Aristophanes was an Athenian comic playwright, whose career ran from the early 420s to the 380s B.C.E. With eleven of his plays extant, he is the only poet working in the genre known as Old Comedy whose plays have survived in anything other than fragmentary form. His comedies are characterized by their fantastic plotlines, uninhibited sexuality, personal invective, linguistic and expressive range, comic inventiveness and strong engagement with the contemporary politics, personalities and everyday world of contemporary Athens.

Aristophanes, son of Philippus, was born in Athens sometime around the middle of the fifth century B.C.E. (460-450 B.C.E., but possibly slightly later) and died in the mid-380s (probably in or near 386 B.C.E.). He was a member of the deme of Cydathenaeum, a district

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Citation: Robson, James. "Aristophanes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 June 2017 [, accessed 23 June 2024.]

147 Aristophanes 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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