Uno degli ultimi poeti della commedia attica antica della fine del V secolo aC. Attaccò nei suoi drammi Euripide e l'accusatore di Socrate, Anito. Sono citati i titoli (17, secondo altri 20 o 24) di sue commedie. Usò a preferenza il verso detto teopompeo, che è un pentametro cretico acataletto con la soluzione della seconda lunga nei primi 4 piedi. Ne abbiamo pochi frammenti.
Anche Johann Jacob Hofmann (1635-1706) nel suo Lexicon Universale (Leiden, 1698) a pagina 419 non riporta alcun titolo delle commedie di Theopompus Atheniensis Comicus, limitandosi a dire che lo citarono Pollux, Athenaeus, Laërtius, Harpocration et alii veterum. I titoli vengono invece riportati nella biografia seguente.
Dictionary of Greek and Roman
biography and mythology
William Smith - Boston, 1867
Theopompus (Θεόπομπος), literary. An Athenian comic poet, of the Old, and also of the Middle Comedy, was the son of Theodectes or Theodoras, or Tisamenus. (Suid. s. v.; Aelian. ap. Suid. ib. and s. vv. Παρίας λίθον, Φθόη). According to Suidas, he was contemporary with Aristophanes; but the fragments and titles of his plays give evidence that he wrote during the latest period of the Old Comedy, and during the Middle Comedy, as late as b. c. 380. Of his personal history we have no information, except a story, of a fabulous appearance, about his being cured of a disease by Aesculapius, which Suidas (ll. cc.) copies from Aelian, with a description of a piece of statuary in Parian marble, which was made in commemoration of the cure, and which represented Theopompus lying on a couch, by the side of which the god stood, handing medicine to the poet ; there was also a boy standing by the couch.
The number of dramas exhibited by Theopompus is differently stated at seventeen (Anon. de Com,. p. xxiv.) and twenty-four (Suid., Eudoc.). We possess twenty titles, namely, Ἄδμητος, Ἀλθαία, Αφροδίσια, Βατύλη, Εἰρήνη, Ἡδυχάρης, Θεσεύς, Παῖδες, Παμφίλη, Πανταλέων, Πηνελόπη, Σειρῆνες, Στρατιώτιδες, Τισάμνος, Φινεύς. Three other plays, besides those which are merely variations of the above titles, are erroneously ascribed to Theopompus, namely, Ἐποποιοί, Πόλεις, Τρικάρανος.
The extant fragments of Theopompus contain exaimples of the declining purity of the Attic dialect. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. pp. 501—503 ; Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. i. pp. 236—244, vol. ii. pp. 792—823 ; Editio Minor, pp. 441—457; Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. Introd. pp. xlvii., xlviii).