Aristophanes: Acharnians (Text and Commentary) by Aristophanes; S. Douglas Olson (ed.)

By Aristophanes; S. Douglas Olson (ed.)

Aristophanes' Acharnians used to be played on the Lenaia pageant in Athens in 425 BCE. The play is the tale of an outdated peasant farmer, Dikaiopolis, who has grown so disgusted with the Peloponnesian conflict and the patent self-serving of the city's major politicians (abetted through the stupidity of his fellow-citizens) that he concludes a separate peace with the enemy. accordingly, he profits entry to a massive provide of amazing issues, together with wine, eels, thrushes, and 2 attractive and compliant ladies. no matter if he's a traitor and a villain, or just the cleverest and so much bold guy within the urban, is an issue of in depth debate in the play. Acharnians itself, at any expense, took first position and is usually considered as one in all Aristophanes' or 3 such a lot marvelous surviving comedies. Olson bargains the 1st entire new scholarly variation of the play in virtually a century. The textual content and gear are according to a clean exam of the papyri and manuscripts, lots of that have by no means been studied systematically, and are supported by means of a brand new manuscript stemma. The creation includes sections at the poet himself; the historic atmosphere and political argument of the play; the mythological and literary history; department of components, costumes, and props; staging; using dialects; and the historical past of the textual content. The observation covers quite a lot of literary, old, and philological concerns, with specific recognition to staging and info of lifestyle. All Greek within the creation and observation no longer mentioned for technical purposes is translated, making a lot of the variation available to normal scholarly readers.

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Extra resources for Aristophanes: Acharnians (Text and Commentary)

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Like Telephos, Dikaiopolis has something important—if inevit­ ably offensive—to say to his people and he knows that the common good requires that he say it. He is none the less denied first the right to speak to the Assembly (59, 64, 123) and then, after he adopts beggars' rags, signalling his acceptance of his politically and socially marginal status, the right even to be listened to (esp. 557-9, 562, 577a). Dikaiopolis' situation is further complicated by what he claims was a nasty recent confrontation with Kleon; having barely escaped then (381-2), he has no desire to test the Athenian people's savage temper (370-6) a second time.

This discussion may have been wrapped up with consideration of a plan to take revenge on the Mysians, for the parodies in Acharnians and Thesmophoriazusae leave little doubt that the disguised Telephos unexpectedly spoke up (fr. 703), argu­ ing that his people and their king had acted no differently than 4we Greeks' would have if similarly provoked (frr. 708-11). That Telephos (now apparently playing the part of a soldier wounded in the attack on Mysia (fr. 705)) also assailed Agamemnon for profit­ ing from the war while common men got nothing, as Thersites attacks the army's chief commander at H.

In retrospect, Perikles' insistence on forcing a confrontation with the Peloponnesian League over this issue must have seemed monumentally misguided, which is to say that if the people in Assembly had only rejected their leadership's advice, the terrible situation in which they were now trapped might easily have been avoided. None of this was necessarily true; Thucydides says explicitly that the Spartans were eager for war in any case and Perikles may have been right to insist that one Athenian concession would only have led to a demand for others, making war a certainty in any case (as Thucydides also believed).

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