Dithyramb in Context

Dithyramb in Context

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The dithyramb, a choral song associated mostly with the god Dionysos, is the longest-surviving form of collective performance in Greek culture, lasting in its shifting shapes from the seventh century BC into late antiquity. Yet it has always stood in the shadow of its more glamorous relations - tragedy, comedy, and the satyr-play. This volume, with contributions from international experts in the field, is the first to look at dithyramb in its entirety, understanding it as an important social and cultural phenomenon of Greek antiquity. Dithyramb in Context explores the idea that the dithyramb is much more than a complex poetic form: the history of the dithyramb is a history of changing performance cultures which form part of a continuous social process. How the dithyramb functions as a marker, as well as a carrier, of social change throughout Greek antiquity is expressed in themes as various as performance and ritual, poetics and intertextuality, music and dance, and history and politics. Drawing together literary critics, historians of religion, archaeologists, epigraphers, and historians, this volume applies a wide historical and geographical framework, scrutinizing the poetry and, for the first time, giving due weight to the evidence of epigraphy and the visual arts.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 512 pages
  • 164 x 242 x 34mm | 1,059.98g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 35 in-text illustrations
  • 0199574685
  • 9780199574681
  • 1,198,822

About Barbara Kowalzig

Peter Wilson is William Ritchie Professor of Classics at the University of Sydney and the inaugural Director of the Centre for Classical & Near Eastern Studies of Australia. He is the author of The Athenian Institution of the 'Khoregia': the Chorus, the City and the Stage, Greek Theatre and Festivals: Documentary Studies (2007) and Performance, Reception, Iconography: Studies in Honour of Oliver Taplin (with M. Revermann, 2008).show more

Table of contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ; TABLE OF CONTENTS ; LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS ; LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ; CONVENTIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS ; 1. Introduction: The World of Dithyramb ; I SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS CONTEXTS ; 2. Dancing Dolphins: Dithyramb and Society in the Archaic Period ; 3. Becoming like Dionysos: Dithyramb and Dionysian Initiation ; 4. Demeter and Dionysos in the Sixth-Century Argolid: Lasos of Hermione, the Cult of Demeter Chthonia and the Origins of Dithyramb ; 5. Dithyramb and Greek Tragedy ; II DEFINING AN ELUSIVE PERFORMANCE FORM ; 6. The Name of the Dithyramb: Diachronic and Diatopic Variations ; 7. Athens and the Empire: The Contextual Flexibility of Dithyramb, and its Imperialist Ramifications ; 8. Cyclic Choroi and the Dithyramb in the Classical and Hellenistic period: a Problem of Definition ; 9. The Semantics of Processional Dithyramb: Pindar s Second Dithyramb and Archaic Athenian Vase-Painting ; 10. Music and Movement in the Dithyramb ; III NEW MUSIC ; 11. Songbenders of circular choruses : Dithyramb and the Demise of Music ; 12. Kyklops Kitharoidos: Dithyramb and Nomos in Play ; 13. Satyr-play, dithyramb and the Geopolitics of Dionysian Style in Fifth-Century Athens ; 14. Performance and the Drinking Vessel: Looking for an Imagery of Dithyramb in the Time of the New Music ; IV TOWARDS A POETICS OF DITHYRAMB ; 15. The Poetics of Dithyramb ; 16. The Dithyramb, a Dionysiac Poetic Form: Genre Rules and Cultic Contexts ; 17. Dithyramb in Greek Thought: The Problem of Choral Mimesis ; 18. One for whom the tribes dispute: The Dithyrambic Poet and the City of Athens ; V DITHYRAMB IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE ; 19. Choroi and tripods: The Politics of the Choregia in Roman Athens ; 20. Dithyrambos, Thriambos, Triumphus: Dionysiac Discourse at Rome ; BIBLIOGRAPHY ; INDEX OF PASSAGES ; SUBJECT INDEXshow more

Review quote

"Important...Its cutting-edge contributions impressively succeed, even if, inevitably, some items appear repeatedly, while interpretations display contributors not singing from one dithyramb sheet. One of numerous strengths is that many different styles of scholarship are applied." -- Greek and Roman Musical Studiesshow more