Aristophanes: An Author for the Stage by Carlo Ferdinando Russo

By Carlo Ferdinando Russo

Carlo Ferdinando Russo's booklet has been a seminal paintings on Aristophanes seeing that its e-book in Italy in 1962. In his targeted research, Russo considers the performs as libretti for actors and singers instead of as mere texts, and not loses sight of the level. this is often the vintage booklet approximately Aristophanes. Now ultimately on hand in English and much-updated, it truly is crucial interpreting for any pupil of Athenian comedy.

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Additional info for Aristophanes: An Author for the Stage

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After Plutus Aristophanes entrusted Kokalos and the Second Aiolosikon to his son Araros. , De comoedia II, having informed us that Aristophanes made his début under the archon Diotimos, with Kallistratos (the title is not provided), goes on: According to the data and material at our disposal, this hearsay transmitted by the Anonymous, if it alludes to the period of the apprenticeship alone, is invalidated by Acharnians, a comedy ‘against Euripides’ entrusted to Kallistratos, whereas if it alludes to Aristophanes’ whole career, Wasps entrusted to Philonides is contrary neither to Euripides nor to Socrates.

Strictly speaking, one should also take into account the hypothesis that Kokalos and Aiolosikon were fellowcompetitors, and that Araros would have figured as author of the winning comedy and as didaskalos of the other. 32 3 ACHARNIANS 1 Aristophanes, the coryphaeus In chapter 1, the Lenaion was indicated as the site on which comedies were performed for the contests of the Lenaia alone. A passage was also quoted which polemically emphasizes the fact that the audience of Acharnians was composed exclusively of Athenians, and that ‘the contest takes place in the Lenaion’: further evidence is provided in section 1 of chapter 4 on Knights.

Even if one transposes the names of Philonides and Kallistratos, the aforementioned incongruity does not disappear altogether. The most striking aspect of this source, which definitely refers to Aristophanes’ entire career, is its description of the didaskaloi as ‘actors’. The second scholiast on Clouds 531 asserts that Aristophanes’ unofficial début was seen to by ‘Kallistratos and Philonides, who later became actors of Aristophanes’. Worse than voyaging in the dark. Nevertheless, the distinction between dramas which are ‘public and political’ and others which are ‘private’ must have its roots somewhere, roots of a scholastic kind.

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