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Lecture 21

CLCIV 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 21: Pheidippides, Dionysia, Lenaia

4 pages92 viewsFall 2016

Classical Civilization
Course Code
Richard Janko

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Lecture 21
1. Aristophanes, comic dramatist, 445-387 BCE
a. Plays
i. Lysistrata, 411 BCE
1. Women take over state, end the war by a sex-strike
ii. The Clouds 423 BCE
b. Radical conservative
c. Never openly attacks democracy
d. Themes of his early plays:
i. The new education
ii. Oppression of the “allies”
iii. Anti-war
1. Sued by demagogue Cleon for defaming Athens before
2. Attack on Cleon in Knights of 424
2. Socrates, 469-399 BCE
a. Secrecy and initiation into mysteries of Socrates’ Thinkery
b. Resemblance to Pythagoreans
c. Pythagoreans’ meeting house was burned down at Croton (Italy) with
3. Menander, 342-292 BCE
4. Dramatic festivals of Dionysus:
a. Lenaea, January (especially comedy)
b. City Dionysia, May, founded 534 BCE
5. Theater of Dionysus, Athens, seats 17,000
6. Theater, Epidaurus 350 BCE
7. Leading characters
a. Ordinary citizens
b. Chorus
c. Characters who get ridiculed
i. Pericles, Euripides, Socrates
d. Parabasis (“march-past”): chorus of 24 speaks to audience directly
i. Parabasis of the Clouds: poet chides audience and electorate who
voted for Cleon
8. Humor: no limits to obscenity
a. Politicians could sue, but poets hit back
b. Poets mock their rivals and tragedy
9. The Clouds 423 BCE
a. Strepsiades “Twister” and his Son by Megacles’ daughter (Alcmeonid
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