These notes are published in the hope that they will explain and justify some of the editorial decisions
I have had to make. In addition I think it desirable to draw attention to the fact that, however much progress
has been made by modern scholars towards reliable editions of Greek authors, there is still much to engage the
interest of the thoughtful reader. We are not as near to enjoying definitive editions as is sometimes supposed.
The range of topics discussed is wide. Some details may seem at first sight to be of little account; in particular
my concern with such matters as the precise definition of the nuances conveyed by particles and the distinction
between stressed and unstressed personal pronouns may be thought to verge on the obsessive. But I make no apology
for stating the conviction that they must be taken seriously if we are to achieve really accurate translation and
understanding of the text. In the pages that follow some parts of the plays are more densely annotated than others.
This fact reflects not only the uneven quality of the transmitted text but the varying success, as any editor is
bound to see it, of previous efforts to resolve doubts and difficulties. There are quite long stretches of text
where either there appear to be no puzzles or the difficulties are such that I have nothing useful to add.
Although Aristophanes certainly presents fewer problems than Sophocles, the greater quantity of extant text
still provides plenty of material for debate. Many decisions remain subjective insofar as they depend on a
consideration of conflicting pieces of evidence, none of which appears decisive.
I take the opportunity to record here my thanks to two publisher's readers for some helpful suggestions, and
to Dr Leofranc Holford-Strevens (H.-S.), whose help has been most valuable. I am also extremely grateful to
Dr Christos Simelidis and Dr Kathleen McLaughlin for their assistance in the final stages of production.