Home > Catalogue > Lexis > Num. 39 (n.s.) – Giugno 2021 – Fasc. 1 > The Silent Prophet of the Muses: Text and Scene in Aesch. fr. 60 R.

The Silent Prophet of the Muses: Text and Scene in Aesch. fr. 60 R.

Pietro Berardi    Università degli Studi di Bari "A. Moro"    



Among the fragmentary plays of Aeschylus, the Lycurgeia has received particular attention from scholars in all periods, since it has been unanimously recognized as the literary archetype of the Dionysian tetralogy that inspired Euripides’ Bacchae. Handling the extant fragments nonetheless requires considerable effort, due to problems related to the citation technique employed by the testimonia as well as corruptions in the manuscript tradition over the course of the centuries. In this respect, one fragment (Aesch. fr. 60 R., test. schol. vet. Tr. Aristoph. Av. 276 a-b, II 3, 49 Holwerda + Suda μ1301 Adler) of Edonians, the first play of the tetralogy, is particularly difficult as a result of the apparently incurable corruption that afflicts it. Beginning from the textual assessment of Radt (TrGF III 181), the main purpose of this paper will be to shed new light on the editorial issues affecting this fragment, by offering both a fresh collation of the variant readings in the manuscripts of Aristophanes and a meticulous examination of the most significant conjectures by editors of Aeschylus. I offer a fresh critical text of the fragment, in an attempt to demonstrate how a more accurate evaluation of the manuscript tradition might help restore part of the (allegedly) genuine Aeschylean text. In addition, I undertake a broad examination of the most salient exegetical issues, along with a hypothetical reconstruction of the performance context of the fragment.

June 30, 2021
Feb. 24, 2021

Keywords: DramaturgyAeschylus’ Edonians (lost play)Aristophanes’ BirdsScholia veteraTextual criticism

Copyright: © 2021 Pietro Berardi. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.