), an Athenian comic poet of the old comedy, flourished after Magnes, and a little before Cratinus and Telecleides. (Näke, Choerilus,
He is called by Aspasius (ad Aristot. EN 4.2
) τῶν ἀρχαίων παλαιότατον ποιητήν
, which words some writers understand as implying that he was older than Chionides and Magnes.
But we have the clear testimony of Aristotle (Poct.
5.3), that all the poets before Magnes furnished their choruses at their own expense, whereas the name of a person who was choragus for Ecphantides is mentioned also by Aristotle. (Polit.
8.6.) Again, a certain Androcles, to whom Cratinus and Telecleides often refer, was also attacked by Ecphantides, who could not, therefore, have flourished long before those poets. (Schol. Aristoph. Wasps 1182
The date of Ecphantides may be placed about Ol. 80 (B. C. 460), and onwards.
The meaning of the surname of Καπνίας
, which was given to Ecphantides by his rivals, has been much disputed, but it seems to imply a mixture of subtlety and obscurity.
He ridiculed the rudeness of the old Megaric comedy, and was himself ridiculed on the same ground by Cratinus, Aristophanes, and others. (Hesych. s. v. Καπνίας
; Schol. Aristoph. Wasps 151
; Näke, Choeril.
p. 52; Lehrs, Quaest. Epic.
p. 23; Meineke, p. 36.)
There is only one certain title of a play by Ecphantides extant, namely, the Σατύροι
, a line of which is preserved by Athenaeus (iii. p.96, b., c.). Another play, Πύραυνος
is ascribed to him by Näke on conjectural grounds; but Meineke ascribes it to Autiphanes. Another title, Δώνυσος
, is obtained by Näke from a comparison of Suidas (s. v. Εὔϊε
) with Hephaestion (15.13, p. 96, Gaisf.; see Gaisford's note). Ecphantides was said to have been assisted in composing his plays by his slave CHOERILUS.