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Lecture 14

CLCIV 101 Lecture 14: Lecture 14

3 pages116 viewsFall 2016

Classical Civilization
Course Code
Richard Janko

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Lecture 14
1. Athens after the Persian Wars
a. 479-431 BCE: rise of the Athenian Empire in the Aegean
b. Athens as leading cultural center of Greece
2. Reasons for Athens’ cultural supremacy
a. Panathenaic Games fostered by Pisistratus
b. Pisistratus setup first festival for tragic drama
c. Cleisthenes’ democratic reforms of 508 → Athens most progressive city in
d. rise of Athenian Empire > people go to Athens on business
e. wealth of Athens > artistic commissions in Athens
3. Herodotus of Halicarnassus, 484-425 BCE
a. Moved to Athens
b. Wrote his histories to praise Athens
4. Drama “action”
a. Narrative, e.g. epic: single performer
b. Lyric single performer or chorus (choros “dance”)
c. Drama: several actors & chorus in costume (comic chorus as donkeys!)
d. Humorous drama=comedy
e. Serious drama=tragedy
f. Comic chorus: 24, tragic chorus: 15, later 12
5. Dramatic festivals of Dionsysus
a. Lenaea in January, especially in comedy
b. City Dionysia in May, founded 534 BCE
6. First tragic poet: Thepsis, 534 BCE (lost)
a. Earliest surviving tragic poet: Aeschylus, 524-456
i. Wrote The Persians, 470, about the battle of Salamis to honor
7. Sophocles, 496-406
a. Friend of Herodotus
b. Wrote Oedipus the King and Antigone
8. Euripides, 485-406
a. Wrote Medea and Bacchae
9. Theaters
a. Epidaurus seats 20,000
b. Theater of Dionysus
c. Theater of Athens seats 17,000
d. Consists of a stage (skene) where play is performed and an orchestra when the
chorus performs
e. Ekkylema for wheeling out bodies to symbolize death of a character
f. Crane (mechane) for flying gods
10. How plays were performed:
a. Archon grants actors to three tragic poets at state expense
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