The Twelve Days of Censorship

Aristophanes? You mean the Greek playwright? If he was censored, it was, like, forever ago. Right?

The Censorship Archives (thank you, Censorpedia) are pleased to remind us that, yes, the surviving works of Aristophanes (427-387 BC) did face criticism and censorship back in the day: Plutarch declared his comedies, including The Birds, obscene in 66 AD.

You may not realize, however, that Aristophanes’ plays, in particular Lysistrata, were the target of censorship throughout the 20th Century. The works were barred from performance and dissemination by the Greek Military, the Nazi occupation authorities in Greece and our very own Postmaster General. Why? Lysistrata tells the story of a woman who, tired of The Peloponnesian war, leads an uprising of women who won’t put out until the men negotiate peace. Hijinks and exposure of patriarchy ensue.

Learn more about Aristophanes, sex, dear ole Anthony Comstock and much more at Censorpedia!