Ecclesiazusae, probably produced in 391 BC, is at once a typically Aristophanic fantasy of gender inversion, obscenity and farce, the earliest surviving work in the western Utopian tradition, and the source of a blueprint for a communist society on which Plato may well have drawn in his Republic. This edition attempts to set the play, more closely than has usually been done, against the political background at the time of its production, when Athens has just spurned what proved to be the last opportunity to escape from a war it did not have the resources to fight, and to define the details of staging as precisely as the text will allow. [Greek text with facing-page translation, commentary and notes.]
Alan H. Sommerstein is Professor of Greek and Director for Ancient Drama and its Reception, University of Nottingham, and editor of a celebrated complete edition of Aristophanes volumes in the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series. His many other publications include Aeschylean Tragedy (1996), an edition of Aeschylus Eumenides (1989), Greek Drama and Dramatists (2002) and Sophocles: Selected Fragmentary Plays Volumes 1 and 2 (2006, 2011) in this series.
‘All in all, this book is a great source of knowledge and will be very helpful for anyone who studies Ecclesiazusae.’
‘For an overall series of the entire corpus, including critical text, commentary, translation, and full introduction, all subsumed to one man’s intelligent analysis and wide-ranging scholarship, Sommerstein stands triumphantly alone. […] Aristophanes is lucky to have so devoted, erudite, and witty a modern celebrant.’