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Slaves and Slavery in Ancient Greek Comic Drama


Rob Tordoff, S. Douglas Olson, Susan Lape, Donald Sells, Ben Akrigg, Kelly Wrenhaven, David Konstan, Cheryl Cox, C. W. Marshall, Kathryn Bosher, Christina Vester
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  • Date Published: January 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107008557

£ 84.99

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About the Authors
  • How did audiences of ancient Greek comedy react to the spectacle of masters and slaves? If they were expected to laugh at a slave threatened with a beating by his master at one moment but laugh with him when they bantered familiarly at the next, what does this tell us about ancient Greek slavery? This volume presents ten essays by leading specialists in ancient Greek literature, culture and history, exploring the changing roles and representations of slaves in comic drama from Aristophanes at the height of the Athenian Empire to the New Comedy of Menander and the Hellenistic World. The contributors focus variously on individual comic dramas or on particular historical periods, analysing a wide range of textual, material-culture and comparative data for the practices of slavery and their representation on the ancient Greek comic stage.

    • The first major study of the roles played by slave characters in Greek comic drama
    • Combines the study of Aristophanes, Menander and fragmentary comic dramatists with the visual culture record and comparative evidence from the modern world, resulting in a rigorously interdisciplinary approach to the study of ancient Greek culture
    • Arranged chronologically and covers more than a century of Greek literary history, offering a broad, synoptic view of the subject
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this volume will be useful for anyone interested in the representation of slaves and slavery as found in our sources for Greek comedy.' Madeleine M. Henry, Phoenix

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107008557
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 160 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: slaves and slavery in ancient Greek comedy Rob Tordoff
    2. Slaves and politics in early Aristophanic comedy S. Douglas Olson
    3. Slavery, drama and the alchemy of identity in Aristophanes Susan Lape
    4. Slaves in the fragments of old comedy Donald Sells
    5. Aristophanes, slaves and history Ben Akrigg
    6. A comedy of errors: the comic slave in Greek art Kelly Wrenhaven
    7. Menander's slaves: the banality of violence David Konstan
    8. Coping with punishment: the social networking of slaves in Menander Cheryl Cox
    9. Sex slaves in new comedy C. W. Marshall
    10. 'Phlyax' slaves: from vase to stage? Kathryn Bosher
    11. Tokens of identity in Menander's Epitrepontes: slaves, citizens and in-betweens Christina Vester.

  • Editors

    Ben Akrigg, University of Toronto
    Ben Akrigg is Assistant Professor of Greek History at the University of Toronto. His principal research interest is the economic and social history of classical Greece.

    Rob Tordoff, York University, Toronto
    Rob Tordoff is Assistant Professor of Humanities at York University, Toronto. His research focuses on Aristophanes, literary theory, social and cultural history and the modern reception of ancient Greek literature.


    Rob Tordoff, S. Douglas Olson, Susan Lape, Donald Sells, Ben Akrigg, Kelly Wrenhaven, David Konstan, Cheryl Cox, C. W. Marshall, Kathryn Bosher, Christina Vester

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