Thesmophoriazusae was performed in Athens in 411 BCE, most likely at the City Dionysia, and is among the most brilliant of Aristophanes' eleven surviving comedies. It is the story of the crucial moment in a quarrel
between the tragic playwright Euripides and Athens' women, who accuse him of slandering them in his plays and are holding a meeting at one of their secret festivals to set a penalty for his crimes. Thesmophoriazusae is a brilliantly inventive comedy, full of wild slapstick humour and devastating literary parody, and is a basic source for questions of gender and sexuality in late 5th-century Athens and for the popular reception of Euripidean tragedy.
Austin and Olson offer a text based on a fresh examination of the papyri and manuscripts, and a detailed commentary covering a wide range of literary, historical, and philological issues. The introduction includes sections on the date and historical setting of the play; the Thesmophoria festival; Aristophanes' handling of Euripidean tragedy; staging; Thesmophoriazusae II; and the history of modern critical work on the text. All Greek in the introduction and commentary not cited for technical reasons is translated.
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