Lysistrata

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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Aristophanes' comedy in which the women of Athens and Sparta, led by Lysistrata, secure peace in the long-running war between them by staging a sex strike. To the men in the audience in 411BC, the idea that peace in the Peloponnesian War could be won so easily was ridiculous and the thought that their wives could have so much power over them was even more so. However Aristophanes' comedy also has the women seizing the treasure in the Acropolis that was meant to fund more fighting in an emergency, a fund the Athenians had recently had to draw on. They were in a perilous position and, much as they might laugh at Aristophanes' jokes, they knew there were real concerns about the actual cost of the war in terms of wealth and manpower. WithPaul Cartledge
AG Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge Sarah Miles
Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham UniversityAndJames Robson
Professor of Classical Studies at the Open UniversityProducer: Simon TillotsonReading list:Aristophanes (ed. Jeffrey Henderson), Lysistrata (Oxford University Press, 1987)Aristophanes (ed. Jeffrey Henderson), Three Plays by Aristophanes: Staging Women (Routledge, 2010)Aristophanes (ed. Jeffrey Henderson), Birds; Lysistrata; Women at the Thesmophoria (Loeb Classical Library series, Harvard University Press, 2014) Aristophanes (ed. Alan H. Sommerstein), Lysistrata and Other Plays: The Acharnians; The Clouds; Lysistrata (Penguin, 2002)Aristophanes (ed. Alan H. Sommerstein), Lysistrata (Aris & Phillips, 1998)Paul Cartledge, Aristophanes and his Theatre of the Absurd (Bristol Classical Press, 1999)Kenneth Dover, Aristophanic Comedy (University of California Press, 1972)Germaine Greer, Lysistrata: The Sex Strike: After Aristophanes (Aurora Metro Press, 2000)Tony Harrison, The Common Chorus: A Version of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (Faber & Faber, 1992)Douglas M. MacDowell, Aristophanes and Athens: An Introduction to the Plays (Oxford University Press, 1995)S. Douglas Olson (ed.), Ancient Comedy and Reception: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Henderson (De Gruyter, 2013), especially 'She (Don't) Gotta Have It: African-American reception of Lysistrata' by Kevin WetmoreJames Robson, Aristophanes: Lysistrata, Bloomsbury ancient comedy companions (Bloomsbury, 2023)James Robson, Aristophanes: An Introduction (Duckworth, 2009)Ralph M. Rosen and Helene P. Foley (eds.), Aristophanes and Politics. New Studies (Brill, 2020) Donald Sells, Parody, Politics and the Populace in Greek Old Comedy (Bloomsbury, 2018)David Stuttard (ed.), Looking at Lysistrata: Eight Essays and a New Version of Aristophanes' Provocative Comedy (Bristol Classical Press, 2010)
9 May English United Kingdom Religion & Spirituality

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