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Headword: *ma/gnhs
Adler number: mu,20
Translated headword: Magnes
Vetting Status: high
[Magnes,] of the city of Ikarion;[1] Attic or Athenian; comic poet. As a young man he overlaps in time with the aged Epicharmus.[2] He composed 9 comedies, and won 2 victories.
This man was a poet of Old Comedy. "Very frequently he set up trophies of victory over rival choruses, sending all sounds and plucking and fluttering wings and speaking Lydian and making fig-fly sounds and smearing with frog-like [colors]. It did not suffice, for when approaching old age -- being no longer young -- he was cast aside because he was an old man who had lost the ability to be funny."[3] A scholion [comments]: "sending" [means] "sending out". "Plucking" would be a reference to [the play] Barbatistai [Barbiton-players]. It is a play of Magnes. The barbitos is a sort of musical instrument.[4] "Fluttering wings" [is said] because he composed a play Birds. He also wrote Lydians and Fig-flies and Frogs. Froglike [batracheion] is a sort of color;[5] from this [we get] also the froglike cloak.[6] They used to smear their faces with froglike before the invention of masks.
Greek Original:
*ma/gnhs, *)ikari/ou po/lews, *)attiko\s h)\ *)aqhnai=os, kwmiko/s. e)piba/llei d' *)epixa/rmw| ne/os presbu/th|. e)di/dace kwmw|di/as q#, ni/kas de\ ei(=le b#. ou(=tos a)rxai/as kwmw|di/as poihth/s. o(\s plei=sta xwrw=n kata\ tw=n a)ntipa/lwn ni/khs e)/sthse tro/paia: pa/sas fwna\s i(ei\s kai\ ya/llwn kai\ pterugi/zwn kai\ ludi/zwn kai\ yhni/zwn kai\ bapto/menos batraxei/ois ou)k e)ch/rkesen, a)lla\ teleutw=n e)pi\ gh/rws, ou) ga\r e)f' h(/bhs, e)ceblh/qh presbu/ths w)/n, o(/ti tou= skw/ptein a)pelei/fqh. sxo/lion: i(ei/s, a)fiei/s. ya/llwn de\ tou\s *barbitista\s a)\n le/goi. dra=ma de/ e)sti tou= *ma/gnhtos. h( de\ ba/rbitos ei)=dos o)rga/nou mousikou=. pterugi/zwn de/, o(/ti kai\ *)/orniqas e)poi/hse dra=ma. e)/graye de\ kai\ *ludou\s kai\ *yh=nas kai\ *batra/xous. e)/sti de\ xrw/matos ei)=dos to\ batra/xeion: a)po\ tou/tou kai\ batraxi\s i(ma/tion. e)xri/onto de\ tw=| batraxei/w| ta\ pro/swpa pri\n e)pinohqh=nai ta\ proswpei=a.
C5 BCE. See generally K.J. Dover in OCD(4) s.v. (p.887); Kassel-Austin, PCG 5.626-631.
[1] Strictly speaking Ikarion was a deme (village) of Attica, but one of the ones ancient enough to be referred to, on occasion, as a polis. See iota 255.
[2] = Epicharmus testimonium #4 Kassel-Austin (On E. see generally epsilon 2766.)
[3] Aristophanes, Knights 521-7; cf. beta 189, iota 216. (The translation is based on the version of Eugene O'Neill, Jr. in the Perseus Project, see web address 1.) Dover (above) suggests that some of the alleged titles about to be given (and cf. pi 3018) are mere inferences from these lines.
[4] See beta 107, beta 110.
[5] A pale green.
[6] Mentioned later in the play (line 1406), and elsewhere.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; chronology; clothing; comedy; geography; imagery; meter and music; stagecraft; zoology
Translated by: Nathan Greenberg ✝ on 6 February 2002@11:00:53.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes and keywords) on 7 February 2002@03:51:27.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 19 May 2006@07:00:42.
David Whitehead (yet more x-refs; cosmetics) on 19 May 2006@09:17:57.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics; raised status) on 25 April 2013@03:56:52.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 9 August 2014@06:08:33.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2) on 21 December 2014@10:48:45.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note) on 23 December 2014@10:53:04.
Catharine Roth (added a link) on 27 June 2020@16:58:48.


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