Satirical comedy written in 421 B.C.E. by Aristophanes, the Greek playwright. One of his latter works, not especially well-known, but deserving of a closer look. Also sometimes referred to as Eirene.

The text of the play can be found here.

Written after Athens and Sparta had been at war for many years, the Peace of Aristophanes focuses on Trygaeus, a farmer, who flies to Olympus on the back of a dung-beetle to find out what has happened to the goddess Peace. He helps rescue her from a pit in which War has imprisoned her, and the play concludes with a feast demonstrating the joys of peace.

As with most plays of Aristophanes, the dialogue is filled with sexual and scatalogical puns and wordplay, which are often obscured in some of the more squeamish translations made in late Victorian and Edwardian times. Such translations, unfortunately, form the bulk of what is available in the public domain and in many prudish public libraries, at least in the USA. For a clear (and funny) translation of most classical Greek drama it is usually best to look for more recent translations, unless you can read the plays in their Classical Greek originals.

A public domain translation by an unknown translator, adapted from Project Gutenberg sources appears elsewhere on E2. Text of The Peace of Aristophanes

Peace is a state of mind, in which one does not wish to assert dominance over another. "As I would not be a slave, so would I not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Anything that differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no true democracy." This is what Abraham Lincoln said. I would agree and substitute "Peace" as a second statement.
In the true situation of peace, politics, even democratic politics, is not necessary. For example, among good Quakers, there is something that could be called politics but it is of a very different nature, more of a problem-solving than the power issues involved in politics.

Peace (?), n. [OE. pees, pais, OF. pais, paiz, pes, F. paix, L. pax, pacis, akin to pacere, paciscere, pacisci, to make an agreement, and prob. also pangere to fasten. Cf. Appease, Fair, a., Fay, v., Fang, Pacify, Pact, Pay to requite.]

A state of quiet or tranquillity; freedom from disturbance or agitation; calm; repose

; specifically: (a)

Exemption from, or cessation of, war with public enemies

. (b)

Public quiet, order, and contentment in obedience to law

. (c)

Exemption from, or subjection of, agitating passions; tranquillity of mind or conscience

. (d)

Reconciliation; agreement after variance; harmony; concord.

"The eternal love and pees."

Chaucer.

Peace is sometimes used as an exclamation in commanding silence, quiet, or order. "Peace! foolish woman."

Shak.

At peace, in a state of peace. -- Breach of the peace. See under Breach. -- Justice of the peace. See under Justice. -- Peace of God. Law (a) A term used in wills, indictments, etc., as denoting a state of peace and good conduct. (b) Theol. The peace of heart which is the gift of God. -- Peace offering. (a) Jewish Antiq. A voluntary offering to God in token of devout homage and of a sense of friendly communion with Him. (b) A gift or service offered as satisfaction to an offended person. -- Peace officer, a civil officer whose duty it is to preserve the public peace, to prevent riots, etc., as a sheriff or constable. -- To hold one's peace, to be silent; to refrain from speaking. -- To make one's peace with, to reconcile one with, to plead one's cause with, or to become reconciled with, another. "I will make your peace with him." Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.


Peace, v. t. & i.

To make or become quiet; to be silent; to stop.

[R.] "Peace your tattlings."

Shak.

When the thunder would not peace at my bidding. Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.

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