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Aristophanes: Acharnians (Focus Classical Library) [Paperback]

By Aristophanes (Author) & Jeffrey Henderson (Translator)
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Item description for Aristophanes: Acharnians (Focus Classical Library) by Aristophanes & Jeffrey Henderson...

Another in the Focus Classical Library modern translations of works from the Classical world. This series of translations is noted for the clarity of translation and fidelity to the intent of the original work, with notes and an introduction that provide the student with access to the intent of the author in the original. As such these works are outstanding for their ability to provide the reader with the sense of the original as it was understood in its time and an excellent starting point for any interpretation or adaptation. The "Acharnians" is one of Aristophanes' anti-war comedies.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co.
Pages   86
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.84" Width: 5.62" Height: 0.21"
Weight:   0.27 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2003
Publisher   Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co.
ISBN  1585100870  
ISBN13  9781585100873  

Availability  0 units.

More About Aristophanes & Jeffrey Henderson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Aristophanes was born, probably in Athens, c. 449 BC and died between 386 and 380 BC. Little is known about his life, but there is a portrait of him in Plato's Symposium. He was twice threatened with prosecution in the 420s for his outspoken attacks on the prominent politician Cleon, but in 405 he was publicly honored and crowned for promoting Athenian civic unity in The Frogs. Aristophanes had his first comedy produced when he was about twenty-one, and wrote forty plays in all. The eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes are published in the Penguin Classics series as The Birds and Other Plays, Lysistrata and Other Plays, and The Wasps/The Poet and the Women/The Frogs.

Alan H. Sommerstein is head of the classics department at Nottingham.

Aristophanes was born in 448 and died in 385.

Aristophanes has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Meridian Classics
  2. Penguin Classics
  3. Signet Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Aristophanes
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Drama > Greek & Roman
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Drama > United States
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Aristophanes: Acharnians (Focus Classical Library)?

Gimme another translation, man  Jan 17, 2008
This review is for the Focus Classical Library version of three Aristophanes plays: Acharnians, Lysistrata and Clouds. The good news is that they are not bowdlerized. The bad news is that the translator, Jeffrey Henderson, got way too funky and hip (ie, dated) with his translation. Characters say "man" and use words like "gimme", "wanna" and "a__hole". Some of this kind of thing is appropriate, especially in "Clouds", but the translator is trying so hard to be wacky that it becomes a major distraction. A large sum of money is refered to as "a million bucks" and so on. A good example of one way in which a translation can go awry.
Two comedies by Aristophanes in Greek and English  May 10, 2002
The Loeb Classical Library features the original Greek texts that remain for both of these comedies by Aristophanes and is obviously of great benefit to those who actually read Greek and are interested in playing with the translation in the hopes of arriving at a better understanding of these plays, their author and the time in which they were performed. The "Acharnians" is one of the earliest extant plays of Aristophanes, the winner of first prize at the festival when it was produced in 425 B.C. Dicaeopolis, a farmer tired of a war he considers to be stupid, decides to make an individual peace with the Spartans. However, before he can celebrate his private treaty, which allows him to trade for goods lacked by those in Athens, he is attacked by a chorus of Acharnian charcoal burners who support the war. The centerpiece of the comedy is Dicaeopolis's speech arguing the causes of the war are pretty stupid. This seriocomic speech, which is a parody of "Telephus" by Euripides, wins over half the chorus. Of course the other half immediately attacks them in a violent agon. The general Lamachus is called in to help, but Dicaeopolis destroys him with cutting arguments as well, and the chorus is united at the end to delivery Aristophanes's parabasis. Meanwhile, Discaeopolis has a drinking contest to attend, while Lamachus is sent back to the war. Pacificism and the folly of war are two recurring themes in the comedies of Aristophanes and both are explicit in the "Acharnians." It is also a good example of the standard format of a Greek comedy, at least as represented by the works of Aristophanes, including the giant party at the end.

The Knights," produced in 424 B.C., is clearly an all-out attack on Cleon, the leader of Athens after the death of Pericles. As related by Thucydides, earlier that year Cleon had induced the Spartans to propose peace. Consequently, Aristophanes opens the comedy with two slaves of the crotchety old Demos ("the people of Athens") dressed up to resemble the generals Demosthenes and Nicias. The two slaves complain about how everyone is picking on Paphlagon, a leather seller who is the favorite of Demos and clearly intended to be Cleon. The oracles tell that Paphlagon is going to be replaced by a sausage seller named Agoracritus. "The Knights" is a second-tier comedy by Aristophanes because it is devoted entirely to making fun of Cleon. Consequently, Aristophanes makes his point early on and by the time Agoracritus the sausage seller beats Cleon at this own game, the comic dramatist is beating a dead horse all the way into the ground. This comedy always struck me as being like a SNL skit that lasts the entire show. In the end Demos, rejuvenated by being stewed in a plot by Agoracritus, takes control and declares he will abolish all innovations and restore the old traditions.


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