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ξυστίδας. The name ξυστίς was given to various kinds of purple robes or mantles—among them those worn by kings upon the stage, and by riders in festal processions. The authorities are cited in Müller Gr. Bühnenalt. p. 234 note I. If the Scholiasts on Ar. Clouds 70 and Theocr. II 74 are to be trusted, we should write ξύστιδας, not ξυστίδας.

ἐπὶ δεξιά. Whether we read ἐπιδέξια or ἐπὶ δεξιά the word should be understood as ‘from left to right.’ At a Greek banquet, the guests were always placed ἐπὶ δεξιά, i.e. so that the guest on your right hand occupied a lower place (ὑποκατακεκλιμένος) than you, and the wine circulated from left to right of the banqueters. See Blümner Privatalt. p. 237 note 7 and Darbishire Relliq. Philol. p. 78. The word suggests a banquet with all the formalities, and heightens the incongruity of the situation, like the purple robes and golden crowns of the farmers. Schneider's exhaustive discussion seems to me conclusive in favour of writing ἐπὶ δεξιά as two words. Casaubon has been followed by most of the editors (except Schneider) in taking ἐπιδέξια as an adverb=‘commode’ (Ast), ‘commode et eleganter’ (Stallbaum etc.), or ‘dexterously,’ ‘cleverly’ (J. and C.); but it may well be doubted if the word could mean ‘commode,’ and ‘dexterously’ is inappropriate. Cf. Darbishire l.c. p. 78 note I. ἐπὶ δεξιά goes with κατακλίναντες and πρὸς τὸ πῦρ (cf. Blaydes on Ar. Ach. 751) with διαπίνοντας. The fire is that by which the potters bake their pottery; their workshop has for the nonce become a hall of banqueting.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 751
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 70
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