Abstract: Trag. Adesp. F 646a Sn.-K., a text in anapaestic tetrameters preserved by two Hellenistic papyri, has been puzzling scholars since its first publication in 1979. It almost certainly comes from a theatrical play, and in 1987 the publication of P. Köln 242 has clearly shown that it consists of a speech wholly delivered by a single character (most probably Silenus); but neither the age nor the genre to which it belongs can be firmly determined. Scholars have assigned it either to a Hellenistic satyr play or to a fifth century ‘satyr-comedy’ like Cratinus’ Dionysalexandros. This paper attempts to support with new arguments the satyr play hypothesis, by showing through detailed analysis that the fragment sounds like Hellenistic cross-genre imitation of the past more than paratragedy such as found in classical comedies. Silenus’ complaint about his fall from primitive happiness and innocence into present ‘forced’ trickery might be interpreted as a metatheatrical transposition of the «Nothing to do with Dionysos», i.e. a reflection on the evolution and progressive departing of theatre from its Dionysiac origin.
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