Penia in Entenhausen: Ökonomische Theorie, soziale Utopie und politische Ideologie bei Aristophanes und Carl Barks

Hans Kopp


Carl Barks, the most influential chronicler of the Duckburg universe and the creator of such memorable characters as Scrooge McDuck, only very rarely made references to classical antiquity in his comic stories. Nevertheless, there is a striking resemblance between ideas propounded in "Plutos," Aristophanes’ last extant comedy of 388 B.C., and “A Financial Fable,” a story by Barks published in 1951. Both stories feature protagonists wishing for universal wealth, and in both this financial utopia is contrasted with a demonstration how such a state of affairs would inevitably bring all human productivity to a halt. Such parallels, even if not the result of direct reception, lead to a set of questions regarding the political coloring of humor and its ideological implications.


Aristophanes; Plutos; Carl Barks; comics; economic theory




Andrae (2006). – Thomas Andrae, Carl Barks and the Disney Comic Book. Unmasking the Myth of Modernity (Jackson 2006).

Andrae/Blum (1983). – Thomas Andrae/Geoffrey Blum, Scrooge and the Barksian Extreme, in: Bruce Hamilton/Thomas Andrae/Geoffrey Blum (Hrsg.), The Carl Barks Library of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck, Bd. 8,2–3 (Scottsdale, AZ/West Plains, MO 1983) 459–460, 493–494, 529–530, 563–564.

Ault (1983). – Donald Ault, In Perilous Paths, in: Bruce Hamilton/Thomas Andrae/Geoffrey Blum (Hrsg.), The Carl Barks Library of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck, Bd. 8,3 (Scottsdale, AZ/West Plains, MO 1983) 733–741.

Ault (2003). – Donald Ault (Hrsg.), Carl Barks. Conversations (Jackson 2003).

Bårdsen (2005). – Gunnar Bårdsen, Carl Barks: ein klassisk økonom?, Økonomisk Forum 59,1 (2005) 31–36.

Barrier (1981). – Michael Barrier, Carl Barks and the Art of the Comic Book (New York 1981).

Barrier (2015). – Michael Barrier, Funnybooks. The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books (Oakland, CA 2015).

Belk (1987). – Russell W. Belk, Material Values in the Comics: A Content Analysis of Comic Books Featuring Themes of Wealth, Journal of Consumer Research 14,1 (1987) 26–42.

Blum (1984). – Geoffrey Blum, The Romance of Wealth, in: Bruce Hamilton/Thomas Andrae/Geoffrey Blum (Hrsg.), The Carl Barks Library of Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge, Bd. 3,1 (Scottsdale, AZ/West Plains, MO 1984) 9–14.

Bowie (1993). – Angus M. Bowie, Aristophanes. Myth, Ritual and Comedy (Cambridge 1993).

Carlà (2014). – Filippo Carlà (Hrsg.), Caesar, Attila und Co. Comics und die Antike (Mainz 2014).

Cecchet (2015). – Lucia Cecchet, Poverty in Athenian Public Discourse. From the Eve of the Peloponnesian War to the Rise of Macedonia (Stuttgart 2015) (= Historia Einzelschriften 239).

Cullen (2013). – Jim Cullen, Problems and Promises of the Self-Made Myth, Hedgehog Review 15,2 (2013) 8–22.

Daniels (1971). – Les Daniels, Comix. A History of Comic Books in America (New York 1971).

David (1984). – Ephraim David, Aristophanes and Athenian Society of the Early Fourth Century B.C. (Leiden 1984) (= Mnemosyne Suppl. 81).

Davies (1993). – John Keynon Davies, Democracy and Classical Greece, 2. Aufl. (Cambridge, MA 1993).

Dillon (1987). – Matthew Dillon, Topicality in Aristophanes’ Plutos, ClAnt 6,2 (1987) 155–183.

Doering (2001). – Detmar Doering, Entenhausen – ein Amerika, wie es sein sollte, aber selten ist, Schweizer Monatshefte 81,12/1 (2001) 43–46.

Flashar (1967). – Hellmut Flashar, Zur Eigenart des aristophanischen Spätwerks, Poetica 1 (1967) 154–175.

Fuks (1979/80). – Alexander Fuks, Τοῖς ἀπορουμένοις κοινωνεῖν: The Sharing of Property by the Rich with the Poor in Greek Theory and Practice, SCI 5 (1979/80) 46–63.

Gabrielsen (1987). – Vincent Gabrielsen, The Antidosis Procedure in Classical Athens, C&M 38 (1987) 7–38.

Gelzer (1960). – Thomas Gelzer, Der epirrhematische Agon bei Aristophanes. Untersuchungen zur Struktur der attischen Alten Komödie (München 1960) (= Zetemata 23).

Gisle (2006). – Jon Gisle, Donaldismen, 2. Aufl. (Oslo 2006).

Heberlein (1981). – Friedrich Heberlein, Zur Ironie im ‚Plutos‘ des Aristophanes, WJA 7 (1981) 27–49.

Konstan/Dillon (1981). – David Konstan/Matthew Dillon, The Ideology of Aristophanes’ Wealth, AJPh 102,4 (1981) 371–394.

Lévy (1997). – Edmond Lévy, Richesse et pauvreté dans le Ploutos, Ktèma 22 (1997) 201–212.

MacDowell (1995). – Douglas M. MacDowell, Aristophanes and Athens. An Introduction to the Plays (Oxford 1995).

McGlew (1997). – James McGlew, After Irony: Aristophanes’ Wealth and Its Modern Interpreters, AJPh 118,1 (1997) 35–53.

Meloni (2013). – Ilaria Meloni, Erika Fuchs’ Übertragung der Comicserie Micky Maus (Hildesheim/Zürich/New York 2013) (= Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 5).

Meyer (1915). – Wilhelm Meyer, Laudes inopiae (Göttingen 1915).

Mossé (1973). – Claude Mossé, Athens in Decline, 404–86 B.C. (London 1973).

Müller (1981). – Reimar Müller, Die „Kulturgeschichte“ in Aischylos’ „Prometheus“, in: Ernst Günther Schmidt (Hrsg.), Aischylos und Pindar. Studien zu Werk und Wirkung (Berlin 1981) (= Schriften zur Geschichte und Kultur der Antike 19) 230–237.

Müller (2003). – Reimar Müller, Die Entdeckung der Kultur. Antike Theorien über Ursprung und Entwicklung der Kultur von Homer bis Seneca (Düsseldorf 2003).

Newiger (1957). – Hans-Joachim Newiger, Metapher und Allegorie. Studien zu Aristophanes (München 1957) (= Zetemata 16).

Ober (1989). – Josiah Ober, Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens. Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Power of the People (Princeton, NJ 1989).

Olson (1990). – S. Douglas Olson, Economics and Ideology in Aristophanes’ Wealth, HSPh 93 (1990) 223–242.

Page/Shapiro (1992). – Benjamin I. Page/Robert Y. Shapiro, The Rational Public. Fifty Years of Trends in Americans’ Policy Preferences (Chicago/London 1992).

Peters (2015). – Robert Anthony Peters, Lessons from the Richest Duck in the World. Economics in Three Duck Tales, Freeman 65,4 (2015) 32–33.

Quatember (2000). – Ursula Quatember, Homer und Entenhausen. Zur Antikenrezeption in den Donald-Duck-Comics von Carl Barks, Forum Archaeologiae 17/XII/2000 (

Rieken (2009). – Bernd Rieken, Überall war Entenhausen. Die Comics von Carl Barks in der Übersetzung von Erika Fuchs, in: Michael Simon et al. (Hrsg.), Bilder. Bücher. Bytes. Zur Medialität des Alltags. 36. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde in Mainz vom 23. bis 26. September 2007, Bd. 3 (Münster 2009) 387–395.

Rosivach (1991). – Vincent J. Rosivach, Some Athenian Presuppositions about ‚The Poor‘, G&R 38,2 (1991) 189–198.

Ruffel (2006). – Ian Ruffel, A Little Ironic, Don’t You Think? Utopian Criticism and the Problem of Aristophanes’ Late Plays, in: Lynn Kozak/John Rich (Hrsg.), Playing around Aristophanes. Essays in Celebration of the Completion of the Edition of the Comedies of Aristophanes by Alan Sommerstein (Oxford 2006) 65–104.

Schilling (2014). – Peter Schilling Jr., Carl Barks’ Duck. Average American (Minneapolis, MN 2014) (= Critical Cartoons 2).

Sommerstein (1984). – Alan H. Sommerstein, Aristophanes and the Demon Poverty, CQ 34,2 (1984) 314–333.

Sommerstein (2001). – Alan H. Sommerstein (Hrsg.), Aristophanes. Wealth (Warminster 2001).

Strauss (1986). – Barry S. Strauss, Athens after the Peloponnesian War. Class, Faction and Policy 403–386 BC (London/Sidney 1986).

Taylor (2017). – Claire Taylor, Poverty, Wealth, and Well-Being. Experiencing Penia in Democratic Athens (Oxford 2017).

Tiersch (2016). – Claudia Tiersch (Hrsg.), Die Athenische Demokratie im 4. Jahrhundert. Zwischen Modernisierung und Tradition (Stuttgart 2016).

Tordoff (2007). – Robert Tordoff, Aristophanes’ Assembly Women and Plato, Republic Book 5, in: Robin Osborne (Hrsg.), Debating the Athenian Cultural Revolution (Cambridge 2007) 242–263.

Tordoff (2012). – Robert Tordoff, Coins, Money, and Exchange in Aristophanes’ Wealth, TAPhA 142,2 (2012) 257–293.

Urbain (1939). – Yves Urbain, Les idées économiques d’Aristophane, AC 8,1 (1939) 183–200


  • Im Moment gibt es keine Refbacks

Copyright (c) 2019 Hans Kopp

thersites ISSN 2364-7612