Aristophanes c. 446 – c. 386 BC, son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion (Latin: Cydathenaeum), was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and they are used to define the genre.

Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy, Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries; Plato singled out Aristophanes' play The Clouds as slander that contributed to the trial and subsequent condemning to death of Socrates although other satirical playwrights had also caricatured the philosopher.

His second play, The Babylonians (now lost), was denounced by the demagogue Cleon as a slander against the Athenian polis. It is possible that the case was argued in court but details of the trial are not recorded and Aristophanes caricatured Cleon mercilessly in his subsequent plays, especially The Knights, the first of many plays that he directed himself. "In my opinion," he says through the Chorus in that play, "the author-director of comedies has the hardest job of all." (κωμῳδοδιδασκαλίαν εἶναι χαλεπώτατον ἔργον ἁπάντων)

Most of these are traditionally referred to by abbreviations of their Latin titles; Latin remains a customary language of scholarship in classical studies.

The Acharnians (Ἀχαρνεῖς Akharneis; Attic Ἀχαρνῆς; Acharnenses) 425 BC
The Knights (Ἱππεῖς Hippeis; Attic Ἱππῆς; Latin: Equites) 424 BC
The Clouds (Νεφέλαι Nephelai; Latin: Nubes); original 423 BC, uncompleted revised version from 419 BC – 416 BC)
The Wasps (Σφῆκες Sphekes; Latin: Vespae) 422 BC
Peace (Εἰρήνη Eirene; Latin: Pax) first version, 421 BC
The Birds (Ὄρνιθες Ornithes; Latin: Aves) 414 BC
Lysistrata (Λυσιστράτη Lysistrate) 411 BC
Thesmophoriazusae or The Women Celebrating the Thesmophoria (Θεσμοφοριάζουσαι Thesmophoriazousai) first version c.411 BC
The Frogs (Βάτραχοι Batrakhoi; Latin: Ranae) 405 BC
Ecclesiazusae or The Assemblywomen; (Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι Ekklesiazousai) c. 392 BC
Wealth (Πλοῦτος Ploutos; Latin Plutus) second version, 388 BC

Datable non-surviving (lost) plays
Banqueters (Δαιταλείς Daitaleis, 427 BC)
Babylonians (Βαβυλώνιοι Babylonioi, 426 BC)
Farmers (Γεωργοί Georgoi, 424 BC)
Merchant Ships (Όλκάδες Holkades, 423 BC)
Clouds (first version) (423 BC)
Proagon (Προάγων, 422 BC)
Amphiaraus (Αμφιάραος, 414 BC)
Plutus (Wealth, first version, 408 BC)
Gerytades (Γηρυτάδης, uncertain, probably 407 BC)
Cocalus (Κώκαλος, 387 BC)
Aiolosicon (Αιολοσίκων, second version, 386 BC)
Aiolosicon (first version)
Anagyrus (Ανάγυρος)
Frying-Pan Men (Ταγηνισταί Tagenistai)
Daedalus (Δαίδαλος)
Danaids (Δαναίδες Danaides)
Centaur (Κένταυρος Kentauros)
Heroes (Ήρωες)
Lemnian Women (Λήμνιαι Lemniai)
Old Age (Γήρας Geras)
Peace (second version)
Phoenician Women (Φοίνισσαι Phoinissai)
Polyidus (Πολύιδος)
Seasons (Ώραι Horai)
Storks (Πελαργοί Pelargoi)
Telemessians (Ίελμησσείς Telmesseis)
Triphales (Τριφάλης)
Thesmophoriazusae (Women at the Thesmophoria Festival, second version)
Women in Tents (Σκηνάς Καταλαμβάνουσαι Skenas Katalambanousai)