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When I was appointed Choregus for the Thargelia,1 Pantacles2 falling to me as poet and the Cecropid as the tribe that went with mine [that is to say the Erechtheid],3 I discharged my office as efficiently and as scrupulously as I was able. I began by fitting out a training-room in the most suitable part of my house, the same that I had used when Choregus at the Dionysia.4 Next, I recruited the best chorus that I could, without indicting a single fine, without extorting a single pledge,5 and without making a single enemy. Just as though nothing could have been more satisfactory or better suited to both parties, I on my side would make my demand or request, while the parents on theirs would send their sons along without demur, nay, readily.

1 The χορηγία was one of the λητουργίαι, or public duties, imposed upon the richer citizens by the state. A Choregus had to equip and train a chorus for one of the annual festivals, in this case the Thargelia, held in honor of Apollo and celebrated on the 7th of Thargelion (May 1st) by a competition between choirs of boys selected from the ten tribes, which were grouped in pairs for the purpose.

2 Probably this is the Pantacles who appears as a lyric poet in a choregic inscription of the period ( I.G. i(2). 771). Aristophanes also refers jokingly to a Pantacles who got into difficulties with his helmet at the Panatheniac procession on one occasion (Aristoph. Frogs 1036: first staged in 405); but it is not certain that he was the poet.

3 See critical note 6.

4 i.e. the Great Dionysia (τὰ ἐν ἄστει Διονύσια), celebrated every March with a procession, choruses of boys, and tragic and comic performances. The speaker had undertaken the training of a chorus for the festival in some previous year.

5 The Choregus was empowered to inflict fines upon parents who refused to allow their sons to perform without good reason. The “pledges” mentioned would presumably be exacted from parents who did proffer some excuse. If the excuse proved unsatisfactory, they would forfeit their money.

load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1888)
load focus Greek (K. J. Maidment)
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