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Headword: *fo/rmos
Adler number: phi,609
Translated headword: Phormos, Phormus
Vetting Status: high
Syracusan, writer of comedy, contemporary of Epicharmus,[1] friendly with the Sicilian tyrant Gelon[2] and tutor to his children. He wrote 6 dramas, which are as follows: Admetos, Alkinous, Alkyones, The Sack of Troy [or] The Horse[3], Kepheus or Kephalaia or Perseus.[4] He was the first to use a full-length garment and a booth of purple skins.[5] Athenaeus in the Deipnosophists mentions another play also, the Atalanta.[6]
Greek Original:
*fo/rmos, *surakou/sios, kwmiko/s, su/gxronos *)epixa/rmw|, oi)kei=os de\ *ge/lwni tw=| tura/nnw| *sikeli/as kai\ trofeu\s tw=n pai/dwn au)tou=. e)/graye dra/mata z#, a(/ e)sti tau=ta, *)/admhtos, *)alki/nous, *)alkuo/nes, *)ili/ou po/rqhsis, *(/ippos, *khfeu\s h)\ *kefa/laia h)\ *perseu/s. e)xrh/sato de\ prw=tos e)ndu/mati podh/rei kai\ skhnh=| derma/twn foinikw=n. me/mnhtai de\ kai\ e(te/rou dra/matos *)aqh/naios e)n toi=s *deipnosofistai=s, *)atala/nths.
See generally A. Koerte in RE 20.1, cols 540-541, under 'Phormis'; K.J. Dover in OCD(4) 1141, under 'Phormis (or Phormus)'; Kassel-Austin, PCG vol. I pp.174-176. The Suda's version of the name is also found in Athenaeus (see note 6 below) and Themistius (Or. 27.337b), who knows of him from Aristotle (Poetics 1449b6?). An Arcadian named Phormis of Maenalus, who fought as a general in Sicily for Gelon and Hieron (Pausanias 5.27.1,7), was perhaps confused with him (if not the same man).
[1] epsilon 2766.
[2] Tyrant of Gela 491-485 and of Syracuse 485-478.
[3] The [sc. Trojan] Horse and The Sack of Troy appear be alternative names for the same play. The number of his plays is thus six including the Atalanta. See Pickard-Cambridge 289 n.2.
[4] The last three titles refer to the same play. Kepheus was the father of Andromeda, who was rescued by Perseus after he had severed the head of the gorgon Medusa; cf. pi 1786.
[5] The skhnh/ was a tent or booth-like structure (later a stage building) used both as a backdrop to the stage and as a place where an actor could change and make his entrance and exit. See e.g. Plato Laws 817C (web address 1).
[6] Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 14.652A [14.66 Kaibel]; plural there, in fact.
A.W. Pickard-Cambridge, Dithyramb, Tragedy and Comedy, 2nd ed. rev. T.B.L. Webster. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1962, pp.231-232, 289
Associated internet address: [1]
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; children; chronology; clothing; comedy; epic; geography; history; mythology; philosophy; poetry; stagecraft; tragedy
Translated by: Tony Natoli on 16 April 2001@01:40:29.
Vetted by:
Robert Dyer (Expanded notes, cosmetics, raised status) on 16 December 2002@09:23:59.
David Whitehead (added keyword; corrected typos; other cosmetics) on 17 December 2002@02:55:01.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 6 October 2005@10:18:19.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 15 December 2013@08:37:45.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 7 August 2014@03:49:05.
David Whitehead (updated primary note) on 21 December 2014@11:41:02.
David Whitehead (expanded a ref) on 15 January 2015@11:15:20.


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