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On the Date of Eupolis’ Demes and the Political Events of 412 BC

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image of Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought

Eupolis’ fragmentary Demes has traditionally been placed in 412 BC, after the failure of the Sicilian Expedition but before the oligarchic coup of 411. Ian Storey has recently argued that the play belongs instead in 417 or perhaps 416 BC, while Mario Telò and Leone Porciani put it in 410 BC. This article demonstrates that both alternative dates face decisive objections, and suggests that Demes is better kept in 412 BC. I then briefly consider the role of late 5th-century Athenian “political” comedy generally, and in particular the sort of popular sentiment that Eupolis’ comedy must have been exploiting or echoing when it was conceived in the first half of 413.

Affiliations: 1: University of Minnesota Minneapolis, mnUSA


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