and especially of the Funeral Speech, reflected a few years later in Plato's Gorgias and Menexenosl R. has a number of other interesting and perceptive discussions both on general and particular issues. At the outset he does good service in laying the ghosts of 'the fall of Athens' and 'die Krise der Polisdemokratie' which have continued to haunt Aristophanic scholarship in face of the ample evidence of the (by Greek standards) extraordinary stability and success of the fourth-century Athenian polity. He firmly and rightly classes Eccl. as Old, not Middle, comedy (24). Elsewhere he links the (partial) recovery of vigour and virility by Blepyros with the thematics of death and birth in the play (56-9), has a valuable synkrisis of Praxagora and Lysistrata (90), and makes a convincing case for ascribing sexual senses to oxrjfj-a (Eccl. 150, 482) and PaKTrjpia (Eccl. 150 etc.). Occasionally there are signs of fallible philology. Nothing in Plato com. fr. 185 K = 201 K-A suggests that the speaker is 'pretending to be in childbirth' (51 n. 23 following Edmonds), and there is no evidence that women dressed as men at the Skira (8 n. 37 following Vidal-Naquet). If one must seek a ritual origin for such cross-dressing, one need not look beyond Dionysiac cult; see W. J. Slater, Phoenix 32 (1978), 190-1, and A. Henrichs in Meyer & Sanders (ed.) Jewish and Christian Self-definition iii (1982), 158-9.
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