Core Curriculum : Literature Humanities

Greek Drama > Lysistrata

Comediae novem

Aristophanes. Comediae novem

Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1498

Columbia RBML Goff A 958

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Eleven of the forty plus plays authored by Aristophanes have made it to the present day. However, Lysistrata is not one of the nine included in this incunable edition of Aristophanes’s comedies published by Aldus Manutius in 1498. This edition includes scholia done by Marcus Mursurus, whose extensive gloss surrounds Aristophanes's text in a smaller Greek type. Marcus Musurus worked closely with Aldus Manutius on establishing texts and preparing scholarly apparati for Aldus Manutius's Greek publications. We know he consulted four separate manuscripts of Aristophanes while preparing this edition.

Whereas many classical Greek authors were first printed in Latin translation and only later in Greek, Aldus Manutius focused on publication in the original Greek, publishing the first editions of many Greek authors. The first printing of Greek texts was done in what is now Italy and not Greece.

Within Aristophanes's text, capital letters note changes in speaker and mark divisions in the play. Arabesque designs and large initials adorn the first page of each play but otherwise this large, clean, copy of the text is sparsely illustrated and barely annotated. A Life of Aristophanes and note on meter precede the comedies.


Comoediae nove

Aristophanes. Comoedia nove

Florence: Phillipus Iuntus, 1515

Columbia RBML LODGE 1515 Ar46

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A reprint of the 1498 Aldine edition above, this 1515 publication by Philip Giunta or Iuntus includes the same nine plays of Aristophanes but offers them in a small octavo edition and therefore without the Mursurus scholia.  The Lodge collection includes a 1539 Venetian Latin translation and a 1545 Venetian edition of Aristophanes's plays in Italian translation that does include Lysistrata.


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