Aristophanes ( German pronunciation [ aʀɪsto fanɛs ː ], Greek Ἀριστοφάνης; * between 450 BC and 444 BC in Athens; † 380 BC ) was a Greek comic poet. He is considered one of the most important representatives of the Greek comedy, especially of the Old Comedy, and the Greek theater in general. His comedies, especially Lysistrata be played again and again.


About his life little is known. Aristophanes was between 450 BC and 444 BC, the son of Philippos in Kydathen, a suburb of Athens. From 430-428 BC, he was probably trained as a playwright. His first three pieces he had put on as an anonymous author of Kallistratos. Later he has to be represented more often by this or Philonides. His sons Araros and Philip were also comedy writer. Araros led to the last two pieces Kokalos and Aiolosikon his father.

Aristophanes died after 388 BC, probably around 380 BC in Athens, where he had spent most of his life. After 400 BC, he served as Prytan a leading official in the city government. At times, he lived on the nearby island of Aegina, which was 431 BC colonized by Athenians.


With his work Aristophanes aimed always at it, contemporary people and events to ridicule, often by dramatic representations and satirical edge. He satirized stylistic devices of other poets, such as Euripides' and expressed both critical as derisively about people like Socrates or the Sophists. His portrayal of the politician Cleon in 426 BC The Babylonians gave him a lawsuit for defamation of the people, but had no consequences. Two years later undertook Cleon, also unsuccessfully, to challenge the attempt of Aristophanes Athenian citizen's right to the legal action: His father was allegedly not a native Athenian, because as immigrants from Rhodes or Egypt, he had received the right of citizenship at a later date.

For his comedies Aristophanes received at the Dionysia Lenaea and often high honors; three first and three second places and a third place at least once have survived. The Frogs (405 BC) he was allowed to perform at the BC Lenaea 404 a second time. The ancients saw in Aristophanes one of the three great poets of the Old Comedy. After Aristophanes ' death Plato made ​​him a figure in the Symposium dialogue ( The Banquet ).

Aristophanes ' works but have found not only among his contemporaries, but also for posterity in Rome and Alexandria applause. Detectable traces they have left in the political satire of European, particularly English literature. Goethe, who published an edited version of the comedy The Birds, Aristophanes mentions in the prologue of a " naughty darling of the Graces ." Heine puts him in Germany. The Winter's Tale as a great dramatist is, who, as he had been himself, certainly persecuted for his critical attitude in 19th century Germany. Picasso illustrated scenes from 1934 Lysistrata for an American translation of the piece by Gilbert Seldes. Peter Hacks broke with his adaptation of The Peace ( 1962) from a wave of new versions of ancient materials in the GDR.

The comedy The birds come from the idioms cloud cuckoo land and carrying coals to Newcastle. Marcus Tullius Cicero Ubi bene, ibi patria has its origins in the work of the wealth.


The only surviving portrait of Aristophanes ' is a standing in the Academic Kunstmuseum Bonn Double bust, on the other side of Menander is shown.

The adjective aristophanisch today identifies a statement as witty and funny or biting mockery.

An asteroid discovered in 1960 was baptized in 2934 Aristophanes.

Catalog of works ( in chronological order )

Aristophanes be attributed to more than 40 works, of which eleven are completely preserved. The assignment of the resulting fragments is controversial.

  • The feast brothers ( Daitales ): 427 BC, second prize at the Dionysia
  • The Babylonians: 426 BC, first prize at the Dionysia
  • The Acharnians ( Aharnes ): 425 BC, first prize at the Lenaea
  • The Knights ( Hippeis ): 424 BC, first prize at the Lenaea
  • The farmers ( georgoi ): 424 BC, attending the Dionysia
  • The merchant ships: 423 BC, attending the Lenaea
  • The clouds ( Nephelai ): 423 BC, third prize at the Dionysia
  • Proagon: 422 BC, first prize at the Lenaea
  • The wasps ( Sphekes ): 422 BC, second prize at the Lenaea
  • The Age ( Geras ): 422 BC
  • The Peace ( Eirene ): 421 BC, second prize at the Dionysia
  • The clouds ( Nephelai ): 419/418 BC, unpublished by the author of the revision version of 423 BC
  • Anagyros: 418-416 BC
  • Amphiaraus: 414 BC, attending the Lenaea
  • The Birds ( Ornithes ): 414 BC, second prize at the Dionysia
  • Lysistrata: 411 BC, attending the Lenaea
  • The Thesmophoriazusae ( Thesmophoriazusai ): 411 BC, attending the Dionysia
  • Triphales: 410 or 409 BC
  • Gerytades: 408 BC
  • The wealth ( Pluto ): 408 BC
  • The clouds ( Nephelai ): 408 BC, appears to be no connection with the other pieces of the same
  • The Thesmophoriazusae II: 410-406 BC
  • The Frogs ( Batrachoi ): 405 BC, first prize at the Lenaea
  • Telemessians: probably 402 BC
  • The Storks: 399 BC
  • The womenfolk Assembly ( Ekklesiazusai ): 392 BC
  • The wealth ( Pluto ): 388 BC, revised version of 408 BC
  • Kokalos: 387 BC, first prize at the Dionysia
  • Aiolosikon: 386 BC, edited version ( the first version date unknown)

Moreover, after 421 BC was released a revised version of the peace.

The following works are only known by name:

Daedalus, The roast chicken ( Tagenistai ) The Danaids ( Danaidai ), The women's camp, The Heroes, The Islands, The Seasons ( Horai ) The Lemnierinnen, The Phoenician Women, Poetry, The Centaurs, Dionysus ' shipwreck, Niobos, Polyidus.

The poetry, Dionysus ' shipwreck, The Islands and Niobos also be ascribed to Archippus.