Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 February 2023


, Athenian poet of Old Comedy, 2nd half of 5th cent. BCE


, Athenian poet of Old Comedy, 2nd half of 5th cent. BCE
  • Kenneth Dover
  •  and Christopher Pelling


Aristophanes (1), the greatest poet of the Old Attic Comedy (see comedy (greek) old), was a native of *Athens and a member of the Athenian deme (see demes, demoi). He was the son of Philippus and he himself had at least two sons, of whom at least one (*Araros) and possibly both were themselves composers of minor comedies. It has been inferred from Ach. 652 ff. that he lived, or owned property, on the island *Aegina. Since he seems not to have produced his first two plays himself, and since he considered himself too young in 427bce (Ar. Nub. 530 f. with schol.) to produce a play himself, he is unlikely to have been born earlier than 460 and may have been born as late as 450. He died in or shortly before 386. Eleven of his plays survive; we have in addition 32 titles (some of them alternative titles, and some certainly attributed to other authors) and nearly a thousand fragments and citations. Many of these are fragments in the literal sense of the word: phrases or single words. The surviving plays, and the datable lost plays (°) are:427: °Banqueters, produced by *Callistratus (1).


  • Greek Literature

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription