Ηow Aristophanes became more popular than Menander and the role of the Byzantines.
- Who was the most popular comedian in ancient times?
- No, Menander.
According to Antonis Kaldellis, in his book "Byzantium Unbound", the "Byzantine" philologists were only interested in what was written in the Attic dialect. (Common)
For this reason, in the "Byzantine" years the other dialects of Greek such as Doric ceased to be used or written.
Next was to save mainly the "Attic" texts such as those of Plato, Thucydides, and Xenophon.
According to Kaldellis, this was probably the reason why Menandros was replaced by Aristophanes. Until the Byzantine years, Menander was more popular than Aristophanes.
Poor Menander was completely abandoned and nowadays only one of his 108 comedies survives
The preference of the Byzantines, then, for Aristophanes influenced and continues to influence classical studies to this day.
source: Kaldellis A. "Byzantium Unbound". p. 61