Twelve Chordai and the Strobilos of Phrynis in the Chiron of Pherecrates (PCG fr. 155)

TitleTwelve Chordai and the Strobilos of Phrynis in the Chiron of Pherecrates (PCG fr. 155)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsPöhlmann, E
Ancient AuthorsPherecrates Comic. (TLG 0486)
JournalQuaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica
Volumen.s. 99

Ambiguity is an essential element of the merrymaking of Ancient Greek Comedy. A masterpiece of ambiguity is the fragment of the Chiron, in which Pherecrates succeeds in touching the most controversial inventions of New Music by telling a story of Music, who is raped by four of the most prominent modernists. In spite of many thorough analyses of these 28 lines, there remain two puzzling questions: what is the sexual connotation of χορδή (string), and what is meant by the στρόβιλος of Phrynis? Following hints by Dover, it appears that χορδή can mean membrum virile. And Schönewolf 's suggestion, that στρόβιλος means a tuning peg, is corroborated by archeological evidence: There are many examples of tuning pegs for stringed instruments of hellenistic times. And after the excavation of two tuning pegs of the 5th century in a necropolis in Leucas in 2003 there is an example of the "screwbolt" of Phrynis, the sexual connotation of which is evident. []


Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica 2011, n.s. 99.3 includes the papers delivered during the International Seminar "Poesia, canto e accompagnamento strumentale nel De musica attribuito a Plutarco" (Università della Calabria, 26-28 Novembre 2009).


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