This article focuses on a set of problems involving a controversial portion of the HHA (lines 156––64) that describes the performance of the Delian chorus in a rare instance of early performance criticism. First, the two variants for a key noun in line 162, bambaliastus and krembaliastus , are discussed. Skepticism is expressed about the applicability to this scene of the first variant (favored by numerous scholars). On the contrary, krembaliastus ——the suitability of which has not been discussed in detail, even by scholars who seem to have favored it——can make good sense. Literary and iconographic evidence makes it plausible that krembaliastus denotes the act of generating through percussion devices called krembala (similar or identical to krotala ) rhythmic patterns meant to govern stylized movement, what the Greeks called schêêmata . The marked term krembaliastus was probably employed to evoke a characteristic trait of the highly skilled Deliades. Furthermore, as vocal and kinetic activities were inextricably linked in choral practices, they are ultimately conceptualized as part of the same unified expressive mechanism (here denoted as φθέγγεσθαι 164). The author also questions the conventional interpretation of mimeisthai (163) as ““mimicking,”” instead reading it as ““representation,”” involving the evocation of the essence of an entity but not necessarily exact reproduction of its formal details. Finally the essay argues that the Delian chorus' art of ““knowing how to represent the voices and the rhythmic patterns of all people”” designates the perfection of choral performance, as an all-inclusive enactment that forms a powerful trans-local bond.
In Plato's Philebus the last section of the discussion on the falseness of pleasure is dedicated to those pleasures intrinsically mixed with pain. This paper focuses specifically on bodily mixed pleasures, an analysis that extends from 44d to 47c, while its focal point is 46-47c. By adopting the anti-hedonists' methodology, Socrates cunningly transforms his entire analysis of bodily mixed pleasures into a discourse on human disease, in which medical terminology prevails. Two major points are made in the reading suggested here. (a) Despite Socrates' quasi-medical language, a substratum of poetic discourse is underlying his analysis. Thus, a network of poetic associations——probably promptly recalled by Plato's audience——not only reveals the intertextual encounter between medical, philosophic and poetic discourses but also contributes to the interpretation of Socrates' analysis. Hence, the pathology of love as expressed through poetry illuminates the meaning, questionable in straightforward medical terms, of passage 46c6-d2, while it also reveals the unfolding unity underlying Socrates' analysis, otherwise thought to comprise three distinct medical cases. (b) Ancient medical lore is important for the understanding of passage 46d7-47a1 on the affliction of knêêsis and psôôra , not only because it confirms the analogy between the physiology of knêêsis and that of sexual arousal and climax, but also because it illuminates the specific medical treatment Socrates is describing. Thus, in the crucial debate about whether Plato uses the term aporiais or pyriais in 46e2, medical evidence seems to support the latter. The reading pyriais makes this complicated paragraph more comprehensible in terms of meaning and syntax, while stressing the importance of heat in the processes of both the curing of knêêsis and of human orgasm. Besides, it further confirms the intertextual encounter between the Phaedrus and the Philebus .