Aristophanes: The Knights
Aristophanes: Peace

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 (Internet Archive): The Wasps. 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 Wasps

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

Aristophanes: The Knights - another play which satirizes Cleon.

Aristophanes: The Clouds - the audience of The Wasps is taken to task over the poor reception of the author's previous play.



Euripides - often a target for Aristophanes, there are several allusions to the tragedian in this play.


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 Wasps is listed.


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