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(Lenaia, second prize) Wasps ('V.'), produced by Philonides.

(City Dionysia, second prize) Peace ('Pax'). 5
(Lenaia) Atnphiaraos, produced by Phllonides.
414 d
(City Dionysia, second prize) Birds ('Av.'), produced by Kalli-
411 Lysistrata ('Lys.'), produced by Kallistratos, and Women at the l. ARISTOPHANES
Thesmophoria (Thesmophoriazusae, 'Th.'). Th. is datable in rela-
tion to datable plays fEuripides and by politicaJ references; it THE career of Aristophanes as a writer of comedies lasted forty years.
is probable that Lys. was produced at the Lenaia and Th. at the At least forty plays wr.e attributed to him in antiquity, eleven of which
City Dionysia.6 survived into the Middle Ages and thus to our own day;.we know the
408 Wealth (Plutus), not the play of that name which has survived titles of the lost plays, and we have nearly ai thousand 'fragments' of
(see below). them, including sorne substantial pieces of papyrus, sorne extensive
405 (Lenaia, first. prize) Frogs ('Ra.'), produced by Philonides. citations, and many words and phrases recorded by ancient scholars.
392 Women in Assembly (Ecclesia:<:usae, 'Ec.'). The date, which The essential facts of his literary career are these (lost plays are
depends on a pattially corrupt scholion and on historical refer- asterisked, and those of uncertain date are omitted):
ences in the play, may be ayear out. 427 (Second prize) Banquetm (Lla,Ta~ECs), produced by Kalli-
388 (probably first prize)7 Wealth (Plutus, 'Pl.').8 stratos.2
After 388: Aiolosikon and Kolealos*, put on by Aristophanes' son 426 (tity Dionysia) Babylonians, produced by Kallistratos.
Araros. 9 425 (Lenaia, first prize) Acharnians ('Ach.'), produced by Kalli-
According to the Vita (p. t. l, al.) Aristophanes was the son of one stratos.
Philippos and belonged to the deme Kydathenaion, in the phyle 424 (Lenaia, first prize) Knights ('Eq.'), produced by Aristophanes
Pandionis. It appears from what he says in Nu. 528- 32 that he regarded hirnself.
himself as young and inexperienced when he wrote Banqueters, but it is 423 (City Dionysia, ranked low)3 first version 4 of Clouds ('Nu.').
unwise to draw firm inferences frorn that to his date of birth or to
Athenian legislation governing the dramatic festivals. 10 1 It is never posslble to be precise in stating the number of plays written by an
Athenian comlc poet, since (a) the same poet sometimes wrote two plays bearing the
: 5
Aristophanes wrote another play of the same name. same title, and the second play could be either a completely dlfferent play or a revised
Cf. AC I9-72 . version of the flrst; (b) the same play was sometimes known by two different tltles; (&)
f'i 1 when two poets had written plays with the same title and only one ofthe two survived,
This is an inference from the oi'der in which the competing plays are listed in Hyp.
:J-tr i iv Pl its authorshlp could be dlsputed.
.li 8
T{..\{t1TG\4V 818far n)v KW.<p8(av -rat-nv '1rl T<jl i8((i (Hyp. IV). That does
z A collaboration in whlch a poet put on a play 8ui someone else (as 'director' or
'producer') was by no means uncommon; cf. F. Perusino, CQrol/aL()lldinmsis 2 (198z) 138
f.!j' not preclude production 8111 -r1vos (1: Ach. 378 says that Aristophanes l8l811{t Babylon-
am, which was produced 8ui Ka.\..\1orp-ro11) nn. 3 f., and Dalla Commedia Antica al/a Commedia di Mt%ZO (Urbino, n.d.) 42 f., F. S.
.t!' 9 Halliwell, GRIJS 30 (1989) 515-28. Aristophanes' own career shows that such a col-
Hyp. IV PL 81' lKE(vou (se. l4pap6-ros) Ka./hjKE may mean no more than that; ifhe
wished it to be believed that Aratos had actually written thse two plays, his intention laboratlon was not conflned to lnexperienced poets, slnce Frogs itself was put on 8d
was not realized, for they are cited by Hellenlstic writers as his own. '1>1..\wvl8011. Its bearing on the interpretation of Eq. 512-46 and V. 1015-50 as cvldence
Cf. n. 2. The belief (which dies hard in works of reference) that Aristophanes was for Aristophanes' early career is controversial: cf. G. Mastromarco, QS IO ( 1979) 153-1)6,
F. S . Halliwell, CQ NS 30 (1(}8o) 33-45, D. M. MacDowell, CQ NS 32 (1982) 21-6,
born in 444 rests on two items of eVidence the initial plausibilityofwhich dwindles upon
scrutiny: (a) IfVE Ra. 501 says that he was .EpaKloKos wben he wrote Batl(/uellt's, but Perusino, locc. citt., N. Slater, GRBS 30 (ufo)) 6-82.
that is simply an inference from Nu. 528 ff.; (b) if a date ofbirth underlies ytyovws lv 3 The number of comedies competing on each occasion was five before the

-rofs ywo1 KC1-rd n)v 98' '0..\11.m811 (a 444/3) in the biographical notice given in the
Peloponnesian W ar; whether a reduction to three was effected at the start of the war or
MS M (PrQ/tg. Com. XXX)-Aristophanes did not compete lv rots dywo1 until 427-it sorne years after the start is dsputed. Cf. W. Luppe, Phi/Q/Qgus 116 (1972) 37-78,
may well have been reached either by adding 17 (one year less than the age of 80K1- G. Mastromarco, Belfagor 30 (1975) 469""73
.a.olc.) to the date of .Banqueters or by taking the fall of Athens in 4o./3 as the dK.1j of ~ The play we have is a revised version; cf. Dover (1968) pp. lxxx-x<..-viii.