Greek Literature

Aristophanes: Wealth

658px-Dionysos_Ploutos_BM_F68Wealth or Plutus (Greek: Πλοῦτος) is Aristophanes' last extant comedy, produced in 388 BC.

The play centres on Chremylus, an exasperated Athenian who asks the Delphic oracle if he should bring his son up to be good or bad in order to prosper in life. The oracle leads him to a blind man who turns out to be the god of wealth, Plutus. Chremylus arranges for his sight to be restored at the temple of Asclepius. As a result, Plutus is able to reward the good and impoverish the bad. The newly wealthy Chremylus then receives a stream of visitors to his home, whose various situations illustrate the way Athenian society has been turned up side down as a result.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Eleven Comedies, Volume 2 - The Wasps - The Birds - The Frogs - The Thesmophoriazusae - The Ecclesiazusae -- Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 179 - Aristophanes III - Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. 

Poetry in Translation: Wealth, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Wikipedia: Plutus (play).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Aristophanes: Ecclesiazusae

Ecclesiazusae (Greek: Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι} or Assemblywomen is a comedy by Aristophanes, probably first produced at Athens in 392 BC. Like the earlier Lysistrata, the play imagines women taking over the city. On this occasion, inspired by their ringleader Praxagora, they disguise themselves as men to pack the assembly, and vote to hand control over to themselves. they also enact a series of communistic measures, something which has been seen, probably anachronistically, as a satire on Plato's political program. 

Ecclesiazusae at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Eleven Comedies, Volume 2 - The Wasps - The Birds - The Frogs - The Thesmophoriazusae - The Ecclesiazusae -- Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 179 - Aristophanes III - Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. 

Poetry in Translation: Women in Parliament, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Ecclesiazusae. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Aristophanes: Ecclesiazusae" »


Aristophanes: Thesmophoriazusae

ThesmophoriasuzaeKraterThesmophoriazusae (Greek: Θεσμοφοριάζουσαι) or Women at the Thesmophoria is a comedy by Aristophanes, first produced at Athens in 411 BC, probably at the Dionysia. As with Lysistrata, thought to have been produced at the Lenaea in the same year, gender forms a significant theme of the work, which is set during the Thesmophoria, a festival attended solely by women.

The tragic poet Euripides features as a central character. who learns that the festival-goers intend to kill him because of the negative portrayal of women in his work. After failing to persuade his fellow tragedian Agathon to infiltrate the festival on his behalf, Euripides sends an elderly relative instead. After the infiltrator is discovered, attempts to rescue him devolve into a series of parodies of Euripides' plays.

Thesmophoriazusae at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Picture by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Eleven Comedies, Volume 2 - The Wasps - The Birds - The Frogs - The Thesmophoriazusae - The Ecclesiazusae -- Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 179 - Aristophanes III - Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. 

Internet Classics Archive: Thesmophoriazusae. English text in HTML and TXT format.

Poetry in Translation: Women at the Festival, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Thesmophoriazusae. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Chorus of Women from Thesmophoriazusae. Public domain audiobook.

Stanford News: Gender-swapped play takes on the ‘men’s rights’ movement, by Hannah Leblanc, 11 May 2017.

Wikipedia: Thesmophoriazousai

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Aristophanes: Lysistrata, Ecclesiazusae - two other plays in which women play a prominent role. The Frogs - another play targeting the tragic poets.

Euripides: Medea - one of the plays which contributed to the author's reputation for an equivocal attitued towards women.

Plato: Symposium - also employs the poet Agathon as a character.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Aristophanes: Lysistrata

Lysistrata (Greek: Λυσιστράτη) is a comedy by Aristophanes, which may have been produced for the Lenaea Festival at Athens in 411 BC. It's theme reflects the city's misfortunes in the Peloponnesian War following the defeat of the Sicilian Expedition in 413 BC. The title character is an Athenian woman who contrives to force an end to the war, first by organising women from across Greece to refuse sexual relations with their menfolk, and secondly by leading Athenian wives in seizing the Acropolis, and fighting off the old men of the city.

Lysistrata at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Greek text and English translation. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 179 - Aristophanes III - Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. 

Perseus: Greek text and English translation by Jack Lindsay. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Lysistrata, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Lysistrata. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Aristophanes: Lysistrata" »


Aristophanes: The Birds

The Birds  (Greek: Ὄρνιθες) is a comedy by Aristophanes first produced at the Athenian City Dionysia in 414 BC. It's fantastic plot may reflect an appetite for escapism during the tense period in which the city awaited the outcome of the Sicilian expedition. The play's protagonists are two Athenians who abandon the city go and live among the birds, who they persuade to build a city in the air, Nephelokokkygia or Cloudcuckooland, from which they force gods and humans to come to terms with them.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Greek text and English translation. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 488 - Aristophanes II - Peace, Birds, Frogs. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: Birds, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Birds. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Comedy in Ancient Greek Theatre. Melvyn Bragg with Paul Cartledge, Edith Hall and Nick Lowe.

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Wikipedia: The Birds (Play)

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Birds is listed.


Aristophanes: Peace

Peace (Greek: Εἰρήνη) is a comedy by Aristophanes, first performed at the Great Dionysia in 421 BC, where it won second prize. It satirises the contemporary political situation following the battle of Amphipolis, when the deaths of the Athenian general Cleon, and the Spartan Brasidas, paved the way for the Peace of Nicias, an outcome which Aristophanes enthusiastically anticipates.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Peace. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 488 - Aristophanes II - Peace, Birds, Frogs. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: Peace, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Peace. English translation, HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Wikipedia: Peace (play)

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Thucydides - Our best sources for the political events which provided the occasion for Aristophanes' satire, although one which took a similarly jaundiced view of Cleon's career.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Aristophanes: The Wasps

The Wasps (Ancient Grek Greek: Σφῆκες) is a play by Aristophanes which won second prize at the Lenaea festival in Athens in 422 BC. It satirises the Athenian jury system and the influence of orators, such as Aristophanes' frequent target Cleon, over ordinary citizens.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Eleven Comedies, Volume 2 - The Wasps - The Birds - The Frogs - The Thesmophoriazusae - The Ecclesiazusae -- Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Aristophanes I - Acharnians, Knights, Clouds, Wasps.  Greek text and English translation. Public domain Loeb edition, multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Wasps. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus: Aristophanes I: Acharnians. Knights. Clouds. Wasps. PDF of public domain Loeb edition.

Poetry in Translation: Wasps, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Wasps. English translation, HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Aristophanes: The Wasps" »


Aristophanes: The Knights

The Knights (Ancient Greek: Ἱππεῖς) is a comedy by Aristophanes which won first prize at the Lenaea festival at its first performance in Athens in 424 BC. It is effectively an allegory in which the the old man Demos represents the Athenian people, while his slaves Demosthenes and Nicias represent prominent generals. The latter are tormented by a new slave, 'the Paphlagonian', who flatters their master, in a satirical reference to the popular politican Cleon.

Free online texts

Internet Archive: Aristophanes I - Acharnians, Knights, Clouds, Wasps.  Greek text and English translation. Public domain Loeb edition, multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Knights. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus: Aristophanes I: Acharnians. Knights. Clouds. Wasps. PDF of public domain Loeb edition.

Poetry in Translation: Knights, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Knights. English translation, HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Wikipedia: The Knights.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Thucydides - Our best sources for the political events which provided the occasion for Aristophanes' satire, although one which took a similarly jaundiced view of Cleon's career.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Knights is listed.


Aristophanes: The Acharnians

The Acharnians (Greek: Ἀχαρνεῖς) is the oldest surviving play by Aristophanes and thus the oldest extant comedy in the world. It satirises the plight of rural Athenians during the early Peloponnesian War, through its central character Dikaiopolis, who concludes his own private peace treaty with the Spartans.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Acharnians. English translation, HTML format.

Internet Archive: Aristophanes I - Acharnians, Knights, Clouds, Wasps.  Greek text and English translation. Public domain Loeb edition, multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Acharnians. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus: Aristophanes I: Acharnians. Knights. Clouds. Wasps. Greek text and English translation. PDF of public domain Loeb edition.

Perseus: Greek text and English translation. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Acharnians, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Acharnians. English translation, HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Acharnians (Billson translation). Public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: The Acharnians.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Aeschylus - briefly mentioned with respect in the play.

Euripides - satirised here as in many of Aristophanes' plays.

Herodotus - several passages are thought to allude to Herodotus' work.

Thucydides - Our best sources for the political events which provided the occasion for Aristophanes' satire.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Euripides: Rhesus (disputed)

Rhesus (Greek: Ῥῆσος) is an Athenian tragedy transmitted in the corpus of Euripides, though its authorship has been disputed since ancient times. It is based on the 10th book of the Iliad, in which Odysseus and Diomedes kill the Trojan spy Dolon and raid the Trojan camp.

Free online texts

Gutenberg : Rhesus, translated by Gilbert Murray (1913). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Rhesus, verse translation by Gilbert Murray. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Rhesus, HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus: L009 - Euripides -- Euripides I: Iphigenia at Aulis. Rhesus. Hecuba. The Daughters of Troy. Helen. Greek and English parallel text. Loeb edition, PDF format.

Perseus: Greek text and English translations by E.P. Coleridge (1891) and Gilbert Murray (1913). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Rhesus, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Rhesus, translated by E.P. Coleridge. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translation by E.P. Coleridge. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

Gutenberg: Euripides and His Age, by Gilbert Murray.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Euripides, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Wikipedia: Rhesus (play)

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Homer: The Iliad

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

 Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.