Presenter: Rachel Dowe (Mid-candidature review)

In this paper, I propose to examine closely how gods are portrayed in Aristophanes’ Wealth, and how this treatment differs from wider Athenian religion. In doing so, I wish to determine what these portrayals reveal about the nature of ‘old comedy’ and its license to approach religion in a way that was not be tolerated elsewhere. In this manner, this paper will extend the hypothesis arrived at in my previous paper presented on Aristophanes’ Birds. In a manner similar to this earlier play, Wealth features a human protagonist unhappy with the current state of affairs and who consequently decides to alter the situation. Through his actions, the religious status quo is altered, and a new world is created. Aristophanes’ characters stage a revolution against the traditional rule of Zeus, an action that would have been considered impious outside the Dionysian and comedic theatre. Yet, in the upside-down worlds of Aristophanes’ plays, the gods are still recognisably Athenian. And despite Aristophanes’ comic treatment of the gods, popular religious values are never wholeheartedly abandoned.

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Event details

  • The seminars take place at 4pm, in the Michie Building (09), Room 536
  • Seminars are also on Zoom. Send an email to Duncan Keenan-Jones ( for the link.
  • Upcoming seminars can be found here.
  • Please be aware that we are still operating under Covid-19 regulations during public events. Masks are no longer required at UQ locations - however, UQ strongly encourages mask wearing when physical distancing is not possible. UQ strongly encourages all campus attendees to be up to date with vaccinations. And finally, those who are feeling unwell, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 7 days or have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 7 days, are asked not to attend this seminar.
  • For those attending in person, if you would like to join us for drinks and/or dinner afterwards at UQ’s St. Lucy's from 5:15 pm, please RSVP by email to Duncan Keenan-Jones ( by 9am on the day of the seminar.
  • Please also contact Duncan Keenan-Jones should you have questions about the event.

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for can be found at