The Attic Theatre: A Description of the Stage and Theatre of the Athenians : and of the Dramatic Performances at Athens

The Attic Theatre: A Description of the Stage and Theatre of the Athenians : and of the Dramatic Performances at Athens

Read FREE!

The Attic Theatre: A Description of the Stage and Theatre of the Athenians : and of the Dramatic Performances at Athens

The Attic Theatre: A Description of the Stage and Theatre of the Athenians : and of the Dramatic Performances at Athens

Read FREE!

Excerpt

My purpose in this book has been to collect and piece together all the available information concerning the outward features and surroundings of the old Athenian dramatic performances; in other words, to write a history of the Attic drama from the theatrical, as opposed to the literary, point of view. The subject is one which has been practically revolutionised during the last half century, partly through the labours of various scholars in interpreting the notices of the old grammarians, but more especially owing to the rich discoveries of inscriptions relating to theatrical affairs, and the information supplied by excavations in the old Greek theatres. But in spite of the copious accession of fresh materials, it is now more than fifty years since any work has appeared in English, in which this particular department of Greek dramatic history has been treated in a comprehensive manner. The neglect is all the more remarkable, as the subject is undeniably of great interest and importance, and this for two distinct reasons. In the first place it is difficult to understand and appreciate the peculiar qualities of the existing Greek plays, without acquiring some knowledge of the circumstances under which they were produced, and the limitations within which the ancient dramatic poets had to work. In the second place, as the Attic drama was essentially a public institution, and formed one of the most conspicuous elements in the national life, the various details connected with its management are incidentally most instructive, because of the curious light which they throw upon the habits, feelings, and tastes of the old Athenians. It is owing to these . . .

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