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
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 cake.
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 scholiast.
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
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