aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.21.1

leave a comment »

From Pausanias’ guidebook to Greece.

εἰσὶ δὲ Ἀθηναίοις εἰκόνες ἐν τῷ θεάτρῳ καὶ τραγῳδίας καὶ κωμῳδίας ποιητῶν, αἱ πολλαὶ τῶν ἀφανεστέρων· ὅτι μὴ γὰρ Μένανδρος, οὐδεὶς ἦν ποιητὴς κωμῳδίας τῶν ἐς δόξαν ἡκόντων. τραγῳδίας δὲ κεῖνται τῶν φανερῶν Εὐριπίδης καὶ Σοφοκλῆς. λέγεται δὲ Σοφοκλέους τελευτήσαντος ἐσβαλεῖν ἐς τὴν Ἀττικὴν Λακεδαιμονίους, καὶ σφῶν τὸν ἡγούμενον ἰδεῖν ἐπιστάντα οἱ Διόνυσον κελεύειν τιμαῖς, ὅσαι καθεστήκασιν ἐπὶ τοῖς τεθνεῶσι, τὴν Σειρῆνα τὴν νέαν τιμᾶν· καί οἱ τὸ ὄναρ <ἐς> Σοφοκλέα καὶ τὴν Σοφοκλέους ποίησιν ἐφαίνετο ἔχειν, εἰώθασι δὲ καὶ νῦν ἔτι ποιημάτων καὶ λόγων τὸ ἐπαγωγὸν Σειρῆνι εἰκάζειν.

In the theatre the Athenians have statues of both tragic and comic poets, mostly of the less famous ones. For apart from Menander, there is not one comic poet from those who have won fame. But of those famous for tragedy there are Euripides and Sophocles. A story is told that after Sophocles’ death the Lacedamonians invaded Attica and their commander saw Dionysus standing over him and telling him  to honour the new Siren with honours such as were appointed for the dead. He thought that the dream was about Sophocles and the poetry of Sophocles, and even today people are accustomed to liken to a Siren whatever is attractive in poems and in words.

Written by aleatorclassicus

July 15, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Pausanias

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: