One of the most eminent poets of the New Comedy at Athens, a native of Cassandrea, in Macedonia. He began to exhibit for the first time in the third year after the death of Menander, or in B.C. 289. Of his pieces, as many as forty are mentioned by name, but only fragments of them are preserved. It was probably in imitation of one of these that the Menaechmi of Plautus was written.
Posidippus wrote thirty, or, as some have it, fifty comedies; the
titles of fifteen of these are known, and some of them were Latinized. He began
to exhibit in 289 B.C., two years after the death of Menander, and was one of
the most popular of the new comedians.
Of the new comedy, and of Greek comedy proper, Posidippus was the last exponent. Other writers have indeed been mentioned, as Rhinthon of Tarentum, Sopater of Paphos, and Sotades of Crete, but the tragi-comedy of Rhinthon was called by a name which signifies "meaningless chatter," and the indecency of the Sotadean plays made them a by-word of reproach. All belonged to the age of the Ptolemies, and with the transplanting of Hellenic comedy from Athens to Alexandria, the classic drama of Greece was dead.
Alfred Bates, ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the TheatreHistory URL below.
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