The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy (Oxford Handbooks)

The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy (Oxford Handbooks)

Michael Fontaine

Language: English

Pages: 912

ISBN: 0199743541

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In recent decades literary approaches to drama have multiplied: new historical, intertextual, political, performative and metatheatrical, socio-linguistic, gender-driven, transgenre-driven. New information has been amassed, sometimes by re-examination of extant literary texts and material artifacts, at other times from new discoveries from the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, art history, and literary studies. The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy marks the first comprehensive introduction to and reference work for the unified study of ancient comedy. From the birth of comedy in Greece to its end in Rome, from the Hellenistic diffusion of performances after the death of Menander to its artistic, scholarly, and literary receptions in the later Roman Empire, no topic is neglected. 41 essays spread across Greek Comedy, Roman Comedy, and the transmission and reception of Ancient comedy by an international team of experts offer cutting-edge guides through the immense terrain of the field, while an expert introduction surveys the major trends and shifts in scholarly study of comedy from the 1960s to today. The Handbook includes two detailed appendices that provide invaluable research tools for both scholars and students. The result offers Hellenists an excellent overview of the earliest reception and creative reuse of Greek New Comedy, Latinists a broad perspective of the evolution of Roman Comedy, and scholars and students of classics an excellent resource and tipping point for future interdisciplinary research.





















feature, was incidental mockery of individuals and groups, mostly Athenian, across a broad spectrum, from mere foibles, physical abnormalities, or character flaws (centered mainly on money, eating, drinking, and sex) to activity with political or civic (including artistic or intellectual) impact; ancient scholars noted as exceptional its avoidance by certain poets (Crates and Pherecrates) or particular plays (e.g., Cratinus’s Odysseus and Company). The great majority of the targets

followed in all but the final two plays (as well as Clouds, which he regards as a daring experiment): The prologue consists of three parts, the “parade,” the “patter,” and the start of the action (sometimes explained by the characters themselves). The agon is expanded from a physical combat into a verbal debate. The part of the comedy after the parabasis is much more conventional and adopts the form of tragedy, being a series of repetitive episodes separated by choral lyrics that stop the action

wealthy class; it ensured that their resources were used for the advancement of the majority’s interest; and it ensured that those propertied individuals were not only financially but also personally involved in those duties, thus forcing the wealthy to be involved in the affairs of the democratic polis and preventing the alienation of the upper class from the rest of society. Finally, the reliance of the institution of liturgies, of which choregia was a part, upon the principles of philotimia

the tragic poets Timotheus and Sophocles. Did the monument celebrate city or local victories? Some scholars (e.g., Wilamowitz, Koerte, Pickard-Cambridge, Davies) have thought it rather likely that the victorious choregoi in dramatic competitions of city festivals would have dedicated choregic monuments in demes, thus advertising their city victories locally, especially when the poets were as famous as Sophocles and Cratinus. Others (e.g., Papagiannopoulos-Palaios, Guarducci, Kirchner, Makres,

of Xenocles (or Androcles, see Lambert 2000– 2003: 99–105) of Sphettus, is dated to 307/6 (IG II² 3073).8 Traditionally, scholars (e.g. Köhler 1878, Ferguson 1911, Pickard-Cambridge (DFA2), Gherke 1978, Rhodes 1993, Habicht, 1997, Mikalson 1998, et al.) have viewed the end of the institution of choregia and its subsequent replacement by the agonothesia (an elective office) as parts of the legislative activity of Demetrius of Phalerum (318/7–308/7 BCE). The latter was a Peripatetic, a pupil of

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