The Political Theory of Aristophanes: Explorations in Poetic Wisdom

Overview

Examines the political dimensions of Aristophanes’ comic poetry.

This original and wide-ranging collection of essays offers, for the first time, a comprehensive examination of the political dimensions of that madcap comic poet Aristophanes. Rejecting the claim that Aristophanes is little more than a mere comedian, the contributors to this fascinating volume demonstrate that Aristophanes deserves to be placed in the ranks of the greatest Greek political thinkers. As these essays ...

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Overview

Examines the political dimensions of Aristophanes’ comic poetry.

This original and wide-ranging collection of essays offers, for the first time, a comprehensive examination of the political dimensions of that madcap comic poet Aristophanes. Rejecting the claim that Aristophanes is little more than a mere comedian, the contributors to this fascinating volume demonstrate that Aristophanes deserves to be placed in the ranks of the greatest Greek political thinkers. As these essays reveal, all of Aristophanes’ plays treat issues of fundamental political importance, from war and peace, poverty and wealth, the relation between the sexes, demagoguery and democracy to the role of philosophy and poetry in political society. Accessible to students as well as scholars, The Political Theory of Aristophanes can be utilized easily in the classroom, but at the same time serve as a valuable source for those conducting more advanced research. Whether the field is political philosophy, classical studies, history, or literary criticism, this work will make it necessary to reconceptualize how we understand this great Athenian poet and force us to recognize the political ramifications and underpinnings of his uproarious comedies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438450032
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeremy J. Mhire is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Louisiana Tech University.

Bryan-Paul Frost is James A. and Kaye L. Crocker Endowed Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the coeditor (with Jeffrey Sikkenga) of History of American Political Thought.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Bryan-Paul Frost

Part I

1. Seeing Democracy in the Clouds
John Lombardini

2. The Meaning of Socrates’ Asceticism in Aristophanes’ Clouds
Khalil M. Habib

3. Rethinking the Quarrel Anew: Politics and Boasting in Aristophanes’ Clouds
Jeremy J. Mhire

Part II

4. Persuasion in Comedy and Comic Persuasion: Aristophanes and the Mysteries of Rhetoric
John Zimmerman

5. Boundaries: The Comic Poet Confronts the “Who” of Political Action
Arlene W. Saxonhouse

6. Aristophanes and the Polis
Stephanie Nelson

7. On the Anabasis of Trygaeus: An Introduction to Aristophanes’ Peace
Wayne Ambler

8. Aristophanes’ Herodotean Inquiry: the Meaning of Athenian Imperialism in the Birds
Kenneth DeLuca

9. Learning the Lesson of Dionysus: Aristophanes’ Tragicomic Wisdom and Poetic Politics in the Frogs
Christopher Baldwin

10. Wealth and the Theology of Charity
Paul W. Ludwig

Part III

11. Anger in Thucydides and Aristophanes: The Case of Cleon
Timothy W. Burns

12. The Comedy of the Just City: Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen and Plato’s Republic
Peter Nichols

13. Peisetairos of Aristophanes’ Birds and the Erotic Tyrant of Republic IX
Matthew Meyer

14. Aristophanes’ Feminine Comedies and Socratic Political Science
Amy L. Bonnette

Part IV

15. Leo Strauss’s UnSocratic Aristophanes?
Devin Stauffer

About the Authors
Index

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