EUPOLIS, (c.445 – c.410 b. c.), was a Greek playwright acclaimed by the ancients for the brilliance of his comedies, but whose works survive only in fragments. He was born in Athens, and wrote his first play in 429 b. c., when he was about 17.
It is related that he wrote 17 plays and won 7 prizes. Early in his career he was on intimate terms with the great comedy writer Aristophanes, with whom he collaborated, but later the two became enemies, and Aristophanes accused Eupolis of plagiarism.
The Roman poet Horace ranked Eupolis, Aristophanes, and Cratinus as the greatest writers of old comedy. Of the extant fragments of Eupolis’ works, the most extensive group is from The Demes (c.411). Judging from the roughly 200 scattered lines that survive, this was a bitterly satiric comedy that contrasted Athenian politics of the days of Pericles with the degenerate politics of Eupolis’ own day.