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The Acharnians | Aristophanes | Public Domain
Publisher: Public Domain
Subject: Literature
Curriculum: Classic English Literature
Language: English
Classoos code: 13086
Digitization: Live text
Published: 01/01/1901

The Acharnians

Aristophanes

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Summary

The Acharnians or Acharnians[3] (Ancient Greek: Ἀχαρνεῖς Akharneîs; Attic: Ἀχαρνῆς) is the third play — and the earliest of the eleven surviving plays — by the Athenian playwright Aristophanes. It was produced in 425 BCE on behalf of the young dramatist by an associate, Callistratus, and it won first place at the Lenaia festival. The Acharnians is about an Athenian citizen, Dikaiopolis, who miraculously obtains a private peace treaty with the Spartans and enjoys the benefits of peace in spite of opposition from some of his fellow Athenians. The play is notable for its absurd humour, its imaginative appeal for an end to the Peloponnesian War and for the author's spirited response to condemnations of his previous play, The Babylonians, by politicians such as Cleon, who had reviled it as a slander against the Athenian polis. In The Acharnians, Aristophanes reveals his resolve not to yield to attempts at political intimidation. Along with the other surviving plays of Aristophanes, The Acharnians is one of the few – and oldest – surviving examples of a highly satirical genre of drama known as Old Comedy.