Slaves and Slavery in Ancient Greek Comic Drama

Overview

How did audiences of ancient Greek comedy react to the spectacle of masters and slaves? If they were expected to laugh at a slave threatened with a beating by his master at one moment but laugh with him when they bantered familiarly at the next, what does this tell us about ancient Greek slavery? This volume presents ten essays by leading specialists in ancient Greek literature, culture and history, exploring the changing roles and representations of slaves in comic drama from Aristophanes at the height of the ...
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Slaves and Slavery in Ancient Greek Comic Drama

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Overview

How did audiences of ancient Greek comedy react to the spectacle of masters and slaves? If they were expected to laugh at a slave threatened with a beating by his master at one moment but laugh with him when they bantered familiarly at the next, what does this tell us about ancient Greek slavery? This volume presents ten essays by leading specialists in ancient Greek literature, culture and history, exploring the changing roles and representations of slaves in comic drama from Aristophanes at the height of the Athenian Empire to the New Comedy of Menander and the Hellenistic World. The contributors focus variously on individual comic dramas or on particular historical periods, analysing a wide range of textual, material-culture and comparative data for the practices of slavery and their representation on the ancient Greek comic stage.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Compared to slaves in Roman comedy, slaves in Greek comedy have received relatively little attention. This edited volume, which grew out of a conference co-hosted by York University and the University of Toronto in 2008, successfully fills a gap in the scholarship and lays the groundwork for future studies. ...This truly engaging volume ought to be received with enthusiasm by scholars of both Greek comedy and ancient slavery." --BMCR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107008557
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Akrigg is Assistant Professor of Greek History at the University of Toronto. His principal research interest is the economic and social history of classical Greece.

Rob Tordoff is Assistant Professor of Humanities at York University, Toronto. His research focuses on Aristophanes, literary theory, social and cultural history and the modern reception of ancient Greek literature.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: slaves and slavery in ancient Greek comedy Rob Tordoff; 2. Slaves and politics in early Aristophanic comedy S. Douglas Olson; 3. Slavery, drama and the alchemy of identity in Aristophanes Susan Lape; 4. Slaves in the fragments of old comedy Donald Sells; 5. Aristophanes, slaves and history Ben Akrigg; 6. A comedy of errors: the comic slave in Greek art Kelly Wrenhaven; 7. Menander's slaves: the banality of violence David Konstan; 8. Coping with punishment: the social networking of slaves in Menander Cheryl Cox; 9. Sex slaves in new comedy C. W. Marshall; 10. 'Phlyax' slaves: from vase to stage? Kathryn Bosher; 11. Tokens of identity in Menander's Epitrepontes: slaves, citizens and in-betweens Christina Vester.
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