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Bust of Aristophanes
|Born||c. 446 BC
|Died||c. 386 BC
|Years active||427 BC – 386 BC|
|Known for||Playwright and director of Old Comedy|
† Although many artists' renderings of Aristophanes portray him with flowing curly hair, several jests in his plays indicate that he may have been prematurely bald.
Aristophanes (// or //;Greek: Ἀριστοφάνης, pronounced [aristopʰánɛːs]; c. 446 – c. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion (Latin: Cydathenaeum), was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and are used to define it.
Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy, Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries; Plato singled out Aristophanes' play The Clouds as slander that contributed to the trial and subsequent condemning to death of Socrates although other satirical playwrights had also caricatured the philosopher.
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