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THEORUS
I am here.

DICAEOPOLIS
Another humbug!

THEORUS
We should not have remained long in Thrace...

DICAEOPOLIS
Forsooth, no, if you had not been well paid.

THEORUS
...if the country had not been covered with snow; the rivers were ice-bound at the time that Theognis1 brought out his tragedy here; during the whole of that time I was holding my own with Sitalces, cup in hand; and, in truth, he adored you to such a degree, that he wrote on the walls, “How beautiful are the Athenians!” His son, to whom we gave the freedom of the city, burned with desire to come here and eat chitterlings at the feast of the Apaturia;2 he prayed his father to come to the aid of his new country and Sitalces swore on his goblet that he would succour us with such a host that the Athenians would exclaim, “What a cloud of grasshoppers!”

DICAEOPOLIS
May I die if I believe a word of what you tell us! Excepting the grasshoppers, there is not a grain of truth in it all!

THEORUS
And he has sent you the most warlike soldiers of all Thrace.

DICAEOPOLIS
Now we shall begin to see clearly.

HERALD
Come hither, Thracians, whom Theorus brought.

DICAEOPOLIS
What plague have we here?

THEORUS
'Tis the host of the Odomanti.3

DICAEOPOLIS
Of the Odomanti? Tell me what it means. Who has mutilated them like this?

THEORUS
If they are given a wage of two drachmae, they will put all Boeotia4 to fire and sword.

DICAEOPOLIS
Two drachmae to those circumcised hounds! Groan aloud, ye people of rowers, bulwark of Athens! Ah! great gods! I am undone; these Odomanti are robbing me of my garlic!5 Will you give me back my garlic?

THEORUS
Oh! wretched man! do not go near them; they have eaten garlic6.

DICAEOPOLIS
Prytanes, will you let me be treated in this manner, in my own country and by barbarians? But I oppose the discussion of paying a wage to the Thracians; I announce an omen; I have just felt a drop of rain.7

1 The tragic poet.

2 A feast lasting three days and celebrated during the month Pyanepsion (November). The Greek word contains the suggestion of fraud.

3 A Thracian tribe from the right bank of the Strymon.

4 The Boeotians were the allies of Sparta.

5 Dicaeopolis had brought a clove of garlic with him to eat during the Assembly.

6 Garlic was given to game-cocks, before setting them at each other, to give them pluck for the fight.

7 At the least unfavourable omen, the sitting of the Assembly was declared at an end.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ECCLE´SIA
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