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date: 18 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Attic comic poets, despite their focus on celebrities and popular culture, their portrayal of Pericles as tyrannical, and their one-sidedly elite and rightist partisanship, nevertheless share with Thucydides an essentially coherent narrative of Athenian acme and decline after Pericles, exemplified politically by Cleon. Moreover, Thucydides often silently takes comic material into account when formulating his own narrative. This chapter examines the connections between Attic comedy and Thucydidean historiography in respect to shared and contrasting attitudes and responses to the political and social life of 5th century Athens. It proceeds chronologically through the war, examining the responses of historiography and the comic poets to the emerging events, issues, and leaders.

Keywords: Aristophanes, Cleon, comedy, politics, Peloponnesian War, Pericles, Thucydides

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