A commentary on selected fragments of middle comedy
The period of Middle Comedy comprises more than fifty poets and more than one thousand fragments. In my thesis I study six of these poets Amphis, Aristophon, Dionysius, Mnesimachus, Philetaerus, and Theophilus. The study takes the form of a commentary on the more substantial fragments of these poets. The commentary deals with philological and textual issues. Through the use of antecedents and parallels where available, it also places the fragments within the context of the surviving corpus for each author and the comic tradition in order to trace the main motifs, trends, and patterns of this period. In many cases Old Comedy stands as the antecedent, and often Middle Comedy appears to pave the way for Menander and New Comedy. The picture that emerges is that of simultaneous continuity and change of Greek Comedy. Wherever possible I attempt to reconstruct at least the theme and on occasion the plot outline of the plays. My commentary is preceded by an introduction, where I deal with the question of the validity of the term "Middle Comedy", look briefly into the recent research relating to Middle Comedy, discuss questions of sources and their problems, and lay out the methodology that I deploy throughout the commentary.