The Growth and Influence of Classical Greek Poetry: Lectures Delivered in 1892 on the Percy Turnbull Memorial Foundation in the Johns Hopkins University

By R. C. Jebb | Go to book overview

VI
THE ATTIC DRAMA

WE have seen how the Dorian choral lyric, as handled by Stesichorus and his successors, had clothed the old epic legends in a new form; one which was peculiarly congenial to the widely spread Dorian family, but which was welcomed also by Hellenes to whom the spirit of Ionian epos had been either alien or unsatisfying. It was a particular species of the choral lyric which, in turn, became the parent of the Attic Drama. In drama the heroic myths were once more animated with a new life, -- different from that which had been given to them in Ionia, different also from the lyric, and yet preserving elements of both. When Aeschylus created Tragedy, he became, for the Athens and the Hellas of his day, truly a second Homer.

Origin of Attic Drama.

Drama sprang from the species of lyric poem called the dithyramb. The dithyramb is mentioned first by Archilochus, who describes it as the "beautiful song of Dionysus," and boasts that he knows how to raise that song when inspired by wine. It appears, then, that the dithyramb was originally a convivial song, definitely associated with the god Dionysus. It may also be inferred that it was originally sung by

The dithyramb.

-157-

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The Growth and Influence of Classical Greek Poetry: Lectures Delivered in 1892 on the Percy Turnbull Memorial Foundation in the Johns Hopkins University
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface. v
  • Contents vii
  • The Growth and Influence of Classical Greek Poetry 1
  • II - Greek Epic Poetry 32
  • III - Greek Epic Poetry (continued) 64
  • IV - Greek Lyric Poetry: the Course of Its De­ Velopment 94
  • V - Pindar 126
  • VI - The Attic Drama 157
  • VII - The Attic Drama (continued) 191
  • VIII - The Permanent Power of Greek Poetry 222
  • Index. 253
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