Balladeer’s Blog frequently examines ancient Greek comedies written by Aristophanes, Cratinus, Eupolis and others. Recently I was put in mind of the way those comedians often satirized the “professional accusers” in the political and legal forums of ancient Athens.
Demagogues like Cleon and Hyperbolus and others often used “professional accusers” against their political opponents. These figures – called sycophantes by the ancient Athenians – are often termed “informers” in many translations of Greek comedies but I feel the word accuser is more accurate.
Such “professional accusers” would hurl scandalous accusations at their secret patron’s political foes, blackening their name in the public’s eyes and often causing them to face court costs, etc. (In English, sycophant has come to mean groveling toady and flatterer but back then the word carried a different meaning.)
Here are three examples:
THE KNIGHTS – Written by Aristophanes about the demagogue Cleon. CLICK HERE
MARIKAS – Written by Eupolis about the demagogue Hyperbolus. CLICK HERE
THE BANQUETERS – Written by Aristophanes about families divided by politics. CLICK HERE
FOR MORE ANCIENT GREEK COMEDIES CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/ancient-greek-comedies/
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