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EPICHARMUS
A Greek comedian, born in the island of Cos, about 540 B.C. When only a child of three months old he came with his father Helothales, a physician, to Megara in Sicily, where he died about 450 at the age of 90. Like his father, he is said to have been personally acquainted with Pythagoras, and whether this is so or no, his philosophical attainments were not inconsiderable. It was Epicharmus who gave to the Doric comedy of Sicily its literary form. Thirty-five of his plays, written in the Doric dialect, are known to us by their titles, and a few meagre fragments have survived. They differed from the Attic comedy in having no chorus. Their subjects were taken partly from the stories of gods and heroes, which they burlesqued and caricatured, and partly from life. The plots seem to have been simple and the action rapid. The philosophical leanings of Epicharmus are shown in numerous sayings of deep practical wisdom. Plato said that Epicharmus was the prince of comedy, as Homer was of tragedy, a striking testimony to the perfection of his compositions in their own line. In his mythical comedy he was imitated by Dinolochus of Syracuse,
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