An inexplicably understudied field of classical scholarship, tragic reperformance, has been surveyed in its true dimensi
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Table of contents :
1. Traveling poets in Attica and beyond --
2. Reperformances in a political context --
3. Tragic reperformances and traveling actors --
4. Reperformances and Vase-painting --
Abbreviations and Conventions --
List of Plates/Image Credits --
General Index --
Index of Passages.
Anna A. Lamari Reperforming Greek Tragedy
Trends in Classics – Supplementary Volumes
Edited by Franco Montanari and Antonios Rengakos Scientific Committee Alberto Bernabé · Margarethe Billerbeck Claude Calame · Jonas Grethlein · Philip R. Hardie Stephen J. Harrison · Stephen Hinds · Richard Hunter Christina Kraus · Giuseppe Mastromarco · Gregory Nagy Theodore D. Papanghelis · Giusto Picone · Kurt Raaflaub Tim Whitmarsh · Bernhard Zimmermann
Anna A. Lamari
Reperforming Greek Tragedy Theater, Politics, and Cultural Mobility in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC
ISBN 978-3-11-055986-6 e-ISBN (PDF) 978-3-11-056116-6 e-ISBN (EPUB) 978-3-11-055993-4 ISSN 1868-4785 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress. Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are available in the Internet at http://dnb.dnb.de. © 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston Logo: Christopher Schneider, Laufen Printing: CPI books GmbH, Leck ♾ Printed on acid-free paper Printed in Germany www.degruyter.com
For Konstantina, Maria, and Konstantina: daughter, mother, and grandmother.
. . . .. . .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .
Traveling poets in Attica and beyond 17 Introduction 17 A culture of travel and reperformance 18 Aeschylus 23 23 Aeschylus in Sicily Sophocles 35 Sophocles and Aristophanes (re)performing at Eleusis Sophocles (re)performing Telepheia at Halai Aixonides A reperformance at Kollytos? 38 Euripides 39 39 Euripides in Sicily Euripides (re)performing in Peiraeus 40 Euripides performing in Anagyrous 44 45 Euripides in Macedon Euripidean reperformances in Cyrene? 53 Euripides in Thessaly and Molossia? 54 The tradition of the embolima 56
. . .. .. .
59 Reperformances in a political context Introduction 59 Beginning of reperformances in the fifth century 60 Evaluating the sources 62 διδάσκειν, ἀναδιδάσκειν, and παραδιδάσκειν 66 Aeschylus’ death and the politicization of tragic 68 reperformances Choregiae 69 Aeschylus and Pericles 72 Euripides, palaion drama, and 386 77 Traveling actors and reperformances of tragedy in Macedon Philip II 82 Alexander 89 Political reperformances of tragedy in Sicily 92
.. .. . . .. .. .
. . . . . . .. .. .. ..
Tragic reperformances and traveling actors 95 95 Introduction Traveling texts 96 Reperformances by traveling actors and local choruses 99 Reperformances and the development of the acting profession 105 110 The rise of actors as reflected in vase-painting Actors, reperformances and textual transmission 115 117 Playwrights’ authority Actors, reperformances and texts 121 Master copies 123 Reperformances and actors’ interpolations: surveying the ancient 125 evidence
. . . . .. .. .. .. .
Reperformances and Vase-painting 130 Introduction 130 ‘Philodramatists’ and ‘Iconocentrists’ 131 137 Vases Outbound traveling: images exported to the West 137 Cyclops (re)performed 137 Reperformances and some vases of the Policoro tomb 141 142 Euripides’ Heracleidae Euripides’ Medea in Policoro and Cleveland 144 Inbound traveling: images imported to the East and 151 repurposed Aetnaeae recycled? 151 The visual memory of viewers and vase-painters 156
Abbreviations and Conventions Bibliography
List of Plates/Image Credits Plates
General Index Index of Passages
Preface It is a pleasure to recognize the help that I have received from family, friends, colleagues and institutions during my work on this book. First among these is Patrick Finglass, with whom I shared my idea of starting a project on tragic reperformances back in December 2010. Since then, he has been reading each section of the book as soon as it was ready and generously providing academic motivation and personal support. I was also fortunate enough to benefit from the encouragement and erudition of Eric Csapo, who magnanimously read and commented upon the final draft and graciously pushed for the big and clearer ideas. Antonios Rengakos has once again been a dearest friend and benefactor on an academic and a personal level. I would like to express my deep gratitude to both him and Franco Montanari for accepting my work in Trends in Classics Supplementary Volumes. I am also indebted to Angelos Chaniotis for his illuminating remarks at the Center for Hellenic Studies Symposium in 2014 and for allowing me access to forthcoming work of his. This brings me to the immense debt of gratitude I owe to Greg Nagy and Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies. The profuse auspices of the Center for Hellenic Studies provided an idyllic environment of unprecedented academic assistance for the establishment and progress of my ideas on tragic reperformances. Greg Nagy’s wisdom enhanced my thoughts on ancient performance and his enthusiasm and warmth provided generous encouragement. A number of other funding bodies made the completion of this book possible. The Aristotle University’s Research Committee has twice honored this project with awards of excellence, and the Nikos and Lyntia Tricha Foundation funded this book at its initial stages. On a personal level, this book would have never been completed without the love, patience, and assistance of my husband Christos Tsagalis, and my daughters Alexia and Konstantina. I thank the former for being my biggest, earnest, and dearest supporter and for unfailingly proving how labor omnia vincit. I thank the latter for being the best children a mother could ask for. My brother Gregory and my father Alexis were always my champions. My mother Maria followed me to the other side of the Atlantic to care for my daughters while I was working at the Center for Hellenic Studies, having no second thoughts concerning the East Coast winters or my childrens’ tantrums. Her selfless love to us was put to the biggest test when her mother passed. This book is dedicated to her, my late grandmother, and my daughter Konstantina.
Introduction L’homme ne s’avise de la réalité que quand il l’a représentée. Et rien, jamais, n’a pu mieux la représenter que le théâtre. P.P. Pasolini.¹
This book takes a fresh look on ancient reperformances of tragedy, placing them in the fifth- and fourth-century contexts of cultural traveling. In this book, I discuss tragic reperformances and cultural mobility as two pillars whose interactions in the fifth- and fourth-century theatrical production-industry offer a deeper understanding of drama’s development both as a genre and as a popular cultural trend. This book builds on the most recent discussions on tragic reperformances in the fifth and fourth centuries² and enhances our perception of the reperformances of successful productions by considering them as part of a culture of theatrical ‘travels’ of plays, performances, actors, poets, and visual experiences. Reperformances and theatrical traveling developed reciprocally, each playing major parts in the growth of the other. The tragic reperformative boom of the fifth century pushed poets, actors and touring guilds to their limits, spurring them to travel and spread the fast-growing popularity of the new genre. The eagerness of these groups to cross their geographical boundaries facilitated tragedy’s vast distribution and strengthened its tendencies for reperformance. Ancient reperformances of drama have waited until roughly the 21st century in order to be seen in their true dimensions. Now acknowledged as a vital part of theatrical development, formal and informal restagings of drama in the fifth and fourth centuries have been misjudged for many years of scholarship. For years, the stone inscription of 386 recording the addition of a performance of palaion drama to the program of the City Dionysia³ has been considered the milestone indicating the beginning of reperformances of tragedy in Ancient Greece. Indirect testimonia however⁴ imply that the tradition of tragic reperformances was initiated far earlier through restagings of Aeschylean plays in his honor after he died.
In: R. Schérer/G. Passerone, Passages pasoliniens, Villeneuve d’ Ascq 2006, 131. Vahtikari 2014; Lamari 2015b. IG II22318.VIII.201 3. See also Millis/Olson 2012, 56. TrGF III Test. 1.48 52; Schol. Ar. Ach. 8 11; Schol. Ar. Ran. 868; Philostr. V A 6.11, and more. See Lamari 2015a. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110561166 001
With scholarship in this area relying more on the stone inscription than on the indirect testimonia, tragic reperformances have been until very recently considered ‘a fourth-century norm, but a fifth-century inconsistency’.⁵ The idea of the exclusivity of fifth-century performances that were not repeated had its roots in nineteenth-century scholarship⁶ and was finally developed into the ‘single performance’ dogma. Webster maintained that we can only be certain of a single performance,⁷ a position also maintained by Pickard-Cambridge in the 1960s.⁸ In the same decade, the works of the French structuralists Jean-Pierre Vernant and Vidal Naquet linked Greek tragedy to Athens and the change from aristocracy to democracy and from myth to reason.⁹ The concept of tragedy’s close connection to Athens, promoted by scholars in the 1960s, developed into that of tragedy as an all-Athenian genre: in Athens, by Athenians, and for Athenians. In the collected volume published by Winkler and Zeitlin in 1990, the Athenian identity of drama was outspokenly celebrated in its very title.¹⁰ Even later, in 2004, Garland writes in the introduction to his book: ‘to begin with, Greek tragedy, by which we mean predominantly Athenian or Attic tragedy, constituted a cultural product as well as a literary genre. As such it addressed the concerns of a particular audience at a precise moment in its political and social evolution’.¹¹ It is no surprise that the fifth century was believed to have been solely marked with premieres, in contrast to the fourth, which was believed to have been solely marked with repetitions,¹² seen by some as a sign of ‘decay’.¹³ To a certain extent this is true: excluding Rhesus, all surviving complete tragedies were produced in the fifth century, the only complete satyr play is of the fifth century, and classical comedy is mostly of the fifth century. The fifth century was certainly the time of the big tragic boom, as also acknowledged by the ancient Greek themselves, who by the time Demosthenes was delivering On the Crown (330), were already displaying a cultural and literary tendency to compare
Lamari 2015b, 181. See Grysar 1830, 3. Webster 1956, xi. Pickard Cambridge 1968, 99. Vernant/Vidal Naquet 1972. Nothing to do with Dionysos? Athenian Drama in its Social Context (Winkler/Zeitlin, 1990). Garland 2004, 2. See characteristically Arnott 1989, 46, ‘with Sophocles and Euripides both dead, and leaving no successors, the fourth century theatre contented itself with revivals’; Cf. McNeill 1991, 262 and even the much more recent Lee 2005, 197; Rogers 2007, 17; Erskine/Lebow 2012, 7. Haigh 1889, 12.27 maintains that during the fourth century the City Dionysia lost its splendor and as a consequence, ‘fourth century is a period of decay as far as tragedy is concerned’.
the living with the best of the deceased. Towards the end of his speech, Demosthenes complains because Aeschines has judged him through comparison with the great men of the past: δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι καὶ κατ᾽ ἐκείνους ἦσάν τινες, οἳ διασύροντες τοὺς ὄντας τότε τοὺς δὲ πρότε ρον γεγενημένους ἐπήινουν, βάσκανον πρᾶγμα καὶ ταὐτὸ ποιοῦντες σοί. εἶτα λέγεις ὡς οὐδὲν ὅμοιός εἰμ᾽ ἐκείνοις ἐγώ; σὺ δ᾽ ὅμοιος, Αἰσχίνη; ὁ δ᾽ ἀδελφὸς ὁ σός; ἄλλος δέ τις τῶν νῦν ῥητόρων; ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ οὐδένα φημί. ἀλλὰ πρὸς τοὺς ζῶντας, ὦ χρηστέ, ἵνα μηδὲν ἄλλ᾽ εἴπω, τὸν ζῶντ᾽ ἐξέταζε καὶ τοὺς καθ᾽ αὑτόν, ὥσπερ τἄλλα πάντα, τοὺς ποιητάς, τοὺς χορούς, τοὺς ἀγωνιστάς. (Dem. 18.317 19) For it is certain that, even in their days, there were men who were always carping at the living and commending the dead a spiteful vocation, and just like yours. You tell me I am not at all like those great men. Are you like them, Aeschines? Or your brother? Or any other orator of this generation? In my opinion, none. Then, my honest friend to call you nothing worse assay a living man by the standard of living men, men of his own time. That is the test you apply to everything else to dramatists, to choruses, to ath letes.¹⁴
Glorification of previous generations was a topos in ancient Greek literature,¹⁵ but in the case of fifth-century theater, it was further reinforced by Aristophanes and Aristotle. Aristophanes has Dionysus say that truly talented poets are dead, while those who are alive are bad,¹⁶ an idea also maintained by Aristotle.¹⁷ The notion of fourth-century theater as one of imitation and decay dominated ancient and modern scholarship until very recently, perhaps not surprisingly. A detailed discussion by Csapo, Goette, Green and Wilson in the excellent volume on fourth-century theater explains the mechanisms that shaped and reshaped evidence in order to suit ancient and modern obsessions,¹⁸ and promotes the current approach of the fourth-century theater as the climactic moment of ancient culture: Almost all our Classical evidence for actors is fourth century and even Aristotle can be cited for the proposition that the actor’s art achieved perfection in the fourth century. Music too, if one believes our ancient sources, only really became music from rather late in the fifth century. Popular enthusiasm for the theatre is best attested by our fourth cen tury sources, whether texts, artefacts or monuments … But most spectacular of all is the
Translation by Vince 1926. See Lamari 2012, esp. 229 30. Ar. Ran. 72, δέομαι ποιητοῦ δεξιοῦ. / οἱ μὲν γὰρ οὐκέτ᾽ εἰσίν, οἱ δ᾽ ὄντες κακοί. See Arist. Poet. 1450a25, αἱ γὰρ τῶν νέων τῶν πλείστων ἀήθεις τραγωιδίαι εἰσίν, καὶ ὅλως ποιηταὶ πολλοὶ τοιοῦτοι. Csapo/Goette/Green/Wilson 2014, 1 12.
spread of drama which certainly began in the fifth but was so rapid in the fourth century that by its end there was a theatre and dramatic festival in every self respecting city and town, not only in Greece, but throughout the Hellenised East theatre indeed became the main vehicle of Hellenisation.¹⁹
This quote summarizes the cultural achievements of the fourth century and obliquely trivializes fifth century’s dramatic glory. It also establishes the right context for the discussion of dramatic reperformances, an institution that was as falsely connected exclusively to the fourth century as it was excluded from the fifth. Dramatic reperformances cannot be separated from the scholarly advances regarding fourth-century drama, just as they cannot be separated from other relevant areas of research, such as that of drama outside Athens, stagecraft and acting, as well as archaeology and iconography. The essays included in this volume entail interdisciplinary discussions of reperformances of drama in new performance contexts,²⁰ in connection to the new archaeological information on the construction of theaters in the fifth and fourth centuries,²¹ as well as discussions of reperformances of comedy.²² A volume edited by Kathryn Bosher in 2012 has also made very important progress in the study of performances and reperformances of drama outside Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries.²³ Theater in the Greek West developed in a style distinctive to that of the theater of mainland Greece, but at the same time in continuous dialogue with it. Historical and archaeological data compliment the approach according to which the interaction between drama of mainland Greece and that of western Greece is shaped according to ‘complex strands of influence that run, not just from Athens to the west, but from the west to Athens as well’.²⁴ Such an interaction with western Greece was also addressed by Allan in 2001, when he studied tragedy’s early reception in Sicily and South Italy.²⁵ In 2004,²⁶ Csapo had studied the rise of the acting profession in the fifth and fourth centuries as connected to the spread of drama and the practice of reperformances in the demes, a topic presented in depth in his subsequent monograph.²⁷ Csapo speaks openly of reperformances of drama in the fifth century, and con-
Csapo/Goette/Green/Wilson 2014, 4. Nervegna 2014. Goette 2014; Moretti 2014. Hartwig 2014. Bosher 2012b. Bosher 2012b, 7. Allan 2001. Csapo 2004a. Csapo 2010a.
siders them responsible for the popularity of Aeschylus and Euripides in the fifth-century Greek world: The survival of so many of Aeschylus’ plays and fragments must be due to a strong reper formance tradition: we have no other significant remnants of drama from the first half of the fifth century. But we know that a reperformance tradition for Aeschylus’ plays existed at Athens, and even at the City Dionysia apparently by a special concession. A strong per formance tradition at Gela would explain the huge popularity in Sicily of vasepaintings showing myths invented and/or popularized by Aeschylus’ plays … The popularity of Ae schylus in the Greek West is surpassed only by the popularity of Euripides who accounts for 34 percent of tragedy related vasepainting in the region.²⁸
In a very recent monograph dedicated to performances that took place outside Athens, in Sicily, Macedon, or the Athenian demes, Vahtikari consults evidence from documentary and literary sources, the vases, as well as the dramatic texts themselves.²⁹ Vahtikari’s book is the first study of specific cases of performances and reperformances of tragedies that took place outside Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries. Vahtikari lists known dramatic performances and reperformances outside Athens, such as Aeschylus’ Persians and Aetnaeae that were performed in Sicily either as premieres or reperformances, or Euripides’ Archelaus that was performed in Macedon. Vahtikari also surveys tragedies that were very probably performed outside Athens, such as Euripides’ Bacchae or Medea. His ‘performance-lists’ are extensive, but his biggest accomplishment is bringing reperformances of tragedies into academic focus, presenting them as an indisputable part of the theatrical evolution. A volume which I edited in 2015 was the first to include the term ‘reperformances of drama’ in its title and be solely dedicated to reperformances of tragedies in the fifth and fourth centuries.³⁰ In the volume, I set forth a holistic presentation of the beginning, development, spread and impact of dramatic reperformances, bringing together chapters on the dramatists’ reperformative Nachleben, as well as on the contexts of reperformances. By gathering separate studies on reperformances of Aeschylus,³¹ Sophocles,³² Euripides,³³ and Aristophanes,³⁴ complimented by chapters on reperformances and the textual trans-
Csapo 2010a, 97. Vahtikari 2014. Lamari 2015b. Lamari 2015a. Finglass 2015a. Fantuzzi 2015. Rosen 2015.
mission,³⁵ politics,³⁶ history,³⁷ and spread of drama outside Athens,³⁸ in this volume I demonstrated the beginning and development of the tradition of reperformances and placed it in a central position in the history of the Greek theater in the classical period. As signaled already in the first paragraph of this introduction, in this book I will build on recent discussions on tragic reperformance, but from a new vantage point which takes into account their cultural context, which in the fifth and fourth centuries was strongly tied to cultural mobility and exchange. Poets, actors, texts, vases, and vase-painters were traveling, bridging the boundaries between the East and the West, between mainland Greece and Magna Graecia, boosting the popularity of theater, and facilitating theatrical education. Fifthand fourth-century growth in reperformance culture prompted the travels of those working in theater, whilst the actors’ and poets’ eagerness to reach the non-Attic stages boosted the growing dramatic genres and increased their popularity, hence the need for reperformances. ‘Travel and “wandering” are persistent elements in both the reality and the imaginaire of Greek poetry, and the intellectual and cultural life more generally, from the earliest days’ are the words of Hunter and Rutherford in the introduction of their co-edited volume on Wandering Poets in Ancient Greek Culture. ³⁹ The perhaps earliest description of a traveling poet is that of the seventh-century poet Magnes of Smyrna, narrated to us by the Roman historian Nicolaus of Damascus. According to Nicolaus’ report, Magnes used to travel around the cities performing his poetry.⁴⁰ Empedocles, the early-mid fifth-century poet and philosopher from the Greek city Acragas of Sicily opens his poem Purifications with the narrator describing himself as a god who is welcomed, gloriously, by the cities to which he travels.⁴¹ Traveling poets and performers are even better attested to in the Hellenistic and Imperial periods,⁴² with examples like Posidippus of Pella, who was born in Pella, lived in Samos, moved to Alexandria, enjoyed the hospices of the Ptolemies, and was honored at Thermi and Delphi.⁴³ Theocritus too
Finglass 2015b. Duncan 2015. Hanink 2015. Csapo/Wilson 2015. Hunter/Rutherford 2009, 1. Nicolaus of Damascus, FGrH 90 fr. 62. Empedocles fr. 112 D K. Cf. the ‘poeti vaganti’ (Guarducci 1929). Test. 2 4 in Austin/Bastianini 2002. On the geographic span of Posidippus’ poetry, see Bing 2005.
was traveling, with his poetic activity spreading in Sicily, Alexandria and the eastern Aegean.⁴⁴ Callimachus might have been ‘physically’ mostly situated in either Cyrene or Alexandria, but his poems exploit an intellectual ‘sacred’ geography of the past, in which specific places are associated with glorious literary figures from history, like Chios with Homer, and Helicon with Hesiod.⁴⁵ As eloquently put by Hunter and Rutherford, in all these cases ‘“travel to” such places can be a matter of literary association and imitation rather than of physical relocation … The act of reading itself, as the modern Greek verb διαβάζειν shows, is a movement across space’.⁴⁶ During the Imperial period, the expansion of the travels of the Artists of Dionysus was great enough to be developed into an empire-wide network.⁴⁷ We may find parallels to Greek poetry’s attachment to traveling in the story of the mythic itinerant poet Thamyras or Thamyris the Thracian, who is first mentioned in Homer,⁴⁸ but whose name has strong mythical resonances pointing to mystical religious meetings and musical gatherings, and might represent ancient Aeolian traditions.⁴⁹ Thamyras also has a Sophoclean tragedy entirely devoted to him.⁵⁰ If we believe the biographical tradition, the premiere of Thamyras was a top theatrical event: Sophocles himself was playing the cithara, or perhaps even the role of Thamyras⁵¹ and Euaion, Aeschylus’ son, was playing Argiope, Thamyras’ mother.⁵² The myth of Thamyras as presented in Sophocles seems to have been accustomed to the characteristics of ‘new’ late-fifth-century music and performers, and Thamyras himself would have metatheatrically been ‘forged into an emblem of their professional pride’.⁵³ Thamyras is referred
Cf. Idyll 16, Idyll 28, but also Idyll 17 as a type of poetry performed in an extended geographic ray; see Hunter 2003. See Clay 2004. Hunter/Rutherford 2009, 6. Aneziri 2009. Hom. Il. 2.591 600. ‘“Thamyris” looks like an ancient Aeolic name for a special form of communal gathering, for supra local meetings at a religious centre. The Thracian’s mythic identity must somehow be founded on this idea, as the embodiment or instigator of such unions, probably as “the one who brings people into a group through song”’ (Wilson 2009, 50 1). TrGF IV frr. 236a 46. See TrGF IV Test. A 1. 24 5, φασὶ δὲ ὅτι καὶ κιθάραν ἀναλαβὼν ἐν μόνωι τῶι Θαμύριδί ποτε ἐκιθάρισεν, ὅθεν καὶ ἐν τῆι ποικίληι στοᾶι μετὰ κιθάρας αὐτὸν γεγράφθαι; Test. H a. Mostly based on evidence from vases, see Wilson 2009, 61 and n. 63 for references and dis cussion. Wilson 2009, 76.
to in different contexts, and in different genres, but always reflects an archetypal wandering performer. In the fifth and fourth centuries, cultural traveling was developing as a continuation of the culture of wandering of archaic and lyric poets, taking new forms and using new contexts, along with the spread of the new genre, drama. Throughout the timespan of ancient Greek poetry, cultural traveling is intertwined with poetry’s own development, working reciprocally with the spread of theater. Tragic poets and actors engaged in cultural traveling because theater was blooming, the institution of reperformance was thriving and theater professionals were in high demand, whilst the wide geographical cultural span made theater even greater, in popularity, in frequency of performance, in generic evolution. In this book, I am going to approach tragic reperformance and cultural mobility as two driving forces that took place in parallel and contemporaneously, contributing almost equally to the cultural phenomenon of the late-fifth-century panhellenic spread of drama. I will address these two factors, reperformances and cultural mobility, in every chapter of the book, projecting their interaction in the development of ancient theater. The book starts with a chapter on the professional mobility of poets in the fifth century. As Greek tragedy was increasing its panhellenic impact, tragic poets encouraged reperformances of their own plays by traveling to different theatrical venues in order to organize or supervise reperformances of their work. The fifth-century tragic poet Carcinus was an Athenian but also professionally tied to Sicily, the tragedian Empedocles had moved from Athens to Syracuse, and in a context of cultural panhellenism, traveling groups of poets and performers interacted with local choruses in Sicilian cities, facilitating local productions. At the same time, Athens was hosting foreign poets like Pratinas of Phlius, Aristias, Achaeus of Eretria, and Ion of Chios.⁵⁴ We know that Aeschylus was among the first tragic poets to endorse professional cultural traveling; almost one third of his biography in the Vita is dedicated to his Sicilian sojourn. Aeschylus traveled to Sicily at the beginning of his career in order to direct his Aetnaeae, but possibly also a reperformance of the Persians. He died in Gela and was there honored with a lavish burial and a hero cult that involved reperformances of his plays at his tomb. Aeschylus was certainly lured by the cultural politics of Hieron and perhaps also by the location, since Sicily and South Italy in general had the infrastructure to host reperformances in their theater buildings from as early as the fifth century. Eric Csapo
In what follows I do not give bibliographical references or citations since all this is covered in detail in the chapters of the book.
and Peter Wilson recently listed evidence on at least twenty-four cities in Sicily and South Italy that were hosting at least six festivals.⁵⁵ The very fact of Aeschylus’ invitation by Hieron in the mid-470s proves not only that Aeschylus had panhellenic fame, but also that it was expected of poets to travel and perform outside their local sphere of influence. Sophocles on the other hand was notorious for his local ‘dedication’ to Athens. Even he however is accredited with winning a victory in Eleusis, where he was physically present in order to direct the performance, according to an inscription. Interestingly, we are not in a position of knowing whether this performance was a premiere or a reperformance. Either way, this is important knowledge as it shows us Sophocles’ extra-Athenian activity that could have involved premieres or restagings. If the performance in Eleusis was a premiere, there can be little doubt that a reperformance in Athens would follow. Euripides’ travels were more extensive. He may have traveled to Sicily as an ambassador and he surely traveled to Macedon as a poet. He was mobile within the Attic demes too, competing with new plays in Peiraeus, Aelian tells us. Evidence from Thucydides and Xenophon shows that the theater in Peiraeus was used as a political meeting place in the last years of the fifth century, and later, in the fourth century, it hosted a large-scale Dionysia event. An inscription of the 430s presents Euripides as engaging in theatrical traveling in the deme of Anagyrous as well, although undoubtedly his major cultural trip was the one to Macedon. It seems that the Bacchae were there reperformed and Archelaus first produced; reperformances would have then brought the play to Athens, but also to other venues in Greece. Reperformances and the cultural mobility of poets and performers were amongst fifth-century theater’s core characteristics. Non-Athenian poets developed their talent in Athens, while the three renowned Athenian tragedians traveled in and out of Athens, organizing reperformances and disseminating drama. Reperformances promoted the culture of poetic mobility, but also strengthened the new genre’s position in the fifth century’s cultural agenda. The tradition of the embolima, the detached choral ‘throw-ins’ that local choral groups were practicing are just the tip of the iceberg of an extended, multifold, geographically open, ever-evolving dramatic and reperformative activity. In the second chapter of this book, I look at reperformances and cultural mobility as interacting with various political contexts. The testimonia regarding the launch of reperformances after Aeschylus’ death in 456, as well as the inscriptional evidence of the addition of performances of ‘old’ tragedies to the Dionysia
Csapo/Wilson 2015, 328.
playlist in 386, are both immersed in the political developments of the period and inseparably connected to the culture of intellectual mobility. The inscription of the Fasti (the list of victories at the festival of the City Dionysia) records official reperformances that took place in the City Dionysia in a span of almost fifty years (from 386/7 to 340/39). This same inscription however has been mostly responsible for the ‘single performance dogma’ to which I referred at the beginning of this introduction. A closer evaluation of the testimonia on reperformance in the fifth century brings a clearer image of it as an indispensable part of theatrical history and highlights its political dimensions. Aeschylus’ Vita reports that after Aeschylus died, anyone wishing to restage an Aeschylean tragedy would be given a chorus. Analogous information is also provided by Philostratus, Aristophanes’ Acharnians and Frogs, as well as Quintilian. Regardless of the ongoing debate concerning the accuracy of the information reported by the Vita, evidence for the practice of fifth-century reperformances is indirectly substantiated by Aristophanes’ intertextual references and the expectations thus implied regarding his audience’s theatrical literacy. Tragic reperformances would have been part of the fifth-century theatrical practices and would have perhaps acquired a more formal character after Aeschylus’ death, alongside a politicized cultural plan. Fifth-century politics often embraced interaction with contemporary cultural developments. Pericles was actively involved in theater culture by sponsoring the Persians in 472, building the Odeion, and establishing the mousikoi agones at the Panathenaia. Cimon as well on many occasions had tried to interfere in the award-winning contest of the Dionysia and was openly supporting Sophocles. Tragic reperformances would have been established as a result of political promotion and genuine audience desire to recreate popular theatrical experiences. The tradition of Aeschylean reperformances of the fifth century could have led to the later fabrication of an institutionalizing decree, which was then recorded in the Vita, but even so, the construction of a fabricated decree cannot but reflect the existing fifth-century practice. Just as fifth-century politics could have been involved in encouraging reperformances of Aeschylean tragedy, fourth-century historical and political circumstances could have prompted the addition of an ‘old’ play in the Dionysia. Since a reperformance would not only repeat a production, but also revive and reenact a momentum, a past experience with its contemporary cultural, historical, and political contexts, the fourth-century addition of ‘old’ plays in the Dionysia would seem to revive fifth-century imperial glamour. Fourth-century festivals could thus revitalize some of the excellence of the past, an idea already imbued in Aristophanes’ Frogs. The addition of an ‘analeptic’ theatrical restaging after 386 would have worked as a ‘pre-play’ ceremony with the intention of evoking the grandeur of its fifth-century premiere.
As also addressed in the first chapter, fourth century culture also encouraged the dissemination of tragedy to the rest of the Greek world, especially Macedon and Magna Graecia. Leaving Athens aside, these regions also witnessed interconnections between theatrical and political events, even more so in the contexts of tragic reperformances and cultural mobility. Following Archelaus, Philip II and Alexander seem to have exploited the power of theater to their own ends, whilst on the other side of the Ionian Sea, in Sicily, Dionysius I was following a very particular plan of cultural politics, imbuing reperformances of tragedy with his own self-promotion. Macedonian kings were the first to privatize performances, organizing reperformances of tragedy in private contexts in order to create a strong bond between them as sponsors and their citizens as viewers. Philip II ruled Macedon at a time when the rise of the acting profession reached its highest peak. Philip attracted those traveling star-actors, inviting them to lavish banquets and organizing private and public performances with versatile groups of performers who did not usually come from Macedon. Philip’s theatrically-oriented banquets and tragic contests were serving not only his own, but also his visitors’ political interests, as was the case with Satyrus, a fourth-century comic poet but also tragic performer, who participated in Philip’s theatrical festivities in order to ask for a political favor in return. Similarly, Neoptolemus, another star-actor frequenting the Macedonian court, was openly accused by Demosthenes to have promoted his own theatrical/political networking at the expense of Athens’ political wellbeing. Even on the day of Philip’s assassination in 336, Neoptolemus had been asked to reperform popular parts from tragedies that invoked the campaign against the Persians. Such a story constitutes a political statement not just on the part of the host, but also on the part of Neoptolemus, who chose a piece that implied that the Persian king’s power could vanish at any time. Following his father’s and Archelaus’ legacies, Alexander continued to hold dramatic contests at Dion. Alexander also used to organize dramatic contests and theatrical festivities on the move, every time he returned to his base after various expeditions. Athenaeus tells us about a festival organized on the banks of the river Hydaspes, where the ‘little satyr play’ Agen was performed. The production might have been reflecting the play’s political premiere in Athens in 324, as well as Alexander’s political conception of theater. In Sicily, Dionysius I of Syracuse was particularly fond of Greek tragedy, although notorious for his lack of poetic talent. After a series of unsuccessful attempts to write tragedy, Dionysus finally won the first prize at the Lenaea of 367, with his play Ransom of Hector. His victory might have been politically-oriented, and it surely was a glorious example of the interweaving of performances, reperformances and politics.
The third chapter focuses on the actors’ travels and cultural mobility. Building on earlier discussions in the book, this chapter addresses the actors that were traveling around the Greek world ‘escorting’ the texts sent by the authors, or as ‘freelancers’ that performed popular tragic parts. With touring actors meeting locally-trained choruses and quickly putting together a reperformance, an evergrowing reperformative map encouraged the growth of the acting profession. From the second half of the fifth century, touring actors were starting to be able to make a living from their profession, while the growth of the theater business was even occasionally able to support a very luxurious lifestyle for those actors that were particularly popular and sought after. The profession of acting worked as a road to financial and social rise, and its advancement lay in constant reciprocal exchange with the developing system of dramatic reperformances. The actors’ growing influence is reflected in late-fifth- and fourth-century vases that depict tragic performers and performance, with the vase-painters focusing also on the actors performing their roles and not just on the narrative of the drama, even inscribing the actors’ names on their paintings. Aristotle said that in the fourth century actors ‘were more powerful than the poets’ and indeed the more the actors were gaining theatrical power, the more the preservation of the texts depended on them. Lycurgus’ law on the standardized copies of the tragic texts reveals the competitiveness between poets and actors and surely raises suspicions on the extent of textual alteration. We cannot know what versions of texts Lycurgus had at his disposal nor the exact condition of the circulating scripts. A survey of the evidence listed as histrionic interpolations, however, shows that ancient scholars might have been more responsible for alterations of the tragic texts than the ancient actors themselves. Ancient Greek literature preserves a series of references to the texts’ ‘travels’. Various passages from Pindar, Aristophanes, and Aeschylus include implied references to written forms of poetry sent to other cities to be performed there. In these cases, the productions would be implemented by local actors and nonAthenian producers, or by groups of actors touring outside Attica that would work with local choruses. The touring groups would respond to an invitation of a deme or an archon, or they would organize their travels according to their own professional plans. The concept of locality was flexible when it came to the travels of Athenians outside Athens, but not as flexible for non-Athenian choreuts or actors. An Athenian law reported by Pseudo-Andocides, Demosthenes, and Plutarch shows that although non-Athenian choreuts could be in Athens during the Dionysia, they were not allowed to participate in the official performing choruses. On the other hand, local performances in smaller towns by troupes of traveling actors would have been common, especially in collaboration with local choruses. Through traveling and performing, actors were
spreading Athens’ theatrical prestige and enhancing tragedy’s popularity. In a reciprocal dynamic, acting became more prestigious through the ever-increasing popularity of drama, while the genre itself multiplied its own growth through the mobility of actors and dramatic reperformances. By the fourth century, Greek theater witnessed the establishment of an acting ‘star-system’, through which actors like Theodorus or Neoptolemus became extremely wealthy and then engaged in public funding. Actors’ individual acting characteristics granted them professional nicknames and renowned actors as Callippides or Nicostratus were treated as celebrities in the late fifth and early fourth centuries. The shift of focus from performance to performers is also evident in vase-painting, with vases showing the names of the actors inscribed above the painted performance scene. The Pronomos vase for example could illustrate a post-performance snapshot with inscriptions of the names of the playwright, of the choregos, and of some of the performers, reflecting a new development in the history of drama where the theater industry promoted individual performers through one of its very own ‘media’: the vases. While living their potentially-glorious present, fifth- and fourth-century actors were indirectly contributing to the tragic texts’ afterlife. Their performative authority might have threatened the texts’ integrity, especially in those common cases where reperformances happened without the poets’ supervision. The relationship between actors, reperformances, and the authenticity of texts, is seriously influenced by two factors: the supervision of the production by the playwright on the one hand, and the existence of a master copy on the other. In absence of the poet to supervise the production, master copies were the only available mechanism for the preservation of the authenticity of the script. An alternative version of a play may sometimes have also been prepared by the playwright himself in order to adjust the play for performance at a different venue. This diaskeuē, a procedure we know happened in comedy, must have been common in tragedy as well. A play’s afterlife after the poet’s own death relied on its faithful use by the actors. The actors’ excessive control over the reperformances of tragedy led to Lycurgus’ initiative for the creation of official copies of the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Lycurgus wished to either control the texts, or indeed promote tragedy as a common Athenian possession. Either way, his law shows us the possibility of fourth-century actors’ exploitation of their performative freedom. A survey of ancient evidence however demonstrates that histrionic intervention concerns textual changes that provide dramaturgical effects, while most mistakes seem to have been produced by the very procedure of copying the texts. The histrionic danger seems to have been more a scapegoat for the grammarians of the Hellenistic and Imperial periods, than a real danger per se.
The final chapter of this book studies the relationship between tragic performance and vase-painting as formulated in a context of cultural mobility and visual exchange. I will examine the increased interest of the painters and the general public of the fifth and fourth centuries in tragedy-related scenes as connected to tragic reperformances, traveling actors, mobile vase-painters and dynamic vase commerce, all of them facilitating the exchange of visual impressions from mainland Greece to Magna Graecia and vice versa. In its first part, the chapter explores the two main approaches of the connection of vase-paintings to tragedy while in its second part it examines cases of ‘outbound’ or ‘inbound’ movement of visual images. Cultural mobility was once again strengthening visual exchange and distributing theatrical experiences widely. The connection between performance and vase production was reciprocal. Just as a performance could visually inspire a vase-painter, a popular visual theme reflected in vase-paintings could inspire a producer to organize a reperformance. The relation between performance and image has been excessively debated, with its opposing ends on the one hand suggesting a total reflection of a text in an image, on the other a total failure of an image to reflect a text. Tragedy-related paintings are the ones that reveal a connection between a tragic performance and the painting that is stronger than the connection between the painting and the mythical megatext in general. ‘Philodramatists’ are those who believe that the paintings on the tragedy-related vases illustrate Greek drama, and not the Greek myth. ‘Iconocentrics’ on the other hand maintain that the paintings are influenced by the tradition of the genre and the Greek myths and not by dramatic performances. For the ‘iconocentrists’ vasepaintings are autonomous and independent from any literary or performative art. More moderate approaches rephrase the debate, moving focus from the composer to the receiver, namely from the vase-painter to the paintings’ viewers. In a society where the role of theater was essential and audiences participated in performances much more actively than they do today, it is easily imaginable that the viewers of vases enjoyed an enhanced meaning of what they were seeing when they had knowledge of the depicted play. The importance of reception is also seen in cases where the painting might be somehow related to tragedy but not to a specific performance. The audience’s theatrical literacy enhances the painting’s reception. The vase-painters also shared this kind of literacy, acquired through performances, reperformances, and written texts. Reperformances were working as repetitions of visual experiences, which were then somehow recalled by painters and viewers through the vase-paintings. The relationship between vase-paintings and performances is formulated through the channel of visual allusions. Visual puns work as hyperlinks that could connect a performance with images stored in the spectators’ visual mem-
ory. A vase-painting could recall visual memories collected from the same or from different media, memories created by other paintings or performances. In this context, a vase-painting could be connected to a (re)performance visually, by recalling images that had been created by that particular theatrical experience. Tragic scenes were registered in the audiences’ visual collective memory and were afterwards evoked by other performances or, in this case, by vasepainters. Vases and performances belong to the same extended visual culture and both facilitate the circulation of images in different media. Images create cross-modal allusions linking different artistic media, working as ‘windows’ allowing the audience to look through and thereby recall another image, perhaps seen in another medium. It is in this sense that vases could allude to a visual experience created by a play. Reperformances and cultural mobility increased the popularity of drama, but also expanded vase commerce and visual exchange. The vase-painters’ allusions to tragic versions of myths were connected to their own visual repertoire of theatrical experiences, but also to the laws of supply and demand. The more drama was spreading, the more tragic snapshots were circulating, both on vases and on the tragic stages across Greece, Italy, and South Italy. A Lucanian calyx-crater connected to Euripides’ Cyclops for example is of almost the same date as the play’s premiere. The proximity in dates of production underscores the power of cultural mobility, highlighting the speed with which a performance could travel and be repeated as a new performance or, as in our case, in a new medium. A group of early vases excavated at Policoro (ancient Heracleia) shows an analogous ‘outbound’ movement of images of Athenian productions, traveling from the East to the West. The Policoro tomb contained twelve large vases, dating to the late fifth and early fourth century, all of which were related to tragedy: Euripides’ Antiope, Aeschylus’ Danaides, Euripides’ Erechtheus, Aeschylus’ Europa, Euripides’ Heracleidae, Euripides’ Medea, Euripides’ or Sophocles’ Oenomaus, and an anonymous writer’s Eriphyle. Their dramatic connotations can certainly be associated with reperformances in Magna Graecia, but also with the painters’ possible travel(s) to Athens, where they would have participated in workshops and collected visual experiences from specific performances and dramatized myths. An opposite movement, from the West to the East can be noticed with reference to Aeschylus’ Aetnaeae. As is also discussed in the first chapter, Aeschylus’ Aetnaeae was first performed in Syracuse or in Aetna, in celebration of the foundation of the city (476 – 470). A group of vases dating from ca. 400 – 310 show some connection with the Aetnaeae, but they are produced after a time gap that varies from 70 to 160 years, which seems strange considering Aeschylus’ unfailing popularity in Sicily. Given also that there is a tradition according to which
there existed two versions of the Aetnaeae, we should consider the possibility of a reperformance of the play in Athens after its original production in Sicily, in which the initial text might have been revised by the actors, directors, or Aeschylus’ heirs. After the Aetnaeae was reperformed in Athens, the visual experience of its performance might have been transported back to the West, from where it started, by actors, audience, or even the painters themselves. The South Italian and Sicilian painters’ travels to mainland Greece, as well as the mobile actors’ travels to Magna Graecia, aided the transfer of the visual ‘gist’ of the most essential parts of an image from vase, or performance, to viewers. The pioneers of the Apulian and Lucanian schools of vase-painting were trained in Athens or moved from there to Magna Graecia, in the familiar context of cultural mobility. Vase-painters were traveling, watching Greek performances and training in Greek workshops. Cultural mobility and visual exchange were building a thesaurus of visual experiences shared by both vase-painters and vase-viewers. Enhanced visual literacy accentuated the spread of drama, and was reciprocally also developing the painters’ sophistication and excellence.
1 Traveling poets in Attica and beyond Tragic drama is prestigious, mobile, gripping and manifold, easily communicable to large numbers of people at any one time, [and] surprisingly Panhellenic despite various degrees of in built ‘Athenianness’.⁵⁶
1.1 Introduction Reperformance in ancient Greek culture is closely linked to travel. This premise forms the basis for this chapter, in which I will examine the interaction of two key fifth-century cultural practices: that of poetic mobility, and that of dramatic reperformance. By the time dramatic reperformance appeared as a fast-developing cultural practice, poetic itinerancy was already well-established. During the fifth century, Greek drama developed a panhellenic character, and started to be reperformed across the Greek world, addressing itself to variable audiences. The theater business was mobile, with poets, actors, and choruses traveling around Greece in order to restage popular performances or to revive plays, which had premiered elsewhere, in Athens itself. In a reciprocal relationship, just as the spread of Greek drama encouraged poetic mobility, at the same time theatrical tours boosted the genre’s dynamism. Traveling poets and cultural mobility had early origins in Greek culture. From Herodotus’ mythical narration of how Arion of Methymna rode a dolphin and miraculously landed on Taenarus and taught Corinthians the dithyramb,⁵⁷ to the generic characteristics of choral poetry that was performed beyond the poets’ poleis, an impressive sum of poetic ‘itinerancy’ is sketched out as one of the sixth and fifth centuries’ prevailing cultural characteristics. The elegist Xenophanes traveled from Colophon to Zancle and Catane and composed a poem about the foundation of Elea,⁵⁸ while western poets like Eunomous of Locri and Ariston of Rhegium contested at Delphi,⁵⁹ and Ibycus of Rhegium performed in Samos.⁶⁰ With traveling so deeply imbedded in the poetic lifestyle of the sixth century, it would be bold to deny that the tragedians would not have been exposed to such prospects. Evidence for poetic travel is indeed more generous for the cases of Aeschylus and Euripides, who traveled to Sicily and Macedon respectively in order
Revermann 1999 2000, 465. Hdt. 1.23 4. Xenoph. A 1.21 D K. Timaeus FGrH 566 fr. 43. Ibyc. fr. S 151.36 47 PMGF.
1 Traveling poets in Attica and beyond
to reperform their plays and stage new tragedies. As for Sophocles, inscriptions show us that he traveled around Attica, but what is perhaps more important is the fact that ancient sources find Sophocles’ loyalty to Athens remarkable enough to comment on, making reperformative theatrical mobility more likely. The culture of poetic travel coexisted with the culture of dramatic reperformance. Most scholars consider the practice of tragic reperformances beginning soon after Aeschylus’ death as highly possible.⁶¹ As I have elsewhere maintained, restagings of tragedies started sporadically whilst Aeschylus was still alive, and perhaps became more systematic after his death.⁶² Poets would have traveled to different venues all over Greece in order to produce their plays, and their heirs or other producers would have overseen their plays’ posthumous productions.⁶³ In the first part of this chapter I will discuss the culture of travel and reperformance as set out by evidence regarding the mobility of poets who do not belong to the classical tragic triad. Carcinus, Empedocles, Pratinas and Ion of Chios all provide examples of cultural movement to and from Athens in order to perform their art to ever-growing audiences. The second part of this chapter focuses on the poetic mobility of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides around the Attic demes, but also as far as Sicily and Macedon, and in general on the reperformance of their plays outside Athens.
1.2 A culture of travel and reperformance It should be beyond reasonable doubt that by about 350 BC Athenian tragedies were being performed on quite a regular basis in the Greek cities of southern Italy, such as Tarentum, Thurii, Metapontum and Heraclea, as well as widely in Sicily. It is, indeed, plausible to claim that even by 400 BC such performances were already quite widespread and frequent. And, while the fascination with theatre does seem to have been specially strong in Sicily and Magna Graecia, it is also likely that the spread from Athens in the period 450 to 350 extended to all corners of the far flung Hellenic world.⁶⁴
These are the first words of Oliver Taplin’s excellent chapter on performances of Athenian tragedy in the Greek West. Texts were certainly ‘traveling’ in the fifth century, and, along with them, a manifold cultural ‘business’ which introduced
See Sommerstein 1980, 158 on Ach. 10; Slater 1990, 385 95; Dover 1993, 23; Wilson 2000, 22; Revermann 2006, 72 3. Differently Biles 2006/2007, who is seriously skeptical. Lamari 2015a; Lamari 2015b, passim. On the monopoly of the theatrical families of Athens, see Sutton 1987. Taplin 2012, 226.
1.2 A culture of travel and reperformance
Athenian theater to the Greek West and reciprocally brought western influence back to the East. The fifth-century tragic poet Carcinus was an Athenian from Thorikos who had come to be considered an Acragantine. His grandson Carcinus II was probably born in Acragas and was more closely associated with Sicily.⁶⁵ According to Aristotle, the tragedian Empedocles, grandson of the philosopher, moved to Syracuse upon the arrival of the Athenian expedition and composed political tragedies there.⁶⁶ In the context of cultural panhellenism, traveling troupes of actors and poets would have been organizing performances in theatrically-active Sicilian cities such as Syracuse and Gela. At the same time, nonAthenian early tragic poets frequented Athens, like Pratinas of Phlius and his son Aristias, Achaeus of Eretria, a satyr-play composer and a tragedian, Ion of Chios, to mention a few. Pratinas came from Phlius, a city in the northwestern Argolid, but succeeded in playing a major role in the Athenian theatrical scene. The Suda informs us that performances of his plays predated the construction of the theater of Dionysus: Πρατίνας, Πυρρωνίδου ἢ Ἐγκωμίου, Φλιάσιος, ποιητὴς τραγωιδίας· ἀντηγωνίζετο δὲ Αἰσχύλωι τε καὶ Χοιρίλωι ἐπὶ τῆς ο´ (70) Ὀλυμπιάδος (499/96), καὶ πρῶτος ἔγραψε Σατύ ρους. ἐπιδεικνυμένου δὲ τούτου συνέβη τὰ ἴκρια, ἐφ᾽ ὧν ἑστήκεσαν οἱ θεαταί, πεσεῖν, καὶ ἐκ τούτου θέατρον ὠικοδομήθη ᾿Aθηναίοις. καὶ δράματα μὲν ἐπεδείξατο ν´ (50), ὧν σατυ ρικὰ λβ´ (32)· ἐνίκησε δὲ ἅπαξ. (TrGF I 4 Test. 1) Pratinas, the son of either Pyrronides or Encomius, from Phlius was a tragic poet. He com peted against Aeschylus and Choerilus in the seventieth Olympiad (499/96) and was the first to write satyr plays. When he was presenting his plays, the planks on which the spec tators stood fell down, and on account of this a theater was constructed by the Athenians. He staged fifty plays, thirty two of which were satyric. He won once.⁶⁷
Pratinas was usually identified as a satyr-play poet, rather than a tragedian, and the anecdote about the bleachers collapsing during a performance of his indicates that he was one of the very first composers of the genre.⁶⁸ His plays were (re)performed posthumously under the direction of his son, as did happen in the Dionysia of 467 where Aeschylus was granted the first prize and Aristias the second: ἐπὶ ἄρχοντ(ος) Θεαγ]ενίδου Ὀλυμπιάδος [οη´ (78) ἔτει] α[′ ἐνίκα Αἰσχύ]λος Λαΐωι, Οἰδίποδι, Ἑπτὰ ἐπὶ Θήβας,
TrGF I 21, 70; Csapo/Wilson 2015, 334. TrGF I 50. Translation is by Shaw 2014, 43. See the discussion in Shaw 2014, 44 5.
1 Traveling poets in Attica and beyond
Σφιγγὶ σατυ ] δεύτερος ᾿Aριστίας ταῖς τοῦ πα τρὸς Πρατίνο]υ τραγωιδίαις. τρίτος [Πο]λυ φράσμων ] Λυκουργε[ίαι] τ̣ [ετρ]αλογίαι. (TrGF I Did. C 4a) When Theagenides was arch(on)] in the first year of the [seventy eighth] Olympiad, [Ae schylus won] with Laius, Oedipus, Seven Against Thebes, [and the satyric Sphinx.] Second was Aristias with his fa[ther Pratina]s’ tragedies. Third was [Po]ly[phrasmon] [with the] Ly curge[ia] t[etr]alogy.
In one of the first surviving examples of posthumous restagings, the above Didascalia reveals how a non-Athenian poet, Pratinas, was so popular at Athenian festivals that his plays were directed posthumously by his son. Achaeus, a composer of satyr-plays and tragedies was not an Athenian either. He came from Eretria, a city in Euboia, but competed in Athens with all three classical tragedians.⁶⁹ The personal and professional life of Ion of Chios is another example of the cultural mobility which centered around Athens. Aristophanes testifies in the Peace to Ion’s frequent trips to Athens, as well as to his poetic success. As Trygaeus chats with the Slave about men that died and became stars in the sky, he refers to Ion as a shining example: ΟΙΚΕΤΗΣ Καὶ τίς ἐστιν ἀστὴρ νῦν ἐκεῖ; ΤΡΥΓΑΙΟΣ Ἴων ὁ Χῖος, ὅσπερ ἐποίησεν πάλαι ἐνθάδε τὸν ᾿Aοῖόν ποθ᾽· ὡς δ᾽ ἦλθ᾽, εὐθέως ᾿Aοῖον αὐτὸν πάντες ἐκάλουν ἀστέρα. (Ar. Pax 834 7) SLAVE So who’s a star there now? TRYGAEUS Ion of Chios, who some years ago on earth composed The Dawn Star. When he arrived up there, everybody dubbed him Dawn Star right away!⁷⁰
Ion of Chios was born between 485 and 480,⁷¹ and was dead by the spring of 421, when the Peace was produced. According to the scholion on Peace 835, he was a poet of dithyrambs, tragedies, and choral songs, who also wrote comedies, epigrams, paeans, hymns, scolia, encomia, and elegies.⁷² From a passage in Plu
TrGF I 20 Test. 1. Translation by Henderson 1998. Huxley 1965, 29 30. Schol. Ar. Pax 835 = Test. 8 Leurini = FGrH Test. 2.
1.2 A culture of travel and reperformance
tarch’s Cimon we know that Ion came to Athens at a young age,⁷³ possibly staying in the house of Cimon. Ion appears to have been very successful; an anecdote reports an instance when Ion won a victory in tragedy (and, according to another version, also in dithyramb) and celebrated his success by offering jars of Chian wine to each one of the Athenians.⁷⁴ Given that Ion also wrote the Epidemiae, featuring autobiographical encounters with famous Greeks, it is possible that he started this rumor himself. However, it is not unreasonable that a poet from Chios would celebrate his Athenian victory par excellence with his island’s finest product, Chian wine, famous since Homeric times,⁷⁵ which would be a sympotic counterpart to the literary competition he had just won.⁷⁶ Ion’s story shows us how a foreign tragedian could have become successful in a genre dominated by Athenians, especially at a time when Athenian tragedy was spreading widely beyond its local boundaries.⁷⁷ This is also shown by the stories of western actors such as Aristodemus of Metapontum,⁷⁸ who was not only highly acknowledged as a hypokrites, but was also sent to Phillip II of Macedon in the 340s as part of an Athenian embassy.⁷⁹ The Athenian theatrical business was enriched by non-Athenians who traveled to Athens in order to participate in the theatrical events in some way, whether as professionals, as seen above, or as amateurs. An Athenian law reported by Plutarch testifies to this tradition: … Δημάδης δὲ τῶι πλούτωι καὶ παρανομῶν ἐκαλλωπίζετο. νόμου γὰρ ὄντος ᾿Aθήνησι τότε μὴ χορεύειν ξένον ἢ χιλίας ἀποτίνειν τὸν χορηγόν, ἅπαντας εἰσαγαγὼν ξένους τοὺς χορεύ οντας ἑκατὸν ὄντας ἅμα καὶ τὴν ζημίαν ἀνὰ χιλίας ὑπὲρ ἑκάστου εἰσήνεγκεν εἰς τὸ θέατρον. (Plut. Phoc. 30) Demades prided himself on his wealth and lawlessness, and since there was a law in Ath ens at the time that a foreigner was not to be a member of a chorus or else the choregos would pay a penalty of one thousand drachmas, he brought one hundred foreigners into the orchestra as choreuts and simultaneously brought into the theater a fine of one thou sand drachmas for each of them.⁸⁰
The anecdote refers to ca. 350 – 319 and may include reliable information on the practice of non-Athenian chorus members, that choregoi who allowed foreigners
Plut. Cim. 9.1 5; Plutarch uses the word μειράκιον. TrGF I 19 Test. 3. Hom. Od. 9.196 8; Il. 9.71 2. See also Archil. fr. 2 West; Hermippus fr. 82.5 PCG = Ath. 29c. Stevens 2007, 244. See Stevens 2007, 245. Stefanis 1988, 332. Dem. 19.12; Aeschin. 2.17 19. See Olson/Millis 2012, 218 n. 23. Translation by Csapo/Slater 1995, 358. See also chapter 3 in this book, pp. 101.
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to participate in their choruses were fined one thousand drachmas. The law seems to have been taken very seriously, with the Athenian citizens being allowed to physically drag any foreigner out of the theater, even during a performance. An event of this kind is described by [Andocides]:⁸¹ ἐνθυμήθητε δὲ Ταυρέαν, ὃς ἀντιχορηγὸς ἦν ᾿Aλκιβιάδηι παισί. κελεύοντος δὲ τοῦ νόμου τῶν χορευτῶν ἐξάγειν ὃν ἄν τις βούληται ξένον ἀγωνιζόμενον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἐπιχειρήσαντα κωλύειν, ἐναντίον ὑμῶν καὶ τῶν ἄλλων Ἑλλήνων τῶν θεωρούντων καὶ τῶν ἀρχόντων ἁπάντων παρόντων τῶν ἐν τῆι πόλει τύπτων ἐξήλασεν αὐτόν, καὶ τῶν θεατῶν συμφιλονι κούντων ἐκείνωι καὶ μισούντων τοῦτον, ὥστε τῶν χορῶν τὸν μὲν ἐπαινούντων τοῦ δ᾽ ἀκρο άσασθαι οὐκ ἐθελόντων οὐδὲν πλέον ἔπραξεν: ἀλλὰ τῶν κριτῶν οἱ μὲν φοβούμενοι οἱ δὲ χαριζόμενοι νικᾶν ἔκριναν αὐτόν, περὶ ἐλάττονος ποιούμενοι τὸν ὅρκον ἢ τοῦτον. ([Andoc.] Alc. 20 1) Consider Taureas, who was Alcibiades’ rival choregos in the boys’ dithyramb. As the law permits anyone who wishes to remove any foreigner participating in a chorus and does not permit anyone to obstruct the removal, drove him off with blows in front of you and the rest of the Greeks in the audience, including all of the archons. As the spectators sided with Taureas and loathed Alcibiades, to the extent that they praised the former’s chorus and did not wish to hear the latter’s, Alcibiades took no further action. But the judges gave Alcibiades the victory, placing greater weight upon the man than on their oaths, since some were afraid of him and the others were anxious to please him.⁸²
The events described are also reported by Demosthenes⁸³ and Plutarch⁸⁴ and probably took place in 417/6. It is an important testimony on several grounds, but what interests us here is that the fifth century saw the law regarding the Athenian identity of the choreuts become a legislative mechanism that was actually enforced.⁸⁵ Such a law seems to us an attempt to stabilize an ever-growing, rapidly transforming field through the preservation of some of its basic characteristics. The law was used to preserve the tradition of amateur choreuts, at least in the Dionysia,⁸⁶ and foresaw both drama’s growth and panhellenic popularity, and its self-defense against outside influences on some of its quintessential features. Along the same lines, Plato narrates the discontent of a random Athenian, according to whom a foreign poet traveling with a group of actors was not al-
The speech is considered a late forgery. See Csapo/Slater 1995, 153. Translation by Csapo/Slater 1995, 153. See also chapter 3 in this book, pp. 101. Dem. 21.147. Plut. Alc. 16.5. As also in Dem. 21.56; 58 61. There was no such restriction in the Lenaia, where metics could also be choregoi, see Schol. Plut. 954.
lowed to organize a performance without permission from the authorities.⁸⁷ Poets, actors, and choruses were traveling and performing, or reperforming, in venues all over Greece. Athens remained the pole of attraction and, although it strived to maintain some traditional characteristics of the tragic genre in the City festival, it also encouraged movement of its theatrical crews beyond its boundaries.
1.3 Aeschylus Poetic mobility was established very early in the tragic tradition. Both Aeschylus and Euripides are said to have visited, and died at, the courts of famous kings; Aeschylus in Sicily at the court of Hieron,⁸⁸ and Euripides in Pella⁸⁹ at the court of Archelaus. Aeschylus traveled to Sicily at the beginning of his career, sometime after the Athenian performance of the Persians. It is there that he produced the Aetnaeae, but almost certainly also entertained Sicilian audiences with additional reperformances of his older plays, the Persians being among them. He became exceptionally loved and was awarded a lavish burial, along with a hero cult which involved reperformances of his dramas.⁹⁰ Aeschylus’ trips happened when Athenian drama was growing and tragic tradition seems to have been inspiring the growth of Sicilian theatrical culture. Aeschylus’ tour would have been in accordance with the Athenian reperformative practices⁹¹ and would have also satisfied the Sicilian thirst for Athenian productions.
1.3.1 Aeschylus in Sicily I will first present the sources, and then try to conceive a plausible scenario regarding the frequency and chronology of Aeschylus’ Sicilian visits. His ancient biography testifies that the reason for his travels to Sicily was because of disappointment from his defeat in poetic contests in Athens:
Pl. Leg. 817c d. See chapter 3 in this book, pp. 103. On reperformances of Aeschylus in the fifth century, see Lamari 2015a. On Euripides in Macedon, see Revermann 1999/2000; Scullion 2003; Hanink 2010, passim; Vahtikari 2014, 87 90; Duncan 2015, 300 2; Lamari forthcoming a; later in this chapter, pp. 45 53. Possibly in a competitive context according to Wilson (2007a, 354), who also discusses evi dence of judged contests in classical Sicily’s cultural festivals (2007a, passim). On tragic reperformances in the fifth century, see Lamari 2015b, passim.
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᾿Aπῆρεν δὲ ὡς Ἱέρωνα, κατά τινας μὲν ὑπὸ ᾿Aθηναίων κατασπουδασθεὶς καὶ ἡσσηθεὶς νέωι ὄντι Σοφοκλεῖ, κατὰ δὲ ἐνίους ἐν τῶι εἰς τοὺς ἐν Μαραθῶνι τεθνηκότας ἐλεγείωι ἡσσηθεὶς Σιμωνίδηι. … τινὲς δέ φασιν ἐν τῆι ἐπιδείξει τῶν Εὐμενίδων σποράδην εἰσαγαγόντα τὸν χορὸν τοσοῦτον ἐκπλῆξαι τὸν δῆμον ὡς τὰ μὲν νήπια ἐκψῦξαι, τὰ δὲ ἔμβρυα ἐξαμβλωθῆναι. ἐλθὼν τοίνυν εἰς Σικελίαν Ἱέρωνος τότε τὴν Αἴτνην κτίζοντος ἐπεδείξατο τὰς Αἴτνας οἰω νιζόμενος βίον ἀγαθὸν τοῖς συνοικίζουσι τὴν πόλιν. … ᾿Aποθανόντα δὲ Γελῶιοι πολυτελῶς ἐν τοῖς δημοσίοις μνήμασι θάψαντες ἐτίμησαν μεγαλοπρεπῶς ἐπιγράψαντες οὕτω· Αἰσχύλον Εὐφορίωνος ᾿Aθηναῖον τόδε κεύθει μνῆμα καταφθίμενον πυροφόροιο Γέλας. ἀλκὴν δ᾽ εὐδόκιμον Μαραθώνιον ἄλσος ἂν εἴποι καὶ βαθυχαιτήεις Μῆδος ἐπιστάμενος. εἰς τὸ μνῆμα δὲ φοιτῶντες ὅσοις ἐν τραγωιδίαις ἦν ὁ βίος ἐνήγιζόν τε καὶ τὰ δράματα ὑπεκρίνοντο. (TrGF III Test. A 1.27 47) And he reached the court of Hieron, according to some because he was oppressed by the Athenians and defeated by Sophocles who was young, while according to others because he was defeated by Simonides with an elegy dedicated to the fallen in Marathon. … Others say that after scattering the chorus in the performance of Eumenides, the spectators were so terrified that infants passed out⁹² and fetuses were miscarried. And when he went to Sicily, at the time Hieron was building Aetna, he produced the Aetnaeae foretelling a happy life for the inhabitants of the city. … And when he died, the people of Gela honored him with a lavish burial in the public cemetary and a magnificent inscription reading thus: This tomb covers Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, from Athens, who died in wheat bearing Gela. Of his glorious vigor the grove of Marathon can speak and the long haired Persian knows it well. And those who made their livelihood in tragedy frequently visited his tomb and made of ferings, and played his dramas.
Almost one third of the Vita’s overall length is dedicated to Aeschylus’ Sicilian sojourn. It testifies to a successful stay during which Aeschylus won the Sicilians’ admiration, which led to a lavish burial and a hero cult at his tomb. The Vita does not clarify how many years after the death of Aeschylus his cult arose, ‘but the way the author moves immediately from the death and burial to the worship may be felt to imply no long gap of time’.⁹³ It appears that after Aeschylus’
I translate ἐκψύχω as ‘to lose consciousness’, although the meaning ‘to die’ cannot be dis regarded. See LSJ ad loc. Wilson 2007a, 357. Performance of poetry constituted part of the ritual in poet cults, as hap pens for example in the cult of Homer in Chios, with performances of his poetry (Clay 2004, 81).
death, a ‘pilgrimage’ hero cult was developed in Gela, and was observed by performers and theater professionals from Sicily and even from across Greece.⁹⁴ As seen above, the ancient biographer attempts to trace Aeschylus’ journey from the very beginning. Aeschylus is said to have left Athens because he was upset that he was defeated by Sophocles or Simonides, or because his performance of the Eumenides was so terrifying as to cause infants to lose consciousness and pregnant women to miscarry.⁹⁵ In this passage, the reason for poetic mobility is presented as due to personal reasons, rather than for professional profit. Similarly, in Plutarch’s Cimon, Aeschylus is reported to have traveled to Sicily out of anger at his defeat: νικήσαντος δὲ τοῦ Σοφοκλέους λέγεται τὸν Αἰσχύλον περιπαθῆ γενόμενον καὶ βαρέως ἐνεγ κόντα χρόνον οὐ πολὺν ᾿Aθήνησι διαγαγεῖν, εἶτ᾽ οἴχεσθαι δι᾽ ὀργὴν εἰς Σικελίαν, ὅπου καὶ τελευτήσας περὶ Γέλαν τέθαπται. (Plut. Cim. 8.8) When Sophocles won the contest, it is said that Aeschylus in great distress and indignation did not stay much at Athens and that then because of anger, he went to Sicily, whereat he died and was buried at the area of Gela.
Melancholy and anger are not described as the reasons for Aeschylus’ flight to Sicily in all sources. In De Exilio, Plutarch speaks of the advantages of exile, such as leisure, freedom and the satisfaction of curiosity. That is the reason, he states, that most poets leave their homelands, for example Euripides who went to Macedon and Aeschylus who went to Sicily: διὰ τοῦτο τῶν φρονιμωτάτων καὶ σοφωτάτων ὀλίγους ἂν εὕροις ἐν ταῖς ἑαυτῶν πατρίσι κεκηδευμένους, οἱ δὲ πλεῖστοι μηδενὸς ἀναγκάζοντος αὐτοὶ τὸ ἀγκύριον ἀράμενοι μεθωρ μίσαντο τοὺς βίους καὶ μετέστησαν οἱ μὲν εἰς ᾿Aθήνας οἱ δ᾽ ἐξ ᾿Aθηνῶν. τίς γὰρ εἴρηκε τῆς ἑαυτοῦ πατρίδος ἐγκώμιον τοιοῦτον, οἷον Εὐριπίδης; … ἀλλ᾽ ὁ ταῦτα γράψας εἰς Μακεδο νίαν ὤιχετο καὶ παρ᾽ ᾿Aρχελάωι κατεβίωσεν. ἀκήκοας δὲ δήπου καὶ τουτὶ τὸ ἐπιγραμμάτιον. Αἰσχύλον Εὐφορίωνος ᾿Aθηναῖον τόδε κεύθει μνῆμα καταφθίμενον πυροφόροιο Γέλας. καὶ γὰρ οὗτος εἰς Σικελίαν ἀπῆρε καὶ Σιμωνίδης πρότερον. (Plut. De exil. 604d f) For this reason, you will find few amongst the most prudent and most wise to be buried in their own country, while most of them, although no one forced them, weighed anchor and
According to Nervegna 2013, 18, ‘the hero cult that Aeschylus received in Sicily is one of the factors that may help explain why his plays had a longer afterlife in Western Greek theaters and, later on, in Roman ones than on fourth century BC and Hellenistic stages in Athens and Greece in general.’ On this, see Herington 1967, 77 8; Hanink 2010, 49 and n. 51.
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sailed to live elsewhere, some to Athens and others from it. For who ever gave a greater en comion of his own country than Euripides, in the following verses? … Yet the man who wrote this went to Macedon and died in the court of Archelaus. So I have somewhere heard this epigram. This tomb covers Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, from Athens, who died in wheat bearing Gela. Because he went to Sicily, and Simonides before him.
Although the two passages from Plutarch contradict each other regarding the reasons which led to Aeschylus leaving Athens, they both testify to his trip. Along the same lines, in the beginning of the Description of Greece, Pausanias refers to the cenotaph of Euripides in Attica. He adds that Euripides is buried in Macedon, because poets still visited the courts of kings at that time. Pausanias’ examples include Anacreon visiting the court of Polycrates of Samos and Simonides and Aeschylus visiting the court of Hieron of Syracuse: τέθαπται δὲ Εὐριπίδης ἐν Μακεδονίαι παρὰ τὸν βασιλέα ἐλθὼν ᾿Aρχέλαον, ὁ δέ οἱ τοῦ θανάτου τρόπος πολλοῖς γάρ ἐστιν εἰρημένος ἐχέτω καθὰ λέγουσιν. συνῆσαν δὲ ἄρα καὶ τότε τοῖς βασιλεῦσι ποιηταὶ καὶ πρότερον ἔτι καὶ Πολυκράτει Σάμου τυραννοῦντι ᾿Aνα κρέων παρῆν καὶ ἐς Συρακούσας πρὸς ῾Ιέρωνα Αἰσχύλος καὶ Σιμωνίδης ἐστάλησαν. (Paus. 1.2.2 3) Euripides himself went to King Archelaus and lies buried in Macedonia; as to the manner of his death (many have described it), let it be as they say. So even in his time poets lived at the courts of kings, as earlier still Anacreon consorted with Polycrates, despot of Samos, and Aeschylus and Simonides journeyed to Hiero at Syracuse.⁹⁶
Pausanias’ justification of Aeschylus’ journey is not specified, but his account seems to accord more to that of De Exilio, than that of Cimon. ⁹⁷ Most of the testimonia presented give the impression that after Aeschylus was upset by the victory of Sophocles, he went to Sicily and stayed there until he died. There is evidence however, that Sophocles won his first victory in 468 with the tragedy Triptolemus. ⁹⁸ This means that Aeschylus’ allegedly exaggerated reaction to this victory was certainly a later addition to the story.⁹⁹ If Plutarch’s story were true and Aeschylus moved to Sicily for good in 468, it would have been impossible for him to have produced the Aetnaeae in Sicily at around
Text and translation by Jones 1918. Herington has argued that Pausanias possibly had the same source as Plutarch on the basis of phrasing and narrative sequence (Herington 1967, 77 8 and n. 23). Parian Marble A 56; Plin. NH 18. On Sophocles’ first victory and possible connections with the political propaganda of Cimon, see Tyrrell 2012, 41 2. Sommerstein 2010a, 7.
470, or to have won the first prizes in Athens with the Seven Against Thebes (in 467), Suppliant Women (in the 460s),¹⁰⁰ and of course the Oresteia (in 458). Both Plutarch and the composer of the Vita Aeschyli seem to have merged two separate trips to Sicily: the first would have occurred after Hieron’s founding of Aetna but before Aeschylus’ production of Seven Against Thebes, and the second after the production of the Oresteia. It is not difficult to imagine how Sicily became sufficiently attractive to lure Aeschylus at least twice. Hieron was a θαυμαστὸς πατήρ¹⁰¹ to his poet-guests, and western Greece had shown a long-lasting interest in drama, probably even fostering the beginnings of comedy.¹⁰² We slowly move to the position of concluding that mid-fifth-century Sicily hosted important community festivals with formal contests as part of the programs, possibly with Gela as one of the nuclei.¹⁰³ In one of his fragments, the Sicilian fifth-century comic poet Epicharmus refers to a judging process in which the verdict ‘rests on the knees of the five judges’ (ἐν πέντε κριτᾶν γούνασι κεῖται).¹⁰⁴ Almost a century later, Plato comments on the contemporary system of theatrical judgment in Sicily and Italy, which differs from the system used in Greece in the past: ἐξῆν γὰρ δὴ τῶι παλαιῶι τε καὶ Ἑλληνικῶι νόμωι, καθάπερ ὁ Σικελικός τε καὶ Ἱταλικὸς νόμος νῦν, τῶι πλήθει τῶν θεατῶν ἐπιτρέπων καὶ τὸν νικῶντα διακρίνων χειροτονίαις, διέφθαρκε μὲν τοὺς ποιητὰς αὐτούς πρὸς γὰρ τὴν τῶν κριτῶν ἡδονὴν ποιοῦσιν οὖσαν φαύλην, ὥστε αὐτοὶ αὐτοὺς οἱ θεαταὶ παιδεύουσιν διέφθαρκε δ᾽ αὐτοῦ τοῦ θεάτρου τὰς ἡδονάς. (Pl. Leg. 659b c) And that was the old Greek law, which differs from what the present law of Sicily and Italy does: by entrusting the decision to the spectators, who distinguish the winner by show of hands, not only has it corrupted the poets themselves because they make poetry for the pleasure of the judges, although this is poor, and so the spectators become themselves the teachers of the poets but it has also corrupted the pleasures of the audience.
On the date of Aeschylus’ Suppliant Women as connected to Sophocles’ first victory, see Tyr rell 2012, 41. Pind. Pyth. 3.71. The Sicilians proudly claimed comedy to be their own invention (Arist. Poet. 1448a28 34). On early Sicilian comedy, see Bosher 2014. Wilson 2007a, 351. Evidence lies on an early fifth century tablet from Sicily with a curse against the choregoi in a competition. For a detailed presentation, see Jordan 2007 and Wilson 2007a. fr. 237 PCG. See also Wilson 2007a, 355 n. 19 with bibliography on performance culture in Megale Hellas.
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Plato is making a point on pleasure as a criterion of artistic quality, but what we learn regarding Sicilian festivals and audiences is that they were established as a ‘homogenous unit’ of theatrical practice by the time of Plato.¹⁰⁵ Sicily and South Italy certainly had the infrastructure to host performances, reperformances and festivals in their theatrical buildings during the fifth and fourth centuries. In an outstanding chapter on drama outside Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BC, Eric Csapo and Peter Wilson list archaeological, epigraphic, iconographic, and literary evidence on theater buildings in twentyfour cities of Sicily and South Italy which were hosting at least six festivals.¹⁰⁶ Hieron I (478 – 466) famously considered theater high on his political and cultural agenda,¹⁰⁷ attracting to Sicily some of the most influential Greek poets. According to De Comoedia, Phrynichus had traveled to Sicily, where he also died,¹⁰⁸ while Simonides must have also visited Sicily, perhaps at the same time as Aeschylus. Aeschylus’ tragedies, such as the Aetnaeae,¹⁰⁹ could have been performed in the stone theater on Syracuse’s Temenites hill, ¹¹⁰ or in another theater in Catane, the site of Aetna.¹¹¹ According to Csapo, by ca. 440 there is ‘certain’ evidence for five regular dramatic festivals, and ‘certain to possible’ evidence for fourteen.¹¹² By 400, these numbers increase to eleven (certainly), and seventeen (probably), with the likelihood of twenty-eight in total,¹¹³ representing ‘only the view of the “tip of the iceberg” permitted by the random and fortuitous survival of the evidence’.¹¹⁴ Having discussed general evidence about Aeschylus’ theatrical voyages, we may now turn to an attempt to pin down the specifics: when and for the performance or reperformance of what plays did Aeschylus travel to Sicily? In a relatively early part of Aeschylus’ Vita, the biographer reveals that Aeschylus went to Sicily when Hieron was building Aetna, and there Aeschylus produced the play Aet-
Csapo/Wilson 2015, 328. See the instructive map in Csapo/Wilson 2015, 331. On Hieron I and his organization of cultural politics, see Morgan 2015, esp. 52 3. Anon. De Comoedia 32 (= Phryn. Test. 6, TrGF I 3 Test. 6). Csapo/Wilson forthcoming, dis cuss evidence. See also Nervegna 2014, 172 n. 97; Csapo/Wilson 2015, 331 2. See below for discussion. See Csapo/Wilson 2015, 332. Hieron, but perhaps even Gelon before him, had included in their cultural plan the con struction of an organized theater, although there are indeed many controversies regarding the date of the stone theater in Syracuse’s Temenites hill (Csapo/Wilson 2015, 332). On the theater in Catane, see Branciforti 2010. Csapo 2010, 102 3. Csapo 2010, 102 3. Csapo 2010, 103.
naeae which predicted a happy life for the inhabitants of the city.¹¹⁵ The year of the production of the Aetnaeae is under dispute; it may be 476/5 (an eruption of Aetna probably happened in 475), or after 472, probably in 470.¹¹⁶ The surviving fragments are scarce, but enough to outline a play which indirectly indicated the Aeschylean ambition for spreading the tragic genre more widely, as well as the inherent capacity of the genre to create aetiologies for places beyond the Athenian borders.¹¹⁷ Although we cannot be sure of the identity of the chorus or the characters of the play,¹¹⁸ a likely subject may have included the story of Zeus who, disguised as an eagle, abducted Thalia, a Sicilian maiden, and had intercourse with her on mount Aetna. Thalia then prayed to be swallowed by the earth. Her wish came true, but the earth opened again for the delivery of Zeus’ and Thalia’s offspring, the twins called Palicoi,¹¹⁹ Sicily’s local gods.¹²⁰ According to a hypothesis surviving on a papyrus,¹²¹ the play was set in five different places: Aetna, Xuthia, Leontinoi, Syracuse, and Temenite. Perhaps the most important question for us regarding the Aetnaeae is its performance venue. Although we can assume a performance in Syracuse, a performance in Aetna, in a theater specially constructed for this production, could also be likely.¹²² Nineteenth-century reports of a stone Greek theater in Catane, the site of Aetna which lies underneath the currently-visible Roman theater have
See above and TrGF III A 1.33 4. Vahtikari 2014, 79. Sommerstein 2010a, 6 believes that the production should not be asso ciated with the known date of Aetna’s foundation (pace Taplin 2006, 1). According to Sommer stein, the performance of the Aetnaeae and the reproduction of the Persians happened during Aeschylus’ visit in 470 (Sommerstein 2010a, 6 with Griffith 1978, 106). In that year Hieron won the chariot race at the Pythian Games, celebrated by Pindar’s Pythian I. In Pythian I Pindar praises Hieron and his brother Gelon who won over the Carthagenians at Himera, creating a par allel with the Greek victories over the Persians. Taplin 2006, 2 also calling this cultural procedure aetiopoeia. Apart from ‘women of Aetna’, the chorus of Aetnaeae might well have consisted of ‘nymphs of the mountain of Aetna’ (Sommerstein 2010a, 16 n. 31 with references; Vahtikari 2014, 80 n. 7 with references). Aeschylus was the first to give them a literary treatment. He may have even been the one who coined their name, as those who ‘came back again’ from the earth (Morgan 2015, 103 with references). Vahtikari 2014, 80. For reconstructions of the plot, see Mette 1963, 14 16; Kossatz Dei ssmann 1978, 33 5; LIMC VII, 896 8; Ippolito 1997, 6 12; Poli Palladini 2001, 296 311; Morgan 2015, 100 2. P.Oxy. 2257 fr. 1. Vahtikari 2014, 80; Csapo/Wilson 2015, 332. See Poli Palladini 2001, 316 17 for a more in depth discussion and references.
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been recently proven true.¹²³ They are perhaps the remains of the theater in which Alcibiades gave a speech in an assembly of 415.¹²⁴ Since the Aetnaeae seems to have been performed during Aeschylus’ first trip, when the Persians was also reperformed, a performance in Syracuse like that of the Persians is indeed very likely.¹²⁵ On the other hand, two separate productions, in different venues, ‘would chime very well with this publicity campaign on Hieron’s part if he also sponsored productions, by the greatest dramatist of the day, of a play or plays celebrating recent victories over the “barbarians” and another which, to quote the Vita Aeschyli, “gave an augury of a good life to those who joined the newly-founded city” of Aetna’.¹²⁶ Our next question concerns the play’s Nachleben. What afterlife could a play by an Athenian tragedian have after a premiere outside Athens? The reperformative culture that was ever growing in Athens throughout Aeschylus’ career would have made future restaging(s) very probable. It is highly likely that Aeschylus would have wished to restage the play in Athens and demonstrate to his fellow citizens the play as proof of his inter-Athenian fame, just as in Sicily he demonstrated the Persians as proof of his high poetic status. The medieval catalogue of the Aeschylean dramas mentions two plays of the name Aetnaeae, one specified as ‘genuine’ (Αἰτναῖαι γνήσιοι), and another specified as ‘spurious’ (Αἰτναῖαι νόθοι).¹²⁷ With Aeschylus’ Vita stating with no doubt that the play was produced in Sicily (ἐλθὼν τοίνυν εἰς Σικελίαν Ἱέρωνος τότε τὴν Αἴτνην κτίζοντος ἐπεδείξατο τὰς Αἴτνας οἰωνιζόμενος βίον ἀγαθὸν τοῖς συνοικίζουσι τὴν πόλιν),¹²⁸ we must take under serious consideration the possibility of a reperformance of the Aetnaeae at a different venue, perhaps in Athens.¹²⁹ Although it is unlikely that the composer of the medieval catalogue had access
Branciforti 2010. Thuc. 6.51; Polyaenus, Strat. 1.40.4; Diod. Sic. 13.4.4; Frontin. Str. 3.2.6. Frontinus records that Alcibiades’ speech was given in a theater and thereby is thought to erroneously place the assembly in the theater of Acragas. An assembly however could very well take place in a theater, so Frontinus could have direct or indirect access to the detail that Alcibiades spoke in the theater of Catane, see Csapo/Wilson 2015, 332 and n. 56, or perhaps Frontinus simply re ports a different occasion (Csapo/Wilson 2015, 335). Vahtikari 2014, 80. Sommerstein 2010a, 6. TrGF III Test. Go 78. TrGF III A Test. 1.9 ‘Possibly Aeschylus, having originally produced the play in Sicily, revised the script for a later Athenian production, and later scholars supposed that the revision was not his work’ (Som merstein 2010a, 16 n. 31). On possible reperformances of the Aetnaeae in Athens, see chapter 4 in this book, pp. 151 6.
to both versions of the play, he could have had access to the information of both versions, which he then designated as either ‘genuine’ or ‘spurious’. Such a scenario resembles the problems in the transmission of the texts often triggered by plays with double prologues. I have elsewhere discussed the existence of double prologues as a sign of two versions of the play that were used for performance and reperformance.¹³⁰ If the poet himself produced two (or more) performances, as could be the case of the Aetnaeae, or the poet’s heir or an actor wished to adapt the text for a new performance, two versions of the play with textual diversions that differentiate the one from the other is a likely outcome. The Persians may have followed a reperformative track analogous to that of Aetnaeae, but this time moving from the East to the West. Aeschylus successfully launched the Persians’ performative journey with a victorious premiere in Athens in 472.¹³¹ Ancient evidence points to a successful afterlife through reperformance which followed the premiere of 472 in Magna Graecia, and possibly even another reperformance back in Athens. I see no reason to doubt Hieron’s interest in a reperformance of the Persians in Syracuse as part of his wider political effort to connect the Greek victory over the Persians with the victory over the Carthagenians at Himera.¹³² The Vita Aeschyli ends with the statement: Φασὶν ὑπὸ Ἱέρωνος ἀξιωθέντα ἀναδιδάξαι τοὺς Πέρσας ἐν Σικελίαι καὶ λίαν εὐδοκιμεῖν. (TrGF III Test. A 1.68 9) They say that Aeschylus was given the honour by Hieron of re performing his Persai in Si cily, and he was greatly admired.¹³³
The Persians is thus the first known instance of a reperformance, in Sicily after an invitation by Hieron, and it seems it came after its premiere in Athens in 472. Hieron died in 467, so Aeschylus could have directed the Persians in Athens and then have traveled to Sicily for a reperformance. The possibility of a reperformance of the Persians in Sicily as suggested by the Vita is supported by two Aristophanic scholia that both confirm the scenario and give it further historical validity by attributing it to three ancient scholars, Eratosthenes (third century), Didymus (first century), and Herodicus (second century AD). E. g. Euripides’ Archelaus. On the two prologues as connected to versions of performance and reperformance, see Lamari (forthcoming a) and later in this chapter, pp. 47 53. The majority of scholars agree on a premiere of the Persians in Athens in 472 and at least one successive reperformance in Syracuse. Kathryn Bosher challenged this orthodoxy, maintain ing that the performance in Syracuse might have been the Persians’ premiere (Bosher 2012a), a possibility that had been first suggested by Kiehl 1852. Rehm 1989; Scodel 2001. Translation by Taplin 2006, 6.
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The first ancient scholion on Frogs 1028 documents two performances of the Persians and attributes this information to Eratosthenes: ἐν τοῖς φερομένοις Αἰσχύλου Πέρσαις οὔτε Δαρείου θάνατος ἀπαγγέλεται οὔτε χορὸς τὰς χεῖρας συγκρούσας λέγει ‘ἰαυοῖ’ … Ἡρόδικος δέ φησι (fr. IV 5 [p. 126 sq.] Dūring) διττὰς γεγονέναι τὰς καταθέσεις, καὶ τὴν τραγωιδίαν ταύτην περιέχειν τὴν ἐν Πλαταιαῖς μάχην. δοκοῦσι δὲ οὗτοι οἱ Πέρσαι ὑπὸ τοῦ Αἰσχύλου δεδιδάχθαι ἐν Συρακούσαις, σπουδάσαντος Ἱέρωνος, ὥς φησιν Ἐρατοσθένης ἐν γ´ Περὶ κωμωιδιῶν (fr. 109 Strecker). (TrGF III Test. Gd 56a) In the play transmitted as Aeschylus’ Persians, the death of Darius is not announced nor the does the chorus shout ‘iauoi’ after clapping their hands … And Herodicus claims that two performances have taken place, and that this tragedy includes the battle of Pla taea. This version of the Persians is believed to have been directed by Aeschylus, in Syra cuse, Hieron being eager¹³⁴ [that the play be directed by Aeschylus], as said by Eratosthenes in book 3 of On Comedy.
This scholion corresponds to a line from the Frogs where Aeschylus makes a reference to the educative qualities of his Persians regarding the eternal desire to defeat the enemy. Dionysus replies about how much he thereby enjoyed hearing of the death of Darius; the chorus immediately clapped their hands and shouted ‘iauoi’: ΑΙΣΧΥΛΟΣ εἶτα διδάξας Πέρσας μετὰ τοῦτ᾽ ἐπιθυμεῖν ἐξεδίδαξα νικᾶν ἀεὶ τοὺς ἀντιπάλους, κοσμήσας ἔργον ἄριστον. ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΣ ἐχάρην γοῦν, ἡνίκ᾽ †ἤκουσα περὶ† Δαρείου τεθνεῶτος, ὁ χορὸς δ᾽ εὐθὺς τὼ χεῖρ᾽ ὡδὶ συγκρούσας εἶπεν “ἰαυοῖ”.¹³⁵ (Ar. Ran. 1026 9) AESCHYLUS Then when I produced my Persians, I thereby taught them to yearn always to defeat the en emies, having adorned an excellent achievement. DIONYSUS I certainly enjoyed it, when I heard about the death of Darius, and the chorus immediately shouted “iauoi” after clapping their hands.
I translate σπουδάσαντος Ἱέρωνος according to LSJ s.v. σπουδάζω I 1, ‘to be busy, eager to do a thing’. See also Xen. Oec. 9.1. The text is by Dover 1993. See ibid. ad loc. for possible reconstructions of the locus desper atus.
The Aristophanic passage contains a locus desperatus and its meaning is puzzling for most editors.¹³⁶ However, an explanation could be found by considering the reperformative culture of the fifth century to which Aristophanes was exposed and according to which he composed his plays. An additional scholion, of analogous content, also corresponds to line 1028 of the Frogs and confirms the possibility of two different versions: ἄλλως. Δίδυμος (Comm. Aristoph. fr. 17 [p.250] Schmidt) ὅτι οὐ περιέχουσι θάνατον Δαρείου οἱ Πέρσαι τὸ δρᾶμα. διό τινες διττὰς καταθέσεις (τουτέστι διδασκαλίας) τῶν Περσῶν φασι, καὶ τὴν μίαν μὴ φέρεσθαι. (TrGF III Test. Gd 56b) Differently. Didymus [says] that the drama Persians does not include the death of Darius. That is why say that there were double katatheseis (namely performances) of the Persians, and that one of them does not survive.
This scholion translates καταθέσεις as ‘performances’ (τουτέστι διδασκαλίας), and so must have been written at a later time than the previous one, which it also references. The problem with both scholia, as well as with the passage from the Frogs, is that nowhere in the extant version of the Persians do the spectators hear about the death of Darius. Both scholia validate the information on a Sicilian reperformance of the Persians, as provided by the Vita, and enhance our understanding of the practicalities of dramatic reperformances in general. When a poet was still alive, he might have restaged the plays with incorporated variations, possibly taking into consideration the changing audiences and locales. Since we are certain of at least two productions of the Persians directed by Aeschylus, I find no reason to hesitate about the existence of two versions of the play, of which Aristophanes was aware. By comparing the Aristophanic passage and the relevant scholia, we may therefore construct a plausible scenario: Aeschylus organized a reperformance of the Persians in Sicily, using a version changed to be more appropriate for the place and the audience.¹³⁷ Aristophanes must have been aware of this version, and this is the one he cites.¹³⁸ A reperformance of that version could See Dover 1993, ad loc. Wilamowitz Moellendorff (1922, 228), for example, has maintained that Aeschylus was forced to change the choral parts that he might have used in the production because of the lack of skill of the Sicilian chorus. Besides, it is not uncommon for Aristophanes to allude to plays’ double versions that we now do not have. Cf. the passages of ‘prologues’ in the Frogs. On the double prologue of Arche laus as adapted for a reperformance version of the play, see later in this chapter, pp. 47 53 and Lamari forthcoming a.
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even have been produced in Athens a little earlier than the performance of the Frogs (405) and Aristophanes himself could have attended it.¹³⁹ Two centuries later, Eratosthenes explains the text alluding to his information about the double version, as does Didymus and Herodicus, whose comments the ancient scholiasts were aware of. The fact that Hieron invited Aeschylus to Sicily in the mid-470s means that by then Aeschylus had already built for himself a reputation that expanded beyond the Athenian borders.¹⁴⁰ It also means that it was not unthinkable of starpoets to travel¹⁴¹ to promote their existing work or get involved in new projects. Aeschylus would have been an established poet, invited by a man of power who aspired to exploit the complementing dynamics of culture and politics.¹⁴² Aeschylus would have certainly promoted plays that had already been produced, especially since reperformance would have been an aspect of Athenian theatrical practice.¹⁴³ It would be very bold to deny that a culture of tragic reperformances, similar to the one that was established in Athens, would not have crossed the Ionian Sea, especially since we know that Aeschylus spent an important amount of time in Sicily. A reciprocal relationship is therefore developed: Hieron’s invitation arose as a consequence of the ever-growing, cross-Athenian popularity of tragedy as the new genre and of Aeschylus as the new star-poet. In turn, Aeschylus’ visit following this invitation strengthened his own high status and advertised further the genre of tragedy,¹⁴⁴ whose widening popularity was also growing across Greece. The reperformance of the Persians in Sicily played a very specific role in that ‘advertisement’, which took advantage not only of the cele Garvie 2009, liv, and in general, see ibid. liv lv and 264 5 for discussion and references. Taplin 2006, 1. See also Sommerstein 2010a, 6: ‘it was during this period that Aeschylus firmly established himself as the outstanding tragic dramatist in Athens’. As with Plutarch’s information in De Exilio (604e f), or our general knowledge on poetic mobility in ancient Greek culture. See earlier in this chapter, pp. 17 23. On this, see chapter 2 in this book. The earliest testimony regarding dramatic reperformance in Athens goes back to Phryni chus and the banning of future reperformances of his Sack of Miletus (Hdt. 6.21.2). Herodotus’ passage, although containing no mention of Aeschylus, is still one of the most important pieces of evidence regarding the beginning of the practice of tragic reperformances. As reported by Her odotus, after the performance of the Sack of Miletus in 494, the Athenians punished Phrynichus for reminding them of their own misfortunes by means of his homonymous play: they fined him a thousand drachmae and forbade future restagings of the play. For discussions of the passage with reference to tragic reperformances, see Finglass 2015a, 209 10; Lamari 2015a, 190 1; Rosen 2015, 241 n. 7. Aeschylus’ visit would have surely increased Sicilian interest in Attic dramas, Attic perform ances, and Attic actors. The mobility of artists and artifacts grew reciprocally with every crossing of the Ionian Sea, from the East to the West or vice versa. See Taplin 2012, 226.
bration culture of the 470s,¹⁴⁵ but also of the culture of reperformative theatrical mobility.
1.4 Sophocles Finglass argues that ‘Sophocles’ extraordinary, and extraordinarily successful, productivity might suggest at first sight that he was not much concerned with the reperformance of his works’,¹⁴⁶ given also his active role in contemporary public affairs and his prestigious public profile.¹⁴⁷ On the other hand, however, there are many indications that, during his lifetime, Sophocles did indulge in the reperformance of his plays. As has also been maintained by Finglass,¹⁴⁸ Sophocles’ long-lasting success would have undoubtedly created groups of fans that would have been interested in watching favorite performances again. The almost-60-year time span of his production record means that few spectators could have been present for his first and last victories, with Triptolemus in 468 and Philoctetes in 409. Setting aside the ‘single performance dogma’, this would mean that Sophoclean tragedy would have been reperformed even when its own composer was still professionally active. Sophocles was living and producing in a reperformative theatrical context, and theoretically it is beyond likely that he also participated in it.
1.4.1 Sophocles and Aristophanes (re)performing at Eleusis In an Eleusinian inscription of the late fifth century,¹⁴⁹ two synchoregoi are accredited with victories in comedy, with Aristophanes as director, and in tragedy, with Sophocles as director: [Γ]νάθις Τιμοκ[ήδ]ο[ς, ᾿A]ναξανδρίδης Τιμα[γ]όρο χορηγο̑ντες κωμωιδοῖς ἐνίκων. ᾿Aριστοφάνης ἐ[δ]ίδασκεν. ἑτέρα νίκη τραγωιδοῖς.
Taplin 2006, 8. Finglass 2015a, 208. On the biography of Sophocles, see Scodel 2012; Tyrrell 2012. Finglass 2015a, 208 9. Clinton (2005, 53) dates it in the late fifth century; Csapo/Slater (1995, 129) place it in the last decade of the fifth century.
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Σοφοκλῆς ἐδίδασκεν. (IG I3 970 = TrGF I Did. B 3 = Aristophanes Test. 21 PCG) [G]nathis, son of Timok[ed]o[s, A]naxandrides, son of Tima[g]oros while seving as choregoi won in the comedy competition. Aristophanes was d[i]rector. another victory in the tragic competition Sophocles was director.¹⁵⁰
This inscription commemorates victories either in the City Dionysia or in the Dionysiac festival at Eleusis,¹⁵¹ and could have been erected either by the choregoi themselves, or by their descendants or deme.¹⁵² ἐδίδασκεν presupposes the physical participation of Aristophanes and Sophocles in the commemorated production, and not simply that they wrote the dramas in question.¹⁵³ For this reason, this inscription was commonly considered as commemorating a victory in Athens, although it was set up on the base of a statue in the deme of Eleusis. In 1943 however, Capps published another inscription, which made the presupposition of an Athenian production impossible. As indicated by the new fragment of the List of Victors at the City Dionysia, the only synchoregia reported was that of 405 BC.¹⁵⁴ It is however impossible for our inscription to refer to 405 BC, since by that year Sophocles was dead, while Sophocles the younger was not yet active. ¹⁵⁵ As now held by the majority of scholars, our inscription refers to the Dionysia at Eleusis.¹⁵⁶ The inscription thus offers evidence about Aristophanes’ and Sophocles’ participation in the deme festival of Eleusis, though it is still unclear whether the plays in question were new performances or reperformances. With Aristophanes and Sophocles present for the Didascaliae, we can safely make two deductions: first, the Dionysia at Eleusis was an important festival, and two, if the production was indeed a reperformance, then reperformances did not happen in lesser theatrical contexts. At the same time, if the production was a premiere, then we can almost certainly conclude that a reperformance in Athens would follow. It seems inconceivable for a poet like Sophocles, famous
Translation adapted from Csapo 2010a, 90. Clinton 2008, 53. Wilson 2000, 248. Csapo 2010a, 91. Capps 1943, 8. See also the discussion in Csapo 2010a, 91. Sophocles the younger is reported as the producer of Oedipus at Colonus in 401 and is not otherwise active until 396 BC (TrGF I 62 Test. 3, 4). Ghiron Bistagne 1976, 92 3; Whitehead 1986, 217; Wilson 2000, 375 n. 164; Pickard Cam bridge 1968, 47 8; Clinton 2008, 53; Finglass 2015a, 212 14.
for his loyalty to Athenian locale, to produce a play for a one-off performance outside Athens, sparing his Athenian audience the privilege of attending it.
1.4.2 Sophocles (re)performing Telepheia at Halai Aixonides Another inscription, datable to the early fourth century and found near Halai Aixonides, enumerates four choregoi and their sponsored plays and directors. One of them is Sophocles with the Telepheia: Ἐ[πιχάρης χορηγῶν ἐνίκα] κωμωιδοῖς· Ἐχφαντίδης ἐδίδασκε 〚․〛 Πείρας. Θρασύβολος χορηγῶν ἐνίκα κωμωιδοῖς· Κρατῖνος ἐδίδασκε Βουκόλος. Θρασύβολος χορη[γ]ῶν ἐνίκα τραγωιδοῖς· Τιμόθεος ἐδίδασκε ᾿Aλκμέωνα, ᾿Ạ λφεσίβο[ιαν]. Ἐπιχάρης χορηγῶν ἐνίκα τραγωιδο[ῖς]· Σοφοκλῆς ἐδίδασκε Τηλέφειαν. (IG II2 3091) E[pichares while serving as sponsor won] in comedy. Ecphantides was directing 〚․〛 Peirai. Thrasybolus while serving as sponsor won in comedy. Cratinus was directing Boukoloi. Thrasybolus while serving as spon[s]or won in tragedy. Timotheus was directing Alcmeon, Alphesibo[ia]. Epichares while serving as sponsor won in traged[y]. Sophocles was directing Telepheia.
The four victories listed in the inscription were won in the fifth century, but were commemorated later, either by the choregoi themselves, or by their descendants.¹⁵⁷ As in the previous cases, the reference to eminent poets has been used as a clue to interpret those victories as having been held in the City Dionysia. Yet again, ‘there is no good reason to deny this to Rural Dionysia’.¹⁵⁸ Besides, the claim that prominent poets would not perform in ‘lesser’ festivals such as those of the Rural Dionysia has long been rejected as ungrounded.¹⁵⁹ Again, our inscription may allude to performances in the demes, but does not clarify whether these were premieres or reperformances. This is of little importance to our argument however, given the very low chances of a play that would have
Wilson 2000, 248; Csapo 2004a, 61. Wilson 2000, 248. Csapo 2004a, 62.
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been first performed in the deme of Halai Aixonides never being reperformed. As with the previous case, inscriptions testify to the unexpected mobility, even of Sophocles, around Attica, for the organization of tragic premieres or revivals.
1.4.3 A reperformance at Kollytos? Demosthenes’ On the Crown and Aeschines’ Vita make references to a performance at another Athenian deme, Kollytos. It was a reperformance of Oenomaus, during which Aeschines had an unlucky fall while performing. The passage from Demosthenes runs as follows: καίτοι τίνα βούλει σέ, Αἰσχίνη, καὶ τίν᾽ ἐμαυτὸν ἐκείνην τὴν ἡμέραν εἶναι θῶ; βούλει ἐμαυ τὸν μέν, ὃν ἂν σὺ λοιδορούμενος καὶ διασύρων καλέσαις, Βάτταλον, σὲ δὲ μηδ᾽ ἥρω τὸν τυ χόντα, ἀλλὰ τούτων τινὰ τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς σκηνῆς, Κρεσφόντην ἢ Κρέοντα ἢ ὃν ἐν Κολλυτῶι ποτ᾽ Οἰνόμαον κακῶς ἐπέτριψας; (Dem. 18.180) What part do you wish me to assign to you, Aeschines, and what to myself, in the drama of that great day? Am I to be cast for the part of Battalus, as you dub me when you scold me so scornfully, and you for no vulgar role but to play some hero of legendary tragedy, Cre sphontes, or Creon, or shall we say, Oenomaus, whom you once murdered by your bad act ing at Kollytos?¹⁶⁰
The passage implies a revival of Sophocles’ Oenomaus at Kollytos,¹⁶¹ revealing lousy performances of Aeschines as Cresphontes (probably in Euripides’ Cresphontes) or Creon (probably in Sophocles’ Antigone).¹⁶² The incident is also reported by the writer of Aeschines’ Vita,¹⁶³ but Aeschines’ poor acting qualities were also often a favorite topic of Demosthenes¹⁶⁴ in an effort to associate Aeschines’ theatrical faults with his civic inadequacy.¹⁶⁵ What we find of use in our discussion is the fact that Sophoclean tragedy continued to circulate in Attica after its composer was dead, setting high expectations for its actors which Aeschines was accused of not being able to meet.
Translation by Vince 1926. Lloyd Jones 1996, 243; Hanink 2014, 134; Vahtikari 2014, 96; Csapo/Wilson 2015, 326. A performance also mentioned by Demosthenes in 18.246 7. Vita Aeschini 1.15 17; 2.23 31. See also Dem. 19.337. Hanink 2014, 135.
1.5 Euripides 1.5.1 Euripides in Sicily There is evidence that Euripides may have traveled to Sicily as an ambassador. In his Rhetoric, Aristotle reports a story of Euripides on a diplomatic mission, where he gives the Syracusans an example of how one can feel ashamed after disappointing someone who asks a favor for the first time: καὶ ἐν οἷς μηδὲν ἀποτετυχήκασιν⋅ ὥσπερ γὰρ θαυμαζόμενοι διάκεινται: διὸ καὶ τοὺς πρῶτον δεηθέντας τι αἰσχύνονται ὡς οὐδέν πω ἠδοξηκότες ἐν αὐτοῖς⋅ τοιοῦτοι δὲ οἱ ἄρτι βουλόμε νοι φίλοι εἶναι (τὰ γὰρ βέλτιστα τεθέανται· διὸ εὖ ἔχει ἡ τοῦ Εὐριπίδου ἀπόκρισις πρὸς τοὺς Συρακοσίους), καὶ τῶν πάλαι γνωρίμων οἱ μηδὲν συνειδότες. (Arist. Rh. 1384b11 17) And before those from whom they have never asked anything in vain, for they feel as if they were greatly esteemed. For this reason they feel ashamed before those who ask them for something for the first time, as never yet having lost their good opinion. Such are those who have recently sought their friendship (for they have only seen what is best in them, which is the point of the answer of Euripides to the Syracusans), or old acquaintances who know nothing against us.¹⁶⁶
An ancient scholiast embellishes the story further, by adding that Euripides was actually sent to Syracuse in order to organize the release of the Athenians that were captured after the Sicilian expedition. Εὐριπίδης πρὸς τοὺς Συρρακουσίους πρέσβυς ἀποσταλεὶς καὶ περὶ εἰρήνης καὶ φιλίας δεόμε νος, ὡς ἐκεῖνοι ἀνένευον, εἶπεν ‘ἔδει, ἄνδρες Συρρακούσιοι, εἰ καὶ διὰ μηδὲν ἄλλο ἀλλά γε διὰ τὸ ἄρτι ὑμῶν δέεσθαι, αἰσχύνεσθαι ἡμᾶς ὡς θαυμάζοντας’. (TrGF V1 Test. M 96.8 12) When Euripides was sent as an ambassador to Syracuse, asking for peace and friendship, which they rejected, he said: ‘You ought, men of Syracuse, to feel ashamed of our admira tion, if for no other reason, yet because we have only just begun to ask favors of you’.
The story of the embassy of Euripides is otherwise unknown and the fact that both Aeschylus and Sophocles had been employed in public affairs in some way¹⁶⁷ certainly weights against its authenticity. On the other hand, apart from our ignorance, we have no other reason to refute the information. Theoretically,
Translation by Freese 1926. Aeschylus fought at Marathon and Sophocles was one of the ten generals under Pericles’ rule.
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Euripides could have taken part in negotiations between Athens and Sicily before the expedition. Even if Euripides was not as mobile in civic or performative duties, his plays certainly were. According to a description from Plutarch, the Greeks in Sicily longed so much for some of their favorite Euripidean parts that they fed and granted freedom to the Athenian captives who knew how to recite them: ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ δι᾽ Εὐριπίδην ἐσώθησαν. μάλιστα γάρ, ὡς ἔοικε, τῶν ἐκτὸς Ἑλλήνων ἐπόθησαν αὐτοῦ τὴν μοῦσαν οἱ περὶ Σικελίαν: καὶ μικρὰ τῶν ἀφικνουμένων ἑκάστοτε δείγματα καὶ γεύματα κομιζόντων ἐκμανθάνοντες ἀγαπητῶς μετεδίδοσαν ἀλλήλοις. τότε γοῦν φασι τῶν σωθέντων οἴκαδε συχνοὺς ἀσπάσασθαι τὸν Εὐριπίδην φιλοφρόνως, καὶ διηγεῖσθαι τοὺς μέν, ὅτι δουλεύοντες ἀφείθησαν ἐκδιδάξαντες ὅσα τῶν ἐκείνου ποιημάτων ἐμέμνην το, τοὺς δ᾽, ὅτι πλανώμενοι μετὰ τὴν μάχην τροφῆς καὶ ὕδατος μετέλαβον τῶν μελῶν ἄισαντες. (Plut. Nic. 29.2 3) Some also were saved for the sake of Euripides. For the Sicilians, it would seem, more than any other Hellenes outside the homeland, had a yearning fondness for his poetry. They were forever learning by heart the little specimens and morsels of it which visitors brought them from time to time, and imparting them to one another with fond delight. In the pres ent case, at any rate, they say that many Athenians who reached home in safety greeted Euripides with affectionate hearts, and recounted to him, some that they had been set free from slavery for rehearsing what they remembered of his works; and some that when they were roaming about after the final battle they had received food and drink for singing some of his choral hymns.¹⁶⁸
Plutarch’s story reveals that the Sicilians already knew Euripidean poetry through Athenian visitors who imported celebrated Euripidean ‘playlists’.¹⁶⁹ Informal reperformances of Euripidean dramas by Athenians who had attended Athenian performances or had been somehow involved in those performances in Athens in various formal or informal contexts, were thus also taking place in Sicily.¹⁷⁰
1.5.2 Euripides (re)performing in Peiraeus In the second book of his Varia Historia, Aelian discusses the reasons for which Aristophanes scorns Socrates in the Clouds. Aelian then mentions that Socrates
Translation by Perrin 1989. See the discussion in Lamari, forthcoming a. Cf. Ar. Nub. 1353 72, where Strepsiades refers to his son Pheidippides reciting a monologue from Euripides’ Aeolus.
did not go to the theater often, but would only go when Euripides was competing with new plays, even if they were produced at Peiraeus: ὁ δὲ Σωκράτης σπάνιον μὲν ἐπεφοίτα τοῖς θεάτροις, εἴ ποτε δὲ Εὐριπίδης ὁ τῆς τραγωιδίας ποιητὴς ἠγωνίζετο καινοῖς τραγωιδοῖς, τότε γε ἀφικνεῖτο. καὶ Πειραιοῖ δὲ ἀγωνιζομένου τοῦ Εὐριπίδου καὶ ἐκεῖ κατήιει˙ ἔχαιρε γὰρ τῶι ἀνδρὶ διά τε τὴν σοφίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν ἐν τοῖς μέτροις ἀρετήν. (Ael. VH 2.13) But Socrates did not often go to the theater. However, if the tragic poet Euripides was com peting with new plays, then he would go. Even if Euripides was competing at Piraeus, he would even go down there, since he enjoyed his work, because of its wisdom and poetic quality.¹⁷¹
Aelian’s report has been received with skepticism because of the established orthodoxy that there were no reperformances of drama before 386.¹⁷² With καινοῖς τραγωιδοῖς implying a culture where Euripides himself could direct reperformances of his own repertoire or stage a premiere in Peiraeus, this passage from Aelian is often considered unreliable. In his very recent work, Vahtikari’s comment on the passage is as follows: ‘either the convention of performing old tragedies as revivals started earlier at the Rural Dionysia in Piraeus (and perhaps also in other demes) than at the Great Dionysia (i. e. already during Euripides’ lifetime) or the text of Aelian is somehow corrupt’.¹⁷³ Although Vahtikari endorses the possibility of an actual performance of Euripides at Peiraeus, he follows Kovacs in attributing the phrase καινοῖς τραγωιδοῖς, hence the reference to reperformances, to a fourth century addition that was made to Aelian’s original text.¹⁷⁴ Aelian was possibly using a source text regarding the life of Socrates that could have been influenced by the established fourth-century practice of reperformances. But even if this was the case, and καινοῖς τραγωιδοῖς was indeed a fourth-century addition, a reperformative theatrical culture is nevertheless alluded to in the rest of the description. If we disregard καινοῖς τραγωιδοῖς as an ad-
Translation adapted from Wilson 1997. See e. g. Kovacs 1994, 35 n. 5 on this testimony: ‘Until 386 B.C. there was no regular produc tion of “old tragedies”, i. e. revivals, hence the anecdote’s reference to “the new tragedy section” dates it to the fourth century or later’. Along the same lines, Allan 2001, 84 n. 64 maintains that ‘there is no reason to assume that old plays could be reperformed in Attica (or elsewhere) only after they had been readmitted for competition at the City Dionysia, a practice first recorded in 386’. See also the discussion in the Introduction in this book. Vahtikari 2014, 95. Vahtikari 2014, 95 n. 78 with Kovacs 1994, 35.
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dition to the original text, Aelian still informs us that Socrates would attend Euripidean performances anywhere, even at Peiraeus. This leads us to our next question as to whether those performances of Euripides at Peiraeus were premieres or repetitions. My answer is that it is impossible to know, but our lack of knowledge on that front does not necessarily mean an ignorance about reperformances in general. It is true that when it comes to the fifth century, scholars tend to accept more readily the possibility of reperformance in the demes,¹⁷⁵ but we are in no position for excluding the possibility of reperformance in the Dionysia.¹⁷⁶ Although the claim that prominent poets would not perform in ‘lesser’ festivals such as that of the Rural Dionysia has long been rejected as ungrounded,¹⁷⁷ Euripides would probably not attend an event of minor value in Peiraeus.¹⁷⁸ All in all, the passage from Aelian refers to a performance that was directed by Euripides in Peiraeus. We cannot know if that performance was a premiere or a reperformance, but this doubt cannot undermine evidence regarding Euripides’ mobility within Attica for the sake of directing performances or reperformances of his tragedies. Even if Peiraeus hosted the premiere, Euripides would have also traveled elsewhere (Athens included) to direct its reperformance. It would be bold to deny that a play that would have been first produced in Peiraeus would be reperformed nowhere else. This passage shines a small light on the enormous theatrical activity in the Attic demes, the theaters of which could host both performances and reperformances. Dramatic productions in the deme of Peiraeus started before the end of the fifth century.¹⁷⁹ A theatrical choregic relief from around 400 BC found at Peiraeus and representing three members of the chorus¹⁸⁰ supplements Aelian’s reference to a performance, while contemporary literary evidence from Thucydides and Xenophon reveals that the theater in Peiraeus was used as a political meeting-place during the oligarchic period and the regime of the Thirty in 404.¹⁸¹ In the fourth century, the Dionysia at Peiraeus developed into a largescale festival, aspiring to surpass the majesty of the City Dionysia.¹⁸² Demos See Whitehead 1986, 215 22; Wilson 2000, 22 3; Biles 2006/2007; Paga 2010, 370; Roselli 2011, 22; 141 2; Hanink/Uhlig 2016. See Lamari 2015b, passim. Csapo 2004a, 62. Neither Sophocles nor Aristophanes, as we discussed above, pp. 35 6. Csapo/Wilson 2015, 324. Athens NM 1500. See Csapo 2010b, 94 6. Thuc. 8.93.1; Lys. 13.32; Xen. Hell 2.4.32 3. ‘There can be no doubt that the festival at the Peiraeus was the most important of all these [festivals of the Rural Dionysia]’ (Pickard Cambridge 1968, 46). On the Peiraeus Dionysia, see Csapo/Wilson 2015, esp. 327. On ‘theatrical economy’ and the leasing of the theater of Peiraeus,
thenes reports a law issued by Euegoros in order to prevent disruption of the performances in dramatic festivals and to encourage uninterrupted attendance. The four festivals the law refers to are the Dionysia in Peiraeus, the Lenaia, the City Dionysia, and the Thargelia: Εὐήγορος εἶπεν· ὅταν ἡ πομπὴ ἦι τῶι Διονύσωι ἐν Πειραιεῖ καὶ οἱ κωμωιδοὶ καὶ οἱ τραγω ιδοί, καὶ ἐπὶ Ληναίωι πομπὴ καὶ οἱ τραγωιδοὶ καὶ οἱ κωμωιδοί, καὶ τοῖς ἐν ἄστει Διονυ σίοις ἡ πομπὴ καὶ οἱ παῖδες καὶ ὁ κῶμος καὶ οἱ κωμωιδοὶ καὶ οἱ τραγωιδοί, καὶ Θαργηλίων τῆι πομπῆι καὶ τῶι ἀγῶνι, μὴ ἐξεῖναι μήτε ἐνεχυράσαι μήτε λαμβάνειν ἕτερον ἑτέρου, μηδὲ τῶν ὑπερημέρων, ἐν ταύταις ταῖς ἡμέραις. (Dem. 21.10) Euegoros proposed: when the procession takes place for Dionysos in Peiraieus and the comedies and the tragedies, and the procession at the Lenaion and the tragedies and the comedies, and at the city Dionysia the procession and the boys and the revel and the com edies and the tragedies, and at the procession and the contest of the Thargelia, it is not to be permitted to distrain or to seize another thing from another person, not even from over due debtors, during those days.¹⁸³
The law of Euegoros was issued in order to prevent acts that could have disturbed the flow of performances, though they were not linked in any way to the festivals.¹⁸⁴ The uninterrupted completion of the Dionysia at Peiraeus is as important as that of the City Dionysia, the Lenaia, or the Thargelia. The text of Demosthenes reveals that the dramatic festival at Peiraeus included a procession, and performances of tragedies and comedies (of unknown number).¹⁸⁵ The festival’s central organizer, the demarch of Peiraeus, was not appointed by the local deme, but by the Athenian state.¹⁸⁶ Although the evidence is not precise, the law of Euegoros is certainly earlier than the date of Against Medeias, roughly datable to the first half of the fourth century. The reference to the Peiraieus festival is thus very close to the last years of the fifth century when Socrates might have wished to attend a Euripidean performance in Peiraeus, as seen in the testimony examined above.
see Csapo 2007 passim. On the Dionysia at Peiraeus see Pickard Cambridge 1986, 44 7; Csapo 2007, 113 14 n. 60. Text and translation by MacDowell 1990. MacDowell 1990, 230. MacDowell 1990, 231. Whitehead 1986, 394 6.
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1.5.3 Euripides performing in Anagyrous Euripides is also presented as directing plays around Attica at another testimony, this time an inscription on a choregic memorial. Found in the deme of Anagyrous, the inscription is datable to ca. 440 – 431: Σωκράτης ἀνέθηκεν· Εὐριπίδης ἐδίδασκε· τραγωιδοί· vv ᾿Aμφίδημος Πύθων vvvvv Εὐθύδικος Ἐχεκλῆς vvv Λυσίας Μενάλκης vv Σῶν Φιλοκράτης Κριτόδημος Ἔχυλλος vvv Χαρίας Μέλητος vvv Φαίδων Ἐμπορίων vacat (IG I3 969) Socrates¹⁸⁷ dedicated. Euripides was director. Tragic chorusmembers¹⁸⁸ vv Amphidemus Python vvvvv Euthydicus Echecles vvv Lysias Menacles vv Sōn¹⁸⁹ Philocrates Critodemus Echyllus vvv Charias Meletus vvv Phaedon Emporion vacat
This inscription commemorates a fifth-century theatrical contest held in Anagyrous, where Socrates of Anagyrous was the choregos, Euripides the director, and the list of the fourteen demesmen of Anagyrous were the members of the chorus.¹⁹⁰ Socrates of Anagyrous has been identified as a general in the Samian war in 441/0 and he had been threatened by ostracism in 443 (Wilson 2000, 132). For the translation of τραγωιδοί as ‘chorus members’, see Csapo 2004a, 60 and n. 32; Wil son 2000, 133: ‘that these tragoidoi are the members of the tragic khoros is not accepted as cer tain by all; but in an area where certainties are rare and probabilities gratefully accepted, we create unnecessary problems by doubting what is clearly a case of the use of the word τραγωιδός to its earliest sense to refer to the member of a tragic khoros’; Csapo/Wilson 2015, 327. Sōn is a very rare first name, Csapo 2004a, 61 and n. 35 and Matthaiou 1990/1991, 181 iden tify him as a demotes of Anagyrous. The list of the names of the choreuts does not include patronymics or demotics, which means that they correspond to demesmen of Anagyrous (Wilson 2000, 132 3; Csapo 2004a, 61).
The inscription is of unique importance in many ways: it is one of the earliest and very few examples of choregic memorials that celebrate a tragic victory and it underlines the strong connection between the choregos and his chorus, being the only surviving dedication bearing the names of each of the chorus members.¹⁹¹ The two main questions prompted by the inscription are concerning the members of the chorus (only fourteen instead of the normal fifteen), as well as the festival in which the performance took place. It seems that the koryphaios was either also the choregos (Socrates), or perhaps an outsider that did not come from the deme of Anagyrous,¹⁹² or even Euripides himself.¹⁹³ If indeed the chorus was reduced, it might have been due to the rural performative context.¹⁹⁴ Although it is not ordinary to have a chorus made solely from demesmen from Anagyrous perform at the City Dionysia,¹⁹⁵ some scholars agree on a tradition of locally commemorating victories of demesmen that were accomplished in the city.¹⁹⁶ With reference to our discussion, this inscription testifies to Euripides’ mobility in the demes, as well as to his cooperation with non-Athenian choruses. The mostly-local chorus of demesmen of Anagyrous illustrates the practice of locally trained choruses collaborating with traveling poets or, later, with traveling actors.
1.5.4 Euripides in Macedon Euripides’ major trip was however not to Anagyrous, but to Macedon. His Vita reports briefly a trip to Magnesia and then another to Macedon, where he also died: Μετέστη δὲ ἐν Μαγνησίαι καὶ προξενίαι ἐτιμήθη καὶ ἀτελείαι. ἐκεῖθεν δὲ εἰς Μακεδονίαν περὶ ᾿Aρχέλαον γενόμενος διέτριψε καὶ χαριζόμενος αὐτῶι δρᾶμα ὁμωνύμως ἔγραψε (Archel. Test. ii a1) καὶ μάλα ἔπραττε παρ᾽ αὐτῶι, ὅτε καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν διοικήσεων ἐγένετο. (TrGF V1 A 1.6) He took up a new home in Magnesia, where he recieved the honor of being proxenos and of exemption from taxation. From there he went to Macedonia and spent time in the circle of Archelaus, and as a favor to him he wrote the drama that has the same name as his. He
Wilson 2000, 132. Wilson 2000, 133 and n. 89, 90. Csapo/Wilson 2015, 328. Pickard Cambridge 1968, 361. Csapo 2010a, 92. Wilson 2000, 131 2 with Pickard Cambridge 1968, 361; Whitehead 1986, 220 n. 261, 234.
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enjoyed great success in his court, so that he was put in charge of financial administra tion.¹⁹⁷
Euripides’ trip to Macedonia is well-known, but we are informed that before Macedonia, Euripides visited Magnesia. The awarding of privileges of proxenos to Euripides in Magnesia ‘could easily have originated from literal interpretation of a metaphorical expression of friendship’,¹⁹⁸ but since it does not find parallels in other Vitae, the trip might truly reflect Euripides’ mobility. Undoubtedly however, Euripides’ most important visit was that to the court of King Archelaus of Macedon. Ancient biographers explain this journey through various reasons, like his wife’s infidelity,¹⁹⁹ or the mockery coming from his fellow citizens and comic poets.²⁰⁰ The possibility of Euripides’ journey to Macedon has been mostly accepted, although suspicions have been also occasionally raised. Mary Lefkowitz was the first to challenge the veracity of Euripides’ Macedonian travel on the grounds of some passages in the Bacchae that include Macedonian references;²⁰¹ ancient biographers, she maintains, might have constructed the story of Euripides’ trip in order to explain these passages.²⁰² More recently, Scott Scullion has endorsed and re-approached Lefkowitz’s theory by airing suspicions raised by Aristophanes’ lack of satire regarding Euripides’ trip in the Frogs. ²⁰³ The positive testimonials regarding this visit, however, do win over.²⁰⁴ Euripides’ visit to Macedon seems to have indeed happened, even if we treat it with our extreme anecdote-related skepticism. Aside from the numerous reports from the Vita,²⁰⁵ our knowledge of Euripides’ sojourn at Archelaus’ court is based on a source as trustworthy as can be, Aristotle,²⁰⁶ who, as we know, had lived at the Macedonian court as a boy when his father was a physician to King Amyntas. Csapo rightly reminds us that Aristotle ‘was hardly likely to have depended on
Translation by Kovacs 1994, 3 5. Lefkowitz 1981, 92. Analogous information is not attributed to the lives of other poets. It could be of historical significance, but it could also derive from literature, like for example the similarities with the Vita Aeschyli: Euripides having a second profession, or an unloving wife, or a professional disappointment that led him to exile. See Lefkowitz 1981, 91 2. TrGF V1 Test. A 3.12 13. TrGF V1 Test. A 4. Eur. Bacch. 409 11; 568 75. Lefkowitz 1981, 103 4. Scullion 2003. See the analysis of Hanink 2008. Listed in Kovacs 1994, 63 7; TrGF V1 Test. P 112 20. Arist. Pol. 1311b30 40.
lurid tales invented by armchair scholars for his knowledge’,²⁰⁷ while Plato in the prologue to the Symposium mentions some tragic poets’ absence from Athens.²⁰⁸ In the Republic, Plato writes: εἰς δέ γε οἶμαι τὰς ἄλλας περιιόντες πόλεις, συλλέγοντες τοὺς ὄχλους, καλὰς φωνὰς καὶ μεγάλας καὶ πιθανὰς μισθωσάμενοι, εἰς τυραννίδας τε καὶ δημοκρατίας ἕλκουσι τὰς πολιτείας … οὐκοῦν καὶ προσέτι τούτων μισθοὺς λαμβάνουσι καὶ τιμῶνται, μάλιστα μέν, ὥσπερ τὸ εἰκός, ὑπὸ τυράννων, δεύτερον δὲ ὑπὸ δημοκρατίας … . (Pl. Rep. 568c) I think [the tragic poets] will go around to the other cities, gathering crowds, hiring those who have good, loud, and persuasive voices, and dragging states into tyranny and democ racy. … In addition then, they will be paid and honored by them, especially, in all likeli hood, by the tyrants, but secondly by the democracies … .²⁰⁹
Tragic poets were traveling and lending their public voices in support of tyranny or democracy. The dialogue Plato is recreating is supposed to have taken place in the last decade of the fifth century and, although it is not explicitly pointing at any tragedian, it could well refer to Euripides, who is known to have spent time in the Macedonian court.²¹⁰ Most scholars agree that Archelaus was first produced in Macedon,²¹¹ with its premiere taking place in Pella, Aegae or Dion.²¹² It is not clear whether the 408 date of the production of Orestes ²¹³ sets a chronological terminus for Euripides’ trip to Macedon and the production of Archelaus. The play might have been pro-
Csapo 2010a, 99 with Bremer 1991, 42. Pl. Symp. 172c. Translation by Csapo 2010a, 114 (ad n. 137). Csapo 2010a, 100. See e. g. Revermann 2006, 69: ‘Judging from what we know of Euripides’ Archelaus it seems very unlikely that its first performance took place, or even would make sense, in front of an Athenian audience of the late fifth century, and reperformances of this intriguing play are attest ed as late as the second half of the third century in Argos and Dodona’. See also Harder 1985, 126; Collard/Cropp/Gibert 2004, 330 7; Collard/Cropp 2008, 232 (‘the essential point … that the play was composed for Archelaus and first performed in Macedonia, seems reliable’); Hanink 2008; Vahtikari 2014, 87 9; Duncan 2015, 300 1; Lamari forthcoming a. Objections have been maintained by Lefkowitz 1981, 103 4 and Scullion 2003, who believes that Euripides either never went to Macedon (he sent off his nephew or son Euripides to direct the performance), or he did go for the performance of Archelaus but then back to Athens, where he died. Ridgeway 1926, 6, Sourvinou Inwood 2003, 41 5, and Vahtikari 2014, 88 n. 53 and 101 2 favor a performance at Aegae. A performance at Dion however, is proposed by the majority: Dodds 1960, xxxix, Harder 1985, 126 7, Jouan/van Looy 1998, 281, Collard/Cropp/Gibert 2004, 337, Katsouris 2005, 209. On the date of Orestes see TrGF I Did. C 19.
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duced after Orestes, but it is also possible that it might have been produced earlier. In this case, Euripides could have returned to Athens to produce Orestes, or Orestes could have even premiered without Euripides.²¹⁴ Proposed reconstructions of the plot of Archaelaus are mainly based on Hyginus,²¹⁵ in which exiled Archelaus goes to Thrace and saves king Cisseus from his enemies. When however he refuses to give his daughter as Archelaus’ wife, he starts plotting against Archelaus. Apollo instructs Archelaus to leave and so, following a goat, he founds Aegae. According to the majority of ancient writers and grammarians,²¹⁶ the play started with the following lines: Δαναὸς ὁ πεντήκοντα θυγατέρων πατήρ Νείλου λιπὼν κάλλιστον †ἐκ γαίας† ὕδωρ, ὃς ἐκ μελαμβρότοιο πληροῦται ῥοάς Αἰθιοπίδος γῆς, ἡνίκ᾽ ἂν τακῆι χιών †τεθριππεύοντος† ἡλίου κατ᾽ αἰθέρα, ἐλθὼν ἐς Ἄργος ὤικισ᾽ Ἰνάχου πόλιν˙ Πελασγιώτας δ᾽ ὠνομασμένους τὸ πρίν Δαναοὺς καλεῖσθαι νόμον ἔθηκ᾽ ἀν᾽ Ἑλλάδα. (TrGF V1 1 fr. 228) Danaus, who fathered fifty daughters, left the most lovely water †in the world† of the Nile which fills its streams from the dark peopled land of Ethiopia when the snow melts as the sun †drives his chariot† through the sky and reaching Argos founded Inachus’ city, laying down the rule that those once named Pelasgians should now be known as Danaans all over Hellas.²¹⁷
The lines present the genealogy of Danaus, who fled from Egypt to Argos with his fifty daughters (the Danaids) in order to spare them from marrying the fifty sons of his brother Aegyptus. If indeed Euripides wrote the play in order to please the Macedonian king, such a beginning would be in tune with the mythical link between Archelaus and the Danaids, since both traced their ancestry to Argos; the former was a member of the Macedonian dynasty of the Argeads who descended
This will be argued in Csapo/Wilson forthcoming, as Eric Csapo has kindly revealed to me after personal communication. Hyg. Fab. 219. For proposed reconstructions see Webster 1967, 252 7; Harder 1985, 131 9; Jouan/van Looy 1998, 282 90; Collard/Cropp/Gibert 2004, 330 3; Collard/Cropp 2008, 230 2. For a full list of the later writers that attribute the fragment to Euripides (and some to Ar chelaus in specific) see Collard/Cropp/Gibert 2004, 338. Translation by Collard/Cropp 2008.
from the Argive dynasty of the Temenids,²¹⁸ whilst the ancestry of the latter was traced back all the way to Io, the Argive priestess of Hera. Performance details however, become challenging when we examine lines 1206 – 8 of Aristophanes’ Frogs and the scholion that explains them. The Aristophanic text runs as follows: Ἁἴγυπτος, ὡς ὁ πλεῖστος ἔσπαρται λόγος, ξὺν παισὶ πεντήκοντα ναυτίλωι πλάτηι Ἄργος κατασχών’ (Ar. Ran. 1206 8 = TrGF V2 fr. 846) ‘Aegyptus, as the dominant story has been disseminated, accompanied by his fifty sons, with ship’s oar came to land at Argos’.²¹⁹
In this passage, the character of Euripides recites the beginning of one of his plays, having been mocked by Aeschylus for his prologues. The lines are the first recited in the section of Euripidean prologues, leading to the audience’s reaction of calling out the recurring catch phrase ληκύθιον ἀπώλεσεν (‘lost his little oil jar’).²²⁰ No one would have connected the lines to Archelaus (and not just to Euripides), were it not for the scholion below: ᾿Aρχελάου αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀρχή, ὥς τινες⋅ ψευδῶς. οὐ γὰρ φέρεται νῦν Εὐριπίδου λόγος οὐδεὶς τοιοῦτος. οὐ γάρ ἐστι, φησὶν ᾿Aρίσταρχος, τοῦ ᾿Aρχελάου, εἰ μὴ αὐτὸς μετέθηκεν ὕστερον, ὁ δὲ ᾿Aριστοφάνης τὸ ἐξ ἀρχῆς κείμενον εἶπεν. (Schol. Ar. Ran. 1206 = TrGF V2 ad fr. 846) This is the beginning of Archelaus, as some say; falsely. For no such passage of Euripides is now in circulation. For it is not, says Aristarchus, from Archelaus, unless he himself (sc. Euripides) altered it later, but Aristophanes quoted the original beginning.²²¹
The scholiast refers to a possible scenario for the transmission of the text put forth by Aristarchus: Euripides had initially written the text of fr. 846 and had then modified the prologue to that of fr. 228. According to Aristarchus, Aristophanes was referring to the first prologue Euripides had written (fr. 846). Broad consensus today favors the authenticity of fr. 228 on the grounds of overall
See Collard/Cropp 2008, 232. Translation by Scullion 2006. 1208, 1213, 1218. On ληκύθιον ἀπώλεσεν as a catch phrase and its comic effect, see Dover 1993 ad 1200. Translation by Scullion 2006.
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evidence that outweighs the importance of the scholion.²²² Besides, the scholion testifies to the authenticity of fr. 228, not to its unreliability. At the same time however, the scholiast’s reference to a false prologue opens a window of possibilities regarding an alternative beginning.²²³ Provided that the scholiast did not make a mistake, we are faced with two possibilities: either there were two different versions each with its own different prologue, or the two fragments belonged to an extended version of a single prologue. It is difficult to solve the problem with a certain answer. The solution to the problem of the different versions however stands well within a context of reperformances and cultural mobility.²²⁴ As frequently discussed in this book and elsewhere,²²⁵ the strong reperformative culture that encouraged the growth of Greek drama makes a one-off performance of Archelaus, at a single festival in Macedon, the least probable theory. It is very plausible to imagine that somewhere, in a series of performative repetitions, alternative beginnings would have infiltrated the integrity of the original beginning. A later inscription (third century) from Tegea for example reports a performance of Archelaus at the Heraia in Argos and at the Naia in Dodona:²²⁶ Δ̣ιονύσια [τὰ] μ̣εγάλα [ἐν] ᾿Aθήναις [Ὀρ]έστηι [Εὐ]ριπίδου. [Σωτ]ήρια [ἐν] Δελφοῖς Ἡρακλεῖ [Εὐ]ριπίδου, [᾿Aν]ταίωι ᾿Aρχεστράτου. [Πτο]λεμαῖα [ἐν ᾿Aλε]ξανδρείαι [ἄν]δρας [πυ]γμήν. Ἡραῖα Ἡ̣ [ρ]ακλεῖ
Harder 1985, 181; Collard/Cropp/Gibert 2004, 351 pace Page 1934, 93. Two different versions of the play, with two different beginnings, have been suggested by Valckenaer 1824, 162, Welcker 1841, 700 f. n. 3, and Koster 1971. Bergk 1838, 95 f., Roemer 1908, 356, and Van der Valk 1982, 418 f. further note that one version of the play might have been writ ten in Athens and the other one in Macedon. See also Lamari forthcoming a. See Lamari 2015b. On the inscription see Csapo/Slater 1995, 200; Revermann 1999/2000, 463 5.
Εὐριπίδου, ᾿Ạ ρχ̣ελάωι Εὐριπίδου. Νάϊα ἐν Δωδώνηι ᾿Aρχελάωι Εὐριπίδου, ᾿Aχιλλεῖ Χαιρήμονος. καὶ τοὺς κατὰ πόλεις ἀγῶνας σκηνικοὺς Διονύσια καὶ εἴ τι νας ἄλλας ἑορτὰς αἱ πόλεις ἤγοσαν ὀγδοήκοντα ὀκτώ. (IG V2 118 = SIG 1080) [The] Great Dionysia [at] Athens with [Eu]ripides’ [Or]estes. [The Sot]eria [at] Delphi, with [Eu]ripides’ Hercules, and with Archestratus’ [An]taeus. [The Pto]lemaia [at Ale]xandreia, [in me]ns’ [wre]stling. The Heraia with Euripides’ He[r]cules and with Euripides’ Archelaus. The Naia at Dodona with Euripides’ Archelaus, Chaeremon’s Achilles. And eighty eight scenic contests in individual cities, Dionysia, or some other festivals that the cities were organizing.
In accordance with the festivals it refers to, the inscription is roughly datable to the period between 276 and 219,²²⁷ and it provides a memorial of victories of an actor from Tegea. There are six victories listed in ἀγῶνες στεφανῖται, namely contests with crown prizes, and eighty-eight victories in ἀγῶνες χρηματῖται, namely contests with money prizes.²²⁸ This star-actor had a particular repertoire of mostly-Euripidean ‘old’ tragedies which he performed repeatedly.²²⁹ The rationale behind his choice of tragedies for his ‘playlist’ is clear. Orestes, for example, the performance of which also granted the actor a victory in the prestigious Great Dionysia, was an all-time favorite, a very popular play, and, as it seems, one of Euripides’ most successful.²³⁰ ‘What is peculiar [however] is the promi-
Revermann 1999/2000, 463. Revermann 1999/2000, 463. He was also contesting in boxing games. His boxing victory might further show that he was good in roles of Hercules, see Csapo/Slater 1995, 200. Evidence attests to reperformances of Orestes in Athens at the Great Dionysia for two suc cessive years (IG II2 2320.13, 19). On the play’s impact see Revermann (1999/2000) 463 n. 54, with references.
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nence of the Archelaus, part of his repertoire in two victorious contests, at Argos and Dodona. Why should those audiences be particularly attracted by a play with in-built Macedonian ideology?’ Martin Revermann rightly asks.²³¹ He then maintains that our actor would have chosen to perform Archelaus both because it contains local references to Argos and Dodona, and, more importantly, because it includes political references that would have been welcomed by the Macedonians and the Epirotes alike.²³² The paradigm projected by this inscription is that of the performative ‘recycling’ in different contexts and into different theatrical experiences. The Tegean actor’s selection of Archelaus as the most suitable text for performance in such different venues (Argos and Dodona) highlights the performative versatility of a theatrical text. The potential for theatrical mobility of both poets and actors was imbedded in the tragic texts even in the special cases of ad hominem inspiration, which was the case of Archelaus. Given the special conditions and reasons for its composition, we have to seriously consider the possibility that there were inbuilt variations which would facilitate its mobility and contextual versatility which were orchestrated by Euripides himself. Two separate prologues might have been gradually developed to suit different performances at different theaters, with different audiences, which Euripides himself might have organized. The ground is more uncertain with the Bacchae, although we know that the play was performed in Athens.²³³ Topographical references to Pieria, Mount Olympus, and the Macedonian rivers Axius and Lydias in the play²³⁴ have given rise to a serious, though hesitant, discussion regarding a Macedonian (re)performance.²³⁵ Any scenario could be possible and, unless new evidence is revealed, the case may never be closed. Euripides could have written the play in Athens with a Macedonian audience in mind, or he could have written it whilst he was in Archelaus’ court, but without the intention of banning it from Athenian festivals. In both cases, the conclusion is, I believe, the same. The Bacchae shows its adaptability by incorporating non-Athenian local elements, whilst also preserving its Athenian identity. Such a fusion opens a wide window of performative possibilities, which, when put in a context of cultural mobility, start to make more sense. We cannot be sure of the play’s place of
Revermann 1999/2000, 463. Revermann 1999/2000, 464 5. Schol. Ar. Ran. 67; TrGF I Did. C 22; Suda ε 3695 [II 469.3 5 Adler]. See Dodds 1960, xxxix xl. Eur. Bacch. 409 11, 560 75. Cf. Dodds 1960, xxxix xl; Polacco 1986, 18 21; Easterling 1994, 77 8; Seaford 1996, 49 n. 102, 184; Csapo 1999/2000, 414; Revermann 1999/2000, 461 2; Hanink 2008, 116 and n. 5; Vah tikari 2014, 89 90, 150 2.
composition or first performance. But we can have very little doubt that if Euripides finally went to Macedon, he would have wanted to organize a (re)performance of his newly-written gem, along with his Macedon-oriented Archelaus.
1.5.5 Euripidean reperformances in Cyrene? Archaeological study has revealed two theaters in Cyrene which were built before the end of the fifth century: an urban theater, probably located beside the precinct of Apollo, and a rural theater, in the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore.²³⁶ The urban theater may have had a skene, which would imply full dramatic productions, but so far no evidence for local actors in the fifth century has been found.²³⁷ Due to its ties to Athens in the fifth century however,²³⁸ it is likely that Athenian plays were performed there even earlier than the fourth century as suggested by two inscriptions listing the accounts of the damiergoi, with expenses for tragic and dithyrambic choruses and an auletes, as well as prizes for each chorus.²³⁹ Those two inscriptions testify to a festival with three choruses, perhaps reflecting the Athenian Dionysia.²⁴⁰ Even earlier evidence from two fifthcentury funerary reliefs might reflect a Cyrenean reperformance of an Athenian tragedy. The reliefs, kept in the Archaeological Museum of Cyrene,²⁴¹ show influences from Euripides’ Alcestis, a reperformance of which, says Laronde, might have happened in the theater of the sanctuary of Apollo at Cyrene not much later than its Athenian premiere.²⁴²
Csapo/Wilson 2015, 379. Acosta Hughes/Stephens 2012, 7. As suggested by findings of Panathenaic vases in Libya and mostly in Cyrene. See Laronde 1987, 142 5; Luni, 2002. SEG 9.13 and 48.2052. See Acosta Hughes/Stephens 2012, 7; Ceccarelli/Milanezi 2007 with discussion and references. Dobias Lalou 1993, 35. Reproduced in Laronde 1987, 138 9 pls. 36 7. See also Quattrocelli 2006. Laronde 1987, 140. On the other hand, the reliefs might just be alluding to Alcestis’ myth, a topos popular during the celebration of the Carneia, at Sparta, or in Thera and Cyrene (Ceccar elli/Milanezi 2007, 201 2).
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1.5.6 Euripides in Thessaly and Molossia? Euripides produced Andromache sometime around 425²⁴³ according to metrical and stylistic evidence.²⁴⁴ The place of its first production is debated. The absence of its premiere from the list of the Didascaliae is not strong enough evidence for the case of a premiere outside Athens, since the Didascaliae records are incomplete.²⁴⁵ What raises our suspicion though is a scholion on line 445, with reference to Andromache’s grudge on the Spartans:²⁴⁶ Ταῦτα ἐπὶ τῶι ᾿Aνδρομάχης προσχήματί φησιν Εὐριπίδης λοιδορούμενος τοῖς Σπαρτιάταις διὰ τὸν ἐνεστῶτα πόλεμον. Καὶ γὰρ δὴ καὶ παρεσπονδήκεσαν πρὸς ᾿Aθηναίους, καθάπερ οἱ περὶ τὸν Φιλόχορον ἀναγράφουσιν. εἰλικρινῶς δὲ τοὺς τοῦ δράματος χρόνους οὐκ ἔστι λαβεῖν˙ οὐ δεδίδακται γὰρ ᾿Aθήνησιν. ὁ δὲ Καλλίμαχος ἐπιγραφῆναί φησι τῆι τραγωιδίαι Δημοκράτην … φαίνεται δὲ γεγραμμένον τὸ δρᾶμα ἐν ἀρχαῖς τοῦ Πελοποννησιακοῦ πολέμου. (Schol. Eur. Andr. 445 = TrGF I 124.2) Euripides says this on the pretext of Andromache, railing at the Spartans regarding the on going war. For they had also breached the truce towards the Athenians, according to what is reported on the public record about Philochorus. One cannot determine the date of the play precisely, because it was not produced in Athens. Callimachus says the tragedy was ascribed to Democrates … The play appears to have been written towards the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.²⁴⁷
This is certainly important information, but cannot prove that the play was not produced in Athens.²⁴⁸ Callimachus ascribes the play to a certain Democrates, a third-century tragic poet from Sicyon, who composed twenty tragedies.²⁴⁹ It has been maintained that Democrates might be a Euripidean pseudonym,²⁵⁰ the name of the didascalos in the fifth-century production,²⁵¹ or the name of the
Stevens 1971; Allan 2000, 149; Kovacs 2005, 267. See Allan 2000, 149 n. 3 for discussion. As Harder 1985, 126 n. 4, has rightly argued, since the Didascaliae records are incomplete, a play’s absence from the list ‘cannot be used as a positive argument against production at Ath ens’. Eur. Andr. 445 9, ὦ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποισιν ἔχθιστοι βροτῶν / Σπάρτης ἔνοικοι, δόλια βουλευ τήρια, / ψευδῶν ἄνακτες, μηχανορράφοι κακῶν, / ἑλικτὰ κοὐδὲν ὑγιὲς, ἀλλὰ πᾶν πέριξ / φρο νοῦντες, ἀδίκως εὐτυχεῖτ᾽ ἀν᾽ Ἑλλάδα. Translation partially by Allan 2000, 150. Lloyd 1994, 12. TrGF I 124.1, with the editor showing his skepticism. Robertson 1923, 59. Wilamowitz 1875, 148.
choregos or the director of a later fourth-century revival.²⁵² Csapo and Slater suggest we should read Democrates as Timocrates, an Argive who has been anonymously attributed with the authorship of Euripides’ songs.²⁵³ Many possibilities open up and certainty is impossible. Putting the testimonia in a wider (re)performative context however makes a non-Athenian performance of the Andromache more likely. By the 420s, reperformances were a theatrical norm that was further facilitated by the itinerancy of poets and actors. Texts, poets, actors, and choruses were traveling and performances were repeated. Even Athenian-oriented tragedies were meant to be reperformed outside Athens, while tragedies with a non-Athenian focus, like Archelaus, would have also been reperformed in Athens sometime in their performative afterlife. Andromache was composed to appeal to non-Athenian audiences, the Molossians and the Thessalians, and was certainly reperformed.²⁵⁴ Molossia and Thessaly are the two states that feature as the play’s locales. The play is set in Thessaly, but it concludes by foreshadowing Andromache’s resettlement in Molossia. The prophecy is put forth by Thetis, who appears as a deus ex machina and consoles heart-broken Peleus: he should not grieve for Neoptolemus’ death or for his line becoming extinct. Andromache will dwell in Molossia, where she will marry Helenus and her son (Molossus) will start a long and blessed dynasty: γυναῖκα δ᾽ αἰχμάλωτον, ᾿Aνδρομάχην λέγω, Μολοσσίαν γῆν χρὴ κατοικῆσαι, γέρον, Ἑλένωι συναλλαχθεῖσαν εὐναίοις γάμοις, καὶ παῖδα τῆσδε, τῶν ἀπ᾽ Αἰακοῦ μόνον λελειμμένον δή. βασιλέα δ᾽ ἐκ τοῦδε χρὴ ἄλλον δι᾽ ἄλλου διαπερᾶν Μολοσσίας εὐδαιμονοῦντας˙ οὐ γὰρ ὧδ᾽ ἀνάστατον γένος γενέσθαι δεῖ τὸ σὸν κἀμόν, γέρον, Τροίας τε. Καὶ γὰρ θεοῖσι κἀκείνης μέλει, καίπερ πεσούσης Παλλάδος προθυμίαι. (Eur. Andr. 1243 52) As for the captive woman, Andromache that is, she must migrate to the land of the Molos sians and be married to Helenus, and with her must go her son, the last of the line of Aea cus. It is fated that his descendants in unbroken succession will rule over Molossia in bless edness. For, old sir, it was not to be that your race and mine should be so laid waste, nor that of Troy, for Troy too is in the gods’ care although it fell by the will of Pallas.²⁵⁵
Allan 2000, 150 n. 8. Csapo/Slater 1995, 15. Allan 2000, 157 8. Translation by Kovacs 2005.
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Taplin has discussed ‘localizations’, such as local topography or local aetiologies that could be attached to local dynasties,²⁵⁶ and both he and Easterling have indicated passages that could have been ‘framed’ by Euripides for non-Athenian audiences.²⁵⁷ The lines from Andromache mentioning Molossia might very well pinpoint a Euripidean intention of a non-Athenian production, or at least for non-Athenian secondary audiences. As suggested by specific narrative choices,²⁵⁸ Euripides promoted a ‘Hellenizing’ outreach, open to the possibility of future performances of the Andromache in Thessaly and Molossia, especially in a period when the Athenians had particular interest in the area and the Molossians were attempting to enter the wider political map under young king Tharyps.²⁵⁹ All this potential must of course primarily stay within the narrative world of the play, but at the same time should be taken under serious consideration. In the context of cultural mobility, it is difficult to imagine that Euripides would not have been interested in appealing to audiences beyond Attica. Both Thessaly and Molossia could have hosted performances of the play, be it of little importance whether they were premieres or restagings. Andromache’s narrative shows Euripides’ awareness of a play’s potential to be performed outside Athens and reperformed in it. In the words of Allan, ‘even if we retain a first production at Athens, it is certainly possible … that the play was reperformed outside Attica and was written with this in mind’.²⁶⁰
1.6 The tradition of the embolima In the last part of this chapter I am going to conclude the material discussed above with the example of a practice developed in the late fifth and fourth centuries, the embolima. This chapter examined dramatic reperformances happening all over the Greek world as part of the culture of poetic itinerancy. Reperformances of tragedy have been traditionally dated to the fourth century, mainly due to the Fasti, the inscription of the surviving list of victors at the City Dionysia, according to which 387/6 was the year of introduction of palaion drama to the festival. This theory had its roots in nineteenth-century philology and various misconceptions regarding ancient performance saw its continuous development
Taplin 1999, esp. 44. Easterling 1994; Taplin 1999. Like Neoptolemus’ settle in Thessaly and the validation of the Molossians’ genealogy. Allan 2000, 153 5. Allan 2000, 151.
1.6 The tradition of the embolima
as an idea. However, they were gradually disproven through the growth in scholarship in other relevant areas, such as drama outside Athens, drama in the fourth century, ancient acting, as well as archaeology of theaters.²⁶¹ The reperformances of tragedy in the fifth century can be better understood if seen in the context of two major fifth-century cultural characteristics: that of the spread of drama and that of poetic mobility. Archaeological and theoretical studies have now falsified the idea of Athens as having a dramatic monopoly.²⁶² Theatrical culture was spread all over the Greek world, and if indeed Athens ever had a monopoly, it did not last long. Athens nevertheless played a large part in disseminating drama. Not only was it ‘exporting’ its poets, but it was also ‘hosting’ foreigners who aspired to make a living from theater. There are many cases of non-Athenians who became successful poets in Athens, in the same way that our three tragedians exhibited a successful theatrical mobility in Attica and beyond. The institution of reperformances preserved the archaic culture of poetic mobility, which nurtured the culture of dramatic restagings. Theater’s growth to become the prevailing A-list cultural event of the fifth century was indeed the culmination of its reperformance, its travel, and its subsequent spread. Such a cultural phenomenon is practically reflected in an often-overlooked theatrical practice, the embolima. The embolima were the ‘throw-ins’, the detached choral parts that were out of context in the narrative, and were composed in order to be practiced by local choruses, who would thus be ready to fill in the choral odes in performances of any tragedy. This would mean that a troupe of traveling actors was able to set up a performance of any play, anywhere, fast and easy. Aristotle tells us that the late fifth-century poet Agathon was the first one to have composed embolima: καὶ τὸν χορὸν δὲ ἕνα δεῖ ὑπολαμβάνειν τῶν ὑποκριτῶν, καὶ μόριον εἶναι τοῦ ὅλου καὶ συνα γωνίζεσθαι μὴ ὥσπερ Εὐριπίδηι ἀλλ᾽ ὥσπερ Σοφοκλεῖ. τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς τὰ ἀιδόμενα οὐδὲν μᾶλλον τοῦ μύθου ἢ ἄλλης τραγωιδίας ἐστίν: διὸ ἐμβόλιμα ἄιδουσιν πρώτου ἄρξαντος ᾿Aγάθωνος τοῦ τοιούτου. καίτοι τί διαφέρει ἢ ἐμβόλιμα ἄιδειν ἢ εἰ ῥῆσιν ἐξ ἄλλου εἰς ἄλλο ἁρμόττοι ἢ ἐπεισόδιον ὅλον; (Arist. Poet. 1456a25 32) It is necessary to consider the chorus as one of the actors, a part of the whole and a par ticipant in the action, not as in Euripides, but as in Sophocles. The songs of the later tra gedians have no more connection with the story than they do with any other tragedy, and so they sing embolima (‘throw ins’). Agathon was the first to produce this sort of thing. And yet
See the introduction in Lamari 2015b, esp. 181 3. See Csapo/Wilson 2015.
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what difference does it make if they sing embolima or insert as speech or a whole episode from one drama to another?²⁶³
The embolima came along with the generic characteristic of the gradual decline of the choral parts, but at the same time testify to this chapter’s main lines of thought: dramatic reperformances, dramatic spread, and theatrical travel. The existence of trained local choruses ‘waiting’ for the foreign actors to arrive and quickly set up a performance shows how intimately linked reperforming and traveling are to fifth- and fourth- century theatrical culture.
Translation by Csapo/Slater 1995, 354.
2 Reperformances in a political context 2.1 Introduction This chapter is concerned with the political dynamics of ancient reperformances in different cultural contexts. In my discussion, I will refer to two milestones in the history of dramatic reperformance: the death of Aeschylus in 456, and the formal establishment of reperformances of ‘old’ tragedy at the Dionysia of 386. Both events seem to be inseparably woven into the wider historical and political contexts of the period, while also being consonant with the culture of traveling poets, actors, and performers. I will explore the different types of political theater in the course of the evolution of tragic reperformances through the fifth and fourth centuries. The political dimensions of the reperformances practice is initially introverted and hidden in the public reperformances of fifth-century Athens, but becomes perhaps more politicized in the more private spaces of the fourth century, in particular the courts of kings in Macedon and tyrants in Sicily. A line of evolution can thus be traced: we can see a movement from public to private, as the political aspects become more dominant and overt, especially outside the Athenian borders. The informal and purely spontaneous reperformances of the early fifth century grow into formalized restagings of Aeschylus’ tragedies after his death, and finally into hors de concours side-performances which trigger political reflections after 386. My discussion at the beginning of this chapter is consciously ‘unpoliticized’. I will set out the basic theatrical parameters that condition reperformances and then examine how these are politically contextualized. I will first discuss the beginnings of the institution of reperformance, along with its political characteristics, and then will embark on an analysis of the political parameters of the choregiae of reperformances, continuing with inquiries into the equally political cultural milestone of a palaion drama reperformance at 386. My analysis then ventures into exploring the political implications of the actors’ performances outside Attica, in Macedon and Sicily.
2 Reperformances in a political context
2.2 Beginning of reperformances in the fifth century It may not be an exaggeration to suggest that the single most important date in the history of fourth century tragedy was 386, the year when an official contest in revived ‘old’ plays was instituted at the City Dionysia, and the individuals responsible for the mounting of these productions were the tragic actors themselves (tragōidoi).²⁶⁴
Thus does Pat Easterling reflect what was, until very recently, considered an orthodoxy in theatrical history. 387/6 was the year that, according to the Fasti, a performance of palaion drama was introduced as a formal addition to the program of the City Dionysia:²⁶⁵ ἐπὶ Θεοδότου παλαιὸν δρᾶμα πρῶτο[ν] παρεδίδαξαν οἱ τραγ[ωιδοί]²⁶⁶ (IG II2 2318.VIII.201 3) When Theodotus was archon trag[ic performers] for the first tim[e] produced in addition an old drama;
A section of the Didascaliae ²⁶⁷ records the reperformances of three Euripidean tragedies almost fifty years later, in 342/1, 341/0, and 340/39: [ἐπὶ Σωσιγένους σατυρι] 3
[παλαι]ᾶι Νε[οπτόλεμος] [Ἰφιγε]νείαι Εὐρ[ιπ]ίδο[υ] … 18 παλαιᾶι : Νεοπτόλεμ[ος] Ὀρέστηι Εὐριπίδο … 32 [παλαιᾶι : Νικ?]όστρ[ατος] [. . . .8. . . . Εὐ]ριπί[δου]²⁶⁸ (IG II2 2320.1 33)
[When Sosigenes was archon with a satyri…]; Ne[optolemus] participated [with an old trag ed]y, [the Iphige]neia by Eur[ip]ide[s]; … Neoptolem[us] participated with an old tragedy, the
Easterling 1997a, 213. For the political and cultural associations rising from the launch of this palaion drama event in 386, see Hanink 2015. See also Millis/Olson 2012, 56. An inscription more thorough than the Fasti, listing all the information about the compe tition, not just the victors, see IG II2 2320. See also Millis/Olson 2012, 65 9.
2.2 Beginning of reperformances in the fifth century
Orestes by Euripides; … [Nic]ostr[atus] [participated with an old tragedy, the … by Eu]ripi [des]
This inscription attests that Neoptolemus reperformed an Iphigeneia in 342/1, Orestes in the following year, and in 340/39, Nicostratus restaged a Euripidean tragedy, whose title has not survived.²⁶⁹ The Fasti inscription of 387/6 is a milestone in the history of drama. The verb παρεδίδαξαν (‘offered in addition’) reveals that the play presented by the tragic performers (τραγωιδοί) was an addition to the regular program,²⁷⁰ a repetition hors de concours, on the grounds that these plays were considered ‘classics’. By the fourth century, popular old tragedies were not performed in the context of the traditional dramatic competition.²⁷¹ The more systematic listing of the old plays (from 342) by the consistent use of the expression παλαιᾶι [sc. τραγωιδίαι] (‘with the old’ [tragedies]) reveals that ‘old’ tragedies during the fourth century were restaged separately from the competition involving new tragedies, whilst it might also imply that in the fifth century, old plays were reproduced as an integrated part of the tragic agon. ²⁷² The Fasti inscription has been responsible for the dogma that reperformances became systematic only after the fifth century, evolving into a dominant characteristic of fourth-century theater. In 1990, J. Redfield wrote that ‘Attic tragedy … was an occasional art; plays were written for a single performance’,²⁷³ while a year earlier, P. D. Arnott maintained that fourth-century theater mostly contained tragic revivals.²⁷⁴ Over the last twenty years this approach to the fourth century tragedy has been progressively challenged²⁷⁵ and finally abandoned.²⁷⁶ The single performance hypothesis for fifth-century theater was first proposed in the
On Neoptolemus and Nicostratus, see Stefanis 1988 nos. 1797 and 1861. Pickard Cambridge 1968, 124. Nervegna 2007, 15. See also Wilson 2000, 22, who maintains that a passage from Philostratus (V A 6.11) and the opening of the Acharnians (9 12) both ‘suggest that when Aiskhylos was to be reproduced under these conditions, his plays were an integrated part of the traditional tragic agon, not outside it, as was to be the case with the more systematic production of “old” tragedies and comedies in the fourth century’. What is more, Le Guen 2007b, 85 n. 3 clarifies that the adjective παλαιόν is used to refer to plays that have already premiered and does not correspond to the meaning of ‘old’ or ‘classical’. See also Lamari 2015a, 195 200. Redfield 1990, 325. Arnott 1989, 46. See Easterling 1993; Le Guen 1995; 2007b; Wilson 2007b; Gildenhard/Revermann 2010; Ner vegna 2013. See Csapo/Goette/Green/Wilson 2014. See also the Introduction in this book.
2 Reperformances in a political context
nineteenth century²⁷⁷ but held sway well into the 1990s, when it also gained a strictly Athenian identity.²⁷⁸ The growth in interdisciplinary research into dramatic reperformance has proved this misconception wrong. The results from research on drama outside Athens,²⁷⁹ on drama in the fourth century,²⁸⁰ on ancient acting and stagecraft,²⁸¹ as well as on the iconography²⁸² and archaeology of the theaters in the late fifth and fourth centuries,²⁸³ has shed light on a vibrant culture of dramatic repetitions flourishing across the Greek world from the fifth century onwards.²⁸⁴ I have elsewhere examined the testimonia that suggest an early fifth-century origin for dramatic reperformance, in formal and informal contexts.²⁸⁵ Although I will not repeat the discussion on the testimonia here, I will evaluate them in political terms. Aeschylean tragedies seem to have been among the first to be reperformed. Most scholars consider it entirely possible that dramatic reperformances came soon after Aeschylus’ death.²⁸⁶ Below, I will propose that restagings of tragedies started sporadically while Aeschylus was still alive, and became more systematic after his death. Political dynamics will have certainly been at play during all these cultural procedures.
2.2.1 Evaluating the sources Aeschylus’ Vita offers information on reperformances on which we cannot completely rely. It refers to a decree, voted for by the Athenians, according to which anyone wishing to restage an Aeschylean play after the poet’s death would be given a chorus.²⁸⁷ This decree on reperformances seems to be a forgery, a ‘con-
See Grysar 1830, 3, according whom theatrical revivals were forbidden by specific rule. See Winkler/Zeitlin 1990. See also the Introduction in this book. See Allan 2001; Bosher 2012b; Vahtikari 2014. See Csapo/Goette/Green/Wilson 2014. See Csapo 2004a; 2010a. See Taplin 1993; 2007. See Goette 2014; Moretti 2014. See the very recent volume on dramatic reperformances by Lamari 2015b. Lamari 2015a. See Sommerstein 1980, 158 on Ach. 10; Slater 1990, 385 95; Dover 1993, 23; Wilson 2000, 22; Revermann 2006, 72 3. Differently Biles 2006/2007, who is skeptical. TrGF III test. A 1.48 52, ᾿Aθηναῖοι δὲ τοσοῦτον ἠγάπησαν Αἰσχύλον ὡς ψηφίσασθαι μετὰ θάνατον αὐτοῦ τὸν βουλόμενον διδάσκειν τὰ Αἰσχύλου χορὸν λαμβάνειν. ἐβίω δὲ ἔτη ξγʹ, ἐν οἷς ἐποίησεν δράματα οʹ καὶ ἐπὶ τούτοις σατυρικὰ ἀμφὶ τὰ εʹ. νίκας δὲ τὰς πάσας εἴληφε
2.2 Beginning of reperformances in the fifth century
structed’ document that was nevertheless based on historical sources.²⁸⁸ What lends the Vita legitimacy is the fact that it is in accordance with sources such as the testimonia from Philostratus,²⁸⁹ Aristophanes’ Acharnians ²⁹⁰ and Frogs,²⁹¹ as well as Quintilian.²⁹² Regardless of the diversity of their origin, these sources all tell that the initiation of reperformances was in Aeschylus’ honor. The scholarship on this subject tends to endorse this, although more specific parameters are not discussed. However, the information offered by the Vita is as untrustworthy as it is illuminating. Although ancient biographies are considered to have been largely based on second-hand material gathered from various literary sources and, according to Lefkowitz and others, ancient biographers gleaned most of their information about their subject from the subject’s own work,²⁹³ over the last couple of years, scholars have shifted their focus. Barbara Graziosi has shown that, irrespective of their credibility, ancient discussions of Homer can be seen as ‘testimonies to the significance and meaning of the Homeric poems for specific audiences’.²⁹⁴ Johanna Hanink has likewise adapted a methodology based on
τρεισκαίδεκα· οὐκ ὀλίγας δὲ μετὰ τελευτὴν νίκας ἀπηνέγκατο. For a discussion, see Lamari 2015a, 191 5. See Lamari 2015a, 193 5. ‘Constructed’ documents might be forgeries, but they do corre spond to historical practices, in contrast to ‘fictitious’ documents which reproduce events with no historical basis. See Chaniotis 2015. Philostr. V A 6.11, ὅθεν ᾿Aθηναῖοι πατέρα μὲν αὐτὸν τῆς τραγωιδίας ἡγοῦντο, ἐκάλουν δὲ καὶ τεθνεῶτα ἐς Διονύσια, τὰ γὰρ τοῦ Αἰσχύλου ψηφισαμένων ἀνεδιδάσκετο καὶ ἐνίκα ἐκ καινῆς. For a discussion, see Lamari 2015a, 198 200. Ar. Ach. 8 11, ἀλλ᾽ ὠδυνήθην ἕτερον αὖ τραγωιδικόν, / ὅτε δὴ ᾽κεχήνη προσδοκῶν τὸν Αἰσχύλον, / ὁ δ᾽ ἀνεῖπεν‧ “εἴσαγ᾽, ὦ Θέογνι, τὸν χορόν”. / πῶς τοῦτ᾽ ἔσεισέ μου δοκεῖς τὴν καρ δίαν; For a discussion, see Lamari 2015a, 195 6. Ar. Ran. 865 9, ΔΙ. σὺ δὲ δὴ τί βουλεύει ποιεῖν; λέγ᾽, Αἰσχύλε. / ΑΙ. ἐβουλόμην μὲν οὐκ ἐρί ζειν ἐνθάδε· / οὐκ ἐξ ἴσου γάρ ἐστιν ἁγὼν νῶιν. / ΔΙ. τί δαί; / ΑΙ. ὅτι ἡ ποίησις οὐχὶ συντέθνηκέ μοι, / τούτωι δὲ συντέθνηκεν, ὥσθ᾽ ἕξει λέγειν. For a discussion, see Lamari 2015a, 201 2. Quint. Inst. 10.1.66, tragoedias primus in lucem Aeschylus protulit, sublimis et gravis et gran dilocus saepe usque ad vitium, sed rudis in plerisque et incompositus: propter quod correctas eius fabulas in certamen deferre posterioribus poetis Athenienses permisere: suntque eo modo multi coronati. For a discussion, see Lamari 2015a, 197 8. See Momigliano 1971, 23, ‘any account in verse or prose that tells us something about an individual can be taken as preparatory to biography; and any statement about oneself, whether in poetry or in prose, can be regarded as autobiographical. Looked at from this angle, the whole of the surviving epic and lyric poetry of the Greeks is antecedent either to biography or to auto biography’; Lefkowitz 1981, viii, ‘I hope to show that virtually all the material in all the lives is fiction, and that only certain factual information is likely to have survived, and then usually be cause the poet himself provided it for a different purpose’; 1991, 119. Graziosi 2002, 3.
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reception to approach the biography of Euripides.²⁹⁵ As maintained by Hanink, ancient biographical information remains of interest in that it provides evidence for the audiences’ reception of and interaction with the circulating biographical material.²⁹⁶ Lefkowitz maintains that ‘Aristophanes … may in fact provide the primary source material from which the prose biographies of Aeschylus and Euripides are drawn’.²⁹⁷ The similarities between the testimonia from the Vita and the Aristophanic passages are indeed striking. If we are to infer however that the composer of the Vita has taken his information from Aristophanes, then we must ask whether we can trust the comic poet as a reliable historic source. It is possible that Aristophanes was devising comic theatrical contexts in order to provoke laughter. But the references to the concept of reperformance imply a contemporary practice which does not seem to be a joke itself, but provides a context for other jokes. The references to fifth-century reperformance of Aeschylus found in the Acharnians and the Frogs ²⁹⁸ clearly point to a reperformative culture and perhaps constitute the most indisputable evidence, simply because if indeed tragic reperformance was not common when Aristophanes produced his plays, how could those jokes that reference this practice be effective? Why would he have presupposed a fake theatrical practice and allude to it if no one was to understand it? Aristophanes alluded to reperformance because it could provide a context for the following jokes to be developed. There is no doubt that in the fifth century, a culture of personal reading coexisted with that of dramatic reperformance, but it seems that Aristophanes addressed both the intertextual, and the intertheatrical competence of his audience. Alongside the erudite Euripides, who is known to have owned a rich library,²⁹⁹ a wider group of book owners and book lovers must have also represented a significant portion of late fifth-century Athenians. Towards the end of the fifth century, at least some Athenians had access to written tragic texts,³⁰⁰
Hanink 2010. Hanink 2010, 542. Along the same lines, Goldhill 2009, 108 has shown that biographical collections of the Imperial period reflect the way the past was received in that particular period of time. Lefkowitz 1991, 119. Ach. 8 11; Ran. 865 9. See Lamari 2015a, 195 7, 200 1 for a detailed discussion. See Ar. Ran. 943, 1409. Also note Thomas 1989, 19 and n. 16; Latacz 2003, 255. See Ar. Ran. 52 4, where Dionysus reads a text of Euripides’ Andromeda, while later the Chorus assume that each member of the audience has a book (βιβλίον τ᾽ ἔχων ἕκαστος, 1114). It has been further maintained (Ford 2003, 33) that Euripidean poetry was used as a school text from the period after the Sicilian expedition of 415 13. Archaeological findings also suggest
2.2 Beginning of reperformances in the fifth century
and ‘textualized’ versions of dramas would have been a basic concern also for Aristophanes, who seems to have cared both for his ‘performative’ audience, and for his ‘secondary’ target group, the readers of his comedies.³⁰¹ In the much-discussed parabasis of the Clouds, the chorus leader turns to the spectators and tells them that he will never willingly betray the clever amongst them: ὦ θεώμενοι, κατερῶ πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλευθέρως τἀληθῆ, νὴ τὸν Διόνυσον τὸν ἐκθρέψαντά με. οὕτω νικήσαιμί τ᾽ ἐγὼ καὶ νομιζοίμην σοφὸς ὡς ὑμᾶς ἡγούμενος εἶναι θεατὰς δεξιοὺς καὶ ταύτην σοφώτατ᾽ ἔχειν τῶν ἐμῶν κωμωιδιῶν πρώτους ἠξίωσ᾽ ἀναγεῦσ᾽ ὑμᾶς, ἣ παρέσχε μοι ἔργον πλεῖστον· εἶτ᾽ ἀνεχώρουν ὑπ᾽ ἀνδρῶν φορτικῶν ἡττηθεὶς οὐκ ἄξιος ὤν. ταῦτ᾽ οὖν ὑμῖν μέμφομαι τοῖς σοφοῖς, ὧν οὕνεκ᾽ ἐγὼ ταῦτ᾽ ἐπραγματευόμην. ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ὣς ὑμῶν ποθ᾽ ἑκὼν προδώσω τοὺς δεξιούς. (Ar. Nub. 518 27) Spectators, I will speak the truth to you frankly, so help me Dionysus, the god who reared me. So may I win the prize and be thought sage, I took you for intelligent theatergoers and this for the most sophisticated of my comedies; that is why I thought you deserved to be the first to savor it, a play that cost me very hard work. Then I lost the contest, defeated by vul gar men, thought I didn’t deserve to. For that I blame you sophisticated ones, for whose sake I was doing all that work. Even so, I will never deliberately betray the intelligent among you.³⁰²
These lines are usually interpreted as a poetic statement of Aristophanes, who selects a sophisticated part of the audience as his primary target group.³⁰³ Aristophanes however is usually consistent in his references to the Athenian audience, whom he commonly addresses as a whole.³⁰⁴ In any case, whether or
that literacy dominated everyday lives of late fifth century Athenians in functional forms, such as commercial transactions or lists of goods or public records (see Thomas 2009, passim). Rosen 1997. For the time when Greek poetry started to be written down, see Herrington 1985, 45 8; Thomas 1992, 123 7; Ford 2003. Text and translation by Henderson 1998. Cortassa 1986; Hubbard 1991, 88 139. Csapo 2000, 131. The division here might derive from a textual problem (see Dover 1968, 166), whose editing seems to reflect the philological tradition of the double audience theory. See Csapo 2000, 131: ‘I think it more likely that the double audience theory of later antiquity led to corruption in the opposite direction. Aristophanes would surely have no ground for im puting his failure to the clever, if he thought them a minority’. The double audience theory has its roots in Plato’s theory of cultural degeneration and collapse of cultural aristocracy (see characteristically Leg. 700c 701a), and is also reflected in modern scholarship, see e. g.
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not Aristophanes was complaining about his audience’s sophistication in the Clouds, he would have certainly been conscious of the ‘fragility of the link between himself as a poet and his audience’,³⁰⁵ and thus would have been willing to take into consideration his audience’s preferences and theatrical knowledge, otherwise his jokes would be useless. It is his audience whom he calls upon to have his allusions deciphered, it is they who will recognize the intertheatrical references of his comedies.³⁰⁶ Recognition of intertextual allusions was, for Aristophanes, a matter of constant concern. In this way, a tradition of tragic restagings comes to the fore as a basic cultural mechanism that provided the audience with the much-needed theatrical competence.
2.2.2 διδάσκειν, ἀναδιδάσκειν, and παραδιδάσκειν It is now time to revisit the Fasti inscription with which we began. As was made clear, by the fourth century, old plays enjoyed a different status, being performed in addition to new ones. Fourth-century reperformances are referred to in public records with the term παρεδίδαξαν (‘offered in addition’).³⁰⁷ The prefix παραwith the meaning of something being put aside, hence hors de concours, is nowhere attested to in the testimonia referring to the fifth century, where we come across διδάσκω³⁰⁸ and ἀναδιδάσκω.³⁰⁹ This is revealing in reference to the running position of reperformances in fifth- and fourth-century theater programs. The Didascaliae of 341, 340, and 339³¹⁰ show that ‘old plays’ (παλαιᾶι [sc. τραγωιδίαι]) are clearly separated from the contesting new tragic trilogies; they are indicated as ‘old’ before the contesting triad is announced,³¹¹ while the winner is always one of the new poets. As testified by the Didascaliae, a fourth-century theatrical event began
Segal 1985, 244; Ghiron Bistagne 1974, 1335; 1354. For a thorough discussion, see Csapo 2000, esp. 129 32. Bremer 1993, 127. See e. g. Aristophanes’ references to Electra, the heroine who he says ‘has come on a quest, hoping somewhere to find similarly intelligent spectators’ (Nub. 535, ζητοῦσ᾽ ἦλθ᾽, ἤν που ᾽πιτύ χηι θεαταῖς οὕτω σοφοῖς). See also Nervegna 2007, 15 and Pickard Cambridge 1968, 124. See Lamari 2015a, 191 5, 203 4. See Lamari 2015a, 198 200. IG II2 3.2320. e. g. IG II2 2320.1 2, [παλαι]ᾶι Νε[οπτόλεμος] / [Ἰφιγε]νείαι Εὐρ[ιπ]ίδο[υ]; 2320.18 19, παλ αιᾶι: Νεοπτόλεμ[ος] / Ὀρέστηι Εὐριπίδο; 2320.32 3, [παλαιᾶι⋅ Νικ?]όστρ[ατος] / [. . . .8. . . . Εὐ]ριπί[δου].
2.2 Beginning of reperformances in the fifth century
with the performance of a satyr-play, then went on with that of an old tragedy, and concluded with that of the contesting tragic triad.³¹² This inscription makes the meaning of παρεδίδαξαν even clearer, since it evidently points to a side-production paying tribute to the old, classic playwrights. When it comes to the fifth century though, language was different and, as it seems, so was theatrical practice. Fifth-century testimonia use the verb in its plain form, or with the prefix ἀνα- at the beginning, alluding to repetition, but not necessarily at the side, out of contest, or out of the Dionysia. The difference between (ἀνα)διδάσκω in fifth-century sources and παραδιδάσκω in fourth-century sources seems relevant to whether reperformed plays were part of the contest or not. παραδιδάσκω (as opposed to διδάσκω which is used for the new plays)³¹³ is used to reference the procedure of reperformances in fourth-century inscriptions. παραδιδάσκω then never reappears in the Vita (which is later than the fourthcentury inscription), nor in the rest of the testimonia. Therefore we can infer that, if indeed the decree attested in the Vita was not ‘constructed’ but ‘fictitious’,³¹⁴ then why did the composer of the Vita (certainly written later than the fourth century) not use the language for reperformances that was employed in fourth-century inscriptions, using instead διδάσκω or ἀναδιδάσκω? If he was in fact inventing a decree for a theatrical practice that did not exist (‘fictitious’ document), then he would be expected to ‘plunder’ whatever reperformance-terminology was in circulation from the only inscribed source for reperformances, and would have thus used the technical term παραδιδάσκω.³¹⁵ Since post-fifthcentury commentators refer to fifth-century reperformances with terms that are different from their more familiar fourth-century practices (i. e. they are using the terms διδάσκω or ἀναδιδάσκω instead of παραδιδάσκω), they must have been aware of the different contexts of reperformances in the fifth and fourth centuries respectively.
See also Easterling 1997a, 215 17, providing discussion on the actors mentioned in the Di dascalia. See e. g. IG II2 2318.VIII.196; 2318.XI.278. See above n. 288 and Lamari 2015a, 193 5. The fact that (contrary to its wide use in the inscriptions of the fourth century) παραδι δάσκω is not used in the indirect sources discussing reperformances of the fifth century reinfor ces the credibility of the Vita. παραδιδάσκω is a very specific term used for this very specific in stance (reperformances of old tragedies) in a very specific source (inscribed Didascaliae). It is very difficult, almost impossible in my view, not to have influenced a commentator who would have wanted to invent a fake, nonexistent practice and thus imitate the language of the inscriptions of only some years later than the period his fake decree was supposedly refer ring to.
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Reperformances must have been part of the theatrical practice from the first half of the fifth century and then gradually grew into more institutionalized forms with the historical, cultural, and political developments of the second half of the fifth century enhancing their potential for cultural and political impact. I have elsewhere shown that, regardless of the validity of the information concerning the decree,³¹⁶ reperformances were an ongoing fifth-century practice, perhaps reflected in a fabricated document to which the ancient sources seem to be referring. What I will address now is the clear possibility that after Aeschylus’ death, reperformances became more regular yet also more politicized.³¹⁷
2.3 Aeschylus’ death and the politicization of tragic reperformances The period of the middle fifth century is characterized by a cultural boom that accompanies various political and historical challenges. Raaflaub describes this highly politicized era as following: in the period between the Persian and the end of the Peloponnesian War, the entire citizen community of Athens was profoundly transformed and highly politicized; the experience of democracy, unprecedented, exhilarating, and in many ways contested, and that of the rapid changes brought about by Athens’ rise to power, frequent involvement in war, and intellec tual revolution caused massive challenges and tensions that needed to be worked out. The enormous cultural upswing in this period is directly connected with these experiences, and every genre of literature and the arts reflects the communal effort to cope with these chal lenges. It is a priori likely that in all this the theatre had an important role to play.³¹⁸
It is because of the strong connection between politics and culture during this period that we are less reluctant to consider political echoes in the formulization of tragic reperformances. ‘The theatre was an institution of the democracy, and its plays promoted its interests’ Tyrrell maintains.³¹⁹ It seems probable that, in the years following Aeschylus’ death,³²⁰ theater and politics were tangled in an even stronger bond.³²¹
For an evaluation of the decree launching formal Aeschylean reperformances as attested by Aeschylus’ Vita, see Lamari 2015a, 191 5. On the political impact of reperformances of ‘classic’ Athenian plays mostly outside Ath ens, see Duncan 2015. Raaflaub 2012, 472 3. Tyrrell 2012, 26. On Aeschylus and politics, see Sommerstein 2010a, 281 301.
2.3 Aeschylus’ death and the politicization of tragic reperformances
2.3.1 Choregiae Before exploring the political aspects of reperformance, I shall dwell briefly on the choregiae as a quintessential feature of cultural politics. Choregiae were perhaps the most politicized among cultural acts. In case the sponsored play won a prize, this would lead to commemorative monuments, victory lists, and public records. Choregiae work as political inducement, but also as political reinforcement. Plutarch tells us that although Pericles needed no more than his true virtue and power of words, Nicias made use of all the means he could find. The choregiae were a part of it: Περικλῆς μὲν οὖν ἀπό τε ἀρετῆς ἀληθινῆς καὶ λόγου δυνάμεως τὴν πόλιν ἄγων οὐδενὸς ἐδεῖτο σχηματισμοῦ πρὸς τὸν ὄχλον οὐδὲ πιθανότητος, Νικίας δὲ τούτοις μὲν λειπόμενος, οὐσία δὲ προέχων, ἀπ᾽ αὐτῆς ἐδημαγώγει. καὶ τῆι Κλέωνος εὐχερείαι καὶ βωμολοχίαι πρὸς ἡδονὴν μεταχειριζομένηι τοὺς ᾿Aθηναίους διὰ τῶν ὁμοίων ἀντιπαρεξάγειν ἀπίθανος ὤν, χορηγίαις ἀνελάμβανε καὶ γυμνασιαρχίαις ἑτέραις τε τοιαύταις φιλοτιμίαις τὸν δῆμον, ὑπερ βαλλόμενος πολυτελείαι καὶ χάριτι τοὺς πρὸ ἑαυτοῦ καὶ καθ᾽ ἑαυτὸν ἅπαντας. (Plut. Nic. 3.1 2) So Pericles, leading the city by means of his true virtue and power of eloquence, did not need oratorical mannerisms or persuasiveness with the people; but Nicias, lacking such qualities but having more wealth, sought the leadership of the people by means of this. And since it was impossible for him to lead on the Athenians with the recklessness and the buffoonery that Cleon was using because of the same reasons, he took over choregiae and gymnasiarchiae and other analogous occasions for munificence for the people, sur passing all his predecessors and contemporaries in both lavishness and charm.
Plutarch then goes on to list Nicias’ dedicatory offerings, which he can still see in the acropolis or the precinct of Dionysus, as he was indeed a successful choregos. ³²² Being a choregos was an act of political ambition³²³ which, in case the
Facts testifying to this interconnection may include the election of Sophocles to the board of the ten generals in 441/0 and his involvement in politics. See Jameson 1971, esp. 541 n. 2, with ancient references; Lefkowitz 1981, 81 3, as well as the serious conflict between Athens and Sparta in the 450s and 440s, for which see characteristically Ferrario 2012, 453 n. 42: ‘open con flict between the two states during most of the 450’s BC was so serious that it has sometimes been called by modern scholars the “First Peloponnesian War”’. Plut. Nic. 3.3, εἱστήκει δὲ καὶ τῶν ἀναθημάτων αὐτοῦ καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς τό τε Παλλάδιον ἐν ἀκρο πόλει, τὴν χρύσωσιν ἀποβεβληκός, καὶ ὁ τοῖς χορηγικοῖς τρίποσιν ὑποκείμενος ἐν Διονύσου νεώς: ἐνίκησε γὰρ πολλάκις χορηγήσας, ἐλείφθη δ᾽ οὐδέποτε. Those same tripods, dedicated by Nicias and his brothers Eucrates and Diognetus are also mentioned by Plato, Nicias’ contem porary (Grg. 472a, Νικίας ὁ Νικηράτου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ, ὧν τρίποδες οἱ ἐφεξῆς ἐστῶτές εἰσιν ἐν τῶι Διονυσίωι), who however does not refer to the choragic νεώς that according to Plu tarch is lying below the row of tripods. Dinsmoor 1910, 479 must be right in noting that Plutarch
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play won a prize, would lead to a variety of public advertisement of his contribution to the success of the play’s performance.³²⁴ The importance and glory given to successful choregoi are also evident in commemorations of the prizes later than the fifth and fourth centuries, and even outside Athens.³²⁵ There was big public attention given to the choregiae, although it was quite costly a practice. To his discontent, Plutarch realized that the Athenians spent more on performances of the Bacchae, Phoenissae, Oedipus, and Antigone, than on maintaining their empire: πρὸς ἃ Λάκων ἀνὴρ ἀποβλέψας οὐ κακῶς εἶπεν, ὡς ἁμαρτάνουσιν ᾿Aθηναῖοι μεγάλα τὴν σπουδὴν εἰς τὴν παιδιὰν καταναλίσκοντες, τουτέστι μεγάλων ἀποστόλων δαπάνας καὶ στρατευμάτων ἐφόδια καταχορηγοῦντες εἰς τὸ θέατρον. ἂν γὰρ ἐκλογισθῆι τῶν δραμάτων ἕκαστον ὅσου κατέστη, πλέον ἀνηλωκὼς φανεῖται ὁ δῆμος εἰς Βάκχας καὶ Φοινίσσας καὶ Οἰδίποδας καὶ ᾿Aντιγόνην καὶ τὰ Μηδείας κακὰ καὶ Ἠλέκτρας, ὧν ὑπὲρ τῆς ἡγεμονίας καὶ τῆς ἐλευθερίας πολεμῶν τοὺς βαρβάρους ἀνάλωσεν. οἱ μὲν γὰρ στρατηγοὶ πολλάκις παραγ γείλαντες ἄπυρα σιτία κομίζειν ἐξῆγον ἐπὶ τὰς μάχας τοὺς ἄνδρας: καὶ νὴ Δί᾽ οἱ τριήραρχοι τοῖς ἐλαύνουσιν ἄλφιτα παρασκευάσαντες, ὄψον δὲ κρόμμυα καὶ τυρόν, ἐνεβίβαζον εἰς τὰς τριήρεις: οἱ δὲ χορηγοὶ τοῖς χορευταῖς ἐγχέλεια καὶ θριδάκια καὶ σκελίδας καὶ μυελὸν παρα τιθέντες, εὐώχουν ἐπὶ πολὺν χρόνον φωνασκουμένους καὶ τρυφῶντας. καὶ τούτων τοῖς μὲν ἡττηθεῖσι περιῆν προσυβρίσθαι καὶ γεγονέναι καταγελάστους: τοῖς δὲ νικήσασιν ὁ τρίπους ὑπῆρχεν, οὐκ ἀνάθημα τῆς νίκης, ὡς Δημήτριός φησιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπίσπεισμα τῶν ἐκκεχυμένων βίων καὶ τῶν ἐκλελοιπότων κενοτάφιον οἴκων. τοιαῦτα γὰρ τὰ ποιητικῆς τέλη καὶ λαμ πρότερον οὐδὲν ἐξ αὐτῶν. (Plut. De glor. Ath. 348 f 349b) Looking at all this, a Spartan once said, quite appositely, that the Athenians were making a big mistake in lavishing so much on their love for play, in effect pouring the expense of large fleets and the provisions of armies into the theater. If the cost of the production of each drama were reckoned, the Athenian people would appear to have spent more on the production of Bacchae and Phoenissae and Oedipuses and Antigone and the misfortunes of Medea and Electra than they did on maintaining their empire and fighting for their lib erty against the Persians. Generals frequently gave the order to bring uncooked grain and led the men off to battle. And, by Zeus, the trierarchs provided the men rowing the ships
confused the tripods dedicated by Nicias I with the choragic νεώς dedicated by Nicias II, the son of Nicodemus: ‘it seems easier to believe that it was the younger Nicias, the son of Nicodemus, who erected the choragic νεώς near the tripods as the result of his victory of 320/19 BC, and that Plutarch, seeing the tripods of Nicias I and the monument of Nicias II side by side, assumed that all were the offerings of one man, probably without stopping to read inscriptions’. See also [Andoc.] Alcib. 20 1; Dem. 21.14 18, 58 6. The institution of the choregia is ex haustively discussed by Wilson 2000. See Wilson 2000, 198 262. For literary references, see e. g. Arist. Pol. 1341a34 6; Plut. Them. 5; Theophr. Char. 22.1 2. See the Athenian Didascaliae in IG II2 2319 23, IG II2 3091 and Csapo/Slater 1995, 39 52; Wilson 2000, 236 62; Millis/Olson 2012, 59 117.
2.3 Aeschylus’ death and the politicization of tragic reperformances
with barley flavored with onion and cheese and marched them aboard ship. But the chor egoi set before the members of the chorus eels and lettuce and prime ribs and brain and continued feasting them for a long time while they lived in the lap of luxury and had their voices trained. In return, what was there left over but for the choregoi who lost to be abused and ridiculed, and for those who won, a tripod, not a monument to a victory, as Demetrius said, but a libation to a squandered livelihood and a cenotaph to a lost home. Such are the ends of poetry and from it comes nothing more glorious.³²⁶
The outrageous cost of the choregiae ³²⁷ did not stop Athenians from using them as a medium for public promotion. The choregia carried the symbolic weight of legitimizing the extravagant ‘fight for prestige’ (philotimia). With the money of the choregia being spent for the common good, the democratic regime put up with the rather undemocratic practice that would amount to the choregos’ civic superiority over others.³²⁸ In this context, another dimension is brought into focus: the choregiae were working as a medium of political empowerment, which in its turn was regularly invigilated by legislative restrictions bound to the choregic festivals. Plutarch’s report is also very important in terms of reperformance since it testifies to the preservation of the choregic system for reperformative contexts. What strikes us is the plural Οἰδίποδας next to the singular ᾿Aντιγόνην. Plutarch knew of the existence of three Oedipuses (two by Sophocles and one by Euripides),³²⁹ and it seems odd that he did not use the plural for Antigones (*᾿Aντιγόνας) as well, since he must have been also aware of two Antigones, one by Sophocles, one by Euripides. This leaves us with the sole logical explanation that Plutarch is referring to reperformances of Oedipus and not to multiple plays. The reference to the misfortunes of Medea and Electra that follows could also imply a series of restagings, thus justifying the high cost of the procedure. The political importance and reflective civic gain of the choregiae must have been substantial to downplay the drawback of their high cost. In a passage from Lysias,³³⁰ an Athenian charged with accepting bribes recalls his extravagant lit-
Translation by Csapo/Slater 1995, with modifications. Also commented by Demosthenes in 4.35 6. Wilson 2000, 145: ‘that the khoregia represented an expenditure on the collective legitimat ed the extravagance of the individual philotimos, and domesticated such lavish expense to its democratic environment the ‘nationalization of the gift ethic’’. Plutarch has elsewhere made clear that he knew of the Oedipus plays by Sophocles, as op posed to Oedipus by Euripides: Plut. De fort. Rom. 381c, βοῶν κατὰ τὸν Οἰδίποδα τὸν Σοφο κλέους ῾ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἐμαυτὸν παῖδα τῆς τύχης νέμω᾽. Lys. 21.1 5.
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urgical career in order to prove his moral integrity. After listing the astronomic amount of 63,300 drachmas he had paid for liturgies over the last ten years, the defendant highlights the fact that if he had cared to provide only what the law determined, he would have spent not even a quarter of what he actually did.³³¹
2.3.2 Aeschylus and Pericles Pericles made his first appearance in Athenian theatrical politics by sponsoring Aeschylus’ Persians in 472.³³² The choice of this particular trilogy is hardly surprising given Pericles’ ties with the family of the Alcmeonids, who were accused of treachery during the battle of Marathon.³³³ By sponsoring the theatrical revival of the victory of 480, Pericles was undoubtedly trying to establish – via Aeschylus – a connection between himself and the Greek triumph. Pericles’ victory of 472 must have also been received as a political one, since in fifth-century Athens, theater business and politics went hand-in-hand. Dramatic festivals were politicized in many ways, with the judging process bearing a striking similarity to political decision-making,³³⁴ or with political dynamics influencing the contests’ winners. Pericles’ political career was supported by a systematic cultural politics plan. The building of the Odeion,³³⁵ the establishment of mousikoi agones in the Panathenaia,³³⁶ and the passing of a decree extending the honor of permanent σίτησις in the Prytaneion to those victorious in the musical contests³³⁷ all testify to a politicized cultural plan. The political nature of the festival is also made clear from the examples of other notable political figures at other times; for example, Plutarch documents how, in the Dionysia of 468, Cimon replaced all the judges.³³⁸ It was in the same festival at a much later date that according to [Andocides], the judges gave the victory to the chorus of Alcibiades either be Lys. 21.5, εἰ δ᾽ ἐβουλόμην κατὰ τὰ γεγραμμένα ἐν τῶι νόμωι ληιτουργεῖν, οὐδ᾽ ἂν τὸ τέταρ τον μέρος ἀνήλωσα. IG II2 2318.10. Members of the family had allegedly favored the Persians at a late stage of the battle by signaling to them for the right time to sail around Cape Sounion and attack Athens (see Podlecki 1998, 3). Wright 2009, 149, see also Marshall/van Willigenburg 2004. See Plut. Per. 13.10 11. See Sommerstein 2010b, 21 n. 31. Wilson 2004, 302 n. 76. Plut. Cim. 8.7 9.
2.3 Aeschylus’ death and the politicization of tragic reperformances
cause they were scared, or because they wanted to profit.³³⁹ ‘Thinking less of their oath than of him’ is the exact wording of [Andocides] (περὶ ἐλάττονος ποιούμενοι τὸν ὅρκον ἢ τοῦτον), and we have reason to believe that this was also the case with other choregoi, regardless of the fact they were far less influential than Alcibiades.³⁴⁰ Lysias also comments on opportunities for social networking and political careers as also affecting the judging process, helping us realize that personal relations between upper class Athenians could influence the decisions of the judges of a poetic agon. ³⁴¹ In the context of such a politicized festival, where, regardless of the state’s efforts to block manipulation, political aspirations and concerns could influence the judging process, it is difficult to disregard the political aspect to the establishment of systematized tragic reperformances. From what we understand, the influence of the political sphere on the theater must have been felt once again in 468 when Sophocles won the first prize with his Triptolemus, a couple of years after Pericles sponsored the Persians. Cimon was one of the judges, a role which increased Cimon’s own reputation and made the contest even more competitive.³⁴² There is evidence that early in his career Sophocles was patronized by Cimon,³⁴³ although records concerning Sophocles’ future involvement in politics also reveal good relations with the opponent of Cimon, Pericles. During Pericles’ rule, it is possible that Sophocles served as an Athenian general, a proboulos (a member of the probouleusis committee that set the agenda for the Assembly), as well as a hellenotamias (a treasury-official).³⁴⁴ It has been also maintained that Sophocles alluded to the oligarchic coup of 411 in his Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. ³⁴⁵ Sophocles was however not keen on imbuing his plays with overt contemporary references, and there are always challenges to reading his plays politically.³⁴⁶ Political allu-
[Andoc.] Alcib. 4.21. See pp. 22 3 in this book. See Wilson 2000, 101. Lysias 4.4. For a discussion of the passage, see Wilson 2000, 100 1. Plut. Cim. 8.9. Sommerstein 2002, 41. Cimon’s influence is also seen in the selection of Sophocles as a cith ara player on the Stoa Poikile, built by Peisianax, Cimon’s brother in law. See Tyrrell 2012, 25. TrGF IV Test. G 18 27. See also Jameson 1971, 541 n. 2, with ancient references and Ferrario 2012, 450 n. 22 and 454 nn. 46 8. On the possibility of Sophocles’ support of the oligarchic party, see Calder 1971; Jameson 1971. See Scodel 2003, 32 on Ajax.
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sions are usually seen in the context of Sophocles’ greater engagement with contemporary Athenian developments.³⁴⁷ After Cimon was ostracized in 461, while Pericles was the one mostly in charge of the city, Sophocles held high office positions at least twice: in 443/2 as a treasurer of the Athenian Alliance³⁴⁸ and in 441/0 as a general.³⁴⁹ According to his cultural agenda, Pericles might have favored formal restagings of Aeschylean plays as a clever way of promoting Aeschylus’ fame, and through that, his own. In 450, Pericles put Cimon in command of the fleet sailing against Persian forces stationed in Cyprus and Cilicia. Cimon died in the winter of 450, while laying siege to Citium. After finally raising the siege due to famine, the Athenians reached Salamis and accomplished a double victory in sea and land against Phoenician and Cilician forces. A new victory over the Persians, at another Salamis, could be a new opportunity for Pericles to tap into the anti-Persian triumph by means of his engagement with Athenian theater. The connection between Salamis of the Saronic gulf and Salamis of Cyprus was already used by Aeschylus in the Persians. In lines 852– 906, the chorus lists the achievements of Darius and the cities he captured, among which was Cyprian Salamis, whose mother-city is now the cause of the Persian sufferings: Σαλαμῖνά τε, τᾶς νῦν ματρόπολις τῶνδ᾽ αἰτία στεναγμῶν. (Aesch. Pers. 895) And Salamis, whose mother city is now the cause of these laments.
Pericles might have used a connection in politics that had been already established by Aeschylus in literature. Let us dwell a little on this assumption. By formalizing the reperformative trend of fifth-century theater after the victory at Salamis in Cyprus, Pericles would have been able to remind Athenians of his own connection with the Salamis of 480 (through the Persians), especially now that a new triumph in another Salamis has been accomplished. In this way, he would have regained part of the glory of both Aeschylus and Themistocles (as well as of his own as choregos of the Persians), while also drawing another interesting analogy: since Saronic Salamis is the metropolis of the Cyprian Salamis, the connection is strengthened as a recurrence of the old victory of the ancestors, which foreshadows a new beginning of a victorious policy led by Pericles.
Bowie 1997, 39; Said 1998, 278 80; Scodel 2003 for a combination of literary and historic criteria; Ferrario 2012, 451. TrGF IV Test. G 18. TrGF IV Test. G 19 25.
2.3 Aeschylus’ death and the politicization of tragic reperformances
The connection to Aeschylus, and therefore to Salamis, might have even generated associations between Pericles and Teucer, the founder of Cyprian Salamis. In the Frogs, Aristophanes has Aeschylus declare that he has created many types of excellence, such as Teucer the lion-hearted: ὅθεν ἡμὴ φρὴν ἀπομαξαμένη πολλὰς ἀρετὰς ἐποίησεν, Πατρόκλων, Τεύκρων θυμολεόντων, ἵν᾽ ἐπαίροιμ᾽ ἄνδρα πολίτην ἀντεκτείνειν αὑτὸν τούτοις, ὁπόταν σάλπιγγος ἀκούσηι. (Ar. Ran. 1040 2) From that (mold) my imagination created many profiles in courage, men like Patroclus and the lionhearted Teucer, in hopes of inspiring every citizen to measure himself against them every time he heard the bugle.³⁵⁰
Pericles had been compared to a lion in Herodotus, who says that according to tradition, Agariste, the wife of Xanthippus and mother of Pericles, saw in a dream that she would give birth to a lion: οὗτός τε δὴ γίνεται Μεγακλέϊ καὶ Ἱπποκράτης, ἐκ δὲ Ἱπποκράτεος Μεγακλέης τε ἄλλος καὶ ᾿Aγαρίστη ἄλλη ἀπὸ τῆς Κλεισθένεος ᾿Aγαρίστης ἔχουσα τὸ οὔνομα, ἣ συνοικήσασά τε Ξαν θίππωι τῶι ᾿Aρίφρονος καὶ ἔγκυος ἐοῦσα εἶδε ὄψιν ἐν τῶι ὕπνωι, ἐδόκεε δὲ λέοντα τεκεῖν, καὶ μετ᾽ ὀλίγας ἡμέρας τίκτει Περικλέα Ξανθίππωι. (Hdt. 6.131.2) Megacles had likewise another son, called Hippocrates, whose children were a Megacles and a Agarista, the latter named after Agarista the daughter of Cleisthenes. She married Xanthippus, the son of Ariphron; and when she was with child by him had a dream, where in she fancied that she was delivered of a lion, after which, within a few days, she bore Xan thippus Pericles.³⁵¹
Teucer had been the mythical founder of Salamis of Cyprus; after his return from Troy to Saronic Salamis with Eurysaces, the son of Ajax, he was expelled by his father Telamon, who considered Teucer responsible for the death of Ajax. Pericles might have established reperformances in order to strengthen his own political profile through numerous mythical connotations.
Text and translation by Henderson 2002. Translation by Rawlinson 1996.
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Aeschylus’ death, along with the social and political dynamics of the time, could have promoted a more formal establishment of the practice of reperformances. If we interpret the practice of Aeschylean tragic revivals as an expression of cultural judgment (according to which Aeschylus was a very talented tragedian whose plays the Athenian society decided to restage), we also have to take into account the ensuing power dynamics.³⁵² Exercising critical cultural judgment is an assertion of power and status. It is not impossible to suppose that Pericles encouraged the Athenian demos to exercise this type of judgment by promoting a more formal establishment of Aeschylean reperformances. Pericles would have every reason to initiate the institution of reperformance for Aeschylean plays, given that his own appearance in the world of theater had been inaugurated with the choregia of a victorious Aeschylean play, the Persians of 472. If the alleged decree of the Vita ever existed, the Athenians would have voted for any given βουλόμενος to receive a chorus for Aeschylean reperformances, although it would really have been a politician who first promoted the decree to be voted through the probouleusis, and very few βουλόμενοι would have been capable of properly carrying out such an endeavor. If indeed Pericles was involved in the probouleusis procedure, he would have put forth the decree to be voted by the Assembly. In this manner, he could have influenced in favor of the formalization of reperformances at a very early stage,³⁵³ while at the same time preserving the demos’ self-assertion of power. The Athenians were eager and influential dramatic critics. Take the Dionysia contest where, ‘even though in theory the judges were in charge, in practice it was the theatre audience who decided about the winners: they would indicate their views, often noisily, throughout the competition, even if they had no formal vote as such’.³⁵⁴ If the audience played such an influential role in such a politicized procedure, we could picture them vigorously voting for an Aeschylean return through reperformances. These are the two axes setting the reperformances scene in the later fifth century: political promotion on the one hand, and genuine audience desire to revive a favorite playwright on stage on the other. Informal reperformances shown by the testimonia as recurrent throughout the fifth centu-
See Too 1998, who gives ancient literary criticism a notion of power dynamics. In modern sociology, relevant discussions highlight the fact that artistic evaluation is closely associated with social and economic factors. See Bourdieu 1984; 1993; 1996. Such a subtle manipulation seems ‘Periclean’ indeed, especially when we remember Thu cydides’ famous description of Pericles’ rule, during which the demos had the false impression that they were governing the state, while it was really Pericles who was pulling the strings (Thuc. 2.65.8 9). Wright 2009, 149.
2.4 Euripides, palaion drama, and 386
ry might have thus become more formalized after Aeschylus’ death, with the state sponsoring Aeschylean restagings. The passing of a decree, perhaps with the involvement of Pericles, could have been the relevant milestone, although we cannot prove it existed, nor is it clearly alluded to by the testimonia. The tradition for Aeschylean reperformances in the fifth century might have been falsely supported by a constructed decree, which however cannot weigh against the very existence of the practice of reperformances.
2.4 Euripides, palaion drama, and 386 Fourth-century theatrical stages in Athens and the demes are dominated by Euripides. Alluding to anecdotes about Euripides’ death, the third-century poet Adaios of Mytilene composed an epigram saying that Euripides’ body may have been buried in Macedon but his true grave is the altar of Bacchus: Οὔ σε κυνῶν γένος εἷλ᾽, Εὐριπίδη, οὐδὲ γυναικός οἶστρος, τὸν σκοτίης Κύπριδος ἀλλότριον, ἀλλ᾽ ᾿Aΐδης καὶ γῆρας· ὑπαὶ Μακέτηι δ᾽ ᾿Aρεθούσηι κεῖσαι, ἑταιρείηι τίμιος ᾿Aρχέλεω. σὸν δ᾽ οὐ τοῦτον ἐγὼ τίθεμαι τάφον, ἀλλὰ τὰ Βάκχου βήματα καὶ σκηνὰς ἐμβάδ᾽ ἐρειδομένας. (AP 7. 51) Neither dogs slew you, Euripides, nor the rage of women, you enemy of the secrets of Cyp ris, but death and old age; under Macedonian Arethousa you lie, honored by the friendship of Archelaus. Yet it is not this that I account your tomb, but the altar of Bacchus and the buskin trodden stage.
This epigram, which recalls the famous epitaph for Aeschylus in Gela,³⁵⁵ reflects a considerable shift in the posthumous public image of a celebrated tragic poet. In contrast to Aeschylus’ epitaph, which highlights his bravery and service at Marathon against the Persians (omitting wholesale his poetic activity), Euripides’ funerary epigram by Adaios showcases the commemoration of his fame by sole recourse to his poetic activity. Moreover, the places of the two poets’ death and graves are treated in remarkably different ways that are pertinent to our inquiry. Whereas Gela (Aeschylus’ place of death) is contrasted with the grove of Marathon (the place exemplifying Aeschylus’ bravery), Macedon (Euripides’ place of death) is not contrasted to Athens or any other given place but to the theater in general. For Adaios and his age, Euripides’ figurative fatherland is TrGF III Test. 162 (= Test. A 1.42 7). See pp. 24 6 in this book.
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the theater. Many instances of known reperformances during the fourth century project the image of Euripides being the most frequent choice for a reperformance of a palaion drama. At the beginning of this chapter we considered the inscription that testifies to the formal addition of an old play hors de concours at the Dionysia of 386.³⁵⁶ The Fasti inscription leaves much room for interpretation in regard to the formality of the addition, as well as its funding. The inscription reads: ‘when Theodotus was archon trag[ic performers] for the first tim[e] produced in addition an old drama’. The verb’s (παρεδίδαξαν, ‘produced in addition’) subject is certainly τραγ[ωιδοί] (the ‘tragedians’, i. e. the ‘tragic performers’). We can therefore infer that the actors were responsible for the production, but was it a spontaneous decision of theirs that had nothing to do with the state’s cultural plans? Csapo maintains that the Fasti suggests the actors’ donation to the Dionysia.³⁵⁷ He believes that the Fasti references the actors’ voluntary contribution that allows them to ‘participate in the élite gift economy that official representations relating to the theater had reserved for the “voluntary” contributions of citizen choregoi, choreuts, and poets … It is a powerfully assertive public relations exercise on the part of a group whose status official and élite Athens had come to regard with a certain ambivalence’.³⁵⁸ Along the same lines, Millis and Olson understand this part of the Fasti inscription as reflecting the initiative of the actors, ‘suggesting that this was their independent contribution to the proceedings, as presumably also when an “old” comedy was introduced in 340/39 BCE’.³⁵⁹ Hanink on the other hand opts for a more active participation of the state in the addition of the reperformances, recently arguing that ‘the creation of the palaion drama event … consisted in state-sponsored and even mandated reperformance of ‘old’ tragedy’.³⁶⁰ Perhaps there is some truth in both approaches. Csapo is certainly right in arguing that the inscription contains no hint of state intervention in the organization of the reperformances of old plays, while Hanink’s approach expresses a plausible scenario regarding state-sponsored dramatic reviv-
IG II22318.VIII.201 3. See earlier in this chapter, pp. 60 2. ‘If the actors were not sponsoring this, but the state, the Fasti would presumably say “the demos first produced…”’, Csapo (personal communication). Csapo 2010a, 107. Millis/Olson 2012, 56. Millis and Olson also believe that preliminary competitions of actors (as perhaps reflected in SEG XXVI 208 and IG II2 2324) were held earlier than the Dionysia and the winner of those competitions would be allowed to put on a revival of the play he wished in the Dionysia 2012, 123. Hanink 2015, 279.
2.4 Euripides, palaion drama, and 386
als that by the beginning of the fourth century ‘function as proud expressions of continuity with the imperial past and hopeful projections for what might yet come again’.³⁶¹ Seen in another light, the beginning of formalized reperformances hors de concours in 386 can be regarded as serving a number of purposes for either the actors or the state. Just as the actors would have enjoyed the opportunity to perform celebrated plays of beloved playwrights while also participating in the élite gift economy, the Athenian demos could have very well sponsored reperformances of tragic classics in order to bring back a piece of the lost kleos. In both cases, the purpose served is somehow similar, involving in retrospect the connection of fourth-century actors to fifth-century poets, or of fourthcentury politics to fifth-century civil grandeur. Tragic reperformances however were taking place from the mid-fifth century onwards, and perhaps from even earlier. ³⁶² Such a practice experienced a boost after Aeschylus died, with the institution of more formalized reperformance practices leading to the addition of performances of old plays into the playlists of the Dionysia in the fourth century. The formalization of the institution of reperformance seems likely to have been politically motivated. Just as Pericles might have been involved in encouraging reperformances of Aeschylean tragedy, the political environment of 386 might have encouraged the addition of reperformances at the Dionysia festival. A wider political and historical context might have welcomed the deliberate addition of formal reperformances at the Dionysia festival, especially since a theatrical restaging not only reiterates a play, but also reenacts a past experience and its cultural, historical, and political context, signifying a ‘citation of the context and circumstances of the old plays’ first debuts’.³⁶³ Performance creates a unique momentum, which is neatly summed up by Fischer-Lichte: Unlike pictures, statues, and other objects, we cannot behold past performances in a mu seum. Producers can never hope that another audience may arise in fifty or even a hundred years that will be able better to appreciate and understand their work. Performance takes place between present day actors and spectators. It is embedded and engrained in the ac tual cultural, social, and political situation much more deeply than texts and objects. Per formance cannot be detached from its context under any circumstances, whether of a con temporary play or ancient drama.³⁶⁴
Hanink 2015, 293. Lamari 2015a, and chapter 1 in this book. Hanink 2015, 286. Fischer Lichte 2010, 31.
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In this sense, the momentum of a past performance can never be fully recreated. However, allusions to a past performance can revive the context in which that particular production was initially developed. When performances of old plays were formally added into the Dionysia, there can be little doubt that they also projected some of the fifth-century charm of their premieres. Fourth-century reperformances of fifth-century classics underscored their imperial glamour and this would have been one of the reasons they were formally readdressed.³⁶⁵ In the Frogs we see one of the most characteristic examples of the contemporary desire to steal some of the excellence of the past. When at the beginning of the play Heracles is amazed by Dionysus’ intention to go down to Hades to find a talented poet, Dionysus justifies his plan by quoting Euripides’ Oeneus ³⁶⁶ by saying that ‘I need a talented poet, “for some are gone, and those that live are bad”’.³⁶⁷ The initial pursuit of poetic salvation becomes political by the end of the play, and Aeschylus is selected to ‘save the city with fine counsels’ and ‘educate thoughtless people, because there are many of them’, instructs Pluto.³⁶⁸ Through the motif of the return of the aristoi, Aristophanes connects the lack of contemporary poetic greatness to the greater political crisis of the period. Hanink rightly surmises that in the turbulent years after the defeat of Athens and the oligarchic coup of 404, ‘it would have been easy enough to see a synchronization of Athenian tragedy’s three-quarter century acme (from the career of Aeschylus, whose oldest surviving play, Persians, premiered in 472, to Sophocles’ death in 405) with the life of the Delian League (478 – 404)’.³⁶⁹ By the fourth century, the Great Dionysia festival seems to have lost at least some of its past splendor. In the fourth century, Isocrates bitterly recalls the fifthcentury glamor involved in preplay ceremonies that no longer existed. On the Peace has been considered an anti-imperialist manifesto³⁷⁰ because of the orator’s evident resentment of his Athenian ancestors who nurtured the first Athenian empire. Isocrates is openly criticizing parts of the festival which used to show off Athenian imperialism, such as the procession of tributes paid to Athens by its allies, as well as the parade of the war orphans:³⁷¹
See Hanink 2015. TrGF V2 49 fr. 565. Ar. Ran. 72, δέομαι ποιητοῦ δεξιοῦ. / οἱ μὲν γὰρ οὐκέτ᾽ εἰσίν, οἱ δ᾽ ὄντες κακοί. Ar. Ran. 1500 4, ἄγε δὴ χαίρων, Αἰσχύλε, χώρει, / καὶ σῶιζε πόλιν τὴν ἡμετέραν / γνώμαις ἀγαθαῖς, καὶ παίδευσον / τοὺς ἀνοήτους· πολλοὶ δ᾽ εἰσίν. Hanink 2015, 287. Davidson 1990. On the civic ideology behind such ‘preplay ceremonies’, see Goldhill 1990, esp. 117 24.
2.4 Euripides, palaion drama, and 386
οὕτω γὰρ ἀκριβῶς εὕρισκον ἐξ ὧν ἄνθρωποι μάλιστ᾽ ἂν μισηθεῖεν, ὥστ᾽ ἐψηφίσαντο τὸ περιγιγνόμενον ἐκ τῶν φόρων ἀργύριον, διελόντες κατὰ τάλαντον, εἰς τὴν ὀρχήστραν τοῖς Διονυσίοις εἰσφέρειν ἐπειδὰν πλῆρες ἦι τὸ θέατρον· καὶ ταῦτ᾽ ἐποίουν, καὶ παρεισῆγον τοὺς παῖδας τῶν ἐν τῶι πολέμωι τετελευτηκότων, ἀμφοτέροις ἐπιδεικνύοντες τοῖς μὲν συμ μάχοις τὰς τιμὰς τῆς οὐσίας αὐτῶν ὑπὸ μισθωτῶν εἰσφερομένης, τοῖς δ᾽ ἄλλοις Ἕλλησι τὸ πλῆθος τῶν ὀρφανῶν καὶ τὰς συμφορὰς τὰς διὰ τὴν πλεονεξίαν ταύτην γιγνομένας. (Isoc. 8.82) For so exactly did they determine that which most inspires hatred, that they voted to have the excess silver of the tribute, marched in talent by talent, brought into the orchestra at the Dionysia, when the theater was full. They did this, and also paraded in the children of those who died in war, and so sent a message to both sides: to the allies [they demonstrated] the wealth of their property, which was carried in by mercenaries, and to the other Greeks [they demonstrated], the mass of orphans and the consequences that had resulted from this ar rogance of theirs.³⁷²
Isocrates’ account shows the double meaning of the ‘preplay’ celebrations for the allies and the rest of the Greeks. Hanink rightly proposes that the addition of another theatrical performance in 386 constituted another ‘preplay’ ceremony that was meant to evoke the imperial context of that play’s fifth-century premiere.³⁷³ It seems highly likely that such a festival was designed to revive political momentum. Sadly, the fragmentary inscriptions³⁷⁴ shed no light on the poet or the play that was officially reperformed in 386 or shortly after; big gaps on the stone instantly transfer us to 342/1 with the actor Neoptolemus producing two Euripidean tragedies, an Iphigeneia (most likely Among the Taurians),³⁷⁵ and Orestes the following year.³⁷⁶ We cannot prove that the selection of tragedies chosen officially for reperformance was politically-motivated. However, it seems reasonable to consider the wider historical and political context in which the major actors involved in the organizing of these reperformances lived, especially in cases where we can discern in these actors a specific political affiliation.
Translation adapted from Hanink 2015. Hanink 2015. IG II2 2318; 2320. Duncan 2015, 308. IG II2 2318.201 3; IG II2 2320.1 f., 18 f., 32 f.
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2.5 Traveling actors and reperformances of tragedy in Macedon Macedon had an incalculably great impact upon the history of drama. With consummate skill Archelaus, Philip and Alexander exploited the power of the theater to both public and private ends.³⁷⁷
2.5.1 Philip II ‘If Archelaus’ reign was notable for the eminent playwrights that he managed to attract to Macedonia, then Philip’s was notable for the number of famous actors who visited the royal court’, argues Moloney,³⁷⁸ who highlights the shift in the types of professions of those visiting the Macedonian court, from poets to actors, but also the unfailing popularity of tragedy in Macedon. The popularity of drama coexisted with the popularity of actors, and as Csapo has noticed, Macedonian kings were the first to initiate the ‘politics of privatization’, transferring Greek drama to private contexts in order to create an even stronger bond between them as sponsors and their citizens as viewers.³⁷⁹ Private drama, in other words private performances taking place in private contexts, could serve not only private purposes, but also, and perhaps mostly, public purposes of the individual who sponsored them. In this sense, Archelaus was interested in dramatic poetry as a way of both enhancing the intellectual fame of his symposia and establishing a medium of propaganda that seemed private but was utterly public. Having discussed Euripides’ participation in Archelaus’ cultural politics in the previous chapter, I will here concentrate on Archelaus’ descendants in terms of the politicization of culture, Philip II and Alexander. Philip II ruled Macedon (359 – 336) in the heyday of the traveling star-actors.³⁸⁰ Demosthenes in On the False Embassy attacks Philip by testifying to the lavish celebrations and festivals where the Macedonian king gathered all types of artists. Amongst those visitors and performers, Satyrus was someone who stood up and asked Philip for a purely political favor. Although the context was theatrical, Satyrus was successful in his request:
Csapo 2010a, 172. Moloney 2014, 244. Csapo 2010a, 170. See Csapo 2010a, 83 116. On traveling reperforming actors, see chapter 3 in this book, esp. pp. 95 110.
2.5 Traveling actors and reperformances of tragedy in Macedon
ἐπειδὴ γὰρ εἷλεν Ὄλυνθον Φίλιππος, Ὀλύμπι᾽ ἐποίει, εἰς δὲ τὴν θυσίαν ταύτην καὶ τὴν πανήγυριν πάντας τοὺς τεχνίτας συνήγαγεν. ἑστιῶν δ᾽ αὐτοὺς καὶ στεφανῶν τοὺς νενικη κότας ἤρετο Σάτυρον τουτονὶ τὸν κωμικὸν ὑποκριτήν, τί δὴ μόνος οὐδὲν ἐπαγγέλλεται; ἤ τιν᾽ ἐν αὐτῶι μικροψυχίαν ἢ πρὸς αὑτὸν ἀηδίαν ἐνεορακώς; εἰπεῖν δή φασι τὸν Σάτυρον ὅτι, ὧν μὲν οἱ ἄλλοι δέονται, οὐδενὸς ὢν ἐν χρείαι τυγχάνει, ἃ δ᾽ ἂν αὐτὸς ἐπαγγείλαιθ᾽ ἡδέως, ῥᾶιστα μέν ἐστιν Φιλίππωι δοῦναι καὶ χαρίσασθαι πάντων, δέδοικε δὲ μὴ διαμάρτηι. κελεύ σαντος δ᾽ ἐκείνου λέγειν καί τι καὶ νεανιευσαμένου τοιοῦτον, ὡς οὐδὲν ὅ τι οὐ ποιήσει, εἰ πεῖν φασιν αὐτὸν ὅτι ἦν αὐτῶι ᾿Aπολλοφάνης ὁ Πυδναῖος ξένος καὶ φίλος, ἐπειδὴ δὲ δολο φονηθεὶς ἐτελεύτησεν ἐκεῖνος, φοβηθέντες οἱ συγγενεῖς αὐτοῦ ὑπεξέθεντο τὰς θυγατέρας παιδί᾽ ὄντα εἰς Ὄλυνθον. ‘αὗται τοίνυν τῆς πόλεως ἁλούσης αἰχμάλωτοι γεγόνασι καὶ εἰσὶν παρὰ σοί, ἡλικίαν ἔχουσαι γάμου. ταύτας, αἰτῶ σε καὶ δέομαι, δός μοι. ϐούλομαι δέ σ᾽ ἀκοῦ σαι καὶ μαθεῖν οἵαν μοι δώσεις δωρειάν, ἂν ἄρα δῶις: ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἐγὼ κερδανῶ μὲν οὐδέν, ἂν λάβω, προῖκα δὲ προσθεὶς ἐκδώσω, καὶ οὐ περιόψομαι παθούσας οὐδὲν ἀνάξιον οὔθ᾽ ἡμῶν οὔτε τοῦ πατρός’. ὡς δ᾽ ἀκοῦσαι τοὺς παρόντας ἐν τῶι συμποσίωι, τοσοῦτον κρότον καὶ θόρυβον καὶ ἔπαινον παρὰ πάντων γενέσθαι ὥστε τὸν Φίλιππον παθεῖν τι καὶ δοῦναι. καίτοι τῶν ἀποκτεινάντων ἦν τὸν ᾿Aλέξανδρον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν Φιλίππου οὗτος ὁ ᾿Aπολλο φάνης. (Dem. 19.192 5) After Philip had conquered Olynthus, he was holding the Olympia festival, a sacred cele bration and festival to which he had invited all sorts of artists. After the reception and the crowning of the victors, he asked Satyrus, this comic actor here, why he was the only one who asked of no favor; had he observed in him any meanness of spirit or disgust against himself? They say that Satyrus said that he happened to be in no need of those gifts the others were asking for; he would like to ask instead for a favor, which Philip could grant easily, yet he feared that his request would be unsuccessful. Philip urged Satyrus to tell him, claiming with youthful insolence that there was nothing he would not do for him. They say that Satyrus told him that Apollophanes of Pydna had been a friend of his, and when he was assassinated, his relatives, being afraid, had removed his daughters, who were still children, to Olynthus. ‘So once the city was besieged, these girls became cap tives and are now in your hands, and of marriageable age. These I ask and beg you to give me. And I want you to hear and understand what gift you will be giving me, if you finally do give it; it will bring me no gain, if I get it, and furthermore I will provide them with dowry and I shall not allow them to suffer any treatment unworthy of myself or of their fa ther’. It is said that when those present in the symposium heard this, there was such a loud applause and approval from everyone that Philip was moved and gave in. And yet this Apollophanes was one of the murderers of Alexander, Philip’s brother.
This passage is revealing in many ways. It first testifies to the diversity of artists present at Philip’s celebrations. The Olympia festival would have included lavish celebrations with theatrical contests and the awarding of prizes.³⁸¹ Philip seemed to have been an exceptional host who attracted many visitors, both spectators
The Olympia festival was originally held over a five day period, and later extended to nine days by Alexander the Great (Moloney 2014, 241 and n. 49 with Bosworth 1988, 97).
2 Reperformances in a political context
and performers, whom he then invited to his banquets.³⁸² We get the impression that Philip was giving a public character to a private gathering, opening up his celebratory events to visitors or artists who did not come from Macedon, just as Satyrus in the passage above. Satyrus was a comic poet who appears to have been amongst the victors of the 375 Lenaea competition.³⁸³ He was victorious at least six times and might have been an Olynthian, if we can trust Athenaeus’ report.³⁸⁴ According to Plutarch, Satyrus does not perform comedy alone, but also passages from Sophocles and Euripides and, what is relevant to our discussion, he is also a friend of Demosthenes. He is the one who consoles the orator when the disappointed Demosthenes laments his poor performance skills: πάλιν δέ ποτέ φασιν ἐκπεσόντος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπιόντος οἴκαδε συγκεχυμένου καὶ βαρέως φέροντος ἐπακολουθῆσαι Σάτυρον τὸν ὑποκριτὴν ἐπιτήδειον ὄντα καὶ συνελθεῖν. ὀδυρο μένου δὲ τοῦ Δημοσθένους πρὸς αὐτὸν ὅτι πάντων φιλοπονώτατος ὢν τῶν λεγόντων καὶ μικροῦ δέων καταναλωκέναι τὴν τοῦ σώματος ἀκμὴν εἰς τοῦτο χάριν οὐκ ἔχει πρὸς τὸν δῆμον, ἀλλὰ κραιπαλῶντες ἄνθρωποι ναῦται καὶ ἀμαθεῖς ἀκούονται καὶ κατέχουσι τὸ βῆμα, παρορᾶται δ᾽ αὐτός, ‘ἀληθῆ λέγεις, ὦ Δημόσθενες’, φάναι τὸν Σάτυρον, ‘ἀλλ᾽ ἐγὼ τὸ αἴτιον ἰάσομαι ταχέως, ἄν μοι τῶν Εὐριπίδου τινὰ ῥήσεων ἢ Σοφοκλέους ἐθελήσηις εἰ πεῖν ἀπὸ στόματος’. εἰπόντος δὲ τοῦ Δημοσθένους μεταλαβόντα τὸν Σάτυρον οὕτω πλάσαι καὶ διεξελθεῖν ἐν ἤθει πρέποντι καὶ διαθέσει τὴν αὐτὴν ῥῆσιν ὥσθ᾽ ὅλως ἑτέραν τῶι Δημο σθένει φανῆναι. (Plut. Dem. 7.1 2) At another time too, they say, when he (Demosthenes) had been rejected by the people and was going back home troubled and in great distress, Satyrus the actor, who was his friend, followed him and went home indoors with him. Demosthenes complained to Satyrus that although he works the hardest of all the orators and he has consumed all the vigor of his body for this, he cannot please the people; revelers, sailors and illiterate people were lis tened to and held the podium, while he himself was disregarded. ‘You speak the truth, De mosthenes’, said Satyrus, ‘but I will quickly remedy the cause of all this, if for me you wish ed to recite by heart some speech from Euripides or Sophocles’. After Demosthenes spoke, Satyrus took up and formed and recited the same passage with such an appropriate senti ment and disposition, that it appeared completely different from Demosthenes’ one.
In another passage, Diodorus connects the Olympia festival with the seize of Olynthus and highlights Philip’s exceptional hosting qualities (Diod. Sic. 16.55.1, μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἅλωσιν τῆς Ὀλύν θου Ὀλύμπια ποιήσας τοῖς θεοῖς ἐπινίκια μεγαλοπρεπεῖς θυσίας συνετέλεσεν: πανήγυριν δὲ μεγ άλην συστησάμενος καὶ λαμπροὺς ἀγῶνας ποιήσας πολλοὺς τῶν ἐπιδημούντων ξένων ἐπὶ τὰς ἑστιάσεις παρελάμβανε). IG II2 2325; Ghiron Bistagne 1976, 58 pl. V, 154 5; Stefanis 1988, 392 3. Ath. 591e.
2.5 Traveling actors and reperformances of tragedy in Macedon
Although known as a comic actor from inscriptions, Satyrus here appears to have been able to perform tragic speeches as well. What is more, if indeed Demosthenes’ and Plutarch’s Satyrus is the same person, Demosthenes and Satyrus appear to have shared a close and friendly relationship. We could even assume from his connection to Demosthenes, that Satyrus’ political orientation would not have been philo-Macedonian, if not anti-Macedonian. Satyrus was a friend of Demosthenes and his very own mother-city had been captured by Philip’s army. What was he then doing in Philip’s festival extravaganza? It seems clear that the motivation for Satyrus’ visit, and perhaps also his performance in Philip’s theatrical contests, was political. In fact, this is a good example of how theater would be politically beneficial not just for those patrons hosting events, but also for the actors performing there. Satyrus went to the Olympia festival in 347 with a political agenda, intending to assert the freedom of war-slaves by bringing a political flavor to the theatrical context. Satyrus was successful and his story is yet another indication of how the performative and reperformative context of fourth-century dramatic festivals worked also as a political arena facilitating connections between rulers and citizens. Neoptolemus was also one of the traveling actors that might have been involved in politicized reperformances.³⁸⁵ According to the scholia on Demosthenes, Neoptolemus originally came from Scyros, but his cultural and political activity took place in Athens, where he must have been granted citizenship and become especially wealthy.³⁸⁶ A fragment of the Didascaliae inscription³⁸⁷ testifies to his appearances at the Dionysia and his victories there in 341 with an unknown ‘old tragedy’ accompanying Astydamas’ Athamas, an unknown play by Euaretus, and Aphareus’ Peliades. At the Dionysia of 340 he was again victorious with performances of Astydamas’ Lycaon, Timocles’ Oedipus, as well as an unknown play by Euaretus.³⁸⁸ Neoptolemus was mostly known however for his connection to Philip II. He must have visited Macedon already, before the years of the events at Olynthus in the 340s, as proved by his appearance in Macedon with his fellow-actor Aristodemus. The hypothesis to Demosthenes’ On the False Embassy reveals the following:
A detailed discussion of ancient Greek actors in the context of reperformative theatrical mo bility follows in the next chapter. Schol. Dem. 5.6 (p. 123, 1 Dilts). See also Easterling 1997a, 217. TrGF II2 2320. IG II2 2320.1, 5, 10, 12, 15, 18, 22, 25, 28.
2 Reperformances in a political context
᾿Aριστόδημος δὲ καὶ Νεοπτόλεμος ὑποκριταὶ τραγωιδίας ἐτύγχανον· οὗτοι διὰ τὴν οἰκείαν τέχνην ἄδειαν εἶχον ἀπιέναι ὅποι ἂν βούλωνται, ἀλλὰ δὴ καὶ πρὸς πολεμίους. ἀπελθόντες οὖν οὗτοι εἰς τὴν Μακεδονίαν ἐπεδείξαντο τὴν οἰκείαν τέχνην, καὶ οὕτω φιλοφρόνως αὐ τοὺς ἐδέξατο Φίλιππος, ὥστε πρὸς τοῖς ἄλλοις χρήμασι καὶ ἄλλα ἐκ τῶν οἰκείων παρεῖχεν αὐτοῖς. αἰσθόμενος δὲ μελλόντων πρεσβεύεσθαι πρὸς αὐτὸν Φωκέων καὶ Θετταλῶν καὶ Θηβαίων, ἐβουλήθη τοὺς ᾿Aθηναίους ἐξαπατῆσαι. καὶ ταύτης τῆς προφάσεως δραξάμενος Φίλιππος, ἀπολύων ᾿Aριστόδημον καὶ Νεοπτόλεμον ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι φίλος εἰμὶ ᾿Aθηναίοις. (Dem. 19 Hyp. 2.2) Aristodemus and Neoptolemus were tragic actors; because of their profession they had per mission to go wherever they wished, even to enemies. So after they went to Macedon, they performed their art and Philip welcomed them so kindly that he treated them with money and other aspects of hospitality. And when he understood that the Phoceans, the Thessa lians, and the Thebans were going to send ambassadors to him, he wanted to deceive the Athenians. So Philip took the opportunity, sending off Aristodemus and Neoptolemus and telling them that he was a friend of the Athenians.
The narrative first testifies to the actors’ mobility: ‘they had permission to go wherever they wished, even to enemies’. Their professions gave them access to places that would not have been reached by ordinary civilians. Political motivation can be seen in both their cultural mobility and their organizing of reperformances. Just as the plays they chose to reperform could have had some political significance, which perhaps boosted Philip’s sympathy, their selection by Philip to be sent to Athens was certainly a political act orchestrated in cultural terms. Demosthenes in On the Peace outspokenly condemns Neoptolemus for using his profession politically and against Athens: πάλιν τοίνυν, ὦ ἄνδρες ᾿Aθηναῖοι, κατιδὼν Νεοπτόλεμον τὸν ὑποκριτήν, τῶι μὲν τῆς τέχνης προσχήματι τυγχάνοντ᾽ ἀδείας, κακὰ δ᾽ ἐργαζόμενον τὰ μέγιστα τὴν πόλιν καὶ τὰ παρ᾽ ὑμῶν διοικοῦντα Φιλίππωι καὶ πρυτανεύοντα, παρελθὼν εἶπον εἰς ὑμᾶς, οὐδεμιᾶς ἰδίας οὔτ᾽ ἔχθρας οὔτε συκοφαντίας ἕνεκα, ὡς ἐκ τῶν μετὰ ταῦτ᾽ ἔργων γέγονεν δῆλον. (Dem. 5.6) Again, men of Athens, when I saw Neoptolemus, the actor, enjoying safe conduct on the pretext of his profession, but working the worst against our city, acting as Philip’s agent and representative at Athens, I came forward and addressed you, not out of private hostility or slander, as indeed my subsequent conduct has proved.
Neoptolemus had indeed reported so very favorably to the Athenians regarding Philip’s Athenian policy after the fall of Olynthus in 348³⁸⁹ that we are not sur-
See Dem. 19.315.
2.5 Traveling actors and reperformances of tragedy in Macedon
prised to learn that in 346 he sold his Athenian property and migrated to Macedon.³⁹⁰ The political dimensions of reperformed drama and the potentially political selection of the play to be reperformed are also brought into the spotlight by Diodorus’ narrative of the assassination of Philip in 336:³⁹¹ τέλος δὲ πολλῶν πανταχόθεν πρὸς τὴν πανήγυριν συρρεόντων καὶ τῶν ἀγώνων καὶ γάμων συντελουμένων ἐν Αἰγέαις τῆς Μακεδονίας³⁹² οὐ μόνον κατ᾽ ἄνδρα τῶν ἐπιφανῶν ἐστε φάνωσαν αὐτὸν χρυσοῖς στεφάνοις, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἀξιολόγων πόλεων αἱ πλείους, ἐν αἷς ἦν καὶ ἡ τῶν ᾿Aθηναίων. ἀναγορευομένου δὲ τοῦ στεφάνου τούτου διὰ τοῦ κήρυκος τὸ τελευταῖον εἶπεν, ἄν τις ἐπιβουλεύσας Φιλίππωι τῶι βασιλεῖ καταφύγηι πρὸς ᾿Aθηναίους, παραδόσιμον εἶναι τοῦτον. διὰ δὲ τῆς αὐτοματιζούσης φήμης ὥσπερ θείαι τινὶ προνοίαι διε σήμαινε τὸ δαιμόνιον τὴν ἐσομένην ἐπιβουλὴν εὐθὺς τῶι Φιλίππωι. ἀκολούθως δὲ τούτοις καὶ ἕτεραί τινες ὥσπερ ἐνθεάζουσαι ἐγένοντο φωναί, προδηλοῦσαι τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως κατα στροφήν. ἐν γὰρ τῶι βασιλικῶι πότωι Νεοπτόλεμος ὁ τραγωιδός, πρωτεύων τῆι μεγαλοφω νίαι καὶ τῆι δόξηι, προστάξαντος αὐτῶι τοῦ Φιλίππου προενέγκασθαι τῶν ἐπιτετευγμένων ποιημάτων καὶ μάλιστα τῶν ἀνηκόντων πρὸς τὴν κατὰ τῶν Περσῶν στρατείαν, ὁ μὲν τεχνί της κρίνας οἰκεῖον ὑποληφθήσεσθαι τὸ ποίημα τῆι διαβάσει τοῦ Φιλίππου καὶ τὴν εὐδαιμο νίαν ἐπιπλῆξαι βουλόμενος τοῦ Περσῶν βασιλέως, καίπερ οὖσαν μεγάλην καὶ περιβόητον, ὅπως μεταπέσοι ποτ᾽ ἂν εἰς τοὐναντίον ὑπὸ τῆς τύχης ἤρξατο λέγειν τόδε τὸ ποίημα: φρονεῖτε νῦν αἰθέρος ὑψηλότερον καὶ μεγάλων πεδίων ἀρούρας, φρονεῖθ᾽ ὑπερβαλλόμενοι δόμων δόμους, ἀφροσύναι πρόσω βιοτὰν τεκμαιρόμενοι. ὁ δ᾽ ἀμφιβάλλει ταχύπουν κέλευθον ἕρπων σκοτίαν, ἄφνω δ᾽ ἄφαντος προσέβα μακρὰς ἀφαιρούμενος ἐλπίδας θνατῶν πολύμοχθος Ἅιδας³⁹³ καὶ τὰ τούτων ἐφεξῆς προσσυνεῖρε, πάντα πρὸς τὴν ὁμοίαν φερόμενα διάνοιαν. ὁ δὲ Φίλιπ πος ἡσθεὶς ἐπὶ τοῖς ἀπηγγελμένοις ὅλως ἦν καὶ τελείως φερόμενος τῆι διανοίαι πρὸς τὴν τοῦ Περσῶν βασιλέως καταστροφήν, ἅμα δὲ καὶ τὸν πυθόχρηστον χρησμὸν ἀνελογίζετο, παραπλησίαν ἔχοντα διάνοιαν τοῖς ὑπὸ τοῦ τραγωιδοῦ ῥηθεῖσι. (Diod. Sic. 16.92 3) Great numbers of people came pouring from all directions to the festival, and the games and the marriage were celebrated at Aegae in Macedonia. Philip was crowned with golden wreaths by individual persons of note and also by most of the important cities, including Athens. When the award of the Athenian crown was announced, the herald ended by saying
Dem. 6.8. See also Ghiron Bistagne 1976, 156. For a discussion of this passage, see also Vahtikari 2014, 99 100. The wedding was that of Cleopatra, Philip’s daughter, to Alexander of Epirus, her maternal uncle. TrGF II fr. 127.
2 Reperformances in a political context
that if anyone were to plot against Philip and take refuge in Athens he would be liable to extradition. It was as if the routine expression was being used by divine providence to give a sign of the imminent plot against Philip. There were other remarks giving advance warn ing of the king’s death which seemed to be similarly inspired. For example, at the royal banquet Philip ordered the tragoidos Neoptolemus, outstanding for his vocal power and popularity, to perform some successful pieces from his repertoire, particularly anything rel evant to the campaign against the Persians. Neoptolemus chose a piece which he thought would be taken as appropriate to Philip’s crossing [to Asia]; he had in mind to belittle the wealth of the Persian king and suggest that, although now it was notoriously vast, chance could obliterate it one day. This is how he began: Your thoughts now reach higher than the air you dream of farm lands in great plains you plan buildings, surpassing the buildings foolishly projecting your life into the future. But there is a swift footed one who captures : He goes by a dark path but suddenly, unseen, he catches up, and makes away with the far reaching hopes of mortal men: he is Hades, source of woe. He continued with the rest of the song, all of it relating to the same theme. Philip was de lighted with what it said and was totally absorbed by the idea of its relevance to the defeat of the Persian king. He also recalled the Pythian oracle, which (he thought) bore a similar meaning to the words quoted by the tragoidos. ³⁹⁴
This narrative leaves no doubt about the political coloring that a reperformance could potentially acquire. In a non-political context, the celebrations for the wedding of Cleopatra, the host-king asks his visitor-actor to reperform a piece that would be celebratory not for the newlyweds, but for himself and his own military aspirations (‘particularly anything relevant to the campaign against the Persians’). The host attempts to convey a political statement via theatrical reperformance, which in turn is wholeheartedly transmitted by the actor. Neoptolemus picked a piece that would also make a political statement, disparaging the wealth of the Persian king and implying that it could one day vanish. Both the invitation for a reperformance and its response, the reperformance itself, are purely political. On a more theoretical note, it is interesting to see how the emphasis of the narrator on the actor’s words that turned out to have an additional meaning, that of the upcoming murder of Philip, is also ironic in terms of its po-
Translation by Easterling 1997a, 218 9.
2.5 Traveling actors and reperformances of tragedy in Macedon
litical connotations, since political upheaval will not finally affect the Persian kingdom, but rather the Macedonian one.³⁹⁵ This story emblematizes the political significance of a performance or a literary citation. It is later also recalled by Suetonius when he describes the murder of the Emperor Gaius Caligula when leaving the theatre at Rome (AD 41). Suetonius writes that one of the bad omens was the pantomime Mnester performing before the murder the tragedy that Neoptolemus had performed at the games at which Philip was killed.³⁹⁶ The point is that allusion is contextually determined and, by extension, becomes theatrical. Analogously, literary allusions are always political when prompted or performed in a political context. A politician making a literary allusion is always a political statement of a twofold meaning deriving not only from the significance of the allusion per se, but also from the very fact that this specific person uses literature as part of the argument.³⁹⁷
2.5.2 Alexander The still-visible structure of the theater at Dion dates to the third century, a building which replaced an earlier theater from the late fifth century.³⁹⁸ Diodorus mentions Archelaus as the founder of the dramatic contests at Dion, which Alexander continued to hold. After returning to Dion from an expedition in the spring of 334, Diodorus tells us how Alexander celebrated the established dramatic festival.
Retrospectively, Neoptolemus’ selection of the reperformances of an Iphigeneia and Euripi des’ Orestes in 341 could have had political significance, especially if this selection was connect ed to Neoptolemus’ defeat in the actors’ contest in that specific year, see Duncan 2015, 309 10. Suet. Calig. 57. Take the story of Winston Churchill quoting Claude McKay’s poem ‘If We Must Die’ in speeches he gave during the Second World War in the House of Commons or the United States Congress. Claude McKay was a poet born and raised in Jamaica who emigrated to the United States to attend college. If the story is true, it projects the power of a political statement made by the very fact of the allusion to a poem, even more so with the allusion being that of a famous white leader quoting a black poet. Karadedos 1986; 2007.
2 Reperformances in a political context
πρὸς τοὺς ἀγῶνας θυσίας μεγαλοπρεπεῖς τοῖς θεοῖς συνετέλεσεν ἐν Δίωι τῆς Μακεδονίας καὶ σκηνικοὺς ἀγῶνας Διὶ καὶ Μούσαις, οὓς ᾿Aρχέλαος ὁ προβασιλεύσας πρῶτος κατέδειξε. (Diod. Sic. 17.16.3) He made lavish sacrifices to the gods at Dion in Macedon and held the dramatic contests in honor of Zeus and the Muses, which Archelaus, who was a king before him, first founded.
Alexander continued the theatrical or political tradition of reperformances that Archelaus had first established, and as deriving from many sources, spent a lot of money on theatrical festivals.³⁹⁹ His own festivals were organized upon a routine which alternated between traveling and celebrating. Vahtikari proposes a pattern shaped as following: on the basis of various literary sources, 1. Alexander returns from somewhere, 2. he rests with his troops, 3. he holds a festival, dramatic contest or party.⁴⁰⁰ Alexander was interested in drama and it is possible that he had visited the theater of Dionysus during his stay in Athens in the autumn of 338, after the battle of Chaeronea. Along with his love for theatrical performance, he is known to have studied the tragic texts. Plutarch tells us that Alexander used to keep the text of the Iliad that Aristotle had corrected for him under his pillow, while his friend Harpalus sent to him other books as well, like the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.⁴⁰¹ Highly engaged in the performances he was organizing, he also had a strong relationship with the participating actors. Lycon, Athenodorus, and Thettalus were some of the most well-known artists. They must have been close to Alexander, since they also performed in his wedding celebrations at Susa in 324.⁴⁰² Alexander was ‘reserving’ actors for his festivals, even on last minute call, and he was willing to pay not just their salary, but also the fees for having them cancel another performance. Plutarch tells us that Alexander once paid a fine for Athenodorus who did not appear at the City Dionysia as planned, in order to participate at the last minute in one of Alexander’s festivals.⁴⁰³ Since a thorough presentation of actors as traveling (re)performers will be the focus of the next chapter, I will now concentrate on how Alexander might have used theatrical festivals politically. I will explore an instance of a lesser-
As deriving from various narratives of the events at Dion/Aegae in 355 (Diod. Sic. 17.16; Arr. Anab. 1.11.1), Tyre in 331 (Plut. Alex. 29.1 6), Susa in 324 (Ath. 12.538b), Ecbatana 324 (Diod. Sic. 17.110.7 8; Plut. Alex. 72.1; Arr. Anab. 7.14). Vahtikari 2014, 111. Plut. Alex. 8.2 3. Arr. Anab. 7.8.2 3, 7.9.9, 7.10.6; Ath. 12.535e f. Plut. Alex. 29.
2.5 Traveling actors and reperformances of tragedy in Macedon
known dramatic performance with strongly political connotations. In the thirteenth book of the Deipnosophistae, whilst discussing the mistresses of famous men, Athenaeus informs us that a ‘little satyr play’ (σατυρικὸν δραμάτιον), called Agen was performed on the banks of the river Hydaspes: συνεπιμαρτυρεῖ δὲ τούτοις καὶ ὁ τὸν ᾿Aγῆνα τὸ σατυρικὸν δραμάτιον γεγραφώς, ὅπερ ἐδί δαξεν Διονυσίων ὄντων ἐπὶ τοῦ Ὑδάσπου ποταμοῦ, εἴτε Πύθων ἦν ὁ Καταναῖος ἢ Βυζάντιος ἢ καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ βασιλεύς, ἐδιδάχθη δὲ τὸ δρᾶμα ἤδη φυγόντος τοῦ Ἁρπάλου ἐπὶ θάλατταν καῖ ἀποστάντος. καὶ τῆς μὲν Πυθιονίκης ὡς τεθνηκυίας μέμνηται, τῆς δὲ Γλυκέρας ὡς οὔσης παρ᾽ αὐτῶι καὶ τοῖς ᾿Aθηναίοις αἰτίας γινομένης τοῦ δωρεὰς λαμβάνειν παρὰ Ἁρπάλου, λέγων ὧδε … . (Ath. 595e f) Also testifying to this is a testimony from the author of the little satyr play Agen, which he directed at the Dionysia held by the banks of the river Hydaspes, be it Python of Catana or Byzantium, or even the king himself; the play was performed when Harpalus had already revolted and fled to the sea. It mentions Pythionike as already dead, while Glykera as being by his side and becoming the reason that made the Athenians receive presents from Har palus. The play goes as follows ….
Athenaeaus then goes on to quote the fragment from Agen,⁴⁰⁴ the story of which was probably structured around Harpalus building a temple in Babylon for his hetaera Pythionike, who died. Harpalus’ new hetaera, Glycera, and even Alexander himself might have been in the list of the dramatis personae. ⁴⁰⁵ Harpalus was a Macedonian aristocrat and boyhood friend of Alexander. Harpalus did not follow Alexander in his advance, but was nevertheless appointed as a chief administrative officer in Babylon, being in charge of the finances of several satrapies. He had been unfaithful to Alexander several times, absconding with large amount of money. He was forgiven initially, but the last time Harpalus abused Alexander’s trust he fled to Athens. He was imprisoned there after a plan put forth by Demosthenes, but later escaped to Taenarum, and was then assassinated by his attendants.⁴⁰⁶ According to Athenaeus, the author of the Agen is either Python or Alexander. Either way, the fragment testifies to its author’s familiarity with fifth-century tragedy,⁴⁰⁷ as well as fourth-century Atheni-
TrGF I 91 fr. 1. Snell attributes the fragment to Python (91). Vahtikari 2014, 106. For reconstructions of the plot, see Snell 1964, 118 9; Sutton 1980, 75 81; Günther 1999. See also Le Guen 2014, esp. 261 3. See Bury 1900, 829 30. Sophocles is quoted twice: lines 2 3 of the fragment quote El. 7 8 and line 11 is reminis cent of Trach. 302 (Vahtikari 2014, 106 n. 133 with Snell 1964, 102 5).
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an politics. The play’s performance in 324⁴⁰⁸ makes a clear statement regarding the political conception of theater held by the author of Agen, and also by Alexander.
2.6 Political reperformances of tragedy in Sicily I have discussed Aeschylus’ visits to the court of Hieron in the first chapter of this book.⁴⁰⁹ Aeschylus visited the court of Hieron I of Syracuse at least twice, sometime between 472 and 467 and sometime after the production of the Oresteia in 458. He died in Sicily during that second visit, prompting the establishment of a hero-cult which used his tomb as a site for tragic performances. At least one of his visits had a clear political motivation, producing a performance of the Aetnaeae as part of the celebration for the newly founded city of Aetna by Hieron. Tragic reperformances in Sicily however could have had political undertones outside of the reign of Hieron as well. Dionysius I of Syracuse, tyrant from 405 to 367, was particularly fond of Greek tragedy. Thirsting for poetic fame, he associated himself with Euripides, purchasing from the poet’s heirs his writing tablet, pen, and harp. He had his and Euripides’ name inscribed on them and consecrated them in the Temple of the Muses.⁴¹⁰ Eubulus, a fourth-century poet of Middle Comedy, is ascribed with the play Dionysius,⁴¹¹ which may have even featured Euripides amongst the dramatis personae. ⁴¹² A series of unsuccessful attempts at theatrical contests ended for Dionysius at the Lenaea of 367, where he won first prize with the tragedy Ransom of Hector,⁴¹³ a victory which was probably politically motivated.⁴¹⁴ The anecdote about Euripides’ writing tablet
If Athenaeus is referring to a river in India, the incident would have happened in 326. If Hydaspes were in Persia, the event would date to 324. See Duncan 2015, 313 n. 61. See chapter 1 in this book, pp. 23 35. Hermippus fr. 94 Wehrli (TrGF I 76 Test. 10). Lucian’s Ignorant Book Collector preserves a similar anecdote presenting Dionysius desperate to acquire the possessions of the Athenian tra gedians (Luc. Ind. 15). See Hunter 1983. Hunter 1983, 117. TrGF I 76 Test. 3; Ael. VH 13.18 (=TrGF I 76 Test. 6); Vita Eur. 5 (=TrGF I 76 Test. 10). ‘In 368 Athens expressed her gratitude by making Dionysius and his sons honorary citi zens, and in January of the following year, just before his death, by awarding him the tragedy prize at the Lenaea festival for a play called the Ransom of Hector. It is difficult to accept that the triumph came to him for his literary skill alone’. Finley 1979, 84 with Webster 1954, 298; Stro heker 1958, 97, 144; Sanders 1987, 16; Caven 1990, 209; Duncan 2012, 143; Monoson 2012, 161; Duncan 2015, 303 4.
2.6 Political reperformances of tragedy in Sicily
is particularly telling because it shows us the perceived connection between the physical objects of the classical tragedians and the patrimony for which they stood. Dionysus clearly wished to miraculously acquire Aeschylus’, Sophocles’, and Euripides’ poetic talent on the one hand, but on the other perhaps also legitimize his own plan of cultural politics. Politics and tragedy were considered a unity in Dionysius’ mind. Having written at least one tragedy about himself, he united ‘tragedized history with royal self-presentation’, setting the path for the cultural politics of Hellenistic kingdoms.⁴¹⁵ In the Republic, in a passage that probably recalls Dionysius,⁴¹⁶ Plato’s brother, Adeimantus, agrees with Socrates on the fact that it is wise on the part of tyrants to keep company with the tragedians, since tragedy is a wise thing. It is evident though that Plato presents the relationship between tyrants and tragedians as not totally ‘healthy’: οὐκ ἐτός, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, ἥ τε τραγωιδία ὅλως σοφὸν δοκεῖ εἶναι καὶ ὁ Εὐριπίδης διαφέρων ἐν αὐτῆι. τί δή; ὅτι καὶ τοῦτο πυκνῆς διανοίας ἐχόμενον ἐφθέγξατο, ὡς ἄρα ‘σοφοὶ τύραννοί’ εἰσι ‘τῶν σοφῶν συνουσίαι’. καὶ ἔλεγε δῆλον ὅτι τούτους εἶναι τοὺς σοφοὺς οἷς σύνεστιν. καὶ ὡς ἰσόθεόν γ᾽, ἔφη, τὴν τυραννίδα ἐγκωμιάζει, καὶ ἕτερα πολλά, καὶ οὗτος καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι ποιηταί. τοιγάρτοι, ἔφην, ἅτε σοφοὶ ὄντες οἱ τῆς τραγωιδίας ποιηταὶ συγγιγνώσκουσιν ἡμῖν τε καὶ ἐκείνοις ὅσοι ἡμῶν ἐγγὺς πολιτεύονται, ὅτι αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν πολιτείαν οὐ παραδεξόμεθα ἅτε τυραννίδος ὑμνητάς. οἶμαι ἔγωγ᾽, ἔφη, συγγιγνώσκουσιν ὅσοιπέρ γε αὐτῶν κομψοί. εἰς δέ γε οἶμαι τὰς ἄλλας περιιόντες πόλεις, συλλέγοντες τοὺς ὄχλους, καλὰς φωνὰς καὶ μεγάλας καὶ πιθανὰς μισθωσάμενοι, εἰς τυραννίδας τε καὶ δημοκρατίας ἕλκουσι τὰς πολιτείας. μάλα γε. οὐκοῦν καὶ προσέτι τούτων μισθοὺς λαμβάνουσι καὶ τιμῶνται, μάλιστα μέν, ὥσπερ τὸ εἰκός, ὑπὸ τυράννων, δεύτερον δὲ ὑπὸ δημοκρατίας: ὅσωι δ᾽ ἂν ἀνωτέρω ἴωσιν πρὸς τὸ ἄναντες τῶν πολιτειῶν, μᾶλλον ἀπαγορεύει αὐτῶν ἡ τιμή, ὥσπερ ὑπὸ ἄσθματος ἀδυνατοῦσα πορεύεσθαι. (Pl. Resp. 568a d) Not for nothing, said I, tragedy is considered wise and Euripides better than the rest. Why that? Because he also said this statement of pregnant thought, that ‘tyrants are wise by converse with the wise’. And he obviously meant that wise are those with whom they associate. And he said that he praises tyranny as equal to divinity, and other like statements, by him self as by other poets.
Duncan 2012, 143. Monoson 2012.
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Therefore, said I, just as tragic poets are wise, they will pardon us as well as those amongst us whose political thought is close to ours, because we will not admit them into our policy, since they praise tyranny. I also think, he said, that those amongst them who are clever, they will pardon us. But wandering, I believe, around other cities, collecting the crowds, and hiring fine, loud, and persuasive voices, they drive the constitutions towards tyranny and democracy. Yes, indeed. And further, they are paid and honored for this, chiefly, as is to be expected, by tyrants, and secondly by democracy: but the higher they go in the ascending scale of our constitutions, the more their honor fails, as it were from lack of breath unable to proceed.
It has been strongly maintained that Dionysius is the tyrant Socrates alludes to, mostly on the grounds of the injustice that Socrates’ approach would do to Athenian poets like Euripides.⁴¹⁷ Socrates’ dismissive approach towards tragedians who frequent tyrannical courts becomes less aggressive and certainly less confusing if we take into account that Plato’s readers could be thinking of contemporary Athenians’ connections to Sicilian or Macedonian courts. Besides, Adeimantus himself distinguishes between two different types of tragedians: the ones who are clever (ὅσοιπέρ γε αὐτῶν κομψοί) will forgive his and Socrates’ disclaimers.
Monoson 2012, 163 4.
3 Tragic reperformances and traveling actors 3.1 Introduction The concept of reperformance in the ancient world was closely linked to traveling and cultural mobility. Actors circulated along with texts, eventually forming a growing group of professionals who were steadily increasing their influence on theatrical developments across the Greek world. This chapter builds on the discussion of the first chapter by exploring the identity, characteristics and dynamics of this developing theatrical group in the fifth and fourth centuries. I will first address the actors’ professional mobility. During this time, poets wrote tragedies that were then sent for performance in festivals outside Athens, say in Sicily or Macedon. Demes initiated festivals with prizes and benefits to attract actors, for which performances they provided the theaters and, in most cases, the choruses too. Actors traveled to perform in these venues, either ‘escorting’ these texts or armed with popular reperformative repertoires. The classical canon was in the making, and so was the actors’ professional status, which was shaped along with Greek theater as a whole as the theatrical practice of reperformances spread. This ever-expanding, mobile (re)performative map provided fertile ground for the growth of the acting profession, as will be discussed in the second part of this chapter. Actors traveled to specific destinations for specific engagements and from roughly the second half of the fifth century, traveling actors started to use their skills to make a living, potentially a very successful one, since the growth of the Greek theater business initiated the rise of a ‘star-system’ of popular actors who were much sought after, highly esteemed, and exceptionally rich. Acting functioned as a vehicle for financial and social ascent as it constantly gained power and influence in the theatrical context of panhellenic reperformances. In the third section of this chapter, I will attempt to show how the ever-increasing social and professional profile of actors can also be seen in contemporary vase-painting. During the last quarter of the fifth century, vases went beyond depicting merely the tragic myth, or the mythical tragic figures, and began to depict the tragic performance, including actors and audience. Vasepainters were interested in actors as individuals performing a role. They inscribed both their real names and their roles, and even pictured them post-performance: resting and holding their masks. In the last part of this chapter, I will tackle the dynamics between actors, reperformances, and the authenticity of texts. In the early days of tragic contests, the poets also performed in their own plays, and neither their texts nor their auhttps://doi.org/10.1515/9783110561166 004
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thority over the performance could be questioned. As the theater culture grew however, poets also needed actors for their performances, and when reperformances were initiated, actors could become ‘more powerful than the poets’,⁴¹⁸ to use an Aristotelian phrase. The institution of reperformance reinforced this rivalry between poets and actors, but also empowered the texts, in the sense that when the poets were not present, actors held authority over the performance, with the text working as the only safety net of authenticity for both poet and performers. Lycurgus’ law⁴¹⁹ about standardized copies of the tragic texts reveals this competitive relation between poets and actors, and raises suspicion regarding the threat of text alterations that felt imminent already in the fourth century. Nobody can know however what variations had already occurred amongst the circulating scripts that were certainly different for actors, theater producers, and individual readers, and which version of a particular text Lycurgus archived. A survey of the evidence of listed histrionic interpolations in the last part of this chapter shows that contrary to traditional belief, ancient scholars were also and perhaps even more responsible for textual alterations than the actors themselves.
3.2 Traveling texts In Isthmian 2, Pindar praises Xenocrates, brother of Theron, tyrant of Acragas. Pindar’s praise is channeled through Thrasyboulus, Xenocrates’ son,⁴²⁰ who probably commissioned the ode for a memorial celebration of his father’s victories after Xenocrates died. The poem is sent via Nicasippus, an otherwise unknown man, who was supposed to give the poem to Thrasyboulus: ταῦτα, Νικάσιππ᾽, ἀπόνειμον, ὅταν ξεῖνον ἐμὸν ἠθαῖον ἔλθηις. (Pind. Isthm. 2.47 8) Import these words to him, Nicasippus, when you visit my honorable host.
Arist. Rh. 1403b32 8. [Plut.] X orat. 841 f. and see below in this chapter. The relationship between Theron and Xenocrates seems to have been remarkable, and Thrasybulus is found by Pindar to be exceptional in both his uncle’s and his father’s standards (Pyth. 6.45 6).
3.2 Traveling texts
Nicasippus was seemingly in charge of delivering the papyrus roll with the poem to Thrasyboulus, eventually traveling across the Ionian Sea. Such a sea-trip is also alluded to in Pythian 2, albeit this time without clear references to anyone ‘in charge’ of the papyrus roll with the poem: … βουλαὶ δὲ πρεσβύτεραι ἀκίνδυνον ἐμοὶ ἔπος ποτὶ πάντα λόγον ἐπαινεῖν παρέχοντι. χαῖ ρε. τόδε μὲν κατὰ Φοίνισσαν ἐμπολάν μέλος ὑπὲρ πολιᾶς ἁλός πέμπεται. (Pind. Pyth. 2.66 8) And your counsels, older than you are, allow me to praise without any risk up to the full account. Farewell. This song is being sent like Phoenician merchandise over the gray sea.
As in Pythian 2, the verb πέμπω is used again in fr. 124, an encomion presumably sent to Thrasyboulus together with the second Pythian: ⁴²¹ Ὦ Θρασύβουλ᾽, ἐρατᾶν ὄχημ᾽ ἀοιδᾶν τοῦτό πέμπω μεταδόρπιον. ἐν ξυνῶι κεν εἴη συμπόταισίν τε γλυκερὸν καὶ Διωνύσοιο καρπῶι καὶ κυλίκεσσιν ᾿Aθαναίαισι κέντρον. (Pind. fr. 124a b) O Thrasyboulus, I am sending this chariot of lovely songs for after dinner. Amid the company may it be a sweet goad for your drinking companions, for the fruit of Dionysos, and for the Athenian drinking cups.⁴²²
Similarly, Pindar cannot himself make it to Syracuse and direct the performance of Pythian 3. The text is somehow sent and the performance happens without Pindar’s direction.⁴²³ Pindaric scholarship has broadened out from the exploration of performance to the study of reperformance contexts, and we are now aware that choral odes were also composed for reperformance.⁴²⁴ In a clear ref-
Athanassaki 2009, 153 4. See also Pind. Nem. 3.76 80, and Herington 1985, 189 91, discussing the ‘sending’ of lyric poems. Translation by Race 1997. Pind. Pyth. 3.68 79. See Morgan 1993, 10 5; Carey 1995, 85 90; Curie 2004; Hubbard 2004.
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erence to a reperformance, Pindar alludes⁴²⁵ to a solo reperformance, probably at a symposium, performed by a relative of the victor.⁴²⁶ Hints to the ‘travels’ of texts are found more easily in choral ‘texts’ than in tragic ones, naturally due to the conventions of each genre. Even drama however is imbued with subtle references to its text, performance, and reperformance. In various passages from Aristophanes and Aeschylus, the characters allude to the written version of their speech, or of tragedy in general. In the Frogs, not only does Dionysus recount having read Andromeda on the deck of a ship,⁴²⁷ the chorus also reassures the poets about the competence of the audience, each member of which has a book and can thus understand even the subtle points of the text: εἰ δὲ τοῦτο καταφοβεῖσθον, μή τις ἀμαθία προσῆι τοῖς θεωμένοισιν, ὡς τὰ λεπτὰ μὴ γνῶναι λεγόντοιν, μηδὲν ὀρρωδεῖτε τοῦθ᾽. ὡς οὐκέθ᾽ οὕτω ταῦτ᾽ ἔχει. ἐστρατευμένοι γάρ εἰσι, βιβλίον τ᾽ ἔχων ἕκαστος μανθάνει τὰ δεξιά. (Ar. Ran. 1108 14) And if you are afraid of any ignorance among the spectators, that they won’t appreciate your subtleties of argument, don’t worry about that, because things are no longer that way. For they’re veterans, and each one has a book and knows the fine points.⁴²⁸
Subtler, yet possibly more illuminating, allusions to written texts can also be found in Aeschylus’ tragedies. Although generic restrictions could not allow for a clear description of a ‘traveling’ master copy, or a text sent at another
Pind. Nem. 4.13 16. Morrison 2012, 112. Ar. Ran. 52 4, καὶ δῆτ᾽ ἐπὶ τῆς νεὼς ἀναγιγνώσκοντί μοι / τὴν ᾿Aνδρομέδαν πρὸς ἐμαυτὸν ἐξαίφνης πόθος / τὴν καρδίαν ἐπάταξε πῶς οἴει σφόδρα. Text and translation by Henderson 2002.
3.3 Reperformances by traveling actors and local choruses
city to be performed there, there are references to the differences between an oral and a written ‘text’, as for instance in the Suppliants: ταῦτ᾽ οὐ πίναξίν ἐστιν ἐγγεγραμμένα οὐδ᾽ ἐν πτυχαῖς βύβλων κατεσφραγισμένα, σαφῆ δ᾽ ἀκούεις ἐκ ἐλευθεροστόμου γλώσσης. (Aesch. Supp. 946 9) These words are not written on tablets, nor sealed up in a folded sheet of papyrus: you hear them plainly from the lips and tongue of a free man.⁴²⁹
Though not specifically evoking the journey of the text overseas as in the previous examples, this reference testifies to the spread of written material and the concept of the unchanging nature of writing, a concept to which I will return when discussing the dynamics of reperformances and textual interpolations. A written text sent for performance or reperformance was indeed the only way of securing the ‘purity’ of the original text when reperformances without the playwrights’ supervision became part of the new performative agenda in the second half of the fifth century. The tragedians sent a text which was reperformed either by local actors and producers outside Athens, or by troupes of actors engaged in organized professional traveling outside Attica that would most probably work with local choruses.
3.3 Reperformances by traveling actors and local choruses By the Hellenistic period, actors were organized in guilds known as the Artists of Dionysus.⁴³⁰ These performers traveled across Greece, performing at festivals or other occasions in exchange for rewards and fame.⁴³¹ Even before the formation
Text and translation by Sommerstein 2008. The guild of the Artists of Dionysus was fully formed by the Hellenistic period. ‘They are strange organisations, not quite like anything else even in the Hellenistic period, which saw the formation of leagues and associations and clubs and societies of all kinds, religious and sec ular, professional and lay. They constituted themselves as critics and appointed officials and is sued decrees, while managing to live in the cities where they took up residence as privileged out siders in the city but not of it’ (Lightfoot 2002, 209 10). Cf. first reference in Arist. Rh. 1405a 20 1, καὶ ὁ μὲν διονυσοκόλακας, αὐτοὶ δ᾽ αὑτοὺς τεχνίτας καλοῦσιν. See Cinalli 2014a; 2014b; forthcoming a; forthcoming b. On the Artists of Dionysus in gen eral, see Le Guen 2001; Aneziri 2003; 2007; 2009; Manieri 2009; 2013. See also below in this chapter, p. 104.
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of the guilds however, local, informal performances ‘in smaller places . . . must have been common too: troupes of traveling actors were mobile and willing enough to perform (perhaps using makeshift stages), although finding a sufficient number of chorus-men might have posed somewhat of an obstacle to mounting plays full-scale’.⁴³² Diodorus of Sicily tells us how when Dionysius I, the tyrant of Syracuse, won the first prize for tragedy at the Lenaea of 367,⁴³³ a member of the chorus sailed immediately to Sicily, via Corinth, and brought Dionysius the good news: Διονυσίου τοίνυν δεδιδαχότος ᾿Aθήνησι Ληναίοις τραγωιδίαν καὶ νικήσαντος, τῶν ἐν τῶι χορῶι τις ἀιδόντων ὑπολαβὼν τιμηθήσεσθαι λαμπρῶς, ἐὰν πρῶτος ἀπαγγείληι τὴν νίκην, διέπλευσεν εἰς τὴν Κόρινθον. Καταλαβὼν δ᾽ ἐκεῖ ναῦν ἐκπλέουσαν εἰς Σικελίαν καὶ μετεμβὰς εἰς ταύτην, οὐρίοις ἐχρήσατο πνεύμασι, καὶ καταπλεύσας εἰς Συρακούσας συντόμως ἀπήγ γειλε τῶι τυράννωι τὴν νίκην. ὁ δὲ Διονύσιος τοῦτον μὲν ἐτίμησεν, αὐτὸς δὲ περιχαρὴς ἐγέ νετο καὶ τοῖς θεοῖς εὐαγγέλια θύσας πότους καὶ μεγάλας εὐωχίας ἐπετέλεσεν. ἑστιῶν δὲ λαμπρῶς τοὺς φίλους, καὶ κατὰ τοὺς πότους φιλοτιμότερον τῆι μέθηι δοὺς ἑαυτόν, εἰς ἀρρωστίαν σφοδροτέραν ἐνέπεσε διὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν ἐμφορηθέντων ὑγρῶν. (Diod. Sic. 15.74.1 2) So when Dionysius produced a tragedy at the Lenaea in Athens and won the first prize, one of those men who sang in the chorus sailed to Corinth, thinking that if he were the first to announce the victory, he would be greatly rewarded. After he found there a ship sailing to Sicily, he boarded it and, obtaining favorable winds, he shortly arrived in Syracuse and an nounced the victory to the tyrant. Dionysus rewarded him, and was himself so happy that after he made thank offerings to the gods for the good news, he instituted a drinking bout and great feasts. And while he entertained his friends lavishly, and after he surrendered more zealously to drink during the bout, he fell seriously ill from the quantity of liquor he had consumed.
This victory (with the play The Ransom of Hector) was the reason of Dionysius’ death, since he became ill after becoming seriously drunk during the ensuing lavish feast of celebration. Diodorus makes no mention of the identity of the choreut who was singing in the performance and rushed to Sicily to be the first to announce the victory, throwing no light on whether he was from Athens or from Sicily. In general however, even in the demes, the choreuts seem to be composed of demesmen, at least until the third century.⁴³⁴ A fifth-century Athenian law discussed in the first chapter involved a fine of 1000 drachmas for any choregos who invited a non-Athenian member into the
Revermann 2010, 83. TrGF I 76 Test. 3; Ael. VH 13.18 (=TrGF I 76 Test. 6); Vita Eur. 5 (=TrGF I 76 Test. 10). See also chapter 2 this book, p. 92. Csapo (personal communication). See also Wilson 2015, esp. 120 1.
3.3 Reperformances by traveling actors and local choruses
chorus.⁴³⁵ A similar account is given by Demosthenes in Against Meidias, written in 348 – 6, in which he accuses Meidias of physically attacking him in the Dionysia of 348, where he was a choregos. He mentions in passing that the Athenians are extremely mindful when it comes to excluding non-Athenians from the chorus: καὶ μὴν ἴστε γε τοῦτο, ὅτι βουλόμενοι μηδέν᾽ ἀγωνίζεσθαι ξένον οὐκ ἐδώκαθ᾽ ἁπλῶς τῶν χορηγῶν οὐδενὶ προσκαλέσαντι τοὺς χορευτὰς σκοπεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐὰν μὲν καλέσηι, πεντήκοντα δραχμάς, ἐὰν δὲ καθέζεσθαι κελεύσηι, χιλίας ἀποτίνειν ἐτάξατε. (Dem. 21. 56) Moreover, you are aware that, although anxious to exclude aliens from the contest, you do not grant unlimited right to any chorus master to summon for scrutiny any member of a chorus; if he summons him, he is fined fifty drachmas, and a thousand drachmas if he or ders him to sit among the spectators.⁴³⁶
In Against Alcibiades, we get another reference to this law; according to this account, not only was it permitted to have any foreigners removed from a competing chorus, but also this removal could not be obstructed by anyone.⁴³⁷ In all these descriptions, Athenian citizenship is brought out as a quintessential aspect of the Dionysiac celebrations. During the fifth century, foreign choruses were banned from Athens’ great festival, which was not run by Athenians in general, but by specific theatrical families. Theater business was a family business; especially in times when poets also doubled as actors,⁴³⁸ a handful of theatrical clans monopolized the field.⁴³⁹ The status of those poets-actors and the potential for textual alterations in the plays⁴⁴⁰ is also shown by the fact that actors and minor tragic poets are attributed with practicing both professions in different sources. Taking the example of the sons of Aeschylus; as one of the first members of one of the most important theatrical families in Athens, Aeschylus was the son of Euphorion of Eleusis. He was father to Euphorion II⁴⁴¹ and Euaion.⁴⁴² According to Hesychius, Plut. Phoc. 30. See chapter 1 in this book, p. 21. Translation by Murray 1939. [Andoc.] Alc. 20 1. See also chapter 1 in this book, p. 22. See the discussion below in this chapter, pp. 117 18. This could result in amusing attempts of members of those families to become theatrically successful despite lacking the talent. To the extent that we can trust the criticism of Aristo phanes, Morsimus, son of the tragic poet Philocles and great nephew of Aeschylus, seems to have been gifted oculist but a particularly bad tragic poet. See Ar. Eq. 401; Pax 802; Ran. 151. See also the discussion on actors and interpolations below in this chapter, pp. 121 9. TrGF I 12. TrGF I 13.
3 Tragic reperformances and traveling actors
Euphorion won four victories by presenting the plays of his father, while he also wrote some tragedies of his own.⁴⁴³ Hesychius lists both brothers as τραγικούς, and Snell registers them as tragic poets.⁴⁴⁴ It is possible however that both Euphorion and Euaion were merely actors, since we do not have evidence for independent works by either, whilst we do know that vase-painters illustrated Euaeon as an actor.⁴⁴⁵ For an aspiring dramatist, Athens was the place to be. In Plato’s Laches, Laches tells Nicias that a good poet should attempt to make it in Athens and not travel in the Attic towns: τοιγάρτοι ὃς ἂν οἴηται τραγωιδίαν καλῶς ποιεῖν, οὐκ ἔξωθεν κύκλωι περὶ τὴν ᾿Aττικὴν κατὰ τὰς ἄλλας πόλεις ἐπιδεικνύμενος περιέρχεται, ἀλλ᾽ εὐθὺς δεῦρο φέρεται καὶ τοῖσδ᾽ ἐπιδεί κνυσιν εἰκότως. (Pl. Lach. 183a b) And for this reason he who thinks himself a good writer of tragedy does not tour round with his show in a circuit of the outlying attic towns, but makes a straight line for this place and exhibits to our people, as one might expect.⁴⁴⁶
The text is perhaps referring to both actors and poets who had been touring Greece and Sicily, whom Laches instructs to direct their professional focus to Athens. Laches is referring to the carefully planned and managed movement that he maintains should be Athenocentric. However, goal-oriented professional traveling would have certainly outgrown Athens and the theaters of the Attic demes and started to encompass theaters across the Greek world. Through traveling and performing, actors were enhancing the theatrical prestige of Athens and maximizing Athenian tragedy’s popularity.⁴⁴⁷
TrGF I 12 Test. 1 (= Sud. ε 3800 (Hesy.)), Εὐφορίων, ὑιὸς Αἰσχύλου τοῦ τραγικοῦ, ᾿Aθηναῖος, τραγικὸς καὶ αὐτός· ὃς καὶ τοῖς Αἰσχύλου τοῦ πατρός, οἷς μήπω ἦν ἐπιδειξάμενος, τετράκις ἐνί κησεν. ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ οἰκεῖα. TrGF I 12, 13 and Sud. αι 357 (Hesy.), Αἰσχύλος … ἔσχε … υἱοὺς τραγικοὺς δύο, Εὐφορίωνα καὶ Εὐαίωνα. See for example the 450 440 Attic calyx crater with the inscription ΕΥΑΙΩΝ ΚΑΛΟΣ ΑΙΣΧΥ ΛΟΥ now in Agrigento (Soprintendenza alle Antichità, Agrigento AG7), Trendall/Webster 1971, 4 5, 63 and fig. III 2.1, Pl. 1 in this book; Rome, Vatican Inv. 16549, Trendall/Webster 1971, 69 and pl. III 2.9; Boston Museum of Fine Arts 00.346, Trendall/ Webster 1971, 62 and pl. III 1.28. See also Sutton 1987, 12. Translation by Lamb 1962. See Easterling 1993, 562: ‘the fourth century was a time of extraordinary vitality in the the atre, as we know from vase paintings, inscriptions, and quite extensive literary sources. And al though this was a widespread development in the Greek speaking world Athens remained the
3.3 Reperformances by traveling actors and local choruses
From the earliest years of the fourth century, actors of Athenian drama were attaining panhellenic fame. In a passage from the Laws, Plato reports the words of an Athenian stranger talking to Clinias, according to whom the Athenians would not allow any alien poet traveling with a group of actors to set up a performance without a specific permission granted from the authorities: μὴ δὴ δόξητε ἡμᾶς ῥαιδίως γε οὕτως ὑμᾶς ποτε παρ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐάσειν σκηνάς τε πήξαντας κατ᾽ ἀγορὰν καὶ καλλιφώνους ὑποκριτὰς εἰσαγαγομένους, μεῖζον φθεγγομένους ἡμῶν, ἐπι τρέψειν ὑμῖν δημηγορεῖν πρὸς παῖδάς τε καὶ γυναῖκας καὶ τὸν πάντα ὄχλον, τῶν αὐτῶν λέγοντας ἐπιτηδευμάτων πέρι μὴ τὰ αὐτὰ ἅπερ ἡμεῖς, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς τὸ πολὺ καὶ ἐναντία τὰ πλεῖ στα. σχεδὸν γάρ τοι κἂν μαινοίμεθα τελέως ἡμεῖς τε καὶ ἅπασα ἡ πόλις, ἡτισοῦν ὑμῖν ἐπι τρέποι δρᾶν τὰ νῦν λεγόμενα, πρὶν κρῖναι τὰς ἀρχὰς εἴτε ῥητὰ καὶ ἐπιτήδεια πεποιήκατε λέ γειν εἰς τὸ μέσον εἴτε μή. νῦν οὖν, ὦ παῖδες μαλακῶν Μουσῶν ἔκγονοι, ἐπιδείξαντες τοῖς ἄρχουσι πρῶτον τὰς ὑμετέρας παρὰ τὰς ἡμετέρας ὠιδάς, ἂν μὲν τὰ αὐτά γε ἢ καὶ βελτίω τὰ παρ᾽ ὑμῶν φαίνηται λεγόμενα, δώσομεν ὑμῖν χορόν, εἰ δὲ μή, ὦ φίλοι, οὐκ ἄν ποτε δυναίμεθα. (Pl. Leg. 817c d) Do not suppose that we will so easily allow you to set up your stage in the marketplace and bring onto it actors with beautiful voices, who can speak louder than ourselves, and permit you to harangue the children and women and the whole mob, addressing the same con cerns as we do, but for the most part saying just the opposite. We and our whole city would be completely mad if we allowed you to do what I’ve just said, without the author ities first judging whether what you wrote is fit to be said in public or not. So now, you chil dren of dainty Muses, first demonstrate your songs to the archons alongside our own, and if they appear to say the same or better than ours, we will give you a chorus, and if not, my friends, we could never do so.⁴⁴⁸
Plato envisages a freely, perhaps even unplanned, wandering of performers which need to be approved by the cities’ archons, perhaps indeed because of this disorganized nature. This passage however ‘imagines a city without festivals or theaters: it cannot serve as a paradigm for the real theater economy, which is all about cities with theaters and festivals’.⁴⁴⁹ Although ancient Greek ‘public’ theater was not as public as its label implies,⁴⁵⁰ it was still not a free-market en-
recognised centre, its drama gaining prestige from the travels of the more famous Athenian ac tors and from the presentation in other cities of plays by Athenian poets.’ Translation by Csapo/Slater 1995, 108 9. Csapo (personal communication). ‘Throughout antiquity, individuals paid from their own private pockets at least a large part of the expense of just about all theater, no matter how public we like to think it’ (Csapo 2010a, 169).
3 Tragic reperformances and traveling actors
tertainment industry.⁴⁵¹ Traveling actors would have moved according to organized planning and were directed to specific festivals, with the consensus of the deme which was hosting them.⁴⁵² As the fourth century was reaching its last decades, the ‘world’s first international trade union’⁴⁵³ was created, that of the Artists of Dionysus. From their first appearance as group of performers in about 330 BC,⁴⁵⁴ the Technitai of Dionysus evolved with time, starting to take up other roles such as dancing, performing music, and even mask making.⁴⁵⁵ By the third century, regional guilds of performers put on entire festivals and obtained civil, political, or theatrical privileges from the cities that were hosting their performances.⁴⁵⁶ Local performances and reperformances were organized in a complex way that enhanced locality but also expanded the boundaries of an ever-growing panhellenic milieu and redefined each hosting city’s cultural relationship with Athens.⁴⁵⁷ The actors’ theatrical travels would have been initiated by an invitation from a deme or a tyrant, or organized according to the actors’ own planning. A traveling group of actors at the end of the fifth century would have consisted at minimum of three actors and an aulos-player.⁴⁵⁸ This group would be expected to take care of all the practicalities of performances in different locations and work with the local producers and local choruses. The actors’ repertoire would have either been decided by the agent who made the official invitation or, when they were traveling without invitation, it might have been shaped according to the group’s personal preferences or the popularity of certain pieces. Crowd-pleasing sections of a successful dramatic performance were probably constantly reperformed, just as popular lyric bits would have been particularly
Greek theater preserved aspects of its public character even when it became more ‘private’, during the Hellenistic period (Csapo 2010a, 170: ‘The evidence for the performance of drama out side of public theaters shows that private theater to a very large extent supplemented the very political purpose to which public theater was put in the Hellenistic and Roman world, and even served it better precisely because of the more personal bond it created between the sponsor and the viewer’). For a possible exception that most probably proves the rule, see IG XII 7.226. Csapo/Slater 1995, 224. Aristotle’s Rhetoric is written in ca. 330. It is there where the technitai are first mentioned (Arist. Rh. 1405a23). See also Csapo/Slater 1995, 239. OGIS 51; Pickard Cambridge 1968, 310 11. See Pickard Cambridge 1968, 306 21, with inscriptions involving guilds from Athens, Isth mus, Nemea, Cyprus, Argos, and Ionia. As maintained by Kowalzig 2008, 129 30. Dearden 1999, 232.
3.4 Reperformances and the development of the acting profession
well received.⁴⁵⁹ A premiere or a reperformance could be indicative of the popularity of either the play or the venue. As I have previously discussed, Euripides had directed a play in Peiraeus;⁴⁶⁰ if it was a premiere, it means that the festival in Peiraeus immediately acquired more gravitas, but if it was a reperformance, it means that Euripides’ classical repertoire was in the making from as early as the late fifth century.⁴⁶¹ An invitation for performances outside Attica would probably involve a new play, while traveling on the initiative of the acting group would probably lead to a reperformance of a play that had been especially successful or popular in Athens. Taking the example of Hieron of Syracuse, who entrusted Aeschylus with the production of the Aetnaeae for the celebration of the founding of the city of Aetna in 476/5;⁴⁶² we cannot know whether Aeschylus acted himself, or brought a troupe of Athenian actors with him, or whether he used a local chorus. But it is highly likely that he would have served as the production’s didascalos. ⁴⁶³ His production must have been well received, since Hieron asked him to also direct the reperformance of the Persians, as indicated by ἀναδιδάξαι in the Vita. ⁴⁶⁴
3.4 Reperformances and the development of the acting profession The rise of the acting profession is inherently bound up with cultural mobility and dramatic reperformances in the ancient Greek world. In a reciprocal dynamic, acting develops into a prestigious profession thanks to the ongoing spread of drama over the fifth and fourth centuries, while the popularity of drama receives continuous boosts from the mobility of actors, and eventually leads to the instituting of dramatic reperformance. The professionalization of acting that came
Taplin 1993, 96 maintains, for example, that overseas performers, as well as overseas audi ences were most likely to have preferred plays with less topical character, such as Thesmophor iazusae instead of Knights. Ael. VH 2.13 and chapter 1 this book, pp. 40 3. See also Easterling 1993, 564. TrGF III A Test. 1.9, ἐλθὼν τοίνυν εἰς Σικελίαν Ἱέρωνος τότε τὴν Αἴτνην κτίζοντος ἐπεδεί ξατο τὰς Αἴτνας οἰωνιζόμενος βίον ἀγαθὸν τοῖς συνοικίζουσι τὴν πόλιν. See also chapter 1, this book, pp. 23 31. See also Dearden 1999, 230. TrGF III A Test. 1.18, φασὶν ὑπὸ Ἱέρωνος ἀξιωθέντα ἀναδιδάξαι τοὺς Πέρσας ἐν Σικελίαι καὶ λίαν εὐδοκιμεῖν.
3 Tragic reperformances and traveling actors
with the launch of the actors’ competitions at the Dionysia and the Lenaea⁴⁶⁵ thus grew simultaneously with the spread of drama⁴⁶⁶ and consequently also reperformances in the Attic demes and across Greece in the last quarter of the fifth century.⁴⁶⁷ There is no doubt that ‘the fourth century provided the necessary conditions for the development of a star-system of Hollywood proportions’ maintains Csapo,⁴⁶⁸ who expands on the social, cultural, and financial growth of acting in the fourth century. By the mid-fourth century we have examples of actors who were exceptionally wealthy, like Theodorus or Neoptolemus. Theodorus made a huge contribution to the rebuilding of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi,⁴⁶⁹ while Neoptolemus was an especially generous funder of public works.⁴⁷⁰ Whilst building a reperformative repertoire, fourth-century actors were renowned enough to win special nicknames for their best performances.⁴⁷¹ By the time Aristotle was writing the Rhetoric, the contribution of the actors was more important in securing the play’s victory than that of the poet: τρία γάρ ἐστι περὶ ἃ σκοποῦσιν· ταῦτα δ᾽ ἐστὶ μέγεθος ἁρμονία ῥυθμός. τὰ μὲν οὖν ἆθλα σχε δὸν ἐκ τῶν ἀγώνων οὗτοι λαμβάνουσιν, καὶ καθάπερ ἐκεῖ μεῖζον δύνανται νῦν τῶν ποιητῶν οἱ ὑποκριταί, καὶ κατὰ τοὺς πολιτικοὺς ἀγῶνας διὰ τὴν μοχθηρίαν τῶν πολιτῶν. (Arist. Rh. 1403b30 5) For there are three qualities that are considered, volume, harmony, rhythm. Those nearly always carry off the prizes in dramatic contexts, and as at the present day actors have greater influence in that matter than the poets, it is the same in political contests, owing to the corruptness of our forms of government.⁴⁷²
The dates of the launch of tragic and comic actors’ contests vary according to festival. The prize for the tragic actor was instituted at the Dionysia at about 450 (Pickard Cambridge 1968, 93; Sommerstein 2010b, 12 n. 3) and at the Lenaea possibly at about 440 (Pickard Cambridge 1968, 93). The prize for the comic actor was introduced to the Lenaea from about 432 and to the Dionysia after 329 (Csapo 2010a, 126 with n. 35). See also Millis/Olson 2012, 11 12. On the spread of theater in the late fifth and fourth centuries, see Csapo 2010a, 83 116. See Dearden 1999, 225: ‘the development of a “career in acting” only became possible with the increased opportunities for practicing the art outside Athens and the growth in acceptance of the idea that theatre was a measure of culture.’ Reperformances outside Athens also encouraged the construction of a ‘repertoire’, which further boosted the acting profession according to East erling 1993, 564. Csapo 2010a, 87. FD III 5.3.6 with Csapo 2010a, 87 and n. 41. Dem. 18.114 with Wilson/Csapo 2009, 64 5 and Csapo 2010a, 87 and n. 42. The actor Timotheus of Zacynthus for example, was an actor of uncertain date, whose nick name was Σφαγεύς, ‘slayer’, from his famous performance of Ajax’s suicide (Schol. Soph. Aj. 864a = p. xxx Christodoulou 1977). Τranslation by Freese 1926.
3.4 Reperformances and the development of the acting profession
Aristotle highlights the importance of the proper use of volume, harmony, and rhythm as the three components that bring victory, regardless of the play. The more the actors distanced themselves from the poets,⁴⁷³ the more they would see their own influence rising and the more they actively push their own growth in power and attention in the business. As Aristotle testifies, the actor Theodorus was so flagrantly seeking the spotlight that he would not let anyone appear on stage before him, because he believed that the spectators would like more what they saw first: ἴσως γὰρ οὐ κακῶς ἔλεγε τὸ τοιοῦτον Θεόδωρος ὁ τῆς τραγωιδίας ὑποκριτής· οὐθενὶ γὰρ πώποτε παρῆκεν ἑαυτοῦ προεισάγειν οὐδὲ τῶν εὐτελῶν ὑποκριτῶν, ὡς οἰκειουμένων τῶν θεατῶν ταῖς πρώταις ἀκοαῖς. (Arist. Pol. 1336b28 31) For perhaps the tragic actor Theodorus used to put the matter not badly: he had never once allowed anybody to produce his part before him, not even one of the poor actors, as he said that audiences are attracted by what they hear first.⁴⁷⁴
A change in the order of appearance would have been difficult enough even for a first production, in which the poet would have been directing the rehearsals. Imagine however the drastic theatrical and textual consequences that such an interference could have had in the context of reperformances, where no poet would have been in the rehearsals to impose his way. As we will see in the next part of this chapter, the reciprocal ‘performative’ triangle of reperformances, textualized plays, and increased actorial influence shaped the foundations of the history of the transmission of texts.⁴⁷⁵ Along these lines, in the tenth chapter of the Poetics, Aristotle talks about the categorization of plots and their connection to acting:
In the early days of tragic performances, the poet would have to be one of the actors, unless there was a plausible excuse, such as the case of Sophocles, who was relieved from this duty on the grounds of his weak voice. The Vita acknowledges Sophocles’ abolition of the poets’ duty to also act in the tragedies as his first innovation (TrGF IV Test. A 1.20 2, καὶ πολλὰ ἐκαινούργησεν ἐν τοῖς ἀγῶσι, πρῶτον μὲν καταλύσας τὴν ὑπόκρισιν τοῦ ποιητοῦ διὰ τὴν ἰδίαν μικροφωνίαν (πάλαι γὰρ καὶ ὁ ποιητὴς ὑπεκρίνετο αὐτός)). Aristophanic scholia document an actor named Tlepolemus as usually acting for Sophocles (Schol. to Ar. Nub. 1267, ἄλλοι δὲ τραγικὸν ὑποκριτὴν εἶναι τὸν Τληπόλεμον, συνεχῶς ὑποκρινόμενον Σοφοκλεῖ). By 432, when both tragic and comic actors were awarded prizes in the City Dionysia, we can be sure that the poets’ withdrawal from acting was complete (Hughes 2012, 110). For a detailed analysis, see below, pp. 117 21 in this book. Translation by Rackham 1998. See below, pp. 121 9 in this book.
3 Tragic reperformances and traveling actors
τῶν δὲ ἁπλῶν μύθων καὶ πράξεων αἱ ἐπεισοδιώδεις εἰσὶν χείρισται· λέγω δ᾽ ἐπεισοδιώδη μῦθον ἐν ὧι τὰ ἐπεισόδια μετ᾽ ἄλληλα οὔτ᾽ εἰκὸς οὔτ᾽ ἀνάγκη εἶναι. τοιαῦται δὲ ποιοῦνται ὑπὸ μὲν τῶν φαῦλων ποιητῶν δι᾽ αὐτούς, ὑπὸ δὲ τῶν ἀγαθῶν διὰ τοὺς ὑποκριτάς. (Arist. Poet. 1451b32 9) Of simple plots and actions, the episodic are worst. Episodic is what I call a plot in which the episodes follow one another without connections of probability or necessity. Such trag edies are composed by bad poets for themselves, and by good poets for the sake of the ac tors.
‘Episodic’ plots, Aristotle says, are the worst because they follow one another without causations of necessity in between. These bad plots are composed either by bad poets, or by good ones, just for the sake of actors. Putting together a lot of fancy roles, despite having no connection between them, was a way of obtaining glory for the actors, who would then attract all the attention. Acting however was not always prestigious, and social recognition of the touring actors was not always granted. In On the Crown, Demosthenes accuses Aeschines of having lived a life of low esteem, as a parasite next to actors of bad reputation: ὡς δ᾽ ἀπηλλάγης ποτὲ καὶ τούτου, πάνθ᾽ ἃ τῶν ἄλλων κατηγορεῖς αὐτὸς ποιήσας, οὐ κατ ήισχυνας μὰ Δί᾽ οὐδὲν τῶν προϋπηργμένων τῶι μετὰ ταῦτα βίωι, ἀλλὰ μισθώσας σαυτὸν τοῖς βαρυστόνοις ἐπικαλουμένοις ἐκείνοις ὑποκριταῖς Σιμύκαι καὶ Σωκράτει, ἐτριταγωνί στεις, σῦκα καὶ βότρυς καὶ ἐλάας συλλέγων ὥσπερ ὀπωρώνης ἐκ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων χωρίων, πλείω λαμβάνων ἀπὸ τούτων ἢ τῶν ἀγώνων, οὓς ὑμεῖς περὶ τῆς ψυχῆς ἠγωνίζεσθε˙ (Dem. 18.261 2) After having committed everything you accuse other people of, you were then relieved of that employment; and in the name of Zeus, you did not put anything of your earlier life to shame with your actions; but entering the service of Simycus and Socrates, those actors nicknamed the bellowers, you played the third roles, picking up figs, and grapes, and olives from other people’s farms like a fruiterer, gaining more from those than from the battles that you have fought for your life.
The use of βαρυστόνοις evokes the adjective βαρύτονος (‘deep-sounding’), the customary adjective used for a bad actor.⁴⁷⁶ Demosthenes not only refers to a couple of bad actors, but in order to attack Aeschines, he also points at the disreputable role of the tritagonistes,⁴⁷⁷ the least talented or experienced actor of the acting triad, who would perform the least important bits. Though expressed as a mocking exaggeration, Demosthenes illustrates a miserable part of actors’ tour-
Yunis 2001, ad loc. As he also does in Dem. 18.129.
3.4 Reperformances and the development of the acting profession
ing, that of the very low profit earned from unsuccessful performances.⁴⁷⁸ Acting however could develop into a lucrative profession; Demosthenes’ criticism seems to also reflect the suspicion and dismay of the Athenian elite, who saw professionals of humble origins ascend into circles of the aristocracy.⁴⁷⁹ The chances of success for aspiring actors seem to have increased drastically from about 430. Csapo has shown that ‘the number of employment opportunities available to actors of the third generation … doubled during their lifetime and then doubled again in the fifth and sixth generation of actors’.⁴⁸⁰ Callippides and Nicostratus are the first tragic actors of the late fifth and early fourth centuries to be treated by the testimonia as attracting panhellenic admiration. Plutarch narrates the first encounter of Callippides with the Spartan king Agesilaus and gives us an enlightening glimpse of Callippides’ arrogance: καί ποτε Καλλιππίδης ὁ τῶν τραγωιδιῶν ὑποκριτής, ὄνομα καὶ δόξαν ἔχων ἐν τοῖς Ἕλλησι καὶ σπουδαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων, πρῶτον μὲν ἀπήντησεν αὐτῶι καί προσεῖπεν, ἔπειτα σοβα ρῶς εἰς τοὺς συμπεριπατοῦντας ἐμβαλὼν ἑαυτὸν ἐπεδείκνυτο νομίζων ἐκεῖνον ἄρξειν τινὸς φιλοφροσύνης, τέλος δὲ εἶπεν: ‘οὐκ ἐπιγινώσκεις με, ὦ βασιλεῦ;’ κἀκεῖνος ἀποβλέψας πρὸς αὐτὸν εἶπεν, ‘ἀλλὰ οὐ σύγε ἐσσὶ Καλλιππίδας ὁ δεικηλίκτας;’ οὕτω δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοὺς μίμους καλοῦσι. (Plut. Ages. 21.4) Kallipides the tragic actor, whose name and fame was known among all Greeks and who was the object of universal enthusiasm, at first encountered and greeted Agesilaus. Then, pompously thrusting himself forward among Agesilaus’ entourage, he began to show off, thinking this would elicit some sign of courteous recognition. Finally, he said: ‘Your maj esty, don’t you know who I am?’ Agesilaus, glancing up at him said ‘aren’t you Kallipides the buffoon?’ This is what Spartans call imitators.⁴⁸¹
Plutarch’s report highlights Callippides’ air of superiority in contrast to Agesilaus’ down-to-earth Spartan moderation. Although Plutarch does not reveal the place nor the occasion of the meeting between Callippides and Agesilaus (the passage follows a description of the Isthmia Agesilaus had attended,⁴⁸² but does not make clear whether the meeting happened there as well), his narrative points to cultural mobility as the setting for this kind of informal interac-
For the three stages of the joke Demosthenes is constructing here, see Yunis 2001, ad loc. Csapo 2010a, 104 parallels this resentment with the elite’s hostile reaction to the theater musicians of the ‘New Music’. On the social and political parameters of the development of ‘New Music’, see Csapo 2004b. Csapo 2010a, 103. Translation by Csapo 2010a, 104. Plut. Ages. 21.1 3.
3 Tragic reperformances and traveling actors
tion,⁴⁸³ which thus highlights the spread of theater and its growth into a panhellenic sensation. Equally famous is Nicostratus’ first recorded performance, datable to earlier than 392 in Aiolis, in Asia Minor.⁴⁸⁴ Zenobius (second century AD), reports that the Middle Comedy poet Eubulus was using Nicostratus’ performative manner as a paradigm, especially since Nicostratrus was exceptional at delivering messenger speeches.⁴⁸⁵ The more tragedy spread, the more actors were sought after, traveling and performing in different theatrical settings and constructing for themselves a panhellenic recognition.
3.5 The rise of actors as reflected in vase-painting Attic vasepainting has no interest in actors before about 430 BC, at a time when theatrical realism in the depiction of choral scenes is in its fullest maturity. Representations of actors are admittedly rare (considerably rarer even that the surviving representations of choral subjects) but they do exist. Though scenes with actors are produced in the same realistic (or in some cases quasi realistic) idiom as choral scenes, this fact should not blind us to their very different background and significance. … The choice of actors, as opposed to cho ral subjects, and realistic depictions of actors, as opposed to the narrative or mythical char acters they represent, shows a popular interest, for the first time, in the men behind the masks, and an awareness of their skills. The emphasis is not upon the artistic illusion, but upon the art that produces the illusion, and not for any commemorative purpose, but from delight in the actor’s art.⁴⁸⁶
Although the fifth century in Athens was the era in which both red-figure vasepainting and theater were flourishing, it remains a surprise that, at least until the middle of the century, tragedy had left few traces in Athenian pottery.⁴⁸⁷ Some of the scarce evidence that we have includes the well-known Basel Dancers crater (datable to ca. 480s and depicting six chorus members singing and dancing in
Testimonia show a vigorous professional activity on Callippides’ side, with recorded per formances in Opous (FGrH 334 fr. 37), Aiolis (Polyaenus Strat. 6.10), and of course Athens. See Stefanis 1988, 245, with references. Polyaenus Strat. 6. 10 with Stefanis 1988, 246, 332. ἐγὼ ποιήσω πάντα κατὰ Νικόστρατον εἴρηται ἡ παροιμία παρ᾽ Εὐβούλωι τῶι τῆς Μέσης κωμωιδίας ποιητῆι. ἦν δὲ ὁ Νικόστρατος ὑποκριτὴς τραγικὸς δοκῶν καλλίστως ἀγγέλους εἰρη κέναι (Zen. Ath. 1. 42 = PCG V Euboulus fr. 134). Csapo 2010a, 30 1. Taplin 1997, 69.
3.5 The rise of actors as reflected in vase-painting
unison)⁴⁸⁸ and the more recently published Kiev crater (datable to ca. 420s, picturing an aulos-player and his boy-assistant, surrounded by two performing chorus members in distinctive outfits and masks).⁴⁸⁹ The restoration of fragments of an Attic jar of ca. 460s discovered in Corinth reveals a scene of tragedy with a Persian theme, involving two figures in decorated costumes, a burning pyre, and an aulos-player in a decorated outfit.⁴⁹⁰ The earliest scene of a comic actor in a performance context is that of an Attic chous of about 420.⁴⁹¹ The chous shows a comic actor performing on an elevated stage as he is watched by an audience of two spectators seated in wooden chairs (clismoi). The two spectators can perhaps be identified with prestigious members of the audience seated in special seating at the edge of the orchestra (prohedria) and might allude to the judges, the choregos, the poet, or some deities. In any case, they function as a representation of the audience.⁴⁹² In parallel to these paintings, performance in specific was also gradually given more importance in visual arts, and the choregoi were given extra tribute with realistically detailed depictions.⁴⁹³ Those developments are intrinsically connected to the increasing weight given to performance as a cultural and social event. In Sophocles’ Vita, ταῖς δὲ Μούσαις θίασον ἐκ τῶν πεπαιδευμένων συναγαγεῖν appears to be a reference to an association of trained actors (maybe even by Sophocles himself), which was put together by Sophocles.⁴⁹⁴ The founding of this association has been placed somewhere around 450, since this is also approximately the time when the actors’ competitions started.⁴⁹⁵ The acting profession started gaining in importance and social power and, contrary to the past, The Basel Dancers crater is an unattributed Attic column crater (Basel Antikenmuseum BS 415, BAD 260). See Taplin 2007, 29 and fig. 8; Wellenbach 2015; first publication by Schmidt 1967, 70 8, pls. 19.1, 21.1. Kiev, Museum of the Academy of Sciences, unnumbered; published by Froning 2002, 73 and pl. 88. Dedicated to theatrical realism, the crater’s painter depicted even the boy who was assisting the pipe player as holding the player’s pipe case (sybene). See Taplin 2007, 29 30 and fig. 9; Csapo 2010a, 8, 30 1. First published by Beazley 1955. See also Beazley 1963, 571.74; Taplin 1997, 70 1; Miller 2004; Wellenbach 2015, 81 3. Attic chous, painter of the Perseus Dance vase, c. 420, Athens Archaeological Museum ΒΣ 518, MMC AV 4. See Hughes 2006 and Taplin 2010, 26 7, both of whom acknowledge the theatrical charac teristics of the vase. Cf. the so called ‘genre scenes’, starting in ca. 470 and depicting tragic, satiric, or comic choreuts holding masks, sometimes also facing each other as if they are having a conversation (Csapo 2010a, 17 with n. 58, with a complete list of these scenes). TrGF IV Test. A 1.6. See earlier in this chapter, pp. 106 with n. 465.
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actors became more frequently involved in cultural and social events from which they used to have been traditionally excluded. According to tradition for example, actors were not included in the epinikia celebrations following dramatic victories, although those were open to a large number of people. The epinikia was a ‘thanksgiving’ celebration for victory, probably ‘the final act of khoregic largesse that might be said to fall within the (informal) obligations of the office’.⁴⁹⁶ It involved a sacrifice and a celebratory feast, with the participation of the choreuts, the choregos, and the poet. Actors were not traditionally included, possibly because they represented the civic aspect of drama.⁴⁹⁷ In the Symposium, Plato delivers a dialogue between Apollodorus and Glaucus, who is seeking to learn about a private party that brought together Agathon, Socrates, and Alcibiades.⁴⁹⁸ Apollodorus explains that such a party took place when he and Glaucus were still boys, on the occasion of Agathon’s victory with his first tragedy at the Lenaea of 416.⁴⁹⁹ The day after the epinikia celebration, says Apollodorus, Agathon and his choreuts held a private celebratory feast.⁵⁰⁰ According to the Platonic description, the epinikia took place in public places, in the presence of dramatic victors and friends.⁵⁰¹ Actors excluded, the epinikia celebrations were open to the rest of the ‘validators’ of a dramatic victory, namely the judges, perhaps even the spectators, as in the final scene of Aristophanes’ comic utopia of Ecclesiazousae. ⁵⁰² An attic red-figured crater of ca. 440 by the Lycaion Painter depicts a performance of Aeschylus’ Toxotides. ⁵⁰³ Above the actor representing Aktaion, the name Euaion is written. As with the rest of the vases depicting actors with their names, it seems to be a personalized piece of art, customized for a specific occasion. Euaion’s name also appears in a scene from Sophocles’ Thamyras, illustrated on the ‘Vatican hydria’, an attic red-figured hydria by the Phiale Painter, of ca. 450 – 440.⁵⁰⁴ Thamyras is presented seated on a rock, playing his lyre, with ΘΑΜΥΡΑΣ inscribed above his head. On his right, a white-haired woman
Wilson 2000, 102. Wilson 2000, 102 3. Pl. Symp. 172a c. TrGF I 39 Test. 1 (= Ath. 5.216 f 217c). Pl. Symp. 173a, παίδων ὄντων ἡμῶν ἔτι, ὅτε τῆι πρώτηι τραγωιδίαι ἐνίκησεν ᾿Aγάθων, τῆι ὑστεραίαι ἢ ἧι τὰ ἐπινίκια ἔθυεν αὐτός τε καὶ οἱ χορευταί. Pl. Symp. 173a6, 174a7. Ar. Eccl. 1140 3, where the Maid invites Blepyrus and all the chorus members to join a common large feast: … πρὸς ταῦτα μὴ βραδύνετε, / καὶ τῶν θεατῶν εἴ τις εὔνους τυγχάνει / καὶ τῶν κριτῶν εἰ μή τις ἑτέρωσε βλέπει, / ἴτω μεθ᾽ ἡμῶν· πάντα γὰρ παρέξομεν. Boston Museum of Fine Arts 00.346; also see Trendall/ Webster 1971, 62 and pl. III 1.28. Rome, Vatican Inv. 16549; also see Trendall/Webster 1971, 69 and pl. III 2.9.
3.5 The rise of actors as reflected in vase-painting
dances to his tune. The woman is probably Argiope, Thamyra’s mother. Above her head, we read ΕΥΑΙΩΝ ΚΑΛΟΣ, so we understand that Euaion played her part. The Thamyras play was first performed in around 460, so at least ten years before the production of this vase. It is highly probable that the vase was created after a reperformance. The inscribed names in the ‘Vatican hydria’ incorporate both the real and theatrical identities of the actor, Euaion, the son of Aeschylus, performing the role of Thamyras. The depiction of both identities brings out the vase-painter’s high esteem for the actor as a professional who successfully (note καλός) conceals his true self (Εὐαίων) to get in the character of Thamyras. Analogous admiration on the part of the painter is shown in an Attic white-ground calyx-crater of ca. 450 – 440. The painter has drawn Perseus and on the right of the character’s head has inscribed ΕΥΑΙΩΝ ΚΑΛΟΣ ΑΙΣΧΥΛΟΥ.⁵⁰⁵ Such vases testify to increased interest in the individuals performing comic and tragic roles. In the last part of the fifth century, actors had their own prestige beyond that of the mythical eidola they perform. The theater industry at the turn of the century revealed actors as individuals whose professional value was appreciated, and therefore acknowledged in contemporary ‘media’: the vases. The increased frequency of performances, prompted by the establishment of the practice of reperformance, contributed to this increased interest, especially given that reperformances were very much centered also on the performers, not just the poet. The raised profiles of performers can also be seen reflected in the inscription of the names of the choreuts on a vase by the Cleophon Painter.⁵⁰⁶ The vase is datable to c. 425 and bears inscriptions of the names of the members of the chorus (Epinicus, Pleistias, Theomedes, Chremes), of the flute-player (Amphilochus), and of the poet (Phrynichos). Other vases of the same era bearing the names of actors with the epithet καλός (meaning ‘good’) accompanying their names have also been discovered. A characteristic vase of this category is an Attic, mid-fifth century red-figured volute-crater,⁵⁰⁷ possibly connected with Sophocles’ Pandora, with the kalos-name Alcimachus. This Alcimachus must have been a renowned citharode, possibly somehow connected with this specific performance.⁵⁰⁸
Soprintendenza alle Antichità, Agrigento AG7, Pl. 1 in this book; also see Trendall/Webster 1971, 4 5, 63 and fig. III 2.1. That crater actually testifies to the date of the performance of Sopho cles’ Andromeda, which could be considered responsible for the interest in this subject at that time. Copenhagen National Museum 13817; also see Trendall/Webster 1971, 4, 25 and I 17. Ashmolean Museum Oxford G 275 (V525); also see Trendall/Webster 1971, 4, 33 and pl. II 8. Trendall/Webster 1971, 4.
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The famous Pronomos vase⁵⁰⁹ could also be seen to encapsulate the dynamics of the actors’ struggles to reach the theatrical and social elite, especially if it finally commemorates a successful performance. The Pronomos vase depicts the entire cast of a tragic set,⁵¹⁰ and it can thus illustrate an important snapshot in the theater procedures, that of the gathering of the cast offstage, after the tetralogy is over. According to Taplin, the exhibited scene ‘evokes victorious post-performance relaxation’, depicting three tripods and all the choreuts, the playwright, the choregos, and Pronomos himself being garlanded.⁵¹¹ Its eponymous figure, Pronomos, is one of the most famous aulos-players of his times.⁵¹² Uniquely, the Pronomos vase includes the named playwright, Demetrios, and Charinos, the production’s choregos, as well as the names (either their real names or just typical made-up names)⁵¹³ of nine out of eleven choreuts.⁵¹⁴ By not reproducing scenes from a specific play, this vase transfers focus ‘from the impact of the actual theatrical performance to the theatre as an institution’.⁵¹⁵ At the same time however, the nature of the Pronomos’ vase intended use is enigmatic and certainly under (often controversial) discussion. According to Trendall and Webster, the vase ‘must have been a special order for a party after the play’,⁵¹⁶ but in the recent volume by Taplin and Wyles,⁵¹⁷ various ideas on the possible usages of the Pronomos vase have been put forth. For Oliver Taplin, the vase illustrates a ‘curtain call’ following a successful performance,⁵¹⁸ while other interpretations include the vase’s serving as ‘a ritual act honouring the god of dramatic poetry and theatre’,⁵¹⁹or as ‘the burial offering’ it utterly became, commemorating the deceased’s good ‘performance’ in the ‘agon’ of life.⁵²⁰ For Eric Csapo, the vase’s creation should not be attached to any specific performance. Csapo maintains that ‘though many details might be drawn from a specific choragic dedication or dedications, and thus give us access to visual details close to an ancient painter’s general experience of theatri-
Naples, Muzeo Nazionale Archeologico 81673, Pl. 2 in this book; Trendall/Webster 1971, II 1; Taplin 2007, 31 3 (fig. 12). Taplin 2010, 255. Taplin 2010, 255. See Wilson 2000, 70, with additional bibliography. For this intriguing question, see Junker 2010; Osborne 2010; Taplin 2010; Wilson 2010. Taplin 2010, 1 2. Junker 2010, 147. Trendall/Webster 1971, 3. Taplin/Wyles 2010. Taplin 2010, 263. Calame 2010, 78. Csapo 2010b, 120 1.
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission
cal performance, it is probably a mistake to view the Pronomos vase as a faithful record of any specific theatrical event’.⁵²¹ It is true that there is insufficient evidence to show us clearly the exact conditions of creation and what the intended use of the vase was. Even if the Pronomos vase is not connected to a specific performance however, it is still part of the drama-related art and might well mark the beginning of a new era in theater developments. As eloquently put by Junker, ‘the festive gathering on the Pronomos Vase represents both the farewell gathering for the theatre as a forum where polis-citizens engaged in intellectual exchange, and a welcome party for the theatre as a means of individual self-praise and promotion in the public arena of the city of Athens’.⁵²² This transformation of the theatrical contexts in Athens started happening much earlier than the date of production of the Pronomos vase and is in direct connection with the practice of reperformances.
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission The notion of a reperformance culture opens up new vistas on the interface between per formativity and textuality. Conceptualizing a play as reperformable presupposes regarding it as somewhat stable, hence textual. Reperformance, in other words, destabilizes any di chotomy between the play as text and as performance, turning ‘text’ and ‘performance’ into two coexisting, rather than conflicting, possible modes of conceptualization. On a more technical but hardly less important level reperformance also poses a potentially threatening challenge to the authenticity of our texts, that is the degree to which they rep resent the master script underlying the first production of a play. What makes this threat all the greater is that textual modifications made in dramatic scripts by theatre practitioners as part of ongoing theatrical use tend, as a rule of thumb, to be far more substantial and sig nificant than changes made by scholars or scribes in texts which only exist as ‘books’ for readers. And there is evidence that our texts not only of tragedy but also of comedy were indeed tampered with owing to reperformances.⁵²³
In this passage, Martin Revermann brings out the ways that the concept of reperformance can affect the dynamics between text and performance. When reperformance is introduced into this relationship, text and performance come closer and stop conflicting, whilst traditionally ‘the artists must appropriate and assimilate the text or texts in such a way that something other than the written text is created – the performance’.⁵²⁴ Since the majority of reperformances happen in
Csapo 2010b, 124. Junker 2010, 148. Revermann 2006, 74. Fischer Lichte 2014, 67.
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the absence of the playwright, the text is the only ‘safety net’ that ensures fidelity to the initial ‘vision’ of the playwright, but simultaneously – and oxymoronically – the text also becomes open to alterations that inevitably happen through and by the reperformance, in the absence of the creator as an authority on the text. Any form of performance of a previously-composed text results one way or another in the alteration of the mother text. Any transmission of original material, be it presenting the news on TV or on radio, singing a song, reading poetry or prose in public, delivering a pre-written political speech in front of a live audience, or performing a script in the theater or cinema, by nature makes unavoidable changes in the initial written record. Performers are human beings and, as such, make mistakes while delivering a written message. In making a text their own as they perform the text, they also actively engage with it, as if performance reenacts the process of composition of the text on a different level and through a different medium. The range of this phenomenon is so vast that it entails fascinating questions originating from its very nature as well as sheer breadth of manifestation. When the original text is reperformed (read, recited, or sung), does the number of alterations increase automatically from its initial performance? Do new performers repeat the mistakes introduced by the previous ones? Or do we simply have to deal with new changes by new performers who do not repeat the mistakes introduced by previous ones? Is it possible to locate ‘kernels’ in texts transmitted to us in which alterations lie or are likely to have occurred? In certain types of texts, these kinds of questions become particularly relevant both because they have been initially composed to be performed and reperformed (this is the case of a song) and because the written record, though existent, cannot rival the oral aspect of the performance in respect of speed and scope of diffusion, status, and recognizability. This does not mean that the writers’ words are devoid of sacrosanctity; very often writers, both song-composers and playwrights in particular, have tried to control performances of their works of art by others.⁵²⁵ It is against this backdrop that I will discuss performances and reperformances of Greek tragedy and their relationship with the ‘original’ texts in the fifth and fourth centuries in this section. I will address issues such as the limits and limitations of the playwrights’ authority, the evaluation of ancient evidence
If we can use a modern example, theater contracts in the US take pains to stress that the playwright has the right to approve not only the accuracy of the script performed by the actors but also every single aspect of the entire theatrical production. These legal requirements make sense only in a context in which (a) script alterations are bound to happen, and (b) the play wright is considered the ultimate authority, the ‘true owner’ not only of the play he had com posed but also of its performance in the theater.
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission
of interpolations by actors, and the level of alterations made in the text by actors through performances and reperformances, as well as the impact these alterations may have had on the actual text of the tragic plays.
3.6.1 Playwrights’ authority In the modern world, playwrights, directors, and actors are usually different people, since the complexities and high demands of their roles hardly allow a single individual to be skilled in so many different aspects of a theatrical or movie production. Cases in which an actor is also the director do occur but they are not the norm. The same applies to cases in which a famous actor turns (not exclusively but principally) to directing, especially after he has reached a certain age, of which Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford are two well-known examples. These observations are helpful to the extent that they remind us that the line separating playwright, director, and actor is ever-changing and that artists themselves are always preoccupied with the tantalizing anxiety concerning the effectiveness of their message, always seeking new ways to communicate their ideas to different audiences and in different contexts. Turning to Greek theater, we often tend not to give due attention to the fact that the ancient playwright was always a poet. The form of a Greek tragedy was poetic and as such involved aspects of performance that a modern theatrical play does not include, namely music and dance, which are two important constituent parts of any tragic production in the classical period. The tragic poet composed plays consisting both of dialogue and choral songs; the former were metrically delivered by the actors, the latter sung and danced by the chorus. The combination of these two elements in any tragic play required the poet to undertake responsibility for their proper performance. He had to be an author, a director, and a choreographer at the same time. He had to take care of the various props used in the play, to make decisions about the way it would be staged, and in general to instruct actors and members of the chorus. When plays were first publicly performed, he was also the sole actor of the play, the only person who acted on stage separately from the chorus.⁵²⁶ Aeschylus was responsible for the introduction of the second and third actor,⁵²⁷ and his early plays are the best See Arist. Poet. 1403b23, ὑπεκρίνοντο γὰρ αὐτοὶ τὰς τραγωιδίας οἱ ποιηταὶ τὸ πρῶτον; Plut. Sol. 29.6, ὁ Σόλων … ἐθεάσατο τὸν Θέσπιν αὐτὸν ὑποκρινόμενον, ὥσπερ ἔθος ἦν τοῖς παλαιοῖς. TrGF III Test. 100 = TrGF IV Test. R 95 (= Arist. Poet. 1449a15), τό τε ὑποκριτῶν πλῆθος ἐξ ἑνὸς εἰς δύο πρῶτος Αἰσχύλος ἤγαγε καὶ τὰ τοῦ χοροῦ ἠλάττωσε καὶ τὸν λόγον πρωταγωνιστεῖν παρεσκεύασεν· τρεῖς δὲ καὶ σκηνογραφίαν Σοφοκλῆς; TrGF III Test. A 1.15, τὸν δὲ τρίτον ὑποκρι
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examples of the changes this revolutionary decision brought about. And just as ‘only one of Aeschylus’ performers can be individually identified with certainty, namely Aeschylus himself, who we can safely assume was a principal actor in his own plays’,⁵²⁸ Sophocles was the first poet who would not perform in his own plays.⁵²⁹ In this light, we may postulate three phases in the complex development of the relationship between poet and actor in the first half of the fifth century: in pre-Aeschylean tragedy poet and actor are one and the same, in Aeschylean drama they are distinguished ex hypothesi through the addition of the second and third actors, and in Sophoclean⁵³⁰ and post-Sophoclean drama they are further drawn apart as the poet does not share the stage with any actor. It was the responsibility of the poets to choose professional actors themselves for competitions. Staging the play required skilled actors, and nobody other than the playwright himself could make the most suitable choice, the more so since he knew his play better than anybody else. Aeschylus is said to have employed Cleander and Mynniscus as second and third actors (the first actor being the poet himself).⁵³¹ Sophocles, who was fond of the actor Tlepole-
τὴν αὐτὸς ἐξεῦρεν, ὡς Δικαίαρχος ὁ Μεσσήνιος, Σοφοκλῆς; TrGF IV Test. A 1.23, καὶ τὸν τρίτον ὑποκριτὴν ἐξεῦρε; Diog. Laert. 3.56.1, ὥσπερ δὲ τὸ παλαιὸν ἐν τῆι τραγωιδίαι πρότερον μὲν μόνος ὁ χορὸς διεδραμάτιζεν, ὕστερον δὲ Θέσπις ἕνα ὑποκριτὴν ἐξεῦρεν ὑπὲρ τοῦ διαναπαύεσθαι τὸν χορὸν καὶ δεύτερον Αἰσχύλος, τὸν δὲ τρίτον Σοφοκλῆς καὶ συνεπλήρωσεν τὴν τραγωιδίαν); Suda σ 812 [IV 401.26 7 Adler], Σοφοκλῆς οὗτος πρῶτος τρισὶν ἐχρήσατο ὑποκριταῖς καὶ τῶι καλουμένωι τριταγωνιστῆι. Although ancient sources attribute to the introduction of the third actor to Sophocles there are certainly three actors in the Oresteia. See Sommerstein 2010a, 108. Sommerstein 2010a, 25. TrGF IV Test. A 1.20 2, πολλὰ ἐκαινούργησεν ἐν τοῖς ἀγῶσι, πρῶτον μὲν καταλύσας τὴν ὑπόκρισιν τοῦ ποιητοῦ διὰ τὴν ἰδίαν μικροφωνίαν (παλαὶ γὰρ καὶ ὁ ποιητὴς ὑπεκρίνετο αὐτός). It was probably only sometime during Sophocles’ career that he stopped appearing in his own plays, since according to Athenaeus 1.20e (1.45.15 Kaibel), ‘when he [Sophocles] produced Thamyris, he played the lyre himself; and he did a neat job of ball playing when he staged Nau sicaa’ [translation by Olson 2006)] (καὶ τὸν Θάμυριν διδάσκων αὐτὸς ἐκιθάρισεν· ἄκρως δὲ ἐσφαίρισεν, ὅτε τὴν Ναυσικάαν καθῆικε). See also TrGF IV Test. A 1.24 5, φασὶ δὲ ὅτι καὶ κι θάραν ἀναλαβὼν ἐν μόνωι τῶι Θαμύριδί ποτε ἐκιθάρισεν, ὅθεν καὶ ἐν τῆι ποικίληι στοᾶι μετὰ κι θάρας αὐτὸν γεγράφθαι. Scholars have argued that Sophocles played the leading role in Thamy ras (the Attic form of the play’s title), on which, see Hall 2002, 9; Wilson 2002, 43 and n. 6; Biles 2011, 12 13. Some have also used references to ball playing in the Nausicaa (or Plyntriae) as evi dence that Sophocles played the leading role in the play, i. e. that he appeared on stage as Nau sicaa; see e. g. Lloyd Jones 1996, 224, although he leaves open the possibility that the story of Sophocles’ success as Nausicaa may have been shaped by some comedy dealing with the same subject (225). TrGF III Test. A 1.15, ἐχρήσατο δ᾽ ὑποκριτῆι πρώτωι μὲν Κλεάνδρωι, ἔπειτα καὶ τὸν δεύτερον αὐτῶι προσῆψε Μυννίσκον τὸν Χαλκιδέα. In counting the actors, the Vita is referring only to pro
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission
mus,⁵³² seems to have realized the full extent of the close connection between the unraveling of his plot and the particular actors whom he had to select to interpret his work on stage.⁵³³ This piece of information, which ties well with the fact that Sophocles is credited with the introduction of the third actor,⁵³⁴ covertly speaks for the growing understanding of the influence of actors on the staging of tragic plays, not as independent agents but as effective ‘tools’ at the disposal of an all-powerful poet.⁵³⁵ When discussing the dynamics between actors, (re)performances and authenticity of the texts, we must take into account two very important factors which are very closely connected with the above triad. One is the issue of the supervision of the (re)performance by the playwright, and the other is the issue of master copies. The playwright’s role in the entire production of the play was of key importance. From the writing of the tragedy, to the selection of actors, to organizing and directing the staging of the play, the poet was the uncontestable master, the ‘true owner’ of both text and production, whilst actors had little to no input. At this stage, when playwrights were directly involved in the performances of their own plays, textual alteration of the ‘original’ must have been virtually non-existent. Poets were so much involved in the performance that one can have no doubts about how carefully their texts must have been kept ‘actor-proof’. There were times however when playwrights were absent from a play’s first performance, as is the case with Pratinas’ Perseus and Tantalus, or the famous example of Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus to name just a couple.⁵³⁶
fessional actors, not Aeschylus himself who was the first actor; see Pickard Cambridge 1968, 93; also Sommerstein 2010a, 25. Schol. Ar. Nub. 1267. This piece of information comes from Istrus (FGrH 334 fr. 36), who is cited in the Vita Soph ocli (TrGF IV Test. A 1.6, φησὶ δὲ καὶ Ἴστρος τὰς λευκὰς κρηπῖδας αὐτὸν ἐξευρηκέναι, αἵς ὑπο δεσμεύονται οἵ τε ὑποκριταὶ καὶ οἱ χορευταί. καὶ πρὸς τὰς φύσεις αὐτῶν γράψαι τὰ δράματα. ταῖς δὲ Μούσαις θίασον ἐκ τῶν πεπαιδευμένων συναγαγεῖν). See also Pickard Cambridge 1968, 93. See above, p. 117 and n. 527. Similarly, for Euripides and the actor Cephisophon, see Pickard Cambridge 1968, 93. The first performances of Pratinas’ Perseus and Tantalus and Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus took place posthumously and were produced by the playwrights’ son Aristias and grandson Sophocles respectively: TrGF I 4 Test. 2 = Did. C 4 (at the Dionysia of 467), δεύτερος ᾿Aριστίας (TrGF I 9 Test. 1) Περσεῖ, Ταντάλωι, Παλαισταῖς σατύροις τοῖς Πρατίνου τοῦ πατρός. There is similar information for Euripides’ trilogy Iphigenia at Aulis, Alcmaeon in Corinth, and Bacchae, which had been put on stage by his son or nephew named Euripides: TrGF 1 Did. C 22 (at the Dionysia of 405 ca. 400), οὕτω γὰρ καὶ αἱ Διδασκαλίαι (Arist. fr. 627 Rose = 446 Gigon) φέρουσι, τελευτήσαντος Εὐριπίδου τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ δεδιδαχέναι ὁμώνυμον ἐν ἄστει Ἰφιγένειαν τὴν ἐν Αὐ λίδι, ᾿Aλκμαίωνα, Βάκχας.
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When a play was reperformed, perhaps in the deme theaters or at another theater outside Attica, the poets could have been supervising the performance or could have assigned the supervision of the performance to somebody else. However, when this was not possible, the only available mechanism for preserving the integrity of the text was the master copy itself.⁵³⁷ Master copies would have been approved by the poets who would have personally overseen the entire staging of the play. When they were not able to do this for themselves, these copies would have been held by those people to whom they had assigned the supervision of the staging of their tragedies. Again, the potential for alteration must have been minimal.⁵³⁸ The only case in which textual changes may have been implemented is probably when the playwrights themselves had given their approval. This may well have happened when a play was performed outside Athens and the poet had to make some changes to suit specific circumstances conditioned by a specific foreign performance context. In the case of comedy, jokes involving political references may have been changed so that the new audience would be able to comprehend them. In tragedy however, there was less room for this kind of contextual manoeuver but nevertheless some changes would have been possible.⁵³⁹ Sometimes a shorter or slightly shorter version of a given play may have been prepared by the playwright for a foreign production. This reworking (διασκευή), the phenomenon of which we have evidence with respect to comedy,⁵⁴⁰ seems to have been a common practice for tragic poets too. In the case of Aeschylus and Euripides we know that both poets supervised the staging of their own plays in Sicily and Macedon respectively. In the latter case, one of the few extant fragments of Archelaus has come down to us in two different forms, one quoted in Aristophanes’ Frogs and the other in a variety of ancient sources. Assuming that no mistake has been made by any of our sources in respect to the attribution of this fragment to Euripides’ Archelaus, the variation in prologues may be due to a different text used in the staging of the play in Mac For a detailed discussion of the master copies used in reperformances, see below in this chapter, pp. 123 5. Sophocles and Euripides traveled within Attica in order to direct (re)performances of their own plays at the Rural Dionysia and Aeschylus and Euripides traveled for the same reason to Sicily and Macedon, see Lamari 2015b, passim; chapter 1 in this book, passim. A working analogy may be seen in the reshaping of tragic prologues over the course of time. As audiences become less familiar with the mythical backstories, prologues tend to become, gradually but steadily, more detailed to supply all the necessary information. Again, comedy provides ampler evidence for this evolution, since prologues in New Comedy packed with back ground information are sine qua non for the comprehension of the plot. Ath. 429e, 496 f, 663c. See Csapo/Slater 1995, 23.
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission
edonia and Athens. This would have been a textual alteration drawn to extremes, since the two texts differ considerably, but it would effectively explain how the script of the original performance would have been changed.⁵⁴¹ One way or another, there is potential for the revised script used for a reperformance to replace an earlier master script. This substitution could be effected either through the author himself or through another director, if the author had died or could not supervise the staging himself.
3.6.2 Actors, reperformances and texts From the moment that the actors were completely distinguished from the playwright (in the sense that the latter was not any longer one of the former) and the number of actors on stage therefore increased to three, their impact on the staging of the play started increasing. This ‘liberation’ from the control of the all-powerful playwright is exemplified by the fact that Sophocles constructed some of his episodes according to the actor or actors he had in mind as potential performers of the given scenes. What we see here is nothing short of the reversal of the staging process. Initially, the playwright would compose his play and then search for the actor or actors equipped for the performance he was planning. Now, specific actors functioned as important pivots for the shaping of certain episodes to be included in a tragedy. The ‘rise of the actor’ constitutes a crucial phase in the evolution of Greek theater. In around 450, the Athenian state established a prize for the best performance by a protagonist in the city Dionysia.⁵⁴² This is a turning point in the history of drama but also in the transmission of the plays, brought about, in my view, by three key changes. First, the introduction of the ‘best actor’ prize indicates both the recognition by the state of the acting profession as an independent and valued craft, and the beginning of a ‘rivalry’ among performers. The ‘best poet’ prize in the city Dionysia had been established long ago and was emblematic of the state recognition and approval of the author’s important contribution to the cultural life of the city. By formally establishing an independent prize for best actor, the city of Athens symbolically placed the actors on the same level as poets, and drew once and for all a firm line between them. The second important step in the promotion of the actors’ role in the staging of the plays came with tragic reperformances, and especially those happening
See chapter 1 in this book, pp. 45 52. See above pp. 106 and n. 465.
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after the death of the play’s poet. Since the poet was no longer alive, the accuracy of the text used for the reperformance must have been conditioned by the actors. The third significant change is concerned with the law determining the allocation by lot of one of the three shortlisted protagonists selected and approved by the state beforehand to each poet. The actor who won the prize had the right to be one of the three competitors of the next year: νέμησις ὑποκριτῶν· οἱ ποιηταὶ ἐλάμβανον τρεῖς ὑποκριτάς, κλήρωι νεμηθέντας, ὑποκρινου μένους τὰ δράματα, ὧν ὁ νικήσας εἰς τοὐπιὸν ἀκρίτως παρελαμβάνετο. (Hsch. v 286 [II 87 9 Latte]) Distribution of actors; the poets were given three actors selected by lot to act as protago nists,⁵⁴³ of whom the winner was included in next year’s [list] without trial.
We do not know when this change happened. A ‘reasonable’ date would have been after the institution of the ‘best actor’s prize’ but the date may be much later, even from the fourth century onwards.⁵⁴⁴ The allotment of the actors playing the protagonists to the play without input from the playwright signals, undoubtedly, a crucial reduction in the playwright’s performative authority. The complex and ever-changing relationship between playwright and actor must be seen within the larger picture of the wider dissemination and increasing frequency of performances, as well as the increase in the number of people involved in the acting business, their growing professionalism, and recognition of prestige to which examples of famous actors like Neoptolemus testify.⁵⁴⁵ All these factors would have led to their domination of the theatrical business altogether. The excessive freedom and control the actors gradually acquired, especially over the reperformed texts of old-time classics of the now long-dead tragic giants, had alarmed some people in high office. Precautionary measures were taken against a rather carefree adherence to the original. The most important of these measures was the creation of official copies of all the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and their subsequent deposition in the state archives of Athens. As attested in the Lives of the Ten Orators, Lycurgus passed a law according to which the actors would not have the right to perform contrary to the master copies: τὸν δέ, ὡς χαλκᾶς εἰκόνας ἀναθεῖναι τῶν ποιητῶν, Αἰσχύλου Σοφοκλέους Εὐριπίδου, καὶ τὰς τραγωιδίας αὐτῶν ἐν κοινῶι γραψαμένους φυλάττειν καὶ τὸν τῆς πόλεως γραμματέα
ὑποκρινουμένους τὰ δράματα refers to protagonists; see Pickard Cambridge 1968, 93 4 and n. 11. Thus Pickard Cambridge 1968, 93. On Neoptolemus, see chapter 2 in this book, pp. 85 9.
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission
παραναγινώσκειν τοῖς ὑποκρινομένοις· οὐκ ἐξεῖναι γὰρ αὐτὰς ὑποκρίνεσθαι. ([Plut.] X orat. 841 f) He (enacted legislation to) dedicate bronze statues of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and to have their tragedies copied and preserved under public auspices (or ‘in the city ar chives’) and for the city clerk to read aloud to (or ‘collate for’) the actors: for they were not permitted to perform contrary to these (sc. copies).⁵⁴⁶
Regardless of the reason for which Lycurgus passed the law, either to control the texts or to promote tragedy as a common Athenian possession,⁵⁴⁷ it testifies to a tradition according to which the actors tended to stray from the given texts. This step involved institutionalization that would entail canonization. If the palaion drama performances were the key for the diffusion and endurance of classical tragedy, then Lycurgus’ law was the key for the creation of official copies to be owned by the state of Athens and therefore was partially responsible for their continued survival. His initiative makes no sense except as a reaction against the extended interference of the actors with the original text.⁵⁴⁸ The need for that regulation implies that actors were at that time using a variety of texts. Lycurgus recognized the necessity of ‘placing a genuine limit on the freedom of actors to transform texts at the festival that claimed to be the most authentic home of tragic performance’.⁵⁴⁹
3.6.3 Master copies This brings us to a question concerning the copies used by actors and directors of reperformed tragedies, especially after 386. How specific is the concept of a master copy? As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, a master copy is ‘an
Translation by Scodel 2007, 129. Scodel 2007, 130. See Dawe 2006, 18 ‘we are not told what sources were used for establishing that official text. The fact that it was necessary to bring in such a measure at all, and the undoubted pres ence of actors’ interpolations in our manuscripts notwithstanding this measure, are alike causes for concern’. Scodel 2007, 152. See also Page 1934, 18 according to whom ‘the extent and gravity’ of ac tors’ interpolations ‘are incontestably proven by the laws of Lycurgus’. Lycurgus’ initiative was successful and his contribution undoubtedly valuable in the long history of the transmission of classical literature. Lycurgus’ texts may have been used as a master text in the Library of the Alexandria, see Galen, Commentary on the Epidemics of Hippocrates 2.4 = TrGF IV Τest. W 157; Finglass 2012, 12.
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original recording, film, or document from which copies can be made’.⁵⁵⁰ In terms of the texts of classical tragedy, a master copy was indeed the text written by the author and distributed to the actors and chorus for the play’s first performance. And what then of a text which differed from the text of the original performance yet composed by the same person, in order to suit the prerequisites of another theatrical venue, say, a reperformance, outside Athens or in order to meet the expectations of the audience and thus produce a more successful play? I would believe that such a text, created by the author as a revised version of the initial play, should also be considered a master copy. In these cases, the texts used for the revised performances of the Frogs and the Clouds should be considered master copies, regardless their differences from the initial plays Aristophanes had written.⁵⁵¹ From the moment that a script leaves its creator’s hands and it is multiplied, it stops being a master copy in the strict sense. Let us then try to follow the virtual ‘trip’ of a tragedy’s master copy from the moment it left its author’s hands, to the moment it reached Lycurgus’ records. The master text would have been used by actors, possibly under the supervision of the poet, and after the poet died, multiplied copies of the text would have been used for future reperformances. Copies of varying fidelity would have been created during this theatrical afterlife, until some version of the text reached Lycurgus. During the ‘journey’ from the authors’ master text to the text that reached Lycurgus there can be little doubt that the script would have suffered at least some interventions from the actors and directors that have been using it, although Lycurgus’ initiative also suggests the existence of a ‘clean’ copy of the plays, which fortunately would not necessarily be difficult to find.⁵⁵² A papyrus published in 2001 and dating to the first century BC or the first century AD⁵⁵³ contains Alcestis 344 – 82, but only the lines delivered by Admetus.⁵⁵⁴ It is safe to assume that this was an actor’s copy, and that this was a recognized way of formatting the texts for the actors. A director’s copy, on the other hand, should have included the entire play, with distinctive signs/letters to refer to the speakers of each line. If the actors’ copies gave a fragmented image of the text, while the directors’ copies included the full play, then ‘if we are to think of theatrical texts of a play affecting the transmission of the text, it may be more
Quotation from www.oxforddictionaries.com, s.v. master copy. See also Finglass 2015b, 260 1. Hamilton 1974, 401. P. Oxy. 4546. On the papyrus, see Marshall 2004; Revermann 2006, 88 91.
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helpful to speak about directors’ copies rather than actors’ copies’.⁵⁵⁵ Another papyrus containing Euripides’ Ino ⁵⁵⁶ might have also been a working copy in the theatre business, perhaps acquired by a producer whose personal notes on the text now appear as special annotations.⁵⁵⁷ Although personal actor-scripts could contain even the slightest improvisation or differentiation from the master copy, only large-scale changes such as added or omitted lines would be noted in the directors’ texts.⁵⁵⁸ If a reperformed play was popular, we could imagine greater demand for that play’s script from actors, producers, or random readers. We cannot know however which one of all those possible scripts would have been reproduced. This could lead to different versions of circulating texts, the selection of which for either the Lycurgan texts or the Library of Alexandria could have been random.⁵⁵⁹
3.6.4 Reperformances and actors’ interpolations: surveying the ancient evidence A necessary and important caveat in respect to the interpolations introduced by actors in the text of Greek tragic plays is that we should be cautious in accepting the information related by ancient sources concerning specific interpolations. This means that each case should be examined in its own merit, always keeping in mind (a) how it was possible for an ancient scholar to be certain about what parts of the text were altered by actors, and (b) whether, in trying to explain textual mistakes, ancient commentators found an easy explanation in saying that these were interpolations by actors. In a recent chapter on reperformances and the transmission of texts, Patrick Finglass revisited the relevant material and offered illuminating remarks in respect to these issues. He has convincingly argued that:
Finglass 2015b, 272. P. Oxy. 5131. Finglass 2014 pace Nervegna 2013, 241, who sees a potential school use of the papyrus. Hence the common explanation for the alterations of the end of the Seven Against Thebes under the influence of Sophocles’ Antigone and Euripides’ Phoenissae, or the theory about inter polations inserted by the actor Neoptolemus in the text of Euripides’ Orestes in a reperformance of 340 (Kovacs 2007). See also Revermann 2006, 254 7, according to whom the ending of Lysis trata has been altered after a reperformance at Tarentum. On that, see also Taplin 2012, 242 and n. 49. Finglass 2015b, 273.
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It is theoretically possible that they [sc. ancient authors] had got hold of different copies of a given play, identified one as an actor’s text, and noted differences between it and some other copy that they were certain was not an actor’s text. But we may wonder how common this procedure was, if indeed it ever took place. Did ancient scholars engage in this kind of research? Consideration of individual passages does nothing to support that idea that this was actually what happened.⁵⁶⁰
To gain a proper idea of the problems connected with this issue, we first need to review the ancient sources. I am here quoting Finglass’s list of relevant passages from the ancient scholia, with his translation:⁵⁶¹  Schol. Med. 84 (ii 148.17 24 Schwartz) οὕτως ἀναγνωστέον “τίς δ’ οὐχὶ θνητῶν;” καὶ στι κτέον, εἶτα ἀπὸ ἄλλης ἀρχῆς “ἄρτι γινώσκεις τόδε;”. διὸ καὶ μετὰ τοῦ σ γραπτέον, οἷον· “τίς οὐκ ἔστι κακὸς εἰς φίλους”, εἶτα τὸ “ἄρτι γινώσκεις τόδε”, οἷον· ἄρτι ἔγνωκας ὅτι ἑαυτοὺς μᾶλλον φιλοῦσιν ἢ τοὺς πέλας; οἱ δὲ ὑποκριταὶ τοῦτο ἀγνοήσαντες τὸ τῆς ἀντιδιαστολῆς μετατιθέασιν εἰς τὸ “τίς δ’ οὐχὶ θνητῶν τοῦτο γινώσκει σαφῶς;” τῆι δὲ διανοίαι ταύτηι καὶ ἐν Κρεσφόντηι κέχρηται οὕτως (fr. 452 TrGF)· “ἐκεῖνο γὰρ πέπονθ’ ὅπερ πάντες βροτοί· φιλῶν μάλιστ’ ἐμαυτὸν οὐκ αἰσχύνομαι”. The correct reading is ‘Who among mortals [sc. does not do that]?’, with punctuation fol lowing, and then, from a new beginning, ‘Have you only just realised that?’. As a conse quence, γιγνώσκεις should be written with a final sigma, as if the statement ‘Who isn’t bad towards his friends?’ were followed by ‘Have you only just realised that?’, in the sense of ‘Have you only just realised that people love themselves more than they do their neighbours?’ But the actors failed to realise this and removed the punctuation be tween the phrases, giving ‘Who among mortals does not know that for sure?’ He makes use of the same idea in Cresphontes, as follows: ‘My experience is the same as that of all mortals; I am not ashamed to love myself best.’  Schol. Med. 148 (ii 152.10 14 Schwartz) τὸ “ἄϊες” ὁ Δίδυμος ὡς πρὸς τὰς τοῦ χοροῦ φησι λέγεσθαι· ἠκούσατε; καὶ οὐ πρὸς τὸν Δία. ἐν ἤθει οὖν τὸ “ὦ Ζεῦ καὶ γᾶ καὶ φῶς”. τοῦτο δὲ ᾿Aπολλόδωρος τῆς Μηδείας φησίν, ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ “ἰαχάν” τοῦ χοροῦ, ἵν’ ἔχηι λόγον τὸ “κἀπι βοᾶται Θέμιν εὐκταίαν Ζῆνά τε”, τοὺς δ’ ὑποκριτὰς συγχέειν. Didymus says that the word ἄϊες is spoken to the women of the chorus and means ‘did you (plural) hear’, and is not spoken to Zeus. The expression ‘O Zeus, earth, and light’ is in char acter. But Apollodorus says that it belongs to Medea, and that the chorus’s part begins with the word ἰαχάν, so that the expression ‘and she invokes Themis who is addressed in prayer, and Zeus’ makes sense; but that the actors confused the matter.  Schol. Med. 169 (ii 153.15 154.2 Schwartz) “Θέμιν εὐκταίαν”· τῶν διαβεβοημένων ἐστὶ ζητημάτων καὶ τοῦτο, πῶς ἡ μὲν Μήδεια τὴν Θέμιν καὶ τὴν Ἄρτεμιν ἐπιβοᾶται, ἡ δὲ πρε σβῦτις ἀντὶ τῆς ᾿Aρτέμιδος τὸν Δία φησὶν αὐτὴν ἐπιμαρτύρασθαι. ᾿Aπολλόδωρος μὲν οὖν
Finglass 2015b, 267. Finglass 2015b, 264 7.
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission
φησιν ὁ Ταρσεὺς τῆς ἀμφιβολίας αἰτίους εἶναι τοὺς ὑποκριτάς, συγχέοντας τὰ χορικὰ τοῖς ὑπὸ τῆς Μηδείας λεγομένοις. ‘Themis who is invoked in prayer’. This, too, is one of the most notorious problems how it is that Medea cries out to Themis and Artemis, whereas the old woman says that she calls to witness Zeus instead of Artemis. Apollodorus of Tarsus says that the actors are responsible for the ambiguity, in that they confused the choral passages with the lines delivered by Medea [there follows a textual point concerning the attribution of lines.]  Schol. Med. 228 (ii 158.5 6 Schwartz) “ἐν ὧι ἦν μοι πάντα, κάκιστος ἀνδρῶν ἐκβέβη κεν”. οἱ δ’ ὑποκριταὶ οὐ συμπεριφερόμενοι τῶι τρόπωι λέγουσι “γινώσκειν καλῶς”. ‘The man in whom my whole existence was bound up has turned out to be the worst of men’. But the actors, who are not conversant with the style, say, ‘to know well’.  Schol. Med. 356 (ii 164.9 11 Schwartz) “οὐ γάρ τι δράσεις”· Δίδυμος μετὰ τοῦτον φέρει τὸ “σιγῆι δόμους εἰσβᾶσ’, ἵν’ ἔστρωται λέχος” (Med. 380) καὶ μέμφεται τοῖς ὑποκριταῖς ὡς ἀκαίρως αὐτὸν τάσσουσιν. ‘For you will not do anything’. After this line Didymus puts the line ‘going up to the house in silence, where her bed was spread’, and blames the actors for putting it in the wrong order.  Schol. Med. 380 (ii 164.31 2 Schwartz) ὧδε καλῶς κεῖται. Δίδυμος σημειοῦται ὅτι κακῶς οἱ ὑποκριταὶ τάσσουσιν. This is the correct place. Didymus indicates that the actors put the line in the wrong posi tion.  Schol. Med. 910 (ii 189.22 4 Schwartz) τοῦ ἀνδρός. ἰδίως δὲ εἴρηκε “πόσει” ἀντὶ τοῦ “πόσιος”. οἱ δὲ ὑποκριταὶ ἀγνοήσαντες γράφουσιν ἀντὶ τοῦ πόσει “ἐμοῦ”, ὅπερ οὐ δεῖ. ‘Of her husband’. In accordance with an idiosyncratic usage, he says πόσει instead of πόσ ιος. But the actors in their ignorance write ἐμοῦ instead of πόσει, which is wrong.  Schol. Andr. 7 (ii 248.19 249.2 Schwartz) οἱ ὑποκριταὶ τὸν ἴαμβον προσέθηκαν ὑπονο ήσαντες εἶναι τὴν γραφὴν “δὴ τίς”, ἵν’ ᾖ οὕτως· “νῦν δὴ τίς ἄλλη” καὶ ἀντὶ τοῦ συγκριτικοῦ τὸ “δυστυχεστάτη”. The actors add this line as they suppose that the text [of line 6] reads δὴ τίς, so that it runs as follows: ‘Now what other women is most wretched’ (that last word being used in place of a comparative).  Schol. Phoen. 264 (i 284.23 6 Schwartz) οὐ μεθῶσ’ ἀναίμακτον χρόα· ἡ μὲν γραφὴ “οὐκ ἐφρῶσιν”. οἱ οὖν ὑποκριταὶ διὰ τὸ δυσέκφορον μεταπλάττουσι τὴν λέξιν. καὶ Φιλόξενος (fr. 16 Theodoridis) ἐν τῷ Περὶ Μονοσυλλάβων Ῥημάτων, ὅτε διαλαμβάνει περὶ τοῦ φρῶ, ταύτην τὴν χρῆσιν φέρει. ‘May not allow out (μεθῶσ’) my skin unbloodied’. The text reads ‘may not let out’ (ἐκφρῶσιν). So the actors changed the vocabulary because it was hard to pronounce. And Philoxenus in his book on monosyllabic words, when he treats the subject of the word φρῶ, makes use of this example.
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 Schol. Or. 1366 (i 217.2 9 Schwartz) “ἀλλὰ κτυπεῖ”· ἐξιών τις ψοφεῖ, τοῦτο γὰρ ἔθος, ταῖς θύραις. τούτους δὲ τοὺς τρεῖς στίχους οὐκ ἄν τις ἐξ ἑτοίμου συγχωρήσειεν Εὐριπίδου εἶναι, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον τῶν ὑποκριτῶν, οἵτινες, ἵνα μὴ κακοπαθῶσιν ἀπὸ τῶν βασιλείων δόμων καθαλλόμενοι, παρανοίξαντες ἐκπορεύονται τὸ τοῦ Φρυγὸς ἔχοντες σχῆμα καὶ πρόσωπον. ὅπως οὖν διὰ τῆς θύρας εὐλόγως ἐξιόντες φαίνωνται, τούτους προσενέταξαν. ἐξ ὧν δὲ αὐτοὶ λέγουσιν, ἀντιμαρτυροῦσι τῇ διὰ τῶν θυρῶν ἐξόδῳ. φανερὸν γὰρ ἐκ τῶν ἑξῆς ὅτι ὑπερπεπήδηκεν. ‘But there is a noise . . .’ Someone makes a sound with the doors while going out, since that is the custom. One would not readily agree that these three lines belong to Euripides, but rather to the actors, who, so that they would not come to harm by jumping down from the palace, set the door ajar and come out wearing the costume and mask of the Phrygian. And so, in order that it would seem reasonable for them to go out via the door, they added these lines. But from the words that they themselves say, they bear witness against the exit via the doors. For it is clear from the passage to come that he has jumped.  Schol. Rhes. Hyp. (p. 75.8 10 Merro) ἐν ἐνίοις δὲ τῶν ἀντιγράφων ἕτερός τις φέρεται πρόλογος, πεζὸς πάνυ καὶ οὐ πρέπων Εὐριπίδῃ· καὶ τάχα ἄν τινες τῶν ὑποκριτῶν διεσκευα κότες εἶεν αὐτόν. ἔχει δὲ οὕτως κτλ. In some copies there is a second prologue, which is extremely pedestrian and not appropri ate to Euripides. It may well represent a revision by certain actors. It goes like this [11 trim eters follow].
Mistakes in punctuation , an ancient zetema that may well have resulted from the shift of a paragraphos [2 – 3], line confusion that results in incomprehensibility [5 – 6], slight changes to individual words or phrases [4, 7], the addition of a line and consequent minor change of text in the previous line , and the simple substitution of a rare by a more familiar word ; all these are typical changes resulting from the copying of texts and not their actual performance. The scholiastic and grammatical tradition of the Hellenistic and Imperial periods seems to have been ready to use actors as ‘textual scapegoats’ in putting the blame for many textual problems upon them. What then could have been the kind of interpolations introduced by actors? Larger chunks of text, like an alternative prologue , as is the case with the Rhesus, which the scholia (καὶ τάχα ἄν τινες τῶν ὑποκριτῶν διεσκευακότες εἶεν αὐτόν) attribute to actors. Histrionic intervention may also nest in textual changes that would have had a dramaturgical effect , though even in these cases our ancient source may be simply guessing. As drama was spreading, the dynamics between actors, reperformances, and the authenticity of texts were constantly reshaped. Tragic reperformances, often in the absence of the playwrights, became a challenge for the authenticity mechanisms of the texts, as well as a catalyst for the increasing professional and social power of the actors. Although they were rivals to the poets in that they could
3.6 Actors, reperformances and textual transmission
potentially alter the poet’s initial text, especially when the poet was dead, the survey of evidence of the scholia that refer to histrionic interpolations reveals the serious possibility according which ancient scholars seem to have been more responsible for textual alterations than the actors themselves.
4 Reperformances and Vase-painting 6th and 5th century Greece possessed a vigorously visual culture with a genius for plastic and pictorial representation a culture virtually saturated with iconography and visual forms.⁵⁶²
4.1 Introduction In this chapter, I will further explore the relationship between vase-painting and tragic performance. I will analyze the growing interest of painters and the general public in tragedy-related scenes during the fifth and fourth centuries with reference to cultural mobility and I will discuss how this has encouraged visual exchange between different media. When considering and referring to the concept of cultural mobility, I include not only reperformance and traveling actors, but also mobile vase-painters and vase merchants, who facilitated the circulation of tragic visual experiences from mainland Greece to Magna Graecia and vice versa. In the first part of the chapter, I will discuss the two mainstream approaches to ‘reading’ tragic scenes on vase-paintings, that of the ‘philodramatists’ and that of the ‘iconocentrists’. Drawing on both theories, I will then connect vases to performance through the concept of visual allusion, which could link vases with images stored in the audiences’ minds deriving from first- or second-hand experience. In these terms, images connect different media from different times, and vases allude to visual experiences of tragic performances, recalled by painters and by spectators alike. In the final part of the chapter, I will examine case studies of particular interest regarding the relationship between vase-paintings and performances. The examples studied are grouped according to the outbound or inbound routes that they follow. Although in most cases Athenian productions later took place in Magna Graecia and were hence connected to western vasepaintings, there is also a case where a Sicilian premiere is followed by reperformances in Athens and is then taken back to the West. Cultural mobility therefore highlights practices surrounding visual exchange and visual distribution of theatrical experience.
Golder 1992, 324. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110561166 005
4.2 ‘Philodramatists’ and ‘Iconocentrists’
4.2 ‘Philodramatists’ and ‘Iconocentrists’ A vase-painting could be an impulsive, independent reaction to a myth that was popular in a time or a place. In cases when a painting was connected directly to a tragic performance rather than its myth however, the relationship between dramatic (re)performances and vase production could be reciprocal. A popular performance or reperformance could inspire a vase-painter, just as a popular theme explored in visual art (vases) could inspire a producer to organize a related reperformance. This reciprocity is responsible for the ambiguity in the connection between performance and vase production. The debate concerning the connections of composition, inspiration and allusion between text and image has been long-standing. The extreme positions are a total reflection of a text in an image on the one hand, with the incapability of art to reflect a text on the other. Tragedy-related paintings correspond to representations of the tragic myth in a way that reveals a stronger connection to a specific tragic performance than to the tragic megatext in general. The two divisions of scholarship regarding ‘tragic’ scenes painted on Greek pottery and their relationship to specific texts and performances of Greek tragedy are the ‘philodramatic’ and ‘iconocentric’ approaches. The terms are coined by Giuliani, who explains that philodramatists ‘consider vase-painting to be a receptive medium: they value its images as reliable illustrations of Greek dramas and place them in immediate proximity to real staging practice’.⁵⁶³ According to the iconocentrics on the other hand, ‘the painters were influenced less by the theatre than by the tradition of their own profession; they use their own patterns and follow their own rules, which have little to do with those of the theatre’.⁵⁶⁴ In other words, similarities between a vase-painting and a performance are explained by philodramatists as reflections of the text or the theatrical experience, whilst for the iconocentrics they are references to myths or motifs popular among vase-painters. Philodramatists acknowledge ‘a close relationship between the paintings and a preexistent play’,⁵⁶⁵ while iconocentrists approach vase-painting as autonomous and self-contained,⁵⁶⁶ independent from literary or performative arts, deriving solely from the repertoire of themes and techniques of the painters.⁵⁶⁷
Giuliani 1996, 73. Two classic approaches within this tradition are Séchan 1926 and Tren dall/Webster 1971. Giuliani 1996, 74. The ‘philodramatic’ school has its roots in nineteenth century scholar ship, such as Jahn 1839, 5 12; Vogel 1886; Watzinger 1899, 33 47. Taplin 2007, 23. Bryson 1981, 6. Lada Richards 2009, 105.
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In 1971, Trendall and Webster put together a ‘series of illustrations representative of the history of Greek dramatic performances from the earliest times down to the third century BC’.⁵⁶⁸ The book’s title, Illustrations of Greek Drama, is indicative of the nature of the connection between vases and plays that the authors hypothesize as they explore representations of pre-dramatic and dramatic performances in vase-painting.⁵⁶⁹ In the same way, the title of Small’s monograph, published more than thirty years later, The Parallel Worlds of Classical Art and Text, reveals the author’s opposing viewpoint.⁵⁷⁰ Maintaining that artists and writers inhabit ‘independent and parallel worlds with only occasional intersections’,⁵⁷¹ Small distinguishes between ‘illustrations’, pictures which closely match a text, and ‘representations’,⁵⁷² which only have loose connections with a text. This concept of illustration was set out in 1959 by Weitzmann, who saw illustrations as images ‘physically bound to the text whose content the illustrator wants to clarify by pictorial means’.⁵⁷³ In this context, Weitzmann’s theory included the Bilderbücher, books with illustrated pictures in circulation from the Hellenistic period that served as models for artists.⁵⁷⁴ The connection between text and image was subsequently challenged, especially the specific connection between Greek tragedy and vases. According to Small, ‘there is no uncontested representation of an extant tragedy on Attic vases, and the situation is not much better for South Italian vases. … If we do not have both parts of the equation – the picture and the play – we cannot tell how painters “used” tragedy. And not just one such pairing is necessary, but multiple pairings, for a single example may be anomalous’.⁵⁷⁵ Along with Small, Snodgrass finds it difficult to prove the existence of a connection between art and literature, because that connection could in fact be one between art and myth. He maintains that ‘if a story or legend is widespread and popular, then there may be no very great discrepancy between the common version and the version given in a specific literary source. A visual
Trendall/Webster 1971, preface. A similar approach was previously followed by Séchan 1926 and by Kossatz Deissmann 1978. Small 2003. Small 2003, 175. See Small 2005, 104. Weitzmann 1959, 1. Ancient illustrated manuscripts are not many and they mostly involve pictures that accompany technical treatises. See Squire 2009, 122 and nn. 122 3, with additional bibliography. Weitzmann 1947; 1949; 1959. Small 2005, 104, italics not mine.
4.2 ‘Philodramatists’ and ‘Iconocentrists’
artist who has never even heard of the author in question may then produce a visual account that coincides quite closely with the literary one’.⁵⁷⁶ Taplin⁵⁷⁷ and Giuliani⁵⁷⁸ have proposed more moderate approaches that rephrase the terms of the debate,⁵⁷⁹ moving the emphasis from the composer to the receiver, in other words from the artist to the ancient viewer of art. Taplin maintains that: the philodramatic position in its strong form is quite simply untenable. Not only are there not, with very rare exceptions, any pictures of tragic theatrical performances … the vases are not even pictures of scenes from the plays, let alone illustrations … The iconocentric position, on the other hand, even in an extreme form, is not simply disprovable.⁵⁸⁰
The iconocentric position is more productive when seen from the viewpoint of the receiver, not the composer. The vase-paintings, Taplin believes, are not derived by the plays, but ‘they are informed by the plays; they mean more, and have more interest and depth, for someone who knows the play in question’.⁵⁸¹ Moreover, the vase-painters were also viewers. Before they were the producers of visual art, they were the receivers of stage art. In a society where the role of theater was primal, audiences were expected to participate in performances far more engagingly and far more often than they do today.⁵⁸² Seen in this light, vase-paintings acquire more depth because their receivers were familiar with the play to which the vases alluded to. Focusing more on the viewer, Giuliani also highlights the importance of the paintings’ reception, as well as context of use,⁵⁸³ shifting the emphasis from the painters’ interest in literature to a more general interest in mythological narratives in accordance with the expectations of the painters’ contemporary public. In 2007, Giuliani and Most wrote a study of a fourth-century Apulian volute crater depicting Medea at Eleusis, now at the Art Museum of Princeton University.⁵⁸⁴ The crater has on its obverse an elaborate scene depicting an Ionic temple
Snodgrass 1998, 68. Taplin 2007. Giuliani 1996, 2003. See also Green 1991; Lada Richards 2009; Squire 2009; Revermann 2010; Coo 2013. Taplin 2007, 24. Taplin 2007, 25. See Green 1996, 9 on the position of theater in ancient Greek society: ‘the performances be longed to the community. They were theirs’. See Giuliani 1996, esp. 85 6. Princeton University, Art Museum Inv. 83 13, Pl. 3 in this book. See also Giuliani/Most 2007; Trendall/Cambitoglou 1983, 78, 18/41a. The crater was first published by Trendall 1984.
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and twelve figures, most of whom seem to be engaged in dialogue. Inside the temple a female figure is talking to an elder male, who seems to be a paidagogos, and below the temple, on another altar, two boys of different ages are sitting, perhaps talking to each other. In the upper left corner of the painting, a flying Nike is crowning Athena with a wreath. In the upper right corner, two goddesses, perhaps Demeter and Kore, are holding torches and having a discussion. On the lower right stands Heracles, holding myrtle boughs, and next to him a winged goddess holding a kerykeion. They seem to be having a conversation. On the lower left, there are two naked youths, one standing and one sitting, next to a small table with three crossbar torches, an image which seems to indicate athletic activities corresponding to a palaestra and the sanctuary of Demeter.⁵⁸⁵ One of the painting’s most important features is that of the inscription on the architrave of the main temple, reading ΕΛΕΥΣΙΣ ΤΟ ΙΕΡΟΝ. An Eleusinian setting is in accordance with the depictions and visual references to Demeter and the Kore, but can hardly be combined with the name of the female figure inside the temple, whose name is inscribed beside her as ΜΗΔΕΙΑ. As expressed by Giuliani and Most, ‘this is definitely not a name one would have expected in such a surrounding –indeed, without this inscription it would never have occurred to anyone to identify her as Medea’.⁵⁸⁶ The painting is drastically inconsistent with the Euripidean version of the story, presenting Medea, her children, and a paidagogos in Eleusis. After discussing all proposed explanations and approaches, Giuliani and Most reach a conclusion that incorporates a fruitful theoretical scheme; although no surviving play coincides with the crater’s version, the existence of such a dramatic version can be inferred from specific visual signs in the painting. Giuliani and Most believe that the author of the play in question ‘ventured to improve upon Euripides by trying to provide an answer for one question which he had left open: why can Medea not simply take the children with her when she leaves Corinth? … This vase might be evidence for a correction along these lines’.⁵⁸⁷ Even if a tragedy featuring Medea and her children fleeing to Eleusis never existed, the crater might have reflected the painter’s own response to the Euripidean version of the myth. In this sense, the vase does not reflect a known play but acquires more depth by adding a potential narrative twist to a play known to the painter and the audience. The vase however is somehow ‘connected’ to Euripidean Medea, even if it depicts a completely different version of its finale. After
Giuliani/Most 2007, 199. Giuliani/Most 2007, 199. Giuliani/Most 2007, 215 6.
4.2 ‘Philodramatists’ and ‘Iconocentrists’
all, the spread of drama and reperformances during the fourth century had created the most excellent conditions for performative additions or alterations. The vase-painter might have been proposing his own version or even pondering analogous alterations he might have witnessed in Euripidean reperformances. This brings us to an important question recently raised by Coo.⁵⁸⁸ What was the medium of knowledge for the vase-painters? Direct experience of (re)performance? Cultural (and mythical) memory? Written text? A combination of the above appears to be the most relevant answer, but in this case, Coo rightly notes, ‘the influence of tragedy on vase-painting should not be constructed as a transfer from the textual to the visual, but from one visual medium to another; hence it cannot satisfactorily be assessed by accumulating a “checklist” of proindications which are derived, in our case, from written texts’.⁵⁸⁹ This is also an especially important factor when we take reperformances, an essential aspect of fifth- and fourth-century theatrical practices, into account. Repetitions of performances also functioned as repetitions of visual experiences, and it is through this channel that vases recalled performances. I have elsewhere discussed how Euripides used visual media and his spectators’ visual literacy in order to construct multi-layered allusions to texts, artifacts, and plays.⁵⁹⁰ Visual puns worked as ‘hyperlinks’ connecting a performance with mental images from the spectators’ visual memory. Just as a performance could allude to art and thus prompt a series of visual connotations in the audience, an artifact could invite its spectators to recall a previous visual experience coming from a performance, or multiple performances, or even another artifact. Within this framework, a vase could be connected to a performance or a reperformance visually by recalling images from that theatrical experience. When discussing the visual dimensions of Greek drama, Golder counted more than a thousand allusions to art objects in the tragic corpus,⁵⁹¹ a relationship also highlighted by Zeitlin, who suggests that, since theater developed in parallel with the visual arts, both representational media have reciprocally influenced each other.⁵⁹² In this context, Cowan has talked about the visual power of tragic scenes that could register in the audience’s collective memory;⁵⁹³ playwrights expected their spectators to be theatrically alert and recall previous per-
Coo 2013. Coo 2013, 74. Lamari forthcoming b. Golder 1992, 327. Zeitlin 1994, 139. Cowan 2013, 324.
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formances which they knew either as members of the audience or indirectly, as members of the fifth-century’s theatergoing community.⁵⁹⁴ The visual experience of a performance could be recalled by viewers through recognizability, in other words the demonstration of the connection between the source and the target scene. There are scenes in Aristophanes, Cowan writes, ‘in which the comic effect unquestionably relies on (or at least is massively enhanced by) the recognition of a visual allusion to a tragedy which may have been staged several years earlier’.⁵⁹⁵ Even if the allusions referenced a play that was performed many years before, it could have still been recognizable through a combination of information from performances in the demes, circulating texts, and word-of-mouth information about memorable performances or important scenes.⁵⁹⁶ In this sense, a visual allusion could also be contained in a vase-painting and thereby allude to an earlier play. Allusion does not restrict itself to connecting art within the same medium, but can link compositions between different media.⁵⁹⁷ In this way, visual allusions could link a vase with images in the memory of the audience from a theatrical performance. Vases and performances constituted different aspects of visual culture, both of which facilitated the circulation of images in different media. The visual power of images created cross-modal allusions between different artistic genres in a system where an image works as a ‘window’ through which the audience was able to recall another image, perhaps seen in another medium.⁵⁹⁸ In this context, vases could allude to a visual experience created by a play.
Lamari 2009, 401 402; Lamari 2010, 117 n. 456. The power of visual allusion could scarcely surpass the time span of a generation, according to Slater 2002, 187, but even so reperformances could recreate an analogous visual experience and refresh visual memory. Cowan 2013, 322, discussing how Dicaeopolis’ borrowing of Telephus’ rugs from Euripides constructs a visual allusion to the costume of Telephus in the homonymous Euripidean play. See Ar. Ach. 404 13. Cowan 2013, 325. As argued by Ross 1981, 69, ‘in addition to the standard examples of allusion from one lit erary work to another, we ought to recognize allusion within the other arts from one painting to another, one symphony to another and also allusion between the different arts allusion from painting to poem, from sonnet to sonata, and so on’. Theorists call this procedure a ‘window of allusion’. In windows of allusion, ‘the deliberate target is more than one intertext, which are themselves already part of an intertextual relation ship. This point seems to be for the poet not merely to show off his knowledge of a preexisting intertextual connection, but more often to comment on it or even create one where there can hardly have been one before’ (Murray 2011, 75 n. 48, citing relevant examples and bibliography).
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West
4.3 Vases [The study of vases] has traditionally been regarded as a somewhat dubious exercise, be litttled by archaeologists for the vessels’ alleged inferior artistic quality and treated with caution by text focused students of ancient literature who question the value of South Ital ian vase painting for literature in general and Athenian drama in particular. Only recently have the vases gained new authority. This is because the iconography of a number of South Italian objects could beyond reasonable doubt be shown to be inspired by plays first per formed in Athens several decades earlier. The crucial link between Attic drama of the fifth century and fourth century South Italian pottery had been established. Much else now con tinues to fall into place.⁵⁹⁹
As suggested by Revermann, South-Italian findings reveal a local interest in Athenian drama. In the context of cultural mobility, vase-painters and merchants used to travel to and from mainland Greece, their vases accompanying them. Cultural mobility did not simply facilitate commerce; it increased the popularity of the theater and consequently that of the myths represented in tragedy. Vasepainters’ allusions to tragic versions of the myths are connected to their own visual repertoire from their theatrical experience, and also to the laws of supply and demand. Athenian drama was well-received and reperformances organized by traveling actors were constantly rekindling and increasing the spectators’ interest. Tragic images did not only travel when depicted on vases, but also when they were produced by directors and performers.
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West 4.4.1 Cyclops (re)performed The date of Euripides’ Cyclops, the only satyr play that has been transmitted to us in full, is greatly debated. Some scholars date it to around the 420s on thematic and stylistic grounds,⁶⁰⁰ although it is more often placed later, in the last decade of Euripides’ career.⁶⁰¹ This disagreement becomes more intriguing because of the existence of a Lucanian calyx-crater which bears important similarities to
Revermann 2010, 71 2. Zieliński 1925; Arrowsmith 1956, 2 n.1; Sutton 1980, 114 20. Duchemin 1945, x; Paganelli 1979, 135 9; Seaford 1982, 161; Wright 2005, 54 5; O’Sullivan/ Collard 2013, 41.
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the Cyclops. ⁶⁰² The name-vase of the Cyclops Painter, dated between 415 – 410,⁶⁰³ depicts the drunken Polyphemus asleep, with the one arm flung around his head. Behind Polyphemus we see the cup, and next to the cup the empty wine flask, which hangs from a little tree. Above the Cyclops, three of Odysseus’ companions drag the heated tree-trunk with which they plan to bore out Polyphemus’ eye. Their endeavor is supervised by Odysseus himself and by two satyrs, who stand on the right, thus connecting the scene with the satyr play. One satyr is clasping his hands, while the other is running with his hands outstretched, both encouraging action whilst not being primarily active or involved. Odysseus is wearing a mantle and a cap, evoking representations of travelers, such as Hermes or Oedipus. The illustration is in remarkable accordance with the following lines from the text of Euripides, where Odysseus conceives the plan of Cyclops’ injury. He realizes that only his comrades will help him and so he instructs them on how to do it: ODYSSEUS σιγᾶτε πρὸς θεῶν, θῆρες, ἡσυχάζετε, συνθέντες ἄρθρα στόματος· οὐδὲ πνεῖν ἐῶ, οὐ σκαρδαμύσσειν οὐδὲ χρέμπτεσθαί τινα, ὡς μὴ ᾽ξεγερθῆι τὸ κακόν, ἔστ᾽ ἂν ὄμματος ὄψις Κύκλωπος ἐξαμιλληθῆι πυρί. CHORUS σιγῶμεν ἐγκάψαντες αἰθέρα γνάθοις. ODYSSEUS ἄγε νυν ὅπως ἅψεσθε τοῦ δαλοῦ χεροῖν ἔσω μολόντες· διάπυρος δ᾽ ἐστὶν καλῶς. CHORUS οὔκουν σὺ τάξεις οὕστινας πρώτους χρεὼν καυτὸν μοχλὸν λαβόντας ἐκκάειν τὸ φῶς Κύκλωπος, ὡς ἂν τῆς τύχης κοινώμεθα; CHORUS A ἡμεῖς μέν ἐσμεν μακροτέρω πρὸ τῶν θυρῶν ἑστῶτες ὠθεῖν ἐς τὸν ὀφθαλμὸν τὸ πῦρ. CHORUS B ἡμεῖς δὲ χωλοί γ᾽ ἀρτίως γεγενήμεθα.
British Museum 1947, 0714.18, Pl. 4 in this book; Trendall/Webster 1971, II 11; Trendall 1991, 159 61. See Trendall/Webster 1971, II 11, with additional bibliography.
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West
CHORUS A ταὐτὸν πεπόνθατ᾽ ἆρ᾽ ἐμοί· τοὺς γὰρ πόδας ἑστῶτες ἐσπάσθημεν οὐκ οἶδ᾽ ἐξ ὅτου. ODYSSEUS ἑστῶτες ἐσπάσθητε; CHORUS A καὶ τά γ᾽ ὄμματα μέστ᾽ ἐστὶν ἡμῖν κόνεος ἢ τέφρας ποθέν. ODYSSEUS ἄνδρες πονηροὶ κοὐδὲν οἵδε σύμμαχοι. CHORUS ὁτιὴ τὸ νῶτον τὴν ῥάχιν τ᾽ οἰκτίρομεν καὶ τοὺς ὀδόντας ἐκβαλεῖν οὐ βούλομαι τυπτόμενος, αὕτη γίγνεται πονηρία; ἀλλ᾽ οἶδ᾽ ἐπωιδὴν Ὀρφέως ἀγαθὴν πάνυ, ὥστ᾽ αὐτόματον τὸν δαλὸν ἐς τὸ κρανίον στείχονθ᾽ ὑφάπτειν τὸν μονῶπα παῖδα γῆς. ODYSSEUS πάλαι μὲν ἤιδη σ᾽ ὄντα τοιοῦτον φύσει, νῦν δ᾽ οἶδ᾽ ἄμεινον. τοῖσι δ᾽ οἰκείοις φίλοις χρῆσθαί μ᾽ ἀνάγκη. χειρὶ δ᾽ εἰ μηδὲν σθένεις, ἀλλ᾽ οὖν ἐπεγκέλευέ γ᾽, ὡς εὐψυχίαν φίλων κελευσμοῖς τοῖσι σοῖς κτησώμεθα. (Eur. Cyc. 625 53) ODYSSEUS Silence, you savages, for heaven’s sake quiet! Let your lips be shut fast! I forbid anyone even to breathe or to blink or to clear his throat lest the monster wake up before the Cy clops’ eye can have its contest with the fire. CHORUS LEADER We hold our peace, gulping down the air with our mouths. ODYSSEUS Come then, you must go inside and put your hands to the firebrand. It is now glowing nice ly. CHORUS LEADER Won’t you say who are to be the first to grasp the charred stake and burn out the Cyclops’ eye, so that we may share in whatever fate chance holds? LEADER OF CHORUS A We stand too far from the door to push the fire into the Cyclops’ eye. LEADER OF CHORUS B And we have just now become lame.
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LEADER OF CHORUS A The same thing has happened to me. As I was standing here I sprained my feet, I can’t think how. ODYSSEUS You got a sprain while standing? LEADER OF CHORUS A Yes, and somehow my eyes have become full of dust and ash. ODYSSEUS These allies of mine are cowardly and worthless. CHORUS LEADER Just because I take pity on my back and my spine and have no desire to have my teeth knocked out, is that cowardice? But I know an incantation of Orpheus so wonderful that the firebrand all on its own will march up to his skull and set the one eyed so of earth on fire. ODYSSEUS For a long time I have known that your nature was like this, but now I know it better. I must make use of my own friends. But if you have no strength in your arm, at least cheer us on so that with your encouragement we may find our friends brave.⁶⁰⁴
Odysseus’ tone is rebuking, highlighting his role as a tragic hero, compared to the satyrs’ uselessness in the development of the plot.⁶⁰⁵ He calls them θῆρες (625), emphasizing his dramatic and narrative superiority,⁶⁰⁶ while the satyrs use ridiculously grandiloquent expressions for describing their ineffectiveness (629), also underlined by Odysseus (ἄνδρες πονηροὶ κοὐδὲν οἵδε σύμμαχοι, 642). The similarities between text and image cannot be downplayed: the Satyrs are unwilling to help and Odysseus realizes that he depends solely on his comrades. He then asks the Satyrs to at least encourage his comrades’ endeavor. Odysseus’ authority is also evident: he is somehow distant, supervising his comrades, giving instructions, ignoring the satyrs who are inactive in watching the event. The vase seems to have been painted at around the same time as the performance of the Cyclops without allowing for the time lapse that we would expect between a dramatic performance and a vase influenced by it. Its ‘visual’ correspondence to the text nevertheless makes a connection to a performance of
Translation by Kovacs 2001. O’Sullivan/Collard 2013, 213. Satyrs are also comically juxtaposed with the heroic figure onstage in Sophocles’ Ichneutai (TrGF IV fr. 314), where Cyllene also calls them θῆρες (221 2) and their father κάκιστα θηρῶν (147) and κάκιστα θηρίων (153).
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West
Cyclops highly possible. Strong similarities, such as the depiction of the Satyrs and the narrative authority given to Odysseus, convey an exceptional dynamic between painting and performance. Their close date does not annul their connection. Rather, it enhances the power of cultural mobility, demonstrating the high speed with which a performance could travel and be reproduced, either in new performative terms (by means of a reperformance) or in a new medium, in a painting.
4.4.2 Reperformances and some vases of the Policoro tomb An interesting group of early vases was discovered in a single tomb excavated at Policoro, ancient Heracleia, in 1963.⁶⁰⁷ The tomb contained twelve large vases of fine craftsmanship painted by local artists, dated between 420 and 390. Seven of these vases show mythological scenes, yet all are to an extent related to tragedy.⁶⁰⁸ Three were painted by the same artist, hence identified as the Policoro Painter.⁶⁰⁹ The Policoro vases have been connected to Euripides’ Antiope, Aeschylus’ Danaides, Euripides’ Erechtheus, Aeschylus’ Europa, Euripides’ Heracleidae, Euripides’ Medea, Euripides’ or Sophocles’ Oenomaus, and Eriphyle (writer unknown).⁶¹⁰ The connection between these vases and the spread of drama in the region, which perhaps took place even during Euripides’ lifetime, is clear.⁶¹¹ As I will discuss in this section, it can be further associated with cultural mobility, reperformances, but possibly also the painters’ travels to Athens, where they would have acquired first-hand visual experiences of specific performances and dramatized myths. Besides this, there was also a tradition of a similar cultural mobility, as testified by the first South-Italian red-figure painters who were in all likelihood trained in Attic workshops of the Periclean age.⁶¹²
The vases were first published by Degrassi 1967, 193 231. See also Trendall 1967a, 55 8; Todisco 2003, 533 4; Taplin 2012, 230 6; Vahtikari 2014, 205 and n. 30. Taplin 2012, 231. Taplin 2007, 117. Vahtikari 2014, 205. Taplin 2012, 236. Robertson 1992, 236.
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4.4.3 Euripides’ Heracleidae Two of the vases from the Policoro tomb⁶¹³ seem to provide evidence for reperformance(s) of Euripides’ Heracleidae in Sicily within thirty years of its premiere in Athens.⁶¹⁴ A reperformance of Heracleidae in Sicily is especially interesting since the play is Athenian in its essence. The premiere of Heracleidae most likely took place in the first year of the Peloponnesian War (430). Its patriotic Athenian orientation is beyond doubt; staged shortly after the invasion of Attica by the Spartans, the Heracleidae praises Athens as a protector of the weak. As Kovacs puts it, ‘although the play is in no way a masterpiece, it gives stirring and coherent expression to a view of Athens’ character that continued, as the orators make plain, to waken an answering chord in the hearts of the Athenian people’.⁶¹⁵ The first vase is a Lucanian pelike from ca. 400,⁶¹⁶ the painter of which is close to the Karneia Painter.⁶¹⁷ According to Taplin, the vase is ‘probably related’ to the opening scenes of Euripides’ Heracleidae, with the layout of the figures capturing ‘evocatively the excitement of the story as told in the play’.⁶¹⁸ The vase depicts Iolaus, standing on an altar holding a suppliant branch, surrounded by four garlanded boys. A fifth boy, standing above Iolaus’ head, is not garlanded and points to the herald approaching from Iolaus’ left. Behind Iolaus on a pillar stands a figure which seems to be a statue of Apollo or Hercules.⁶¹⁹ On the left side of Iolaus stands the herald Eurystheus wearing a traveling hat, boots, and holding a kerykeion. On the right side of Iolaus, and slightly bigger in size than Eurystheus, stands Athena.⁶²⁰ The herald signifies fear of imminent danger, and Athena the safety that Iolaus finally finds in Athens. Another Lucanian vase of the same date, a column crater close to the Policoro painter,⁶²¹ also seems to allude to Heracleidae. Iolaus is depicted as an aged
Trendall 1967b, 50 1 grouped them under the Palermo Karneia Policoro Painters group. See also Taplin 2007, 126. Taplin 2007, 129. Kovacs 2005, 6. See also Taplin 2007, 126. Policoro, Museo Nazionale della Siritide 35302, Pl. 5 in this book; Taplin 2007, 127: fig. 37. The Karneia Painter belongs to the ‘PKP’ (Palermo/Karneia/Policoro) group painters. Their vases are of characteristically high quality and often include mythological subjects. See Camp bell 2007 s.v. Pottery [6. Red figure (ii) South Italian (a) Lucanian]. Taplin 2007, 127. Taplin 2007, 127. Athena is not a character in Euripides’ play but her protection is repeatedly sought after in a way that makes her presence felt (Heracl. 350 2, 770 5, 919 27). Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 1969.6, Pl. 6 in this book; Taplin 2007, 128 30, fig. 38.
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West
man, sitting and holding a stick. In front of him, by the altar, we can see two boys. A herald, who appears to be much younger than in the vase discussed previously, is depicted on Iolaus’ right with a hand on his shoulder and holding a kerykeion. ⁶²² On their right two figures approach on horseback, seemingly in order to rescue the Heracleids. There is no visual sign to tell us who these figures are, but according to the play, the suppliants are saved by Demophon, the king of Athens, and his brother Acamas. Euripides does not specify how they reached Marathon, only that they did so quickly. It is possible that, by depicting these figures on horseback, the painter is conveying Demophon’s and Acamas’ swift arrival. Taplin maintains that the vase demonstrates how textual clues can be conveyed visually; in his words, ‘this group of artists likes showing horses at the gallop; this iconography exemplifies well how, when reflecting tragedy, painters did not want to reproduce the actual staging, but rather turned the play into pictorial terms’.⁶²³ On Iolaus’ left, with her back turned to him, we see a woman holding a statuette of Zeus. We cannot identify her if we do not ‘read’ the vase alongside Heracleidae. A parallel reading helps us identify the figure as Alcmene; by depicting her with her back turned to Iolaus and the rest of the action, the painter is perhaps conveying the character’s prolonged offstage presence. For most of the play, Alcmene is portrayed as somehow distanced, staying inside the temple with Heracles’ daughters.⁶²⁴ She enters the orchestra at line 646 after Iolaus convinces her to leave the temple and rejoices at the good news of her grandson’s return: ὦ μῆτερ ἐσθλοῦ παιδός, ᾿Aλκμήνην λέγω, ἔξελθ᾽, ἄκουσον τοῦδε φιλτάτους λόγους. πάλαι γὰρ ὠδίνουσα τῶν ἀφιγμένων ψυχὴν ἐτήκου νόστος εἰ γενήσεται. (Eur. Heracl. 642 5) Mother of a noble son, Alcmene, come out and hear the welcome words of this man! For you have long been in painful suspense whether your grandsons would ever return, as now they have!⁶²⁵
The difference between the two portrayals of Iolaus might be due to the different imagina tions of the painters, or to different theatrical productions to which the painters were exposed (Taplin 2012, 244). Taplin 2007, 129. See Eur. Heracl. 40 3. ἐγὼ μὲν ἀμφὶ τοῖσδε καλχαίνων τέκνοις, / ἡ δ᾽ αὖ τὸ θῆλυ παιδὸς ᾿Aλκμήνη γένος / ἔσωθε ναοῦ τοῦδ᾽ ὑπηγκαλισμένη / σώιζει. Translation by Kovacs 2005.
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Both vases create the impression of a connection to Euripides’ Heracleidae. In the interpretative context set by Taplin, these vases would have been enjoyed by viewers who had no knowledge of the Euripidean play, but they would have been appreciated more fully by spectators aware of the treatment of the myth in that particular tragedy.⁶²⁶ The vases would have generated crossmodal visual allusions connecting the visual repertoire of the spectators who have experienced the performance with the visual representation of the myth by the painter. If we then shift our attention from the receiver back to the creator, we will need to address the theatrical literacy of the painter. In the last part of this chapter, I will turn from theory to specifics and consider the possible ways in which the painter might have been exposed to those visual images from performances of the Heracleidae, which he then incorporated into his painting.
4.4.4 Euripides’ Medea in Policoro and Cleveland The Policoro Painter, of the Policoro tomb, has also been attributed with a hydria of ca. 400, featuring Medea (labeled ΜΗΔΕΙΑ) in a decorated cloak and cap, flying off in her snake-drawn chariot.⁶²⁷ On either side of her are divinities, and slightly beneath her on the right stands Jason waving his sword. Under Medea’s chariot lie the bodies of her two sons. On their left side a man is lamenting, possibly their paidagogos. The allusion to the Medea story is clear, but we must understand whether the painter reflects the myth in general or specifically the Euripidean play. The depiction of the chariot and the slaughtered children places the image towards the end of the myth’s storyline. If it reflects Euripides’ play, it would come from after the deaths of Creon and his daughter, when Jason comes on stage searching for Medea and their sons and asks the chorus: γυναῖκες, αἳ τῆσδ᾽ ἐγγὺς ἕστατε στέγης, ἆρ᾽ ἐν δόμοισιν ἡ τὰ δείν᾽ εἰργασμένη Μήδεια τοισίδ᾽ ἢ μεθέστηκεν φυγῆι; δεῖ γάρ νιν ἤτοι γῆς γε κρυφθῆναι κάτω ἢ πτηνὸν ἆραι σῶμ᾽ ἐς αἰθέρος βάθος, εἰ μὴ τυράννων δώμασιν δώσει δίκην. πέποιθ᾽ ἀποκτείνασα κοιράνους χθονὸς
Taplin 2007, 129. Policoro, Museo Nazionale della Siritide 35296, Pl. 7 in this book; Trendall 1967b, 58/286 and pls. 26 7; Trendall/Webster 1971, III 3, 34; Trendall 1989, fig 28; Todisco 2003, 533 4.
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West
ἀθῶιος αὐτὴ τῶνδε φεύξεσθαι δόμων; ἀλλ᾽ οὐ γὰρ αὐτῆς φροντίδ᾽ ὡς τέκνων ἔχω. κείνην μὲν οὓς ἔδρασεν ἔρξουσιν κακῶς, ἐμῶν δὲ παίδων ἦλθον ἐκσώσων βίον, μή μοί τι δράσωσ᾽ οἱ προσήκοντες γένει, μητρῶιον ἐκπράσσοντες ἀνόσιον φόνον. (Eur. Med. 1292 1305) You women who stand near the house, is Medea inside, she who has done these dreadful deeds, or has she fled? She will have to hide herself beneath the earth or soar aloft to heav en if she is not going to give satisfaction to the royal house. Does she think that having kil led the land’s ruling family she will escape from this house unscathed? But it is not so much about her that I am concerned as about the children. She will be pun ished by those she has wronged, but I have come to save the lives of my children, that no harm may come to them from the next of kin, avenging on them their mother’s impious crime.⁶²⁸
Jason’s threat that Medea will have to hide beneath the earth or fly to the sky to avoid punishment are immediately followed by a scene where Medea appears on the chariot and he is beneath her. After he learns that his children have been murdered, Jason tries to open the doors of the skene and get in the house to see them.⁶²⁹ Medea flies above him, with the mechane, saying the following: τί τάσδε κινεῖς κἀναμοχλεύεις πύλας, νεκροὺς ἐρευνῶν κἀμὲ τὴν εἰργασμένην; παῦσαι πόνου τοῦδ᾽. εἰ δ᾽ ἐμοῦ χρείαν ἔχεις, λέγ᾽ εἴ τι βούληι, χειρὶ δ᾽ οὐ ψαύσεις ποτέ. τοιόνδ᾽ ὄχημα πατρὸς Ἥλιος πατὴρ δίδωσιν ἡμῖν, ἔρυμα πολεμίας χερός. (Eur. Med. 1317 22) Why do you rattle these gates and try to unbar them, in search of the corpses and me, who did the deed? Cease your toil. If you need anything from me, speak if you like. But your hand can never touch me: such is the chariot Helios my grandfather has given me to ward off a hostile hand.⁶³⁰
The dialogue between Medea and Jason exploits both acting spaces, that of the orchestra and the one created using the mechane. This difference in performance levels is significant in terms not only of interpretation, but also of the visual effect. As well as indicating the salvation of Medea, who is fleeing to avoid Jason’s
Translation by Kovacs 2001. On the strong metatheatrical allusions of the passage, see Mastronarde 2002, 376 ad 1313. Translation by Kovacs 2001.
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punishment, it also creates a powerful visual snapshot in which Jason is trying to reach a flying Medea from below. Medea’s words ‘your hand can never touch me’ bears a strong cross-modal parallel with the scene of the vase in which Jason is whirling his sword against Medea, whom he cannot reach. Taplin⁶³¹ has noted three considerable differences between the visual images created by Euripides’ Medea and the one created by this vase. The first corresponds to the corpses of the children: Medea in Euripides seems to have carried them with her, whereas on the vase, her children rest under the chariot.⁶³² Another major difference involves the paidagogos, who is next to the children’s corpses on the vase, but does not lament the children in the play. In Medea, the paidagogos escorts the children in the prologue and then appears again towards its end (1001), bringing the children back from their visit to the princess, Creon’s daughter, where they have offered her the poisoned robe and crown. He leaves the stage and never reappears before Medea’s farewell to the children (1018). The third difference is perhaps the most important and is found in most representations of Medea and her chariot. There is no indication in the text that the flying chariot of Medea is drawn by dragons, though this is a visual detail included on this vase and in the majority of fourth-century and later representations.⁶³³ In the play, Medea appears on the chariot after line 1316 and is supposed to disappear on it by the end of the play. The chariot is not described in the text. Its existence is only inferred by line 1321 (λέγ᾽ εἴ τι βούληι, χειρὶ δ᾽ οὐ ψαύσεις ποτέ), according to which the chariot can fly, hence it is winged and must have been raised by the mechane. ⁶³⁴ The scholion on line 1320 describes the chariot as drawn by dragons (ἐπὶ ὕψους παραφαίνεται ἡ Μήδεια, ὀχουμένη δρακοντίνοις ἅρμασι)⁶³⁵ and the play’s hypothesis likewise informs us that the chariot was one of ‘flying dragons, which Medea received from Helios’ (ἐπὶ ἅρματος δρακόντων πτερωτῶν, ὃ παρ᾽ Ἡλίου ἔλαβεν).⁶³⁶ The image of Medea riding a snaked chariot is reproduced in later writers,⁶³⁷ as well as in vase-painting.
Taplin 2007, 119. In Euripides, Medea will not let Jason touch his sons (1377 8, 1399 1404, 1410 12) and says she will take them with her and bury them in a sanctuary of Hera (1378 81), so in the per formance she must be assumed to have the corpses with her. See Page 1938, xxvii; Taplin 2007, 119; Sourvinou Inwood 1997. Mastronarde 2002, 377. Some maintain that the chariot could have been rolled on the ekky klema and not raised by the mechane; see Page 1938, 181, with additional bibliography. Σ Eur. Med. 1320 (II 211.6 7 Schwartz). Arg. Eur. Med. (II 137.8 9 Schwartz). See Hor. Epod. 3.14; Ov. Met. 7.350; Apollod. 1.9.28; Hyg. Fab. 27.
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West
The depiction of the chariot on this vase is concerned with our knowledge of the staging of Medea. Since vase-paintings of the Medea myth commonly depict a snaked chariot, we must consider whether those depictions were a later tradition, which then influenced Italian vase-painting, or whether they could have been part of the fifth-century production, which was then visually reproduced on vases. To answer the question we have to look at another painting, possibly also by the Policoro Painter or an artist close to the Policoro Painter:⁶³⁸ a depiction of Medea on a snaked chariot on a Lucanian calyx crater, of ca. 400, now in the Cleveland Museum of Art.⁶³⁹ On this crater Medea is once more depicted in a snake-drawn chariot, holding a whip, but this time her outfit is more ornate.⁶⁴⁰ Helios’ gift of the chariot is also more evident: the snakes pulling it are bigger than in the previous vase, but also brighter and more radiant. A spectacular white radiant circle surrounding the chariot alludes even more directly to Helios, and also to Medea’s quasi-divine status.⁶⁴¹ On her left-hand side, Jason is again looking at her from a lower level, but in this image he seems to be even more powerless and disarmed, holding a staff rather than a sword with his hands lowered. The slaughtered children lie on the altar, not on the ground, and are lamented by a white-haired woman (probably a nurse), while the paidagogos stands behind her on the right. The altar on which the corpses of Medea’s children lie could be an allusion to a passage in the play.⁶⁴² These similarities are however disrupted by two ugly figures standing in the left and right upper corners of the painting, perhaps demons representing revenge.⁶⁴³ As seen in the above discussion, by the turn of the fifth century, about thirty years after the premiere of Euripides’ Medea, these two visual representations of the myth both include snakes in the decorations on Medea’s chariot. It has been maintained that the illustration of the snakes could be a later tradition, added after its first performance, and that Euripides did not present the chariot with
See Taplin 2007, 123. Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1991, Pl. 8 in this book; LIMC s.vv. Erinys 101, Iason 71, Medeia 36; Taplin 1993, pl. 1.101; Todisco 2003, L14; Taplin 2007, 123. See also Tompkins 1983, 76 9; Shapiro 1994, 179; Neils/Oakley 2003, 217 18 and pl. 17; Revermann 2005. On the ornate and ‘oriental’ dress of Medea, which is considered a Euripidean innovation, see Mastronarde 2002, 41. Sourvinou Inwood 1997, 290 4 puts forth the possibility that the actor playing Medea changed costume for the play’s exode. On the multiple meanings of Medea’s quasi divine status, see Mastronarde 2002, 372 3. Eur. Med. 1378 81, … ἐπεί σφας τῆιδ᾽ ἐγὼ θάψω χερί, / φέρουσ᾽ ἐς Ἥρας τέμενος ᾿Aκραίας θεοῦ, / ὡς μή τις αὐτοὺς πολεμίων καθυβρίσηι / τύμβους ἀνασπῶν … . Taplin 2007, 123.
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snakes,⁶⁴⁴ especially since those paintings also include other inconsistencies between them and with the play; the Policoro hydria, for example, features the sons lying on the ground being lamented by the paidagogos, while the Cleveland crater shows them on an altar next to a nurse and a paidagogos. Neither the paidagogos nor the nurse is present in the last scene of Euripides’ play, in which Medea is carrying the corpses with her in the chariot. All this becomes more complex if we consider the strong visual tradition connecting the illustrated snaked chariot to Triptolemus, the chthonic deity associated with Eleusis and the cult of Demeter and Kore who was regularly depicted on vases on a winged cart.⁶⁴⁵ Triptolemus appears as a noble citizen of Eleusis in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. According to the myth, he had a mission to teach agriculture to the Greeks. The first literary reference to this mission is in Sophocles’ Triptolemus. The play was first staged in 468 and survives in fragments.⁶⁴⁶ There are major problems with reconstructing the narrative,⁶⁴⁷ but is seems likely that a basic part of the plot featured Demeter as the nurse of Demophon, child of Celeus and Metaneira.⁶⁴⁸ Demeter must have tried to make Demophon immortal, but was caught by Metaneira and so the baby was burnt to death. In compensation, Demeter endowed the baby’s elder brother, Triptolemus with the knowledge of cereal cultivation and designated for him the mission to spread this knowledge to the world.⁶⁴⁹ A surviving fragment might have been part of a description of Triptolemus’ snaked chariot: δράκοντε θαιρὸν ἀμφιπλὶξ εἰληφότε (TrGF IV fr. 596) A pair of serpents who hold the axle gripped in their coils⁶⁵⁰
The earliest surviving representations of Triptolemus date from the mid-sixth century and present him teaching agriculture to the Greeks seated on his own vehicle.⁶⁵¹ Triptolemus’ chariot later acquired wings implying divinity. He ap-
Bethe 1918, 143. See Mastronarde 2002, 377. TrGF IV frr. 595a 617a. See also Sommerstein/Talboy 2012, 216 66. See Sommerstein/Talboy 2012, 221 33 for a discussion. Apollod. Bibl. 1.5.1 2. Sommerstein/Talboy 2012, 228. Translation by Sommerstein/Talboy 2012. Göttingen, Archäologisches Institut der Universität, inv. no. J. 14; Beazley 1956, 309 no. 83. See Matheson 1994, 350 with additional references.
4.4 Outbound traveling: images exported to the West
pears in this winged chair on a fragment of a calyx crater now in Syracuse,⁶⁵² accompanied by two dancing satyrs.⁶⁵³ Red-figure depictions of Triptolemus’ mission prior to the fourth century involve the addition of snakes to his flying vehicle.⁶⁵⁴ In an exceptional scyphos by Macron now in the British Museum,⁶⁵⁵ Triptolemus is seated on his winged and snaked cart surrounded by Demeter and Kore. The archetypal mission scene is amplified in this instance by a personified Eleusis (here female) and the additions of Eumolpus (the mythical ancestor of Eleusis), Zeus, Dionysus, Poseidon, and Amphitrite.⁶⁵⁶ Getting back to Medea and her snaked chariot, it is true that snakes seem more relevant to illustrations of a chthonic deity than to illustrations of Helios, whose chariot is traditionally drawn by (winged) horses. Medea however is visually connected to snakes from an early period; an Etruscan illustration from the seventh century depicts Medea confronting a three-headed serpent monster with another snake behind her.⁶⁵⁷ Much later, a group of Attic black-figured lecythoi of ca. 530 depicts Medea as a supernatural creature surrounded by two snakes.⁶⁵⁸ Such a visual tradition of depicting Medea with snakes makes the illustrations of her snaked chariot in the vases we discussed much more familiar. As discussed above, images can correspond with different media through visual recognizability, the correlations between visual images and experiences stored in the creators’ and audiences’ visual repertoire. The visual tradition of Medea as connected to snakes would have made the snake addition to her chariot ‘visually possible’, in the sense that it would have been visually and mythically meaningful to the vases’ or the performance’s spectators. We do not know whether this addition was used in the performance of 431 or incorporated into later reperformances and then reflected in vase-paintings, or finally if it was not even linked to a performance, but instead existed entirely in the visual arts in depictions of the chariot. In the words of Mastronarde,
Syracuse, Museo Archeologico Regionale 24114; Brommer 1959, 79, cat. no. 126. fig. 40; Beazley 1963, 1041 no. 1. Hence Brommer’s theory of Triptolemus being a satyr play (Brommer 1959, 47, 79). See the discussion in Matheson 1994, 353. British Museum 1873, 0820.37, Pl. 9 in this book; Beazley 1963, 459 no. 3. For more illustrations of the Mission scene, see Matheson 1994. Amsterdam, Allard Pierson 10.188; LIMC s.v. Medeia 2. British Museum 1926.4 17.1, Würzburg Wagner Museum L 359, Thebes Museum R 31.166, Archaeological Museum of Thebes R 31.166 (ΜΘ 46169), Pl. 10 in this book; LIMC Medeia 3 6. One of the vases at the British Museum also has Medea’s name inscribed over her head. See also Vojatzi 1982, 93 4.
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it is possible that the prop used in 431 was already a serpent chariot, but it is also possible that this was the iconographic choice of a subsequent production of the play in South Italy or of the vase painters themselves.⁶⁵⁹
In any of these possibilities, the connection between the performance of 431 and the vases of the Policoro tomb is nevertheless strong. What varies according to each possibility is the degree of immediacy of influence. If indeed the visual tradition of the snaked chariot was already established by 431, it is possible that Euripides himself had used it. Traveling actors would have then moved the relevant scenic features abroad and would have organized similar reperformances in Italy. It is there that the painters could have seen the performances. At the same time, there is always the possibility of touring actors changing aspects of original productions for reperformances outside Athens. Even if Euripides himself had not included the snaked chariot in his staging, the actors that were reperforming Medea could have, especially outside Athens. This would make local audiences visually ‘literate’ in ‘reading’ the chariot on local vases. Both the visual discrepancy of the snaked chariot and of the dead children lying outside the chariot are alterations that could have taken place in a performance of Medea whilst leaving the text intact. The text itself allows for such variations and that is why this scenario is considered a possible explanation for the snaked-chariot problem: The actors’ company would have introduced them without actually contradicting the text while perhaps adapting some stage props that they already had at their disposal. These snakes then proved to be a spectacular success with audiences, and became a standard part of Medeia’s portrayal.⁶⁶⁰
Let us for a moment consider another possible path of cultural mobility and exchange presented by the findings in the Policoro tomb, which provide us with a glimpse into the practice of exporting tragedies from Athens to the West. According to Oliver Taplin, the findings, including paintings related to Heracleidae, ‘probably’ Medea, and ‘almost certainly’⁶⁶¹ Antiope, might show that the family who owned the tomb had a special interest in Athenian art that was developed in Magna Graecia. Taplin proceeds to the conclusion that the findings in the Policoro tomb ‘add up to a good case for the activity of performances of tragedy, es-
Mastronarde 2002, 378. Taplin 2007, 121. Taplin 2012, 236.
4.5 Inbound traveling: images imported to the East and repurposed
pecially of Euripides, in Heraclea before 390 BC, maybe even within Euripides’ lifetime’.⁶⁶² However, the findings could also imply another scenario. As we have seen, cultural mobility in the fifth and fourth centuries also influenced painters, who could have been traveling themselves. By studying and working in Athenian workshops, they would have inevitably been informed of or witnessed firsthand the performances of that period. The major findings in the Policoro tomb are paintings crafted by the same painter that correspond to plays first performed in Athens at around the same period. Medea premiered in 431, around the same time as the Heracleidae. It is not impossible that the painter(s) visited Athens during that time, participated in the Athenian workshops, saw the performances and were generally exposed to those specific visual representations of the myth. The painters could have then easily reproduced the images that they received in vases, or they could have recalled these visual experiences through reperformances in Magna Graecia, when they would have attended performances by traveling troupes that either used the original staging of Euripides or innovated the visual representation of the characters.
4.5 Inbound traveling: images imported to the East and repurposed 4.5.1 Aetnaeae recycled? Our understanding of cultural mobility as a practice which encompassed the traveling of texts, images and performances, following similar paths as poets, painters, and actors, could also provide the answer to our next query. In the first chapter, I discussed the performance of Aeschylus’ Aetnaeae in Syracuse or in Aetna upon the foundation of the city, somewhere between 476 – 470.⁶⁶³ I am bringing the play back into focus because of the peculiarity in the discovery of its pictorial representation in vase-painting. Four vases have been connected with the Aetnaeae. The first is a fragment of an Apulian bell crater of ca. 400 – 390 by a painter of the group of the Black Fury Painter,⁶⁶⁴ a vase of extremely high quality. The preserved fragment depicts a flying creature with rich wings, Taplin 2012, 236. See ch. 1 in this book, pp. 23 31. Harvard Art Museums / Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1952.33, Pl. 11 in this book. See Kossatz Deissmann 1978, K 8, pl. 5,1; LIMC VII 1, s.v. Thaleia II 2*; LIMC IV, s.v. Hebe 41; Todisco 2003, Ap 32.
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whose head is corrupt and whose only visible features today are the ornate wings and big claws. This flying creature is clinging to the waist of a female figure, possibly Thalia, of whom only the upper body and head remain. On the left of the fragment we can just about recognize the fingers of a hand, perhaps belonging to a satyr, as maintained by Curtius, who compares what we can see to other satyr representations.⁶⁶⁵ An amphora from 340 – 310 by the group of the Boston Orestes Painter⁶⁶⁶ offers an early depiction of the abduction of Thalia, whose name is inscribed over her head. A huge bird with richly decorated wings grasps Thalia from her waist, spreading its wings in parallel to Thalia’s wide opened arms, with a satyr figure standing on the right. Below these figures are the legs of a table, the place from which Thalia was abducted.⁶⁶⁷ In both those vases, Thalia is presented with her arms stretched wide wearing ornate garments. Between her and the satyr we see a ball, implying that she was grabbed by a bird while playing with a ball by the altar, or that she rushed to the altar or a consecrated site, terrified by the approaching bird. The floral elements might suggest that the god worshiped at the altar was a vegetation deity, perhaps one of the Palicoi. Aeschylus’ Aetnaeae might have featured the story of Thalia’s abduction by Zeus in disguise as an eagle. The offspring of their intercourse on Mount Aetna were Sicily’s local gods, the Palicoi, who were born by springing from the earth.⁶⁶⁸ The area of Palicoi in Leontinoi might have been one of the places of action of the Aetnaeae, as suggested by a hypothesis on a papyrus roll.⁶⁶⁹ In another Apulian hydria, of ca. 400 – 370 by the Gravina Painter or the circle of the Tarpoley Painter,⁶⁷⁰ a female figurine, probably Thalia, flies with her hands outstretched as she is being carried by an enormous eagle clinging onto her hair. This vase offers one of the earliest depictions of Aeschylean tragedy. Thalia must have been holding a ball, although now we cannot see it clearly.⁶⁷¹ An Apulian amphora depicts the abduction of Europa by Zeus in the context of a
Curtius 1937, 111. Previously Naples Museum (Hamilton Collection), now lost. See Kossatz Deissmann 1978, K 10, fig. 2; LIMC VII, s.v. Thaleia II 4*; LIMC IV, s.v. Hebe I 40; Todisco 2003, P 23. Kossatz Deissmann 1978, 38. On a discussion of the Aetnaeae and further bibliography see first chapter in this book, pp. 28 31. P.Oxy. 2257 fr.1. Trieste, Museo Civico S. 437, Pl. 12 in this book. See Kossatz Deissmann 1978, K 9, pl. 4,3; LIMC VII, s.v. Thaleia II 1*; LIMC IV, s.v. Hebe I 38; Todisco 2003, Ap 11. The ballgame incorporates sexual puns in Anacreon (PMG fr. 358).
4.5 Inbound traveling: images imported to the East and repurposed
ball game played by Europa and her female friends.⁶⁷² Perhaps our vase shares the same context and perhaps the painter had also depicted girls around Thalia. The fourth vase in this group that is associated with the Aetnaeae is an Apulian amphora of ca. 330 by the Darius Painter.⁶⁷³ The vase depicts a large bird over Thalia’s head, holding her by its claws and dragging her. Thalia is surrounded by spiral floral decorations and no one else is pictured.⁶⁷⁴ The vase depicts two other tragic scenes, the abduction of Chrysippus by Laius (the subject of Euripides’ Chrysippus), as well as the death of Aktaion (the subject of Aeschylus’ Toxotides).⁶⁷⁵ This fourth vase of the Aetnaeae group is painted by one of the most prolific artists of fourth-century Western Greece.⁶⁷⁶ Known as the Darius Painter, he was a well-established,⁶⁷⁷ skillful and sophisticated artist with a particular interest in depicting tragedies, many of which we do not otherwise have evidence for (in other vases or even other media). The Darius Painter’s knowledge of Greek tragedy is exceptional and impressively demonstrated in many sophisticated paintings.⁶⁷⁸ Had the Darius Painter seen a reperformance of Aetnaeae in Magna Graecia? Had he known the plots via literary sources? Was his vase a copy of a copy, namely a second-hand reception of a (re)performance? The length of time elapsed between the premiere of Aetnaeae in Sicily and this group of vases as visual testimonies of its reperformance suggests a series of performative scenarios. As previously discussed, visual connections do not have to provide accurate correspondence between play and vase. Connections are based on the knowledge of the play and its staging, on the visual memory of its performance or on artifacts reflecting that performance. The vases discussed include visual allusions to the production of the Aetnaeae, which were produced any time from 70 to 160 years after the first production, if we calculate the time between ca. 470 for the performance of the Aetnaeae and ca. 400 – 310 for the production of the
Naples Museum H 3218; Bühler 1968, 81 Abb. 5. Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin F 3239 (lost during WWII), Pl. 13 in this book. See Kossatz Deissmann 1978, K 7, fig.1 (p. 34); LIMC IV, s.v. Hebe I 39; LIMC VII, s.v. Thaleia II 3; Todisco 2003, Ap 183. As Kossatz Deissmann 1978, 36 maintains, Thalia is here depicted in a typical ‘Jenseitssym bolik’ tied to western Greek funerary contexts. Kossatz Deissmann 1978, 37. The Aktaion scene in particular has clearer tragic connections through the depiction of a supplication scene and an Erinys figure. See Vahtikari 2014, 81. On the Darius Painter see Aellen/Cambitoglou/Chamay 1986. The Darius Painter appears to have been a master painter in a very active workshop (Taplin 2007, 18). See Carpenter 2014, 25 8.
4 Reperformances and Vase-painting
vases. Poli-Palladini talks about the unfailing popularity of Aeschylus in Sicily that kept his plays ‘alive’ for long after he died: The most economical stand is to connect those vase paintings with Aeschylus’ play, if one accepts their ‘theatricality’. There is a possibility that even after the fall of the Dinomenidae Aeschylus’ drama continued to enjoy popularity. If the play was set in the remote past … and conveyed celebration of Hiero’s policy through aetiology, the propagandistic element could be tolerated more easily than if the play crudely brought on stage the object of its praise … If that was the case, the play could not fail to retain its popularity even after the political contingency in which it had been commissioned, not only in Syracuse, but throughout Sicily and Magna Graecia.⁶⁷⁹
Endorsing the connections of the vases to the play, Poli-Palladini plausibly suggests that the play could have had a ‘flexible’ impact, even to audiences postdating the Deinomenids. The fact however that we have a halt in artistic interest in the Aetnaeae for a prolonged period, after which there was a renewal in interest, evident from a group of vases produced around the same time, might allow another hypothetical scenario. As discussed in the first chapter,⁶⁸⁰ there might have been two versions of the Aetnaeae; these different versions could have been related to reperformances. The medieval catalogue of Aeschylean dramas mentions two plays, one called Αἰτναῖαι γνήσιοι (‘genuine’) and the other one called Αἰτναῖαι νόθοι (‘spurious’).⁶⁸¹ A reperformance of the play in Athens after its original production in Sicily is certainly a hypothesis we should consider,⁶⁸² with parts revised by the actors and directors organizing the reperformance, or by Aeschylus’ heirs. Martin West has developed an attractive hypothesis regarding how Aeschylus’ son Euphorion for example could be the ghost writer behind some of his father’s recorded victories.⁶⁸³ In 431, Euphorion won the first prize at the City Dionysia, defeating Sophocles (who came second) and Euripides (who came third with Medea, Philoctetes, Dictys and the satyr play Harvesters).⁶⁸⁴ Prometheus Bound might have been part of Euphorion’s successful tetralogy.⁶⁸⁵ According to West, although Euphorion was supposed to have been competing with his father’s plays, it is possible that he was in fact competing with his own composi-
Poli Palladini 2001, 310. See pp. 30 1 in this book. TrGF III Test. Go 78 and chapter 1 in this book, p. 30. Sommerstein 2010a, 6. West 2000, 339. TrGF I Did. C 12 p. 46. West 2000, 339 and Sommerstein 2010a, 13; 2013.
4.5 Inbound traveling: images imported to the East and repurposed
tions: ‘he produced these plays under his father’s name, perhaps to create a favourable prejudice among the judges’.⁶⁸⁶ In a recent blog post, Alan Sommerstein is intrigued by these suggestions but not fully convinced. Nevertheless, he agrees that this could have been Euphorion’s method to please the crowds, concluding that ‘the debate over the authenticity of the Prometheus plays shows no sign of ending. But it is at any rate evident that many Athenians in the decades following Aeschylus’ death badly wanted to believe that there was still more great drama hidden in his “desk drawer” waiting to be discovered and put on stage … Euphorion was giving his public what they craved, and it paid off handsomely’.⁶⁸⁷ West’s theory on the authorship of Prometheus Bound and Sommerstein’s remarks on Euphorion’s recorded victories strengthen the case for competitive restagings of Aeschylean tragedies in the context of Athens’ most important festivals. Euphorion’s victory shows us that Athenians wanted their old-time favorite tragedian to be part of the theatrical contest, either with supposedly newly-discovered Aeschylean plays (even if Euphorion was really their author) or with reperformances of old productions, whether or not they were revised. If this is indicative of the performative context during the fifth century, this culture could well have persisted in the fourth. Since reperformances were even more thriving during the fourth century, we have no reason to exclude the possibility of reperformance(s) of the Aetnaeae in Athens after its Sicilian premiere. The practice of reperformances in Athens during the fourth century could not only explain the existence of twin versions of the Aetnaeae, but also the lack of evidence for early visual representation. The fourth-century revival of ‘visual’ interest in the Aetnaeae could be connected to its fourth-century performative popularity in Magna Graecia, but perhaps also in Athens. Although we cannot prove that specific Athenian reperformances ignited the interest of Italian vase-painters in the play, our knowledge regarding the two versions of the play and fourth-century artists’ renewed interest in the myth suggests this as a plausible hypothesis. If indeed the Aetnaeae was reperformed in Athens, the visual experience of its performance would have somehow been transported back to the West, by actors, audience, or even the painters themselves. Could the context of cultural mobility justify the travels of prestigious painters to the East? Could we dare to think that the famous Darius Painter demonstrated meticulous knowledge of Athenian tragedy because he himself had experienced it first-hand in Athens? We obviously cannot be sure. We do know
West 2000, 339. Sommerstein 2013.
4 Reperformances and Vase-painting
however that the Tarpoley Painter, who was possibly connected with the painting of Thalia in the Apulian hydria of the Gravina Painter,⁶⁸⁸ ‘may have been one of the last Apulian painters to begin his career in Athens. His work and that of his immediate followers illustrates which elements of the Attic tradition were brought over to Italy, which were maintained, and which were not’.⁶⁸⁹ It is by no means inconceivable to assume that the ‘elements of the Attic tradition’, in the words of Biles and Thorn, could have also included visual snapshots from tragic (re)performances.
4.6 The visual memory of viewers and vase-painters In 1995 Giuliani studied a group of red-figure Apulian vases from the late fourth century acquired by the Berlin Museum.⁶⁹⁰ The vases are believed to have been purchased by the local aristocracy of ancient Canosa, a city located near the border with Apulian Peucetia.⁶⁹¹ Apulian vases of that period display elaborate mythological scenes with complex connections to specific literary texts.⁶⁹² Giuliani addressed the problem of how the complex messages of those figurative decorations were communicated to their public and to what extent those cross-cultural references were understood by those who bought the vases.⁶⁹³ Giuliani proposed that those luxurious vases were disposed of during funeral ceremonies and that their meaning was explained in funeral orations that discussed the various layers of symbolisms, which consoled the deceased’s family and friends.⁶⁹⁴ Giuliani maintains that these explanatory orations could have easily been performed by traveling performers and acting professionals such as the Dionysian technitai. ⁶⁹⁵ Todisco has supplemented this with another means of transmission of Greek myth to non-Greek natives of South Italy: the vase-painters themselves.⁶⁹⁶ We know that well-established vase-painters were active in colonies of both
Trieste, Museo Civico S. 437, Pl. 12 in this book and above, pp. 152 3 with n. 670. Biles/Thorn 2014, 311. Giuliani 1995. On Canosa, see Cassano 1992. On Peucetia, see Todisco 2010b. Todisco 2012, 251, with earlier bibliography. Giuliani 1995, 152 8; 1999. Giuliani 1995, 155 8; 1999, 44 5, 51. Giuliani 1995, 158. Todisco 2012.
4.6 The visual memory of viewers and vase-painters
Magna Graecia and indigenous centers,⁶⁹⁷ with examples including the Patera Painter in Ruvo di Puglia,⁶⁹⁸ and the Lampas, Darius, Baltimore or the White Saccos Painters in Canosa.⁶⁹⁹ Those painters produced highly sophisticated products⁷⁰⁰ and either themselves or their collaborators were to an extent bilingual, and hence more capable of selling their luxury products.⁷⁰¹ This would mean that it was the painters themselves who were primarily responsible for at least a basic understanding of their works among their customers. In the words of Todisco, ‘evidence available today suggests that it was first of all the painters of the mythological, and possibly theatrical, scenes themselves who explained, either directly to their purchasers or to those who conveyed the vases to the purchasers, in a simple, synthetic manner, or in certain cases in greater detail, the narrative content, religious message, and celebratory, consolatory symbolism of the vase images’.⁷⁰² If the painters were supposed to transfer the visual ‘gist’, the vase’s essence, from vase or performance to viewer, who was then to be credited with the cultural competence and visual repertoire of the painters? I would suggest two possible answers: the painters’ travels to mainland Greece, and the itinerant actors’ travels to Magna Graecia. It has been maintained that the pioneers of Apulian and Lucanian schools of vase-painting either came from Athens or were trained there. As Trendall says, ‘such vases are so closely modeled upon Attic prototypes that it seems likely that the artists responsible for them had either been trained in Athens or were immigrants from that city, seeking other outlets for their skills’.⁷⁰³ Vase-painters were traveling to Athens where they were trained in Greek workshops and saw Greek performances. Cultural mobility and an abundance of performances in Greece and Italy would have been responsible for the building of a thesaurus of visual experiences for vase-painters and vaseviewers alike. Taplin points out that the wealthy families of, say, Ruvo and Canosa could understand Greek and would have known the tragedies from performances that they saw themselves. Those performances were either held in the Greek cit-
See Todisco 2012, 270 and n. 174 with bibliography on workshops of red figure Apulian pot tery outside the colonies of Magna Graecia. See Trendall 1989, 94. See Trendall 1989, 94, 97; Todisco 2008, 11, 15 6, with additional bibliography. On the high degree of sophistication of the painters, see Giuliani 1995, 15 20; Schmidt 2005, 201 6. Todisco 2012, 270. Todisco 2012, 270 1. Trendall 1989, 17.
4 Reperformances and Vase-painting
ies that the Italian aristocrats visited, or in their own communities, performed by traveling actors. Taplin believes that non-Greek aristocrats could find Greek traveling actors and organize performances in various non-competitive contexts: ‘Rather than setting up a Greek-style competitive occasion, it is possible that they used to commission single performances of a favoured play, particularly, perhaps, for specific prestigious funerals’.⁷⁰⁴ Vahtikari notes that the stories illustrated on vases reveal direct knowledge of performances either in nonGreek towns or in the Greek cities. ‘Even if the residents of Canosa and Ruvo never actually saw any theatre performances, quite a lot of the vases found at these sites can still be used as evidence for dramatic performances in Magna Graecia, since the vases were painted by artists who had worked at Tarentum and Metapontum, where tragedies definitely were staged’.⁷⁰⁵ In the second half of the fifth century and the fourth century, the native inhabitants of South Italy were interested in purchasing locally-produced vases showing theater-related scenes. According to Robinson, sophisticated theatrical and mythical illustrations would have potentially been addressed to an Italian elite. The Italian aristocracy was likely to have had some knowledge of Greek, especially since they would have seen Greek theater in performance, either in Athens or in South Italian and Sicilian colonies.⁷⁰⁶ Cultural mobility is the key phrase in all these approaches, designating contemporaneous, parallel movements of painters and actors, as well as audiences, not just to and from central Greece, but also within Magna Graecia. The mobility of artists, performers and spectators facilitated the visual literacy of painters and those who purchased the vases, attributing popularity to sophisticated artifacts, as well as visual sophistication to fifth- and fourth-century vase-viewers.
Taplin 2012, 250. Vahtikari 2014, 206. Robinson 2014, 332.
Conclusions This book offers a thorough presentation of the reperformance of Greek drama in the fifth and fourth centuries BC in the context of cultural mobility and theatrical traveling. Tragic reperformances and cultural mobility are examined as two basic and interacting developments in theatrical history that act in parallel and in a reciprocal relationship with other fifth- and fourth-century developments such as the spread of drama beyond the Athenian borders, the social and political rise of professional actors, and the cultural export of images of performances as tragic snapshots depicted on the vases of Magna Graecia. Ancient reperformances of classical drama have been traditionally dated to the fourth century and treated as a side effect of contemporary theatrical developments. Recently acknowledged as a vital characteristic of both fifth- and fourth-century theater however, in this book I discussed reperformances of drama as a fundamental element of classical theatrical practice in a context where cultural mobility and exchange played a fundamental role. Poets and actors were engaged in planned professional traveling beyond the borders of Athens and Attica, boosting drama’s growth, but also simultaneously profiting from its increasing popularity. Throughout this book, I have addressed tragic reperformances and cultural mobility as crucial factors of theater history. In the first chapter, I presented the organized, goal-oriented traveling of poets to specific theaters and festivals in mainland Greece or Magna Graecia with the purpose of organizing and supervising reperformances of their own work. Aeschylus was among the first tragic poets to have engaged in professional cultural traveling, responding to an invitation by Hieron in the mid-470s. He traveled to Sicily at the beginning of his career to direct the Aetnaeae and possibly also a reperformance of the Persians. Sophocles’ professional activity was certainly more Athenocentric, but he was also accredited with a victory in Eleusis, where he traveled specially to direct the performance. Euripides on the other hand has a rich record of professional traveling. He possibly visited Sicily in a professional capacity, and certainly organized performances in a variety of Attic demes as well as in Macedon. Reperformances and organized cultural mobility of poets and performers constituted a significant part of fifth-century theater. Just as non-Athenian poets built their careers in Athens, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides organized reperformances in the rest of Attica and Greece, boosting their own reputation, as well as tragedy’s cultural impact. In the second chapter, reperformances and cultural mobility were examined with reference to the political contexts in which they developed. Testimonia rehttps://doi.org/10.1515/9783110561166 006
ferring to reperformances of Aeschylean tragedy in Athens after Aeschylus’ death, as well as the palaion drama addition in the fourth-century Dionysia, could have been similarly influenced by on-going political developments. Tragic reperformances, a vital practice of fifth-century theater, seem to have acquired a more formal character after Aeschylus’ death, another clear example of the worlds of politics and culture merging. Cimon was a clear supporter of Sophocles, trying to even interfere in the Dionysia, while Pericles became involved in theatrical events in various ways: he was the choregos of the Persians in 472, he built the Odeion, and he also launched the mousikoi agones at the Panathenaia. Posthumously reviving performances of a glorified tragedian could well have been part of Pericles’ political agenda as a subtle way of rekindling associations between himself and the anti-Persian Greek grandeur. Tragic reperformances would have been established in the fifth century as auxiliary to political promotion, but also reflecting the audience’s genuine interest. In the fourth century, the addition of the ‘old’ play into the Dionysia would have analogously reenacted past performances with their contemporary cultural, historical, and political majesty. By bringing back a fifth-century theatrical momentum, the palaion drama event would have inspired associations among the audience with the noble fifth-century contexts of a play’s first performance. Beyond the Attic borders, in Magna Graecia and Macedon, reperformances of tragedy, cultural politics, and theatrical mobility also become closely associated. In Sicily, Dionysius I, an aspiring dramatist, openly used tragic theater for his own self-promotion, while Archelaus, Philip II and Alexander also took advantage of the political power possible in culture, hosting traveling poets, actors and politically-charged performances. Political ends were served in these contexts not only for the host, but also for the theatrical visitors, as we are reminded by the case of Satyrus, a fourth-century comic poet and performer who participated in Philip’s festivals in order to ask him for a political favor. A performance was held even on the day Philip was assassinated, and Neoptolemus had been then asked to reperform popular (and politically sonorous) parts from tragedies with anti-Persian topics. Alexander continued to host festivals both at Dion and at the bases he held when campaigning. Athenaeus tells us about a reperformance of the satyr play Agen by the banks of the river Hydaspes that reflected the play’s political premiere in Athens, as well as Alexander’s political conception of theater. The third chapter of this book surveyed the practice of tragic reperformances in connection to the professional mobility exhibited by actors in the fifth and fourth centuries, around Attica and across the Greek world. Actors organized their travels for professional purposes to particular theaters and festivals and worked with local choruses in order to quickly organize a reperformance. By
means of an ever-growing reperformative network, both the tragic genre and actors enjoyed increasing popularity. From the second half of the fifth century, actors were able to become exceptionally successful and enjoy a prosperous lifestyle. The profession of acting provided the means of financial and social ascent, prompted by the increasing frequency of dramatic reperformances. Touring groups of actors would organize performances with local choruses, responding to invitations by demes, archons, or theatrical producers. Although non-Athenians were not allowed to participate in the Dionysia, Athenian actors could perform in non-Athenian festivals, working alone or collaborating with local choruses. By the fourth century, Greek theater had fostered the development of a ‘star-system’ of performers, with actors like Theodorus or Neoptolemus becoming exceptionally wealthy. The increasing theatrical impact of actors was also evident in vase-painting, with special inscriptions of the actors’ names above their depiction in tragic scenes. The Pronomos vase might well fall under this category, although other possible usages, in non-theatrical contexts, have also been proposed. It is a fact however that the Pronomos vase illustrates a set of tragic performers, with personal names inscribed above the playwright, the choregos, and some of the performers. At the turn of the fifth century, vase production reflected the ongoing theatrical, social, and financial empowerment of the actors, which was also crucial in reference to dramatic textual tradition. When an author’s master copy would leave his possession and start to be reproduced for posthumous reperformances, then the text itself was the only mechanism for ensuring authenticity. As implied by Lycurgus’ desire for the creation and preservation of official tragic texts, the actors’ performative authority could well have threatened the texts’ integrity. A survey of ancient evidence however indicates that the histrionic danger is not as threatening as the one deriving from the very procedure of copying the texts. The book’s final chapter explored the dynamics between tragic reperformance and vase-painting in the context of cultural mobility and visual exchange. The fifth- and fourth-century painters’ interest in tragedy-related scenes was examined in the context of tragic reperformances, traveling actors, mobile vasepainters and vase commerce. Cultural mobility promoted the exchange of visual images and created a panhellenic impact. In a reciprocal relationship, a tragic reperformance could inspire a painter, just as the tragic theme of a circulating painting could inspire a producer to organize a reperformance. The relationship between text and image in tragedy-related paintings has been analyzed under two basic approaches. The ‘philodramatists’ approach the tragedy-related vases as reflecting more the Greek drama and less the Greek myth, while the ‘iconocentrists’ approach the tragedy-related vases as autonomous artifacts reflecting the myth and not the performances. More moderate approaches rephrase
the debate by making the viewers, not the painters, the main focalizer of the myth, text, performance, and image. There is no doubt that the audience’s theatrical literacy enhanced the vase-paintings’ reception and in this sense reperformances were working as repetitions of visual experiences, which were then recalled through the vase-paintings. A vase-painting could evoke memories that were initially collected by the same or by different genres, namely by other vase-paintings or by tragic performances. Such a visual connection was established in the same or in different media, namely between paintings, or between paintings and performances. A painting was connected to a reperformance by alluding to images that were created through that particular theatrical experience. In this sense, vases and performances belonged to a common visual culture in which images could circulate from one medium to another. Reperformances and cultural mobility worked as the stimuli of an extended visual exchange, enhancing the vase-painters’ personal repertoire, but also the viewers’ theatrical expertise. The more drama was growing, the more images were circulating in Greece and Magna Graecia; the more images were circulating, the more popular tragedy became and the more reperformances were sought after. Visual exchange worked in both directions, with images and visual experiences traveling to and from Athens. As discussed in the final part of the book, cultural mobility might have facilitated Aeschylus’ performance of the Aetnaeae in Sicily, but would have also secured the play’s reperformance in Athens. In a complex line of tradition that wonderfully reflects the dynamics of reperformances and visual exchange, Sicilian painters might have been inspired by the Aetnaeae not directly after its performance in Sicily, but much later, after its alleged reperformance in Athens.
Abbreviations and Conventions Abbreviations Journals and basic reference works are abbreviated according to the DAI List of Abbreviated Journals, Series, Lexica and Frequently Cited Works available online at http://www.dainst.org/en/ publication-guidelines?ft=all. I list here abbreviations most frequently used in the book. BAD D-K FGrH IG LIMC LSJ MMC OGIS PCG PMG PMGF POxy SIG TrGF
Beazley Archive Database Diels, H. / Kranz, W., Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, vols. I-III, th ed., Berlin – Jacoby, F., Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, Berlin – Inscriptiones Graecae Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae – , Zürich-München – Liddell, H. G. / Scott, R. / Jones, H. S., A Greek English Lexicon, Oxford Webster, T. B. L., Monuments Illustrating Tragedy and Satyr Play, London Orientis Graecae Inscriptiones Selectae Kassel, R. / Austin, C., Poetae Comici Graeci – , Berlin / New York – Page, D. L., Poetae Melici Graeci, Oxford Davies, M., Poetarum Melicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, Oxford Grenfell, B. P., / Hunt, A. L. et al., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vols. to date, London Dittenberger, W., Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum, Leipzig – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta – , Göttingen –
Abbreviations for ancient Greek authors are listed as in Oxford Classical Dictionary 4 (Oxford 2012). Names My practice is to Latinize any name that is common enough to have its own heading in the Oxford Classical Dictionary4 (Oxford 2012), but use a Hellenizing spelling for most of the names that are not used as OCD headings. Dates All dates are BC (bibliographic references excluded) unless otherwise stated.
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List of Plates/Image Credits⁷⁰⁸ 1. Soprintendenza alle Antichità, Agrigento AG 7 2. Naples, Muzeo Nazionale Archeologico 81673 3. Princeton University Art Museum, Inv. 88 – 13 4. British Museum 1947, 0714.18 5. Policoro, Museo Nazionale della Siritide 35302 6. Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 1969.6 7. Policoro, Museo Nazionale della Siritide 35296 8. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1991 9. British Museum 1873, 0820.37 10. Archaeological Museum of Thebes R 31.166 (ΜΘ 46169) 11. Harvard Art Museums / Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1952.33 12. Trieste, Museo Civico S. 437 13. Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin F 3239
I wish to express my gratitude to the following museums, which have kindly waived the fees for permission to reproduce objects from their collections: Cleveland Museum of Art, Berlin Staatliche Museen, Archaeological Museum of Thebes, and Harvard Art Museums / Arthur M. Sackler Museum. I would also like to thank Aristi Tegou, who made the drawings for Pls. 2, 5, 7, 12, and 13. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110561166 009
Plate 1: Soprintendenza alle Antichità, Agrigento AG 7 Attic white calyx crater, Euaion as Perseus, 440 – 430 BC, AM Agrigento, 120962.jpg, from Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Attic white calyx crater, Euaion as Perseus, 440-430 BC, AM Agrigento, 120962.jpg#file
Plate 2: Naples, Muzeo Nazionale Archeologico 81673 Drawing by Aristi Tegou [[email protected], aristi art (Art Station/Instagram)]
Plate 3: Princeton University Art Museum, Inv. 88-13 © Photo SCALA, Florence Darius Painter (4th cent. BCE), attr.: Red-figure volute krater: Medea at Eleusis, ca. 340-330 B.C. South Italian, Apulian. Princeton (NJ), Princeton University Art Museum. Ceramic, h. 100.1 cm., diam. 37 cm. (39 7/16 x 14 9/16 ″). Museum purchase, Carl Otto von Kienbusch Jr., Memorial Collection Fund in honor of Francis Follin Jones, y1983-13. Photo: Bruce M. White.© 2017. Princeton University Art Museum/Art Resource NY/Scala, Florence
Plate 4: British Museum 1947, 0714.18 © The Trustees of the British Museum Lucanian Red-figured calyx-krater showing Odysseus and his companions preparing to blind the Cyclops., c. 420-410 BC.
Plate 5: Policoro, Museo Nazionale della Siritide 35302 Drawing by Aristi Tegou [[email protected], aristi art (Art Station/Instagram)]
Plate 6: Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 1969.6 -Preussischer Kulturbesitz- Photo: Johannes Laurentius
Plate 7: Policoro, Museo Nazionale della Siritide 35296 Drawing by Aristi Tegou [[email protected], aristi art (Art Station/Instagram)]
Plate 8: © The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1991. Lucanian Calyx-Krater, c. 400 BC. Attributed to Policoro Painter (Italian). Red-figure earthenware with added white, red, yellow, and brown wash; diameter of mouth: w. 49.9 cm (19 5/8 in); overall: h. 50.5 cm (19 7/8 in); diameter of foot: w. 22 cm (8 5/8 in). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1991.1
Plate 9: British Museum 1873, 0820.37 © The Trustees of the British Museum Attic Red-figured skyphos: Triptolemos takes the gift of corn to mankind. Made by Hieron (potter), attributed to Makron (painter), c. 500-480 BC
Plate 10: Archaeological Museum of Thebes R 31.166 (ΜΘ 46169)
Plate 11: Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Alpheus Hyatt Purchasing Fund, 1952.33, Imaging Department © President and Fellows of Harvard College Fragment of a Bell Krater: Thalia Carried off by Zeus in the Guise of an Eagle, c. 400 BCE, Redfigure, Terracotta; 12.5 cm h x 10.2 cm w (4 15/16 x 4 in.)
Plate 12: Trieste, Museo Civico S. 437 Drawing by Aristi Tegou [[email protected], aristi art (Art Station/Instagram)]
Plate 13: Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin F 3239 Drawing by Aristi Tegou [[email protected], aristi art (Art Station/Instagram)]
General Index Achaeus 8, 19–20 Acting profession 4, 11–13, 95, 105–12, 121 Actors 1, 3, 6, 8, 11–16, 19, 21–3, 31, 34, 38, 45, 51–3, 55, 57–60, 78–90, 95–115, 117–19, 121–9, 137, 150–1, 154–5, 157– 61 Aegae 47–8, 87, 90 Aeschylus 5, 7–10, 12–13, 15, 18–19, 23– 34, 39, 49, 59, 62–4, 68, 72, 74–7, 79– 80, 90, 92–3, 98, 101, 105, 112–13, 117–20, 122–3, 141, 151–5, 159–60, 162 – Aetnaeae 5, 8, 15–16, 23–4, 26, 28–31, 92, 105, 151–155, 159, 162 – Danaides 15, 141 – Europa 15, 141, 152–3 – Persians 5, 8, 10–11, 23, 29–34, 70, 72– 4, 76, 80, 88, 105, 159–60 – Prometheus Bound 154–5 – Toxotides 112, 153 – Vita 8, 10, 24, 27–8, 30–1, 33, 38, 62– 4, 67–8, 76, 105, 118 Aetna 15, 24, 27–30, 92, 105, 151–2 Agathon 57, 112 Agen (of anonymous author) 11, 91–2, 160 Aktaion 112, 153 Alcimachus 113 Alexander 11, 82–3, 87, 89–92, 160 Anagyrous 9, 44–5 [Andocides] 12, 22, 72–3 Archelaus 11, 23, 26, 45–8, 52, 77, 82, 89–90, 160 Aristias 8, 19–20, 119 Aristodemus of Metapontum 21, 86 Aristophanes 3, 5, 10, 12, 20, 33–6, 40, 42, 46, 49, 63–6, 74, 80, 98, 101, 112, 120, 124, 136 – Acharnians 10, 61, 63–4 – Frogs 10, 32–4, 46, 49, 63–4, 74, 80, 98, 120, 124 Aristotle 3, 12, 19, 39, 46, 57, 90, 104, 106–8 Artists of Dionysus (see Technitai of Dionysus) Athenaeus 11, 84, 91–3, 118, 160 https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110561166 011
Athens 2, 4–6, 8–9, 11–13, 15–21, 23–8, 30–1, 34, 36–7, 40, 42, 47–8, 50–7, 59, 62, 68–70, 72, 77–8, 80, 85–8, 90–2, 95, 99–102, 104–6, 110–11, 115, 120–4, 130, 137, 141–3, 150–1, 154–60, 162 Callippides 13, 109–10 Canosa 156–158 Choregiae 59, 69–71, 76 Choregos 13, 21–2, 27, 35–7, 44–5, 55, 69, 70–1, 73–4, 78, 100–1, 111–12, 114, 160–1 Cimon 10, 21, 25–6, 72–4, 160 Cultural mobility 1, 6, 8–20, 23, 34–5, 38, 42, 45–6, 50, 52, 56–7, 86, 95, 105, 109, 130, 137, 141, 150–1, 155, 157–62 Cultural politics 8, 11, 28, 68–9, 72, 82, 93, 160 Cyrene 7, 53 Demes, Attic 4–5, 9, 18, 37, 41–2, 45, 77, 95, 100, 102, 106, 136, 159, 161 Democrates 54–5 Demosthenes 2–3, 11–12, 22, 38, 43, 71, 82, 84–6, 91, 101, 108–9 Diaskeuē 13 Didascaliae 36, 54, 60, 66–7, 70, 85 Didascalos 54, 105 Dion 11, 47, 89–90, 160 Dionysia 1–2, 5, 9–10, 12, 19, 22, 36–7, 41–3, 45, 51, 53, 56, 59–60, 67, 72, 76, 78–81, 85, 90–1, 101, 106–7, 119–21, 154, 156, 160–1 Dionysius I 11, 92–4, 100, 160 – Ransom of Hector 11, 92, 100 Eleusis 9, 35–6, 101, 133–4, 148–9, 159, 183 Embolima 9, 56–8 Epinikia 112 Eratosthenes 31–2, 34 Eriphyle (of anonymous author) 15, 141 Euaion 7, 101–2, 112–13, 181 Euegoros 43 Euphorion 24, 26, 101–2, 154–5 Euripides 2, 5, 9, 13, 15, 17–18, 23, 25–6, 31, 38–42, 44–9, 51–7, 61, 64, 71, 77,
80, 82, 84, 89–90, 92–4, 105, 119–20, 122–3, 125, 128, 134–8, 141–4, 146–8, 150–1, 153–4, 159 – Alcestis 53, 124 – Andromache 54–6 – Antiope 15, 141, 150 – Archelaus 5, 9, 31, 33, 47, 49–53, 55, 77, 120 – Bacchae 5, 9, 46, 52, 70, 119 – Chrysippus 153 – Cresphontes 38, 126 – Cyclops 15, 137–41 – Dictys 154 – Erechtheus 15, 141 – Harvesters 154 – Heracleidae 15, 141–4, 150–1 – Ino 125 – Medea 5, 15, 126, 141, 144–8, 150–1, 154 – Oenomaus 15, 141 – Orestes 47–8, 51, 61, 81, 89, 125 – Philoctetes 154 – Vita 45–6, 92, 100 Fasti 10, 56, 60–1, 66, 78 Halai Aixonides 37–8 Hieron 8–9, 23–4, 26–32, 34, 92, 105, 159 Iconocentrists 14, 130–1, 161 Intellectual mobility (see Cultural mobility) Interpolations 12, 96, 99, 101, 117, 123, 125, 128–9 Ion of Chios 8, 18–20 Kollytos 38 Lenaea 11, 84, 92, 100, 106, 112 Leontinoi 29, 152 Liturgies 72 Lycurgus 12–13, 96, 122–4, 161 Macedon 5, 9, 11, 17–18, 21, 23, 25–6, 45–7, 50, 53, 59, 77, 82, 84–7, 90, 95, 120, 159–60 Macron 149 Magna Graecia 6, 11, 14–16, 18, 31, 130, 150–1, 153–5, 157–60, 162 Master copy 13, 98, 115, 119–25, 161 Medea 70–1, 126–7, 133–4, 144–9, 183 Mousikoi agones 10, 72, 160 Neoptolemus 11, 13, 55–6, 61, 81, 85–6, 88–9, 106, 122, 125, 160–1 Nicias 69–70, 102
Nicostratus 13, 61, 109–10 Odeion 10, 72, 160 Palicoi 29, 152 Panathenaia 10, 72, 160 Peiraeus 9, 40–3, 105 Pella 6, 23, 47 Pericles 10, 39, 69, 72–6, 79, 160 Peucetia 156 Philip II 11, 82–9, 160 Philodramatists 14, 130–1, 161 Philostratus 10, 61, 63 Phrynichus 28, 34 – Sack of Miletus 34 Pindar 12, 29, 96–8 Plutarch 12, 21–2, 25–7, 34, 40, 69–72, 84–5, 90, 109 Poetic mobility (see Cultural mobility) Policoro 15, 141–2, 144, 147–8, 150–1, 178, 185, 187–8 Politics 6, 10–11, 34, 68–9, 72–4, 79, 82, 92–3, 160 Pratinas 8, 18–20, 119 – Perseus 119 – Tantalus 119 Probouleusis 73, 76 Pronomos vase 13, 114–15, 161 Satyrus 11, 82–5, 160 Script 12–13, 30, 96, 115–16, 121, 124–5 Sicily 4–9, 11, 15–19, 23–31, 33–4, 39–40, 59, 92, 95, 100, 102, 120, 142, 152–4, 159–60, 162 Sophocles 2, 5, 7, 9–10, 13, 15, 18, 24–7, 35–9, 42, 57, 69, 71, 73–4, 80, 84, 90– 1, 93, 107, 111–13, 118–23, 125, 140–1, 148, 154, 159–60 – Antigone 38, 70–1, 125 – Nausicaa 118 – Oedipus at Colonus 36, 70–1, 73, 119 – Oenomaus 15, 38, 141 – Pandora 113 – Philoctetes 35, 73 – Plyntriae 118 – Telepheia 37 – Thamyras 112–13, 118 – Triptolemus 26, 35, 73, 148–9 – Vita 107, 111
South Italy 4, 8–9, 15, 18, 27–8, 150, 156– 8 Syracuse 8, 11, 15, 19, 26, 28–32, 39, 92, 97, 100, 105, 149, 151, 154 Technitai of Dionysus 7, 99, 104, 156 Textual alteration 12, 96, 101, 116–17, 119– 21, 125, 129, 135 Textual transmission 6, 31, 49, 107, 115– 16, 121, 123–5, 156 Thalia 29, 152–3, 156, 191 Thamyras 7, 112–13
Theatrical literacy 10, 14, 144, 162 Theatrical mobility (see Cultural mobility) Theatrical travel (see Cultural mobility) Theodorus 13, 106–7, 161 Tlepolemus 107, 119 Vase–painters 6, 12, 14–16, 95, 102, 111– 14, 130–5, 137–8, 141–4, 147, 150–3, 155–8, 161–2 Vase–painting 5, 12–16, 95, 102, 110–11, 130–7, 141, 146–58, 161–2
Index of Passages Aelian VH 2.13
Aeschylus Pers. 895 74 TrGF I Did. C 4a 20 TrGF III Test. A 1.27 – 47 24 TrGF III Test. A 1.68 – 9 31 TrGF III Test. Gd 56a 32 TrGF III Test. Gd 56b 33 [Andocides] Alc. 20 – 1
Aristophanes IG I3 970 36 Nub. 518 – 27 65 Pax 834 – 7 20 Ran. 1206 – 8 49 1040 – 2 75 Schol. Ran. 1206 49 Aristotle Poet. 1451b32 – 9 108 1456a25 – 32 57 Pol. 1336b28 – 31 107 Rh. 1384b11 – 17 39 1403b30 – 5 106
16.92 – 3 87 17.16.3 90 Euripides Archelaus TrGF V1 1 fr. 228 48 TrGF V2 fr. 846 49 IG I3 969 44 TrGF V1 A 1.6 45 TrGF V1 Test. M 96.8 – 12 39 IG V2 118 = SIG 1080 51 Herodotus 6.131.2 75 IG IG IG IG IG IG IG
I3 969 (see Euripides) I3 970 (see Sophocles) II2 2318.VIII.201 – 3 60 II2 2320.1 – 33 60 II2 3091 (see Sophocles) V2 118 = SIG 1080 (see Euripides)
Isocrates 8.82 81 Palatine Anthology (AP) 7. 51 77
Athenaeus 595e – f 91
Pausanias 1.2.2 – 3
Demosthenes 5.6 86 18.180 38 18.261 – 2 108 18.317 – 19 3 19 Hyp. 2.2 86 19.192 – 5 83 21.10 43 21.56 101
Pindar fr. 124a – b 97 Isthm. 2.47 – 8 96 Pyth. 2.66 – 8 97
Diodorus of Sicily 15.74.1 – 2 100 https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110561166 012
Plato Lach. 183a – b 102 Leg. 659b – c 27 817c – d 103 Rep. 568a – d 93 568c 47
Index of Passages
Plutarch Cim. 8.8 25 De exil. 604d – f 25 De glor. Ath. 348 f – 349b Dem. 7.1 – 2 84 Nic. 29.2 – 3 40 3.1 – 2 69 Phoc. 30 21 [Plutarch] X orat. 841 f.
IG II2 3091 37 Triptolemus TrGF IV fr. 596
122 – 3
Pratinas TrGF I 4 Test. 1 19 TrGF I Did. C 4a (see Aeschylus) Sophocles IG I3 970
35 – 6
70 Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta (TrGF) TrGF I 4 Test. 1 (see Pratinas) TrGF I Did. C 4a (see Aeschylus) TrGF III Test. A 1.27 – 47 (see Aeschylus) TrGF III Test. A 1.68 – 9 (see Aeschylus) TrGF III Test. Gd 56a (see Aeschylus) TrGF III Test. Gd 56b (see Aeschylus) TrGF IV fr. 596 (see Sophocles) TrGF V1 1 fr. 228 (see Euripides) TrGF V1 A 1.6 (see Euripides) TrGF V1 Test. M 96.8 – 12 (see Euripides) TrGF V2 fr. 846 (see Euripides)