphalloi proceed in silence through the entryway of the theater, and when they have reached the middle of the orchestra, where the chorus normally sings and dances, they take up position, turn to the audience (ἐπιστρέφουσιν εἰς τὸ θέατρον), and sing their phallus song, perhaps accompanying it with dance. [62] The second choral group performs similarly: the collective divides itself up, one part proceeding into the theater through the side-entrances (parodoi) and the other through the middle doors, and in a rhythmic procession (βαίνοντες ἐν ῥυθμῷ) they sing their hymn to Dionysus as a phallic prosodion. The circumstantial participle λέγοντες (agreeing with the actors) used to introduce the text of both songs is, however, problematic. Ought one then to interpret this to mean that the Phallophoroi and Ithyphalloi only “spoke,” and did not sing, the text? As will emerge from the following analysis, body movements and music are naturally closely linked to other forms of ritual expression. Because of his literary interests Semos apparently had no interest in the performative self-references and so introduced the quotations with the unmarked, everyday verb “to say, speak.” This simply conveys the information, then, that the text of the songs, which consists only of their logos, “goes as follows.” [63]
The formation, as well as the pragmatic context, is reminiscent of entries in Old Comedy through the parodos. It is almost as if we have in front of us stage-directions for entry songs of the chorus in a particular role. Yet it follows from the small songs of four to five lines that here we do not of course have the description of a dramatic parodos, but a purely ritual action, the entry of a phallic procession. In the first case (fragment a), both diction and gesture draw attention to the arrival of the gigantic phallus, which is probably, as in fragment b, carried in by a Phallophoros. The audience, perhaps also a part of the chorus, which enters into contact with the spectators and perhaps mingles with them, is ordered in this movement to make way for the living epiphany. In the second scenario (fragment b), the god Dionysus is praised in hymnic form by the entering Phallophoroi as divine personification of the fetish object. [64]
In the case of the Phallophoroi, there is even a description after the hymn of a further ritual action by the chorus members: they run to the audience and pull them in, making them participants in the ritual by ridiculing them. [65] Tôthasmos and aiskhrologia, censure and ridicule combined with an attack on the audience, are also part of the inventory of Aristophanic comedy. [66] This ritual ridicule under the protection of a mask that only partially obscures one’s identity also belongs to the group of signs that mark a transition from the normal world to that of the festival. Semos says the chorus members make fun of whomever they choose from the audience. They do so standing (στάδην), presumably in contrast to the processional march of the hymn. They have set up their formation (στάσις) in the orchestra, but this does not mean they stand still, but as in the stasimon, they are now free to make fools of selected citizens through dance and vulgar gestures. This is accompanied by loud laughter, but at the same time this is also a deadly serious occasion, as the ancient debates about ὀνομαστὶ κωμῳδεῖν in comedy show us. [67] Under the cover of the state of ritual inversion, the less privileged are by way of exception given the chance to attack the powerful, to the amusement of all. Only the Phallophoros leads the way, his faced covered with soot. [68] Preparation and postlude both belong to a performance in ritual and theater. The actual entry is never clearly separable, but reaches into the before and after, just as in Aristophanic comedy.
Tôthasmos corresponds in many ways to the improvisations of the speaking Autokabdaloi and Iamboi (Athenaeus 622b). The iambic rhythm of the choral song changes to the rhythm of improvised ridicule. In the retrospective of the literary and cultural historians Sosibios and Semos, whom Athenaeus quotes in his learned discourse, what emerges is the rhêsis, in Aristotelian terms, of the actors, which to a certain extent is understood as the original proliferation of actual choral performances. From direct ridicule of the audience we move to small dramatic scenes, such as the appearance of a boastful doctor (alazȏn) or a vegetable thief (bômolokhos), while the chorus continually oscillates between ritual function and fictional role.
The entire passage has accordingly been adduced, with some justification, as a possible explanation of the origin of comedy: yet in the final analysis this does not take us beyond Aristotle’s speculations. I shall therefore attempt to interpret the songs themselves in their verbal dimension as meaningful, aesthetically articulated ritual that is in accord with the elements that have so far appeared from the description of the context and that possesses a completely similar meaning and function to that of certain choral songs in Old Comedy. But here there is a complete absence of any participation in a plot that has dramatic roles. What we have here, then, is a kind of re-ritualization in a developed Hellenistic theater. The performance may also of course, as has been seen, have functioned as prelude to the theatrical agôn.

Fragment 851a PMG

As they move forward with rhythmic steps, the Ithyphalloi in fragment a give the order in song to make way for the entrance of the phallus, the god. [69] Simple ritual rhythms—associated in particular with Phales-Dionysus, or with Ἰθύφαλλος, the personification of the phallus in the fourth century BCE, but also with Demeter as goddess of fertility—regulate their speech and body movements. We are dealing with an ithyphallic meter, appropriate for the choral group of Ithyphalloi, that follows a lyric iambic trimeter. [70] The performers sing the following song (fragment 851a PMG):
ἀνάγετ’, εὐρυχωρίαν
τῷ θεῷ ποιεῖτε·
θέλει γὰρ ὁ θεὸς ὀρθὸς ἐσφυδωμένος
διὰ μέσου βαδίζειν.
1 <ἀνάγετε πάντες,> ἀνάγετ’, εὐρυχωρίαν Bergk ἀνάγετ’ <ἀνάγετε κῶμον>, εὐρυχωρίαν coni. Tyrwhitt (denuoque Porson) 2 ποεῖτε τῷ θεῷ A, ποιεῖτε (om. τῷ θ.) E, transp. Porson 1sqq. ἀνάγετ’ εὐρυχωρίαν ποι- | εῖτε τῷ θεῷ· θέλει γὰρ | ὀρθὸς ἐσφ., deleto ὁ θεός, coni. Wilamowitz <ἀνάγετ’> ἀνάγετ’ | εὐρυχωρίαν ποιεῖτε | τῷ θεῷ, θέλει γὰρ ὁ θεὸς Wilamowitz 1921:266n5 prob. Diehl 3 ἐθέλει AE, corr. Meineke ἐσφυρωμένος A, em. Meineke [71]
Come on, up, make plenty of room for the god! For the god, upright and at bursting point, wants to march through the middle.
Despite the detailed description, the following questions of choreography remain unresolved: 1.) Was the phallus carried a) in front or b) behind the comastic group as it entered? 2.) a) Does the chorus address the audience as it enters, which is most likely given the context (ἐπιστρέφουσιν εἰς τὸ θέατρον), b) does a chorus-leader direct these words to his group, or c) does the group order itself to move aside, as is also entirely possible given the use of the imperative in performative speech? Option 1.a, which may be justified on the basis of the model of the famous phallagôgia of Dikaiopolis (Aristophanes Acharnians 241–279) and on the basis of visual representations, implies an address to the spectators (2.a). Yet the command to make way, if given to fellow members of a community seated in a permanent theater of stone, can be seen only as a relic of an earlier stage of development when the spectators, simply standing in the marketplace, would crowd around the actors. Of course, if the phallus is carried behind the group (1.b), then options 2.b and c would be conceivable. The chorus would then be pushed to the side to enable the entry of the god and the arrival of the phallus with the phallus carriers in a choreographically impressive manner. If a section of the chorus were to have stationed itself in front of the area of the spectators, then solutions 2.b and c together with option 1.a would be conceivable. Thus a semi-chorus and the audience could certainly have been addressed, so that the firm boundary between stage and spectator would be broken, just as in ritual.
The urgency of the order is underscored by the three short syllables at the beginning (ἀνάγετ’). [72] With their spondaic beginning, the ithyphallics alternating with iambic trimeters (or at first with the lekythion) imitate the penetration of the erect member. [73] The god is the phallic symbol; he enters and participates in the sacred activity of the chorus. [74] The god wishes to enter, and the circle of the community, who in the ritual using a typical metaphor joins their divinity in a sexual act, is opened to him. In accordance with Austin’s speech act theory, the action of the comastic procession is completed in the simple performative utterance. [75] With this self-command the entry of the group onto the dance floor is brought about: εὐρυχωρίαν refers to the here and now of the orchestra, to which Semos refers in his introductory text. This is a wide open space (χῶρος) suitable for the performance of the χορός, so that χορός can also refer to the dance floor. Areas are often described with the adjective εὐρύχορος, which refers to the breadth necessary to accommodate ecstatic Dionysiac dance. [76] In the form of a notional paronomasia the members of the chorus thus implicitly also order themselves to form a “wide chorus,” which is also supposed to be beautiful (εὖ) for the worship of their god. Yet in terms of meter, the form with omega is required here, so that the focus is in particular on the space (χῶρος) to be created for the chorus. The chorus sings of how the god as phallus wants to enter, and the phallus does just that, being carried in by the bearers. The use of θέλει with the infinitive is equivalent to the use of the performative future in Pindar as well as in dramatic, ritual, and magical texts, [77] with βαδίζειν representing a self-referential expression for the performative activity of the phallic procession in the here and now. [78] With the two asyndetically arranged attributives ὀρθὸς ἐσφυδωμένος, the divinity is transformed into a phallic symbol using metaphor in a tropological fashion typical of ritual. The perfect participle also forms a link to the feast: just as symposiasts burst with drunkenness and overeating, [79] so too does the erect phallus as expression of excitement. Both areas stand pars pro toto for Dionysus and his ecstatic affirmation of life. The entering phallus, the exuberant joie de vivre, the inversion of the world, and grotesque corporality are constantly associated with carnival and fertility. [80] The connecting link between all ritual phenomena is the kômos that is here being staged.

Fragment 851b PMG

Even more interesting for its ritual and performative meaning is the following song (fragment 851b PMG) of the Phallophoroi, which introduces a hymn to Dionysus: [81]
σοί, Βάκχε, τάνδε μοῦσαν ἀγλαΐζομεν,
ἁπλοῦν ῥυθμὸν χέοντες αἰόλῳ μέλει,
καινὰν ἀπαρθένευτον, οὔ τι ταῖς πάρος
κεχρημέναν ᾠδαῖσιν, ἀλλ’ ἀκήρατον
κατάρχομεν τὸν ὕμνον·
For you, Bakkhos, we give this shining musical presentation, pouring out a simple rhythm with changing melody, [a presentation] new, virginal, one that uses songs never before used, but as something unmixed and pure we begin this hymn.
The singers introduce themselves and refer to their own activity. In a speech act they bring about and complete the ritual action of the performance of a praise song. Characteristic performative expressions in the “we” form are foregrounded. Reference to the here and now of the current performance is made using the deictic pronoun. “This musical performance” (τάνδε μοῦσαν, 1) happens in honor of the god of the festive occasion, and consists of the following three levels: the rhythm of body language (ῥυθμόν, 2), the melody of the musical “song of the limbs” (μέλει, 2), probably determined by an aulos-player, and the content of the song sung (ᾠδαῖσιν, 4). [82] Melody, movement, and the lyrical words of the song, which are distinct from everyday speech, in addition to the previously described opsis of the actors as they enter, thus create the synaesthetic performance of a prayer. Form and content stand in an immediate connection to one another. Through their explicit self-presentation, the members of the chorus bring about a demonstrative and attentive attitude in themselves and in the spectators, who are drawn into an imaginary collective. The performance completes the act of praise, while the individual semiotic components, in particular the word of command, constitute and regulate this minimal hymn. There is no actual prayer or mythical narration. In terms of Ausfeld’s famous tripartite division of the hymn (invocatiopars epicapreces), only the invocatio with its presentation of the chorus’ own performance, so characteristic of ritual, actually appears in our case. [83] This means that perlocutionary consequences, such as the appearance of the divinity, are aspired to implicitly, but the song contents itself with concentrating on its own activity of song and dance using gestures of self-display. Dionysus is supposed to be attracted sympathetically and magically by the self-referential emphasis on musical activity. [84] Using the Du-Stil of predication Bakkhos is addressed as the addressee of the song, [85] which creates an immediate contact with the god. [86] It remains an open question whether the fragment should be viewed as a paean, since it is after all transmitted in Semos’ book Περὶ παιάνων. [87]
As I have pointed out, this song has up until now been treated almost exclusively in connection with the question of origins. In the context of the question of to what extent Attic comedy reworked and incorporated archaic and contemporary lyric, Christoph Kugelmeier considers the songs as a possible model for the scene of phallophoria in the Acharnians (241–279). [88] He characterizes the song of the Phallophoroi (fragment b), in comparison to what he terms the “traditionally observed” song of the Ithyphalloi, as “reflective in a literary fashion.” He bases his opinion on the fact “that it expressly distances itself from the πάρος...ᾠδαί” (he also compares the formulation καινὰν ἀπαρθένευτον) “and in a skilful antithesis to the thus far simple rhythm characterizes itself as an αἴολον μέλος.” [89] This claim to innovation is almost hammered into the ears of the audience in an asyndetic and metaphorical series of attributives. The Muse is “new,” “virgin,” “uses songs unheard before”; the members of the chorus begin an “unmixed hymn.” Behind the chorus as it performs the voice of the artist seems to appear, who like Pindar and Aristophanes enters into a dialogue with his public.
The song has in fact the effect of polished poetry of the sort one would expect of Aristophanes or even Hellenistic poetry. Just as in an Aristophanic parabasis, with which it is often connected, it seems to engage with predecessors and to insist on its own originality. [90] A conscious poetic construction can further be seen in the fact that metaphor, antithesis, asyndeton, alliteration, homoioteleuton, parallelism, chiasmus, and enjambment appear frequently and in a sentence with a relatively complex construction. [91]
Yet poetic diction and references to originality should not be compared without qualification to an art that is sophisticated and detached from ritual. A judgment of this sort may be based entirely on the teleological assumptions already mentioned. Composition of a poetic and aesthetic nature does not necessarily represent a diametrical opposite to ritual. Rather, rhythmically repetitive form together with poetic stylistic features and insistent claims to innovation are also entirely characteristic of a ritual text. [92] In sum, rituality and classical as well as Hellenistic tendencies toward artistic self-awareness are fused together in this fragment.
In what follows the choral song will thus be treated as the expression of a traditional choral culture, the foundations of which lie in the myth and ritual of a society based on oral communication. Rituality ought in no way to be understood as the stereotyped, unreflective repetition of fixed texts and formulae with no adaptation, change, or renewal, although the recent and widespread use of the word “ritual” in this sense might make one think so. Quite the opposite: the idea that a performance ought to bring a god pleasure necessitates a continuous change in expression. Just as the worshiper wishes to make a fresh and unused offering to the god, this too is the goal in the area of aesthetics. This concept and the agonistic context in which many musical presentations are arranged allow the voice of the poet, the manufacturer of the composition (ποιητής), to appear behind the voices of the actors, even when the performance takes place in a communication situation dependent on orality, as is usual in forms of traditional society. [93] Written composition for a one-time performance places the stress on originality, and with the spread of writing this trend is only increased. The simple rhythmic structure of the folk song, transmitted not by accident among the anonymous carmina popularia, shows that here we have the product of a living choral culture that has been influenced by contemporary literary tendencies.
Ritual speech is a form of discourse that has a festive tone and that is particularly based on a tropology of central metaphors in order to make distinctive and expressive signals accessible to the observer through redundancy and fusion. The song of the Phallophoroi attempts to extend in tropic fashion the synaesthetic experience of the choral dance ritual to the sensory experience of wine consumption, sacrifice, sexuality, and festivity, while on the linguistic level of signification blending it into a “thick” discourse of self-referential allusions. These areas have a close ritual connection to the divine addressee, Dionysus. Elements relating to the inversion of the natural order are found on an equal level with a confirmation of the cosmos in the sense of the worship of an important polis god: negative and positive elements are evoked at the same time in order to attract the attention of the theater god.
The predicate ἀγλαΐζομεν is a performative expression in the “we”-form that creates a self-reference to the musical and rhythmical singing and dancing. The phatic utterance contains in particular the cultic act of providing Dionysus with renown and honor. This poetic verb is derived from the substantive ἀγλαΐα (‘shining,’ ‘beauty,’ ‘joy’), which is a characteristic of every form of celebration. Aglaia personified, together with Thalia and Euphrosyne, make up the thiasos of the Kharites (Hesiod Theogony 907–909; Pindar Olympian Odes 14.13–17), who incorporate in mythic fashion the kharis necessary for performance. [94] In their speech the members of the chorus create this kharis in a twofold and reciprocal fashion. Male performers identify themselves with these mythical female dancers. [95] The grace and charm of their performance create pleasure for the divinity being worshiped, which is returned to the chorus as thanks. Aglaia is especially responsible for victory in the contest, which is possibly carried out with the participation of other choruses after this preparatory ritual in the theater. [96] In similar fashion, as in many passages of Old Comedy, victory in the coming agôn of comic performances is thus contemplated. In Solon, the adjective ἀγλαός is in particular connected with the Muses, [97] whose musical substrate (the actual song, μοῦσαν, 1) the chorus thematizes in self-referential form in the carmen populare.
This “we”-form relates to the transmission of the performance to the audience and implies furthermore the occasionality of the festival. The splendor (ἀγλαΐα) results from the interplay of all signifiers: speech, movement, music, the external presentation, and the festive context. The diction shifts the boundaries of perception toward that which may be experienced in concrete terms, to a sensory shimmer. The deep-red reflectivity of wine has precisely the same effect on the observer. [98] The dimension of wine-drinking and drunkenness, which in contrast to the Ithyphalloi is not emphasized on the level of ὄψις, is accordingly integrated through the words of the song. The members of the chorus “pour out” (χέοντες, 2) a “simple rhythm” (ἁπλοῦν ῥυθμόν, 2), the trimeter of the iambos sung in cultic contexts, to which the ἰαμβίζειν of ritual ridicule in the improvised portion represents the logical continuation. [99] To this they add a “scintillating melody” (αἰόλῳ μέλει, 2), transferring the glittering of colors to the iridescence and rich variation of sound as well as to the quickness of movement. [100] In addition, the hymn is described with the epithet “unmixed” (ἀκήρατον, 4). [101] The song under way is thus like pure wine; it is offered to the god of wine like a poured offering (χοή). [102] Χοαί are poured out completely, are unmixed, in contrast to the mixed wine of the libation used in normal sacrifices, and are intended specifically for the dead as well as for the chthonic deities, which once again symbolizes departure from the everyday order of things and entry into marginality, [103] since the inverted world is also associated with the return of the dead and their terrifying and comic activities.
On the other hand, the ritual meaning, the pure and untouched nature of the offering, is metonymically brought into line with the idea of the unmixed. The ritual of sacrifice blends with the ritual of the choral dance, which excites all the god’s senses as well as those of the participants/spectators and which results in the kharis of god and human alike. The singers emphasize the newness and authenticity of their song (καινὰν ἀπαρθένευτον, 3) because it is a gift and an offering to the divinity, who is not satisfied with secondhand goods. [104] The composer as poiêtês must create the hymn anew on every occasion. Within choral culture, self-publicizing occupies a central position as part of the rivalry between poets. The author as khorêgos, leader and trainer, is in close contact with the group for a long time. It is therefore only natural that the collective also makes this claim for the poet and speaks with his voice in the same way it does in the parabasis of comedy.
Just as the flowers decorating their heads symbolize unwithering vitality, among other things, [105] so too the ritual command for an offering to be presented to a divinity in fresh and untouched form is also reinforced with the above-mentioned adjectives (καινὰν ἀπαρθένευτον, 3). [106] The performative predicate κατάρχομεν is reminiscent of the ἀπαρχή, the first-fruits offering of simple foods in the context of the natural world of the rural population of farmers. Pan, Hermes, the Nymphs, Priapus, Dionysus, and Demeter are the prime recipients of this. [107] The performance and the aesthetic and poetic form of the song culture grounded in the pragmatic are thus viewed as an offering, as a gift for the divinity, who is expected to take pleasure in it. [108] Hymns “begun” (cf. κατάρχομεν τὸν ὕμνον, 5), on the other hand, are sung by performers who have taken up position around an altar where animal sacrifice takes place. [109] In terms of the performative situation of the song the verb naturally means the speech act of beginning; while the comasts produce an utterance about themselves in “we” form, saying that they are beginning a hymn, the presentation is in fact being completed. The choral group thus take over an important convention from song culture as a whole. The proem is where the performers emphasize their intention. This kind of anabolê may be improvised in accordance with the rules of oral composition. Various hymns can be introduced using similar set pieces. [110] In the transition to writing, this kind of popular showpiece interwoven with ritual elements may then become fixed as something formulaic, which is transmitted through writing and performed annually. [111] It remains an open question whether the lines were really followed by a hymn or whether this is already achieved through this introduction itself, which then transitions into tôthasmos.
Overlying the dimension of sacrifice and offering, the element of the sexual artfully asserts itself as a further level of meaning. The song is “virginal,” untouched, that is, it will bring the god of the phallus particular enjoyment. The performative form ἀγλαΐζομεν implicitly expresses this connection, since Aglaia is viewed as a young maiden on the threshold of womanhood who along with the other Kharites belongs to Aphrodite’s retinue and together with Aglauros, associated with her, is often confronted with aggressive, phallic sexuality or threatened with sexual violation. [112] At the same time, the epithet ἀπαρθένευτον can also be interpreted as the negation of the condition of παρθενία, especially in the sense “unfitting for virgins.” [113] The “offering” that they bring is “unvirginal” and unseemly for maidens, since the content and the rhythm of the lines correspond to the coarseness and aggression of iamboi and the chorus in its function (and dramatic role) is made up of men, preceded in the procession by a mud-covered phallus-bearer. As Phallophoroi they are fitting worshipers of Dionysus Phales, to whom they present their song as a gift. In the performance the words are in a certain sense “deflowered,” or offered to the god for his consumption.
In short, then, the following is clear: the ritual kômos refers to its own synaesthetic presentation and presents its god with a serenade that is suited to the god in terms of the tropic form “wine, women, and song.” The ritual significations are fused with the performative style of speech into a complex speech act. The festive procession (πομπή) with the phallus, the comastic element together with the drinking of wine, its external appearance, its connection with offering and sacrifice, and the element of iambic ridicule reflect on all levels the tensions characteristic of Dionysus that express the marked transition from the everyday to the sacred and the liminal nature of the comically inverted world. As in comedy, positive worship of the gods is juxtaposed with the radical and carnivalesque elements of comic inversion.
The Sitz im Leben of the two songs cannot, unfortunately, be determined with certainty on the basis of the information Athenaeus gives us, since it is only the entertainment value of the amusing performers that interests him in his dinner conversations. Two possibilities present themselves. The ritual complex described is either a preparatory ceremony that precedes the dramatic competition, as in Athens, [114] or a simple performance presented in the theater mainly as a divertimento, as became common in the Hellenistic period. Since this is only a brief ritual spectacle there is no integration based on illusion into some form of dramatic plot. The answer to the question of whether in a festive scene of this type we are dealing with proto-theater or ritual has to remain up in the air. Entertainment and the sensory and symbolic experience of transformation are so intertwined that a definitive differentiation of the sort possible in the choral songs of Old Comedy is here impossible.

The Parabasis and the Song of the Phallophoroi

As has been emphasized several times, there remains in modern scholarship the assumption that ritual necessarily precedes theater. Relying on the rather vaguely held judgment of Aristotle, who saw the beginnings of comedy in the singers of φαλλικά, scholars have often adduced the song of the Phallophoroi in discussions of the origins of comedy. [115] Faced with the absence of a dramatic plot with fictional roles, they have often connected it with the parabasis of Old Comedy, since the latter has long been regarded from the perspective of realistic theater as an unassimilated ritual core because it interrupts the so-called illusion of the dramatic plot. [116] So, for example, the following theory has been proposed: the song of the Phallophoroi could correspond to the ode, and the ridicule connected with the song to the epirrhematic syzygy. [117]
Several misconceptions need to be dealt with here.
The interruption of the plot in the Aristophanic parabasis is in no way fundamental in nature. Even here elements from the plot are taken up and processed. The lack of dramatic unity and role identity is not confined to this structural element alone, but is part of the open aesthetic and the mode of perception of the genre as a whole. [118]
Ritual and theater may certainly be present simultaneously; depending on the interpreter’s point of view and on the context, now one, now the other comes to the fore. [119]
Sifakis and Händel reject the connection between the song of the Phallophoroi and the comic parabasis on the not entirely correct basis that we are dealing here exclusively with censure and blame, while in the parabasis the “self-presentation of the chorus” is foregrounded. [120] I have attempted to show, however, to what a great extent this fragment of Semos (fragment 851b PMG) in fact contains traces of demonstrative self-presentation and self-promotion. On the other hand, blame is also a standard thematic element in the parabasis. Both coarse and aggressive ridicule and self-presentation are ritual forms and characteristic of ritual choruses.
Even if the parabasis proper, in contrast to the epirrhematic syzygy, was a late creation of the comic poets, [121] this need not mean at the same time that the entire parabasis freed itself of ritual and that only ritual remains are to be found. [122] I come to the following conclusion contrary to the communis opinio after thorough investigation and interpretation: the question as to whether the parabasis represents a ritual core or a remnant from which comedy developed as a secular, political genre cannot be answered with any certainty. There is much to indicate that the parabasis, like many utterances by the comic chorus, in form and content possessed a ritual nature even in the time of Aristophanes. For in Aristophanes too the chorus speaks of its own activity and about its performance, expresses praise, blame, and ridicule, dances (at least in the odes), addresses the community gathered together, and finally, through prayer, hymn, and invocation, brings about contact with the gods of the polis as a whole, among others with Dionysus, the special god of the performative realm. The comic genre is clearly so strongly based on these elements that it can only be purified into a kind of bourgeois comedy by destroying its liveliness and comical nature.
The parabasis cannot thus be derived directly from traditional songs of this type, especially since the situation is also complicated by the fact that the fragments transmitted by Semos are perhaps of a later date than Aristophanes and are possibly based on Attic comedy. [123] The relationship is only yielded by the ritual context. Aristophanes reactualizes ritual. He is not an imitator or parodist of an age-old tradition, but is within this tradition and, in the pragmatic context of a society whose thinking draws its nourishment entirely from mythical and ritual forms, creates these songs anew and integrates them to a greater or lesser extent into a comic plot that is characterized by a privileging of the paradigmatic, as opposed to syntagmatic, level of action. Both phallic songs are equally performance in the sense of a productive choral culture that relies on traditional models and that is tied to a fixed, pragmatic context, the ritual Sitz im Leben. The big difference lies in the fact that these songs are not embedded in a dramatic plot.
The closeness of the traditional song material to Aristophanes resides, as has been emphasized, not only in the parabasis, but in principle in all choral utterances in comedy: for the particular style of the direct address to the audience, the transgression of borders with the polis assembled in the theater, the deficiency of identity in dramatic roles, improvisation, ridicule, and sexual coarseness are all necessary elements for comedy and the laughter essential to it.

The Phallic Procession in a Dramatic Plot (Ach arnians 241–279)—the Continued Existence of Rituality

The elements named above are also to be found at the beginning of a comic plot. [124] The parallel between the fragments of Semos (fragments 851a and b PMG) and the scene of phallophoria at the private celebration of the rural Dionysia in the parodos of the Acharnians (241–279, in particular with the equally purely iambic Phales song, 263–279), has been observed over and again. [125] As a comic author, Aristophanes naturally sought here too to integrate the φαλλικόν halfway into the dramatic plot, even though, as in several choral songs, the utterance is at the same time a result of the context that determines the plot and also represents independent cult. [126] In particular, for dramaturgical reasons Aristophanes has abandoned the choral dimension of the kômos, as in the Agathon song in the Thesmophoriazusae (101–129), and has turned the song into Dikaiopolis’ solo song.
I shall first reproduce the text, continuing to mark performative expressions, and noting correspondences with the Semos fragment:
241ΔΙ. εὐφημεῖτε, εὐφημεῖτε.
πρόιθ’ εἰς τὸ πρόσθεν ὀλίγον, ἡ κανηφόρος.
ὁ Ξανθίας τὸν φαλλὸν ὀρθὸν στησάτω.
κατάθου τὸ κανοῦν, ὦ θύγατερ, ἵν’ ἀπαρξώμεθα.
245ΘΥ. ὦ μῆτερ, ἀνάδος δεῦρο τὴν ἐτνήρυσιν,
ἵν’ ἔτνος καταχέω τοὐλατῆρος τουτουί.
ΔΙ. καὶ μὴν καλόν γ’ ἔστ’. ὦ Διόνυσε δέσποτα,
κεχαρισμένως σοι τήνδε τὴν πομπὴν ἐμὲ
πέμψαντα καὶ θύσαντα μετὰ τῶν οἰκετῶν
250ἀγαγεῖν τυχηρῶς τὰ κατ’ ἀγροὺς Διονύσια,
στρατιᾶς ἀπαλλαχθέντα, τὰς σπονδὰς δέ μοι
καλῶς ξυνενεγκεῖν τὰς τριακοντούτιδας.
ἄγ’, ὦ θύγατερ, ὅπως τὸ κανοῦν καλὴ καλῶς
οἴσεις βλέπουσα θυμβροφάγον. ὡς μακάριος
255ὅστις σ’ ὀπύσει κἀκποήσεται γαλᾶς
σοῦ μηδὲν ἥττους βδεῖν, ἐπειδὰν ὄρθρος ᾖ.
πρόβαινε, κἀν τὤχλῳ φυλάττεσθαι σφόδρα
μή τις λαθών σου περιτράγῃ τὰ χρυσία.
ὦ Ξανθία, σφῷν δ’ ἐστὶν ὀρθὸς ἑκτέος
260ὁ φαλλὸς ἐξόπισθε τῆς κανηφόρου·
ἐγὼ δ’ ἀκολουθῶν ᾄσομαι τὸ φαλλικόν·
σὺ δ’, ὦ γύναι, θεῶ μ’ ἀπὸ τοῦ τέγους. πρόβα.
Φαλῆς, ἑταῖρε Βακχίου,
ξύγκωμε, νυκτοπεριπλάνη-
265τε, μοιχέ, παιδεραστά,
ἕκτῳ σ’ ἔτει προσεῖπον εἰς
τὸν δῆμον ἐλθὼν ἄσμενος,
σπονδὰς ποησάμενος ἐμαυ-
τῷ, πραγμάτων τε καὶ μαχῶν
270καῖ Λαμάχων ἀπαλλαγείς.
πολλῷ γάρ ἐσθ’ ἥδιον, ὦ Φαλῆς Φαλῆς,
κλέπτουσαν εὑρόνθ’ ὡρικὴν ὑληφόρον,
τὴν Στρυμοδώρου Θρᾷτταν ἐκ τοῦ φελλέως,
μέσην λαβόντ’, ἄραντα, κατα-
275βαλόντα καταγιγαρτίσαι.
Φαλῆς Φαλῆς,
ἐὰν μεθ’ ἡμῶν ξυμπίῃς, ἐκ κραιπάλης
ἕωθεν εἰρήνης ῥοφήσεις τρύβλιον·
ἡ δ’ ἀσπὶς ἐν τῷ φεψάλῳ κρεμήσεται.
Dikaiopolis: Silence! Silence! You, basket-carrier, step a little for-ward! Let Xanthias keep the phallus upright! Put the basket down so we can start.
Daughter: (245) Mother, give me the ladle so I can pour pea soup over this cake here!
Dikaiopolis: That’s perfect. – Dionysus, lord, let it be pleasing to you that I send forth this procession and sacrifice with my household! (250) Let me celebrate in good fortune the Dionysia here in the countryside without enemy attack, and bless my libations for a thirty-year peace! Now, daughter, hold that basket up nicely, my pretty, and make sure you put on a face as if you’ve just eaten bitter herbs! How happy the man (255) who’ll take you as his wife and make little weasels with you that fart just as good as you do in the morning! Step forward now, and keep a sharp lookout in the crowd that someone doesn’t pinch your jewelry while you’re not looking! Xanthias, the phallus has to be kept erect (260) behind the basket-girl! I’ll bring up the rear and strike up the phallus song. And you, wife, watch me from the roof! Forward march!
Phales, Bakkhos’ friend, fellow comast, nightwanderer, (265) adulterer, pederast, I greet you for the first time in five years, happy now that I’ve come back to my deme and made my own personal peace-agreement, freed from troubles, wars, and warmongers like Lamakhos. For it’s much nicer by far, o Phales, Phales, to snatch Strymodoros’ pretty Thracian virgin from the stony ground, grab her by her hips, lift her up, (275) then throw her down and ream her good and proper, o Phales, Phales! If you want to get drunk with us, tomorrow first thing at dawn you’ll be hungover and slurping down a bowl of peace, and the shield will be hung up in the chimney.
In this scene Aristophanes draws on the festive life of the polis, embeds the ritual of the phallophoria that preceded the actual theatrical performances into the plot, and blends it with the similar rites of the rural Dionysia. [127] The festival of τὰ κατ’ ἀγροὺς Διονύσια (250) is mentioned in particular because the πομπή shown on stage also leads the hero from the polis into the countryside, and thus is able to bring the idyllic picture of peace in the countryside into the theater in the city. [128] The thirty-year wine offered by Amphitheos is turned into a correspondingly sacred activity. Σπονδαί in the secondary, metaphorical meaning of peace treaty are transferred by the comic hero into actual libations of wine in honor of the wine-god Dionysus. [129] The completion of this ritual in Dikaiopolis’ rural deme of Kholleidai (Acharnians 406) represents the tangibly expressed realization of the private peace-accord. [130] The reduction of the celebrations to one’s own oikos and deme reflects the extraordinary nature of the act, which is not based on the inclusion of the whole community. For this reason, the usual collective style of speech is abandoned in favor of a monodic delivery. The offering here is part of the ritual action, but at the same time it is also a metaphor, as in the song of the Phallophoroi, for the performance being offered. [131]
Dikaiopolis brings the procession into formation by means of a speech act: his daughter functions as kanêphoros, who is responsible for the ἀπαρχή; she is followed by the slave Xanthias as phallophoros; Dikaiopolis, following behind as symbol of comic inversion and distortion, fulfills as solo-singer the role of a citizen chorus, while at the same time acting as ἐξάρχων or κορυφαῖος of the mini-procession. After a brief prayer (247ff.), he begins the actual song, all on his own instead of with a chorus, while the role of the crowd participating in the ritual is assumed by his wife on the roof. [132] The ritual of the procession, which is based on the participation of the crowd and on the presence of a comastic choral dance group, which this woman represents, is kept to the bare minimum of performers and participants. From the perspective of the plot we have here imitation and reworking of a familiar ritual, with ritual happening within ritual, theater within theater, but without any real reenactment (μίμησις) as in the other songs.
As in most of the choral utterances in comedy, here too in this pseudo-choral passage there is no commentary or narrative, but only a ritual being staged that proceeds as a speech act. Action is completed by utterance. Self-reference also has the function of self-ostentation. In contrast to the songs in Semos, which are given a comprehensive performative context, here the performance of this kind of song is set as a whole into the scene.
It is only in the commands and announcements that come before the song that we get the actual sense of the procession, which would otherwise be lost if only a brief song without these attachments were presented here. It is in the orders of the leader and producer that the formation of the mini-group and its connection with sacrificial ritual is brought about; in the case of the texts in Semos, much of the ritual background has to be surmised because the compiler of the passage did not consider that every detail was worthy of transmission. In this performance it is the other way round: there is no reference to the ὄψις, since this is perfectly plain to the spectator. One cannot, then, entirely exclude the possibility that Dikaiopolis and his assistants wore a particular type of costume or equally that the carrier of the phallus had makeup on his face. The procession derives its particular comic and parodic nature in particular from the sexual remarks directed at the daughter, who leads the parade as bearer of the sacrificial basket. She is a potential victim of the phallus that walks erect behind her. The presence of the girl introduces the suggestion of a sacred marriage into the proceedings.
The iambic vulgarity is in many respects reminiscent of the brief sacrificial procession in the Thesmophoriazusae (282–291) that the relative of Euripides stages in order to gain access to the Thesmophorion. There, too, the path to the Other is connected by means of sacrifice and pompê with ribald wishes for fertility for the little daughter (cf. Thesmophoriazusae 289–291 with Acharnians 254–258). [133] In a further command Dikaiopolis positions Xanthias as phallophoros behind the virgin. The phallus has to be carried erect behind the maiden. This happens as soon as the procession gets underway. This sexual juxtaposition induces further laughter. Dikaiopolis himself takes up a position at the end of the procession. Using the performative future in the “I” form, Dikaiopolis announces the presentation of his song (ᾄσομαι τὸ φαλλικόν, 261) and sends his wife to her post as internal observer. Immediately after the announcement of the performance and the order to proceed (πρόβα, 262), the procession gets under way to the accompaniment of the song struck up by Dikaiopolis. Actual cult song and improvisation with attacks on individuals are here fused together. The variation between “I” and “we” is striking. The emphatic “I” expresses the isolation of the hero, while the “we” forms and the command for silence and attention in the second-person plural (εὐφημεῖτε, εὐφημεῖτε, 241) involve not only the fellow performers from his household, but also the audience as participants in cult and spectacle. [134] This involvement is also especially brought about by laughter. Dikaiopolis becomes a kind of prayer-leader, and with his refrain-like cry of “O Phales, Phales!” the audience’s imagination may be stirred and instead of spectators become in fact fellow players in a communal “we,” gradually declaring themselves in agreement with Dikaiopolis’ action.
The ritual staged here reflects polis ritual and as with the two songs transmitted in Semos, reworks basic elements—such as the comastic (Ach arnians 264–265, 277–279), the ribald and erotic (254–260, 265, 271–275, 277–278), aiskhrologia and personal ridicule of Lamakhos and Strymodoros (270, 273), sacrifice together with pleasure in eating and drinking, the symposion (277), and musical performance [135] —into something new. All the rites and pleasures mentioned are fused into the worship of peace (251, 268–270, 278–279) and simultaneously refer to the festival currently taking place. [136] For these are the elements not only of this small φαλλικόν, but also of Old Comedy as a whole. Despite being reduced to a monody, the scene thereby becomes a kind of proto-comedy of a sort that could have arisen at the festival of the rural Dionysia. [137]
Redundancy, repetition, simple rhythm, and the blending of the different horizons and ritual aspects characterize this song too as a ritual text. [138] The monodic form of performance is a striking expression of the lack of pragmatic reality in the imitation of a choral dance song. It is particularly noteworthy that choral self-representation and performative speech acts concerning the performers’ own singing and dancing are largely absent in the actual Phales song and are shifted to the speech of preparation. Here there is no chorus that talks with and about itself; rather, Dikaiopolis exercizes an exclusive right to speech in the performative portion as well. [139] The chorus is reserved for the role of the Acharnian charcoal burners, who are opposed to this antisocial behavior by Dikaiopolis and thus attack the individual, after their attention is drawn to him by his sacred activity.
The symbolic meaning of aggressive phallic demonstration and iambic ridicule in the kômos, [140] namely the dissolution of the normal order of things, the separation of the everyday world from the world of the festival, and the marking of the liminal, all serve the plot and the external cultic connection. And even in an instance like this of monodic reworking the ritual choral dimension is apparent. The monodic reactualization of a choral song serves to remind the audience of the actual choral performance of this procession, especially since Aristophanes shapes the scene in such a way that it is played εἰς τὸ θέατρον and that the audience, the whole citizenry, characterized as a great “throng” (ὄχλος; see 257), together with the female spectator in the plot, thereby in fact becomes an active participant in a ritual familiar to it, even though it has been transformed for the comic plot. [141] In the activated imagination of the audience even this adjusted scene becomes an act of worship and Dionysus takes pleasure in the comedy, even among this kind of this confusion, a ritual within a ritual. [142]
In contrast to the uncontaminated φαλλικά in Semos, then, this song is situated in the context of a plot and in its particular form concentrates distinctive Leitmotive in the Acharnians. Nevertheless, this text also is clearly located between ritual and theater: for apart from its dramatic function, which until now has been almost entirely overlooked in this scene, the passage also has a particular effect by itself alone as a reenactment of a cultic action.
Within the drama this song as independent episode, which reflects the privileging of paradigmatic over syntagmatic action that is characteristic of comedy, evokes the laughter necessary for its success by concentrating together the elements of ridicule, the sacred, and ribald sexuality. [143] Naturally Dikaiopolis did not really improvise this song; yet around this cultic shout the author composes this simple form with fixed ritual elements corresponding to the improvised models based on orality. At the same time, the song is a staging of an independent ritual, though with features clearly exaggerated for comic purposes. Both in the fragments of Semos and in Aristophanes the phallus song is set in the public space of the theater; in both cases cult becomes spectacle. To draw a precise distinction between art of an entertaining nature and ritual presentation is obviously impossible. Both have in common their characteristic theatricality. With the songs of the Ithyphalloi and Phallophoroi the theater, dedicated to the god, serves as a place for carrying out a cultic action. The Greek theater was never understood as a purely profane meeting place for cultural amusement, but as a gathering place for the polis under the auspices of the god and in connection with certain distinct ritual practices.
In Aristophanes, by contrast, the ritual of the everyday world, which serves as a differentiation between what precedes and the actual dramatic agôn, is embedded in the spectacle of a comedy. The players here occupy, like the comic chorus, a particular middle position between a role that is connected with the plot and a function as actual performers in a ritual context. It becomes more and more clear in the scholarship on Aristophanes that his plays as a whole are dependent on ritual models, that is to say, on patterns derived from the actual cycle of festivals of the polis. The author integrates these varied ritual subtexts in an intertextual process into a new dramatic text. The scene-like technique of interlacement allows one to see behind the lack of unified plot the independent character of a choral song or cultic performance.
A spectacle of this sort presented before the public is thus both cult and theater. It is difficult in the case of this passage of Aristophanes to determine definitively in terms of Quellenforschung what the antecedents and imitators are. As with many choral passages, in particular odes and hymns, one ought not treat even Aristophanes’ Phales hymn either as a reflex or as a parody, [144] at least not in the traditional and usual sense of the word, but rather as an authentic product of an artist composing within a living choral culture. In a society that is based on orality and that thinks and acts using fixed forms of myth and ritual, a stable model that is firmly established as a genre is reactualized in a performance for a particular occasion. [145] In the marked form of the speech act the spectacle is staged, that is to say, translated into pure action: neither commentary, narration, nor reflection appear. [146] In the case of the phallic songs one can identify the occasion as a festival for Dionysus and the model as a kômos. In the texts, accordingly, using a manner peculiar to ritual, the ideas of wine, sacrifice, ribald and aggressive sexuality, and ridicule are fused with the self-referential emphasis of the performative act. [147]


[ back ] 1. On the cultic context and roots of ancient theater, cf. Graf 1998; for tragedy see now Easterling 1997, Seaford 2005, and Sourvinou-Inwood 2005; against the communis opinio of a connection with Dionysiac ritual see now the vehement attacks of Scullion 2002 (for tragedy) and of Stark 2004:11–102, especially 97–102, 322 (for Old Comedy). Stark’s sociohistorical approach is highly reductive and questionable, as she does not refer to Greek culture in all its aspects. On the complex program of the City Dionysia, cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1968:57–125, Goldhill 1987, Connor 1989, and Cole 1993, especially 25–29; cf. also the latest attempt at reconstruction in Sourvinou-Inwood 1994 and now in detail Sourvinou-Inwood 2003:67–200. On the comic play as continuum, see also Sfyroeras 1992, especially 3–8.
[ back ] 2. On choral dance as ritual action par excellence see Burkert 1985:102: “Rhythmically repeated movement, directed to no end and performed together as a group, is, as it were, ritual crystallized in its purest form.”
[ back ] 3. Cf. the remark of des Bouvrie 1990:89–92 on Greek theater as an oral medium.
[ back ] 4. On ritual theatricality, see also Lanza 1983, especially 107–108 and 115–116. Lanza sees ritual as incorporated into the theater in the form of lament, laughter, and fear. He especially recognizes the relationship of spectacle and ritual. Cf. especially 107: “Ogni rito è dunque in qualche modo spettacolo. Si potrebbe allora distinguere tra rito, nel quale chi si esibisce e chi osserva non sono distinti, e spettacolo vero e proprio, nel quale attori e spettatori sono istituzionalmente separati. Ma anche questa distinzione è difficile: i confini appaiono labili: la stessa messa, per rifarci a un esempio relativamente familiare, può apparire da questo punto di vista volta a volta rito o spettacolo. Dipende dai margini di coinvolgimento degli intervenuti; e lo stesso si dica anche per le processioni, le laudi con responsorio, talune forme ‘sperimentali’ di teatro contemporaneo ecc” [“Every ritual is then in a certain sense spectacle. One may thus distinguish between ritual, in which performer and observer are not distinct from one another, and spectacle in the correct and proper sense, in which actors and spectators are institutionally separated. But this distinction also has its difficulties: the borders appear to be slippery. The very same Mass, to use a relatively familiar example, may appear from this point of view to be now ritual, now spectacle. It depends on the limits of involvement of those attending; the same can be said for processions, praises with responses, certain ‘experimental’ forms of contemporary theater, etc.”]. This is strongly reminiscent of the theories of theater anthropology and performance studies; consider e.g. Schechner 1977 and Schechner 1985.
[ back ] 5. See Fraenkel 1962:191–215 (on the parabasis; he sees cultic lyric, in addition to Stesichorus and Alcman, as an influence on Aristophanes), Gelzer 1972 (parabasis odes and Alcman), Mastro-marco 1987:83–93 (on the parabasis; he focuses on the phraseology connected with the motif of originality and superiority to other poets), and Kugelmeier 1996 (general monograph).
[ back ] 6. For anthropological studies on tragedy based extensively on Turner’s concept of the experiencing of a liminal and marginal phase (corresponding to the three-phase model of rite de passage proposed by van Gennep 1909), see des Bouvrie 1990, passim (on the chorus especially 94–99) and Aronen 1992; on Dionysus in particular, see Hoffman 1989 and des Bouvrie 1993 (as god of symbolic inversions).
[ back ] 7. For discussion, see Leonhardt 1991; his theory of the reversal of relations that links comedy with dithyramb and tragedy with phallic songs has meanwhile been conclusively set aside by Patzer’s review (Gnomon 67 [1995]:289–310).
[ back ] 8. Kolster 1829:51–61 was the first to do this. The connection to the parabasis has always been critical; see below, nn116–117.
[ back ] 9. Cf. Leonhardt 1991:15–16; Radermacher Frogs, 12 and Pickard-Cambridge 1962:147, 150–151 were already decisively opposed to this idea; both argue for searching for the origin in popular, agonistic begging- and blame-κῶμοι performed in animal costume (Radermacher Frogs, 4–36, Pickard-Cambridge 1962:151–162); Gelzer 1966:57–70 sees the point of departure for the development of Old Comedy in countless traditional festivals and folk customs. On the question of origin, see now also Rothwell 2006.
[ back ] 10. Cf. Lehmann 1991:2 and more recently Baur 1999a:3–4; on the chorus in twentieth-century theater, see Baur 1999 and Baur 1999a. Cf. now Lehmann 1999, especially 233–238. On the return to pre-expressive forms in contemporary theater, cf. the approach of so-called theater anthropology, in particular the theoretical and practical works of Jerzy Grotowski and Eugenio Barba; on this see Ruffini 1991 (with bibliography). On postmodern theater, see A. de Toro 1995. On postdramatic theater, see now Lehmann 1999.
[ back ] 11. Proclus Chrest. ap. Phot. Bibl. 320a19–20 (Severyns 40): ὁ δὲ κυρίως ὕμνος πρὸς κιθάραν ᾔδετο ἑστώτων [“A hymn in the strictest sense is performed to the kithara with the chorus standing/having taken up their formation”].
[ back ] 12. For a different view, see Harvey 1955 and Käppel 1992:64–65, 83 (on the paean, in which he sees a particular style of addressing the divinity in contrast to the general hymn).
[ back ] 13. Didymus ap. Orion, s.v. ὕμνος (pp. 155–156 Sturz) and Proclus Chrest. ap. Phot. Bibl. 320a12–17 (Severyns 39). See now also Furley/Bremer I 2001:10–13.
[ back ] 14. For discussion see above, pp. 108–109 and Furley 1993:23n7, Furley 1995:31–32, Bremer 1981:197–199, Bernadini 1991, especially 85–89, and, on the prosodion in particular, Grandolini 1991, especially 132.
[ back ] 15. Cf. the remark in Muff 1871:6n3, who reports on the view in scholarship that the Ithyphalloi represent a stasimon (because they come first to the center of the orchestra and sing only once they have done so), and the Phallophoroi a parodos. He relativizes this theory and also refers to στάδην ἔπραττον. Cf. also Navarre 1911:249, who translates στάδην ἔπραττον in a similarly one-sided fashion as “ils jouaient en place fixe (loco stantes agebant)” [“they perform while standing on the spot”]. Kolster 1829:58–60 sees it the opposite way round: the song of the Ithyphalloi is a prosodion, and that of the Phallophoroi a stasimon (“Erat igitur ithyphallus carmen ἐμβατήριον, phallophororum vero στάσιμον” [58]). He thinks the song was originally accompanied by dance and violent movement and that in being transferred from the street into the theater it was changed into a standing song, so that the original movement can still be observed in the entry procession (58–59).
[ back ] 16. Burkert 1987, especially 29–35. Cf. also Goldhill 1999:2–10.
[ back ] 17. Baur 1997:45n48 (= Baur 1999a:27n45) emphasizes, as do I, that one should not overestimate the historically determined difference that Calame 1994/95 brought out between the chorus of choral lyric and that of drama. Seen from the point of view of the performative there is clear continuity: independently of my conclusions Baur (ibid.) also thinks that “wer den Tragödienchor verstehen will, muß weniger die Unterschiede zur verwandten Chorlyrik als vielmehr die zum unser abendländisches Theaterverständnis so stark beeinflussenden aristotelischen Modell betonen” [“whoever wishes to understand the tragic chorus should emphasize to a lesser extent the differences between it and the choral lyric related to it and rather emphasize its differences from the Aristotelian model, which has had such a strong influence on our Western notion of theater”]. Though he correctly defines the special status (Sonderstatus) of the ancient chorus (Baur 1997:44–47; Baur 1999a:26–28)—“[d]er Chor spielt immer einen Chor” [“the chorus always plays a chorus”] (1987:44 = 1999a:26)—he does not locate this in its continued ritual function the way I do here.
[ back ] 18. Kannicht 1989:47–51, especially 50. Claude Calame (per litt.) correctly draws my attention to the fact that in investigating this one ought also to consider the status of poetry (ποίησις) in Greece during the classical period. Ritual songs exist ultimately only in poetic form, and the distinction between songs that can be ascribed to authors and carmina popularia (as with that between Homeric, anonymous, and inscriptional hymns) is somewhat illusory in this connection.
[ back ] 19. In an important article Massenzio (1972) discusses the fact that Aristotle consciously separated tragedy from its ritual and sacred context and reduced it to the text.
[ back ] 20. In the same way dramas could also be staged anew: consider Aeschylus’ Oresteia or the Frogs of Aristophanes. This is not so much an instance of ritual repetition as a theatrical interest in the same public ambience.
[ back ] 21. See, for example, Preisendanz II 1973/74:245–246, hymn 11 (where someone attempts to obtain a prophetic gift from Apollo at night). The example is discussed in Furley 1995:39–40. On the magic hymn, see Poccetti 1991 (who also applies the performative model, 194, 198–204).
[ back ] 22. Cf. above, chapter 1 n92 and in general pp. 116–125, also Furley 1995:36.
[ back ] 23. See Jensen 1986:112–113, 119–121 and Braungart 1996:91–101.
[ back ] 24. Pavese 1968, especially 416–417 and Pavese 1979. Pavese marks the theme with cho (chorus) or dcho (descriptio chori). The subdivision into individual motifs seems overly complex. For references by the chorus to its own activity, cf. Alcman fragments 1.39–101 (cf. above, pp. 32–36), fragment 3–fragment 1.7–10, fragment 27, fragment 32, fragment 33 Davies; Pindar fragment 52b.96–102, especially 99–100: ἱστάμε̣ν̣αι χορόν | ταχύ]ποδα . . ., fragment 52d.2: χορε]ύσομαι; fragment 52f.18: ποδὶ κροτέο[ντι; fragment 52m (a).10–11: χορὸν ὑπερτατ̣[ | . . .]χάριν; fragment 70b.25: Μοῖσ’ ἀνέστασ’ Ἑλλάδι κα[λ]λ̣[ιχόρῳ; fragment 70c.16: πόν̣ο̣ι̣ χορῶν; fragment 75.1–2: δεῦτ’ ἐν χορόν, Ὀλύμπιοι, | ἐπί τε κλυτὰν πέμπετε χάριν, θεοί; fragments 94b.6–15, 33–39, 66–70; fragment 94c; fragment 107a–b S.-M.; Nemean Odes 3.1–12; Isthmian Odes 3/4.90b and Nemean Odes 9.1 S.-M. (kômos and song combined); Pratinas fragment 708, especialy lines 1–5 and 14–16 PMG; cf. also the performative self-description in the first-person plural, without explicit mention of the χορός, in the folk songs fragment 848 PMG (Rhodian swallow song), 870 PMG, and 882 PMG (Sicilian song of the boukoliastai) and in the begging song of the Samian eiresiônê, carm. pop. fragment 1 D. The phenomenon is also found in the so-called song of the koronistai by Phoinix, fragment 2 D. = Powell 1925:233–234, lines 15ff., which is however not an authentic folk song but rather a Hellenistic imitation; see Schönberger 1980:50–56 and Furley 1994. As in the Callimachean hymns, the performative cliché is inbuilt, although the work is aimed at a reading audience; cf. ibid., especially 25–31. Cf. furthermore the self-referentiality in customary hymns: the Palaikastro hymn, West 1965:149–151, 149 = Powell 1925:160–162, 160, lines 6–10; Macedonius, Paean in Apollinem et Aesculapium (Powell 1925:138–140, 138 = Käppel 1992:383–384, 383–Pai. 41), lines 1–5; Paean Delphicus I (Käppel 1992:387–389, 388–Pai. 45), lines 14–16 = Powell 1925:141–148, 141, lines 12–13; Limenius, Paean Delphicus II (Käppel 1992:389–391, 390–Pai. 46), lines 15–17 = Powell 1925:149–159, 149, lines 13–15.
[ back ] 25. A similar self-presentation of the chorus, also in connection with choral performance (cf. the switching between performative and dramatic function) is found particularly in Aristotle Frogs 209–220, especially 212–214: ξύναυλον ὕμνων βοὰν | φθεγξώμεθ’ εὔγηρυν ἐμὰν ἀοιδάν, | κοὰξ κοάξ, 229–235: ἐμὲ γὰρ ἔστερξαν εὔλυροί τε Μοῦσαι | καὶ κεροβάτας Πὰν ὁ καλαμόφθογγα παίζων, | προσεπιτέρπεται δ’ ὁ φορμικτὰς Ἀπόλλων | ἕνεκα δόνακος, ὃν ὑπολύριον | ἔνυδρον ἐν λίμναις τρέφω. | βρεκεκεκὲξ κοὰξ κοάξ, and 240–250; on the song of the Frogs and the parodos of the Mystai (Frogs 316–459) in the switching between performative and dramatic role cf. Dover Frogs, 57–60 and Dover 1993. The self-description is entirely comparable to the chorus of swallows, carm. pop. 848 PMG. Cf. Lefkowitz 1991:21–22. She correctly states: “These choral swallows, like the Wasps and Frogs of Aristophanes’ comedies, preserve some of their human characteristics, and only with their final words do they reveal their true identity.” Comic choruses always present their appearance and action in verbal terms as well. Comparable with the passage in the Frogs are the parabasis odes in the Birds 737–752, especially Birds 745–752: Πανὶ νόμους ἱεροὺς ἀναφαίνω | σεμνά τε Μητρὶ χορεύματ’ ὀρείᾳ, | τοτοτο τοτοτο τοτοτο τίγξ | ἔνθεν ὡσπερεὶ μέλιττα | Φρύνιχος ἀμβροσίων μελέων ἀπε- | βόσκετο καρπὸν ἀεὶ | φέρων γλυκεῖαν ᾠδάν. | τιο τιο τιο τίγξ, and Birds 769–784, especially 769–773: τοιάδε κύκνοι | τιο τιο τιο τιο | συμμιγῆ βοὴν ὁμοῦ πτε- | ροῖσι κρέκοντες ἴαχον Ἀπόλλω, | τιο τιο τιο τίγξ. Cf. also the self-presentation at the entry of the Clouds, Clouds. 298–313, especially 308–313 with the ritual self-referentiality to the here and now of the festive context in Athens: εὐστέφανοί τε θεῶν θυσίαι θαλίαι τε | παντοδαπαῖσιν ὥραις, | ἦρί τ’ ἐπερχομένῳ Βρομία χάρις | εὐκελάδων τε χορῶν ἐρεθίσματα | καὶ μοῦσα βαρύβρομος αὐλῶν. The Dionysia represent the current occasion for the dramatic competitions (in song, round dancing, and aulos) and the sacred offering. On the performative choral “I” in comedy and tragedy cf. Lefkowitz 1991:22–25.
[ back ] 26. See my observations in Bierl 1991:111–119, 225–226. On Aristophanes, see Hubbard 1991, passim (on intertextual self-references) and Bremer 1993:160–165.
[ back ] 27. For reference to choral dance song, cf. Callimachus Hymns 1.52–54; 2.8, 12, 28–31, 85–87, 93; 3.3, 170–174, 180–181, 240–247, 266–267; 4.79, 279, 300–315; in general on the interplay between traditional generic conventions and artistic freedom, see Henrichs 1993, especially 129–130 (on the cultic framework and association with a ritual performance that is connected with group solidarity). On the connected problem of the so-called mimetic hymns that reconstruct the conditions of the énonciation within the song itself, which are undoubtedly unconnected to the extradiscursive reality, see Calame 1992a:55–58, especially 57n19 (with further references).
[ back ] 28. Cf. Calame 1995a:16–17 (on the dances and songs of the Delian Maidens, i.e. the choral embedding of Homeric Hymns 3.146–173): “Est-ce à dire que les Hymnes homériques, dont la fonction introductive ne devrait plus faire de doute, étaient chantés par un chœur? Ou, sinon par un groupe de choreutes, en tout cas par un aède entouré d’un chœur, selon le mode citharodique illustré par de nombreuses descriptions de performances épiques dans l’Iliade ou l’Odyssée?” [“Does this mean that the Homeric hymns, whose introductory function should now be beyond doubt, were sung by a chorus? Or, if not by a chorus, then in any case by a bard surrounded by a chorus, in the citharodic fashion illustrated by numerous descriptions of epic performance in the Iliad or the Odyssey?”]. See also Furley 1993:24–29.
[ back ] 29. Cf. Adrados 1975:40: “Komos, I say, was the generic term for every type of chorus which changes place in performing ritual actions accompanied by dance, and eventually song, whether mimetic or not.” Similarly Heath 1988:182: “It is not only the revelry after a symposium that could be described as a κῶμος—any mobile celebration will do.”
[ back ] 30. Cf. Adrados 1975:37–49, who originally argues for a broad meaning that extends beyond the later restricted use of the term to the more or less comic (37–38). He thus thinks that “[a] komos can perform all the genres of the Dionysian contest, besides various others.” Ghiron-Bistagne 1976:207–297 is the best modern discussion of the kômos. On the kômos as origin of all dramatic genres see 265–297; she divides the kômos historically into three areas: a) the carnevalesque festive procession of people going to and returning from a festival (208–225); b) the chorus that dances and sings (225–231); and c) the kômos after a symposion (231–238); cf. also Kuithan 1808:44–76, Lamer 1922:1286–1304, Reckford 1987:443–451, and Heath 1988; Hoffman 1989:97 also quotes the passage from Semos as indication of the inverted world. See now also Pütz 2003:156–191 (“The Komos in Aristophanes”) (with my critical review in CR 55 [2005]:422–424) and Schmitz 2004:280–320, who classify the kômos among the Rüge– and Heischebräuche of peasants and young people in the countryside and villages, later transferred also to city life. These customs have according to Schmitz a function of social control. On comasts in archaeological research see now Bron 1999, Smith 2000, Smith 2003, Isler-Kerényi 2004, Steinhart 2004, and Rothwell 2006 (I thank Erich Kistler, Zurich, for these references).
[ back ] 31. On the praxis of signifiers, see Lohr 1986, passim, especially 1–28, who is here is strongly influenced by the Telqueliens of the French poststructuralist school, in particular Julia Kristeva. For a radical critique of Kristeva’s positions proceeding from the structuralist concept of knowledge, see Hempfer 1976:13–65. In one of the more recent books on ritual Bell also works intensively with the concept of practice, drawing on Bourdieu’s (1977, especially 72–158) concept of practice; see Bell 1992, passim, especially 74–88, 140–142, and index s.v. practice.
[ back ] 32. See Lohr 1986:74–80.
[ back ] 33. Lohr 1986:63–68 calls the phenomenon “comic fall” (komischer Sturz ).
[ back ] 34. On the connection between initiation and symposium, see Bremmer 1990.
[ back ] 35. See Herter 1947, especially 16–18. The description of the Autokabdaloi is also reminiscent of the Autolekythoi. The Ithyphalloi, Autolekythoi, and Triballoi have a special tie to the phallus. Demosthenes 54.16–17 reports that the Ithyphalloi dedicated themselves to Ithyphallos in a kind of initiation. For the Autolekythoi and Triballoi as phallus gangs, see Whitman 1969 and Griffith 1970. The name τριβαλλοί has been interpreted as τρίφαλλοι; Herter 1938c:1681. On the Athenian aristocratic drinking clubs, see Parker 1996:335–336 and Murray 1990. In Athens it appears that the Ithyphalloi also danced in the theater to rhythm (Hyperides fragment 50 Jensen): οἱ τοὺς ἰθυφάλλους ἐν τῇ ὀρχήστρᾳ ὀρχούμενοι. The theater is thus an important gathering place for these ephebic groups; in the trial of the Hermokopidai, Diokleides (Andocides 1.37–38) makes the final statement that he saw about three hundred of the aristocratic conspirators in the orchestra of the theater of Dionysus and that they were arranged (ἑστάναι δὲ κύκλῳ) in groups of six or seven, some in groups of up to twenty. Might he have been thinking of the Ithyphalloi, who normally gave small performances in the orchestra in a chorus of varying size? In Semos the Ithyphalloi also perform in the orchestra (Athenaeus 622b): ὅταν κατὰ μέσην τὴν ὀρχήστραν γένωνται.
[ back ] 36. For a similar synaesthesia, consider in particular Pindar’s dithyramb to Athens, fragment 75 S.-M. In a cletic hymn Dionysus is summoned to the Dionysia and the dithyrambic performances currently underway. Precisely as in the description of the heavenly Dionysia (Pindar fragment 70b S.-M.), Pindar in his picture of the Bacchic spring festival (14–19), where reference is made to its own occasion and performance, fuses together impressions of color, sound, movement, and smell in a manner characteristic of ritual speech; see also Zimmermann 1992:53–60, especially 54. On “thick” description, cf. Geertz 1973:3–30 (“Thick Description: Toward an Interpretative Theory of Culture” and Jensen 1986:119–120 (“ ‘thick’ performance”).
[ back ] 37. Cf. above, Introduction n180.
[ back ] 38. Their name seems to be derived from δείκηλα, which Hesychius glosses as, among other things, “masks”; further explanations and passages in Pickard-Cambridge 1962:135. On ἀποδείκνυμαι and ἀπόδειξις in the sense “present publicly” and “public presentation,” see Nagy 1990:217–224 and 515 (in the index, with numerous further references). For ἐπίδειξις, see Goldhill 1999:3–4.
[ back ] 39. ἐκαλοῦντο δ’ οἱ μετιόντες τὴν τοιαύτην παιδιὰν παρὰ τοῖς Λάκωσι δεικηλισταί, ὡς ἄν τις σκευο-ποιοὺς εἴπῃ καὶ μιμητάς. τοῦ δὲ εἴδους τῶν δεικηλιστῶν πολλαὶ κατὰ τόπους εἰσὶ προσηγορίαι. Σικυώνιοι μὲν γὰρ φαλλοφόρους αὐτοὺς καλοῦσιν, ἄλλοι δ’ αὐτοκαβδάλους, οἱ δὲ φλύακας, ὡς Ἰταλοί, σοφιστὰς δὲ οἱ πολλοί· Θηβαῖοι δὲ καὶ τὰ πολλὰ ἰδίως ὀνομάζειν εἰωθότες ἐθελοντάς (Athenaeus 621e–f). In Thebes they are known as Ethelontai, volunteers, because they are not organized by the state. In Athens, too, as Aristotle reports (Poetics 1449b2), comedies were performed by ethelontai until 486 BCE; that is to say, comic performance was not yet under the control of the polis, and so at this stage amounted to a kind of freeform farce without any overarching or structured plot, which was only introduced by Krates. Improvisation privileges the paradigmatic level, while the syntagmatic level of action appears only secondarily and is never carried through in a consistent fashion. On improvisation as spontaneous use of signifiers and precondition for the comic, see Lohr 1986:172–175. On reflexes of improvised theater, especially that of Oscan Attellan farce, in Plautus, see Vogt-Spira 1995, whose conclusions may be applied to Aristophanes as well. On the Ethelontai, see Kranz 1933:8. Cf. now on Athenaeus 621d–f Stark 2004:34–40, especially 34–35.
[ back ] 40. A passage from Alexis’ Mandragorizomenê (Alexis fragment 146 K.-A.) is quoted by way of illustration: see Arnott 1996:430–434; on the introduction to the play, 419–421. On the role of the doctor in Greek and Roman comedy, cf. ibid., 431–432. The act of stealing food is a fundamental motif in farce and a typical source of low humor; fruit and wine may also be associated with Dionysus, to whom they are in fact supposed to be offered. On the stealing of food, cf. Aristophanes Knights 418; on stealing fruit, Epicharmus fragment 239 Kaibel. Robbery and theft stand in opposition to the code of civilization; the motif also belongs, for example, to the staged counterworld of Spartan initiation, where the initiates are supposed to steal cheese from the sanctuary of Artemis and are subject to a whipping if caught. There is also the Spartan mimetic dance called the tyrbasia, in which people caught in the act of stealing meat are imitated (Pollux 4.104–105). The Athenian young men’s association of the Triballoi is charged with the sacrilegious action of stealing and eating offerings to Hekate (Demosthenes 54.39). The simple transgression of norms induces raucous laughter in the group. The doctor can be associated with the alazôn, and the fruit thief with the bômolokhos. The division into the types alazôn and bômolokhos can already be seen in Aristotle. The eirôn, the ironic and cynical wise man, is also often mentioned in addition to these. Cf. Arisistotle Nicomachean Ethics 1108a21–25 and 1127a13–1128b4 (detailed distinction between alazônes and bômolokhoi); cf. also the Tractatus Coislinianus (in Kaibel 1899:50–53, here 52 [§6] and Koster 1975:63–67, here 66, lines 38–39); cf. generally also Hubbard 1991:2–8. On the passage of Sosibios in particular (Athenaeus 621d–622a), see among others Pickard-Cambridge 1962:134–137, Koller 1954:44–45, Breitholtz 1960:114–122, and Taplin 1993:49–51 (on the phylakes).
[ back ] 41. Reich 1903:274–280 sees comedy as a conglomerate of nonchoral mimes and choral members (Autokabdaloi, Phallophoroi, Ithyphalloi); Sosibios is influenced here, Reich thinks, by Aristotelian and peripatetic theory, which characterized mimos and phallikon as original comic forms (ibid., 254 and 280). Breitholtz 1960:116–117 emphasizes that Sosibios’ report says nothing about dance. Webster in Pickard-Cambridge 1962:136 thinks that this involved small, popular scenes that were originally danced—he makes a connection with the potbellied dancers, phlyakes, and the Spartan dance of men caught in the act of stealing meat (Pollux 4.104–105)—and that later, under the influenced of developed comedy, became fossilized as a spectacle without dance.
[ back ] 42. On the passage as a whole, especially on the fragments of Semos, see among others Muff 1871:5–7, Thiele 1902, Reich 1903:274–280, Cornford 19612:106–111, especially 106–109, Radermacher Frösche, 12, Körte 1921:1218–1219, Pickard-Cambridge 1962:134–151, Wilamowitz I 1931/32:200–201 (= repr. I, 196–197), Herter 1938b:1678–1680, Herter 1947:18–35, Pohlenz 1949:35–39 (= Kl. Schr. II 1965:501–505), Gelzer 1960:210, Händel 1963:107–109n17, Gelzer 1966:68–69, Sifakis 1971:20, West 1974:23, 36–37, Adrados 1975:307, Ghiron-Bistagne 1976:208–212 and 245, Blech 1982:208–209, Reckford 1987:487, Leonhardt 1991:37–38, Cole 1993, especially 32–34, Csapo/Slater 1995:94, 97–98, and Csapo 1997:264. See also the discussion in the literary histories Müller II 1857:197–198, Schmid 1929:635, and Lesky 19713:271–272. Breitholtz (1960:114–122) is extremely skeptical about any conclusions relating to the possible origins of comedy. He concludes (122): “Wir haben es hier mit einer der von der Theatergeschichte am meisten missbrauchten Textstellen zu tun” [“We are dealing here with one of the textual sources most abused by scholars of the history of theater”]. Athenaeus is not interested in the precise distinction between chorus and the individual mime; rather, in his dinner conversation he is clearly only concerned about the effect of the behavior of performers of this type. In Hellenistic theater the choral song becomes considerably less important as the aria becomes favored and as soloists take over the choral parts as entertainment in the theater. Cf. Gentili 1977:11–22 (20062:41–49).
[ back ] 43. The two texts can be found as fragment 851 (a and b) PMG (= carm. pop. 5 [a and b]) (= PMG, pp. 452–453), carm. pop. 7 and 8 B. (= Bergk III 18824:657), carm. pop. 47 and 48 D. (= Diehl II1 1925:206–207), also in Kaibel 1899:73–75, Jacoby III, 290–291 on Semos, FGrHist 396 F 24, and Tresp 1914:201–203 (fragment 165).
[ back ] 44. Burkert 1983:24, 58, 69–70, Fehling 1974:7–38, and Burkert 1979:39–41, 45; for more on the phallus, see Burkert 1983:58–72, especially 69–72, and Burkert 1985:104 (in processions), 244 (phalli made of dough at the Thesmophoria). On the phallus, see Herter 1938c. In earlier work the phallus was seen to have a mainly apotropaic function, but Herter interprets it as an indication of fertility in particular. Yet the connection to death and the world beyond is also emphasized (ibid., 1728–1733); cf. also Leonhardt 1991:32. Ghosts from the otherworld and daimones also have erect phalli. But one should on the contrary, though without completely losing sight of the traditional aspects, also emphasize in particular the moment of inversion, the mixing of all categories, and the grotesque, carnivalesque body that attracts attention to itself, thereby marking the Other; cf. similarly Graf 1998:15. Csapo 1997:259–260 also criticizes the traditional pattern of interpretation that views the phallus as symbol of fertility, aggression, and something apotropaic; he considers the Dionysiac phallus from the perspective of Turner’s “interstructure” (in contrast to the “antistructure,” which Csapo defines as a clear exception to the norm; Turner uses both concepts without drawing a clear distinction between them), the total confusion of all standards, so that a contradictory function is fulfilled, namely returning society, vulnerable to social divisions, to normality without bringing these social differentiations themselves into question. Cf. Csapo 1997, especially 253–254 and 287–288. Instead of “interstructure” I use the phrase “betwixt and between,” which also goes back to Turner and comes close to the concept of liminality (Turner 1967:93–111; cf. above, chapter 1 n370). In my view, the kômos as wild choral procession reactualizes in accordance with the rules of the comic genre the inverted, chaotic world of initiatory rites during the marginal phase.
[ back ] 45. Σῆμος δ’ ὁ Δήλιος ἐν τῷ περὶ Παιάνων (FGrHist 396 F 24) οἱ αὐτοκάβδαλοι, φησί, καλούμενοι ἐστεφανωμένοι κιττῷ σχέδην ἐπέραινον ῥήσεις. ὕστερον δὲ ἴαμβοι ὠνομάσθησαν αὐτοί τε καὶ τὰ ποιήματα αὐτῶν (Athenaeus 622ab). Here, too, a later dramatic development seems to be conflated with an earlier choral stage: after the dance the choral performers seem to transition in a clearly improvisatory way into a speech and ridicule the audience in true iambic fashion, so that the performances as a whole are accordingly called iamboi after the meter. On improvisation and ridicule, see Vogt-Spira 1995:81–84. On the iambos as ancient choral form, see West 1974:34–37 and Nagy 1979:242–243. West 1974:35 correctly sees the Syracusan ἰαμβισταί, who are compared to the Dionysiac round-dancing chorus of Athens (Athenaeus 181c), as dancers who clearly correspond to the Athenian performers of the dithyramb. The dance of the iamboi will also assume a central position in my interpretation of the songs in Semos. According to West, iambos may represent a choral address as well as a speaking verse, and may also describe the combination of chorus and individual speaker that develops from the exarkhos of the choral group. Iambos thus does not, he maintains (West 1974:22), consist of the specific verse form, but the style of vulgar invective characteristic of iamboi, which is connected in particular with Dionysus and Demeter (ibid., 23–25 and Richardson 1974:213–217). On the ribald ridicule in the Thesmophoriazusae that is sandwiched between the Demetrian role and the Dionysiac function of the chorus, see above, pp. 169–171. On the combination of iambos and comedy, see Degani 1987, Degani 1988, Degani 1993, and Rosen 1988. See now also Treu 1999, especially 129–140 and Saetta Cottone 2005, especially 143–151.
[ back ] 46. On ivy as a Dionysiac characteristic, see Blech 1982:185–210.
[ back ] 47. On the inversion of the world in Dionysiac ritual, see Hoffman 1989.
[ back ] 48. In contrast to Herter 1938b:1679 and Herter 1947:21, and because of the song that follows, I follow Pohlenz 1949:35 (= Kl. Schr. II 1965:501) in the view that neither the Phallophoroi nor the Ithyphalloi were themselves equipped with an erect phallus. Herter 1938b:1679 thinks this must have “been visible through the see-through Tarentine clothing.” Elsewhere he even says (1947:21): “vielleicht hob er sich aber auch plastisch ab oder wurde geradezu exhibiert” [“perhaps it stood out prominently or was simply exhibited”]. A fetish carried by the Phallophoros need not of course exclude the presence of other phalli in the group, especially since as a kind of chorus leader he encompasses the characteristics of the whole ensemble. Blech 1982:209n133 connects figurative representations with the highly decorative headgear of the Phallophoroi; on a fragment of black-figure pottery from Segesta, a man with a cap covered in phalli can be seen, and on a fragment of red-figure pottery there is a depiction of a man with an ivy wreath with phalli fixed to his forehead and nose (Athens, Acropolis 702; ARV 213, 238). This is strongly reminiscent of grotesquely extended bodies in carnival rites.
[ back ] 49. For the biological and ethological derivation of ritual, see Burkert 1996 and Baudy 1998:67–99.
[ back ] 50. Cole 1993, especially 30–34.
[ back ] 51. For the joyful, comastic aspect of sacrifice, see the pictorial analysis in Peirce 1993, who emphasizes the positive traits of ritual as opposed to the darker aspects of guilt that Vernant as well as Burkert and Meuli accentuate. She shows that πομπή, ἑορταί, χοροί, κῶμος, victory, joy, celebration, laughter, and symposion are often combined with sacrifice into a visual network of signs.
[ back ] 52. οἱ αὐτοκάβδαλοι, φησί, καλούμενοι ἐστεφανωμένοι κιττῷ σχέδην ἐπέραινον ῥήσεις. ὕστερον δὲ ἴαμβοι ὠνομάσθησαν αὐτοί τε καὶ τὰ ποιήματα αὐτῶν. [ back ] οἱ δὲ ἰθύφαλλοι, φησί, καλούμενοι προσωπεῖα μεθυόντων ἔχουσιν καὶ ἐστεφάνωνται, χειρῖδας ἀνθινὰς ἔχοντες· χιτῶσι δὲ χρῶνται μεσολεύκοις καὶ περιέζωνται ταραντῖνον καλύπτον αὐτοὺς μέχρι τῶν σφυρῶν. σιγῇ δὲ διὰ τοῦ πυλῶνος εἰσελθόντες, ὅταν κατὰ μέσην τὴν ὀρχήστραν γένωνται, ἐπιστρέφουσιν εἰς τὸ θέατρον λέγοντες --- ἀνάγετ’, εὐρυχωρίαν . . .  [ back ] οἱ δὲ φαλλοφόροι, φησίν, προσωπεῖον μὲν οὐ λαμβάνουσιν, προσκόπιον δ’ ἐξ ἑρπύλλου περιτιθέμενοι καὶ παιδέρωτος ἐπάνω τούτου ἐπιτίθενται στέφανον [τε] δασὺν ἴων καὶ κιττοῦ· καυνάκας τε περιβεβλημένοι παρέρχονται οἱ μὲν ἐκ παρόδου, οἱ δὲ κατὰ μέσας τὰς θύρας, βαίνοντες ἐν ῥυθμῷ καὶ λέγοντες --- σοί, Βάκχε, τάνδε μοῦσαν ἀγλαΐζομεν . . . (Athenaeus 622bc).
[ back ] 53. On the lack of consistent illusion (in terms of how the spectators react to the fictional role of the player) and “inlusion” (in terms of how the players behave toward the spectators with respect to a subjective knowledge of their role identity) in folk plays and in ritual performance, see Lohr 1986:53–58, 74–80. In contrast to the veristic theater of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, actual performers and the bearers of fictional roles never overlap completely. On the mask ibid., 78–79; like Calame 1989, Lohr treats the mask as a means of achieving distance between performer, role, and spectator. Cf. Lohr 1986:78: “Die Filterwirkung der Maske schwächt die eindringenden dämonischen Kräfte im archaischen Ritual ab, die ursprünglich im enthousiasmos vollkommen vom Ich Besitz ergriffen hatten. Diese Funktion der kultischen Maske wird in einer Art phylogenetischem ‘Maskensprung’ in die säkulare Darstellung des Mythos transponiert” [“In archaic ritual the filtering effect of the mask alleviates the threatening, demonic powers that in the process of enthousiasmos had originally completely taken possession of the I. This function of the cultic mask is transposed in a kind of phylogenetic ‘mask leap’ into the secular presentation of the myth”]. The qualification μεθυόντων refers of course to wine-drinking associated with the cult of Dionysus and the symposium. Kugelmeier 1996:154n269 is wrong not to see a reference to drunkenness in fragment 851 PMG.
[ back ] 54. The ivy-wreath was worn as decoration by Attic citizen choruses, actors, participants in Dionysiac processions, the victorious poet, and the khorêgos; see Blech 1982:208. On ivy as decoration, cf. also above, chapter 1 n110.
[ back ] 55. Cf. Aristophanes Peace 168; Theocritus Epigrammata 1, 2; Nicander Theriaca 67. Blech 1982:209 identifies ἕρπυλλος with thyme, LSJ, s.v. and Olson Peace, 99 ad 166–169 with Thymus sibthorpii.
[ back ] 56. According to LSJ, s.v. παιδέρως, this plant is Quercus ilex. A special kind of rouge appears to have been extracted from its berries. According to Paus. 2.10.6, the παιδέρως grows only in the sanctuary of Aphrodite in Sikyon. Despite the fact that Phallophoroi are mentioned just before in the quotation of Sosibios (Athenaeus 621f), these Phallophoroi are not necessarily connected with the ones in Sikyon, although most commentators admittedly for this reason associate Semos’ Phallophoroi with Sikyon; cf. Herter 1947:19 and 50n83. The fact that the two plants are attested for Sikyon in particular is not sufficient, since the plants are of such a general type and so widely distributed that their appearance can hardly be limited to one place alone. Delos is again a more likely candidate, since Semos came from Delos and also writes about cults of Delos in his own work. In particular Dionysus and phallophoria play a prominent role there, as Cole 1993, especially 32ff., argues. The following also argue for Delos: Wilamowitz 1921:266, Wilamowitz I 1931/32:160 with n3, 201 (= reprinted ed. I, 156 with n4, 197), Käppel 1992:54 and 330 (test. 100). In the general introduction to his commentary on the fragments in Semos, Jacoby remains undecided (204): “Dieses buch [Περὶ παιάνων] gehört ins gebiet der realphilologie und vielleicht der literarhistorie; es war sicher nicht musiktheoretisch und nicht auf Delos beschränkt oder auch nur von delischen zuständen ausgehend” [“This book [Περὶ παιάνων] belongs to the realm of Realphilologie and perhaps to literary history; it was certainly not concerned with musical theory, nor was it confined to Delos or exclusively concerned with Delian matters”]. Shortly thereafter he then comments on F 24 in particular (208): “Alle diese formen kann es auch auf Delos gegeben haben” [“All these forms could also have occurred on Delos”] (in the separate volume of notes by Jacoby (135n49) with reference to Vallois 1922). Bruneau 1970:312n2 disagrees with Marcadé 1969:189n3 and does not see the connection with Delos. The language of the extant songs corresponds to the language of Attic drama, with only slight Doric coloring; there is no Sicyonian Doric to be found, at any rate. But the songs are not ancient either (cf. Wilamowitz I 18952:59n19), and are influenced by koinê. West 1982:148 considers the possibility of an Athenian origin for the Ithyphalloi (fragment 851a PMG).
[ back ] 57. E.g. Plato Symposium 212e; cf. Herter 1947:19 and 50n85. On the crown of violets as sign of the spring, the time of the occasion for Bacchic performances, cf. also Pindar fragment 75.6 (and 17) S.-M. For the chorus who talks about the fantastic garland of flowers it wears on its head, cf. Cratinus fragment 105 K.-A. Cf. further fragment 852 PMG (“flower” dance). The head decoration also acts as source of visual meaning.
[ back ] 58. On the effeminate Dionysos thêlymorphos, see Casadio 1987:227–228 (= Casadio 1999:115–117).
[ back ] 59. On Dionysiac transvestism, see Casadio 1987:227–234 (= Casadio 1999:115–123) with list (1987:229n69 [= 1999:117n69]) of interpretative categories (agrarian magic, reintegration into a state of paradise, transitional rites in the marginal phases of initiation of youths). On the Ithyphalloi and Phallophoroi in this connection, see Kenner 1970:112 and Casadio 1987:229 (= Casadio 1999:118).
[ back ] 60. Tarentine cloth is transparent and thus particularly arousing. It is doubtful, as I have said, whether the Ithyphalloi actually wore an erect phallus on their body (though their name might suggest this) that, as Herter thinks (Herter 1938b:1679 and Herter 1947:21), shimmered through this garment. The Spartan gypones dancers also wear the tarantinidion (Pollux 4.104); cf. also Casadio 1987:231 (= Casadio 1999:120). For the transparent garment with girdle as aphrodisiac enticement, cf. Aristophanes Lysistrata 46ff., especially 48, διαφανῆ χιτώνια. On the feminine appearance achieved by the long ankle-length garment, cf. the dress of the tragic actor, the god Dionysus, and Agathon in Thesmophoriazusae 130ff. The six bearded, bald-headed transvestite dancers on the Sabouroff red-figure vase (ca. 460 BCE) from Malibu (Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum 86.AE.296; ARV 837, 10; ill. Price 1990, pl. 10b and Csapo 1997, pl. 1C), who also wear the long khitôn, have often been compared to the Ithyphalloi, especially since they are also associated with a thyrsos-like phallus-staff; for an extensive description of the exterior of this vase, see Reich 1903:276n2; cf. also Price 1990:164 and Csapo 1997:264. The grotesque, bearded dancers wearing long feminine garments on an Attic black-figure vase (Amsterdam 3356) from the middle of the sixth century BCE have also been compared to the Ithyphalloi; see Webster in Pickard-Cambridge 1962:81, 141, 304 and ill. 21 (pl. 6b).
[ back ] 61. On the kaunakê see Herter 1947:20, Starkie Wasps, 332 ad loc., MacDowell Wasps, 278–279 ad 1137, Sommerstein Wasps, 222 ad loc., and Pickard Cambridge 1962:141n6. The Thracian nickname τριβαλλοί (for τρίφαλλοι) for an Athenian drinking club should also be viewed in this context: the Thracians represented the quintessence of the wild barbarian for the Athenians; Herter 1938c:1681.
[ back ] 62. For dance accompanying the φαλλικόν, see Pollux 4.99–100. A φαλλικόν is always a song to the phallus; cf. Suda, s.v. φαλλικά, φαλλάκιον = Etymologicum Magnum., s.v. φάλαικον (786, 57–58), Photius, s.v. φαλλικόν, and schol. Aristophanes Acharnians 261.
[ back ] 63. As to whether the texts were spoken or sung, most scholars opt for the latter, despite the introductory λέγοντες; see, among others, West 1982:148, “the chant of the (Athenian?) Ithyphalloi”; Wilamowitz I 1931/32:160n3 (= repr. I, 156n4), “Delisches Kultlied” [“Delian cult song”]; Nilsson I 19673:592, “charakteristisches Lied” [“characteristic song”]. Neither the meter of the first text nor that of the second offers a decisive answer to this question, but the song hypothesis does seem to be justified from a performative point of view. Other Ithyphalloi, who greeted Demetrios Poliorketes in Athens (cf. below, n70), are clearly connected with kômos-like choral dancing: Demokhares of Athens, FGrHist 75 F 2 (quoted in Athenaeus 253cd) describes the performative situation as follows: προσοδιακοὶ χοροὶ καὶ ἰθύφαλλοι μετ’ ὀρχήσεως καὶ ᾠδῆς ἀπήντων αὐτῷ καὶ ἐφιστάμενοι κατὰ †τοὺς ὄχλους ᾖδον ὀρχούμενοι καὶ ἐπᾴδοντες. See also the glosses in the Suda and in Photius, s.v. ἰθύφαλλοι· . . . καὶ ποιήματα δὲ καλεῖσθαι, ἃ ἐπὶ τῷ ἱσταμένῳ φαλλῷ ᾄδεται μετ’ ὀρχήσεως. The Athenian Ithyphalloi will have danced to an ithyphallic rhythm in accordance with their nature; cf. the grammarian’s quotation, repeating a quotation from Hypereides’ speech again Arkhestratides (Hypereides fragment 50 Jensen): οἱ τοὺς ἰθυφάλλους ἐν τῇ ὀρχήστρᾳ ὀρχούμενοι. For further dancing Ithyphalloi, cf. Athenaeus 129d; the Phallophoroi mentioned by Antheas of Lindos also performed a kômos (Athenaeus 445ab).
[ back ] 64. It must be emphasized that the two juxtaposed passages should not be interpreted as a unique ritual sequence in the sense of a diachronic narrative, although Semos, or perhaps even Athenaeus, could to some extent have manipulated the juxtaposed variants in this direction.
[ back ] 65. εἶτα προστρέχοντες ἐτώθαζον οὓς [ἂν] προέλοιντο, στάδην δὲ ἔπραττον· ὁ δὲ φαλλοφόρος ἰθὺ βαδίζων καταπασθεὶς αἰθάλῳ (Athenaeus 622d).
[ back ] 66. On tôthasmos see Fluck 1931:11–33 and Rusten 1977, who emphasizes the exhibitionist element in addition to the ribald and aggressive ridicule. The Phallophoroi possibly opened their cloaks in a kind of anasyrisis or lifted them high so that the strapped-on erect member concealed underneath would appear. Herter had already suggested this concealment of the phallus under the cloak in the case of the Ithyphalloi. Cf. above, n47. Of course both the bearer’s object and the accompanying group could be phallic. Cf. the reverse of the so-called Heydemann cup (Florence 3897), which depicts a phallic procession at the rural Dionysia (illustrations in Deubner 1932, pl. 22:2, Ghiron-Bistagne 1976:211 fig. 66, and Csapo 1997, pl. 4). The cloak may have been removed for the tôthasmos, which is reminiscent of the (aggressive) scenes in the transition to the parabasis in Old Comedy; cf. also Acharnians 626–627, Peace 729–730, Lysistrata 615, and Thesmophoriazusae 656. With these passages the ancient opinion (schol. Peace 729) is generally reproduced that the cloak was removed in order to be able to move freely while dancing. Only at Wasps 408 do we find the removal of the long cloak (together with the exposure of wasp’s sting, reminiscent of a phallus) not at the transition to the parabasis; cf. also Sifakis 1971:86–88, 98, and 103–108.
[ back ] 67. See Sommerstein 1996. Nagy 1979:243–252 shows the complementarity of praise and blame in iambos and indicates how kômos and comedy, which developed from the latter, have a similar function. Just as the iambos uses ritualized aggression against an ἐχθρός and thereby creates a group solidarity among the φίλοι at the symposium, so too the ridicule of individual citizens in ad hoc fashion in the marketplace serves to increase the cohesiveness of the whole community (249–252).
[ back ] 68. Black soot, white gypsum, or yeast as original makeup help to create a distancing and symbolic emphasis, an effect also produced by masks; cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1962:74–80. The color black is also a particular marker of the Attic ephêbeia and other rites of puberty; see Vidal-Naquet 1968, especially 112.
[ back ] 69. The god here is probably Phales, the personification of the phallus in the procession at the rural Dionysia, but also connected with Dionysus. Cf. Pohlenz 1949:35 (= Kl. Schr. II, 1965:501): “die Ithyphallen melden den Einzug ihres Gottes, der wohl eher Phales als Dionysos ist” [“The Ithyphalloi announce the entry of their god, who is probably Phales rather than Dionysus”]. In the phallic procession at Acharnians 241–279, discussed in greater detail below, Phales is described as “companion and fellow-comast of Dionysus” (Φαλῆς, ἑταῖρε Βακχίου, ξύγκωμε, 263–264). On the phallus in the cult of Dionysus, see Herter 1938c:1701–1710. On Phales, see Herter 1938. In Methymna on Lesbos, Dionysus has the additional name Phallen; Herter 1938a. For the theme of parousia in the entry procession, cf. the German Advent song “Macht hoch die Tür, die Tor macht weit, es kommt der Herr der Herrlichkeit!” [“Make high the door, make wide the gate, here comes the master of magnificence!”] and generally Weinreich 1929:34–286, especially 59–63.
[ back ] 70. The text is contested. The meter is normalized following Bergk or Tyrwhitt’s conjecture (3ia|ith||3ia|ith||). It would thus be identical to the hymn of Hermokles, also preserved in Athenaeus (253d–f) (Duris of Samos, FGrHist 76 F 13, carm. pop. fragment 46 B. [= Bergk III 18824:674–676], Poetae Melici II D. [= Diehl II1 1925:249–251] and Powell 1925:173–175), which was composed for Demetrios Poliorketes when he entered Athens in Dionysiac costume in 291 (?) BCE. A further parallel can be found in the small song by Theokles (Athenaeus 497c, Poetae Melici III D. [= Diehl II1 1925:251] and Powell 1925:173). On the Theokles song: Athenaeus connects the drinking vessel described as a dikeras with Ptolemy Philadelphos, who is supposed to have decorated statues of Arsinoe with it. The fragment is rich in performative information; performance in the here and now is emphasized; cf. σήμερον, the first-person singular and plural, sôtêria, the Tekhnitai, a king, and the symposium. As with the other fragments of Semos preserved in Athenaeus that concern the Ithyphalloi and Phallophoroi and are introduced with λέγοντες, the means of performance is also here much debated. Fraser I 1972:232–233 discusses the text and thinks it is not clear who the speaker is. Contra Wilamowitz I 1924:166n2: “offenbar bei einer Prozession der Techniten vor Philadelphos gesungen. Ich hatte Theokles früher falsch unter Philopator gesetzt” [“Apparently sung at a procession of the Tekhnitai in front of Philadelphos. I had previously incorrectly placed Theokles under the reign of Philopator”]. Here he refers to Wilamowitz 1921:127n2, where he dates Theokles to the time of Philopator. [ back ] On the hymn to Demetrios Poliorketes: Tresp 1914:203 compares Semos’ Ithyphalloi with the singing and dancing Ithyphalloi, who according to Demokhares of Athens, FGrHist 75 F 2 (with paraphrase of the hymn, which is attested in Duris’ version), greeted Demetrios (Athenaeus 253c). Cf. Habicht 19702:50–55 and 232–233, Habicht 1995:94–103, Parker 1996:258–263, and Stehle 1997:42–46. For information about the Theokles and Hermokles text I thank Albert Henrichs; cf. also Henrichs 1999, in which the hymn to Demetrios is also addressed (243–247). Anacreon fragment 78 D. (= 431 PMG) already uses the combination 3ia|ith||. On this cf. also Gentili 1952:95–96 (now also Gentili/Lomiento 2003:124), and West 1982:148 (without Anacreon fragment 78 D.). Rossbach/Westphal 18893:306 also mention Aristophanes fragment 425 K.-A. (with the conjecture δάπτοντα, so that the first verse forms a trimeter); cf. K.-A. in PCG III.2, 233. [ back ] In the form adopted by Page (PMG) and West 1982:148, the first verse is a lekythion (trochaic dimeter catalectic), which easily admits variations; the ithyphallic represents the catalectic form of the lekythion. Wilamowitz’s division (Wilamowitz 1921:266n5) into four trochaic dimeters is not convincing. Once again, underlining indicates the performative element, and italicization here and in the following examples indicates matters specific to the phallus cult.
[ back ] 71. There is the mistake in the apparatus to line 1 in Page (PMG, 453): he prints ἀνάγετ’ <ἀνάγετε> κῶμον, εὐρυχωρίαν coni. Tyrwhitt.
[ back ] 72. On ἄγε or ἄναγε as a performative signal of urgency in ritual, cf. above, chapter 1, n23. Cf. also Aristophanes Birds 1720–1721: ἄναγε δίεχε πάραγε πάρεχε· | περιπέτεσθε . . . (self-address in fight songs); cf. Dunbar Birds, 753 ad 1720: “This series of orders must have produced excited chorus-movements in the orchestra.” Ibid. and in Dunbar Birds, 284 ad 383, as well as 290 ad 400, Dunbar notes that ἄναγε should here be understood as a technical military term. On the connection between ephebic military and choral service, Winkler 1990; the imperative is admittedly rather general and can be connected with any specific performance of an action: cf. Euripides Trojan Women 325: <ἄναγ’> ἄναγε χορόν (cf. in this connection Tyrwhitt’s supplement ἀνάγετ’ <ἀνάγετε κῶμον> in line 1); for the completion of a sacrifice or festival: LSJ, s.v. I.5; in particular the striking up of a song may be introduced in this way: e.g. Sophocles Women of Trachis 210–211 and LSJ, s.v. I.7.
[ back ] 73. The ithyphallic meter is so called because of its use in the Dionysiac φαλλαγωγία; see the sources in West 1982:97–98 with reference to Semos’ Ithyphalloi. On the ithyphallic see West 1982:97–101, 146–148 and Gentili 1952:94–105 (now also Gentili/Lomiento 2003:123–128); Aristophanes’ use of the asynartetic combination with a iambic dimeter (the euripideus), as in Aristophanes Knights 756–760 and 836–840, Clouds 1114, Wasps 248–272, Frogs 396–397, 443–447, Pherecrates fragment 2.3 and fragment 195 K.-A., is interesting; like Euripides, Aristophanes uses the ithyphallic as a clausula, cf. Gentili 1952:104–105 (now also Gentili/Lomiento 2003:127–128). On the ithyphallic in Aristophanes, see also White 1912:73–74 (§ 203). West 1982:146–148 especially emphasizes the use of iambs and ithyphallics in traditional and ritual songs, which speaks in favor of the song hypothesis. Cf. ibid., 148, the combination of the ritual τήνελλα καλλίνικε Archilochus fragment 324 W. and the refrain of the Palaikastro hymn with fragment 851a PMG. As is well known, Aristophanes incorporates much material from popular song (Silk 1980:124–129). One could also argue that Aristophanes himself did not make many distinctions in rhythmic structure from current ritual forms. The conventionality, repetition, and simplicity that Aristophanes is criticized for in his lyrics (Silk 1980) may well be grounded in the characteristic ritual nature of choral song, which emphasizes the here and now of the performance. Cf. Mathews’ (1997) response to Silk’s criticism, which refers to the ritual and performative dimension, especially to dance (ibid., 32–42).
[ back ] 74. The gods are often invoked in cletic hymns to observe and participate in choral dance. This occurs especially in the odes of the parabasis.
[ back ] 75. Cf. Aeschylus Libation Bearers 942: ἐπολολύξατ’ (cf. the commentary of Sier 1988:289 ad loc.: “Die Aufforderung zur Ololyge ist schon Artikulation des Jubels, die den Schrei ersetzt” [“The command to pronounce the ololygê is already an articulation of the rejoicing and takes the place of the actual shout”]). The word represents the action, and so the command already amounts to the chorus’ moving apart. Cf. in another context Aristophanes Clouds 127 with Dover Clouds, 109 ad loc. (with reference to Austin).
[ back ] 76. IG I3 1178.1 = CEG 12 (pp. 10–11 Hansen) (funerary inscription for Silenos from Rhegium, 433/32 BCE): εὐρύχοροι . . . Ἀθῆναι, cf. Corinna fragment 655–fragment 1.8 PMG: γῆαν εὐρού[χορον, fragment adesp. 934.20 PMG: πόλιν εὐρύχορον. Cf. LSJ s.v.: “with broad places, spacious,” Homer Iliad 2.498, 9.478; Odyssey 13.414, 15.1; Palatine Anthology 7.99.5; roads broad enough for choral dance: Pindar Pythian Odes 8.55, Euripides Bacchae 86–87 (and the Delphic oracle at Demosthenes 21.52); for roads: Philodamus, Paean in Dionysum (Powell 1925:165–171, 169 = Käppel 1992:375–380, 379–Pai. 39), lines 145–146 and Euripides Hercules Furens 783. Cf. also Seaford 1996:159 ad Euripides Bacchae 86–87: “εὐρύχορος often seems to imply χῶρος (place) rather than χορός (dance and song)”; and LSJ s.v. “Prop. with broad dancing-places, cf. χορός; then a conventional epithet, perh. connected by poets with χῶρος.” For the etymological connection of χῶρος and χορός, see Boedeker 1974:85–91. For the epithet “with beautiful chorus” (καλλίχορος), cf. Euripides Heracles Furens 690, Helen 1454–1455, Phoenician Women 786, Cresphontes fragment 453.7–8 N/Kannicht, Corinna fragment 669 PMG, Aristophanes Frogs 451; ἠΰχορος Appendix nova epigrammatum 2, 520, 7 Cougny; εὔχορος Photius, s.v. εὔκυκλος. Cf. also εὐρύνω, “to clear the arena for dance,” Homer Odyssey 8.260. For εὐρυχωρία: cf. Com. adesp. 257 K.-A., εὐρυχωρίας σε δεῖ. The word refers metaphorically to free space for performing some action: [Plato] Minos 315d3–4 εὐρυχωρία τῆς ἀποδείξεως; for apodeixis as public performance, cf. Nagy 1990:162, 217–224. In keeping with the strong sexual coloring of the song, εὐρυχοιρίαν (‘broadness of vagina’) could also have been used in this passage (line 1) or could at least have occurred to the audience. A similar textual suggestion is made by Bowie 1990:35–36 in connection with Aristophanes Wasps 834; instead of the transmitted φιλοχωρία he conjectures φιλοχοιρία; one could construct εὐρυχοιρία as a parallel to the frequent word εὐρυπρωκτία (‘broadness of anus’), Aristophanes Acharnians 843, Wasps 1070: cf. on εὐρυπρωκτία Henderson 19912:77, on the corresponding adjective εὐρύπρωκτος ibid., 77, 195, 210, 213–214, 218. For the name Χοιροψάλας used of Dionysus in the Sicyonian mysteries, see Herter 1938c:1702 and Henderson 19912:132n128.
[ back ] 77. On the performative future, see Calame 1994/95:144 with 152n25, Faraone 1995, and Henrichs 1994/95:80 with 104n97; cf. already Norden 1939:199–201 (on the future in prayer). The concept of the performative future and performative verb forms will here be transferred to the third person, although it has hitherto been applied generally to the first and second persons only. Cf. above, Introduction n112. For θέλω with the infinitive in the sense of the more commonly used future, cf. Pindar Pythian Odes 9.1–3 ἐθέλω . . . Πυθιονίκαν . . . ἀγγέλλων Τελεσικράτη . . . γεγωνεῖν, Pindar Isthmian Odes 1.15–16 ἐθέλω . . . ἐναρμόξαι νιν ὕμνῳ; Thummer I 1968/69:128 classifies such constructions as examples of the “ ‘enkomiastische’ Futur, das die gegenwärtige Intention des Dichters ausdrückt und niemals über das Gedicht hinausweist” [“ ‘encomiastic’ future, which expresses the poet’s current intention and never refers beyond the poem”]; it is identical to the performative future.
[ back ] 78. The expression ὀρθὸς . . . βαδίζειν corresponds to the formulation in the description of the Phallophoroi that follows, where it is said of the phallophoros that he enters thus (ἰθὺ βαδίζων); Semos’ choice of vocabulary here is probably influenced by the song of the Ithyphalloi. On βαίνειν (cf. βαίνοντες ἐν ῥυθμῷ in the preceding performative information provided about the Phallophoroi), which is synonymous with βαδίζειν, as a term in common parlance with sexual connotations, cf. Henderson 19912:19n70 (“fuck”), 27, 136, 147, 155 (“mounting”), and 194n10. For μέσος cf. ibid., 156. For its use in combination with the kômos, cf. Aristophanes Wealth 1040: ἐπὶ κῶμον βαδίζειν (kômos of the young man about whom the old woman complains; like the Ithyphalloi, he wears a garland and is drunk and out of control). For βαδίζειν as self-referential expression of the chorus cf. inter alia Thesmophoriazusae 1228–1229: ὥρα δή ’στι βαδίζειν | οἴκαδ’ ἑκάστῃ (in reference to the chorus’ departure at the end of the play).
[ back ] 79. Cf. Timokles fragment 31.2 K.-A. ap. Athenaeus 246f, δειπνοῦσιν ἐσφυδωμένοι. The transmitted ἐσφυρωμένος probably slipped into the text because of the words μέχρι τῶν σφυρῶν in the preceding description of the Ithyphalloi. If the god (ὁ θεός) is fitted out with ankle bands or some kind of foot covering (“mit Knöchelbinden oder sonst einer Fußbekleidung,” Pape II, s.v. σφυρόω) or, something that would make more sense, with a garment that reaches all the way to the ankles, this does not refer to the phallus being carried in, but to the cult statue or the person representing a divinity such as Dionysus. But this would deprive the fragment of its ambiguity. Cf. Herter 1938b:1678: “Ob Dionysos oder der Phallos als solcher mit diesem θεός gemeint war, läßt das Lied nicht erkennen” [“It cannot be determined from the song whether Dionysus or the phallus as such was meant by the term θεός”] (with a list of the commentators who argue for the one solution or the other ibid., 1678–1679). In any case, the solution appears to lie not in an either-or, but rather in a both-and framework. Bursting and swelling (σφυδοῦν) applies equally to both Dionysus and the phallus. For Dionysos Φλεύς (from φλέω, “be full of, teem with”), see Graf 1985:283–284, who considers (Graf 1985:284n10) the suggested connection with φαλλός and φαλήν to be problematic. On the adjective ὀρθός in a vulgar sense, see Henderson 19912:112. Cf. in particular the φαλλὸς ὀρθός in Dikaiopolis’ phallic procession (Aristophanes Acharnians 243, 259–260) and Csapo 1997:284. On Orthos as name for Dionysus, see Herter 1938c:1702; on the ancient daimônes called Orthanes worshiped in Attica, ibid., 1693.
[ back ] 80. One may compare the aetiology for the phallagôgia at the Athenian City Dionysia (schol. Aristophanes Acharnians 243): The Athenians did not honor the god imported from Boeotia to Athens. The male population subsequently fell victim to a disease of the genitals. The Athenians were only freed from this after they introduced a ritual that consisted of Dionysus being brought phalli as a gift. The inversion of order is restored to equilibrium with a renewal of fertility for the community.
[ back ] 81. The god addressed in the previous text (fragment a), who through a kind of fusion is equated with the phallus, is sometimes also associated with Dionysus in his appearance as Phales. See above, n79. As “proem” the fragment is naturally, as in Aristophanes, also already part of the whole song of praise that the chorus sings as an ensemble. It would be incorrect to assume that the iamboi (3ia|3ia|3ia|3ia|2ia cat.) are here, in contrast to an actual hymn, only spoken or performed in a parakatalogê. On the sung and danced iamboi of the Phallophoroi, see West 1974:36. On iambic trimeters in traditional and ritual chants, West 1982:147. He cites fragments 847, 851b, 860, 870, 883 PMG as examples of iambic trimeter; fragments 861, 868, 876b, 879.2, and 881 PMG as examples of slightly shortened forms of the trimeter (ibid., nn23–24). Actual prooimia are kitharodic, rhapsodic, or choral-melic depending on the context; cf. Calame 1995a:3 with n5 and Nagy 1990:353–360. Of course the movement of the evocatio (e.g. “Sing for me, Muse, of Apollo, who  . . . ”) that one finds in the Homeric Hymns with its particular function as proem should not be interchanged with the invocatio, the direct appeal to the divinity in cult hymns.
[ back ] 82. ᾠδή is here somewhat synonymous with μολπή, i.e. the unity of song and dance (cf. Nagy 1990:94); in any case ᾠδή seems to mean in particular the diction of the song. Rhythm, melos, and ôidê give rise to the μοῦσα, the hymn as musical Gesamtkunstwerk. Hymns and dance performance often belong together: see e.g. Burkert 1985:102–103. Processions also often stop along the way and perform hymns and dance. In the theater, as in our case, the stopping is abbreviated because of spatial limitation. The procession could also of course have endlessly circled in the orchestra. [ back ] The prosodion is here performed by an entering kômos, whose movements could in the broadest sense be deemed equivalent to a “dance.” We have unfortunately lost the dimension of melody and choreography. They may perhaps also have underlined the abnormal character of an inverted world; one can imagine the noisy and shrill sound of auloi and obscene sexual gestures. All that is left is the λόγος of the ᾠδή, in which the description of the performative context does, however, allow us to make conclusions about the other semiotic levels. Nagy 1990:51 likewise distinguishes three dimensions: diction, the rhythmic structure of movement, and melody. Here he applies the threefold division of lyric poetry (μέλος) into logos, harmonia, and rhythm found in Plato Republic 398d and Aristotle Poetics 1447a21–23: ἅπασαι [sc. ποιήσεις, the genres of epic, tragedy, comedy, dithyramb, and lyric] μὲν ποιοῦνται τὴν μίμησιν ἐν ῥυθμῷ καὶ λόγῳ καὶ ἁρμονίᾳ . . . For the triad, cf. already Alcman fragment 39 Davies and above, chapter 1, n495. In the song of the Phallophoroi, dance (ῥυθμός), words, and melody are thus fused together in the μέλος, with the last two levels mentioned being subsumed under the concept ᾠδή. For μοῦσα in the sense of a concrete song, generally in self-referential form (τάνδε μοῦσαν 1), cf. Aeschylus Eumenides 308 μοῦσαν στυγερὰν (immediately after the similarly self-referential χορὸν ἅψωμεν [Eumenides 307]; cf. on ὕμνος δέσμιος above, pp. 62–65), Aeschylus Suppliants 695, Sophocles Women of Trachis 643, and Aristophanes Thesmophoriazusae 107 (with chapter 1 n165); Pindar Nemean Odes 3.28 Μοῖσαν φέρειν; cf. also in prose Plato Laws 829d.
[ back ] 83. Ausfeld 1903. Bremer 1981:196 prefers the division “invocation, argument, and petition” for actual cultic hymns. On form and composition of hymns see now Furley/Bremer I 2001:50–64.
[ back ] 84. Cf. Furley 1995; on the Greek hymn in general see, among others, Wünsch 1914:156–170, Keyßner 1932, Burkert 1985:102–103, Bremer 1981, Lattke 1991:13–79, Furley 1993, Burkert 1994, Calame 1995a:2–5, and now Furley/Bremer I 2001:1–64. On the place of the hymn between ritual and literature, which here occupies a central position, see the collective volume Cassio/Cerri 1991.
[ back ] 85. Cf. Norden 1913:143–163.
[ back ] 86. Together with two satyrs, who have been connected by Cole 1993:31–33 with the comastic performers of this song, a naked and enthroned Dionysus also appears on the Karystios monument on Delos. Like his priest in Athens in the theater of Dionysus, on Delos the god himself had the right of proedria and was thus imagined as being present in an immediate sense.
[ back ] 87. Cf. Käppel 1992:54 and 330 (test. 100) on Delos. This could also perhaps be assumed for fragment b because of the intensive style of speech, which Käppel emphasizes as a characteristic of the genre. He does not, however, consider the text a paean. Sacrifice and symposium could also be made out to be possible connecting links in terms of occasion, although the important generic characteristic of the epiphthegma is not present. The metrical structure, but more particularly the framework of the inverted world, the element of the phallic and ridicule, are unusual for a paean. To sum up, one can say that this catchy folk song of the Hellenistic period integrates elements of the paean. Ghiron-Bistagne 1976:208–209 and 245 call the phallic songs paeans.
[ back ] 88. Cf. Kugelmeier 1996:152–154. The question continues to be posed; Kugelmeier follows the majority of scholars in thinking that the scene in the Acharnians cannot be viewed as a copy of a phallic procession. For an approach to the problem using another formulation, see below, pp. 314–325.
[ back ] 89. Kugelmeier 1996:154.
[ back ] 90. Bing 1988:22–23 connects the insistence on innovation with literacy and shows that the motif is especially typical of the Hellenistic period. But the topos goes back all the way to the archaic period. Among the older evidence he cites fragment 851b PMG besides Hesiod, Pindar, and Timotheos. Hellenistic poets introduced innovation in the category of the book in particular. Bing mentions Meleager’s Garland, Palatine Anthology 4.1.55, where the author calls his poems ἔρνεα πολλὰ νεόγραφα; similarly Philippos’ Garland, Palatine Anthology 4.2.3; Boiskos of Kyzikos Suppl. Hell. 233.1: καινοῦ γραφεὺς ποιήματος; and Philikos of Corcyra Suppl. Hell. 677: καινογράφου συνθέσεως (the last two poets thereby foreground their metrical innovations). On the emphasis of the new in the living choral culture, see below, n93. Henrichs 1993a:175–177 also refers to the ancient tradition of this topos, which goes back to Pindar and Aristophanes; ibid., 176–177n12. He also includes fragment 851b PMG in this context, following Bing 1988:22. For Aristophanes see now also Bierl 2004a:1–8. For the motif of superiority, self-promotion, and originality in choral lyric, see Maehler 1963:93–101 and Mastromarco 1987:83 with n17. For emphasis on innovation in Hellenistic poetry, see Parsons 1993:163–166.
[ back ] 91. The accumulation of “a” sounds is striking, as is the alliteration of κ and α, the homoioteleuta in -ον and -αν, the chiasmus stretching over five lines, τάνδε μοῦσαν ἀγλαΐζομεν and κατάρχομεν τὸν ὕμνον, the prominent antitheses and parallelisms: σοί, Βάκχε, τάνδε μοῦσαν ἀγλαΐζομεν, | ἁπλοῦν ῥυθμὸν χέοντες αἰόλῳ μέλει, | καινὰν ἀπαρθένευτον, οὔ τι ταῖς πάρος | κεχρημέναν ᾠδαῖσιν, ἀλλ’ ἀκήρατον | κατάρχομεν τὸν ὕμνον. The song uses forms from Attic drama, in which Doric coloring in lyrical sections is characteristic (especially α for η). The doricisms do not go as far, for example, as using the Doric first-person plural ending -μες that is typical for Sikyon. The fragment is associated with this city because of the Phallophoroi mentioned immediately before this in Athenaeus (Athenaeus 621f). Perhaps the fragment is even a quotation from a contemporary Attic comedy (from the fourth century [?]; see below, n123).
[ back ] 92. On the poetic structure of ritual, see Tambiah 1985:165 (with reference 389n52 to Jakobson’s “poetic function,” Jakobson 1960:358 [cf. Selected Writings III, 27]). Nagy 1990:33 rightly also connects song culture (SONG) to this ritual speech.
[ back ] 93. Cf. Burkert 1985:103: “Although the names and basic rhythms of the dances are traditional, the cult in no way demands the repetition of ancient, magically fixed hymns. On the contrary, the hymn must always delight the god afresh at the festival; therefore for dance and hymn there must always be someone who makes it, the poet, poietes.” Cf. also Herter 1947:26: “es steckt darin auch schwerlich die Spekulation auf die Neugier des Publikums, die schon späteren Rhapsoden nicht fremd war, oder auch die Originalitätssucht, die seit Pratinas, Kinesias und Timotheos das Programm so vieler Dichter bestimmt hat. Zwar haben sich gerade die attischen Komiker etwas darauf zugute getan, wenn sie eine ‘neue Idee’ vorbringen konnten, aber ihre kultischen Vorläufer empfinden noch ganz unmittelbar, daß der Gottheit etwas Frisches und Unberührtes als Weihegabe gefällt” [“this is unlikely to represent an attempt to gain the audience’s curiosity, which was already a concern of the later rhapsodes, nor the quest for originality that had shaped the program of so many poets since Pratinas, Kinesias, and Timotheos. While it was advantageous for Attic comic playwrights if they could present a ‘new idea,’ their cultic predecessors still had a direct sense that the god is pleased by an offering that is fresh and untouched”]. The one need not of course exclude the other. The interest of the spectators clearly also had to be awakened. Pickard-Cambridge 1962:141 seems to indicate the connections in the following statement, when he says that singers wanted to give the impression of improvisation (“no doubt supposed to be improvised on the spot”). All the same, he continues on the basis of the thesis that the text has a strongly Hellenistic form. But the improvisations only actually start after the song. For innovation as a requirement for comedy (cf. now also Bierl 2002a) and for novelty in Aristophanes Thesmophoriazusae 967 as a parabasis-like statement (with comparable passages), see above, chapter 1 n49; cf. also the relative’s remark about Euripides’ “new” Helen (Thesmophoriazusae 850: τὴν καινὴν Ἑλένην μιμήσομαι), in which Euripides’ claim to originality shines through in comic fashion; but Aristophanes’ approach in this passage, namely to have the relative perform the Helen, is especially new. For Aristophanic self-advertisement, see Bremer 1993:160–165. For borrowings in parabaseis of metaphor and vocabulary in connection with personal originality and superiority in choral lyric, in particular in Pindar’s epinician odes, see Mastromarco 1987:83–93. [ back ] The topos of innovation in song is not a Hellenistic invention, but begins at a very early stage: Homer Odyssey 1.351–352: τὴν γὰρ ἀοιδὴν μᾶλλον ἐπικλείουσ’ ἄνθρωποι, | ἥ τις ἀϊόντεσσι νεωτάτη ἀμφιπέληται; Hesiod (fragment 357.2 M.-W.) reports how he and Homer sang songs on Delos: ἐν νεαροῖς ὕμνοις ῥάψαντες ἀοιδήν; Alcman fragment 3–fragment 1.1–2 Davies: Ὀλ]υμπιάδες περί με φρένας | ἱμέρῳ νέα]ς ἀοιδας (with Page’s supplement CR 9 [1959]:16); Alcman fragment 4–fragment 1.5–6 Davies: γαρύματα μαλσακὰ̣ [ | νεόχμ’ ἔδειξαν; Alcman fragment 14a Davies: Μῶσ’ ἄγε, Μῶσα λίγηα πολυμμελὲς | αἰὲν ἀοιδὲ μέλος | νεοχμὸν ἄρχε παρσένοις ἀείδην; Terpander fragment 6 Loeb (= 4 Gostoli) (PMG, p. 363): σοὶ δ’ ἡμεῖς τετράγηρυν ἀποστέρξαντες ἀοιδὰν | ἑπτατόνῳ φόρμιγγι νέους κελαδήσομεν ὕμνους; Pindar Nemean Odes 8.20–21: πολλὰ γὰρ πολλᾷ λέλεκται, νεαρὰ δ’ ἐξευρόντα δόμεν βασάνῳ | ἐς ἔλεγχον, ἅπας κίνδυνος; Pindar Olympian Odes 3.4–6: Μοῖσα δ’ οὕτω ποι παρέ- | στα μοι νεοσίγαλον εὑρόντι τρόπον | Δωρίῳ φωνὰν ἐναρμόξαι πεδίλῳ | ἀγλαόκωμον; Pindar Olympian Odes 9.48–49: αἴνει δὲ παλαιὸν μὲν οἶνον, ἄνθεα δ’ ὕμνων | νεωτέρων; Bacchylides Dithyrambs 19.8–10: ὕφαινέ νυν ἐν | ταῖς πολυηράτοις τι καινὸν | ὀλβίαις Ἀθήναις; Euripides Trojan Women 512–513: Μοῦσα, καινῶν ὕμνων | ᾆσον σὺν δακρύοις ᾠδὰν ἐπικήδειον; Xenophon Cyropaedia 1.6.38: ἐν τοῖς μουσικοῖς τὰ νέα καὶ ἀνθηρὰ εὐδοκιμεῖ. This motif appears particularly clearly in Timotheos fragment 796 PMG: οὐκ ἀείδω τὰ παλαιά, | καινὰ γὰρ ἀμὰ κρείσσω· | νέος ὁ Ζεὺς βασιλεύει, | τὸ πάλαι δ’ ἦν Κρόνος ἄρχων· | ἀπίτω Μοῦσα παλαιά. Cf. also Timotheos in his Persians, where he talks of how the Spartans brought him to account “because I dishonor the older muse with new hymns” fragments 791, 211–212 PMG (ὅτι παλαιοτέραν νέοις | ὕμνοις μοῦσαν ἀτιμῶ); cf. the invocation of the paean that appears shortly before this, Timotheus fragments 791, 202–203 PMG: ἀλλ’ ὦ χρυσεοκίθαριν ἀέ- | ξων μοῦσαν νεοτευχῆ. Cf. also carm. conviv. fragment 917c, 3–4 PMG: ἄρτι βρύουσαν ἀοιδὰν | πρωτοπαγεῖ σοφίᾳ διαποίκιλον ἐκφέρομεν (as in fragment 851b PMG the skolion also belongs to the poetry of everyday use; it is performed in the symposium as an expression of a living song culture by a group that appears in the performative verb form in the first-person plural). Cf. also the insistence on originality in Pratinas fragment 710 PMG: οὐ γᾶν αὐλακισμέναν | ἀρῶν ἀλλ’ ἄσκαφον ματεύων, and Kinesias in Aristophanes Birds 1376: . . . νέαν (i.e. ὁδὸν) ἐφέπων and ibid., 1384–1385: καινὰς . . . ἀναβολάς. [ back ] After Pindar and Aristophanes one may observe in Timotheos, Kinesias, and Pratinas, parallel to the transformation of culture by writing, a radicalization in the construction of artistic consciousness that leads to the Hellenistic practice. But the transitions are fluid; in performance the motif is additionally seen as a self-referential confirmation of the ritual. In comedy, with Aristophanes we are still partly on the side of ritual, while similar utterances in Middle and New Comedy refer also to Hellenistic practice. Yet the theme of innovation is also part and parcel of the comic: one can laugh only about something that is new. Cf. now also Bierl 2002a. Because of the inversion of the world on the level of signs in the situational context it is even conceivable that comic elements appeared in the actual hymn.
[ back ] 94. Cf. Pindar fragment 75.7–8: Διόθεν τέ με σὺν ἀγλαΐᾳ | ἴδετε πορευθέντ’ ἀοιδᾶν (in the self-referential and performative combination of song, dance, and music of the aulos, lines 18–19) and fragment 148 S.-M.: ὀρχήστ’ ἀγλαΐας ἀνάσσων, εὐρυφάρετρ’ Ἄπολλον (for Apollo as dancer), here in connection with dance. For the kharis of choral dancing, cf. above, chapter 1 n92. On ἀγλαΐζω: the verb appears with the same meaning in Theocritus Epigrammata 1.4. Cf. Etymologicum Magnum (9.52), s.v. ἀγῆλαι· τιμῆσαι θεόν, ἀγλαΐσαι (= among others Lex. Bachm. [11, 18]); cf. K.-A. on Eupolis fragment 131. Cf. ἐπαγλαΐζω in Aristophanes Assemblywomen 575 (“praise”), and Aristophanes fragment 700 K.-A., Cratin. fragment 334 K.-A. (“make pure”); according to LSJ, s.v., ἀγλαΐζω never appears in Attic prose, which fits the song theory.
[ back ] 95. The Kharites dance at the weddings of both Cadmus and Peleus (Quintus Smyrnaeus. 4.140). Furthermore, the verb is also reminiscent of Aglauros, who together with the other daughters of Cecrops also represents a dancing thiasos.
[ back ] 96. Cf. Bacchylides Epinician Odes 3.5–6 (in connection with Nike): σεύον]το γὰρ σὺν ὑπερόχῳ τε Νίκᾳ | σὺν Ἀγ]λαΐᾳ . . . Splendor and the personification Aglaia are necessary elements for victory and are central aspects of the victory celebration; hence the importance of the word in epinicians. The three Kharites are addressed in self-referential form as the appropriate guarantors of the subsequent kômos: cf. Pindar Olympian Odes 14.13–17: <ὦ> πότνι’ Ἀγλαΐα | φιλησίμολπέ τ’ Εὐφροσύνα, θεῶν κρατίστου | παῖδες, ἐπακοοῖτε νῦν, Θαλία τε | ἐρασίμολπε, ἰδοῖσα τόνδε κῶμον ἐπ’ εὐμενεῖ τύχᾳ | κοῦφα βιβῶντα. On the poetically-shaped names of the Kharites, see also Kannicht 1989:31. On the shining of the kômos, cf. Pindar Olympian Odes 3.5–6: φωνὰν . . . ἀγλαόκωμον. Kômos and victory are also of importance in this song. On dancing and splendor, Pindar Pythian Odes 1.2: βάσις ἀγλαΐας ἀρχά.
[ back ] 97. Solon fragment 1.1 G.-P.: ἀγλαὰ τέκνα.
[ back ] 98. Cf. the adjective ἀγλαός, “shining,” “glowing,” “shimmering”; cf. the epithet in connection with the liquid nature of water, ἀγλαὸν ὕδωρ (Homer Iliad 2.307); ἀγλαΐζω thus extends beyond the meaning “give as an honour” that LSJ, s.v. ἀγλαΐζω I.2 assign it in this passage (on the meaning “praise,” “honor,” see above, n94), which Campbell 1993:239 translates accordingly as: “To you, Bacchus, we give glory with this music.” It also implies in a quite concrete sense the splendor and glow of the song, the performance, and the Dionysiac drink. For the combination with offerings that decorate the sanctuary, cf. Isyllus, Paean in Aesculapium (Powell 1925:132–136, 133 = Käppel 1992:380–383, 381–Pai. 40), line 28: θυσίαις ἠγλάισεν τέμενος.
[ back ] 99. For ῥυθμός as the ordering of movement (ἡ τῆς κινήσεως τάξις), cf. Plato Laws 665a: τῇ δὴ τῆς κινήσεως τάξει ῥυθμὸς ὄνομα εἴη, τῇ δὲ αὖ τῆς φωνῆς, τοῦ τε ὀξέος ἅμα καὶ βαρέος συγκε-ραννυμένων, ἁρμονία ὄνομα προσαγορεύοιτο, χορεία δὲ τὸ συναμφότερον κληθείη. In connection with movement in dance, cf. Aristophanes Thesmophoriazusae 955a/b: ῥυθ- | μὸν χορείας; Plato Laws 670b: βαίνειν ἐν ῥυθμῷ; Xenophon Cyropaedia. 1.3.10: ὀρχεῖσθαι ἐν ῥυθμῷ. Without indicating parallels Thiele 1902:409n3 thinks that the expression ῥυθμὸν χέειν is “gut und alt” [“good and old”]. Cf. the passages in LSJ, s.v. χέω III.1 “of the voice”—e.g. Homer Odyssey 19.521: χέει πολυδευκέα φωνήν; Pindar Isthmian Odes 8.58: ἐπὶ θρῆνόν τε πολύφαμον ἔχεαν; Aeschylus Suppliants 631–632: κλύοιτ’ εὐκταῖα γένει χεούσας; and especially Aristophanes Wasps 1020 (parabasis): κωμῳδικὰ πολλὰ χέασθαι. On the metaphorical combination ὕμνους οἰνοχοεῖν, see Dionysius Elegiacus 3.1 G.-P. (for the combination of wine and poetry, see also Dionysius Elegiacus 1.1–2). [ back ] In Anaphe, men and women indulge in mutual ridicule during sacrifice to Apollo Aigletes (Apollonius of Rhodes 4.1713–1730); Apollo and Dionysus are particularly connected with splendor and the kômos. Ritual ridicule, sacrifice, emphasis on shining appearance, and elements of an inverted world are also found in a ritual context in the Thesmophoriazusae and our fragment. Cf. the remarks on Thesmophoriazusae 101–129 above, pp. 137–149; on Apollo’s splendor and performance, cf. especially Thesmophoriazusae 126–128; the self-command ἄγαλλε is identical with the performers’ ἀγλαΐζομεν. Cf. Etymologicum Magnum (9.52), s.v. ἀγῆλαι· τιμῆσαι θεόν, ἀγλαΐσαι (= among others Lex. Bachm. [11, 18]) with the form ἄγαλλε Thesmophoriazusae 128; cf. further K.-A. on Eupolis fragment 131 (PCG V, 371). Κωμαῖος is also a name given to Apollo in Naukratis; see also Ghiron-Bistagne 1976:273, who identifies the Apollo (ibid., 275) on a Laconian cup (ibid., fig. 127, Museum of Tarento 20909) as this Komaios.
[ back ] 100. For αἰόλῳ μέλει cf. Lycophron Alexandra 671; cf. Telestes fragment 806.3–4 PMG: αἰολομόρφοις (coni. Wilamowitz, adopted by Campbell 1993, 128) | . . . καλάμοις. “Quickly moving”: Homer Iliad 19.404: πόδας αἰόλος ἵππος; “glittering”: of objects, e.g. τεύχεα, Homer Iliad 5.294–295; especially of music and dance: Euripides Ion 499: ὑπ’ αἰόλας ἰαχᾶς; in the context of choral projection Ion 492ff. (on the Makrai rocks, where the Aglauridai perform their choruses in front of the temple of Athena); Aristophanes Frogs 247–248: ἔνυδρον ἐν βυθῷ χορείαν | αἰόλαν ἐφθεγξάμεσθα (in the song of the Frogs, which bears a great similarity to fragment 851b PMG in terms of performativity; on the self-referential word χορεία, cf. also Aristophanes Frogs 336, 396–397; cf. also Thesmophoriazusae 980b and 982). Kugelmeier 1996:154 sees in the “buntschillernden Melodie” [“brightly shimmering melody”] an antithesis to the simple rhythm. Admittedly the composer of the song had no other choice but to use iamboi; the traditional occasion, in particular the element of ridicule that follows, determines the genre; the musical framework in comparison with everyday speech is always festive. Variation does not necessarily have to be equated with artistic intention as seen in the Hellenistic period, but is also a recognized element of ritual style.
[ back ] 101. Cf. the synonymous ἀκηράσιος in connection with the word wine in Homer Odyssey 9.204–205: οἶνον . . . | ἡδὺν ἀκηράσιον, θεῖον ποτόν. The adjective ἀκήρατος can be derived both from κεράω = κεράννυμι (i.e. meaning “unmixed”; cf. Aeschylus Persians 614–615: ἀκήρατόν τε μητρὸς ἀγρίας ἄπο | ποτόν; the passage occurs in a clear description of χοαί [ibid., 607–622]) and from κηραίνω (i.e. meaning “unharmed,” “unadulterated,” “untouched,” “pure”; cf. Homer Iliad 24.303 and Theocritus Idylls 22.38 in connection with ὕδωρ). Cf. LSJ, s.v. The two etymologically distinct roots of the signifiers are connected on the level of the signified in terms of the concept of purity. Both meanings, that of the unmixed and that of the ritually untouched, play a part in this case and are retained when used of this claim to originality. Gold is in particular spoken of as unmixed, unadulterated, noble, and pure: cf. Archilochus fragments 91.3 and 93a, 6–7. W. Unmixed wine (like milk and honey) is unusual and indicates a deviation from the norm: these ingredients are typical of χοαί; cf. Aeschylus Persians 607–622; cf. on this Graf 1980:217: “Strukturalistisch gesehen, gehört der ungemischte Wein auf die Seite von Milch und Honig: die Mänaden schlagen denn auch, ausser Milch– und Honigquellen, solche von reinem Wein. . .  Weinlose Libationen—mit Honig, Milch, Wasser, Melikraton, Öl—und solche mit reinem Wein müssten also zusammengehen, in Opposition zur Spende mit gemischtem Wein und dem Normalopfer, das sie begleitet, stehen” [“From a structuralist point of view, unmixed wine belongs together with milk and honey: apart from striking open streams of milk and honey, the maenads also produce ones of pure wine. . .  Wineless libations—with honey, milk, water, melikraton, oil—and those using unmixed wine thus must belong together, in opposition to libation with mixed wine and the normal sacrifice that accompanies it”]. Graf emphasizes in particular the symbolic function of pure wine (ibid., 219): “Den Austritt in die Marginalität bezeichnet umgekehrt unter anderem die Libation mit reinem Wein” [“Libation with pure wine signifies among other things departure into marginality”]. For wineless libation, see Henrichs 1983 and Henrichs 1984. Wine was normally drunk mixed with water. Unmixed wine, the sign of the wild and uncivilized, is only drunk by barbarians, beast-men like centaurs or satyrs, or the Cyclops in the Odyssey (Homer Odyssey 9.345–974); cf. also the barbarian and bestial in the actors’ καυνάκη costume. [ back ] Probably precisely because of the concept of the ἀκήρατον, West treats the song fragment 851b PMG as a “parody” (West 1974:36) or “imitation” (West 1982:147n23) of Euripides Hippolytus 73–78: σοὶ τόνδε πλεκτὸν στέφανον ἐξ ἀκηράτου | λειμῶνος, ὦ δέσποινα, κοσμήσας φέρω, | ἔνθ’ οὔτε ποιμὴν ἀξιοῖ φέρβειν βοτὰ | οὔτ’ ἦλθέ πω σίδηρος, ἀλλ’ ἀκήρατον | μέλισσα λειμῶν’ ἠρινὴ διέρχεται | Αἰδὼς δὲ ποταμίαισι κηπεύει δρόσοις. On ἀκήρατον see the extensive comments of Barrett 1964:171–172 ad Euripides Hippolytus 73–76 and 79–81. Parallels may be found in terms of syntax and partly in terms of content: σοί in first position, the deictically emphasized object of dedication (τόνδε στέφανον, τάνδε μοῦσαν), the address in the vocative, the participial style (χέοντες, κοσμήσας), the performative situation with the verb in the first person, the antithesis οὐ . . . ἀλλά emphasizing ritual purity. The decisive difference is that Hippolytos alone speaks, whereas in the Semos song a group is performing, and Hippolytos offers a garland, while the chorus offers a hymn; in the utterance in Hippolytos’ song there is also of course a “garland” of words alongside the actual object. An important point in common is also its location in a kômos (Hippolytus 55); the previous strophes stage a kômos, where Hippolytos orders his attendants to sing (58–60) and as ἔξαρχος then sings the hymn with them (61–72). Cf. Barrett 1964:169 ad Euripides Hippolytus 58–60. Neither Barrett 1964:167–176 ad Euripides Hippolytus 58–87, especially 170–171 ad 73–76, nor Stockert in the latest Teubner edition of the Hippolytus (Stuttgart/Leipzig 1994), 10 (in the list of testimonia ad 73–87) mentions fragment 851b PMG. The commonalities do not appear to be extensive enough to call this an imitation; the parallels depend rather on the fact that both texts express rituality. Hence the emphasis on purity and the stylistic similarity, such as the Du-Stil and the participial predication (cf. Norden 1913:143–163, 166–168).
[ back ] 102. Cf. Dionysius Elegiacus 3.1 G.-P. ὕμνους οἰνοχοεῖν. For the transferral of the idea of σπένδειν or χέειν to a song, cf. fragment adesp. 941 PMG (= carm. pop. 49 D., Terpander fragment 3 B., 4 Loeb, 8 Gostoli): σπένδωμεν ταῖς Μνάμας παισὶν Μούσαις | καὶ τῷ Μουσάρχῳ <τῷ> Λατοῦς υἱεῖ; Pindar Isthmian Odes 6, 7–9, especially line 9: σπένδειν μελιφθόγγοις ἀοιδαῖς; and Pindar Olympian Odes 7.1–10, especially 7–9: καὶ ἐγὼ νέκταρ χυτόν, Μοισᾶν δόσιν, ἀεθλοφόροις | ἀνδράσιν πέμπων, γλυκὺν καρπὸν φρενός, ἱλάσκομαι. The paean, with which the song has sometimes been associated, was closely connected with sacrifice and the symposium. Between the dinner and the actual round of drinking a libation was made to the gods and a paean sung, which served as the opening to the symposium proper. Cf. Käppel 1992:51–54 with test. 73–84.
[ back ] 103. On libations, see Graf 1980, Burkert 1985:70–73, Jameson/Jordan/Kotansky 1993:70–73. For the distinction between σπονδαί and χοαί, see Rudhardt 1958:240–248 and Casabona 1966:231–297. On the distinction between the more common verb σπένδω and χέω, see Burkert 1985:70 and Jameson/Jordan/Kotansky 1993:71.
[ back ] 104. Similarly Herter 1947:26: “Zwar haben sich gerade die attischen Komiker etwas darauf zugute getan, wenn sie eine ‘neue Idee’ vorbringen konnten, aber ihre kultischen Vorläufer empfinden noch ganz unmittelbar, daß der Gottheit etwas Frisches und Unberührtes als Weihegabe gefällt” [“While it was advantageous for Attic comic playwrights if they could present a ‘new idea,’ their cultic predecessors still have an immediate sense that the god is pleased by an offering that is fresh and untouched”]. Cf. for example the lex sacra (text of A and B with translation in Jameson/Jordan/Kotansky 1993:14–17) of Selinous, A 10ff.; the sacrificial context involves various libations of wine (A 10) and a honey mixture (A 13), then a trapeza and klinê are to be set out for the pure Tritopatores, with a pure covering, olive wreaths, and a honey mixture in new vessels (A 15: καιναῖς ποτερίδε̣[σ]ι). The suggestions here of theoxenia and aparkhê are noteworthy. Cf. Jameson/Jordan/Kotansky 1993:67–70. New and pure fittings and equipment are sometimes strict preconditions for particular rites; cf. Xenophanes fragment 1 G.-P. (offering before symposium) and Jameson/Jordan/Kotansky 1993:35–36 ad A 15 with particular reference to conditions in a cult calendar of the fourth century BCE from Kos (Sokolowski 1969 [LSCG], Nr. 151 A–C = SIG3 1025–1027).
[ back ] 105. At the same time the actors are also characterized as “wild men” from the Outside. On dressing as satyrs at the Anthesteria, who represent “wild men” of this type, see Seaford 1984:7n17 and 19 (with reference to the modern Greek Kallikantzaroi as descendants of the satyrs). On the Kallikantzaroi, who still survive in the folk belief of the Peloponnese and the Greek islands, see Lawson 1910:190–255 (on the centaurs) and Ginzburg 1989:186–187, 201–202 (in connection with many other similar groups, e.g. the Eskari, Surovaskari, Coledari, Regös). Cf. the description (Ginzburg 1989:186) of the Kallikantzaroi, who in many ways show points of connection with our actors as well: “Die Kallikantzaroi sind scheußliche, schwarze, zottige Wesen, . . . fast immer sind sie männlichen Geschlechts, mit riesigen Genitalien ausgestattet” [“The Kallikantzaroi are repulsive, black, shaggy creatures, . . . they are almost always male, equipped with massive genitalia”]. Kômos, beggar ritual, ecstasy, dressing up as animals, vulgar emphasis on the sexual sphere, ridicule, fighting, and the personification of the dead are typical of groups like these, who perform between Christmas and Epiphany (new year’s festival!). Leaves and flowers are often ritual indicators of marginality, in particular of youth in the liminal phase of initiation, who embody mythical figures of this type in their groups: see Jeanmaire 1939:174, 177, 179, 181, 189, 221; Brelich 1969 in his excellent introduction (13–112), especially in the morphology (25–44) of these rites of puberty, 72n60 (leaves), 88n111 (wood spirits). The kômos, the procession of drunken players, represents the reactualization of these liminal experiences of puberty initiation rites. In a scholion to Aeschines’ speech 1.52 (115 Dilts) we find the following interesting explanation: Κηδωνίδην] οὗτοι παιδερασταί, ἐπωνυμίας ἔχοντες ‘ἄγριοι καὶ Τριβαλλοὶ καὶ Κένταυροι.’ The figures explained here are thus pederasts (on the connection to pederasty and initiation in the symposium see Bremmer 1990), and in particular they have the bynames “wild ones,” “Triballoi” (like the Athenian groups mentioned in Demosth. 54.39), and “centaurs,” which also refers to phallic wildness.
[ back ] 106. Vegetative imagery also lies behind the performative verb ἀγλαΐζομεν, following Hesychius (s.v. ἀγλαΐζει· θάλλει); cf. K.-A. on Eupolis fragment 419. Dionysus was himself described with the name Ἄνθιος (IG II/III2 1356.9 and Pausanias 1.31.4). Parallel to Thalia (who forms the Kharites along with Aglaia and Euphrosyne) as the name of the personified festival is the verb θάλλειν; cf. Kannicht 1989:31n10. For Dionysus as god of growth, sprouting, and blooming, and for his other cultic epithets corresponding to this idea, see Blech 1982:182–183. The Greeks always connected the Anthesteria via folk etymology with the maturation, or “blossoming,” of wine. The Anthesteria have a strong connection with symbolic indications of performance: those who perform the rites are dressed as “wild men,” it is a festival of the inverted world, of exception, anarchy, transition, and the new year; masquerade and the dead, the return of the dead as ghosts and barbarians, the staging of the origins of civilization, and wine also play a role here. On the Anthesteria in general, see Deubner 1932:93–123, Burkert 1983:213–243, and Auffarth 1991:202–276; on the Anthesteria as the frame of reference of the Wealth, see Bierl 1994.
[ back ] 107. On offerings of first fruits, see Burkert 1985:66–68 and Jameson/Jordan/Kotansky 1993:67–70.
[ back ] 108. This text thus lends itself extremely well to the approach based on the Nouvelle Histoire, which treats poetry as offering; cf. the fundamental study by Svenbro 1984 (who does not mention fragment 851b PMG, Dionysius Elegiacus 3.1 G.-P., and fragment adesp. 941 PMG [= Terp. fragments 3 B., 4 Loeb, 8 Gostoli]). Svenbro makes an interesting connection between song (μέλος) and the homonym μέλος, which comes from the same root and means a human or animal limb (221), and analyzes Greek metrics and the bodily nature of its technical terms as a science that bases itself on the model of ritual killing. In a dissertation (1992) supervised by Richard Martin, Sfyroeras attempts to apply this theory to comedy. Cf. especially 8–13 (unfortunately the examples adduced there, especially the incorrectly interpreted Herodotean passage [Herodotus 5.67.5], are not very convincing). Nevertheless, Sfyroeras’ thesis of a fundamental connection between sacrifice and comedy (see now Sfyroeras 2004) precisely in the light of this ritual song, which shows so many similarities to the kômos and ritual poetry, seems well worth considering.
[ back ] 109. On the practice of performing dithyramb, paean, and hyporcheme in a circle as prelude to a sacrificial rite, see also Furley 1993:35–36. Cf. ibid., 36: “Animal sacrifice survives to this day at some festivals in Greece: hymns are sung while the animal is led round the sacrificial pit.” On the presentation of the dithyramb at the thymelê, Pratinas fragment 708.1–2 PMG: τίς ὁ θόρυβος ὅδε; τί τάδε τὰ χορεύματα; | τίς ὕβρις ἔμολεν ἐπὶ Διονυσιάδα πολυπάταγα θυμέλαν. On the connection between paean and sacrifice, see Käppel 1992:44–47, 49–51, 55–56 (and test. 95), 58–63, 81, 285 and in connection with discussion of the Erythraean paean to Asklepios (Pai. 37) (ibid., 190–192 on the sacred law Pai. 36a) and treatment of the Philodamus paean (Pai. 39), the occasion for which is provided by a theoxenia (ibid., 210, 254). The garlands worn by participants at a sacrifice and by symposiasts (Eitrem 1915:64–75, Burkert 1985:56 with 368n5, Jameson/Jordan/Kotansky 1993:68) correspond to those worn by the performers of our song here. On the combination of sacrificial ritual and drama, see Burkert 1966a. The art of drama arose from improvisations at rural goat sacrifices. Intermediary stages remain in the folk custom. [ back ] The simplex ἄρχεσθαι and the composite κατάρχειν/ -εσθαι describe both the general beginning of an action and in particular the completion of practices that introduce sacrifices; for κατάρχεσθαι in the meaning “wash hands,” “sprinkle barley” (Homer Odyssey 3.445), “pasture the animal for slaughter,” and other preparatory actions before sacrifice, see Dunbar Birds, 541–542 ad Aristophanes Birds 959. By contrast, ἀπάρχεσθαι is limited to a particular ritual meaning (it is only later attested as synonym for ἄρχεσθαι; LSJ s.v. ἀπάρχομαι). Burkert 1985:56 mentions ἄρχεσθαι, κατάρχεσθαι, and ἀπάρχεσθαι as technical terms for particular rites carried out before sacrifice. The meaning of simply “beginning,” “starting out,” and the preparatory ceremonies for sacrifice are blended together in the ritual language of the song.
[ back ] 110. The verbs ἄρχειν and κατάρχειν appear with the uncommon accusative construction in the performative context of the introduction; cf. Pindar Nemean Odes 3.10–11: ἄρχε . . . | δόκιμον ὕμνον; Alcman fragment 98 Davies: θοίναις δὲ καὶ ἐν θιάσοισιν | ἀνδρείων παρὰ δαιτυμόνεσσι πρέπει παιᾶνα κατάρχην; and our passage fragment 851b.5 PMG: κατάρχομεν τὸν ὕμνον. Cf. also Plato Euthydemus 283b: θαυμαστὸν γάρ τινα, ὦ Κρίτων, ἁνὴρ κατῆρχεν λόγον. For ἄρχεσθαι with the accusative cf. Alcman fragment 48 Davies: Λατοΐδα, τέο δ’ ἀρχ<όμεν>ος χορόν (coni. West); Sophocles fragment 737b PMG = Käppel 1992:366–367, 366–Pai. 32.2, line 2: σέ[θ]εν ἄρξομα̣ι̣ (coni. Oliver) ὕμ]νον. With this one may also associate ἐξάρχειν, which followed by either accusative or genitive refers to striking up a song, especially with reference to the choral leader: Homer Odyssey 4.19: μολπῆς; Iliad 18.51: γόοιο; with accusative: Homeric Hymns 27.18: χορούς; Archilochus fragment 120 W.: διθύραμβον; fragment 121 W.: Λέσβιον παιήονα; for ἐξάρχειν with the accusative, implying a chorus, see Zimmermann 1992:19–23 with further passages 19n3. For the performative future ἀείσομαι (cf. the self-referential ᾠδαῖσιν, fragment 851b.4 PMG) cf. Alcman fragment 28: ἀείσομαι and 29 Davies: ἐγὼν δ’ ἀείσομαι. On the topos of the beginning of a song in the Homeric hymns: ἄρχομ’ ἀείδειν: Homeric Hymns 2.1, 11.1, 13.1, 16.1, 22.1, 26.1, 28.1; ἀείσομαι: Homeric Hymns 10.1, 15.1, 23.1, 30.1; ἀείδω: Homeric Hymns 12.1, 18.1, 27.1; Μουσάων ἄρχωμαι: Homeric Hymns 25.1; on this introductory formula see Calame 1995a:6–8. For anabolê see Comotti 1989 and Zimmermann 1992:22. This has to be understood as originally being an improvised prelude. Zimmermann summarizes Comotti’s theory of the content of the anabolê as follows (ibid.): “Vorstellung des folgenden Chorlieds, Widmung an Dionysos, Kritik anderer Dichter und poetologische Reflexionen dürften der Inhalt solcher ursprünglich zur Kithara, später auch zu Flötenmusik gesungener Proömien gewesen sein, die sich im Verlauf des fünften Jahrhunderts zu regelrechten responsionslosen Bravourarien entwickelt hätten” [“The presentation of the following choral song, dedication to Dionysus, criticism of other poets, and poetological reflections must have been the content of these kinds of prooimia, which were originally sung to the accompaniment of the kithara, later also to that of the aulos, and which during the course of the fifth century would have developed into fixed bravura arias without responsion”]. In this connection Zimmermann 1992:22 refers to the well-known Aristotelian theory of the development of tragedy and comedy (Poetics 1449a9–13): γενομένη δ’ οὖν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς αὐτοσχεδιαστικῆς—καὶ αὐτὴ καὶ ἡ κωμῳδία, καὶ ἡ μὲν ἀπὸ τῶν ἐξαρχόντων τὸν διθύραμβον, ἡ δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν τὰ φαλλικὰ ἃ ἔτι καὶ νῦν ἐν πολλαῖς τῶν πόλεων διαμένει νομιζόμενα κτλ. Our song could thus relate in self-referential fashion to the prelude of a φαλλικόν. However it is not an ἔξαρχος, rather the entire group, who takes up the introduction.
[ back ] 111. Zimmermann 1992:22 also makes an interesting reference to a folk song; in fragment 871 PMG the women of Elis use the form of a hymnos klêtikos to call for the epiphany of Dionysus.
[ back ] 112. With their feminizing costumes the presenters through their utterance of ἀγλαΐζομεν themselves become in a sense the Kharites; in other words, they assume in part a feminine role. Girls on the threshold of adulthood are often represented in χοροί. The masculine identity of the actors thereby touches, in terms of content, the border region between man and woman. It is significant that the participle χέοντες does not assume the feminine form relating to the chorus’ possible role, but refers to the actual gender of the singers.
[ back ] 113. Cf. Euripides Phoenician Women 1739: ἀπαρθένευτ’ ἁλωμένα and Iphigenia in Aulis 993: ἀπαρθένευτα μὲν τάδ’. Navarre 1911:249 thus translates the adjective as “qui n’est pas fait pour des jeunes filles” [“not designed for young girls”]; similarly Horn 1970:68 (“ein Inhalt, der sich nicht für zarte Mädchenohren eignet” [“content not suited for the tender ears of maidens”]); Kugelmeier 1996:154n270 also seems to be of this opinion. The adjective is ambiguous: 1.) It can mean “virginal,’ i.e. before defloration (as if from παρθενεύω = κορεύω); it is thus treated by the majority of scholars as synonym in asyndeton of καινάν (cf. Sophocles fragment 304 Radt). 2.) It may refer to the opposite condition of no longer being a virgin, i.e. “unmaidenly” (cf. schol. Theocritus Idylls 2.41, 279 Wendel). The above-mentioned meaning “not fitting for a virgin” can be viewed as a subcategory of (2). The metaphor of the song as something mixed or blended is contaminated in the ritual text with the idea of defloration as offering.
[ back ] 114. Cf. Cole 1993.
[ back ] 115. Because the lack of sources the origin can unfortunately probably never be known with certainty.
[ back ] 116. On the parabasis as ritual core and original element: for earlier literature, before the actual influence of the Cambridge ritualists, see Hubbard 1991:16n2; Cornford and Murray as prominent representatives of this direction in scholarship deliver opinions in this vein; Cornford (19612:93) says of the parabasis in The Origin of Attic Comedy, which appeared in 1914: “With its stiff canonical structure, it has all the air of a piece of ritual procedure awkwardly interrupting the course of the play”; see also Cornford 19612:110. Murray (1933:12) sees it as “a nugget of unassimilated ritual embedded in the structure of the play.” This opinion has endured up until comparatively recently; Kranz 1933:25, Herter 1947:31–32, Kranz 1949:1125, Lesky 19713:273 (“Kernstück”), Seaford 1977:85–86, and Reckford 1987:488. [ back ] The origin of comedy has often been connected with the song of the Phallophoroi (the Ithyphalloi, Deikelistai, Autokabdaloi, and phallika) but only in a general fashion. Cornford 19612:110–111 thinks the development can only have lead to the parabasis, because the Phallophoroi did not assume any dramatic role (he does however think the phallic rites were connected with the kômos, ibid. 111–114); Herter 1947:16–42 and passim attempts an organic reconstruction using the chorus of the Ithyphalloi in particular; he thinks a plot arose from parabasis-like song; Pohlenz 1949 (= Kl. Schr. II 1965:497–510) believes that the song represents only one possible developmental step toward the parabasis; cf. also Giangrande 1963, Lesky 19713:271–273 (relation to carnival and parabasis, later mimicry), Reckford 1987:443–498, especially 487–488 (following Cornford, Semos’ song is characterized as a “rudimentary kômos from which ‘comedy’ grew”). Contra, among others, Radermacher Frösche, 12, Pickard-Cambridge 1962:133–147, Händel 1963:84, 108, Sifakis 1971:20, 69 and Leonhardt 1991:37–38, who are skeptical about a link between the song of the Phallophoroi and the genesis of comedy or the parabasis. For a history of the interpretation of the parabasis, see Sifakis 1971:15–20, and now also Imperio 2004:11–14. How a dramatic plot is supposed to have arisen from the undramatic phallika has always been viewed as a particularly problematic question. Herter 1938b:1677 replies with the Aristotelian formula that Aristotle does not derive comedy immediately from the φαλλικά themselves, but traces it merely to the ἐξάρχοντες τὰ φαλλικά; he also says the element of improvisation is critical. German scholarship was fond of making a connection between the Phallophoroi and the parabasis, which in turn was interpreted as an original song of entry (parodos). The main arguments advanced were: a) the term parabasis is synonymous with parodos; b) anapaests are typical of the marching rhythm of the entry procession; the Phallophoroi also form an entry procession; c) it was the chorus’ job to salute the gods immediately after their entry procession (parabasis odes). See Sifakis 1971:111–112n21 for literature on the parabasis-parodos thesis.
[ back ] 117. On the comparison between the parabasis, especially the epirrhematic syzygy, and the Hellenistic Phallophoroi and Ithyphalloi (hymns and ridicule), see Kolster 1829:51–61, Koester 1835:16–18 (both derive the parabasis directly from phallic songs), Muff 1871:6–7, Herter 1947: Pohlenz 1949:37 (= Kl. Schr. II 1965:503), and Reckford 1987:487–488. The parabasis odes as reflexes of cult hymns have been extensively discussed by Fraenkel (1931 and 1962:191–215); he shows that the greeting is directed at all the polis gods, not just Dionysus, as is the case with the Phallophoroi. Kranz thinks (1919:162n4, 163 and 1933:30) that all choruses originally directed their song only to Dionysos Lenaios (on the Phallophoroi, see Kranz 1919:164). Gelzer 1960:210 combines Fraenkel’s theory of the dependency of the odes on cult lyric with the German Phallophoroi theory (the epirrhematic syzygy is based on the song of the Phallophoroi, a view held since Kolster 1829:60). Gelzer 1960:210 says: “Das [Phallophoroi-Lied] scheint also eine Art Vorstufe zur Parabase gewesen zu sein, die sich an anderen Orten an bestimmten Festen noch als selbständige Begehung erhalten hatte, in Athen aber in die Komödie eingegangen war. Die Götter werden in der Syzygie unabhängig von der speziellen Funktion des Chors im jeweiligen Stück angerufen, und nur ganz äußerliche Zusätze lassen die Hymnen als vom Chor des jeweiligen Stücks vorgetragen erscheinen” [“The song of the Phallophoroi thus seems to have been a kind of precursor to the parabasis, which in other areas was still preserved as an independent celebration at certain festivals, but in Athens became part of comedy. In the syzygy the gods were invoked independently of the chorus’ particular function in the given play, and it is only through additions of a completely superficial nature that the hymns appear to be performed by the chorus of that particular play”]. Cf. also Gelzer 1966:69, where the development from indecent φαλλικόν to parabasis is described; but it is not quite correct to speak of a “Funktionsänderung zum Rügegedicht” [“change of function to blame poem”], especially since mockery also formed part of the ritual of the Phallophoroi. [ back ] Cornford 19612:95 is skeptical of this; he thinks that the elements of invocation and ridicule were in fact present in the phallic song and in the parabasis, but that the structure in the phallic song was different, because invective could be improvised endlessly. He therefore argues against the genesis of the parabasis from the phallic song, and sees rather a relationship between the latter and the exodos. Cf. also ibid. 110–114. The remarks of Pickard-Cambridge 1962, 142–144 are also highly critical.
[ back ] 118. For the theory of the irrelevant digression, see the earlier bibliography in Hubbard 1991:16n4; cf. further among others Zielinski 1885:184–187, Pickard-Cambridge 1962:199, Kranz 1933:25, Gelzer 1960:208, Händel 1963:85, Sifakis 1971:66, 69, Dover 1972:49, and Heath 1987:18–23, 43–44. Criticism of this position has recently been mounting; cf. Bowie 1982, Harriott 1986:20–36, Reckford 1987, and Hubbard 1991 (Hubbard reads the self-referential remarks of the poet as intertextual commentary and references of the poet to his work). To this debate add now Imperio 2004:13–14.
[ back ] 119. The characteristic style of speech used between the players and the participants/audience is important here (cf. Athenaeus 622b: ἐπιστρέφουσιν εἰς τὸ θέατρον with the expression at the beginning of the parabasis Aristophanes Acharnians 629: οὔπω παρέβη πρὸς τὸ θέατρον, Knights 508: πρὸς τὸ θέατρον παραβῆναι, Peace 735: πρὸς τὸ θέατρον παραβὰς ἐν τοῖς ἀναπαίστοις). Cf. early on Schmid 1929:635: “Die Handlung spielt sich zwischen Chor und Publikum ab und entspricht der altattischen Parabase.” [“The action is acted out between the chorus and the audience and corresponds to the old Attic parabasis.”] Cf. also Muff 1871:7 and Kranz 1933:30. The presenters do not play entirely within a dramatic role and within a dramatic plot that the spectators simply witness while submerging themselves therein, but actually enter into direct contact with their surroundings, while oscillating between their real and their fictitious identity. They criticize and ridicule individuals in the surrounding area and they worship the gods of the community in front of and together with the audience.
[ back ] 120. See Händel 1963:84, 109 and Sifakis 1971:20.
[ back ] 121. See Händel 1963:84 and Sifakis 1971:20, 59–70, especially 68–69.
[ back ] 122. See Händel 1963:107–109n17 and Sifakis 1971:17–21. Sifakis describes the odes as “a relic of genuine Kultlyrik” (ibid., 69).
[ back ] 123. There is much to suggest this, especially since the examples of the boastful doctor and the Theban mania for strange words in the immediately preceding quotation from Sosibios (Athenaeus 621d–622a) are drawn from contemporary New Comedy (Alexis fragment 146 K.-A. and Strattis fragment 49 K.-A.). See also the reference to language above, n56. Porson attributed the song of the Phallophoroi to Pratinas (as referred to in Bergk III 18824:657 ad carm. pop. 8 B., who does not, however, think the reasoning is sound).
[ back ] 124. Because of an incorrect interpretation of παραβαίνειν and the entrance-like character of the two phallic songs, it used to be thought that the parabasis was originally a song sung while entering.
[ back ] 125. Consider among others Kolster 1829:52, 59–60, Koester 1835:16–17, Müller II 1857:197–198, van Leeuwen Acharnians, 50–51 ad 261 (also with reference to Sosibios [Athenaeus 621d] on improvised comic scenes at performances of this kind at the rural Dionysia!), Cornford 19612:103–109, especially 103–104, 108, Körte 1921:1218–1219, Herter 1938b:1675ff., Herter 1947:24ff. (who emphasizes the parallels to the song of the Ithyphalloi), Pickard-Cambridge 1962:145–147, Gelzer 1966:69, Horn 1970:63–71, especially 68, Ghiron-Bistagne 1976:208–213 (who refuses to see any kômos either in the Aristophanic song or in that of the Phallophoroi, but sees instead an honorable πομπή), Carrière 1979:19 and 34n14, Zimmermann II 1985:41, Prato 1987:216 with n48 (with special reference to the iambic meter of the Phallophoroi), Cole 1993:26 (only implicitly), Habash 1995:567, Kugelmeier 1996:151–154, and Csapo 1997:284. Cf. now also Olson Acharnians, 140 ad 237–279, 147 ad 261, and Pütz 2003:161–163.
[ back ] 126. Many only see the nondramatic aspect in this song as well; cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1962:146: “In neither is there anything dramatic; the agents represent no one but themselves.” Cf. Herter 1938b:1677 and Horn 1970:66–67; likewise Kugelmeier 1996:154 does not recognize an “actual dramatic function” therein. Similarly now Olson Acharnians, 141 ad 241–279: “ . . . this scene, which briefly interrupts the forward movement of the action to offer a vision of life in an ideal world of peace . . . ” The remarks of Leonhardt 1991:38 in this connection are unclear: “Die berühmte Szene der Acharner des Aristophanes ist in keiner Weise mit der Struktur des Stückes ver-knüpft, sondern allein von der Handlung her begründet; die Feier der ländlichen Dionysien symbolisiert die Segnungen des Friedens, den der Hauptheld Dikaiopolis mit den Spartanern geschlossen hat. Somit kommt der Parodie des Phallikon kein anderer Stellenwert zu als den zahlreichen Dithyramben–, Tragödien– und Hymnenparodien, die sich in den Komödien allenthalben finden.” [“The famous scene from the Acharnians of Aristophanes is in no way joined to the structure of the play, but is motivated only in terms of plot; the celebration of the rural Dionysia symbolizes the blessings of the peace that the protagonist Dikaiopolis has concluded with the Spartans. Thus the parody of the phallikon possesses no more significance than do the countless parodies of dithyrambs, tragedies, and hymns found everywhere in comedies.”] Because it is embedded in the plot of the Acharnians the song does not represent a true copy of a phallophoria; cf. Herter 1938b:1676. Webster in Pickard-Cambridge 1962:146 refers to the differences between this and Semos’ Phallophoroi: a) the latter have a distinctive costume; b) they run toward the spectators and ridicule them; c) the φαλλοφόρος is blackened with soot. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the spectacle represents the staging of a cult. According to Gelzer 1992:49 the passage is not a parody at all: “Dieses kompakte Genrebild des ländlichen Dionysosfestes ist gewiss mit der drastischen Verve des damals wohl kaum mehr als 20jährigen Dichters gewürzt; aber es ist als solches kein Witz, sondern die Darstellung eines ländlichen Kultes” [“This compact genre painting of the rural Dionysia is certainly spiced with the graphic verve of the poet, who was probably not much more than twenty at the time; but as such it is not a joke, rather the presentation of a rural cult”].
[ back ] 127. According to schol. Acharnians 202, the rural Dionysia correspond to the Lenaia, the festival of the performance (cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1962:144–145). Actually the Lenaia, celebrated in the month Gamelion, is a quite separate celebration from the rural Dionysia. The latter was celebrated in individual demes already in the month Poseideon. On the inadvertent connection, see Deubner 1932:124. Still, elements of other festivals of Dionysus, such as, for example, mockery delivered by people on carts, were transferred from the Khoes to the Lenaia. Typical of the Lenaia and also of the rural Dionysia were the πομπή, ἀπαρχή, and ἀγών (with presentations of comedies and tragedies). In particular, competitions of κῶμοι are attested for the rural Dionysia, and are of great importance for the origin of comedy. Similar elements (εἰσαγωγή, πομπή, and κῶμος) were also familiar to the audience of the Greater Dionysia. On the individual festivals of Dionysus (Anthesteria, Lenaia, rural and city Dionysia), see Deubner 1932:93–142; on the Lenaia and rural Dionysia, ibid., 123–138. Möllendorff 1995:130–131 in the context of lines 195–202 talks of an interplay of two locations and festival times; still, it is doubtful whether Διονύσια (195) refers to the Lenaia. Throughout the play, rites of Dionysus, in particular the Anthesteria, are reworked in pastiche-like fashion; see Habash 1995 and Fisher 1993.
[ back ] 128. Cf. the performative announcement in the future Acharnians 202: ἄξω τὰ κατ’ ἀγροὺς εἰσιὼν Διονύσια. The preparatory line 240: θύσων . . . ἐξέρχεται has the hero, who has left in line 202, now return, so that the deme is now to be imagined as the location. For the relation of city and countryside in this passage, see Henrichs 1990:269–270. Cf. also Henderson 19912:59–60 and Habash 1995:560–567.
[ back ] 129. For the Eleusinian dimension of Amphitheos as spondophoros, see Bowie 1993:21; for the procession ibid., 26–27. On the connection of the Lenaia with Eleusis, see Deubner 1932:125–126. Amphitheos fetches the spondai (cf. Acharnians 131, 178, 186), and Dikaiopolis offers them to the god of the performance as wine (199, 208) and song (263ff.). On the metaphorical usage of spondai in the Acharnians, see Newiger 1957:104–106.
[ back ] 130. Similarly Pickard-Cambridge 1962:146.
[ back ] 131. Cf. above, nn99 and 102 on σπένδω, χέω, and ἀπάρχομαι. In the typical language of ritual, the usual elements are mixed together. Cf. the performative expressions ἀπαρξώμεθα (Acharnians 244), καταχέω (246), and σπονδὰς (251, 268). In addition, θύσαντα (249) and the accessories for the ἀπαρχή as a whole refer to sacrifice. The scholia to Aristophanes Acharnians 242 and 243 seem to relate the text to the phallophoria of the Greater Dionysia rather than to the rural Dionysia.
[ back ] 132. Through the instruction θεῶ μ’ ἀπὸ τοῦ τέγους (262), she also becomes the internal female “spectator” in the theatrical spectacle, which is at the same time ritual, being presented on stage. The woman’s viewing from the roof is especially connected with the ecstatic ritual of the Adonis procession. See Aristophanes Lysistrata 389: ὅ τ’ Ἀδωνιασμὸς οὗτος οὑπὶ τῶν τεγῶν with Henderson Lysistrata, 119 ad loc. See also Baudy 1992:34 with n188. A reason for this may be that the festival of Adonia was thought of as particularly sexual and wild, with the phallus playing a key role; cf. Baudy 1992:38–39, especially the reference to the begetting of illegitimate children at this festival as a motif in comedy.
[ back ] 133. The instruction to her to watch out that nobody snatch and eat her gold jewelry (χρυσία) could also contain a vulgar double entendre, alluding to her endangered virginity. Cf. Hesychius, s.v. χρυσίον· τὸ τῶν παιδίων αἰδοῖον. See Henderson 19912:131 with reference to Birds 670 (χρυσόν in the sense of κυσός), who does not however refer to the passage here and its secondary meaning. Cf. Henderson 19912:144 and 178 on τραγήματα. In contrast to the Thesmophoria (Thesmophoriazusae 293–294), the slave-girl Thratta is not here excluded from the festival; she can be snatched and enjoyed (Acharnians 271–275).
[ back ] 134. On the εὐφημία formula that introduces cultic activity, see Kleinknecht 1937:21n4 with references, 33–34, 38, and 151. Cf. also already Acharnians 237–238. The address concerns the chorus as well as audience, to which the chorus extends itself. Cf. also the servant’s cry before Agathon’s performance and Krytilla’s before the assembly at the Thesmophoria (Aristophanes Thesmophoriazusae 39, 295). On the “we” forms: 244, ἀπαρξώμεθα (‘let us begin the aparkhê’); at the same time it is in turn a reference to the beginning of the performance as offering that the mini-group and the whole community bring to the god. The “we” in the protasis ἐὰν μεθ’ ἡμῶν ξυμπίης (277) also includes the assembled polis as a collective, especially as Dikaiopolis before this repeatedly emphasizes the fact that he wants to drink alone (199, 251–252, 268–269). The audience thus imperceptibly becomes an accomplice to this peace agreement.
[ back ] 135. Kugelmeier 1996:153 even thinks of “lustige Tanzbewegungen” [“comic dance movements”]. In comedy, a choral dance quite often leads to a solo dance: one has only to think of Philokleon’s ecstatic dance at the end of the Wasps. In general one may also characterize the body language of the entering comasts as choral kinetics, that is, as dance in the broader sense of the term.
[ back ] 136. Dionysus brings together all these concepts. The idea of worshiping for peace through communal drinking, which symbolizes peace and sacrifice, is likewise quite concrete. On a bone tablet from Olbia (SEG 28 [1972]:660, p. 192) there appears next to the name of Dionysus the inscription ΕΙΡΗΝΗ ΠΟΛΕΜΟΣ among other things. This ambivalence is also of great importance for the Acharnians. Dionysus is peace, to be sure, but peace cannot be wholly subsumed under Dionysus, because the god also carries within him an element of Ares. For Ares and Dionysus, see Lonnoy 1985 and Bierl 1991:154–157.
[ back ] 137. Together with the painting of the generic picture one may also think of Dikaiopolis’ mimic accompaniment. Even the idea of the rape (cf. now also Olson Acharnians, 150 ad 272–275) of a wood-stealing slave-girl bears a possible similarity to the fruit thieves, who according to Sosibios are simple pranksters (ἐμιμεῖτο γάρ τις ἐν εὐτελεῖ τῇ λέξει κλέπτοντάς τινας ὀπώραν, Athenaeus 621d). This connection was already thought of by van Leeuwen (Acharnians, 51 ad 272) and more recently also by Habash 1995:566n27. On the mimic and dance-like presentation of meat-stealing, see Pollux 4.105. Aristophanes criticizes this form of cheap farce (cf. Clouds 537–560, Wasps 57–63, Peace 739–751, Frogs 1–18), but himself constantly uses thieving, sex, scatology, and ribald sexual expressions in his comedies in order to raise the laughter essential to comedy from his audience; cf. Halliwell 1991a:290. The proto-comedy of Dikaiopolis would accordingly form a hymn with mimic interludes by the ἐξάρχων, though here he of course performs without a chorus. From this one-man show a scene using actors could have arisen, in which two or three players perform small comic skits of this type, being constantly interrupted by the songs and hymns of a kômos-chorus, with a leader who strikes up the song. [ back ] Even the sympotic conclusion is combined with allusions to the sexual sphere: Dionysus is summoned to drink with Dikaiopolis; if he does so, he can also slurp a bowl of peace the next morning for his hangover—the notion of cunnilingus also lies behind this. On τρύβλιον cf. Henderson 19912:143 and 186 with reference to Peace 716: ὅσον ῥοφήσει ζωμὸν ἡμερῶν τριῶν (but Olson Peace, 214 ad loc. now argues against this interpretation). Sommerstein Acharnians, 169 ad 278 correctly notes that εἰρήνης here comes as a surprise instead of “soup” (ζωμός). For breakfast (cf. ἕωθεν) in this vulgar sense, see Henderson 19912:186. On the chauvinistic character of the song, see Silk 1980:132–133. The equally strongly performative song of the Frogs (Aristophanes Frogs 209–267) forms a similar kômos procession, in which only the transition into another comic world is shown on stage. There, wine-drinking at the Khoes/Khytroi during the Anthesteria is also reworked. The Frogs strike up a song that the hungover crowd sings at the Khytroi (ὁ κραιπαλόκωμος . . . λαῶν ὄχλος, Frogs 218–219b with Dover Frogs, 223–224 ad loc.). The solitary celebration and drinking are generally reminiscent of the eerie ritual of drinking in isolation at the Khoes with which the Acharnians ends. Cf. Acharnians 1068ff. The priest of Dionysus, the representative of the god, really does become his συμπότης (cf. the invitation at 1087). In the end Dikaiopolis becomes the victor in the Khoes competition; as prize he receives a wineskin and enjoys himself with two whores.
[ back ] 138. Redundancy and repetition are characteristic of the language of cult. The typical doublings are particularly apparent here: εὐφημεῖτε, εὐφημεῖτε (Acharnians 237, 241) and the refrain-like cultic shout Φαλῆς Φαλῆς (271, 276). On the repeated invocation, cf. Pratinas TrGF I 4 F 3.16: θριαμβοδιθύραμβε = fragment 708, 15 PMG: θρίαμβε διθύραμβε; Aristophanes Frogs 316–317, 325, 342: Ἴακχ’ ὦ Ἴακχε; Aristophanes Thesmophoriazusae 993b: ὦ Εὔι’, Εὔι’, εὐοῖ (with Henrichs 1982:230n164). West 1974:23 and Nagy 1979:242–243 point out that the noun ἴαμβος, like διθύραμβος, θρίαμβος, and ἴθυμβος in the cult of Dionysus, refers to a person or type of dance. The Phales shout, which is in iambic form, belongs to precisely this style of mocking speech. Repetitions in vocabulary are found in the following passages: σπονδάς—Acharnians 251, 268; ὀρθός—243, 259; φαλλός—243, 260; στρατιᾶς ἀπαλλαχθέντα, 251—μαχῶν | καὶ Λαμάχων ἀπαλλαγείς, 269–270 (cf. already πολέμου καὶ κακῶν ἀπαλλαγεὶς, 201); πρόβαινε 257—πρόβα 262. The above-mentioned elements of ritual style do not, however, exclude the possibility that the song was composed following literary standards. For an evaluation, see Silk 1980:131–136, who categorizes this song, despite his tendency generally to relativize the artistic quality of Aristophanic poetry, as “low lyrics plus” (133).
[ back ] 139. The announcement ἐγὼ δ’ ἀκολουθῶν ᾄσομαι τὸ φαλλικόν (261) corresponds to the performative future typical of such songs; cf., for instance, the formula ἀείσομαι in the Homeric hymns above, n110.
[ back ] 140. Cf. the emphasis on the breaking of sexual norms (pederasty and adultery [265], rape [271–275]) and nocturnal gangs of young men (264–265). The elements are clearly reminiscent of the comastic activity of the Athenian Ithyphalloi and Autolekythoi described in Demosthenes 54.14. The comic hero reactualizes practices in ritual action that can be interpreted as the remnants of archaic aristocratic initiation. He thereby undergoes the rejuvenation characteristic of it.
[ back ] 141. Similarly Möllendorff 1995:131 with n57 and now also Olson Acharnians, 146 ad 257–258. The expression used by Semos, εἰς τὸ θέατρον λέγοντες (Athenaeus 622b), is reflected in the expression ἕκτῳ σ’ ἔτει προσεῖπον εἰς | τὸν δῆμον ἐλθὼν ἄσμενος (266–267), which has two senses. The surface meaning is that Dikaiopolis, after five years, has at long last returned to his native deme; δῆμος can of course also be understood as the people, assembled in the theater. In the intertwining of places and times, he now performs in the procession in front of the people and in his hymn addresses Dionysos-Phales, who is present in the here and now of the theater. The verb εἰσέρχεσθαι means among other things the entry of chorus or player onto the stage; cf. e.g. Plato Republic 580b and Xenophon Anabasis 6.1.9. The verb is used in the same sense in the opening description of the Ithyphalloi above (Athenaeus 622b). Dikaiopolis too has entered the orchestra and now addresses the audience. The manner of expression is naturally kept consciously ambivalent; cf. the announcement already in line 202, where εἰσιών refers both to going in behind the stage and to the future entry in lines 237ff. For ὄχλος in the sense of the mass of citizens of the polis, cf. also Aristophanes Frogs 219b and Demokhares of Athens FGrHist 75 F 2 (quoted in Athenaeus 253c), describing the Ithyphalloi who greeted Demetrios Poliorketes in Athens ( . . . ἰθύφαλλοι μετ’ ὀρχήσεως καὶ ᾠδῆς ἀπήντων αὐτῷ καὶ ἐφιστάμενοι κατὰ †τοὺς ὄχλους ᾖδον ὀρχούμενοι καὶ ἐπᾴδοντες . . . ); for ὄχλος used of a crowd of maenads, cf. Euripides Bacchae 117 and 1058. On the quasi-choral element in this song, see also Parker 1997:128: “One might speculate that this is a solo, not a choral, hymn-form, but the fact that Dicaeopolis sings it as a solo does not prove that. In his miniature festival, he may be representing a choir, just as his daughter represents a whole troup of basket-carriers and his wife an ὄχλος.”
[ back ] 142. Cf. the adverb κεχαρισμένως (248), which refers to the χάρις of the performance and the pleasure of the god. The song is furthermore a parodos within a parodos.
[ back ] 143. According to Warning 1976:283–287, the purposeful plot or sujet is, to use terminology derived from a distinction drawn by E. v. Hartmann, an “anderweitige Handlung” [“an additional action/plot (in another time or place)”], on which the paradigmatic comic elements, the “komischen Handlungen” (Hartmann 1887:334) [“comic actions”], “gleichsam parasitär operieren” [“simultaneously operate in parasitic fashion”] (Warning 1976:287). According to Warning (323), the commedia dell’arte, with which Aristophanes has much in common in terms of occupying a central position between literature and open ritual form, is an exemplary instance of “wie die schematische anderweitige Handlung als Ermöglichungsstruktur der eigentlich komischen Handlungen fungiert” [“how the schematic other action or plot functions as enabling structure of the actual comic actions”]. Here, as there, we must speak of secondary improvisation.
[ back ] 144. Despite “komischer Züge” [“comic traits”] Kleinknecht 1937:53n5, among others, does not see a parody in this “schlicht-volkstümliche Opfergebet und Phallophorenlied” [“simple popular sacrificial prayer and song of Phallophoroi”]; cf. also Prato 1987:216. Similarly, Horn 1970:57 views the song as “ernstes Gebetspastiche” [“serious prayer pastiche”] based on popular forms. Horn appears to be on the right track, even though he is chiefly thinking (as does previous scholarship) of the problem of written models. The distinction between serious and not serious does not present itself if one uses rituality as a point of departure, since in the religious domain the nonserious, the comic, and the offensive are interwoven with the phallic procession.
[ back ] 145. The “schwächere Anklänge” [“rather weak reminiscences”]—according to Kugelmeier 1996:154 the command at Acharnians 253, ἄγ’, ὦ θύγατερ an ἀνάγετ’, and the content of Acharnians 257, πρόβαινε, κἀν τὤχλῳ φυλάττεσθαι, are somewhat reminiscent of διὰ μέσου βαδίζειν in lines 1 and 4 of the song of the Ithyphalloi (fragment 851a PMG)—are typically motivated by the characteristic performative style of speech. Accordingly, the much more obvious connection between Acharnians 243, 259 and fragment 851a.3 (ὀρθός; cf. on this Csapo 1997:284) and the relationship of the themes is based on the common nature of their occasion and genre. The reference to τήνδε τὴν πομπήν (Acharnians 248) is comparable to the expression τάνδε μοῦσαν (fragment 851b.1 PMG); deixis of the here and now is a sign of performance, which refers in self-referential form, using demonstrative pronouns, at one moment to the cultic activity and movement of the procession, at another to the singing. In the same way, the similar syntactic form of Acharnians 263–270 and fragment 851b with direct address in the vocative, predicate containing a performative verb in the first person, and subsequent elaboration using circumstantial participles, as well as the subsequent γάρ (Acharnians 271 and fragment 851a.3), belongs to cultic language.
[ back ] 146. The only thing that is roughly reminiscent of a reflection (Acharnians 271ff.: πολλῷ γάρ ἐσθ’ ἥδιον . . . ) is actually an order to enact the idea. The construction using a comparative in the neuter singular (generally as a question τί κάλλιον;) with hortatory sense also appears to belong to the language of cult: cf. Euripides Bacchae 877–881 and 897–901 in the traditional form and Dodds 19602:186–188 ad Euripidse Bacchae 877–881 (contra Blake’s conjecture, recently accepted again by Seaford 1996:218–219 ad Euripides Bacchae 877–881). Cf. the prosodion Pindar fragment 89a S.-M. and Aristophanes Knights 1264ff. in connection with the performative activity of the chorus’ own singing (τί κάλλιον . . . ἀεῖσαι, or ἀείδειν), so that Aristophanes makes an intertextual connection to Pindar; cf. Fraenkel 1962:204–207.
[ back ] 147. Particularly in the song of the Frogs (Aristophanes Frogs 209–267) and in the procession song of the chorus of initiates as they enter (Frogs 316–459), as well as in the parodos of Euripides’ Bacchae (Bacchae 64–169), the connection of the performative and the cultic (kômos and Iakkhos-πομπή) occurs in precisely the same way as in the song of the Phallophoroi (fragment 851b PMG); in particular, the short strophes directed at Demeter (Frogs 385a–393) and Iakkhos (Frogs 398–413) are likewise (following the division made by Radermacher Frösche and Coulon) sung in lyric iambics; the purely performative transition to the Iakkhos song with the command to now invoke this god (Frogs 394–397) uses the rhythm ia|lec ith||2ia ith (according to the scheme of Dover Frogs, 245), which is distantly reminiscent of the Ithyphalloi. For parallels between these passages, see also Silk 1980:145. Radermacher Frösche, 190 ad 354–371 suggests that an authentic Eleusinian song of initiates functioned as the model for the strophes; Fraenkel 1962:201–202 connects the rhythm with traditional cult songs, while Zimmermann I 1985:130n51 connects that of the Iakkhos invocation particularly with Acharnians 263–279 and the Phallophoroi.