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Headword: Θρεττανελώ
Adler number: theta,475
Translated headword: threttanelo
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Sound of a cithara. For they say that Philoxenus the dithyramb poet or tragedian wrote The Love of the Cyclops for Galatea; and then that he said the word threttanelo in the epigram[1] in imitation of a sound of the cithara. For there he brings on the Cyclops playing the cithara and making Galatea blush. So when the chorus said, "How happy I am!"[2] the slave also said, "I also will want to dance, and to accompany that music with my voice."[3] For the cithara when played with a plectrum makes a noise like this, threttanelo, threttanelo.
Greek Original:
Θρεττανελώ: ἦχος κιθάρας. Φιλόξενον γὰρ τὸν διθυραμβοποιὸν ἢ τραγῳδιοδιδάσκαλόν φασι γράψαι τὸν ἔρωτα τοῦ Κύκλωπος, τὸν ἐπὶ τῇ Γαλατείᾳ. εἶτα κιθάρας ἦχον μιμούμενον ἐν τῷ ἐπιγράμματι τοῦτο εἰπεῖν τὸ ῥῆμα, θρεττανελώ. ἐκεῖ γὰρ εἰσάγει τὸν Κύκλωπα κιθαρίζοντα καὶ ἐρεθίζοντα τὴν Γαλάτειαν. ἐπεὶ οὖν ἔφη ὁ χορός, ὡς ἥδομαι, ἔφη καὶ ὁ οἰκέτης, κἀγὼ βουλήσομαι χορεύειν: καὶ ἅμα ἀναφωνεῖν τὸ μέλος ἐκεῖνο. ἡ γὰρ κιθάρα κρουομένη τοιοῦτον μέλος ποιεῖ, θρεττανελώ, θρεττανελώ.
Notes:
The mimetic word θρεττανελό (sic: with a final omicron; only here with omega) imitates the sound made by the cithara (kappa 1590) played with the plectrum. For similar mimetic or mimic words see tau 518 (τήνελλα ) and epsilon 2807; and cf. English tantara for a flourish of the trumpet or bugle.
The entry follows the scholia to Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 290. At that point in the comedy Aristophanes appears to be parodying a dithyramb by Philoxenus of Cythera (phi 393, cf. sigma 1192) in the "new style", often subject to pastiche and parody by Aristophanes and other comic poets (delta 1029, kappa 2647, alpha 1810, phi 761, delta 1650, beta 488, with notes, references and bibliography). The citations here attributed to a chorus and to a house-slave, are probably from the dithyramb (see notes 2 and 3) and are discussed as fragments of Philoxenus' Cyclops by D.L. Page, Poetae Melici Graeci frs. 819-20, and D.A. Campbell, Greek Lyrics (Loeb edn.), vol.5 pp.160-63.
[1] The phrase 'in the epigram' seems here to have an unusual sense, perhaps describing the word's position outside the grammatical structure of the sentence, "in parenthesis", or a short poem within the dithyramb. Otherwise, it is simply in error.
[2] This exclamation begins Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 288 (see web address 1), where the Chorus expresses their joy at news announced by Carion, Chremylus's slave, and their wish to dance for joy. Carion responds at 290 with the first words of the Suda's quotation, but continues quite differently. Carion says he wants to copy the Cyclops dancing (a notoriously indecent dance: cf. Euripides' Cyclops) and (as in Philoxenus) playing the cithara, θρεττανελό . The text in Aristophanes is therefore probably a parody (or, in Eustathius' happier term, a paralalia 'writing alongside') of lines written by Philoxenus in his dithyramb Cyclops, from which the Suda entry gives these extracts.
[3] The phrase containing the infinitive ἅμα ἀναφωνεῖν , 'to accompany that melody with my voice', corresponds to nothing in the scholia or in the comedy, and is probably based on the text of Philoxenus. Its sequences of short syllables resemble the unusual degree of metrical resolution in the other fragment of his Galatea (on whom see gamma 22) from the scholia here (see fr. 819 Page and Campbell).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; comedy; definition; gender and sexuality; meter and music; mythology; poetry; tragedy
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 24 May 2002@09:22:05.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 13 September 2002@03:40:03.
Robert Dyer (added x-ref) on 22 May 2003@09:26:15.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 6 January 2013@06:18:27.
Catharine Roth (reduced links, coding) on 28 August 2013@21:51:09.
David Whitehead (coding) on 28 April 2016@05:53:35.

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