Classical Quarterly 34 (1):83-88 (1984)

Stephen Halliwell
University of St. Andrews
Interest in νομαστìκωμδєȋν began early. Even before the compilation of prosopo-graphical κωμδούμєνο in the second century B.C., Hellenistic study of Aristophanes had devoted attention to the interpretation of personal satire. The surviving scholia contain references to Alexandrian scholars such as Euphronius, Eratosthenes and Callistratus which show that in their commentaries and monographs these men had dealt with issues of νομαστì κωμδєȋν Much material from Hellenistic work on Old Comedy was transmitted by later scholars, particularly by Didymus and Symmachus in their variorum editions, and was eventually embodied in the scholia, though of course in an abridged and sometimes distorted form. Many of our fragments of Old Comedy, preserved in the scholia or in medieval works of reference as parallels to passages in Aristophanes, are direct evidence of the long ancient tradition of interest in the genre's large element of personal satire. What we find in the scholia should not therefore be treated as representative only of the latest and most derivative stages of ancient scholarship. It is the purpose of this article to argue that the scholia on Aristophanes allow us to see that in matters of νομαστì κωμδєȋν certain assumptions about the nature of this type of comic material were persistently made by ancient scholars, and that certain interpretative habits were consequently developed from them. It is my further aim to suggest that this pattern of interpretation has been widely but unjustifiably perpetuated in later work on Aristophanes.
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A Chapter In The History of Scholia.N. G. Wilson - 1967 - Classical Quarterly 17 (2):244-256.

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