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Sannyrion (Greek: Σαννυρίων) was an Athenian comic poet of the late 5th century BC, and a contemporary of Diocles and Philyllius, according to the Suda. He belonged to the later years of Old Comedy and the start of Middle Comedy.[1]


He mocked the pronunciation of Hegelochus, the actor in Euripides' play Orestes, which was performed in 408 BC.[2] In line 279 of the play, instead of "after the storm I see again a calm sea" ("γαλήν’ ὁρῶ"), Hegelochus recited "after the storm I see again a weasel" ("γαλῆν ὁρῶ"). In the nominative, the adjective forms that give "calm sea" are "γαληνός, γαληνόν", and "weasel" is either "γαλῆ" "γαλέη." The accusative of "γαλῆ" is "γαλῆν", and the accusative plural of γαληνόν is γαληνά, which, after apocope, results in "γαλήν’ ὁρῶ".[3] Hegelochus's mistake was to use a rising-falling tone instead of a rising tone. This error was also ridiculed in Aristophanes' The Frogs. The playwright is also lampooned by Strattis in his Kinesias (Κινησίας) and Psychastae (Ψυχασταί), as well as by Aristophanes in his Gerytades, where he, Meletus, and Cinesias are chosen as ambassadors from the poets to the shades below because they are so skinny.[4]


Sannyrion wrote the following works.

  • Τέλως Telōs ("Finally")
  • Δανάη Danae
  • Ιώ Io
  • Σαρδανάπαλλος Sardanapalus (The title could have been mistaken by Suda; reading a passage of Athenaeus strongly suggests that Suda mistook it for the play by Strattis mentioned above, Psychastae (Ψυχασταί)[5])


  1. ^ Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Vol 3, 1867, p. 706.
  2. ^ Smith, p. 706; Scholion to Euripides, l. 279.
  3. ^ "Euripidea" by David Kovacs, p. 49, ISBN 90-04-10624-3.
  4. ^ Athenaeus, Deipnosophistes 12.75.
  5. ^ Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Sannyrion"