Commentaries on the Fragments of Greek Comedy

Many works of ancient Greek literature have only been preserved in the form of more or less extensive fragments. This is particularly true of comedy, a genre decisively marked by two authors some of whose plays have come down to us in their entirety: Aristophanes (5 th /4 th century BC) and Menander (3 rd /2 nd century BC). The pioneering aspect of this research project in terms of literary history is that it sets out to provide commentaries on the Greek authors whose works have only survived in fragmentary form, thus correcting and supplementing our hitherto rather one-sided perspective on a central genre of European literature.

​The commentaries are designed first to provide access from every conceivable standpoint to a set of texts that are usually difficult to understand and secondly wherever possible to attempt a reconstruction of the plays and determine the authors’ place in the history of literature. The fragments and testimonies are translated into German. The insights arrived at in the commentaries will find their 39 way into more general studies on comedy and comic techniques like parody and satire and on the political function of these plays.
The connectivity of the project is high, involving cooperation with centres for the investigation of fragmentary Greek literature in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Brochure for download (PDF)

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Chair of the Commission

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Gehrke

Head of the Research Unit

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Zimmermann (e-mail:


Prof. Dr. Andreas Bagordo (e-mail:
Dr. Christian Orth (e-mail:
Dr. Francesco Bianchi
Dr. Stylianos Chronopoulos


Commentaries on the Fragments of Greek Comedy

Visitor address
79104 Freiburg im Breisgau

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Bernhard Zimmermann
Seminar für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie
Platz der Universität 3
79085 Freiburg im Breisgau

phone: +49 7 61 | 2 03 94 88

responsible: editorial office
Latest Revision: 2018-12-14