.

Hermippus, the one-eyed, Athenian writer of the Old Comedy, flourished during the Peloponnesian War.

He is said to have written 40 plays, of which the titles and fragments of nine are preserved. He was a bitter opponent of Pericles, whom he accused of being a bully and a coward, and of carousing with his boon companions while the Lacedaemonians were invading Attica.

He also accused Aspasia of impiety and offences against morality, and her acquittal was only secured by the tears of Pericles (Plutarch, Pericles, 32). In the "Bakeresses" he attacked the demagogue Hyperbolus. The "Mat-carriers" contains many parodies of Homer. Hermippus also appears to have written scurrilous iambic poems after the manner of Archilochus.

Plutarch, Pericles:

Cleon, also, already was among his assailants, making use of the feeling against him as a step to the leadership of the people, as appears in the anapaestic verses of Hermippus.

Satyr-king, instead of swords,
Will you always handle words?
Very brave indeed we find them,
But a Teles lurks behind them.

Yet to gnash your teeth you’re seen,
When the little dagger keen,
Whetted every day anew,
Of sharp Cleon touches you.

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Fragments in T Kock, Comicorum Atticorum fragmenta, i. (1880), and A Meineke, Potarum Graecorum comicorum fragmenta (1855).

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

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