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by Archaeology Newsroom

Men with diminished power in Aristophanes’ comedies

It is a commonplace to state that men in classical Greece were, indisputably, the stronger sex. They were supposed to be the lords of their house and family and they alone used to influence the destinies of their city without the help or participation of women.

However, even this commonplace, like any other, reveals only a part of the truth.This is easily understandable, if one reads Aristophanes’ comedies, which truly mirror the Athenian middle-class society of the fifth century BC. When Dionysios the Younger, tyrant of Syracusae, asked Plato to recommend a work presenting a picture of contemporary Athens, the latter simply sent him a selection of Aristophanes’ comedies.

Therefore, one is fully justified when choosing these comedies, to study amongst other topics, the status of men in classical Greece.