Theater outside Athens

Theater outside Athens : Drama in Greek Sicily and South Italy

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This volume brings together archeologists, art historians, philologists, literary scholars, political scientists, and historians to articulate the ways in which western Greek theater was distinct from that of the Greek mainland and, at the same time, to investigate how the two traditions interacted. The chapters intersect and build on each other in their pursuit of a number of shared questions and themes: the place of theater in the cultural life of Sicilian and South Italian 'colonial cities;' theater as a method of cultural self-identification; shared mythological themes in performance texts and theatrical vase-painting; and the reflection and analysis of Sicilian and South Italian theater in the work of Athenian philosophers and playwrights. Together, the essays explore central problems in the study of western Greek theater. By gathering a number of different perspectives and methods, this volume offers the first wide-ranging examination of this hitherto neglected history.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 45 b/w illus. 9 maps
  • 1139032372
  • 9781139032377

Review quote

'This is the first substantial interdisciplinary statement of the scale and significance of Greek theatrical activities outside 'Greece'.' The Times Literary Supplement 'Theater outside Athens is an important contribution to the growing bibliography on ancient theatre in the wider Greek world ... [This book] offers a number of intriguing and innovative perspectives that open up new ways of looking at Greek theater outside Athens, and new ways of looking at Athenian drama as well.' Paola Ceccarelli, 'While the magisterial surviving plays of Athenian tragedy and comedy may seem like marble monuments, they are really very fragile things ... As we journey outside of Athens, the evidence for ancient theater's history disintegrates even more into fragments. What remains are fragile vase paintings, the often casually remembered lines or stories of long-lost playwrights, performances, and plays, and the traces of long-ruined theaters set in imposing landscapes. In Theater outside Athens ... archaeologists, historians, and literary critics painstakingly reassemble such pieces to unearth the history of a theater that thrived in the courts of tyrants and the cities of the western Greek world. Far from being peripheral, this recovered world has the potential to unsettle our assumptions about the Athenian theatre itself.' Rebecca Bushnell, Common Knowledge '... this volume manages to be both comprehensive and accessible ... its chapters [provide] important insights into a variety of issues. Agreeably interdisciplinary, it offers a welcome shift of focus from the predominant Athenocentrism of the majority of approaches to Greek drama. It should be of use to classicists, ancient historians, archaeologists, and theatre studies specialists alike.' Vayos Liapis, Phoenix '... the volume is important for research on ancient Greek theatre ...' Kostas Valakas, The Classical Review
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Table of contents

Introduction; Part I. Tyrants, Texts, and Theater in Early Sicily: 1. Early Greek settlement in the West: the limits of colonialism Jonathan Hall; 2. A prolegomenon to performance in the West Kathryn Morgan; 3. Challenging authority: Epicharmus between epic and rhetoric Andreas Willi; 4. On Epicharmus' literary and philosophic background Lucia Rodriguez-Noriega Guillen; 5. Hieron's Aeschylus Kathryn Bosher; 6. Aeschylus' Aetnaeae and the identity of Xouthus: poetic appropriation of Sicily from Stesichorus to Euripides David Smith; 7. A Theseus outside Athens: Dionysius I of Syracuse and tragic self-presentation Anne Duncan; 8. Dionysius I and Sicilian theatrical traditions in Plato's Republic: representing continuities between democracy and tyranny S. Sara Monoson; Part II. Stone Theaters, Wooden Stages, and Western Performance Traditions: 9. Between performance and identity: the social and cultural context of theaters in late Classical and Hellenistic Sicily Clemente Marconi; 10. Montagna dei Cavalli: a new Greek theater in early Hellenistic Sicily Stefano Vassallo; 11. How was Athenian drama played in the Greek West? Oliver Taplin; 12. Myth and tragedy: images on vases and oral transmission between Central and Northern Apulia in the second half of the fourth century BC Luigi Todisco; 13. Whose line is it anyway? 'Phlyax' comedy repossessed Chris Dearden; 14. Comic vases in south Italy: continuity and innovation in the development of a figurative language J. R. Green; 15. The grave's a fine and funny place: chthonic rituals and comic theater in the Greek West Bonnie MacLachlan; Part III. Hellenistic Reflections: 16. In pursuit of Sophron: Doric mime and Attic comedy in Herodas' Mimiambi David Kutzko; 17. 'Nor when a man goes to Dionysus' holy contests' (Theoc. 17.112) - outlines of theatrical performance in Theocritus Benjamin Acosta-Hughes.
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