Peace! profane men!
f A sacred formula, pronounced by the priest before offering
Silence all! Friends, do you hear the sacred formula? Here is he,
whom we seek! This way, all! Get out of his way, surely he comes
to offer an oblation.
Peace, profane men! Let the basket-bearer come forward, and thou
Xanthias, hold the phallus well upright.
f The maiden who carried the basket filled with fruits at the Dionysia
in honour of Bacchus.
f The emblem of the fecundity of nature; it consisted of a representation,
generally grotesquely exaggerated, of the male genital organs;
the phallophori crowned with violets and ivy and their faces shaded
with green foliage, sang improvised airs, call 'Phallics,' full of obscenity
and suggestive 'double entendres.'
WIFE OF DICAEOPOLIS
Daughter, set down the basket and let us begin the sacrifice.
DAUGHTER OF DICAEOPOLIS
Mother, hand me the ladle, that I may spread the sauce on the
It is well! Oh, mighty Bacchus, it is with joy that, freed from
military duty, I and all mine perform this solemn rite and offer
thee this sacrifice; grant that I may keep the rural Dionysia
without hindrance and that this truce of thirty years may be
propitious for me.
WIFE OF DICAEOPOLIS
Come, my child, carry the basket gracefully and with a grave, demure
face. Happy he, who shall be your possessor and embrace you so firmly
at dawn, that you belch wind like a weasel. Go forward, and have a care
they don't snatch your jewels in the crowd.
f The most propitious moment for Love's gambols, observes the
Xanthias, walk behind the basket-bearer and hold the phallus well
erect; I will follow, singing the Phallic hymn; thou, wife, look on from
the top of the terrace. Forward! Oh, Phales, companion of the orgies
of Bacchus, night reveller, god of adultery, friend of young men, these
past six years I have not been able to invoke thee. With what joy I
return to my farmstead, thanks to the truce I have concluded, freed
from cares, from fighting and from Lamachuses! How much sweeter,
oh Phales, oh, Phales, is it to surprise Thratta, the pretty woodmaid,
Strymodorus' slave, stealing wood from Mount Phelleus, to catch her
under the arms, to throw her on the ground and possess her, Oh, Phales,
Phales! If thou wilt drink and bemuse thyself with me, we shall
to-morrow consume some good dish in honour of the peace, and I will
hang up my buckler over the smoking hearth.
f Married women did not join in the processions.
f The god of generation, worshipped in the form of a phallus.
f A remark which fixes the date of the production of 'The Acharnians,'
viz. the sixth year of the Peloponnesian War, 426 B.C.
f Lamachus was an Athenian general, who figures later in this comedy.