Lampooned in 406 B.C.E. in a blistering Aristophanic satire, Socrates was tried in 399 B.C.E. on a charge of corrupting the youth, convicted by a jury of about five hundred of his peers, and condemned to death. Glimpsed today through the extant writings of his contemporaries and near-contemporaries, he remains for us as compelling, enigmatic, and elusive a figure as Jesus or Buddha. Although present-day (like ancient Greek) opinion on "the real Socrates" diverges widely, six classic texts that any informed judgment of him must take into account appear together, for the first time, in this volume. Those of Plato and Xenophon appear in new, previously unpublished translations that combine accuracy, accessibility, and readability; that of Aristophanes' Clouds offers these same qualities in an unbowdlerized translation that captures brilliantly the bite of Aristophanes' wit. An Introduction to each text and judicious footnotes provide crucial background information and important cross-references.
Reissue of Aristophanes' most famous plays in the Methuen Classical Greek Dramatists series
Aristophanes is the oldest comedic writer in Western literature. Although only eleven of the some forty plays he wrote survive, his unique blend of slapstick, fantasy, bawy and political satire provide us with a vivid picture of the ancient Athenians - their social mores, their beliefs and their exuberant sense of occasion. Wasps is a lawcourt satire, Clouds a lighthearted look at education, Birds a search for the perfect society, Festival Time a feminist trial of Euripides and Frogs a celebration of and debate around the theatre.Aristophanes was a unique writer for the comic stage as well as one of the most revealing about the society for which he wrote.
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