2. A distinguished Athenian comic poet of the Middle Comedy, who lived at a period when the revival of political energy, in consequence of the encroachments of Philip, restored to the Middle Comedy much of the vigour and real aim of the Old, is conspicuous for the freedom with which he discussed public men and measures, as well as for the number of his dramas, and the purity of his style, in which scarcely any departures from the best standards of Attic diction can be detected. His time is indicated by several allusions in his plays, especially to the Attic orators and statesmen. Like Antiphanes, he made sarcastic allusions to the vehement spirit and rhetorical boldness of Demosthenes, whom he also attacked, with Hyperides, and the other orators who had received money from Harpalus. (Pseudo-Plut. Vit. X. Orat.
p. 845b.; Timoc. Heroes, ap.
Ath. vi. p. 224a., Delus
or Delius, ap.
Ath. viii. p. 341e.; Clinton, F. H. s. aa. 343, 336, 324,
where, as well as in Meineke, other such personal allusions are mentioned.) Hence the period during which he flourished appears to have extended from about the middle of the fourth century B. C. till after B. C. 324, so that at the beginning of his career he was in part contemporary with Antiphanes, and at the end of it, with Menander. (Comp. Ath. vii. p. 245c.)
There is also an allusion to one of his plays, the Icarii,
in a fragment of Alexis (Ath. iii. p. 120a). From these statements it is clear that he is rightly referred to the Middle Comedy, although Pollux (10.154) reckons him among the poets of the New (Τοῖς νεωτέροις
), perhaps on account of the late period down to which he flourished.
He is the latest of the poets of the Middle Comedy, excepting Xenarchus and Theophilus.
Suidas, who has here fallen into his frequent error of making two persons out of one, assigns to Timocles, in his two articles upon him, nineteen dramas, on the authority of Athenaeus, in whose work are also found some titles not mentioned by Suidas, and a few more are gathered from other sources.
The list, when completed and corrected, stands thus : --
Some of these titles involve important questions, which are fully discussed by Meineke.
Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec.
vol. i. pp. 428-433, vol. iii. pp. 590-613; Editio Minor, pp. 798-811.
Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. ii. pp. 503, 504.