Author

Aristophanes

Aristophanes was a greek dramatist who wrote Acharnians, Ecclesiazusae, Lysistrata, Plutus, The Acharnians, The Eleven Comedies, and Thesmophoriazusae

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Acharnians


By Aristophanes
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Clouds


By Aristophanes
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Ecclesiazusae


By Aristophanes
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Knights


By Aristophanes
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Lysistrata


By Aristophanes
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Peace


By Aristophanes
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Plutus


By Aristophanes
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The Acharnians


By Aristophanes
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The Birds


By Aristophanes
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The Eleven Comedies


By Aristophanes
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The Frogs


By Aristophanes
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Thesmophoriazusae


By Aristophanes
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Wasps


By Aristophanes
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Sketch of Aristophanes
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Aristophanes (Greek: Ἀριστοφάνης, c. 446 BC – c. 388 BC) was a Greek Old Comic dramatist.

The place and exact date of his birth are unknown, but he was still young in the 420s when he achieved sudden brilliant success in the Theater of Dionysus with his Banqueters. He was obviously educated and must accordingly have been from a relatively wealthy family; his deme was Kudathenaion (the same as that of the leading Athenian statesman Cleon). He is famous for writing comedies such as The Birds for the two Athenian dramatic festivals: the City Dionysia and the Lenea. He wrote forty plays, eleven of which survive; his plays are the only surviving complete examples of Old Attic Comedy, although extensive fragments of the work of his rough contemporaries Cratinus and Eupolis survive. Many of Aristophanes' plays were political, and often satirized well-known citizens of Athens and their conduct in the Peloponnesian War and after. Hints in the text of his plays, supported by ancient scholars, suggest that he was prosecuted several times by Cleon for defaming Athens in the presence of foreigners and the like; how much truth there is to this is impossible to say. The Frogs was given the unprecedented honor of a second performance. According to a later biographer, he was also awarded a civic crown for the play.

Aristophanes was probably victorious at least once at the City Dionysia, with Babylonians in 426 (IG II2 2325. 58), and at least three times at the Lenaia, with Acharnians in 425, The Knights in 424, and Frogs in 405. His sons Araros, Philippus, and Nicostratus were also comic poets: Araros is said to have been heavily involved in the production of Wealth II in 388 (test. 1. 54–6) and to have been responsible for the posthumous performances of Aeolosicon II and Cocalus (Cocalus test. iii), with which he seems to have taken the prize at the City Dionysia in 387 (IG II2 2318. 196), while Philippus was twice victorious at the Lenaia (IG II2 2325. 140) and apparently produced some of Eubulus’ comedies (Eub. test. 4). (Aristophanes’ third son is sometimes said to have been called not Nicostratus but Philetaerus, and a man by that name appears in the catalogue of Lenaia victors with two victories, the first probably in the late 370s, at IG II2 2325. 143 (just after Anaxandrides and just before Eubulus).)

Aristophanes appears as a character in Plato's Symposium, in which he offers a humorous mythical account of the origin of Love. Plato's text was produced a generation after the events it portrays and is a patent apologetic attempt to show that Socrates and Aristophanes were not enemies, despite the attack on the philosopher in The Clouds (original production 423 BCE). The Symposium is therefore best treated as an early chapter in the history of the reception of Aristophanes and his poetry rather than as a description of anything approaching a historical event.

Of the surviving plays, The Clouds was a disastrous production resulting in a humiliating and long-remembered third place (cf. the parabasis of the revised (preserved) version of the play, and the parabasis of the following year's The Wasps). The play, which satirizes the sophistic learning en vogue among the aristocracy at the time, placed poorly at the City Dionysia. Socrates was the principal target and emerges as a typical Sophist; Leo Strauss suggests that it was the foundation of those charges which led to Socrates' conviction. Lysistrata was written during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and argues not so much for pacifism as for the idea that the states ought not be fighting one another at this point but combining to rule Greece. In the play, this is accomplished when the women of the two states show off their bodies and deprive their husbands of sex until they stop fighting. Lysistrata was later illustrated at length by Pablo Picasso.

Contents

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Surviving plays

  • The Acharnians (425 BC): The standard edition is by S. Douglas Olson (Oxford University Press)
  • The Knights (424 BC): There is no good complete modern scholarly edition of the play, although Jeffrey Henderson has been engaged for a number of years in producing one
  • The Clouds (original 423 BC, uncompleted revised version from 419 BC – 416 BC survives): The standard edition is by K. J. Dover (Oxford University Press)
  • The Wasps (422 BC): The standard edition is by D. MacDowell (Oxford University Press)
  • Peace (first version, 421 BC): The standard edition is by S. Douglas Olson (Oxford University Press)
  • The Birds (414 BC): The standard edition is by Nan Dunbar (Oxford University Press)
  • Lysistrata (411 BC): The standard edition is by Jeffrey Henderson (Oxford University Press)
  • Thesmophoriazusae (The Women Celebrating the Thesmophoria, first version, c. 411 BC): The standard edition is by Colin Austin and S. Douglas Olson (Oxford University Press)
  • The Frogs (405 BC): The standard edition is by K. J. Dover (Oxford University Press)
  • Ecclesiazousae (The Assemblywomen, c. 392 BC): The standard edition is by R. G. Ussher (Oxford University Press)
  • Plutus (Wealth, second version, 388 BC): The best modern scholarly edition is by A. H. Sommerstein (Aris and Philips)

Dated non-surviving plays

The standard modern edition of the fragments is Kassel-Austin, Poetae Comici Graeci III.2; Kock-numbers are now outdated and should not be used.

  • Banqueters (427 BC)
  • Babylonians (426 BC)
  • Farmers (424 BC)
  • Merchant Ships (423 BC)
  • The Clouds (first version) (423 BC)
  • Proagon (422 BC)
  • Amphiaraos (414 BC)
  • Plutus (Wealth, first version, 408 BC)
  • Gerytades (uncertain, probably 407 BC)
  • Koskalos (387 BC)
  • Aiolosikon (second version, 386 BC)

Undated non-surviving plays

  • Aiolosikon (first version)
  • Anagyros
  • Broilers
  • Daidalos
  • Danaids
  • Dionysos Shipwrecked
  • Centaur
  • Niobos
  • Heroes
  • Islands
  • Lemnian Women
  • Old Age
  • Peace (second version)
  • Phoenician Women
  • Poetry
  • Polyidos
  • Seasons
  • Storks
  • Telemessians
  • Triphales
  • Thesmophoriazusae (The Festival Women, second version)
  • Women Encamping

See also

  • Agathon
  • Greek literature
  • Asteroid 2934 Aristophanes, named after the dramatist

External links

Wikisource
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Aristophanes
  • The Eleven Comedies at eBooks @ Adelaide
  • Aristophanes Texts Biography and texts of Aristophanes
  • The texts of Aristophanes' plays (in translation)
  • Works by Aristophanes at Project Gutenberg
  • Contribution to the English Language
  • List of films based on Aristophanes plays
Plays by Aristophanes
The Acharnians | The Knights | The Clouds | The Wasps | Peace | The Birds | Lysistrata | Thesmophoriazusae | The Frogs | Ecclesiazousae | Plutus


This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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