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TWO NOTES ON THE 'BIRDS' OF ARISTOPHANES.

IN Av. 14 ff. we read:

By C. B. GULICK.

ὁ πινακοπώλης Φιλοκράτης μελαγχολῶν,
ὃς τώδ ̓ ἔφασκε νῷν φράσειν τὸν Τηρέα,

,

τὸν ἔποφ ̓, ὃς ὄρνις ἐγένετ ̓ ἐκ τῶν ὀρνέων,
κἀπέδοτο τὸν μὲν Θαρρελείδου τουτονί, κτλ.

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The well-known difficulty in v. 16 was felt by the scholiasts; one says: τινὲς δὲ στίζουσιν εἰς τὸ ἐγένετο, εἶτα, ἐκ τῶν ὀρνέων ἀπέδοτο τὸν κολοιὸν καὶ τὴν κορώνην, ‘ out of his stock of birds he sold us the daw and the crow.' The position of kaí, however, makes this shift impossible. Some editors, acting on this hint, also place a comma after ¿yéver', but construe ẻ Tŵv ỏpvéwv with rúd' in v. 15, as if we had τώδε ἐκ τῶν ὀρνέων νῷν φράσειν τὸν Τηρέα, ie. (he pretended) 'that of all birds these alone would tell us of Tereus.' Against this may be urged a doubt whether túde ék tŵv ỏpvéwv can be regarded as the equivalent of rúde μóvw tŵv opvéwv. Equally impossible, gramτώδε matically, is Bothe's interpretation, who became a bird without the aid of other birds,' i.e. not descended from bird ancestors, but metamorphosed into a bird. This would at least require avev instead of K. Others, again, believing (as in fact I do) that a joke lurks in ék Twν oρvéwv, explain it as referring to homines superbos, aut leves et inconstantes. For this last, they compare roùs πeтoμévous in v. 167, and Nub. 800, KǎσT' èk yuvaikŵV EVπTÉρwv. So Bergler, followed by D. W. Turner: 'who was turned into a bird, having been one before.' But in 167 TOÙS TEтоμévous refers to the fickle Athenians, whereas Tereus, though he married an Athenian wife, was himself a Thracian, and the joke is decidedly weak. Insipid, too, is the change to K Tŵv 'Opveŵv, and no other emendation, e.g. Köchly's ἐξ ἀνδρός ποτε, or ἄνθρωπός ποτ ̓ ὤν (adopted by Blaydes), has any probability, for none can account for the present state of the text.

Dr. Kennedy, in his translation, gives an explanation which is at least ingenious: 'who became a real bird from the bird-folk,' i.e. the Thracians, who were likened to birds because of their language, which seemed to the Athenians most like the inarticulate twittering of swallows. Cf. Ran. 680 ff., and 'IAλupioì KEKρLYÓTES in v. 1521. Against this, however, Mr. Merry objects that we should expect ὀρνέου rather than ἐκ τῶν ὀρνέων.

The failure to reach an explanation which meets with general acceptance has led most modern scholars, beginning with Cobet, to reject the line altogether. Meineke drops it to the bottom of the page, and Mr. Rutherford (Scholia Aristoph. I, 428), following Cobet's favorite" adscript" hypothesis, declares with some positiveness that it is made up of two adscripts and the lemma of a third, viz.: Tòv ἔποπα was originally a note on Τηρέα (15), on which is still found in the scholia another note, ὃς ὄρνις ἐγένετο ; while on οὐκ τῶν ὀρνέων (13) he assumes that there was a note something like ös öpvea πwλeî. It is a curious chance, to say the least, that would bring about such a combination of gloss and lemma as to make a perfectly good verse. The difficulty of getting such a verse into the text is felt by Kock, although he, too, would like to omit it.

I cannot help thinking that the scholiast in Venetus starts with a right apprehension of the meaning as it stands, though his explanation does not go far enough to make his own mind clear to us. He says: παρ ̓ ὑπόνοιαν δὲ εἴρηκε τὸ ὃς ὄρνις ἐγένετ ̓ ἐκ τῶν ὀρνέων· ἔδει γὰρ (εἰπεῖν) ἐκ τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Brunck's criticism of this is no answer: "schema Tаp' vπóvoιav, quod alii comminiscuntur, ineptum et nive frigidius." Before rejecting the verse finally I venture to offer a suggestion that may perhaps indicate in what way this line contains a jest παρ ̓ ὑπόνοιαν.

παρ ̓ ὑπόνοιαν,

First, against Mr. Rutherford's theory, the verse is not otiose. Tereus is here mentioned for the first time, and the circumstances of this play are so peculiar, in contrast with the essentially Athenian setting of all the other extant plays, that a word of explanation to the audience about Tereus, who is to play an important part later, is altogether appropriate. This explanation recurs in verse 47, in

1 Brunck himself, among suggested readings, preferred ék тŵv 'Opveŵv !

another and longer speech of Tépwv A, with something like positive insistence.

Secondly, we must take into account the character and purpose of the speaker, Tépwv A, whom we know by tradition as Euelpides. He soon discloses a strong desire to throw away utterly his former connection with men and his own identity as a human being. Without having a well-defined plan, such as that first proposed by г'épwv B in 162 ff., he is yet eager to join himself to the community of birds, and purposely affects bird ways and bird language. Cf. 27 f. μâs δεομένους ἐς κόρακας ἐλθεῖν, and 34 f. :

ἀστοὶ μετ ̓ ἀστῶν, οὐ σοβοῦντος οὐδενός,
ἀνεπτόμεθ ̓ ἐκ τῆς πατρίδος ἀμφοῖν τοῖν ποδοῖν.

The idea of becoming a bird, or, at any rate, like a bird in ways and thinking, had possessed both old men before they started on their journey. So Athenaeus ix. 386 f : ̓Αττικοὶ δ ̓ εἰσὶ δύο πρεσβῦται f: ὑπὸ ἀπραγμοσύνης πόλιν ζητοῦντες ἐν ᾗ κατοικήσουσιν ἀπράγμονα· καὶ αὐτοῖς ἀρέσκει ὁ βίος ὁ μετ ̓ ὀρνίθων. ἔρχονται οὖν ὡς τοὺς ὄρνιθας, κτλ.

Thirdly, Tépwv A distinguishes himself in the first scene of the play as the character who utters all the dry, whimsical sayings. His puns are the readiest and best (79); he makes the comments and asides not appropriate to his graver companion (95 ff.); he gives the parody in 94, and he it is who asks the memorable question (102), πότερον ὄρνις ἢ ταῶς;

1

So, in his eagerness to identify himself with the birds, he is staunch in maintaining the bird-character of Tereus. The myth had told how Tereus was once a man. Not so, says our speaker. In place of the sober, uninteresting statement that he became a bird though once a man (Köchly), a statement which his audience expects from the beginning of the sentence, he suddenly shifts to another meaning of éyévero, he proved himself a bird of birds,' a genuine bird, untainted by human blood, in spite of the myth.

"

The expression opvis ek тŵv opvéwv, therefore, may be taken as a comic superlative, formed on the analogy of ἀγαθοὶ καὶ ἐξ ἀγαθῶν Plat. Phaedr. 274 A, used of persons of good birth and breeding,

1 Not yet answered by some scholars.

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the opposite being Kaкòs Kåк какŵν, Soph. Oed. Tyr. 1397. The conjunction is usual,' but not necessary. Hence we find ảyaboì ¿§ ἐξ ȧyatov Andoc. de Myst. 109, evyevìs åπ' evyevoûs Eur. Orest. 1676, as against evyevns kảέ evyevŵv Soph. Phil. 874. Most like our passage is Plato, Alcib. I 121 Α βασιλεῖς εἰσὶν ἐκ βασιλέων, where both βασιλeîs and ex Baoiλéwv are predicates. The only difference is the use of the article required by the double meaning.

In this verse, then, I conceive that two ideas are fantastically combined: (1) he was born a bird from - the birds (παρ ̓ ὑπόνοιαν); and (2) he proved himself a bird of the birds. According to the first, the speaker begins as if he intended to remind his audience of the fact known to them from the myth. His aversion to mankind, however, and insistence on the bird-character of Tereus, suggest to him a surprise, which would require his hearers to understand the line according to the second meaning.

Verses 167-170:

ἐκεῖ παρ ̓ ἡμῖν τοὺς πετομένους ἢν ἔρῃ,
τίς ὄρνις οὗτος, ὁ Τελέας ἐρεῖ ταδί·
ἄνθρωπος ὄρνις, ἀστάθμητος, πετόμενος,
ἀτέκμαρτος, οὐδὲν οὐδέποτ ̓ ἐν ταὐτῷ μένων.

Here, again, is a passage where emendation has proved futile. Kock, thinking that roùs TETOμévovs is corrupt, conjectures that the name of the father of Teleas stood in its place, e.g. tòv [Kλe]oμévovs, τὸν [Δι]ομένους, or τὸν [Θεογ]ένους. He proposes to read:

ἐκεῖ παρ ̓ ἡμῖν τὸν [ . . ]ένους ἢν ἔρῃ

τίς ὁ νέος οὗτος; ὁ Τελέας, ἐροῦσ ̓, ὅδε (or ἐροῦσί σοι).

This involves, in the short space of two lines, a change in five places, and certainly does not make vv. 169-170 any clearer. It leaves TεTÓμEvos to be explained in 169, whereas Kock apparently sees no meaning in Toùs tetoμévovs, since he wishes to get rid of it. The scholiasts give three inconsistent interpretations, all of which, it is

1 Cf. "Thou art a gentleman and well deriv'd," Two Gentlemen of Verona v. 4.

clear, they derived with more or less acuteness from the text of the comedy itself, without having any real knowledge about Teleas. One says, ὁ Τελέας σκωπτικὸς ἄνθρωπος, which is certainly wrong. As Kock points out, Teleas on this occasion was not the mocker, but the mocked. Symmachus (about the year 100 A.D.), to whose redaction of the Alexandrian commentaries we owe our present scholia, had the absurd notion that Teλéas (or Teλeâs?) was the name of some bird, and he apparently read reλeậ for ¿λeậ in 885.1

The third explanation referred to is that which probably contains the truth, although it rests merely on inference from the text: OUTOS διεβάλλετο ὡς εὐμετάβλητος τοὺς τρόπους. πρὸς γὰρ τῇ κιναιδίᾳ καὶ δειλίᾳ καὶ ὀψοφαγίᾳ [καὶ νοσφισμῷ Ven.] καὶ πονηρίᾳ ὀνειδίζουσι τὸν Τελέαν. In illustration, another note, doubtless from the same good source, quotes ἐπὶ τοῦ Τελέου Plato's Σύρφαξ (161 Κ.), νοεῖ μὲν ἕτερ, ἕτερα δὲ τῇ γλώττῃ λέγει.

It appears, then, that Teleas was noted for a certain versatility in crime, and was a person whose words could not be trusted. The fragment from Plato corroborates the epithets dorálμntos and ȧtékμαρτος, the latter being explained by the scholiast as δόλιος. He belonged to a shifty, tricky class designated by roùs Teтoμévous, "the flighty," flighty not merely in fickleness of purpose, as we use the term, but in the sense of evading, dodging justice.3 The meaning of the passage may then be given thus: "If you ask about these flighty persons and say, 'What bird is that?' Teleas, an authority on the subject, for he is flighty himself, will speak up and tell you."

2

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Who was this Teleas? Beyond question he is to be identified with the ypaμμaτeds Taμiv of Athena (C.I.A. I, p. 226), who had been serving as clerk in the archonship of Chabrias, Ol. 91, 2, at the very

1 Conversely, out of vητтápiov and páттiov, Symmachus (ad Plut. 1012) manufactures two rogues, Nitarios and Batos.

2 The transition to this sense is seen in Eccles. 899 (of a fickle lover), ép ëтepov ἂν πέτοιτο.

3 Cf. Socrates's joke in the Euthyphro, 3 E: EUTH. Alúкw. Soc. Tiva; EUTH. “Ον διώκων αὖ δοκῶ μαίνεσθαι. Soc. Τί δέ; πετόμενόν τινα διώκεις; Here the legal application of diкw is prominent throughout.

4 This construction, called Homeric by the scholiast (Z 239, K 416, ₪ 390), is familiar enough.

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