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Aristophanes, Wealth 168: Adultery for Fun and Profit

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An examination of Wealth 160–69 sheds further light on the portrayal of adulterers (moichoi) in ancient Greek comedy and oratory. The moichos is routinely presented as undermining the financial fortunes of a household as well as its domestic harmony. On the Greek comic stage, and in the Athenian courtroom, the moichos is less a Don Juan figure than a treacherous intruder, intent on exploiting his seductive charms to the detriment of another male citizen's household. Such an understanding of the Greek moichos helps to shed light on figures such as the Eratosthenes of Lysias 1, the youthful lover in the concluding scenes of Wealth, and Apollodorus' presentation of the former slave Phormion. It also yields further insights into popular attitudes toward women and marriage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-10-01

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  • Hermes, founded in 1866 and currently edited by Siegmar Döpp, Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp and Adolf Köhnken, is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. It focuses on linguistics, literature as well as history. It features original articles in English, German, French and Italian.
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