Eupolis (ca. 446 BC-411 BC) was an Athenian poet of the Old Comedy, who flourished during the time of the Peloponnesian War.
Nothing whatever is known of his personal history. With regard to his death, he is said to have been thrown into the sea by Alcibiades, whom he had attacked in one of his plays, but it is more likely that he died fighting for his country.
He is ranked by Horace, along with Cratinus and Aristophanes, as the greatest writer of his school. With Eupolis combined a lively and fertile imagination with sound practical judgment. He was reputed to equal Aristophanes in the elegance and purity of his diction, and Cratinus in his command of irony and sarcasm.
Although he was at first on good terms with Aristophanes, their relations subsequently became strained, and they accused each other, in most virulent terms, of imitation and plagiarism.
Of the 17 plays attributed to Eupolis, with which he obtained first prize seven times, only fragments remain. Of these the best known are:
* the Kolakes, in which he pilloried the spendthrift Callias, who wasted his money on sophists and parasites;
* Maricas, an attack on Hyperbolus, the successor of Cleon, under a fictitious name
* the Baptae, against Alcibiades and his groups, at which profligate foreign rites were practised.
Other people he attacked were Socrates, Cimon, and Cleon. The Demoi and Poleis were political, dealing with the desperate condition of the state and with the allied (or tributary) cities.
（Εὔπολις). A writer of the Old Comedy, who was born at Athens about the year B.C. 446. He was therefore a contemporary of Aristophanes, who, in all probability, was born a year or two after. Eupolis is supposed to have exhibited plays for the first time in B.C. 429. In B.C. 425 he was third with his Νουμηνίαι, when Cratinus was second and Aristophanes first. In B.C. 421 he brought out his Μαρικᾶς and his Κόλακες, and his Αὐτόλυκος and Ἀστρατευτοί the following year (Schol. on Nub. 552, 592; Schol. on Pac. 803). The titles of more than twenty of his comedies have been collected. A few fragments remain. Eupolis was a bold and severe satirist on the vices of his day and city. Persius (i. 124) terms him iratus (cf. Sat. i. 4.1 foll.). In the Μαρικᾶς he attacked Hyperbolus (Nub. 551); in the Αὐτόλυκος he ridiculed the handsome pancratiast of that name; in the Ἀστράτευτοι he lashed the useless and cowardly citizens of Athens, and denounced Melanthus as an epicure. In the Βάπται he inveighed against the effeminacy of his countrymen. In his Λακεδαίμονες he assailed Cimon, accusing him, among other charges, of an unpatriotic bias towards everything Spartan. (See Plut. Cim. 16, who says that this play had a great influence on the public feeling.) Aristophanes seems to have been on bad terms with Eupolis, whom he charges with having pillaged the materials for his Μαρικᾶς from the Ἱππῆς (Nubes, 551 foll.), and with making scurrilous jokes on his premature baldness (Schol. Ad Nub. 532). Eupolis appears to have been a warm admirer of Pericles as a statesman and a man, as it was reasonable that such a comedian should be, if it be true that he owed his unrestrained license of speech to the patronage of that celebrated statesman. His death was generally ascribed to the vengeance of Alcibiades, whom he had lampooned, probably in the Βάπται (Ad Att. vi. 1). By his orders, according to the common account, Eupolis was thrown overboard during the passage of the Athenian armament to Sicily (B.C. 415). Cicero, however, calls this story a popular error; since Eratosthenes, the Alexandrian librarian, had shown that several comedies were composed by Eupolis some time after the date assigned to this pseudoassassination. His tomb, too, according to Pausanias, was erected on the banks of the Asopus by the Sicyonians, which makes it most probable that this was the place of his death. The fragments of Eupolis will be found in Meineke's Fragmenta Com. Graec. i. pp. 104-146; and ii. pp. 426-579 (Berlin, 1839-47); and are separately edited by Runkel (Leipzig, 1829). A Latin translation of them will be found in Bothe, Frag. Com. Graec. (Paris, 1855).