Two ancient traditions interpret the saying, “nothing to do with Dionysus.” One holds that disgruntled theatergoers shouted the phrase during the performances of tragedies. The second maintains that the phrase originated at a painting contest. I argue that this second tradition is more plausible on philological, artistic, and historical grounds. As a result, the proverb has minimal value for determining the early development of tragedy but is helpful for illustrating the nature of art criticism in antiquity.
Farrington, Scott T. "What A Feeling! Painting and The Origin of “Nothing to do With Dionysus”' Classical Philology 116, no. 3 (2021): 412-424. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/714508
Available for download on Friday, July 01, 2022