The Athenian Women by Alessandro Barbero & translated by Anthony Shugaar
The Athenian Women presents a powerful vision of class struggle, the subjugation of women under a patriarchal system, and the courage needed to change the course of history.
Athens, 411 BC. In the countryside, Trasillo and Polemone, two veterans of the infamous battle of Mantinea, now live in adjacent cottages as humble farmers. They are determined to improve their lot by finding influential husbands for their daughters, Glicera and Charis. However, sensing that a violent political scheme is secretly afoot, the two friends agree that first they must defend Athens from oligarchs who are plotting to reinstate tyrannical rule.
Charis and Glicera are convinced their fathers are being paranoid and, impatient, set about finding suitors themselves. Cimone, the rich and arrogant son of their neighbor Eubulo, soon becomes the object of their desire. When the men travel to Athens to see Aristophanes’ latest comedy, the girls, far from their fathers’ watchful eyes, break social order and accept an invitation to Cimone’s house.
While this romantic drama plays out in the countryside, from the stage, the Athenian Lysistrata and the Spartan Lampito raise their voices in protest against misogyny and war, calling into question the status quo that Athenians have accepted for centuries.
Alessandro Barbero captures an Athens that feels extraordinarily contemporary, where citizens concerned about their freedoms choose to act and create change.