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Headword: *)epi/xarmos
Adler number: epsilon,2766
Translated headword: Epicharmos, Epicharmus
Vetting Status: high
Son of Tityros or Cheimaros and Sikis. He came from Syracuse or from the Sican city Krastos. He was the inventor of comedy in Syracuse, together with Phormos.[1] He produced 52 plays, or 35 according to Lykon.[2] Some recorded him as a Koan, one of those who migrated to Sicily with Kadmos; others [call him a] Samian, others [that he came] from Megara in Sicily.[3] He was producing plays in Syracuse six years before the Persian Wars; in Athens [sc. at this time] Euetes and Euxenides and Mylos[4] were exhibiting [their plays].
This man [was] also the inventor of the long vowels eta and omega.[5]
Also [sc. attested in the phrase] "Epicharmian argument", [meaning that] of Epicharmos.[5]
Greek Original:
*)epi/xarmos, *titu/rou h)\ *xeima/rou kai\ *siki/dos, *surakou/sios h)\ e)k po/lews *krastou= tw=n *sikanw=n: o(\s eu(=re th\n kwmw|di/an e)n *surakou/sais a(/ma *fo/rmw|. e)di/dace de\ dra/mata nb#, w(s de\ *lu/kwn fhsi\ le#. tine\s de\ au)to\n *kw=|on a)ne/grayan, tw=n meta\ *ka/dmou ei)s *sikeli/an metoikhsa/ntwn, a)/lloi *sa/mion, a)/lloi *mega/rwn tw=n e)n *sikeli/a|. h)=n de\ pro\ tw=n *persikw=n e)/th e(/c, dida/skwn e)n *surakou/sais: e)n de\ *)aqh/nais *eu)e/ths kai\ *eu)ceni/dhs kai\ *mu/los e)pedei/knunto. ou(=tos eu(reth\s kai\ tw=n makrw=n stoixei/wn h kai\ w. kai\ *)epixa/rmeios lo/gos, tou= *)epixa/rmou.
C5 BCE. See generally OCD(3) s.v. (by K.J. Dover) bibliographically updated in OCD(4). This Suda entry = Epicharmus testimonium #1 Kassel-Austin.
[1] See phi 609.
[2] Or Lykophron (Kaibel). But see Lyco 14 White.
[3] According to Diogenes Laertius 8.78, Epicharmos himself recorded that he arrived in Sicilian Megara from Kos when only three months old, and went from there to Syracuse.
[4] Little-known names, though for Myllos (sic) see Kassel-Austin, PCG 7.28.
[5] Not a plausible thing to claim about a writer whose dialect was Sicilian Doric! Other versions have him inventing two of the consonants (theta and chi, pi and psi).
[6] Probably the so-called auxanomenos logos. To quote Pickard-Cambridge (below) 250-251, 'Epicharmus, we are told, used, and in fact invented, the auxanomenos logos.- the "fallacy of the sorites" of later logicians, so called from the use of a heap of corn (soros) as the favourite illustration of it. (How many grains of corn must be taken away before a heap of corn will cease to be a heap? What if that number less one be taken away? And so on -- cf. omicron 973.) Epicharmus applied it to personality. How much change will make a man a different person? And he appears to have argued that a debtor who borrowed money yesterday does not owe it today, since he is already a different man from the borrower; and that the man whom you invited yesterday to dinner may be turned away when he arrives today, "for he is another".'
L. Berk, Epicharmus. Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1964
A.W. Pickard-Cambridge, Dithyramb, Tragedy and Comedy, 2nd ed. Rev. T.B.L. Webster. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1962, pp. 230-290
Keywords: biography; chronology; comedy; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; philosophy; poetry
Translated by: Tony Natoli on 30 March 2000@18:01:10.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (completed translation; augmented bibliography; cosmetics) on 26 March 2001@08:41:16.
David Whitehead (added note; restorative and other cosmetics) on 20 December 2002@04:56:29.
David Whitehead (another note, another keyword; cosmetics) on 13 February 2008@09:06:28.
David Whitehead (another note) on 13 February 2008@10:22:07.
David Mirhady (updated ref) on 2 September 2008@19:13:49.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 22 October 2012@08:34:31.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note) on 21 December 2014@10:11:44.
David Whitehead (expanded n.4) on 24 December 2014@08:45:39.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 6 March 2021@16:59:21.


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