Menander is the most popular and influential playwright of Greek New Comedy, a comedy of characters that flourished in Athens in the 4th century BCE and revolves around everyday family situations. This type of comedy was taken over by Roman dramatists such as Plautus and Terence, and so Menander may be ultimately considered the founding father of European comedy.

Menander was born into a wealthy and socially prominent family of Athens in ca. 342/341 BCE. His father Diopeithes was from Kephisia, a large deme located north-west of the center of Athens, and is recorded as a public arbitrator in the year 325/324 BCE. Menander’s mother was named Hegestrate, and this is all we know about her. Menander had an …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Nervegna, Sebastiana. "Menander". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2008
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]