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*Sqe/nelos), a tragic poet, contemporary with Aristophanes.



Aristophanes attacked him in the Gerytades and the Wasps. (Aristoph. Vesp. 1312, and the Schol.) The scholiast here speaks of him as a tragic actor 1, which is evidently a mistake, for Harpocration (s. v.) expressly tells us that he was mentioned in the Didascaliae as a tragic poet, and there are several references to him as such. He is mentioned by Aristotle (Poet. 22) with Cleophon, as example of those poets whose words are well chosen, but whose diction is not at all elevated. The insipidity of his style is happily ridiculed by Aristophanes in the question, " How shall I eat the words of Sthenelus, dipping them in vinegar or in dry salt ? " (Geryt. ap. Schol. ad Vesp. l.c. ; Ath. ix. p. 367.) The comic poet Plato also, in his Lacones, attacked him for plagiarism. (Harpocr. and Phot. s. v.) There are no fragments of Sthenelus, except a single verse quoted by Athenaeus (x. p. 428a.), which, being an hexameter, call hardly belong to a tragedy. Perhaps Sthenelus composed elegies. How long he lived is not known : from his not being mentioned in the Frogs, Kayser supposes that he had died before the exhibition of that play in B. C. 406.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. p. 323; Welcker, die Griech. Tragöd. p. 1033; Kayser, Hist. Crit. Trag. Graec. pp. 323-325; Wagner, Frag. Trag. Graec. in Didot's Bibliotheca, p. 91.


1 * That is, in the common editions. In the best manuscripts the word ὑποκρίτης is omitted.

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406 BC (1)
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