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March 2017

Aristophanes: The Frogs

The Frogs (Greek: Βάτραχοι,  Latin: Ranae)  is an ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes first produced in 405 BC. It won first prize at the Lenaea, a festival of the god Dionysus, who features as the play's protagonist. 

The Frogs was written shortly after the deaths of the tragedians Sophocles and Euripides, and the play opens with Dionysus determined to bring the latter back from Hades. While journeying in the company of the ferryman Charon he encounters the chorus of frogs which gives the play its name. Various adventures ensue in Hades before Dionysus is asked to judge a contest between the tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides. After much literary debate, Dionysus decides in favour of Aeschylus.

The choice of the older playwright has often been taken to reflect the same conservative values seen in Aristophanes' attack on Socrates and the sophists in The Clouds.

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

Free online texts

Bacchicstage: The Frogs, translated by G. Theodoridis. HTML format. This text is also available at Poetry in Translation.

Bartleby: The Frogs, translated by B.B. Rogers. HTML format.

Gutenberg: The Frogs,  translated by B.B. Rogers. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Frogs, translated by Gilbert Murray (1912). Multiple formats.

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

Internet Classics Archive: The Frogs. English translation, HTML and TXT format.

Perseus: Aristophanes Comoediae, ed. F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart, vol. 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1907. Greek etext. HTML and XML format.

Perseus: The Frogs, translated by Dr Matthew Dillon. HTML and XML formats.

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

Wikisource: Βάτραχοι. Greek text. HTML, PDF and EPUB formats.

Wikisource: The Frogs. Anonymous translation, presumed to be Oscar Wilde (1912). HTML, PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats.

Other Resources

Ancient-literature.com: Aristophanes' The Frogs.

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

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

Librivox: The Frogs, public domain audiobooks.

National Theatre: An Introduction to Greek Comedy and Satyr Drama - video, featuring Edith Hall, Sean McEvoy, Alan Sommerstein, Laura Swift.

New York Times, 'Frogs' They Would A-Swimming Go, by Paul Gardner, 19 May 1974.

TheatreDatabase: The Frogs, summary.

TheatreHistory.com: The Frogs, summary.

University College London: Aristophanes' Frogs study guide.

Wikipedia: The Frogs.

Youtube: The Frogs by Aristophanes 2013, Matthew McCann.

Youtube: Aristophanes' Frogs (Cambridge Greek Play 2013). Performed with Aeschylus' Prometheus as the Cambridge Greek Play for 2013.

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

Aeschylus: The Persians.

Sophocles

Euripides: Andromache, Hippolytus.

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

Bloom's Western Canon: The Frogs is listed.


Aeschylus: The Persians

The Ghost of Darius appearing to Atossa, by George RomneyThe Persians (Greek: Πέρσαι, Latin Persae) by Aeschylus is the oldest surviving Greek tragedy and the only one to deal with recent historical events, portraying the Persian court during Xerxes' invasion of Greece, which ended with defeat at Salamis and Plataea in 480 BC. The play was produced at Athens only eight years later in 472 BC, with the statesman Pericles acting as choregos or producer. Aeschylus himself was a veteran of the Persian Wars, fighting at Marathon in 490 BC. The tone of the work is one of compassion for the defeated mixed with pride in the Greek victory.

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

 Free online texts

Gutenberg: Πέρσαι. Greek text, multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Four Plays of Aeschylus; The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Prometheus Bound, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Persians. English text, HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus. L145 - Aeschylus -- Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: The Persians. Greek text, edited by Herbert Weir Smith, Cambridge (1926). HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: The Persians, translated by Herbert Weir Smyth (1926). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Persians, translated by G. Theodoridis. HTML format.

Wikisource: Πέρσαι - Greek text, edited by Herbert Weir Smith, Cambridge (1926). HTML, other formats via bookcreator.

Wikisource: The Persians, multiple English translations. HTML, other formats via bookcreator.

Other Resources

The Guardian: The National Theatre of Wales does battle with Aeschylus' The Persians. Review by Charlotte Higgins.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

The Iris: A Guide to Aeschylus's 'Persians', by Shelby Brown, 13 August 2014.

KCET: The Persians - Performing Aeschylus' Tragedy Today by Victoria Looseleaf, September 18, 2014.

Librivox: The Persians. Public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

On Teaching Aeschylus' Persians, by K.O. Chong-Gossard. Essay in PDF format.

Theatre Database: The Persians, an analysis of the play by Aeschylus, from The Tragic Drama of the Greeks. A.E. Haigh. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896. 

Wikipedia: AeschylusThe Persians.

The Great Conversation: Related reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Herodotus: The Histories - The classic contemporary account of the Persian Wars.

Aristophanes: The Frogs - includes an apparent reference to The Persians.

Aristotle: The Poetics.

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

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

Bloom's Western Canon: The Persians is listed.