Greek comic poet, was
See also:born in the
See also:island of Cos . Early in
See also:life he went to
See also:Megara in
See also:Sicily, and after its destruction by
See also:Gelo (484) removed to Syracuse, where he spent the
See also:rest of his life at the
See also:court of
See also:Hiero, and died at the age of ninety or (according to a statement in Lucian, Macrobii, 25) ninety-seven . A brazen statue was set up in his
See also:honour by the inhabitants, for which
See also:Theocritus composed an inscription (Epigr . 17) .
See also:Epicharmus was the chief representative of the Sicilian or Dorian
See also:comedy . Of his
See also:works 35 titles and a few fragments have survived . In the city of tyrants it would have been dangerous to
See also:present comedies like those of the Athenian stage, in which attacks were made upon the authorities . Accordingly, the comedies of Epicharmus are of two kinds, neither of them calculated to give offence to the ruler . They are either mythological travesties (resembling the satyric drama of Athens) or character comedies . To the first class belong the
See also:Busiris, in which Heracles is represented as a voracious
See also:glutton; the
See also:Marriage of
See also:Hebe, remarkable for a lengthy
See also:list of dainties . The second class dealt with different classes of the population (the sailor, the
See also:prophet, the boor, the parasite) . Some of the plays seem to have bordered on the
See also:political, as The Plunderings, describing the devastation of Sicily in the
See also:time of the poet .
See also:short fragment has been discovered (in the Rainer papyri) from the `OSvvvebs airr6poXos, which told how Odysseus got inside Troy in the disguise of a
See also:beggar and obtained valuable information . Another feature of his works was the large number of excellent sentiments expressed in a brief proverbial
See also:form; the Pythagoreans claimed him as a member of their school, who had forsaken the study of philosophy for the writing of comedy .
See also:Plato (Theaetetus,152 E) puts him at the
See also:head of the masters of comedy, coupling his name with
See also:Homer and, according to a remark in
See also:Diogenes Laertius, Plato was indebted to Epicharmus for much of his philosophy .
See also:Ennius called his didactic poem on natural philosophy Epicharmus after the comic poet . The metres employed by Epicharmus were
See also:iambic trimeter, and especially trochaic and anapaestic tetrameter . The plot of the plays was
See also:simple, the
See also:action lively and rapid; hence they were classed among the fabulae motoriae (stirring, bustling), as indicated in the well-known
See also:line of Horace (Epistles, ii . 1 . 58): " Plautus ad exemplar
See also:Siculi properare Epicharmi." Epicharmus is the subject of articles in Suidas and Diogenes Laertius (viii . 3) . See A . O . Lorenz, Leben and Schriften
See also:des Koers E .
(withaccount of the Doric drama and fragments, 1864) ; J .
See also:Girard, Etudes sur la poesie grecque (1884) ; Kaibel in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclop6.die, according to whom Epicharmus was a Siceliot; for the
See also:papyrus fragment,
See also:Blass in Jahrbiicher fur Philologie, cxxxix., 1889 .
EPICENE (from the Gr. i rixocvos, common)
EPICTETUS (born c. A.D. 6o)
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