Aristophanes and Alcibiades: Echoes of Contemporary History in Athenian Comedy. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2015. xxi + 241 pp. $112.00. isbn 9783110437539 (hbk).Michael Vickers’ latest book completes something of a trilogy, complementing two earlier volumes, Pericles on Stage: Political Comedy in Aristophanes’ Early Plays (Austin, 1997) and Sophocles and Alcibiades: Echoes of Contemporary History in Athenian Drama (Ithaca, 2008). Anyone who has read either of the previous books or any of Vickers’ numerous articles will find the content and approach here quite familiar. Vickers champions the idea that Pericles, his partner Aspasia, and the notorious Alcibiades were cultural celebrities in Classical Athens to the point that much of live theater referenced them constantly during their lifetime and across the decades after their deaths. The volume under review focuses on the later years of this phenomenon, the late 410’s to the 380’s bce, roughly the last decade of Alcibiades’ life and when Pericles had been dead for decades (when Aspasia died is unknown). Chapters cover Aristophanes’ last five extant comedies (Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Frogs, Ecclesiazusae and Plutus), along with analyses of Euripides’ tragedies Ion, Helen and Andromeda. While Vickers retains his tenacious (and tendentious) method, he is no more persuasive than
Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought – Brill
Published: Apr 4, 2017
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