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Who is Dicaeopolis?

  • E. L. Bowie (a1)


The name given by Aristophanes to the leading character in his Acharnians has given rise to much discussion, and I take the opportunity of the appearance in this Journal of another well-documented assessment to put forward briefly, and without a full and independent armoury of footnotes, a solution that contests the communis opinio that Dicaeopolis in some sense speaks for and as Aristophanes.



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1 H. P. Foley, Tragedy and politics in Aristophanes’ Achamians, above pp. 33-47.

2 See however Macdowell (Foley n. 3).

3 Postponement ofleading character's names is of course exploited elsewhere, e.g. Strepsiades is first named in Nu. 134, Philocleon and Bdelycleon in Vesp. 133-4, Trygaeus in Pax 190. But in Ach. we learn the name even later.

4 Cf. Foley (n. 6).

5 I do not accept that (as suggested by a Journal referee) the similarity of phraseology between 497-502 and the parabasis demonstrates that the audience would take the passages to refer to the same person. Are we to assume that on hearing the parabasis the audience would actually change whatever identification it had already formed at 497 ff.?

6 See Lewis, D. M., ABSA 1 (1955) 112, Henderson, J., Aristophanes Lysistrata (Oxford 1987) xxxviii–xl.

7 See Kassell, R. and Austin, C., Poetae comici graeci v (Berlin/New York 1986) 294, Eupolis Test. 2a8.

8 Foley (n. 52).

9 Kassel-Austin (n. 7) 442 ff. on Prospaltioi.

10 260.30. μέγα στένοι μέντἄν άκ| cf. Ach. 162. ύποστενοι μέντἃν ό θρανίτης λέως.

11 Wilamowitz, , Philologische Untersuchungen i (1880) 66.

12 E. Handlcy has even proposed a date as late as 415 BC, PCA lxxix (1982) 24 ff.

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Who is Dicaeopolis?

  • E. L. Bowie (a1)


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