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Philonĭdes

Φιλωνίδης). An Athenian poet of the Old Comedy, who is, however, best known on account of his connection with the literary history of Aristophanes. It is generally stated that Philonides was an actor of Aristophanes, who is said to have committed to him and to Callistratus his chief characters; but the best modern critics have shown that this is an erroneous statement, and that the true state of the case is that several of the plays of Aristophanes were brought out in the names of Callistratus and Philonides. We learn from Aristophanes himself not only the fact that he brought out his early plays in the names of other poets, but also his reasons for so doing. In the parabasis of the Knights (v. 514), he states that he had pursued this course not from want of thought, but from a sense of the difficulty of his profession, and from a fear that he might suffer from that fickleness of taste which the Athenians had shown towards other poets, as Magnes, Crates, and Cratinus. It appears that Aristophanes used the name of Philonides probably for the Clouds, and certainly for the Wasps, the Proagon, the Amphiaraüs, and the Frogs. The Daetaleis, the Babylonians, the Acharnians, the Birds, and the Lysistrata were brought out in the name of Callistratus. Of the extant plays of Aristophanes, the only ones which he is known to have brought out in his own name are the Knights, the Peace, and the Plutus.

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