The Origins of Theater in Ancient Greece and Beyond: From Ritual to Drama

Overview

The Origins of Theater in Ancient Greece and Beyond examines the evidence for the pre-history and origin of drama. The belief that drama developed from religious ritual has been commonplace since the time of Aristotle but there is little agreement on just how this happened. Recently, scholars have even challenged the historical connection between drama and ritual. This volume is the most thorough examination on the origins of Greek drama to date. It brings together seventeen essays by leading scholars in a ...
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Overview

The Origins of Theater in Ancient Greece and Beyond examines the evidence for the pre-history and origin of drama. The belief that drama developed from religious ritual has been commonplace since the time of Aristotle but there is little agreement on just how this happened. Recently, scholars have even challenged the historical connection between drama and ritual. This volume is the most thorough examination on the origins of Greek drama to date. It brings together seventeen essays by leading scholars in a variety of fields, including classical archaeology, iconography, cultural history, theatre history, philosophy, and religion. Though it primarily focuses on ancient Greece, the volume includes comparative studies of ritual drama from ancient Egypt, Japan, and medieval Europe. Collectively, the essays show how the relationship of drama to ritual is one of the most controversial, complex, and multifaceted questions of modern times.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Jane Harrison and the Cambridge Ritualists, early in the twentieth century, fixed firmly in our minds the view that drama developed out of religious ritual. But how did this happen? And is the view unassailable? This important book, consisting of seventeen essays that grew out of a colloquium, is the most thorough and wide-ranging attempt for surprisingly many years to address these and related questions.' Robin Waterfield, Heythrop Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521748339
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2008
  • Pages: 462
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Csapo is Professor of Classics at the University of Sydney. He is an expert on the history of the ancient theatre and coauthor of The Context of Ancient Drama. His most recent book is Theories of Mythology.

Margaret C. Miller is Arthur and Renee George Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Sydney. She specializes in Greek iconography and cultural history. Her book, Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC: A Study in Cultural Receptivity, won the Prix Ghirshman of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 2001.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Contributors xiii

Abbreviations and Conventions xv

Editors' Preface xvii

1 General Introduction Eric Csapo Margaret C. Miller 1

Part I Komasts And Predramatic Ritual

2 Introduction Thomas H. Carpenter 41

3 The Corpus of Komast Vases: From Identity to Exegesis Tyler Jo Smith 48

4 Komasts, Mythic Imaginary, and Ritual Cornelia Isler-Kerenyi 77

5 Let's Hear it for the Fat Man: Padded Dancers and The Prehistory of Drama J. Richard Green 96

6 Discussion Thomas H. Carpenter 108

Part II Emergence of Drama

7 Introduction and Discussion Gregory Nagy 121

8 From Hymn to Tragedy: Aristotle's Genealogy of Poetic Kinds David Depew 126

9 Myths of Ritual in Athenian Vase-Paintings of Silens Guy Hedreen 150

10 From Ritual to Narrative Matthias Steinhart 196

11 "And Now All the World Shall Dance!" (Eur. Bacch. 114): Dionysus' Choroi Between Drama and Ritual Barbara Kowalzig 221

Part III Comparing Other Cultures

12 Introduction Kimberley C. Patton 255

13 Ritual Drama in Ancient Egypt Ronald J. Leprohon 259

14 Ritual and Performance, Dance and Drama in Ancient Japan Gunter Zobel 293

15 Representation in European Devotional Rituals: The Question of the Origin of Medieval Drama in Medieval Liturgy Nils Holger Petersen 329

16 Discussion Kimberley C. Patton 361

Part IV From Ritual to Drama

17 From Ritual to Drama: A Concluding Statement Richard Seaford 379

Bibliography 403

General Index 433

Index of Collections 438

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