The comedies of the Athenian dramatist Menander (c. 342-291 BC) and his contemporaries were the ultimate source of a Western tradition of light drama that has continued to the present day. Yet for over a millennium, Menander’s own plays were thought to have been completely lost. Thanks to a long and continuing series of papyrus discoveries, Menander has now been able to take his place among the major surviving ancient Greek dramatists alongside Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes.

In this book, sixteen contributors examine and explore the Menander we know today in light of the various literary, intellectual, and social contexts in which his plays can be viewed. Topics covered include: the society, culture, and politics of his generation; the intellectual currents of the period; the literary precursors who inspired Menander (or whom he expected his audiences to recall); and responses to Menander, from his own time to ours. As the first wide-ranging collective study of Menander in English, this book is essential reading for those interested in ancient comedy the world over.

part I|71 pages

Context: Society (Gender, Slavery, War)

chapter 1|8 pages

Money and Love in Menandrian Comedy

ByHorst-Dieter Blume

chapter 2|13 pages

Menander and the Pallake

ByAlan H. Sommerstein

chapter 3|16 pages

Reconsidering Rape in Menander's Comedy and Athenian Life

Modern Comparative Evidence
BySharon L. James

chapter 4|18 pages

Relationships among Slaves in Menander

ByEftychia Bathrellou

chapter 5|14 pages

Military Culture and Menander

ByMario Lamagna

part II|61 pages

Context: Dramatic Tradition

chapter 6|15 pages

Staging and Constructing the Divine in Menander

BySarah Miles

chapter 7|16 pages

The Unity of Time in Menander

ByRobert Germany

chapter 8|10 pages

Aspects of Recognition in Perikeiromene and Other Plays

ByWilliam D. Furley

chapter 9|18 pages

Failing Communication in Menander and Others

ByGunther Martin

part III|45 pages

Context: Philosophy and Medical Thought

chapter 10|15 pages

Menander and the Peripatos

New Insights into an Old Question
ByAngelo Casanova

chapter 11|15 pages

Menander, Aristotle, Chance and Accidental Ignorance

ByValeria Cinaglia

chapter 12|13 pages

Melancholic Lovers in Menander

ByChristophe Cusset

part IV|68 pages

Context: Posterity

chapter 13|16 pages

On the Reception of Menander in the Imperial Period

ByOrestis Karavas, Jean-Luc Vix

chapter 14|16 pages

'Not even Menander would use this word!'

Perceptions of Menander's Language in Greek Lexicography
ByOlga Tribulato

chapter 15|18 pages

An Ideal Reception

Oscar Wilde, Menander's Comedy and the Context of Victorian Classical Studies
BySerena Witzke

chapter 16|16 pages

Menander's Epitrepontes in Modern Greek Theatre

The Poetics of Its Reception and Performance
ByStavroula Kiritsi