Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 6.1890-1897 (1897)

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THE CHORUS )-N THE LATER GREEK DRAMA.

people, and that the choreutae could be selected without choregL
But this is probably blind inference from the reported failure of
choral odes in the plays mentioned. Platonius himself practically
admits this by prefacing his citation of the Aiolosicon by " at any
rate " (yovv). The statement that the parabasis was lacking in the
middle comedy and sometimes in the old is doubtless correct, but
the explanation that it occurred in the latter only under the oligar-
chy is false. Cratinus died about 420, and the three plays cited of
Aristophanes were brought out in the second decade of the next
century, as was also the Ecclesiazusae, which has no parabasis.
We are told that the plays mentioned had ovre ^o/3t/ca ovre irapa-
/Sa'cret?. The lack of a parabasis seems to have been the only
ground for this sweeping statement. The 'OSwa-et? certainly had
a chorus, as we know from the fragments. See Ivock, C. G. F., I,
43 and 44, Meineke, fr. v, and Bergk, Commentt. de reliq. comoed.
att, p. 160 ff. Kaibel, Hermes 30, p. 25, makes it exceedingly
probable that it had also a second chorus and a parabasis as well.
The AloXoaMcov had a chorus of women (Kock, ibid, i, comment
on fr. 10, and Meineke II, fr. x, xi, xn). The KtB^a'Xo? probably
had at least as important a chorus as the ITXouto? (Meineke II, fr.
vi). Thus Platonius is refuted by his own examples. The occasional
omission of the parabasis in the old comedy is significant as show-
ing that its entire abandonment in the middle comedy was duo to
purely natural causes. Comedy had outgrown it, along with
certain other crudities and exuberances. Perhaps the cost of the
choregia was thereby lessened somewhat, though we cannot con-
sider this the real cause of the change. The loss of the parabasis
involved no serious change in the structure of comedy, as we see
from the Lysistrata. The omission of the choral odes was a more
serious matter, which could have been caused only by the col-
lapse of the choregia. Now it happens that we have a few ancient
notices to this effect.

A scholiast to Arist. Ran. 404 gives this important informa-
tion : iiri yovv tov KaXXiou tovtov39 (prjcrlp '' KpiaTOTeK.^ on avvSvo
eSo^e ■yoprj'yeiv ra Aiovvaia toZ? rpayccSoi1; ical KCOfia Sot?. This is
verified by an inscription of the early part of the fourth century
(C. I. A. ii, 280), which may refer to either tragedy or comedy,
by another, dating not long after Euclid's archonship, record-

39 Probably the arclion of 40G/5, possibly, however, of 412/11.
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