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Alexis

Alexis

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Alexis was a Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 comic
Comedian
A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. This might be through jokes or amusing situations, or acting a fool, as in slapstick, or employing prop comedy...

 poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 of the Middle Comedy
Ancient Greek comedy
Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece . Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy...

 period, born at Thurii
Thurii
Thurii , called also by some Latin writers Thurium , for a time also Copia and Copiae, was a city of Magna Graecia, situated on the Tarentine gulf, within a short distance of the site of Sybaris, whose place it may be considered as having taken...

 (in present day Calabria, Italy) in Magna Graeca and taken early to Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, where he became a citizen, being enrolled in the deme
Deme
In Ancient Greece, a deme or demos was a subdivision of Attica, the region of Greece surrounding Athens. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in...

 Oion and the tribe Leontides. It is thought he lived to the age of 106 and died on the stage while being crowned. According to the Suda
Suda
The Suda or Souda is a massive 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, formerly attributed to an author called Suidas. It is an encyclopedic lexicon, written in Greek, with 30,000 entries, many drawing from ancient sources that have since been lost, and often...

, a 10th century encyclopedia
Encyclopedia
An encyclopedia is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge....

, Alexis was the paternal uncle of the dramatist Menander
Menander
Menander , Greek dramatist, the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy, was the son of well-to-do parents; his father Diopeithes is identified by some with the Athenian general and governor of the Thracian Chersonese known from the speech of Demosthenes De Chersoneso...

 and wrote 245 comedies, of which only fragments now survive including some 130 preserved titles.

Life


It was said he had a son, called Stephanus, who also wrote comedies. He appears to have been rather addicted to the pleasures of the table, according to Athenaeus
Athenaeus
Athenaeus , of Naucratis in Egypt, Greek rhetorician and grammarian, flourished about the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century AD...

.

He won his first Lenaean victory in the 350s BC, most likely, where he was sixth after Eubulus
Eubulus (poet)
Eubulus was an Athenian "Middle Comic" poet, victorious six times at the Lenaia, first probably in the late 370s or 360s BC According to the Suda , which dates him to the 101st Olympiad Eubulus was an Athenian "Middle Comic" poet, victorious six times at the Lenaia, first probably in the late 370s...

, and fourth after Antiphanes.

While being a Middle Comic poet, Alexis was contemporary with several leading figures of New Comedy, such as Philippides, Philemon
Philemon (poet)
Philemon ; was an Athenian poet and playwright of the New Comedy. He was born either at Soli in Cilicia or at Syracuse in Sicily but moved to Athens some time before 330 BC, when he is known to have been producing plays....

, Diphilus
Diphilus
Diphilus, of Sinope, was a poet of the new Attic comedy and contemporary of Menander . Most of his plays were written and acted at Athens, but he led a wandering life, and died at Smyrna....

, and even Menander
Menander
Menander , Greek dramatist, the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy, was the son of well-to-do parents; his father Diopeithes is identified by some with the Athenian general and governor of the Thracian Chersonese known from the speech of Demosthenes De Chersoneso...

. There is also some evidence that, during his old age, he wrote plays in the style of New Comedy.

Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 says that he lived to the age of 106 and 5 months, and that he died on the stage while being crowned victor. He was certainly alive after 345 BC, for Aeschines
Aeschines
Aeschines was a Greek statesman and one of the ten Attic orators.-Life:Although it is known he was born in Athens, the records regarding his parentage and early life are conflicting; but it seems probable that his parents, though poor, were respectable. Aeschines' father was Atrometus, an...

 mentions him as alive in that year. He was also living at least as late as 288 BC, from which his birth date is calculated. According to the Suda
Suda
The Suda or Souda is a massive 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, formerly attributed to an author called Suidas. It is an encyclopedic lexicon, written in Greek, with 30,000 entries, many drawing from ancient sources that have since been lost, and often...

 he wrote 245 comedies, of which only fragments including some 130 titles survive nowadays. His plays include Meropis, Ankylion, Olympiodoros, and Parasitos (exhibited in 360 BC, in which he ridiculed Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

), Agonis (in which he ridiculed Misgolas), and the Adelphoi and the Stratiotes, in which he satirized Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Demosthenes was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by...

, and acted shortly after 343 BC.
Also The Hippos (316 BC) , in which he referred to the decree of Sophocles against the philosophers, and
Pyraunos (312 BC),
Pharmakopole (306 BC) ,
Hypobolimaios (306 BC),
Ankylion.

Because he wrote a lot of plays, same passages often appear in more than 3 plays. It was said that he also borrowed from Eubulus
Eubulus (poet)
Eubulus was an Athenian "Middle Comic" poet, victorious six times at the Lenaia, first probably in the late 370s or 360s BC According to the Suda , which dates him to the 101st Olympiad Eubulus was an Athenian "Middle Comic" poet, victorious six times at the Lenaia, first probably in the late 370s...

 and many other playwrights in some of his plays. According to Carytius of Pergamum
Carystius
Carytius of Pergamum was an ancient Greek grammarian who lived at the end of the 2nd century BCE, all of whose works are now lost. Among his works were Historical Notes , On the Dramatic Poets , and On Sotades...

, Alexis was the first to use the part of the parasite.

Alexis was known in Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 times; Aulus Gellius
Aulus Gellius
Aulus Gellius , was a Latin author and grammarian, who was probably born and certainly brought up in Rome. He was educated in Athens, after which he returned to Rome, where he held a judicial office...

 noted that Alexis' poetry was used by Roman comedians, including Turpilius and possibly Plautus
Plautus
Titus Maccius Plautus , commonly known as "Plautus", was a Roman playwright of the Old Latin period. His comedies are the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature. He wrote Palliata comoedia, the genre devised by the innovator of Latin literature, Livius Andronicus...

.

Surviving Titles And Fragments


Only fragments of any of the plays have survived - about 340 in all, totaling about 1,000 lines. They attest to the wit and refinement of the author, which Athenaeus
Athenaeus
Athenaeus , of Naucratis in Egypt, Greek rhetorician and grammarian, flourished about the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century AD...

 praises.

The surviving fragments also show that Alexis invented a great deal of words, mostly compound words. They also show that Alexis used normal words in an unusual way, or making strange and unusual forms of common words. The main sources of the fragments of Alexis are Stobaeus
Stobaeus
Joannes Stobaeus , from Stobi in Macedonia, was the compiler of a valuable series of extracts from Greek authors. The work was originally divided into two volumes containing two books each...

 and Athenaeus
Athenaeus
Athenaeus , of Naucratis in Egypt, Greek rhetorician and grammarian, flourished about the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century AD...

.

The following 139 titles of Alexis's plays have been preserved.
  • Achaiis ("The Achaean
    Achaea
    Achaea is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of West Greece. It is situated in the northwestern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. The capital is Patras. The population exceeds 300,000 since 2001.-Geography:...

     Woman")
  • Adelphoi ("The Brothers")
  • Agonis, or Hippiskos
  • Aichmalotos ("Prisoner of War")
  • Aiopoloi ("Goat-Herders")
  • Aisopos ("Aesop
    Aesop
    Aesop was a Greek writer credited with a number of popular fables. Older spellings of his name have included Esop and Isope. Although his existence remains uncertain and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a...

    ")
  • Aleiptria ("Female Physical Trainer")
  • Ampelourgos ("The Vine-Dresser")
  • Amphotis
  • Ankylion
  • Anteia
  • Apeglaukomenos
  • Apobates
  • Apokoptomenos
  • Archilochos
  • Asklepiokleides
  • Asotodidaskalos
  • Atalante
  • Atthis
  • Bomos ("Altar")
  • Bostrychos ("Lock of Hair")
  • Brettia ("The Bruttian
    Bruttii
    The Bruttii , were an ancient Italic people who inhabited the southern extremity of Italy, from the frontiers of Lucania to the Sicilian Straits and the promontory of Leucopetra, roughly corresponding to modern Calabria.-History:...

     Woman")
  • Choregis
  • Daktylios ("The Ring")
  • Demetrios, or Philetairus
  • Diapleousai ("Women Sailing Across The Sea")
  • Didymoi ("Twins")
  • Dis Penthon ("Twice Grieving")
  • Dorkis, or Poppyzousa ("Lip-Smacking Woman")
  • Dropides
  • Eis To Phrear ("Into The Well")
  • Eisoikizomenos ("Banished Man")
  • Ekkeryttomenos
  • Ekpomatopoios ("Cup-Maker")
  • Epidaurios
  • Epikleros ("The Heiress")
  • Epistole ("The Letter")
  • Epitropos ("Guardian", or "Protector")
  • Eretrikos ("Man From Eretria
    Eretria
    Erétria was a polis in Ancient Greece, located on the western coast of the island of Euboea, south of Chalcis, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow Euboean Gulf. Eretria was an important Greek polis in the 6th/5th century BC. However, it lost its importance already in antiquity...

    ")
  • Erithoi ("Weavers"), or Pannychis ("All-Night Festival")
  • Galateia ("Galatea
    Galatea
    Galatea is an ancient Greek name meaning "she who is milk-white".Galatea or Galathea may refer to:-In mythology:* Galatea :**Galatea, a woman who prayed for her daughter to be turned into a son, Leucippus...

    ")
  • Graphe ("The Document")
  • Gynaikokratia ("Government By Women")
  • Helene ("Helen")
  • Helenes Arpage ("Helen's Capture")
  • Helenes Mnesteres ("Helen's Suitors")
  • Hellenis ("The Greek Woman")
  • Hepta Epi Thebais ("Seven Against Thebes")
  • Hesione ("Hesione
    Hesione
    In Greek mythology and later art, the name Hesione refers to various mythological figures, of which the Trojan princess Hesione is known most.-Princess Hesione of Troy:...

    ")
  • Hippeis ("Knights")
  • Homoia
  • Hypnos ("Sleep")
  • Hypobolimaios ("Changeling")
  • Iasis ("The Cure, or Remedy")
  • Isostasion
  • Kalasiris
  • Karchedonios ("Cathaginian Man")
  • Katapseudomenos
  • Kaunioi
  • Keryttomenos
  • Kitharodos
  • Kleobouline ("Cleobuline")
  • Knidia ("Woman From Cnidus")
  • Koniates ("Plasterer")
  • Kouris ("The Lady Hairdresser")
  • Krateuas, or Pharmakopoles ("Pharmacist")
  • Kybernetes ("The Pilot or Helmsman")
  • Kybeutai ("Dice-Players")
  • Kyknos ("The Swan")
  • Kyprios ("The Cypriot Man")
  • Lampas ("Torch")
  • Lebes ("Cauldron")
  • Leukadia, or Drapetai ("Female Runaways")
  • Leuke
  • Lemnia ("Woman From Lemnos
    Lemnos
    Lemnos is an island of Greece in the northern part of the Aegean Sea. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Lemnos peripheral unit, which is part of the North Aegean Periphery. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Myrina...

    ")
  • Linos
  • Lokroi ("The Locrians")
  • Lykiskos
  • Mandragorizomene ("Mandrake-Drugged Woman")
  • Manteis ("Diviners," or "Seers")
  • Meropis ("Meropis
    Meropis
    Meropis is a fictional island mentioned by ancient Greek writer Theopompus of Chios in his work "Philippica", which is only fragmentarily maintained via Aelian.- Background :...

    ")
  • Midon ("Midon")
  • Milesia ("Milesian Woman")
  • Milkon ("Milcon")
  • Minos ("Minos
    Minos
    In Greek mythology, Minos was a king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. Every year he made King Aegeus pick seven men and seven women to go to Daedalus' creation, the labyrinth, to be eaten by The Minotaur. After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in Hades. The Minoan civilization of Crete...

    ")
  • Mylothros ("The Miller")
  • Odysseus Aponizomenos ("Odysseus Washing Himself")
  • Odysseus Hyphainon ("Odysseus Weaving Cloth")
  • Olympiodoros
  • Olynthia ("Woman From Olynthos")
  • Opora ("Autumn")
  • Orchestris ("The Dancing-Girl")
  • Orestes ("Orestes
    Orestes
    Orestes was the son of Agamemnon in Greek mythology; Orestes may also refer to:Drama*Orestes , by Euripides*Orestes, the character in Sophocles' tragedy Electra*Orestes, the character in Aeschylus' trilogy of tragedies, Oresteia...

    ")
  • Pallake ("Concubine")
  • Pamphile
  • Pankratiastes
  • Parasitos ("Parasite")
  • Pezonike
  • Phaidon, or Phaidrias
  • Phaidros ("Phaedrus
    Phaedrus
    Phaedrus , Roman fabulist, was probably a Thracian slave, born in Pydna of Macedonia and lived in the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius...

    ")
  • Philathenaios ("Lover of the Athenian People")
  • Philiskos
  • Philokalos, or Nymphai ("Nymphs")
  • Philotragodos ("Lover of Tragedies")
  • Philousa
  • Phryx ("The Phrygian")
  • Phygas ("Fugitive")
  • Poietai ("Poets")
  • Poietria ("The Poetess")
  • Polykleia ("Polyclea")
  • Ponera ("Wicked Woman")
  • Pontikos ("Man From Pontus
    Pontus
    Pontus or Pontos is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day northeastern Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area, and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος...

    ")
  • Proskedannymenos
  • Protochoros ("First Chorus")
  • Pseudomenos ("The Lying Man")
  • Pylaia
  • Pyraunos
  • Pythagorizousa ("Female Disciple of Pythagoras
    Pythagoras
    Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him...

    ")
  • Rhodion, or Poppyzousa ("Lip-Smacking Woman")
  • Sikyonios ("Man From Sicyon
    Sicyon
    Sikyon was an ancient Greek city situated in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea on the territory of the present-day prefecture of Corinthia...

    ")
  • Skeiron
  • Sorakoi
  • Spondophoros ("Libation-Bearer")
  • Stratiotes ("Soldier")
  • Synapotheskontes ("Men Dying Together")
  • Syntrechontes
  • Syntrophoi
  • Syrakosios ("Man From Syracuse
    Syracuse
    Syracuse, as a place name, may refer to:In Italy:* Syracuse, Sicily* the Province of SyracuseIn the United States:* Syracuse, New York* Syracuse, Indiana* Syracuse, Kansas* Syracuse, Missouri* Syracuse, Nebraska* Syracuse, Ohio* Syracuse, Utah...

    ")
  • Tarantinoi
  • Thebaioi ("Men From Thebes")
  • Theophoretos ("Possessed by a God")
  • Thesprotoi
  • Theteuontes ("Serfs")
  • Thrason ("Thrason")
  • Titthe ("Wet-Nurse")
  • Tokistes ("Money-Lender"), or Katapseudomenos
  • Traumatias ("The Wounded Man")
  • Trophonios ("Trophonius
    Trophonius
    Trophonius or Trophonios was a Greek hero or daimon or god - it was never certain which one - with a rich mythological tradition and an oracular cult at Lebadaea in Boeotia....

    ")
  • Tyndareos ("Tyndareus
    Tyndareus
    In Greek mythology, Tyndareus or Tyndareos was a Spartan king, son of Oebalus and Gorgophone , husband of Leda and father of Helen, Castor and Polydeuces, Clytemnestra, Timandra, Phoebe and Philonoe.Tyndareus had a brother named Hippocoon , who seized power and exiled Tyndareus...

    ")

  • Editions of Fragments

    • Augustus Meineke
      Augustus Meineke
      Johann Albrecht Friedrich August Meineke , German classical scholar, was born at Soest in Westphalia.After holding educational posts at Jenkau and Danzig , he was director of the Joachimsthal Gymnasium in Berlin from 1826 to 1856. He died at Berlin on 12 December 1870...

      . Potarum Graecorum comicorum fragmenta, (1855).
    • Theodor Kock. Comicorum Atticorum fragmenta, i. (1880).*Theodor Kock. Comicorum Atticorum fragmenta, i. (1880).#
      • C. Austin and Rudolf Kassel. Poetae Comici Graeci. vol. 1.