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Headword: Ἀριστοφάνης
Adler number: alpha,3932
Translated headword: Aristophanes
Vetting Status: high
A Rhodian or Lindian, though some said an Egyptian, some a Kameirean; but an Athenian by adoption; for he was admitted to citizenship among them; a comic poet, son of Philippos, born [or: lived] during the wars in the 114th Olympiad,[1] the inventor of the tetrameter and octameter.[2] He had sons [named] Ararotes, Philippos, Philetairos,[3] comic poets [themselves]. But some have recorded that he was also a freedman. His plays are 44 -- but we have studied[4] the following plays of Aristophanes: Acharnians, Frogs, Peace, Ecclesiazusae, Thesmophoriazusae, Knights, Lysistrata, Clouds, Birds, Wealth, Wasps.[5]
Greek Original:
Ἀριστοφάνης, Ῥόδιος ἤτοι Λίνδιος, οἱ δὲ Αἰγύπτιον ἔφασαν, οἱ δὲ Καμειρέα: θέσει δὲ Ἀθηναῖος: ἐπολιτογραφήθη γὰρ παρ' αὐτοῖς: κωμικὸς, υἱὸς Φιλίππου, γεγονὼς ἐν τοῖς ἀγῶσι κατὰ τὴν ριδ# Ὀλυμπιάδα, εὑρετὴς τοῦ τετραμέτρου καὶ ὀκταμέτρου: παῖδας σχὼν Ἀραρότα, Φίλιππον, Φιλέταιρον, κωμικούς. τινὲς δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ ἀπόδουλον ἱστορήκασι. δράματα δὲ αὐτοῦ μδ#. ἅπερ δὲ πεπράχαμεν Ἀριστοφάνους δράματα ταῦτα: Ἀχαρνεῖς, Βάτραχοι, Εἰρήνη, Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι, Θεσμοφοριάζουσαι, Ἱππεῖς, Λυσιστράτη, Νεφέλαι, Ὄρνιθες, Πλοῦτος, Σφῆκες.
See generally OCD(4) s.v. 'Aristophanes(1)' (pp.157-9).
The present entry is a horrible mixture of fact (e.g. son of Philippos, father of Araros[sic]) and fantasy. Mary Lefkowitz, The Lives of the Greek Poets (London 1981) 112, reasonably comments: "All these conflicting nationalities sound as if they came from allegations in comedies ... Saying that he was given citizenship looks like a biographer's attempt to resolve the conflict created by his predecessors." On the date given see note 1 below.
[1] 324-321. The figure is evidently corrupt, as Kuster noted. Adler (addenda) notes scholars' attempts to turn it into '94th' (404-401).
[2] cf. tau 395 (end) and omicron 127.
[3] phi 308.
[4] This meaning of the verb πράττω is striking enough to merit mention in LSJ s.v.
[5] More than 5000 Suda entries, in fact, derive from the text of and/or scholia to Aristophanes; and -- to take an admittedly extreme example -- almost a quarter, all told, of the text of Lysistrata is quoted.
Keywords: biography; chronology; comedy; geography; law; meter and music
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 31 July 2001@17:02:37.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 1 August 2001@05:09:13.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics; corrected typo; cosmetics) on 14 October 2005@17:38:32.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 12 April 2012@06:00:23.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 24 January 2014@08:23:48.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1) on 24 January 2014@08:29:02.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 31 July 2014@03:38:58.


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