A disruptive comedy by a disruptive playwright


A Commentary on Aristophanes’ Knights presents a fresh look at the play that cemented Aristophanes’ reputation as a rising star in comic theater. Knights offers an examination of social and political life in ancient Athens during the empire-destroying Peloponnesian War, as well as giving us Aristophanes’ comic send-up of the dangerous populist demagogue Cleon. This is a thoroughly modern commentary on a key play in the theatrical genre of Old Comedy, which satirized virtually every aspect of Athenian life in a period when Athens was at the height of its power and international prestige.

In addition to the complete Greek text and commentary, this volume includes a substantial introduction to the playwright’s career and to the historical and political background of the play. It includes advice for students on grammar and syntax, meter, festivals and staging, as well as topical and literary references and allusions that will help guide students to a mature appreciation of the comedy’s humor, seriousness, and artistic quality. Priced and sized for classroom use, this is the first full commentary on Knights since 1901 and will be widely welcomed.

Carl Arne Anderson is Emeritus Professor of Classics, Michigan State University.

T. Keith Dix is Associate Professor, Department of Classics, University of Georgia.