I. Introduction

1979 New Surveys in the Classics  
Aristophanes, the last — and greatest — poet of Old Comedy, is Europe's first — and greatest — comic playwright. The verdict is time's, unless it is mere accident that his plays alone survive into our era. He was not, it is true, invariably successful in his lifetime, and Aristotle's somewhat jaundiced view of comedy did not assist his reputation later. Yet appreciative if not always fully comprehending readers have in every age responded to his χάρις. It was, we may suppose, this indefinable
more » ... this indefinable attractiveness that was ultimately lacking in his rivals: Alexandria classified him in a 'triad' or 'big three' with Eupolis and the bibulous Kratinos, Eustathios refers to him, unnamed and unaccompanied, as òκωμικός, 'the comic poet'.
doi:10.1017/s053324510002109x fatcat:52guehqhlvgerhq3gbraparsce