ἀλλ’ εἴ με σῴζων τοῦτο μὴ πείσαις ἐμέ,

οὐκέτι πατὴρ κρίνοι’ ἂν ἀλλὰ δεσπότης.715



λόγου δὲ δεῖται ταῦτα καὶ συμπείσεως;

οὐκ ἐπιπόλαιον; αὐτό, Παμφίλη, βοᾷ

φωνὴν ἀφιέν· εἰ δὲ κἀμὲ δεῖ λέγειν,

ἕτοιμός εἰμι, τρία δέ σοι προθήσομαι.

οὔτ’ ἂν ἔτι σωθείη ποθ’ οὗτος οὔτε σύ. 720


(desunt uersus fere xxiv)


τὴν πολυτέλειαν. Θεσμοφόρια δὶς τίθει,

Σκίρα δίς· τὸν ὄλεθρον τοῦ βίου καταμάνθανε. 750

οὔκουν ἀπόλωλεν οὗτος ὁμολογουμένως;

σκόπει τὸ σὸν δή· φησὶ δεῖν εἰς Πειραιᾶ

αὐτὸν βαδίσαι· καθεδεῖτ’ ἐκεῖσ’ ἐλθών· σὺ δέ

τούτοις ὀδυνήσει, περιμενεῖς ...

ἄδειπνος· ὁ δὲ πίνει μετ’ ἐκείνης δηλαδή 755


(desunt uersus fere xciv)

    Act 4

    Act 4 begins with an argument between PAMPHILE and her father SMIKRINES. It is possible that these are the opening lines of the act but there might have been a few earlier lines that are now missing.


    714 πείσαις: > πείθω, 2nd sing. aor. opt. act.

    715 κρίνοι(ε): > κρίνω, 3rd sing. aor. opt. act.

    718 ἀφιέν: > ἀφίημι neut. nom. sing. aor. part. act. κἀμὲ: = καὶ ὲμέ

    720 σωθείη: > σῴζω 3rd sing. aor. opt. pass.


    Lines 721-724 are barely legible and a gap of about 25 lines follows, so the text here resumes with line 749. SMIKRINES is still ranting about what will happen if she stays with CHARISIOS.


    749 Θεσμοφόρια: The Thesmophoria was a festival in honor of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone, and its participants were exclusively women. The idea may be that Smikrines is saying that CHARISIOS would pay double to have both PAMPHILE and HABROTONON attend. τίθει: > 2nd sing. pres. imper. act. “Put…” SMIKRINES seems to be imagining an accounting ledger, where he is indicating CHARISIOS' expenses. As so often, he is obsessed with numbers and finances.

    750 Σκίρα: The Skira was another festival exclusive to women, apparently also linked to Demeter and Persephone, and possibly Poseidon as well. As with the reference to the Thesmophoria in the previous line, the idea may be that CHARISIOS would be paying double to have both his wife and mistress attend.

    752 Πειραιᾶ: The Piraeus was (and is) the district of Athens with the harbor and port. It is typical of such districts to have prostitute activity, and so SMIKRINES here is likely imagining that CHARISIOS will be heading there to be with HABROTONON.

    754: The end of this line is missing and there is no certain restoration of it, but the remaining words are clear enough in meaning. SMIKRINES is continuing to imagine what life would be like for CHARISIOS and PAMPHILE if she stays with him.


    The few lines after 755 are badly mutilated and most of the next 90+ lines are completely lost, but a few partial lines indicate that PAMPHILE continued to stand up to her father and stay with CHARISIOS.

    σύμπεισις -εως ἡ: persuasion 

    ἐπιπόλαιος -ον: prominent, obvious

    βοάω: to roar, howl, shout

    ἑτοῖμος -ον: ready, prepared

    προτίθημι προθήσω: to set before, put forth

    δὶς: twice

    πολυτέλεια -ας ἡ: extravagance, great expense

    Θεσμοφόρια -ων τά: Thesmophoria

    Σκίρα -ων τά: Skira

    ὄλεθρος -ου ὁ: ruin, destruction

    καταμανθάνω: to observe closely

    ὁμολογουμένως: indubitably

    Πειραιᾶ -ῶν τά : Piraeus

    βαδίζω βαδίσω ἐβάδισα: to walk

    καθέζομαι καθεδοῦμαι: to sit, lounge

    ὀδυνάω ὀδυνήσομαι: to feel pain, suffer

    περιμένω περιμενῶ: to wait for

    ἄδειπνος -ον: supperless, without dinner

    δηλαδή: quite clearly

    Act 4


    (CHAIRESTRATOS begins the scene hanging out on the edges of the stage, watching the events unfold)



    (bold, steadfast in her position against her father, (incensed by her father’s previous remarks, not willing to play the part of “demure daughter”)

    (714) If you can’t persuade me to follow along willingly with this plot to “save me,” you’re making the decision not as my father but as my owner



    (spluttering angrily)

    Do I – do these things need – No! I shouldn’t have to persuade you! It’s obvious! Pamphile, how could you not- just listen! Hear that??

    (holds hand up to ear dramatically)

    It’s SO obvious it’s SHOUTING AT YOU!

    (PAMPHILE gives him a reproachful look, SMIKRINES stops shouting)

    Fine! Fine. I must- if you want me to explain- I will! He can’t be- you can’t be saved! (721) Careless and- and happy! He’ll parade around – but not you!



    (jumps into the scene, cutting off SMIKRINES, who continues to rage silently in the background)

    Ok, we’ll just fast forward a little bit here, after all the excitement of the last act, there’s no need to get all riled up again – there’s plenty of drama left, I promise!



    (749) And the costliness! The-the EXTRAVAGANCE! Twice at the Thesmophoria, twice at the Skira- he’ll ruin himself! he’ll ruin you! There goes his estate! Listen- think about it! Where do you fit in all this, huh?

    (PAMPHILE is sighing and shaking her head. SMIKRINES acts out both parts)

    He’ll walk down to the Piraeus- lazy bastard, he’ll lounge around! While you-

    (running over to the opposite side to play PAMPHILE)

    you’ll suffer at home! You’ll wait around (755)- you’ll pine and-and starve waiting for Charisios to get home for dinner- but no! evidently, he’ll be out drinking and carousing with that woman!

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    Suggested Citation

    Marie Plunkett, Menander: Epitrepontes (The Arbitration). Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2022. ISBN: 978-1-947822-19-1.