Batsford, London, 1972. XV,253p. ills. Cloth wrps.'Dover begins his preface by saying: 'This book is designed primarily for the reader who does not know Greek.' It is therefore breathtaking, yet absolutely characteristic, that he devotes the first chapter to an account of the manuscripts, with several carefully translated examples of textual problems. Perhaps everyone would agree that the most logical order of presentation is to start from the surviving documents which are the foundation of all that is known of Aristophanes; perhaps no one but Dover would actually have dared to do it, at least in a book intended for Greekless readers. Yet it comes off; even Greekless readers will understand this chapter, which in twelve pages gives the clearest and best short account of the transmission of Greek literature from ancient to modern times that I have ever read. The next four chapters give a general account (but including many significant details) of the theatrical conditions and of the content, form, and style of the surviving plays. The good things in these chapters are too numerous to list. the most important section of all is one entitled 'Self-assertion', which contains the best statement known to me of the psychological function of Old Comedy. It deals in one sweep with the Aristophanic attitude to the gods, politicians, generals, intellectuals, violence, sexuality, and excretion. This difficult and vital subject has never before been so clearly analysed, or so accurately. (...) The book ends with two chapters on the contemporaries and predecessors of Aristophanes, Middle and New comedy, and the study, translation, and imitation of Aristophanes in later times. Here too Dover is admirably sane, accurate, and concise, so that the essentials of these huge topics are clearly conveyed in a few pages. In short, the book is a masterpiece of compactness, conveying more, and more accurate, information and interpretation than any other book on Aristophanes.' (D.M. MacDOWELL in The Classical Review (New Series), 1974, pp.28-29). From the library of the late Prof. W. Geoffrey Arnott.