"Aristophanes’ plays frequently explore interesting economic ideas. Since he’s writing comedies. it’s often difficult to tell which ideas he’s endorsing and which ideas he’s satirizing (or even whether those two possibilities are mutually exclusive). For example, his endorsement of free trade in the Acharnians certainly appears sincere;1 yet his Birds offers a sympathetic portrayal of a trade embargo (albeit a rather fanciful one: the birds of the sky interfering in commerce between human beings and the gods). All the same, the economic proposals he discusses are worth our attention regardless of what attitude he himself may have taken to them."