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DICAEOPOLIS
Peace, profane men! Let the basket-bearer1 come forward, and thou Xanthias, hold the phallus well upright.2

WIFE OF DICAEOPOLIS
Daughter, set down the basket and let us begin the sacrifice.

DAUGHTER OF DICAEOPOLIS
Mother, hand me the ladle, that I may spread the sauce on the cake.

DICAEOPOLIS
It is well! Oh, mighty Bacchus, it is with joy that, freed from military duty, I and all mine perform this solemn rite and offer thee this sacrifice; grant that I may keep the rural Dionysia without hindrance and that this truce of thirty years may be propitious for me.

WIFE OF DICAEOPOLIS
Come, my child, carry the basket gracefully and with a grave, demure face. Happy he, who shall be your possessor and embrace you so firmly at dawn,3 that you belch wind like a weasel. Go forward, and have a care they don't snatch your jewels in the crowd.

DICAEOPOLIS
Xanthias, walk behind the basket-bearer and hold the phallus well erect; I will follow, singing the Phallic hymn; thou, wife, look on from the top of the terrace.4 Forward!

1 The maiden who carried the basket filled with fruits at the Dionysia in honour of Bacchus.

2 The emblem of the fecundity of nature; it consisted of a representation, generally grotesquely exaggerated, of the male genital organs; the phallophori crowned with violets and ivy and their faces shaded with green foliage, sang improvised airs, call ‘Phallics,’ full of obscenity and suggestive ‘double entendres.’

3 The most propitious moment for Love's gambols, observes the scholiast.

4 Married women did not join in the processions.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 632
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