On the Interpretation of Aristophanes’ fr. 663 Kassel–Austin

The problem discussed in the article concerns of the sense of Aristophanes’ fr. 663 Kassel–Austin. The ancient commentator proclaims Aristophanes to assimilate Aeschylus with κόλλοψ because the latter was “remarkably coarse”; the exact meaning of rare noun κόλλοψ in this case is therefore under consideration. The commentators used to interpret κόλλοψ as either lyre peg (according to the Erstbeleg in Hom. Od. XXI. 407) or coarse oxhide (according to scholiasts) — one can easily note those two meanings to be closely associated with each other. Some scholars (Poehlmann, Tichy) suppose the meaning pathicus to be preferable for κόλλοψ in Old Attic comedy. The author of the article argues that κόλλοψ in the fr. 663 could mean neither peg nor pathicus. The only way it should be understood is “a piece of oxhide” or “a meal prepared of [oxen] scruff”. The episode of the literary agon in Aristophanes’ «Frogs», when Euripides proclaims ῥήματα of his antagonist Aeschylus to be βόεια, gives arguments for such an interpretation, as far as some Aristophanes’ fragments (fr. 185, 520 Kassel–Austin et al.), where poetics is assimilated with different meals, either refined or not. The whole idea of Aeschylus in Aristophanes’ plays corresponds with this hypothesis: Aristophanes describes his poetry and himself with solid, nearly monumental metaphors.