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Pratinas

(743 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Πρατίνας/ Pratínas) of Phlius (in the Peloponnese), according to the Suda π 2230 (TrGF I 4 T 1) the inventor of the satyr play; son of a Pyrrhonides or Encomius (descriptive names: son of a 'red-head' or of 'a member of a - Dionysian - ko…

Nothippus

(30 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Νόθιππος; Nóthippos). Athenian tragedian (TrGF I 26), mentioned by the comic poet Hermippus in his Moîrai (prob. performed 430 BC) (Fr. 46 PCG). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)…

Pereus

(37 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Περεύς; Pereús). Son of the Arcadian king Elatus [3] and Laodice; father of Neaera [3] who was the wife of Aleus [1], the founder of Tegea (Paus. 8,4,4; Apollod. 3,102). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Satyr play

(1,196 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
(σατυρικὸν δρᾶμα, satyrikòn drâma). [German version] A. Origins As in the case of Greek tragedy, the debate on the origins of the SP also starts with an observation in Aristotle's Poetics. According to Aristot. Poet. 1449a 19 ff., tragedy had initially dealt with minor topics in a humorous language and only later acquired its appropriate solemnity, because it had developed from the satyresque (ἐκ σατυρικοῦ, ek satyrikoû) and its original nature had been more that of a dance (ὀρχηστικωτέρα, orchēstikōtéra). Aristotle thus did not claim in any way that tragedy had developed…

Pharadas

(29 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Φαράδας; Pharádas) from Athens; was successful with a satyr play after 85 BC at the Museia in Thespiae (Boeotia) (TrGF I 173).…

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.; Nub. 218ff.; Av. 1184ff.; Fr. 192 PCG, perhaps Thesm. 1098ff.) confirms it fo…

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 t…

Philicus

(114 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Φίλικος; Phílikos

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 pe…

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 […

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…

Polyphrasmon

(60 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Πολυφράσμων/ Polyphrásmōn). Son of Phrynichus [1], tragedian, first victory between 482 and 471 (DID A 3a, 13), successful at the Dionysia in 471  (DID A 1, 22). In 467 he is recorded as third to Aeschylus [1], who won with his Theban trilogy, and Pratinas' son Aristias [2] with his trilogy Lykourgeia (TrGF I 7). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Stichomythia

(484 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (στιχομυθία/ stichomythía). A form of dialogue in ancient drama in which two persons - or, more rarely, three -  speak in regular turns. It was first documented as a technical term in Poll. 4,113, but a description of the dramatic technique of 'dialogue intensification' [6] appears as early as in Aeschylos [1] (Eum. 585 f.). The origins of stichomythia are unknown (initiation rites: [8. 201], folk customs: [2. 95-106]). Under the general heading of the technique of stichomythia, sc…

Rhesis

(452 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (ἡ ῥῆσις/ hē rhêsis), generally 'speech' (Hom. Od. 21,291). As early as the 5th cent. BC, rhesis was a technical term for a speech in a play, especially in a tragedy (for the concept cf. Aristoph. Ach. 416, Nub. 1371, Vesp. 580, Ran. 151; Aristot. Poet. 1454a 31, 1456a 31). The length of a rhesis varies from c. 7 to over 100 verses (Eur. Ion 1122-1228, Phoen. 1090-1199, Bacch. 1043-1152). The most important function of rhḗseis in the context of the storyline is to supply information. The requisite details which are important for the storyline are frequen…
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