Dithyramb in Context

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-08-24
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The dithyramb, a choral song associated mostly with the god Dionysos, is the longest-surviving form of collective performance in Greek culture, lasting in its shifting shapes from the seventh century BC into late antiquity. Yet it has always stood in the shadow of its more glamorous relations - tragedy, comedy, and the satyr-play. This volume, with contributions from international experts in the field, is the first to look at dithyramb in its entirety, understanding it as an important social and cultural phenomenon of Greek antiquity. Dithyramb in Contextexplores the idea that the dithyramb is much more than a complex poetic form: the history of the dithyramb is a history of changing performance cultures which form part of a continuous social process. How the dithyramb functions as a marker, as well as a carrier, of social change throughout Greek antiquity is expressed in themes as various as performance and ritual, poetics and intertextuality, music and dance, and history and politics. Drawing together literary critics, historians of religion, archaeologists, epigraphers, and historians, this volume applies a wide historical and geographical framework, scrutinizing the poetry and, for the first time, giving due weight to the evidence of epigraphy and the visual arts.

Author Biography

Barbara Kowalzig is Associate Professor of Classics and History at New York University, and an Associate of the Centre Louis Gernet in Paris. Her research focuses on religion, music and performance, and cultural and economic anthropology in ancient Greece and the Mediterranean. She is the author of Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007; 2011) and has published widely on Greek song-culture, ritual, and drama.

Peter Wilson is William Ritchie Professor of Classics at the University of Sydney and the inaugural Director of the Centre for Classical & Near Eastern Studies of Australia. He is the author of The Athenian Institution of the 'Khoregia': the Chorus, the City and the Stage, Greek Theatre and Festivals: Documentary Studies (2007) and Performance, Reception, Iconography: Studies in Honour of Oliver Taplin (with M. Revermann, 2008).

Table of Contents

Table of contents
List of contributors
List of Illustrations
Conventions and Abbreviations
1. Introduction: The World of Dithyramb, Barbara Kowalzig and Peter Wilson
I Social and Religious Contexts
2. Dancing Dolphins: Dithyramb and Society in the Archaic Period, Barbara Kowalzig
3. Becoming like Dionysos: Dithyramb and Dionysian Initiation, Salvatore Lavecchia
4. Demeter and Dionysos in the Sixth-Century Argolid: Lasos of Hermione, the Cult of Demeter Chthonia and the Origins of Dithyramb, Lucia Prauscello
5. Dithyramb and Greek Tragedy, Luigi Battezzato
II Defining an Elusive Performance Form
6. The Name of the Dithyramb: Diachronic and Diatopic Variations, Giovan Battista D Alessio
7. Athens and the Empire: The Contextual Flexibility of Dithyramb, and its Imperialist Ramifications, David Fearn
8. Cyclic Choroi and the Dithyramb in the Classical and Hellenistic period: a Problem of Definition, Paola Ceccarelli
9. The Semantics of Processional Dithyramb: Pindar s Second Dithyramb and Archaic Athenian Vase-Painting, Guy Hedreen
10. Music and Movement in the Dithyramb, Armand D Angour
III New Music
11. Songbenders of circular choruses : Dithyramb and the Demise of Music, John Curtis Franklin
12. Kyklops Kitharoidos: Dithyramb and Nomos in Play, Timothy Power
13. Satyr-play, dithyramb and the Geopolitics of Dionysian Style in Fifth-Century Athens, Mark Griffith
14. Performance and the Drinking Vessel: Looking for an Imagery of Dithyramb in the Time of the New Music, Alexander Heinemann
IV Towards a Poetics of Dithyramb
15. The Poetics of Dithyramb, Andrew Ford
16. The Dithyramb, a Dionysiac Poetic Form: Genre Rules and Cultic Contexts, Claude Calame
17. Dithyramb in Greek Thought: The Problem of Choral Mimesis, Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi
18. One for whom the tribes dispute: The Dithyrambic Poet and the City of Athens, Giorgio Ierano
V Dithyramb in the Roman Empire
19. Choroi and tripods: The Politics of the Choregia in Roman Athens, Julia L. Shear
20. Dithyrambos, Thriambos, Triumphus: Dionysiac Discourse at Rome, Ian Rutherford
Index of Passages
Subject Index

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