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Ambivius Turpio

(143 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] Impresario, director and actor; leader of a troupe of actors in Rome in the 2nd cent. BC. He provided successful performances for the aediles who organized the plays, at the same time supporting authors who enjoyed his confidence:  Caecilius and esp.  Terentius. He performed the latter's Phormio to the author's entire satisfaction (Donatus on Ter. Phorm. 315). He also twice took on the role of a supportive and combative prologue: for the Heautontimoroumenos and for the 3rd performance of the Hecyra (160 BC). His advocacy of intellectual comedy and purity of diction ( pura…

Cytheris

(167 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] Descriptive artist's name (‘belonging to Aphrodite’) of a Roman mime actress ( mima) of the 1st cent. BC; bought out of slavery by Volumnius Eutrapelus, her official name was Volumnia (Cic. Phil. 2,58). Nothing is known about her stage performances, but all the more about her erotic qualities. She attained notoriety as mistress of Antonius [I 9]: before his marriage to Fulvia in 47 she accompanied him on his public appearances in an open litter (Cic. Att. 10,10,5; Plut. Antonius 9,7). Cicero …

Archimimus

(119 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] ( archimimus). Probably an honorific for prominent actors in the  mime, independent of their role within the ensemble, so that there might be several archimimi in one troupe [1.179-181]. As women also took part in the Mime, there were archimimae (CIL VI 10106/7). The archimimus Sorix equalled the comic actor  Roscius in popularity (Plut. Sulla 36,2). Stars bore pseudonyms: Lepos (Porph. Hor. Sat. 2,6,72), Favor (Suet. Vesp. 19,6); list of names [2.1583]. As freed persons, archimimi played for day wages ( archimimus diurnus, CIL XIV 2408) or for a fixed salary ( archimimu…

Choregos

(180 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (χορηγός; chorēgós). Literally ‘chorus leader’ (in lyric texts); in Athens the ‘sponsor of a lyric or dramatic chorus. The choregoi themselves were responsible for assembling their chorus of citizens, looking after their upkeep during the month of rehearsals, seeing to the smooth running of rehearsals, which were led by the poet or by a professional chorodidaskalos, and above all for meeting the costs. (In Plautus the choregos became a lender of costumes; in Plaut. Curc. 462-486 he makes a metatheatrical appearance.) Many ancillary services ( parachoregema) were c…

Histrio

(1,128 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] I. Term Term for the Roman actor. Livy (7,2: according to Varro) reports that after a plague epidemic in 364 BC, dancers ( ludiones) with a flautist were called from Etruria in order to purify the city with a cultic ceremony. The local youth is said to have imitated their dances and added satirical verses until finally professional artists, for whom the Etruscan word histrio was used, developed this improvization further.  Livius Andronicus only had to add a fable to create the tragedy. This bold combination of Italian ludi scaenici and the Greek artistic drama contai…

Hypokrites

(1,294 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
(ὑποκριτής; hypokritḗs). [German version] I. Concept The underlying verb ὑποκρίνομαι ( hypokrínomai) means in Homer ‘to make a decision upon request’, ‘to interpret’ (on omens: Hom. Il. 12,228 or dreams: Hom. Od. 19,535; 555) or ‘to answer’ (Hom. Od. 2,111). The basic meaning of the noun hypokrites, which is first attested in the 5th cent. BC, was thus postulated now as ‘answerer’ (to questions of the director of the chorus), now as ‘interpreter’ (of the myth which the chorus performed). It refers to the speaker who appeared opposite the si…

Manducus

(168 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] Roman mask figure with an etymologically transparent name (derived from the verb mandere/manducare, meaning ‘chewer, ‘eater); its origin, however, is uncertain. According to Paul. Fest. 115 M. was brought along in the celebratory procession at the circus games ( pompa circensis; cf. [1]) as a tooth-gnashing monster to elicit laughter and fright. If we follow Varro (Ling. 7,95), this M. seems to have found his way into the improvisational Atellana fabula , where he was identified with the character of Dossennus [1] (whose name has b…

Tritagonistes

(160 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (τριταγωνιστής; tritagōnistḗs). The third actor in a tragedic tetralogy, introduced by Sophocles [1]. In the competition for  best performer (at the Dionysia from 449 BC onwards) only the prōtagōnistḗs would take part. He would take the main role and possibly also powerful single-actor scenes, the two lesser actors (particularly the tritagonistes) would master a large number of different male and female roles; this would require linguistic and performing expression of great variety. In Soph.  OC two performers (Oedipus and Antigo…

Echeia

(173 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (ἠχεῖα; ēcheîa). Instruments/objects producing or amplifying sound (echo). Vitruvius refers to echia as bronze vessels with a wide opening, which were used for resonance reinforcement in the theatre (Vitr. De arch. 1,1,9; 5,5). Tuned to various keys, they were supposedly installed under the rows of seats according to mathematical calculations. They did not exist in Rome, but L. Mummius is said to have brought pieces of loot of this type back from Corinth. However, nothing in the theatre of C…

Protagonistes

(354 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (πρωταγωνιστής/ prōtagōnistḗs, 'first in competition', esp. 'first actor, chief presenter'). As a t.t., rare and attested only late; since the derived verb πρωταγωνιστεῖν/ prōtagōnisteîn was used in a metaphorical sense ('stand in the foreground') as early as Aristotle (Aristot. Poet. 1449a 18 and Pol. 1338b 30), however, the word prōtagōnistḗs may have its origin in the 5th cent. BC. In dramatic competitions much depended on the abilities of the prōtagōnistḗs. Aeschylus [1] personally undertook the leading parts in his tragedies, while Sophocles […

Maeson

(233 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (Μαίσων; Maísōn). In the catalogue of masks of Iulius [IV 17] Pollux (4,148; 150), M. is listed among the slave characters of the New Comedy as a man with a red fringe of hair around his bald head [1]. Athenaeus (14,659a) specifies the mask type as a local cook (in contrast to Tettix who comes from a foreign country) and names as his source Aristophanes of Byzantium (fr. 363 Slater). The latter derives M. from an actor of the same name from Megara (it has been debated since antiqui…

Bronteion

(146 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (βροντεῖον; bronteîon). Device for producing thunder in the theatre. Behind the scenes a leather sack filled with pebbles was made to collide with a bronze metal plate or stones were shaken in iron vessels (Poll. 4,130; Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 292), but late witnesses certainly are not reporting from their own experience. In tragedy, thunder provided a background for the appearance of gods or catastrophes sent by the gods, and the authors did not differentiate between rumbling in the…

Ekkyklema

(226 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (ἐκκύκλημα; ekkýklēma). Theatre machine, through which ‘interior scenes’ could be made visible: a platform which ‘rolled out’ of the fly tower. Since the word ekkyklema is not documented prior to Poll. 4,128 (Aristophanes, however, uses the related verbs) and since clear archaeological indications are lacking, the existence of such a device in the theatre of the 5th cent. was called into question despite better knowledge of the texts [1; 2]. The tragedians removed bloody acts of violence from the audienc…

Ambivius Turpio

(131 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] Impresario, Regisseur und Schauspieler, Direktor einer Schauspielertruppe in Rom im 2. Jh. v. Chr. Im Sinne der die Spiele ausrichtenden Aediles sorgte er für erfolgreiche Aufführungen, förderte aber zugleich die Autoren seines Vertrauens: Caecilius und bes. Terentius. Dessen Phormio spielte er zur vollen Zufriedenheit des Dichters (Donat zu Ter. Phorm. 315). Zweimal übernahm er auch die Rolle eines werbenden und kämpferischen Prologus: zum Heautontimorumenos und zur 3. Aufführung der Hecyra (160 v. Chr.). Sein Eintreten für geistvolle Komik und r…

Manducus

(158 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] Röm. Maskenfigur mit etym. durchsichtigem Namen (vom Verbum mandere/ manducare abgeleitet, bedeutet er “Kauer”, “Fresser”), doch von ungeklärter Herkunft. Nach Paul. Fest. 115 L. wurde M. im feierlichen Umzug bei den Circusspielen ( pompa circensis; vgl. [1]) als ein Gelächter und Schrecken erregender, mit den Kiefern knirschender Unhold mitgeführt. Wenn wir Varro (ling. 7,95) folgen, scheint dieser M. nachträglich Eingang in die improvisatorische Atellana fabula gefunden zu haben, wo er mit dem Typus des Dossennus [1] (des…

Deuteragonistes

(134 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] (δευτεραγωνιστής). “Zweiter Schauspieler”, von Aischylos eingeführt, doch ist die Bezeichnung d. jünger. Während der “erste Schauspieler” ( prōtagōnistḗs) traditionell die Hauptrolle übernahm ( Átossa, Oidípus, Médeia) und sich mit dieser identifizieren konnte, hatte der d. - erst recht der “dritte Schauspieler” ( tritagōnistḗs) - eine Vielzahl verschiedener Rollen zu bewältigen. Die dem d. zufallende Textmenge war beträchtlich, schneller Maskenwechsel verlangte großes deklamatorisches Können, brachte aber im Vergleich zur Rolle d…

Hypokrites

(1,150 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
(ὑποκριτής). [English version] I. Begriff Das zugrundeliegende Verbum ὑποκρίνομαι ( hypokrínomai) bedeutet bei Homer “auf Anfrage eine Entscheidung treffen”, “deuten” (von Vorzeichen: Hom. Il. 12,228 oder Träumen: Hom. Od. 19,535; 555) bzw. “antworten” (Hom. Od. 2,111). Als Grundbed. für das erst im 5. Jh. v.Chr. bezeugte Nomen h. wurde darum bald “Antworter” (auf Fragen des Chorführers), bald “Deuter” (des Mythos, den der Chor vortrug) postuliert. Es bezeichnet den Sprecher, der den Sängern des Tragödien- oder Komödienchors entgegentrat un…

Aesopus, Clodius

(155 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] Tragödienschauspieler in Rom im 1. Jh. v. Chr.; angesehener Freigelassener ( nostri familiaris Cic. ad Q. fr. 1,2,14), als Star zu Reichtum gelangt. Verstreute Notizen ergeben kein einheitliches Bild seiner Kunst. Als Atreus soll er, vom Pathos hingerissen, einen Diener mit dem Szepter erschlagen haben (Plut. Cicero 5,5), doch Cicero nennt sein Wüten simuliert (Cic. Tusc. 4,55). Man rühmte sein Mienenspiel (Cic. div. 1,80), Fronto aber (p. 143,13-14) hebt gerade das intensive Maskenstudium h…

Histrio

(1,036 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] I. Begriff Bezeichnung für den röm. Schauspieler. Livius (7,2: nach Varro) berichtet, daß man nach einer Pestepidemie im J. 364 v.Chr. Tänzer ( ludiones) mit einem Flötenspieler aus Etrurien geholt habe, um mit einer kult. Zeremonie die Stadt zu reinigen. Die einheimische Jugend habe deren Tänze nachgeahmt und mit Spottversen ausgestaltet, bis schließlich professionelle Künstler, denen man das etr. Wort h. beigelegt habe, ihr Stegreifspiel weiterentwickelt hätten. Dem habe Livius Andronicus nur noch eine Fabel hinzufügen müssen, um die Tr…

Maison

(193 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] (Μαίσων). Im Maskenkatalog des Iulius [IV 17] Pollux (4,148; 150) wird M. unter den Sklavenfiguren der Neuen Komödie als Kahlkopf mit rotem Haarkranz [1] aufgeführt. Athenaios (14,659a) spezifiziert den Maskentypus als einheimischen Koch (im Gegensatz zu dem aus der Fremde stammenden Tettix) und nennt als Quelle Aristophanes von Byzanz (fr. 363 Slater). Dieser leitet M. von einem Schauspieler gleichen Namens aus Megara her (wobei man seit der Ant. streitet, ob die griech. Mutters…
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