Richer Resources Publications


Questions? Call us toll free:


                BOOKS            ART PRINTS            NEWS & REVIEWS             ON SALE NOW                COMING SOON               CONTACT



Art Prints

Corporate Sales

Academic Sales

Retailers & Distributors

Fundraising & PTAs

Interviews & Reviews

About Us


Shipping & Ordering

Press Releases








Knights by Aristophanes - an excerpt


Knights by Aristophanes

Dramatis Personae


DEMOSTHENES: a slave in the service of Demos
NICIAS: a slave in the service of Demos
A SAUSAGE SELLER: a low-born Athenian street merchant
PAPHLAGONIAN: a slave in the service of Demos
DEMOS: an elderly Athenian citizen

[The action takes place in an Athenian street in the Pnyx, the part of the city where the public assemblies were held. At the back there is an entrance to the house belonging to Demos. From within the house comes the noise of a slave being beaten with a whip and crying out in pain.]

DEMOSTHENES [bursting out of the door]
        All right, that’s it, that’s just too much to take!
        I’ve had it! That bastard interloper!
        That miserable Paphlagonian!
        I wish the gods would obliterate him—
        him and his schemes. Since that awful day
        he came into this house, because of him
        we slaves keep getting beaten all the time.

NICIAS [coming out behind Demosthenes, in obvious pain]
        That man is the very worst—a first-class
        Paphlagonian—all those lies he tells!

        Hey, you poor man, how you doing?

        Not good.                                                                                                                     10

        The same as you.

        All right, come over here,
        so we can moan together, pipe a tune,
        a duet in the manner of Olympus.1

[Demosthenes and Nicias put their heads together and act as if they are both playing flutes, making whimpering sounds in harmony.]

1 Olympus was a musician from the 7th century who composed flute music.

        What can we do-o-ooooo, [10]
        We’re just so black and blue-oo-oo.1

        Why waste our moaning? We should stop whining
        and look for some way to preserve our hides.

        How could we do that?

        Well, suggest something.

        No, you tell me—that way I can avoid
        fighting you about it.

[Here Demosthenes and Nicias briefly parody the grand tragic style.]

        No. By Apollo. No.                                                                                                 20
        I shall not speak.

        Ah, if only you would tell me
        what I should say.

        Come. Screw your courage up
        and speak. And then I shall confide in you.

        But I dare not. How could I ever utter
        the delicate phrasings of Euripides—
        “Can’t thou not speak for me what I must say”?2

        No, I don’t want that. Don’t toss those herbs around.
       Instead find us some way we can dance off [20]
        and leave our master.3

1 The Greek simply has them repeating a series of mu sounds.

2 Nicias is here quoting Euripides, a line where Phaedra wishes to confess her passion for her stepson without actually saying the words.

3 Aristophanes is satirizing Euripides’ origins by reminding people of the false rumour that his mother, Cleito, sold vegetables. The previous lines also satirize Euripides’ style.













About Us

At Richer Resources, we are dedicated to the creation of high quality books, art and other media intended to enrich the lives of individuals of all ages. 
As an independent publisher, we are bound by a sense of integrity and quality to produce products which enhance the lives and vision of individuals everywhere.

Sign up to receive notice of free eBooks, new releases and special subscriber-only offers.

(You can unsubscribe at any time)

Visit our EBooks section for previews of all of our titles.
Are you a teacher looking for new titles, a non-profit looking for fundraising ideas or a corporation looking for incentive gifts? Follow this link to learn about our special programs.