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Aristophanes the Democrat
The Politics of Satirical Comedy during the Peloponnesian War


  • Date Published: October 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521519984

£ 77.00

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About the Authors
  • This book provides a new interpretation of the nature of Old Comedy and its place at the heart of Athenian democratic politics. Professor Sidwell argues that Aristophanes and his rivals belonged to opposing political groups, each with their own political agenda. Through disguised caricature and parody of their rivals' work, the poets expressed and fuelled the political conflict between their factions. Professor Sidwell rereads the principal texts of Aristophanes and the fragmented remains of the work of his rivals in the light of these arguments for the political foundations of the genre.

    • New reading of the motivations behind and undercurrents of Greek Old Comedy
    • Contains new evaluations of the major plays of Aristophanes
    • Includes an appendix dealing with the external evidence for the history of Old Comedy
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521519984
    • length: 424 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Setting the Stage:
    1. Getting to grips with the politics of Old Comedy
    2. Metacomedy and politics
    3. Metacomedy and caricature
    Part II. The Poets' War:
    4. Acharnians
    5. Metacomedy, caricature and politics from Knights to Peace
    6. Metacomedy, caricature and politics from Autolycus to Frogs
    Conclusions and consequences: Appendix 1. The view from the Theatron
    Appendix 2. Metacomedy and caricature in the surviving fourth century plays of Aristophanes
    Appendix 3. Timeline and proposed relationships between comedies

  • Author

    Keith Sidwell, University of Calgary
    Keith Sidwell is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Calgary. He has written on Greek drama, later Greek literature - including most recently Lucian: Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketches (2004) - and on Neo-Latin writing and is a co-author of the Reading Greek and Reading Latin series, and author of Reading Medieval Latin (1995).

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