Lysistrata by Aristophanes: A few references explained

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  • Created on: 11-06-13 12:20
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  • Lysistrata by Aristophanes: A few references explained
    • "the Bacchic celebration"
      • A reference to the Bacchic revels that occurred in Ancient Greece, which were drunken affairs. They would worship Bacchus / Dionysus, drink, eat and have sex
    • "Theogenes' Wife"
      • Theogenes of Archarnae was a merchant and shipowner who had the reputation of a vain boaster pretending to be richer than he was.Often satirised as a dirty boor and his name was linked with faeces. He had been active in office on 425BC. His wife is no more likely than most Athenian wives to have been a publicly know n person in her own right
    • Meanings of Myrrtle and Lampito
      • Myrrtle was a common name in actual Athenian life and a stock name for married women in comedy. Lampito is a name given to women of rank, Lampito was a royal name in Sparta
    • "Lycon's Wife"
      • seems to have been a byword for flagrant promiscuity. singled out as the most wicked citizen wife in Athens and likely to be the ringleader of any wicked female conspiracy
    • references from lines 103-110
      • "The Thracian Coast"
        • usual expression for the areas of Greek settlements on the northern sore of the Aegean. Our passage shows that an Athenian force was operating in that region in 411 probably trying subject states which had revolted to re-join the Athenian alliance
      • "Our general"
        • Eurcrates, the implication of Calonice's remark is that he is a greater threat toAthen's interests then the enemy are, an attitude towards generals that  was already becoming common when an exp. was not successful
      • "Pylos"
        • a strategic promontory on the west coast of the Peloponnese seized by Athens under Demosthenes in 425 and held ever since by an Athenian garrison. The Spartans recaptured it in 410/409.
      • "He's fitted his shield on his arm and flown off"
        • a detachable strip of bronze usually running from edge to edge of the inner face of a shield through which the wearer passed their left arm. When a Spartan hung his shield at home re removed this so that if a helot were to steal the shield he could not use it
      • "Miletus"
        • "Since the Miletians betrayed us": Miletus revolted the previous summer
    • Lines 139-140: "Shag...live"
      • Literally Poseidon and a rub. Reference to one of Sophocles' two plays about Tyro. she was the daughter of Slamoneus who fell in love with river-god Enipeus and frequented the river banks. where she was seduced by Poseidon in Enipeus' likeness. She gave birth to twins whom she exposed in a tub on the river's edge, they were rescued, grew up and eventually saved their mother from her father and step-mother. To Lysistrata all women now resemble Tyro in her lustfulness and their irresponsibility
    • Lines 277-8: "for he'd given up his arms to me... he left with just a cloak"
      • Greatly exaggerating Cleomenes' defeat: the Athenians would have been as glad to see the back of him as he was to leave and it would have been stupid to heap up degadations on a Spartan king for fear of retaliation. The cloak is in the Greek, a coarse outer garment mainly worn by poor men, it is possible that the old men are all wearing these
    • Line 389 "Adonis on the roofs of the houses"
      • refers to a festival connected to Adonis, the mortal youth who was loved by Aphrodite, was commemorated by this festival. the fact that in 415 a meeting in the Assembly could be held during this festival shows that it was not yet officially recognised by the Athenian state, but it was esp. popular with women who lamented and sang funeral dirges over effigies of Adonis
    • Peisander
      • was a significant figure in Athens since 426 when Aristophanes accused him of favouring war for his own ends. in 415 he claimed that there was a vast anti-democracy conspiracy afoot. he tried to suspend the law prohibiting torture. Lysistrata treats the name as someone who is corrupt and cowardly.

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