). A writer of the Old Comedy, who was born at
Athens about the year B.C. 446. He was therefore a contemporary of Aristophanes, who, in all
probability, was born a year or two after. Eupolis is supposed to have exhibited plays for the
first time in B.C. 429. In B.C. 425 he was third with his Νουμηνίαι
, when Cratinus was second and Aristophanes first. In B.C. 421 he
brought out his Μαρικᾶς
and his Κόλακες
, and his Αὐτόλυκος
the following year (Schol. on Nub.
592; Schol. on Pac.
803). The titles of more than twenty of his comedies have
been collected. A few fragments remain. Eupolis was a bold and severe satirist on the vices of
his day and city. Persius (i. 124) terms him iratus
Sat. i. 4.1
foll.). In the Μαρικᾶς
attacked Hyperbolus (Nub.
551); in the Αὐτόλυκος
he ridiculed the handsome pancratiast of that name; in the Ἀστράτευτοι
he lashed the useless and cowardly citizens of Athens,
and denounced Melanthus as an epicure. In the Βάπται
inveighed against the effeminacy of his countrymen. In his Λακεδαίμονες
he assailed Cimon, accusing him, among other charges, of an
unpatriotic bias towards everything Spartan. (See Plut.
, who says that this play had a great influence on the public
feeling.) Aristophanes seems to have been on bad terms with Eupolis, whom he charges with
having pillaged the materials for his Μαρικᾶς
, 551 foll.), and with making
scurrilous jokes on his premature baldness (Schol. Ad Nub.
appears to have been a warm admirer of Pericles as a statesman and a man, as it was reasonable
that such a comedian should be, if it be true that he owed his unrestrained license of speech
to the patronage of that celebrated statesman. His death was generally ascribed to the
vengeance of Alcibiades, whom he had lampooned, probably in the Βάπται
vi. 1). By his orders, according to the common
account, Eupolis was thrown overboard during the passage of the Athenian armament to Sicily
(B.C. 415). Cicero, however, calls this story a popular error; since Eratosthenes, the
Alexandrian librarian, had shown that several comedies were composed by Eupolis some time
after the date assigned to this pseudoassassination. His tomb, too, according to Pausanias,
was erected on the banks of the Asopus by the Sicyonians, which makes it most probable that
this was the place of his death. The fragments of Eupolis will be found in Meineke's
Fragmenta Com. Graec.
i. pp. 104-146; and ii. pp. 426-579 (Berlin,
; and are separately edited by Runkel (Leipzig, 1829)
. A Latin
translation of them will be found in Bothe, Frag. Com. Graec. (Paris,