Aristophanes: The Complete Plays

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Penguin, Feb 1, 2005 - Fiction - 736 pages
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A brand-new translation of the world's greatest satirist.

With a signature style that is at once bawdy and delicate, as well as a fearless penchant for lampooning the rich and powerful, Aristophanes remains arguably the finest satirist of all time. Collected here are all 11 of his surviving plays-newly translated by the distinguished poet and translator Paul Roche.

 

 

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Contents

Introduction
ix
ACHARNIANS
1
KNIGHTS
63
LYSISTRATA
415
WOMEN AT THESMOPHORIA FESTIVAL
479
A PARLIAMENT OF WOMEN
611
PLUTUS WEALTH
663
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

ARISTOPHANES, the most famous comic dramatist of ancient Greece, was born an Athenian citizen in about 445 B.C. Forty-four plays have been attributed to Aristophanes; eleven of these have survived. His plays are the only extant representatives of Greek Old Comedy, a dramatic form whose conventions made it inevitable that the author would comment on the political and social issues of fifth-century Athens. This Aristophanes did so well that Plato, asked by the tyrant of Syracuse for an analysis of Athenians, sent a copy of Aristophanes' plays in reply.
    
His earliest play, the Banqueters, won the second prize in 427 B.C. when the dramatist must have been less than eighteen years old, since, as he notes in the Clouds (423), he was too young to produce it in his own name. Another early play, the Babylonians, criticized the demagogue Cleon, who responded by subjecting Aristophanes to legal persecution, and as the author charges in the Acharnians, Cleon had "slanged, and lied, and slandered and betongued me . . . till I well nigh was done to death." Nevertheless, in the Knights (424), he renewed his attack on the popular Athenian leader and won first prize in that year's contest. Plutus (388) was the last of the author's plays to be produced in his lifetime.

Paul Roche is Senior Lecturer in Latin at the University of Sydney. He has published a number of articles and chapters on the literature and history of the early Roman Empire, and has a particular focus on politics and public imagery in Domitianic and Trajanic Rome. He is the author of Lucan, De Bello Civili Book 1: A Commentary (2009) and the editor (with W. J. Dominik and J. G. Garthwaite) of Writing Politics in Imperial Rome (2009).

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