Antiphanes (Ἀντιφάνης) an ancient writer of Middle Attic comedy who was alive from around 408BC to 334 BC. He was apparently a metoikos, a resident alien; foreigner, from either Cius on the Propontis, Smyrna or Rhodes) who settled in Athens. It seems he started writing around 387 BC and he created a massive body of work--more than 200 of the 365 comedies attributed to him are known from the titles. Nearly all of his work has been lost, save fragments that have survived in the works of others, most notably in the work of Athenaeus. His plays chiefly deal with matters connected to mythological subjects, although others referenced particular professional and national persons or characters, while other plays focused on the intrigues of personal life.

I came across one of his fragments, not in Athenaeus but in Porphyry's 'On Abstinance'. They deal with sacrifice to the Gods and speak directly to a modern reconstructionistic issue: how much we are truly able to give to the Gods.

In ancient Greece, sacrifices were usually given of meat--lots of meat. Hecatombes were rather commonplace--the sacrifice of a hundred animals for a single (set of) Gods presiding over a festival. Porphyry saw in that a waste and needless slaughter and he quoted Antiphanes to explain why he thought this. His words, taken from the lost work 'Mystis'; 'Woman Initiated Into the Mysteries':

"In simple offerings most the Gods delight:
For though before them hecatombs are placed,
Yet frankincense is burnt the last of all.
An indication this that all the rest,
Preceding, was a vain expense, bestowed
Through ostentation, for the sake of men;
But a small offering gratifies the Gods."
[Book 2]

I find these words comforting, as most of my sacrifices consist of wine, cakes and incense--as I suspect most of our sacrifices today are. Yes, animal sacrifice is traditional, but even in ancient times there were voices raised against it--and they managed to practice their religion with bloodless and small sacrifices that seemed to have satisfied the Gods.