Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazousae 136-68

How to quote this translation

M = reading of the whole MS tradition
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus

ποδαπὸς ὁ γύννις; τίς πάτρα; τίς ἡ στολή;
τίς ἡ τάραξις τοῦ βίου; τί βάρβιτος
λαλεῖ κροκωτῷ; τί δὲ λύρα κεκρυφάλῳ;
τί λήκυθος καὶ στρόφιον; ὡς οὐ ξύμφορον οὐ ξύμφορον M  : ἀξύμφορον, ὀξύμφορον vel al. Suda codd. (β 110) : οὐ ξύμφορα Gannon.
τίς δαὶ κατρόπτου κατρόπτου Austin-Olson, Wilson : κατόπτρου M καὶ ξίφους κοινωνία;140
σύ τ' σύ τ' Cannon, Austin-Olson, Wilson (cf. P, schol.)  : τίς δ’ M αὐτός, ὦ παῖ, πότερον ὡς ἀνὴρ τρέφει;
καὶ ποῦ πέος; ποῦ χλαῖνα; ποῦ Λακωνικαί;
ἀλλ' ὡς γυνὴ δῆτ'; εἶτα ποῦ τὰ τιτθία;
τί φῄς; τί σιγᾷς; ἀλλὰ δῆτ' ἐκ τοῦ μέλους Here the Greek word μέλους (μέλος, –ους) works in double-entendre to express both “bodily limbs”, and “musical phrases”.
ζητῶ σ', ἐπειδή γ' αὐτὸς οὐ βούλει φράσαι;145

ὦ πρέσβυ πρέσβυ, τοῦ φθόνου μὲν τὸν ψόγον
ἤκουσα, τὴν δ' ἄλγησιν οὐ παρεσχόμην·
ἐγὼ δὲ τὴν ἐσθῆθ' ἅμα γνώμῃ ἅμα γνώμῃ M : ἅμα < τῇ > γνώμῃ Meineke φορῶ.
χρὴ γὰρ ποιητὴν ἄνδρα πρὸς τὰ δράματα
ἃ δεῖ ποιεῖν, πρὸς ταῦτα τοὺς τρόπους ἔχειν.150
αὐτίκα γυναικεῖ' ἢν ποιῇ τις δράματα,
μετουσίαν δεῖ τῶν τρόπων τὸ σῶμ' ἔχειν.

οὐκοῦν κελητίζεις, ὅταν Φαίδραν ποιῇς;

ἀνδρεῖα δ' ἢν ἢν Dindorf, edd. : ἄν M, P ποιῇ τις, ἐν τῷ σώματι
ἔνεσθ' ὑπάρχον τοῦθ'. ἅ δ' οὐ κεκτήμεθα,155
μίμησις ἤδη ταῦτα συνθηρεύεται.

ὅταν σατύρους τοίνυν ποιῇς, καλεῖν ἐμέ,
ἵνα συμποιῶ σοὔπισθεν ἐστυκὼς ἐγώ.

ἄλλως τ' ἄμουσόν ἐστι ποιητὴν ἰδεῖν
ἀγρεῖον ὄντα καὶ δασύν. σκέψαι δ' ὅτι160
Ἴβυκος ἐκεῖνος κἀνακρέων ὁ Τήιος
κἀλκαῖος, οἵπερ ἁρμονίαν ἐχύμισαν,
ἐμιτροφόρουν τε καὶ διεκλῶντ΄ Ἰωνικῶς καὶ διεκλῶντ΄ Ἰωνικῶς Toup, edd.: καὶ διεκίνων Ἰωνικῶς M : καὶ διεκίνουν Ἰωνικῶς Suda ε 989, ι 495 : κἀχλίδων Ἰωνικῶς Fritzsche : καῖ διεκινοῦνθ’ ὧδέ πως Rogers.
καὶ Φρύνιχος, – τοῦτον γὰρ οὖν ἀκήκοας, –
αὐτός τε καλὸς ἦν καὶ καλῶς ἠμπίσχετο ἠμπίσχετο Elmsley, edd.: ἠμπέσχετο M·165
διὰ τοῦτ' ἄρ' αὐτοῦ καὶ κάλ' ἦν τὰ δράματα.
ὅμοια γὰρ ποιεῖν ἀνάγκη τῇ φύσει.

Where did this lady-boy come from? What’s his fatherland? What are these clothes? What’s this way of living? What does a lyre have to say to that saffron-yellow dress? What can it say to that hair-net? And the athletic oil bottle and lady’s girdle? Not exactly a practical combination! What do a mirror and a sword have in common? [140] Hey you, my boy, have you been brought up as a man? And where’s your cock? Where’s your cloak and your Spartan shoes? What, then, have you been brought up as a woman? Then where are your tits? What do you say for yourself? Aren’t you going to speak? But I can work you out from your limbs, since you don’t wish to talk. [145]

O old man, old man, I heard the censure of envy, but I did not allow it to harm me. I wear clothes according to the tenor of my thoughts. For a poet must adjust his manner to the dramas he has to do. [150] As such, should he write plays about women, his body must adopt the sum of their habits.

Do you then mount a horse when writing a Phaedra?

And if he is writing something about men, he must be entirely manly in body. That wherewith we were not born [155] is to be achieved through imitation.

Well then, when you’re writing Satyrs, call me, so that I can be a firm support for you from behind.

And besides, it is inharmonious for a poet to appear shaggy and rustic. Consider that [160] Ibycus, and Anacreon of Teos and Alcaeus, who all wrote such soft harmonies, all wore a mitra and lived in a soft manner in the Ionian style. And Phrynichus – for you surely have heard him – he was beautiful in both body and comportment, [165] wherefore his dramas were beautiful also. For by necessity a poet’s nature is at one with his verse.

Relevant guides Anacreon