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(krətī`nəs), d. c.419 B.C., Athenian comic dramatist. He won the prize at the Athenian drama contest when Aristophanes competed with The Clouds and was regarded with Aristophanes and Eupolis as one of the greatest comic dramatists. He attacked Pericles violently in his plays. Fragments of his plays survive.


See R. Rosen, Old Comedy and the Iambographic Tradition (1988).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Born circa 420 B.C., birthplace unknown. Greek writer of comedies.

One of the outstanding representatives of the Attic comic tradition, Cratinus was the first to endow comedy with a harmonious artistic form. His comedies were directed against the leaders of the Athenian slaveholding democracy. Only fragments have been preserved. Cratinus wrote at least 27 comedies, of which several have been dated: Caught in the Tempest (425), The Satyrs (424), and The Bottle (423).


Edmonds, J. M. The Fragments of Attic Comedy, vol. 1. Leiden, 1957. REFERENCES Korte, A. “Kratinos.” In Paulys-Wissowa Realencyclopddie der Altertumswissenschaft, vol. 11 (2). Stuttgart, 1922. Columns 1647–54.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"There was the soul of Cratinus - passable: Aristophanes - racy: Plato exquisite not your Plato, but Plato the comic poet; your Plato would have turned the stomach of Cerberus - faugh!
"Aristophanes, Cratinus, and the Smell of Comedy." In Butler and Purves 2013, 53-69.
Shortly after the end of the classical period there grew up a confusion with regard to the etymological origins of the Latin word satura or "satire." It was, in fact, widely assumed that it was derived from the Greek word satyr, which named both the lusty half-man and half-goat creatures of mythological fame and the dramatic genre which featured them (traces of this confusion show up early in the tradition and may even begin to be visible in Horace's genealogy of satire at the beginning of 1.4 in which Lucilius is named as a descendant of the early Greek comic poets Aristophanes, Cratinus, and Eupolis).
Eupolis atque Cratinus Aristophanesque poetae atque alii quorum eomoedia prisea virorum est, si quis erat dignus deseribi quod malus ae fur, quod moeehus foret aut siearius aut alioqui famosus, multa eum libertate notabant.
They would need a grammarian to explain [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ('who Laispodias in Eupolis, and Cinesias in Platon, and Lampoon in Cratinus are').
Tagenias, the earliest form of pancakes recorded in 5th century BC texts, were mentioned by comic poets, Cratinus and Magnes.
Who can show cause why th'ancient comic vein Of Eupolis and Cratinus (now reviv'd, Subject to personal application) Should be exploded by some bitter spleens, Yet merely comical and harmless jests (Though ne'er so witty) be esteem'd but toys, If void of th'other satirism's sauce?
360 of the comic dramatist Cratinus, though, the context appears to be one of the dramatist's appealing to his audience as appreciative critics of his poetic skill.
In Dionysalexandros, Cratinus apparently attacks Pericles's decisions and opposes his war policy as early as 430 BCE (probable date of production of the play); see J.
Aristophanes made fun of Cratinus, a fellow playwright and self-professed wine enthusiast, saying that he had died of shock from seeing his wine go to waste as it ran from a broken amphora.
The comic writer Cratinus noticed this in his coinage, euripidaristophanizein, to write in the style of both men.