Abstract

This essay pursues an economic and “numismatic” reading of Aristophanes’ Wealth, focusing on how the play represents exchange and coinage. While Wealth rejoices in the acquisition of vast riches and in the creation of a society in which justice and good citizen conduct meet with economic rewards, it also systematically presents coins and more “disembedded” forms of transaction in sharply negative terms. Accordingly, the play exploits and seeks to negotiate an ideological fissure between rich and poor Athenians, retailing utopian fantasy for the dispossessed with one hand, while with the other pointing towards the fantasy’s ironic deconstruction and dissolution.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2575-7199
Print ISSN
2575-7180
Pages
pp. 257-293
Launched on MUSE
2012-11-25
Open Access
No
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