chapter  6
12 Pages

WASPS

Today it is unanimously agreed that Proagon is an Aristophanic comedy: on the one hand, there is no further mention of a Proagon by Philonides, and on the other it has since emerged, directly and indirectly, that Aristophanes himself indeed wrote a Proagon. This conclusion is not entirely convincing, as few-only three-Philonidean titles are actually known to us. Yet one must also consider how improbable it is that Aristophanes would have entrusted the theatrical fortune of Wasps-in immediate succession to the failure of Clouds-to a colleague such as Philonides competing with a comedy of his own. Moreover, his absence from the consecutive Dionysia of 422 and Lenaia of 421-the Dionysian Peace of 421, as seen further on, was staged directly after Wasps-could be perceived as supporting evidence in favour of a second Aristophanic comedy at the Lenaia of 422.