Birds; Lysistrata; Assembly-Women; Wealth

By Stephen Halliwell; Aristophanes | Go to book overview

EXPLANATORY NOTES

The Explanatory Notes are chiefly designed to provide concise guidance to historical and other details which might puzzle a modern reader. For three of the four plays in this volume, fuller information about most points can be found in the Oxford commentaries which are cited in the Select Bibliography.

Fragments of lost tragedies are cited from the following works:

Nauck A. Nauck (ed. ), Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta (2nd edn., Leipzig, 1889)
TrGF Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. B. Snell et al. (Göttingen, I97I-).

Play titles are abbreviated as follows:

A. Acharnians
AW Assembly-Women
B. Birds
C. Clouds
F. Frogs
K. Knights
L. Lysistrata
P. Peace
W. Wasps
We. Wealth
WT Women at the Thesmophoria
BIRDS
17-18 jackdaw ... three: the 'son of Tharreleides' is unknown; the joke might convey a gibe about size or noisiness. There were six obols in a drachma, which was a day's wages in the later fifth century for certain jobs; three obols was the daily rate of remuneration for jurors (note on L. 625). The prices given are presumably high.
28 join the crows: the Greek expression, lit. 'to the ravens' (often translated 'to the crows'), is a slang equivalent of 'go to hell!'. Euelpides puns on the literal sense.
31 Sakas: the term, applied by Greeks to certain Scythian peoples, is apparently a satirical nickname (implying foreign birth) for the minor tragic poet Akestor (cf. W. 1221).
41 sit in the courts: the Athenians sometimes mocked the extensiveness

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