, a celebrated Greek comic poet, contemporary with Plato and Aristophanes, flourished about 420 B.C. He followed the style of the ancient comedy, which, instead of feigned and imaginary persons, introduced living characters on the stage, who were known to the spectators by their names and distinguishing marks, and turned them into ridicule; but Pherecrates is said to have been very moderate in his use of this licence. Twenty one comedies are attributed to this poet, of which we have only some fragments remaining, collected by Hertelius and Grotius. It appears from these fragments, some of which are given by Cumberland, or rather Bentley, in “The Observer,” that Pherecrates wrote very pure Greek, and excelled in that nice and delicate raillery distinguished by the name of Attic urbanity. He invented a kind of verses, called, from his name, Pherecratian; consisting of the three last feet of an hexameter, the first of these three feet being always a spondee. This verse of Horace, for example, “Quamvis Pontica Pinus,” is a Pherecratian verse. M. Burette, in torn. XV. of the academy of inscriptions, has examined a fragment of this poet concerning music, which may be found in Plutarch. 2


Vossii Poet. Graec. —Moreri. Cumberland’s Observer.