[4arg] What the poet Menander said to Philemon, by whom he was often undeservedly defeated in contests in comedy; and that Euripides was very often vanquished in tragedy by obscure poets.
IN contests in comedy Menander was often defeated by Philemon, a writer by no means his equal, owing to intrigue, favour, and partisanship. When Menander once happened to meet his rival, he said: “Pray pardon me, Philemon, but really, don't you blush when you defeat me?” [p. 215] Marcus Varro says 1 that Euripides also, although he wrote seventy-five tragedies, was victor with only five, 2 and was often vanquished by some very poor poets. Some say that Menander left one hundred and eight comedies, others that the number was a hundred and nine. But we find these words of Apollodorus, a very famous writer, about Menander in his work entitled Chronica: 3
Cephissia's child, by Diopeithes sired,Yet Apollodorus also writes in the same book that out of all those hundred and five dramas Menander gained the victory only with eight.
An hundred plays he left and five besides;
At fifty-two he died.