Nearly thirty fragments (K.-A. 415-443) remain from this lost comedy, as well as one important testimonium. The third hypothesis to Aristophanes’ Peace (lines 36-40 Wilson) comments:
This is not the only play that Aristophanes produced about peace, but also Acharnians [L-425], Knights [L-424], and Merchant-Ships. He is serious about this throughout, making fun of Kleon, who opposed peace, and constantly attacking Lamachos the war-supporter.
Kleon died in the winter of 422/1, and if the three other comedies are presented in chronological order, Merchant-Ships belongs between 424 and 422, with L-424 (Knights), D-423 (first Clouds
Storey, Ian. "Merchant-Ships". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 March 2013
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13335, accessed 18 March 2018.]