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Deus ex machina

(407 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[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.…

Choregia

(217 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (ἡ χορηγία; hē chorēgía). Office of the choregos; from c. 500 BC a special form of   leitourgia in Athens. The choregia was imposed on prosperous citizens by the appropriate archon, and young notables were glad to use this kind of leiturgia in order to win political esteem (in 472 Pericles was choregos for Aeschylus' ‘Persians; cf. also Thuc. 6,16,3 on Alcibiades). The political significance of the choregia becomes especially clear in the dithyrambic agon, where it is not the poet but the choregos who is named in the inscription ( Didaskaliai). Towards the end o…

Sosiphanes

(83 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
(Σωσιφάνης; Sōsiphánēs). [German version] [1] Tragedian, died 336/333 or 324/321 BC S. of Syracuse, tragedian (TrGF I 92), died 336/333 or 324/321 BC. The Suda (σ 863) credits him with 73 plays and 7 victories. Meléagros is attested as a title. Inclusion in the Pleiad of tragic poets (TrGF T 1) relates to S. [2]. Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) [German version] [2] Tragedian, born 306/5 BC Tragedian (TrGF I 103), born 306/5 BC, numbered among the Pleiad of tragic poets. Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Philicus

(114 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Φίλικος; Phílikos) of Corcyra (Corfu). Poet and tragedian, priest of Dionysus at Alexandria in the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 BC). Member of the Pleias, often confused with Philiscus [4] of Aegina (TrGF I 89; I 104 T1, T4). Nothing survives of the 24 tragedies attributed to him. A large section is preserved of a hymn to Demeter in stichic catalectic choriambic hexameters (SH 676-680). In it, Demeter is consoled for the loss of her daughter with the prospect of cultic honours at Eleusis and by the wit of the maiden Iambe (in direct speech). Zimmermann, Bernhar…

Critias

(386 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Κριτίας; Kritías) of Athens, born about 460 BC, descended from an old Attic noble family, on his mother's side he was an uncle of  Plato. Like  Alcibiades [3] he belonged to the circle around  Socrates. Politically he belonged to the antidemocratic forces: in 415 he was accused of participating in the mutilation of the  Herms, in 411 he was a member of the oligarchic council of the 400 ( Tetrakosioi). After the democratic restoration he stayed in Thessaly until 404, after the Athe…

Greek comedy

(2,016 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) [German version] A. Antiquity and Middle Ages (CT) In contrast to Greek tragedies, where repeat performances had been officially permitted since 386 BC, there is no epigraphical evidence of any repeat performances of 'ancient' comedies prior to 339 BC. It appears, though, that not the 5th cent.-comedies, but those by contemporary authors or by poets of the immediate past, i.e. those from the periods of the Middle and New Comedy, were performed again.The Old Comedy of the 5th…

Parodos

(451 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (ἡ πάροδος/ hē párodos, literally 'entrance, entry song of the chorus'). In his list of components common to all tragedies, Aristotle [6] defined parodos in his Poetics (12, 1452 b22f.) as the first chorus part, with an additional sense of 'entry song' or 'entry speech' (cf. Aristot. Eth. Nic. 1123 a23f.). However, structural analysis should not be limited to rigid, schematic definitions, but also consider the construction and development of dramatic action (σύστασις τῶν πραγμάτων, ibid.). In Attic tragedy, the parodos may open the play (Aesch. Pers. and Supp…

Intrigue

(195 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (τὸ μηχάνημα, τὸ τέχνημα; tò mēchánēma, tò téchnēma). Already Hom. Od., bks. 19-24 shows the close link between recognition scenes ( Anagnorisis) and intrigue that is typical of Attic tragedy. Locus classicus is Aesch. Cho. Intrigue is missing from almost none of Euripides' plays, so that Aristoph. Thesm. 94 can rightly call him the ‘master of the intrigue play’. Euripides composes anagnṓrisis-intrigue dramas especially in his later work. After the recognition, rescue is effected by an intrigue (e.g. Eur. IT 1017ff.; Eur. Hel. 1034ff.). In Ion there is a playful …

Exodos

(280 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (ἔξοδος, generally ‘departure’, ‘end’). According to Aristot. Poet. 1452b 21f., the exodos is the part of a tragedy which is not followed by a chorus ( Stasimon) (concluding act). Moving from this broad definition, it probably makes more sense to define the exodos in a narrower sense as the exit of the chorus at the end of a drama (cf. Aristoph. Vesp. 582). The most frequent form in tragedy is the ‘ ecce conclusion’: the deed and the doer are presented in a pathos-laden concluding scene (initially usually indirectly by means of a messenger's report […

Katharsis

(608 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (ἡ κάθαρσις; hē kátharsis). Katharsis, derived from καθαίρειν ( kathaírein, purge), generally means any type of purgation and elimination of visible (dirt) and invisible uncleanliness (religious defilement: míasma, cf. Hdt. 1,35; Aristot. Poet. 17,1455b 15). In the 2nd half of the 5th cent. BC the term was used as medical term for the removal of harmful substances from the human body or soul (LSJ, s.v. κ. II). The cultic-ritual and medical-psychological meanings have merged in Aristotle's concept of katharsis, which of old has been a matter of scholarly con…

Mesatus

(23 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] Greek tragedian, who enjoyed success at the Dionysia several times after 468 BC (TrGF I 11). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Morychus

(32 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] Tragedian from the closing years of the 5th cent. BC; according to the scholia on Aristophanes he was known for his gluttony (TrGF I 30 T 1-3). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Polychares

(21 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Πολυχάρης/ Polychárēs). Early 4th cent. BC poet, uncertain whether of tragedy or dithyramb (DID B 6). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Polites

(156 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
(Πολίτης/ Polítēs). [German version] [1] Son of Priamus Son of the Trojan king Priamus and Hecabe. During the Trojan War, he saves his wounded brother Deiphobus (Hom. Il. 13,533 ff.). The goddess Iris appears once in his guise (ibid. 2,786 ff.). He is killed at the altar in the palace of Neoptolemus [1] (Verg. Aen. 2,526 ff.). According to Cato (Orig. fr. 54 HRR), he reaches Latium with Aeneas (Aeneas [1]) and founds the city of Politorium. Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) [German version] [2] Companion of Odysseus According to Paus. 6,6,7 ff., one of the companions of Odysseus; r…

Sclerias

(49 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Σκληρίας/ Sklērías) or Sclerius (Σκλήριος/ Sklḗrios), tragic poet cited by Stobaeus (TrGF I 213), dates unknown. It is unlikely that the Skolion (PMG 890) which only Stobaeus ascribes to S. (TrGF I 213 F 5) is in fact by him (testimonies in PMG 651). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Timesitheus

(44 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] [1] Tragedian (Τιμησίθεος; Timēsítheos). Greek tragedian, mentioned in the Suda (τ 613), not datable. According to Suda τ 613, author of 11 tragedies (TrGF I 214). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) [German version] [2] see Furius [II 5] see Furius [II 5]

Cleaenetus

(50 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Κλεαίνετος; Kleaínetos). Tragedian (TrGF I 84), won the 3rd place at the Lenaeans in 363 BC; mocked by  Alexis as not exacting (Fr. 268 PCG), by  Philodemus (84 T 3 TrGF I) as a worse poet than Euripides. ‘Hypsipyle’ is attested as a title. Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Theodorides

(35 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Θεοδωρίδης; TheodōrÍdēs). Greek tragedian (TrGF I 78 A), took second place at the Athenian Lenaea in 363 BC with a Medea and a Phaethon (DID A 2b, 94). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Morsimus

(50 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Μόρσιμος; Mόrsimos). Son of Philocles, great-nephew of Aeschylus [1] (TrGF I 12 T 3), middle of the 5th cent. BC, oculist (TrGF I 29 T 2) and tragedian, the latter according to Aristophanes (Equ. 401, Pax 802, Ran. 151) of particularly poor quality. Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Theatre

(2,540 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) [German version] A.Late Antiquity/ Middle Ages (CT) There is, to be sure, evidence for the existence of sporadic performances of Greek tragedies up into 4th cent. AD and plays by Plautus and Terence continued to be performed as late as the 3rd/4th. cents., but on the whole, tragedies and comedies had largely disappeared from the theatre programme of the Roman Imperial Age. The stage of that age, however, was not devoid of dramatic, sub-literary genres [5]. They included mimes, pantomimes and the fabulae cantatae, i.e. tragic isolated scenes perfor…
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