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Greek Comedy - Bibliography



Primary Texts

You will need the three volumes of translations of Aristophanes' plays published in the Penguin series:

  1. Wasps; The Poet and the Women; Frogs.
  2. Lysistrata; Acharnians; Clouds.
  3. Knights; Peace; Birds; Assemblywomen; Wealth.

For the Greek texts with facing translation see the Loeb edition in 4 volumes (1998–2002) by J. Henderson.

Excepts from Cratinus and Eupolis will be also provided during lectures.

Commentaries
There are commentaries published by Oxford University Press on Clouds (K. J. Dover, 1968); Wasps (D. M. MacDowell, 1971); Ecclesiazusae (R. G. Ussher, 1973); Lysistrata ( J. Henderson, 1987); Frogs (K. J. Dover, 1993); Birds (N. Dunbar, 1995, with an abridged student ed., 1998; Peace (S. Douglas Olson, 1998); Acharnians (S. Douglas Olson 2002); Thesmophoriazusae (C. Austin & S. D. Olson 2008).

There is also a series of editions with translations and commentaries by A. Sommerstein published by Aris and Phillips (Warminster) on Acharnians (1980); Knights (1981); Clouds (1982); Wasps (1983); Peace (1985); Birds (1987); Lysistrata (1990); Thesmophoriazusae (1994); Frogs (1996); Wealth (2001)

Secondary Sources

(NB Items marked ** are especially significant or useful)

Aristophanes: General Background and Criticism

Online Oxford bibliographies for Aristophanes and Fragments of Old Comedy available via the library online database


Books:

Biles, Z. P. Aristophanes and the Poetics of Competition (Cambridge 2011)
**Bowie, A. M. Aristophanes: Myth, Ritual and Comedy (Cambridge 1996)
Cartledge, P. Aristophanes and his Theatre of the Absurd (Bristol 1990)
**Csapo, E. & Slater, W. (eds.) The Context of Ancient Drama (Michigan 1994)
David, E. Aristophanes and Athenian Society of the early fourth century B.C. (Leiden 1984)
Deardon, C. The Stage of Aristophanes (London 1976)
Dobrov, G. The City as Comedy: Society and Representation in Athenian Drama (Chapel Hill 1997)
Dover, K. Aristophanic Comedy (London 1972)
Edmunds, L. Cleon, Knights and Aristophanes' Politics (Lanham, MD 1987)
Ehrenberg, V. The People of Aristophanes (2nd ed., Oxford 1951)
Goldhill, S. The Poet's Voice (Cambridge 1991)
Handley, E. 'Comedy', chapter 12 in The Cambridge History of Classical Literature vol. I (Cambridge 1985)
Harriott, R. Aristophanes: Poet and Dramatist (London 1986)
Heath, M. Political Comedy in Aristophanes (Göttingen 1987)
Henderson, J. (ed.) Aristophanes: Essays in Interpretation (Cambridge, MA 1980)
—. The Maculate Muse: Obscene Language in Attic Comedy (2nd ed., Oxford 1991)
Hubbard, T. The Mask of Comedy: Aristophanes and the Intertextual Parabasis (Cornell 1991)
Konstan, D. Greek Comedy and Ideology (Oxford 1995)
Lada-Richards, I. Initiating Dionysus: Ritual and Theatre in Aristophanes' Frogs (Oxford 1999)
MacDowell, D. Aristophanes and Athens (Oxford 1995)
Marianetti, M. Religion and Politics in Aristophanes' Clouds (Hildesheim 1992)
Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
Mcleish, K. The Theatre of Aristophanes (London 1980)
Moulton, C. Aristophanic Poetry (Göttingen 1981)
O’Higgins, L. Women and Humor in Classical Greece (Cambridge 2003)
**Pelling, C. B. R. Literary Texts and the Greek Historian (London 2000)
**Pickard-Cambridge, A. Dithyramb, Tragedy and Comedy (2nd ed. revised T. B. L. Webster, Oxford 1962)
**—. The Dramatic Festivals of Athens (2nd ed. revised J. Gould and D. M. Lewis, Oxford 1988)
Reckford, K. Aristophanes' Old and New Comedy: vol. I: Six Essays in Perspective (Chapel Hill, NC 1987)
Revermann, M. Comic Business: Theatricality, Dramatic Technique, and Performance Contexts of Aristophanic Comedy (Oxford 2006)
**Robson, J. Aristophanes: An Introduction (London 2009)
**Ruffell, I. A. Politics and Anti-realism in Athenian Old Comedy: The Art of the Impossible (Oxford 2012)
Russo, C. Aristophanes, an Author for the Stage (London 1994)
Sandbach, F. The Comic Theatre of Greece and Rome (London 1977)
Segal, E. (ed.) Oxford Readings in Aristophanes (Oxford 1996)
Sifakis, G. M. Parabasis and Animal Choruses (London 1971)
**Silk, M. S. Aristophanes and the Definition of Comedy (Oxford 2000)
Sommerstein, A. Greek Drama and Dramatists (London 2002)
Sommerstein, A. et al. (eds.) Tragedy, Comedy and the Polis (Bari 1993)
Spatz, L. Aristophanes (Boston 1978)
Sutton, D. Self and Society in Aristophanes (Washington 1980)
Taaffe, L. Aristophanes and Women (London 1993)
Walcot, P. Greek Drama in its Theatrical and Social Context (Cardiff 1976)
Wiles, D. Greek Theatre Performance: an Introduction (Cambridge 2000)
**Wilson, P. The Athenian Institution of the Khoregia: The Chorus, the City, and the Stage (Cambridge 2000)
Wright, M. The Comedian as Critic: Greek Old Comedy and Poetics (London 2012)



Articles, including discussions of particular plays:

Allan, A. 'Notes on Aristophanes' Frogs', in Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
Bennett, L. J. and W. B. Tyrrell, 'Making Sense of Aristophanes' Knights', Arethusa 23 (1990) 235–54
Bowie, A. M. 'The Parabasis in Aristophanes: Prolegomena, Acharnians', CQ 32 (1982) 27–40
—. 'Thinking with Drinking: Wine and the Symposium in Aristophanes', JHS 117 (1997) 1–21
**Carey, C. 'The Purpose of Aristophanes' Acharnians', Rheinisches Museum 136.3/4 (1993) 245–63
**—. 'Comic Ridicule and Democracy', in R. Osborne and S. Hornblower (eds.), Ritual, Finance, Politics (Oxford 1994) 69–83
Compton-Engle, G. 'Aristophanes Peace 1265–1304: Food, Poetry, and the Comic Genre', Classical Philology 94 (1999) 324–9
Csapo, E. 'Aristophanes' Acharnians and Eupolis again: metacomedy in action', in Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
Faraone, C. 'Salvation and female heroics in the parodos of Aristophanes' Lysistrata', JHS 117 (1997) 38–59
Fisher, N. R. E. 'Multiple Personalities and Dionysiac Festivals: Dicaeopolis in Aristophanes’ Acharnians', G&R 40 (1993) 31–47
—. 'Symposiasts, Fish-eaters and Flatterers: Social Mobility and Moral Concerns in Old Comedy' in J. Harvey and D. Wilkins (eds.) The Rivals of Aristophanes (London 2000) 355–98
Foley, H. P. 'The "female intruder" reconsidered: women in Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Ecclesiazusae', Classical Philology 77 (1982) 1–21
**—. 'Tragedy and Politics in Aristophanes' Acharnians', JHS 108 (1988) 32–47, reprinted in Segal (ed.), Oxford Readings in Aristophanes
Goldhill, S. 'Representing Democracy: Women at the Great Dionysia', in R. Osborne and S. Hornblower (eds.), Ritual, Finance, Politics (Oxford 1994) 347–70
Gomme, A. W. 'Aristophanes and Politics', Clasical Review 52 (1938) 97–109
Hall, E. 'Female figures and metapoetry in Old Comedy', in Harvey and Wilkins (eds.) The Rivals of Aristophanes, 407–18
—. 'Casting the Role of Trygaios in Aristophanes’ Peace', in E. Hall, The Theatrical Cast of Athens: Interactions between Ancient Greek Drama and Society (Oxford 2006) 321–52
**Halliwell, S. 'Comic satire and freedom of speech in Classical Athens', JHS 111 (1991) 48–70
**—. 'The uses of laughter in Greek culture’, CQ 41 (1991) 279–96
Henderson, J. 'Lysistrate: the play and its themes', Yale Classical Studies 26 (1980) 153–218
**—. 'The Demos and the Comic Competition', in J. J. Winkler and F. I. Zeitlin (eds.) Nothing to do with Dionysos? (Princeton 1990) 271–313, reprinted in Segal, Oxford Readings in Aristophanes
**—. 'Attic Comedy, Frank Speech, and Democracy', in D. Boedeker and K. Raaflaub (eds.) Democracy, Empire and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens (Cambridge, MA 1998) 255–73
Lowe, N. J. 'Comic Plots and the Invention of Fiction', in Harvey and Wilkins (eds.) The Rivals of Aristophanes, 259–72
Marchall, H. R. 'Lysistrata's conspiracy and the politics of 412 BC' in Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
McGlew, J. F. '"Everybody Wants to Make a Speech": Cleon and Aristophanes on Politics and Fantasy', Arethusa 29 (1996) 339–62
Olson, S. D. 'Politics and Poetry in Aristophanes' Wasps', TAPA 126 (1996) 129–50
— 'Eleusis and the public status of comedy in Aristophanes' Frogs' in Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
Poe, J. P. 'Multiplicity, Discontinuity, and Visual Meaning in Aristophanic Comedy', Rheinisches Museum 143 (2000) 256–95
Pucci, P. 'Euripides and Aristophanes: What does Tragedy Teach?', in C. Kraus, S. Goldhil, H. P. Foley, and J. Elsner (eds.) Visualizing the Tragic: Drama, Myth, and Ritual in Greek Art and Literature (Oxford 2007), 105–26 TWO COPIES AVAILABLE FOR SHORT LOAN FROM DEPARTMENTAL OFFICE
Revermann, M. 'The Competence of Theatre Audiences in Fifth- and Fourth-Century Athens', JHS 126 (2006) 99–124
Scholtz, A. 'Friends, lovers, flatterers; Demophilic courtship in Aristophanes' Knights', Transactions of the American Philological Association 134 (2004) 263–93
Sells, D. 'Turning remorse to good effect? : Arginusae, Theramenes and Aristophanes' Frogs', in Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
Sidwell, K. 'Clouds, Eupolis and reperformance', in Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
Sifakis, G. M. 'The structure of Aristophanic comedy' JHS 112 (1992) 123–42
Silk, M. S. 'The autonomy of Comedy', Comparative Criticism 10 (1988) 3–37
**—. 'The People of Aristophanes', in C. B. R. Pelling (ed.), Characterization and Individuality in Greek Literature (Oxford 1990), 150–73
—. 'Aristophanic Paratragedy', in A. Sommerstein, S. Halliwell et al. (eds.), Tragedy, Comedy and the Polis (Bari 1993) 477–504
Storey, I. C. 'The Symposium at Wasps 1299 ff.', Phoenix 39 (1985) 317–33
**Taplin, O. P. 'Tragedy and trugedy', CQ 33 (1983) 331–3
**—. 'Fifth-Century Tragedy and Comedy, a Synkrisis', JHS 106 (1986) 163–74, reprinted in Segal, Oxford Readings in Aristophanes
Wilson, P. 'Nikê's Cosmetics: Dramatic Victory, the End of Comedy, and Beyond', in C. Kraus, S. Goldhill, H. P. Foley, and J. Elsner (eds.), Visualizing the Tragic (Oxford 2007) 257–87 TWO COPIES AVAILABLE FOR SHORT LOAN FROM DEPARTMENTAL OFFICE
**Zeitlin, F. I. 'Travesties of Gender and Genre in Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazousae', in Playing the Other: Gender and Society in Greek Literature (Chicago 1996) 375–416

Aristophanes' Rivals

Source-books for fragments etc.:

**Harvey, D. & Wilkins, J. (eds.) The Rivals of Aristophanes: Studies in Athenian Old Comedy (London 2000)
** Olsen, S. D. Broken Laughter: Select Fragments of Greek Comedy (Oxford 2007)
**Rusten, J. The Birth of Comedy: Texts, Documents and Art from Athenian Comic Competitions, 486–286 (Baltimore 2011)
**Storey, I. C. Fragments of Old Comedy (Loeb Classical Library, 3 vols., Cambridge MA 2011)

Principal monographs (both available online as well as in the library):

**Bakola, E. Cratinus and the Art of Comedy (Oxford 2009)
**Storey, I. C. Eupolis: Poet of Old Comedy (Oxford 2003)

cf. Biles, Z. P. Aristophanes and the Poetics of Competition (Cambridge 2011)


Scholarly discussions of a variety of issues:

Bakola, E. 'Old Comedy Disguised as Satyr Play: A New Reading of Cratinus' Dionysalexandros (P.Oxy. 663)', ZPE 158 (2005) 46–58 COPY AVAILABLE FOR SHORT LOAN FROM DEPARTMENTAL OFFICE
—. 'The Drunk, the Reformer, and the Teacher: Agonistic Poetics and the Construction of Persona in the Comic Poets of the Fifth Century', CCJ 54 (2008) 1–29 COPY AVAILABLE FOR SHORT LOAN FROM DEPARTMENTAL OFFICE
Biles, Z. P. 'Intertextual Biography in the Rivalry of Cratinus and Aristophanes', AJP 123 (2002) 169–204
Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. 'Pursuing nemesis: Cratinus and mythological comedy', in Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012)
O’Sullivan, N. 'Aristophanes’ First Critic: Cratinus fr. 342 KA', in J. Davidson, F. Muecke, and P. Wilson (eds.) Greek Drama III: Essays in Honour of Kevin Lee (London 2006), 163–9
Revermann, M. 'Cratinus' Διονυσαλέξανδρος and the Head of Pericles', JHS 117 (1997) 197–200
**Rosen, R. 'Cratinus’ Pytine and the Construction of the Comic Self', in Harvey and Wilkins (eds.), The Rivals of Aristophanes, 23–39
Ruffell, I. 'The World Turned Upside Down: Utopia and Utopianism in the Fragments of Old Comedy', in Harvey and Wilkins (eds.), The Rivals of Aristophanes, 473–506
—. 'A Total Write-off. Aristophanes, Cratinus, and the Rhetoric of Comic Competition', CQ 52 (2002) 138–63
Sidwell, K. 'Poetic Rivalry and the Caricature of Comic Poets: Cratinus' Pytine and Aristophanes' Wasps', in A. Griffiths (ed.), Stage Directions: Essays in Ancient Drama in Honour of E. W. Handley (London 1995) 56–80
Wright, M. 'Comedy and the Trojan War', CQ 57 (2007) 412–31



Electronic Resources

There are many useful, and many more useless, things on the Web. It is important to be discriminating in your use of this resource for academic work (and for the purposes of essay writing, sources from the web should be cited as ordinary bibliographical items). Note in particular JSTOR, which provides online texts of articles from the major journals. Judicious use of Encore, the Library Resources Platform, will often turn up very useful items.

ONLINE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Some of the items listed here have been made available online by the Library and can be accessed here.