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Deus ex machina
(407 words)

[German version]

(Θεὸς ἀπὸ μηχανῆς; theòs apò mēchanês). Crane-like stage machinery (μηχανή, γέρανος, κράδη; mēchanḗ, géranos, krádē) that became proverbial as early as the 4th cent. BC, by which a deity could suddenly appear hovering and traversing the air, and imbue the plot with fresh momentum or bring it to an end (cf. Pl. Cleit. 407a; Crat. 425d; Antiphanes 189,13-16 PCG; Alexis 131,9 PCG; Men. Theophorumene fr. 5 Sandbach = 227 Körte; Cic. Nat. D. 1,53). Its use in the parodies of Aristophanes (Pax 174ff.…

Cite this page
Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg), “Deus ex machina”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 03 December 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e316030>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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