chapter  10
12 Pages

THESMOPHORIAZUSAE

On the contest of Andromeda, considerations of a different kind are possible, although in this regard the single fact to emerge, from the scholion on Thesmophoriazusae 1012, is that ‘Andromeda was presented along with Helen.’ If instead one knew that Euripides, for instance, had competed with a third drama at least, or that two other poets had competed with him, then Andromeda and Helen might definitively be catalogued as Dionysian tragedies, for in the Dionysian contests during that period three poets took part with a tetralogy each. Regarding the Lenaian tragic contests, IG II2.2319, 70-83 testifies that in the years 419 and 418 two tragic poets competed at the Lenaia with two tragedies each. It is not so difficult to concede that this conforms to the Lenaian norm-from the moment tragedy was actually admitted to the Lenaia, that is, from approximately 432.1

In the first half of the fourth century the regulations of the Lenaia-apart from those of the Dionysia prescribing three poets with a tetralogy each, in force from the beginning of the fifth century-must still have been the same, a factor evident in the case of Theodektes, active from approximately 365 to 350: ‘Theodektes presented fifty dramas’ (the Suda); ‘Theodektes composed fifty tragedies’ (Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. ); and ‘in thirteen contests involving tragic choruses he obtained eight victories’, as transmitted in the epitaph from his tomb quoted by Stephanus. From IG II2.2325, 11, it emerges that Theodektes obtained altogether seven victories

at the Dionysia; the eighth must therefore have been Lenaian. Hence, the generally accepted figure of fifty dramas can be made to correspond only to twelve Dionysian tetralogies and two Lenaian tragedies (less evident, but still not to be overlooked, is the case of Sophocles the Younger, active from 396 to around 375: ‘Sophocles presented forty dramas and won seven victories’, the Suda: ‘Sophocles won twelve victories’, Diodorus XIV.53.6. If the difference in the number of victories is to be ascribed to the fact that seven were Dionysian and five Lenaian, then Sophocles must have competed seven times at the Dionysia and six at the Lenaia with 7×4+6×2 dramas. Regarding two victories at the Dionysia of this inveterate prize-winner, the grandson of Sophocles, information survives in IG II2.2318, 199 and 244).