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his ancestors in that city, but his words do not imply that either Aristophanes or his parents were born there. His Æginetan origin has been presumed from the passage in the “ Acharnians," in which his actor Callistratus (who was the nominal author of the play) alludes to his being one of the kinpoũxoi, to whom that island had been assigned. We have positive evidence that he was one of them, and the fact that these kinpoūyou were generally poor' would show that Callistratus is alluding to himself, and not to Aristophanes; and even if he were, this would be no proof that Aristophanes was not a citizen, for all the kinpoū you continued to enjoy their civic rights'. The remains of Aristophanes are sufficient to show that he had received a first-rate education. There is no positive evidence for the opinion', that he was the pupil of Prodicus. The three passages in his remaining comedies', in which he mentions that sophist, do not show the usual respect of a disciple for his master, and the coincidence in name, and probable similarity of subject, between the 'Apat of Aristophanes and “the Choice of Hercules” by Prodicus, are perhaps a proof that the comedian parodied and ridiculed, rather than admired and imitated, the latter?
Aristophanes brought out his first comedy, the “Banqueters," (Aaitades) in B.C. 427?; and it is from the known date of this play that we must infer his birth-year. It is stated that he was at this time little more than a boy (oxedov jetpártokos). We are told, indeed', that he was thirty years of age when the Clouds” ,
“ was acted. This would place his birth-year at 453, if the first edition, or at 452 B.c., if the second edition of that play is referred
Thucyd. ii. 27. Diod. xii. 44. Callistratus was one of them, Aristophanes not. Schol. Acharn. 654, p. 801. Dind. ουδείς ιστόρηκεν ώς εν Αιγίνη κέκτηται τι'Aριστοφάνης, αλλ' έoικε ταύτα περί Καλλιστράτου λέγεσθαι, ός κεκληρούχηκεν εν Αιγίνη μετά την ανάστασιν Αίγινητών υπό 'Αθηναίων.
7 Böckh, Econ. of Ath. vol. ii. p. 172, note 521, Engl. Tr. 8 Böckh, Ec. ii. p. 174.
9 Of Rückert on Plat. Symp. p. 280, seqq. 1 Aves 692 ; Nubes 360 ; fr. Tragonist. No. 418, Dindorf.
? On the 'Opal of Aristophanes and Prodicus, see Welcker in the Rhein. Mus. for 1833, p. 576. He thinks that the connexion between the 'Qpal of these two authors is merely accidental, p. 592
3 See the passages in Clinton, F. H. ii. p. 65.
* Schol. Ran. 504. Müller thinks (Hist. Lit. Gr. II. p. 15) that this statement is an exaggeration, and that Aristophanes was at least twenty-five in B. c. 427.
5 Schol. Nub. p. 237, Dindorf.
too. But could a man born so early as 452 B.c. be called oxedov uelpáklokos at the time of the great plague? We think he could not. If, then, these two authorities of the same kind contradict one another, which are we to adopt? Now there is no reason to doubt the first statement, that Aristophanes was very young at the time when his first comedy appeared ; and there is reason to believe that the second statement is merely an inference drawn from a misinterpretation of a passage in the “Clouds." We feel inclined, therefore, to reject the latter altogether, and take the former as the only means we have of approximating to the birth-year of Aristophanes, which, if he was oxedòv uelpáKlokos or nearly seventeen in 427 B.C., must have been about the year 444 B.C.
The “ Banqueters,” which was acted in the name of Philonides', was an exposition of the corruptions which had crept into the Athenian system of education. A father was introduced with two sons, one of them educated in the old-fashioned way, the other brought up in all the new-fangled and pernicious refinements of sophistry; and by drawing a comparison between the two young men to the disadvantage of the latter, the poet hoped to attract the attention of his countrymen to the dangers and inconveniences of the new system. The second prize was awarded to Philonides, and the play was much admired'. In 426 B.c. he brought out the “Babylonians," and, in the following spring, the “ Acharnians,” both under the name of his actor Callistratus'. The latter gained the first prize, the second and third being adjudged to Cratinus and Eupolis. The chorus of the “ Babylonians” consisted of barbarian slaves employed in the mills?: this is all that we know of the plot of the piece. It appears to have been acted at the great Dionysia, and to have been an attack upon the demagogues; for Cleon, who was then (Pericles having recently died) at the head of affairs', brought an
• Unless we adopt Ranke's conjecture with regard to the date of the second edition, which would make the two accounts nearly agree. See below, p. 121.
7 Dindorf. fr. Aristoph. p. 527, Oxford edition. Ranke (p. cccxx.) thinks it was Callistratus. If there is truth in the statement that he handed over to Callistratus his political dramas, and to Philonides those which related to private life, the Aairaleis was probably transferred to the latter.
8 See Süvern über die Wolken, p. 26, foll. 9 Schol. Nub. 529.
1 Clinton, F. H. under those years. 2 See Ηesych. 5. νν. Βαβυλώνιοι.-Σαμίων ο δήμος. And Suid. 5. ν. Βαβυλωνία κάμινος.
· Thucydides, writing of the year before the performance of “ The Babylonians,” 8ays (iii. 36), that Κλέων was τω δήμω παρά πολύ εν τω τότε πιθανώτατος.
cioayyedia before the senate against Callistratus, on the grounds that he had satirized the public functionaries in the presence of their allies, who were then at Athens to pay the tribute'. It is this accusation which has been confounded with the indictment of Eevía, brought by Cleon against Aristophanes himself. It does not appear that Cleon was successful in establishing his charge, for we find Callistratus again upon the stage the following year, when the “ Acharnians” was performed at the Lenæa. The object of this play, the earliest of the comedies of Aristophanes which have come down to us entire, is to induce the Athenians, by holding before them the blessings of peace, and by ridiculing the braggadocios of the day, to entertain any favourable proposals which the Lacedæmonians might make for putting an end to the disastrous war in which they were engaged; and while he ventured to utter the well-nigh forgotten word Peace, he boldly told his countrymen that they had sacrificed, without any just or sufficient cause, the comforts which he painted to them in such vivid colours. Aristophanes, having conferred upon the nominal authors of his early plays much, not only of reputation, but also of danger, now thought it right to appropriate to himself both the glory and the hazard of his undertaking, and in 424 B.C. demanded a chorus in his own name. The Comedy, which he exhibited on this occasion, and in the composition of which Eupolis claimed a share, was the “ Horsemen;" it was acted at the Lenæa, and gained the first prize: Cratinus was second, and Aristomenes third'. The object of 4 Comp. Acharn. 355, foll.
Αυτός τ' εμαυτόν υπό Κλέωνος άπαθον
'Απωλόμην μολυνοπραγμoνούμενος with v. 476, foll.
"Εγώ δε λέξω δεινά μέν δίκαια δεν
Κούπω ξένοι πάρεισιν. and the Scholiasts. On the relations between Aristophanes and Cleon, and on the character of the latter, the student will find some remarks in Grote, Hist. Gr. vol. vi. p. 657, seqq.
5 Argum. Eqq. The reference of this piece to the Lenæa is supported by the allusion in v. 881–3, to the wintry weather, which prevailed in the month Lenæon, according to Hesiod. On the claims of Eupolis to a share in this Comedy, see Bernhardy, Grundriss, II. p. 973, and for the passage attributed to him, Meineke, Fragm. II, 1, p. 577.
this play is to overthrow Cleon, who was then flushed with his undeserved success at Sphacteria in the preceding year, and had excited the indignation of Aristophanes and all the Athenians who wished well to their country, by his constant opposition to the proposals of the Lacedæmonians for an equitable arrangement of the terms of peace. The demagogue was considered at that time so formidable an adversary, that no one could be found to make a mask to represent his features, so that Aristophanes, who personated him on the stage, was obliged to return to the old custom of smearing the face with wine-lees"; and, as Cleon is represented in the play as a great drunkard, the substitute was probably adequate to the occasion. The Comedy is an allegorical caricature of the broadest kind, showing how the eminent generals and statesmen, Nicias and Demosthenes, with the aid of the kaloi kåyaoui among the citizens, delivered the Athenian John Bull from the clutches of the son of Cleænetus, and effected a marvellous change in the temper and external appearance of their doting master. This is expressed in a wonderfully ingenious manner. The instrument they use is one Agoracritus, who is called a sausage-seller (allavronúnc). Now there lived, at this time, a celebrated sculptor of that name, who, having made for the Athenians a most beautiful statue of Venus which they could not buy, transformed it into a representation of Nemesis, and sold it to the Rhamnusians'. It is this Agoracritus, who, by a play upon the words allásrely and allás, is called a transformation-monger in regard to the Demus: he changes the easy good-tempered old man into a punisher of the guilty-a laughing Venus into a frowning Nemesis ;-he metamorphoses the ill-clad unseemly Demus of the Pnyx into a likeness of the beautiful Demus, the son of Pyrilampes the Rhamnusian, just as Agoracritus transferred to Rhamnus a statue destined for Athens. It seems to have been in consequence of this attack that Cleon made the unsuccessful attempt (to which we have already alluded) to deprive Aristophanes of his civic rights. The next recorded Comedy of Aristophanes is the “ Clouds,” the most celebrated and perhaps the most beautiful of his remaining plays. When he first submitted it to the judges, the plays of Cratinus and
6 Schol. Eqq. 230. See above, p. 60.
1 Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 4.
Ameipsias, who were his competitors, were honoured with the first and second prizes. This was in the year 423 B.C.; and it is probable that Aristophanes, indignant at his unexpected ill-success, withdrew the play, and did not bring it out till some years afterwards, when he added something to the parabasis, and perhaps made a few other alterations. The author of the argument and the Scholiast refer the second edition to the year 422 B.C.; but it has been shown from the mention of the “Maricas” of Eupolis, and other internal evidences, that it could not have been acted till some years after the death of Cleon; and it is conjectured that it did not appear till after the exhibition of the Lysistrata in 411 B. c. It will not be expected that we should here enumerate the various opinions which have been entertained of the object of Aristophanes in writing this Comedy', or that we should enter upon a new and detailed examination of the piece. We must, on the present occasion, be content with stating briefly and generally, what we conceive to have been the design of the poet. In the “Wasps," which was written the year after the first ill-success of the “ Clouds," he calls this Comedy an attack upon the prevailing vices of the young men of his day'. Now, if we turn to the “ Clouds,” we shall see that he not only does this, but also investigates the causes of the corrupt state of the Athenian youth; and this he asserts to have arisen from the changes introduced into the national education by the Sophists, by the substitution of sophistical for rhapsodical instruction. The hero of the piece is Socrates, who was, in the judgment of Aristophanes, a Sophist to all intents and
8 Ranke, chapters xxvüli, and xl.
9 We refer the reader who wishes to study this subject minutely and accurately to Hermann, Præfat. ad Nubes, xxxii-liv. ; Wolf's Introduction to his German translation of the play, Reisig. Præfat. ad Nubes, viii.-xxx. and his Essay in the Rheinisches Museum for 1828, pp. 191 and 464 ; Mitchell's and Welcker's Introductions to their Translations of Aristophanes ; Ranke, Comment. chapters xli— xliv. ; Süvern's Essay; and Müller, Hist. Lit. Gr. ii. p. 25 sqq. Rötscher has given a general statement of some of these opinions in his “ Aristophanes und sein Zeitalter,” pp. 294—391, which he follows up with his own not very intelligible view of the question. 1 V. 1037, foll.
'Αλλ' υπέρ υμών έτι και νυνί πολεμεί φησίν τε μετ' αυτού