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Old Comedy and Civic Education: Aristophanes’ Knights on the Behavioral Effects of Fifth-century Athenian Public Economics

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 | 11:00 AM

Virtual Event

Classics doctoral candidate Constantine Karathanasis, currently Visiting Student Associate Member at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), will give a lecture for the American School's joint junior member lecture series with the French School at Athens (L‘ École française d’Athènes, EFA). Julien Faguer of the EFA will give a response.

Constantine's summary of his lecture:

"The relationship between politics and Aristophanic comedy has been a matter of debate. On the one hand, Aristophanes’ oeuvre has been ascribed a politically neutral outlook, as scholars argued that references to contemporary politics were a convention of genre. On the other hand, there have been arguments for a partisan outlook, which in turn was analyzed as either a conservative or a liberal one. At the same time, Aristophanic comedy has been read within the context of institutions, where comic theater is seen as a medium of civic education. Focusing on the Knights, I would like to show how Aristophanes’ preoccupation with Athens’s public finance, especially payments for political services, aimed at problematizing his audience with respect to its politically adverse effects. My approach is informed by the latest research in behavioral economics and social psychology, especially regarding the way the implementation of economic incentives in civic settings introduces noxious market-oriented behaviors."

The lecture begins at 6:00pm Athens time, 11:00 am St. Louis time. Registration for the Zoom is required.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Arts & Sciences



Event Contact


Speaker Information
PhD student to contribute to lecture series in Athens
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