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Headword: Ti touto soi to purron estin; Kinêsias sou katatetilêken; houtos malakos ên
Adler number: tau,693
Translated headword: What is this orange color of yours? Cinesias hasn't somehow shit on you?
Vetting Status: high
This man was soft.[1]
Greek Original:
Ti touto soi to purron estin; Kinêsias sou katatetilêken; houtos malakos ên.
The entry comes, slightly altered, from Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae 329-30 (with scholion), in an exchange between Blepyrus and the Neighbor. Blepyrus is dressed in his wife's krok├┤tidion or short krok├┤tos, a saffron-colored robe with various connotations (see LSJ reference at web address 1). The Neighbor cracks this joke at the expense of Cinesias (kappa 1639, etc.), the exponent of new dithyramb (delta 1029, alpha 1810, kappa 2647). This man, mocked gently in Aristophanes, Birds 1373-1409, had by the date of Ecclesiazusae become the victim of vitriolic attacks by the comic playwrights, who regarded him as responsible for the new law that deprived them of public choregiai. We learn from Frogs 366 and the scholia there that he had defecated on the offerings to Hecate while singing in accompaniment to a performance of cyclic dithyrambs at her shrine (also kappa 822). The verb used for defecating here, tila/w, common in its compound forms in Aristophanes, comes from the noun for the loose, watery stool associated with diarrhoea, which explains its color. Aristophanes mentions this diarrhoea again at Gerytades fr. 156.12-13 (PCG 3,2).
On the reddish-yellow color translated here as 'orange', whose name is etymologically derived from fire, see pi 3225, phi 793, phi 799, phi 802. It appears a synonym of canqo/s. It is notable that in the exchange in the play Blepyrus describes the color of the same garment as "saffron." There is clearly a pun on the name of a choral dance associated with Cinesias, Pyrrhike (pi 3225).
[1] The word may apply to the limp, skeletal appearance of Cinesias (see delta 1029 note, phi 459), but there is a certain confusion of levels of discourse in the constant puns by Aristophanes on words such as soft, weak, limp, light, delicate as applied to the poets of the new dithyramb. Clearly he attacks their choral style as light and cloudlike. Cinesias in particular seems to have been sickly and thin. The terms are often those applied to effeminate gay men. Apostolius, Proverbs 15.89, interprets the proverb "He does the acts of Kinesias" (ta\ *Kinhsi/ou dra=|) as a way of referring to gay men (malakoi/, as in this entry).
M.L. West, Ancient Greek Music (Oxford 1992) 359
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: clothing; comedy; daily life; gender and sexuality; medicine; meter and music; proverbs; religion
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 19 November 2001@06:14:12.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 19 November 2001@17:13:12.
Robert Dyer (Cosmetics, suppression of phrase) on 8 January 2002@14:32:25.
Robert Dyer (completed suppression) on 8 January 2002@14:36:22.
Robert Dyer (Additions and cross references.) on 15 January 2002@15:34:22.
David Whitehead (internal rearrangement; added bibliography and keyword; cosmetics) on 16 June 2002@08:28:51.
Tony Natoli (Cosmetics n.2) on 11 June 2004@22:52:26.
Catharine Roth (minor cosmetics) on 12 June 2004@18:21:21.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 14 January 2014@04:22:02.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticules) on 1 September 2022@00:56:42.


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