Aristophanes: Thesmophoriazusae [The Women's Festival]

(2525 words)

Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae (The Women’s Festival) was performed in Athens at the City Dionysia of 411 during one of the most volatile phases of Athenian political history. In the previous winter, Athenian oligarchs plotted the overthrow of Athens’ democracy in an attempt to secure an alliance with the Persians against the Peloponnesians, with whom the city had been at war since 431 BCE. The historian Thucydides tells us that after they made their case to the Athenian Assembly (8.53) the oligarchs began undermining the democracy through a campaign of violence, assassinating certain prominent democrats before a full takeover in June. Although the democracy would eventually be restored the following year, a cloud …

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Sells, Donald. "Thesmophoriazusae". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 March 2013
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]