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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 …

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…

Masada

(348 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Dead Sea (textual finds) (Greek Μασάδα, Masáda; Hebrew mṣdh, Arabic Tall al-Sab). The name, which is recorded only in Greek and Latin, is probably derived from the Aramaic meṣādā (‘fortress’). It stands in isolation on a rocky plateau on the western shore of the Dead Sea, a rhomboid 600 m north-south and 300 m east-west; 50 m above sea-level with steep cliffs c. 350 m above ground level in the east and c. 150 m in the west. Jos. BI 7,280-294 offers a detailed description, and it is mentioned in Plin. HN 5,73 and S…

Mechane

(320 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] The Greeks called any mechanical device μηχανή but in the narrow sense it referred to the Greek theatre machinery: a crane installed behind the stage as a flying apparatus that can be swung into the scene to take the characters in a drama to a remote location or cause gods to appear up high. The mechane is referred to in drama texts and later sources under many names: κρεμάθρα ( kremáthra, ‘suspension device’, Aristoph. Nub. 218), γέρανος ( géranos, ‘crane’ [in both senses], Poll. 4,130), αἰώρημα ( aiṓrēma, ‘swing’, schol. Aristoph. Pax 80), κράδη ( krádē, ‘fig branch’, Ari…

Callippides

(224 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (Καλλιππίδης; Kallippídēs). Tragic actor of the 5th/4th cents. BC, who, popular and controversial, was remembered long after his death. He himself was many times the victorious  protagonist, for example at the Lenaia of the year 418, but the tetralogy of his poet did not win a prize [1]. His expressive gesticulation, aimed at producing a realistic effect, was modern in its style; it displeased Mynniscus who had once appeared with Aeschylus and who described the young colleague as a…

Echeia

(161 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] (ἠχεῖα). Schall (Echo) erzeugende oder verstärkende Instrumente/Gegenstände. Vitruv bezeichnet mit e. eherne Gefäße mit weiter Öffnung, die der Resonanzverstärkung in Theatern dienten (Vitr. 1,1,9; 5,5). Abgestimmt auf verschiedene Tonarten, sollen sie in Kammern unter den Sitzreihen nach mathematischen Berechnungen installiert gewesen sein. In Rom gab es sie nicht, doch L. Mummius brachte angeblich aus Korinth Beutestücke dieser Art mit. Im Theater von Korinth deutet allerdings nichts auf…

Protagonistes

(342 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] (πρωταγωνιστής, “Erster im Wettstreit”, bes. “erster Schauspieler, Hauptdarsteller”). Als t.t. nur selten und spät belegt; weil aber schon Aristoteles [6] (Aristot. poet. 1449a 18 und pol. 1338b 30) das abgeleitete Vb. πρωταγωνιστεῖν/ prōtagōnisteín im übertragenen Sinn (“im Vordergrund stehen”) verwendet, dürfte das Wort p. aus dem 5. Jh. v. Chr. stammen. Im dramatischen Wettbewerb hing viel vom Können des p. ab. Aischylos [1] übernahm noch persönlich den führenden Part seiner Trag., Sophokles verzichtete früh zugunsten professioneller…

Archimimus

(112 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] ( archimima). Wohl Ehrentitel für hervorragende Schauspieler des Mimus, unabhängig von deren Rolle im Ensemble, daher konnte es auch mehrere a. innerhalb einer Truppe geben [1.179-181]. Da im Mimus auch Frauen auftraten, gab es archimimae (CIL VI 10106/7). An Popularität kam der a. Sorix dem Komödienspieler Roscius gleich (Plut. Sulla 36,2). Stars trugen Künstlernamen: Lepos (Porph. Hor. sat. 2,6,72), Favor (Suet. Vesp. 19,6); Namenliste [2.1583]. Als Freigelassene spielten a. für Tagesgage ( a. diurnus, CIL XIV 2408) oder festen Sold ( a. officialis, CIL III …

Mechane

(293 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] (μηχανή) bezeichnet bei den Griechen jede mechanische Vorrichtung, im engeren Sinne jedoch die griech. Theatermaschine, einen hinter dem Bühnenhaus installierten Kran als Flugapparat, der in die Szene geschwenkt wurde, um Personen eines Dramas zu abgelegenen Schauplätzen zu bringen oder Götter in der Höhe erscheinen zu lassen. Auf die m. wird in Dramentexten und in späten Quellen unter vielerlei Namen angespielt: κρεμάθρα ( kremáthra, “Aufhängevorrichtung”, Aristoph. Nub. 218), γέρανος ( géranos, “Kranich”, “Kran”, Poll. 4,130), αἰώρημα ( aiṓrēma, “Schau…

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…

Kytheris

(154 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] Sprechender Künstlername (“der Aphrodite gehörig”) einer röm. Mimus-Schauspielerin ( mima) des 1. Jh.v.Chr.; von Volumnius Eutrapelus freigekauft, hieß sie offiziell Volumnia (Cic. Phil. 2,58). Über ihr Bühnenspiel ist nichts bekannt, umso mehr aber über ihre erotischen Qualitäten. Notorischen Ruhm erwarb sie sich als Mätresse des Antonius [I 9]: In offener Sänfte (Cic. Att. 10,10,5; Plut. Antonius 9,7) begleitete sie ihn bei seinen Auftritten, bevor er im J. 47 Fulvia heiratete. Cicero v…

Kallippides

(201 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[English version] (Καλλιππίδης). Trag. Schauspieler des 5./4. Jh.v.Chr., der, populär und umstritten, lange nach seinem Tod in Erinnerung blieb. Er selbst war mehrfach siegreicher Protagonist, so an den Lenäen des J. 418, jedoch errang die Tetralogie seines Dichters keinen Preis [1]. Sein ausdrucksstarkes, auf realistische Wirkung zielendes Gebärdenspiel entsprach moderner Manier; es mißfiel dem Mynniskos, der einst noch mit Aischylos aufgetreten war und den jungen Kollegen wegen seiner übertriebe…

Pylades

(300 words)

Author(s): Binder, Carsten (Kiel) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
(Πυλάδης, dorische Namensform Πυλάδας, Pind. P. 11,23). [English version] [1] Freund des Orestes Phokischer Heros, Sohn des Strophios und der Anaxabia (z. B. Eur. Or. 764 f.; andere Mütter: schol. Eur. Or. 33, Hyg. fab. 117). P. und Elektra [4] (Eur. Or. 1092; 1207 ff.; Eur. Iph. T. 716 u. a.) sind Eltern des Strophios und des Medon [4] (Paus. 2,16,7; Hyg. fab. 119 f.) oder Medeon (Steph. Byz. s. v. Μεδεών). P. wächst zusammen mit Orestes [1] auf; beide galten schon in der Ant. als klassisches Freundespaar (schon nahezu sprichwörtlich: πυλάδαι/ pyládai, Kall. epigr. 59; Cic. Lael. 24 u…

Polus

(313 words)

Author(s): Narcy, Michel (Paris) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
(Πῶλος; Pôlos). [German version] [1] Sophist from Agrigentum Sophist, from Agrigentum. Sometimes mentioned as a pupil of Empedocles (31 A 19 DK), sometimes of Gorgias (82 A 2 and 4 DK; Philostr. VS 1,13). This is why Plato makes him one of Socrates' conversation partners in his Gorgias (461b-481b). The technical treatise Μουσεῖα λόγων ( Mouseîa lógōn, lit. 'Rhetorical Museum'), attributed to him in Pl. Phdr. 267b-c, may also be the one that is alluded to in Pl. Grg. 462c. The Suda (s.v. Πῶλος) gives P. as the teacher of Licymnius [2]. Rhetoric; Sophists Narcy, Michel (Paris) …

Pylades

(340 words)

Author(s): Binder, Carsten (Kiel) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
(Πυλάδης/ Pyládēs, Doric form Πυλάδας/ Pyládas, Pind. Pyth. 11,23). [German version] [1] Friend of Orestes Phocian hero, son of Strophius and Anaxabia (e.g. Eur. Or. 764 f.; other mothers: schol. Eur. Or. 33, Hyg. Fab. 117). P. and Electra [4] (Eur. Or. 1092; 1207 ff.; Eur. IT 716 among others) were the parents of Strophius and Medon [4] (Paus. 2,16,7; Hyg. Fab. 119 f.) or Medeon (Steph. Byz. s. v. Μεδεών). P. grew up together with Orestes [1] and partakes in the latter's revenge on his mother and Aegisthus. F…

Competitions, artistic

(3,335 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster) | Paulsen, Thomas (Bochum) | Schmidt, Peter Lebrecht
[German version] I. Stage competitions Competitions, which included the   skēnḗ (the stage and the podium in front of it for the actor's appearance) in Greek theatre, that is dramatic performances. Originally, the skēnḗ was away from the orchḗstra ( Theatre I) and was used only for changing costumes and masks; it probably was not moved into the audience's view and integrated into the play until 458 BC with the ‘Orestia’ of  Aeschylus [1]. Nevertheless, early dramatic competitions are also thought to have been staged. Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster) A. Greece [German version] 1. Developm…

Theatre

(6,286 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster) | Isler, Hans-Peter (Zürich)
[German version] I. Concept Greek θέατρον ( théatron: 'Place where one looks'); Lat. theatrum. The Greek word can denote any arrangement of rows of seats or raised stands ( íkria) as a gathering place for festive, cultic or athletic events, as in Sparta for the Gymnopaidia festival in 491 BC (Hdt. 6,67,3), in the sanctuary of Olympia (Xen. Hell. 7,4,31) or the altar steps in the Amphiareion of Oropus (IG VII 4255,29 f.). The stands for the games in honour of Patroclus [1] depicted by the vase painter Sophilus ( c. 570 BC) may be seen as a theatre as well [1]. As a technical term in …
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