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Deus ex machina

(379 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[English version] (Θεὸς ἀπὸ μηχανῆς). Bereits im 4. Jh.v.Chr. sprichwörtlich gewordene kranartige Bühnenmaschine (μηχανή, γέρανος, κράδη), an der schwebend und die Luft durchquerend eine Gottheit plötzlich erscheinen und der Handlung neue Impulse verleihen oder sie zu Ende bringen konnte (vgl. Plat. Kleit. 407a; Krat. 425d; Antiphanes 189,13-16 PCG; Alexis 131,9 PCG; Men. Theophorumene fr. 5 Sandbach = 227 Körte; Cic. nat. deor. 1,53). Ihr Einsatz ist durch die Parodien des Aristophanes (Pax 174ff…

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…

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…

Phanostratus

(27 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Φανόστρατος; Phanóstratos) of Halicarnassus. Tragedian, probably successful at the Attic Lenaea in 306 BC. TrGF I 94 = DID B7. Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Neophron

(158 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Νεόφρων; Neóphrōn) of Sicyon. Tragedian, 2nd half of 5th cent. BC; according to the Suda (TrGF I 15 T 1) the author of 120 plays, and the first to depict tutors and the torture of slaves on the stage. According to the hypothesis of Euripides' [1] ‘Medea arising from the Peripatetic tradition, the Euripidean drama is said to have derived from N. The 24 surviving verses show clear concordances with Euripides (esp. Medea's monologue in N. fragment 2, cf. Eur. Med. 1021ff., 1236ff.); …

Sinis

(85 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Greek Σίνις/Sínis, robber). One of the scoundrels who are killed by Theseus in their own vicious manner ( e.g. Bacchyl. 18,19-22): S., a son of Poseidon with the cognomen Pityokámptēs ('spruce bender'), is a brigand on the Corinthian Isthmus who ties the arms and legs of travellers to spruce trees that he bent down before. When he lets the trees shoot up, the victims are torn apart. He dies in the same fashion following the principle of Talion Law. Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)

Messenger scenes

(478 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] Longer rhesis in drama, in which other characters or the chorus are informed, either behind or off scene, of events that have taken place before or during the dramatic action and that could not represented on stage either because of the means or the conventions of Attic drama. These reports, furnished with all available rhetorical means, are usually presented by a main or a supporting figure (Eur. Heraclid. 389ff; Soph. El. 680ff.), but often by a nameless messenger specifically introduced for this purpose (ἄγγελοι/ ángeloi or ἔξαγγελοι/ éxangeloi, if the message co…

Mnesilochus

(103 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
(Μνησίλοχος/ Mnēsílochos). [German version] [1] see Mnasilochus See Mnasilochus Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) [German version] [2] Father-in-law of Euripides Father-in-law of Euripides [1], of the deme of Phlya. In our sources, the daughter's name varies between Choerile and Melito. In the hypothesis to Aristophanes' ‘Thesmophoriazousai the kēdēstḗs (close relative) of Eupolis is incorrectly identified with M. (also in manuscript R). Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) Bibliography U. v. Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Euripides, Herakles I 1895, 7. [German version] [3] Secon…

Hypothesis

(474 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
(ὑπόθεσις; hypóthesis). Introduction, summary. [German version] A. History of literature Three types can be distinguished in tragedy: 1. The hypothéseis of  Aristophanes [4] of Byzantium found in the Peripatetic tradition ( Dicaearchus fr. 78 Wehrli); they contain a brief summary, point to the treatment of the same material by another tragedian, name the setting, the identity of the chorus and the speaker of the prologue and give further information on the play's performance (dating, title of the author's other p…

Perdix

(132 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Πέρδιξ/ Pérdix , also called Talus or Calus), great-grandson of Erechtheus, nephew of  Daedalus [1], whose skill he surpassed - he is considered the inventor of, among other things, the saw and the compass (Ov. Met. 8,246ff.; Hyg. Fab. 39; Verg. G. 1,143) - and who therefore threw him to his death from the Acropolis  (Soph. fr. 323 TrGF; Hyg. Hab. 39). In Ov. Met. 8,251-253 P. is rescued by Athena, who turns him into a partridge ( perdix), which watches the burial of Daedalus's son Icarus [1], who also fell to his death, maliciously applauding with its wings ( ibid. 236ff.). Ac…

Didaskaliai

(700 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
(αἱ διδασκαλίαι; hai didaskalíai). [German version] I. Greek Derived from the verb διδάσκειν, the singular didaskalía has the general meaning of ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ (Pind. Pyth. 4,102; Xen. Cyr. 8,7,24) and in a special sense of ‘choral training’ (Pl. Grg. 501e); in the plural it is a technical term for lists of dramatic and choral productions with associated details: year of performance (archon), poet, title, festival, choregos, actors. The entries were made in the archive of the authority responsible for the production, such at least was the case in A…

Thespis

(238 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] (Θέσπις; Théspis) from Icarium [1] in the Attic deme of Icaria [1. 49], according to one tradition attested on the  Marmor Parium (43) the ‘inventor’ ( prôtos heuretḗs ) of tragedy (TrGF I 1 T 2), according to another (Suda θ 282 = T 1) the sixteenth or second tragedian after Epigenes [0] of Sicyon. Between 535/4 and 532/1, he is supposed to have presented the first tragedy at the great Dionysia in Athens (but cf. [3]) and is considered to be the inventor of theatrical masks (made of linen, T 1). By adding a prologue ( prólogos) and a  rhêsis , he transf…

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.…
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