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mankind, and even from the power of receiving sacrifices, so as to force them ultimately to surren­der at discretion to the birds. All this scheme, and the details which fill it up, coincide admirably with the Sicilian expedition, which was designed not only to take possession of Sicily, but afterwards to conquer Carthage and Libya, and so, from the supremacy of the Mediterranean, to acquire that of the Peloponnesus, and reduce the Spartans, the gods of the play. (Thuc. vi. 15, &c.; Plut. Nic. 12, Ale. 17.) The plan succeeds; the gods send am­bassadors to demand terms, and finally Peisthe-taerus espouses Basileia, the daughter of Zeus. In no play does Aristophanes more indulge in the exuberance of wit and fancy than in this; and though we believe Suvern's account to be in the main correct, yet we must not suppose that the poet limits himself to this object: he keeps only generally to his allegory, often touching on other points, and sometimes indulging in pure humour; so that the play is not unlike the scheme of Gulli­ver's Travels.

The Lysistrata returns to the old subject of the Peloponnesian war, and here we find miseries de­scribed as existing which in the Acharnians and Peace had only been predicted. A treaty is finally represented as brought about in consequence of a civil war between the sexes. The Tliesmophoria-zusae is the first of the two great attacks on Euri­pides, and contains some inimitable parodies on his plays, especially the Andromeda, which had just appeared. It is almost wholly free from political allusions; the few which are found in it shew the attachment of the poet to the old democracy, and that, though a strong conservative, he was not an oligarchist. Both the PLutus and the Ecclesiazusae are designed to divert the prevailing mania for Do­rian manners, the latter ridiculing the political theories of Plato, which were based on Spartan in­stitutions. Between these two plays appeared the Frogs, in which Bacchus descends to Hades in search of a tragic poet, — those then alive being worthless, — and Aeschylus and Euripides contend for the prize of resuscitation. Euripides is at last dismissed by a parody on his own famous line 17 y\toffff3 djUCfcjUox5, i? §e typriv dvw{J.oros (Hipp. 608), and Aeschylus accompanies Bacchus to Earth, the tragic throne in Hades being given to Sophocles during his absence. Among the lost plays, the Nrja-ot and Tewpyoi were apparently on the subject of the much desired Peace, the former setting forth the evils which the islands and subject states, the latter those which the freemen of Attica, endured from the war. The Triphales seems to have been an attack on Alcibiades, in reference probably to his mutilation of the Hermes Busts (Silvern, On the Clouds, p. 85. transl.); and in the rypvrdSys cer­tain poets, pale, haggard votaries of the Sophists,— Sannyrion as the representative of comedy, Me-litus of tragedy, and Cinesias of the cyclic writers, visit their brethren in Hades. The Trjpas appears from the analysis of its fragments by Silvern, to have been named from a chorus of old men, who are supposed to have cast off their old age as ser­pents do their skin, and therefore probably to have been a representation of vicious dotage similar to that in the Knights. From a fragment in Bekker's Anecdota (p. 430) it is probable that it was the Sth of the Aristophanic comedies.

Suidas tells us, that Aristophanes was the author, in all, of 54 plays. We have hitherto


considered him only in his historical and political character, nor can his merits as a poet and humorist be understood without an actual study of his works. We have no means of comparing him with his rivals Eupolis and Cratinus (PIor. Sat. i. 4, 1), though he is said to have tempered their bitterness, and given to comedy additional grace, but to have been surpassed by Eupolis in the conduct of his plots. (Platonius, Trep} §ia<p. x^p> cited in Bekker's Aristoph.') Plato called the soul of Aristophanes a temple for the Graces, and has in­troduced him into his Symposium. His works contain snatches of lyric poetry which are quite noble, and some of his chorusses, particularly one in the Knights, in which the horses are represented as rowing triremes in an expedition against Corinth, are written with a spirit and humour unrivalled in Greek, and are not very dissimilar to English ballads. He was a complete master of the Attic dialect, and in his hands the perfection of that glorious instrument of thought is wonderfully shewn. No flights are too bold for the range of his fancy : animals of every kind are pressed into his service; frogs chaunt chorusses, a dog is tried for stealing a cheese, and an iambic verse is com­posed of the grunts of a pig. Words are invented of a length which must have made the speaker breathless,—the Ecclesiazusae closes with one of 170 letters. The gods are introduced in the most ludicrous positions, and it is certainly incompre­hensible how a writer who represents them in such a light, could feel so great indignation against those who were suspected of a design to shake the popu­lar faith in them. To say that his plays are de­filed by coarseness and indecency, is only to state that they were comedies, and written by a Greek who was not superior to the universal feeling of his age.

The first edition of Aristophanes was that of Aldus, Venice, 1498, which was published without the Lysistrata and Thesmophoriazusae. That of Bekker, 5 vols. 8vo., London, 1829, contains a text founded on the collation of two MSS. from Ravenna and Venice, unknown to former editors. It also has the valuable Scholia, a Latin version, and a large collection of notes. There are editions by Bothe, Kuster, and Dindorf: of the Acharnians, Knights, Wasps, Clouds, and Frogs, by Mitchellj with English notes (who has also translated the first three into English verse), and of the Birds and Plutus by Cookesley, also with English notes. There are many translations of single plays into English, and of all into German by Voss (Bruns­ wick, 1821), and Droysen (Berlin, 1835—1838). Wieland also translated the Acharnians, Knights, Clouds, and Birds ; and Welcker the Clouds and Frogs. [G. E. L. C.]

ARISTOPHANES ('ApunoQdvris). 1. Of By­zantium, a son of Apelles, and one of the most emi­nent Greek grammarians at Alexandria. He was a pupil of Zenodotus and Eratosthenes, and teacher of the celebrated Aristarchus. He lived about b. c. 264, in the reign of Ptolemy II. and Ptolemy III., and had the supreme management of the library at Alexandria. All the ancients agree in placing him among the most distinguished critics and gram­marians.' He founded a school of his own at Alexandria, and acquired great merits for what he did for the Greek language and literature. He and Aristarchus were the principal men who made out the canon of the classical writers of Greece, in the

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