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Article

chreia  

Christopher Pelling

A succinct anecdote embedding a pointed saying, so called because designed for use in rhetoric (χρησίμον τινὸς ἕνεκα, Hermog.Prog. c. 3); exercises in developing chreiai formed one of the varieties of *progymnasmata. Collections of chreiai were already being made in the 4th cent. bce, e.g. by Theocritus of Chios and *Demetrius (3) of Phalerum, and they figure prominently in some biographies of philosophers, e.g. that of *Diogenes (2) by *Diogenes (6) Laertius; the ancestry of the genre may be seen in some parts of *Xenophon (1)'s Memorabilia, and the Apophthegmata preserved in the Plutarchan corpus are a close relative. The moral tone of the chreiai is far from austere.

Article

John Dewar Denniston, Kenneth Dover, and Nigel Wilson

A play in 2,610 verses describing the Passion of Jesus Christ, bearing the name of *Gregory of Nazianzus, but now usually thought to have been written by a Byzantine of the 11th or 12th cent. (important evidence pointing to an earlier date has recently been assembled by A. Garzya in Sileno1984, 237–40). It contains a very great number of lines from *Euripides, and some from *Aeschylus and *Lycophron (2). It is of doubtful use for the textual criticism of Euripides, but portions of the lost end of the Bacchae have been recovered from it (see E. R. Dodds's edition of Bacch. (1960), 243 ff.).

Article

Richard Hunter

Verses on sexual and scatological subjects, usually in ionic verse, and in post-Classical times recited or sung with appropriate gestures (cf. Strabo 14. 1. 41, Quint. 1. 13, Ath. 14. 620e–f) by performers called kinaedologoi, often as entertainment at *symposia etc. These verses were given literary form in the first half of the 3rd cent. bce by *Sotades (2), *Timon (2) of Phlius and *Alexander (8) ‘the Aetolian’, but retained their probably original connection with the ‘effeminate’ east (cf.

Article

Martin Litchfield West

Cinaethon of Lacedaemon (?6th cent. bce), *epic-genealogical poet (see genealogy), sporadically credited with the Little Iliad, Oedipodia, Telegony (see epic cycle), and a Heraclea.

Article

Bernhard Zimmermann

Cinesias (c. 450–390 bce), of Athens, *dithyrambic poet. A victory is recorded at the Athenian *Dionysia (IG 2/32. 3028) for the early 4th cent. He was twice engaged in legal proceedings with *Lysias (Orationes 21. 20; fr. 73). No fragments of interest survive. *Aristophanes (1) refers to him at Av.

Article

Tiberius Claudius Aristocles of *Pergamum (2nd cent. ce), was a Peripatetic philosopher turned sophist who also held the consulship. As sophist he studied under *Herodes Atticus, taught in Pergamum and performed throughout Italy and Asia Minor. His works included two rhetorical textbooks, letters, and declamations.

Article

Clearchus (2), Middle *comedy poet, won at least one victory at the *Lenaeac.335–330 bce (IG 22. 2325. 154). We have three titles and five citations.

Article

Pupil of *Aristotle, Greek polymath. His writings included ‘Lives’ (not *biographies, but ‘ways of life’ of various peoples), an encomium on *Plato (1) and a discussion of the mathematical passages in the Republic, zoological and mystical works, and collections of proverbs and *riddles. He travelled as far as *Bactria, where he erected a stele with his transcription of some 150 ‘Delphic maxims’.

Article

Cleophon (2), an Athenian tragic poet according to the *Suda, which lists ten play titles. However, as six of these are also attested for *Iophon, it is likely that Iophon is meant here. In that case the Cleophon mentioned by *Aristotle at Poet. 2 (he portrays people as they are, not better or worse), 22, Rh.

Article

Colluthus (Κόλλουθος) of Lycopolis (modern Asyut, Egypt) is the author of the Abduction of Helen (Ἁρπαγὴ Ἑλένης), an epyllion of 392 lines narrating the events leading to the beginning of the Trojan War, from the wedding of Thetis and Peleus to the arrival of Paris and Helen at Troy. According to the Suda (K 1951), Colluthus was a contemporary of emperor Anastasius (reigned 491–518) and composed a Calydoniaca in six books (probably on the hunt of the Calydonian boar; perhaps celebrating the love of Meleager and Atalanta), verse encomia, and a Persica (most likely a verse encomium on Anastasius, celebrating the end of the war against the Persians in 505). The Suda does not mention the Abduction of Helen, Colluthus’s only extant work, which has been transmitted in a very poor state.1

The Abduction can be divided into three sections. After the initial invocation to the nymphs of the Troad (ll. 1–16), Eris retaliates for not being invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis by throwing a golden apple amongst the banqueters, which leads to the contest of Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, resolved by Paris in favour of the latter (ll. 17–191). Paris then voyages to Sparta and encounters Helen (ll. 192–325). Finally, a desolated Hermione tries to make sense of her mother’s absence (ll. 326–392).

Article

Nigel Wilson

Grammarian. His work on *Homer provoked a response from *Aristarchus (2). He was also interested in *Hesiod and *Demosthenes (2). A few fragments survive.

Article

Geoffrey Arnott

The term ‘Middle Comedy’ was coined by a Hellenistic scholar (? *Aristophanes (2) of Byzantium) as a convenient label for plays produced in the years between Old and New Comedy (c.404–c.321 bce). This was a time of experiment and transition; different types of comedy seem to have predominated at different periods; probably no single kind of play deserves to be styled ‘Middle Comedy’ to the exclusion of all others.The defeat of Athens in 404 bce vitally affected the comic stage; the loss of imperial power and political energy was reflected in comedy by a choice of material less intrinsically Athenian and more cosmopolitan. In form at least the changes began early. *Aristophanes (1)'s Ecclesiazusae (‘Assemblywomen’: probably 393 bce) and Plutus (‘Wealth’: 388), now generally acknowledged to be early examples of Middle Comedy, reveal the atrophy of the comic chorus. The parabasis has disappeared; instead of lyrics specially composed for the chorus, interpolated pieces (ἐμβόλιμα) were used at points marked in the MSS by the word χοροῦ, ‘(song) of the chorus’.

Article

Peter G. M. Brown

Comedy written from the last quarter of the 4th cent. bce onwards, but generally regarded as ending its creative heyday in the mid-3rd cent., composed mainly but not exclusively for first performance at Athens. At some stage the author of an anonymous treatise on comedy reckoned to know that there were 64 playwrights of New Comedy, of whom the most distinguished were *Philemon (2), *Menander (1), *Diphilus, *Philippides, *Posidippus (1) and *Apollodorus (3) (Prolegomena de comoedia, ed. W. J. W. Koster (1975), 10); the first three are commonly seen as the leading playwrights of the period, and above all Menander, who, though not the most successful in his own lifetime, was soon recognized as the outstanding practitioner of this type of drama. The volumes of Kassel and Austin, Poetae Comici Graeci include nearly 80 playwrights dated with some probability as active between 325 and 200, and over 50 of later date; but many are simply names (or even fragments of names) found on inscriptions.

Article

Kenneth Dover

‘Old Comedy’ is best defined as the comedies produced at Athens during the 5th cent. bce. An early form of comedy was composed in *Sicily (see epicharmus), the connection of which with Attic comedy is hypothetical. At Athens itself no transition from Old to Middle Comedy occurred precisely in 400 bce, but the two extant plays of *Aristophanes (1) which belong to the 4th cent. differ in character from his earlier work (see comedy (greek), middle). The provision of comedies at the City *Dionysia each year was made the responsibility of the relevant magistrate in 488/7 or 487/6 bce; Aristotle's statement (Poet. 1449b2) that before then comic performances were given by ‘volunteers’ (ἐθελονταί) is probably a guess, but a good one. Comedies were first included in the *Lenaea shortly before 440 bce.

Article

Kenneth Dover

In many preliterate cultures there are public occasions on which people pretend humorously to be somebody other than themselves, and it is a safe assumption that comedy, so defined, was of great antiquity among the Greeks (possibly of incomparably greater antiquity than tragedy). The word κωμῳδοί, ‘κῶμος-singers’, presupposes κῶμος, and a κῶμος (kōmos) is a company of men behaving and singing in a happy and festive manner. In the 4th cent. bce the City *Dionysia at Athens included ‘procession, boys’ (i.e. boys’ chorus), ‘κῶμος, comedy and tragedy’ (Dem. 21. 10). The inscription which was erected in the 4th cent. to put on public view the records of victories at the City Dionysia from the beginning (IG 22. 2318) is headed ἀφ᾽ οὗ (?) πρῶ]τον κῶμοι ἦσαν τῶ[ι Διονύσωι, and under each year the entries are in the order: boys’ chorus, men's chorus, comedy, tragedy. It appears from these data that, so far as was known in the 4th cent., a humorous adult male chorus was an archaic feature of the City Dionysia, and it is probable that comedy was a specialized development from this. The question: ‘when did the κῶμος first develop a dramatic character?’ is not answerable.

Article

Author of 50 mythical ‘Narratives’ (Diegeseis) dedicated to King *Archelaus (5) Philopator (or Philopatris) of Cappadocia (36 bce–17 ce). A summary is preserved by Photius Bibliotheca, who calls him ‘Attic in style, pleasant and charming in his constructions and phrases, often somewhat compressed and recondite’. Part of the original seems to be extant on a papyrus of the 2nd cent. ce.

Article

J. H. D. Scourfield

The practice of offering words of consolation to those afflicted by grief is reflected in the earliest Greek poetry (e.g. Hom. Il. 24. 507–51). Later, under the twin influences of rhetoric and philosophy, a specialized consolatory literature began to develop, initiating a tradition which persisted through Graeco-Roman antiquity and into the Middle Ages and beyond. In broad terms, this ‘genre’ can be taken to comprise both situation-specific texts, addressed to individuals who have suffered recent bereavement or some other kind of loss-experience, such as exile or illness, and texts of a more abstract or theoretical (‘metaconsolatory’) kind. The first category includes, centrally, prose letters of consolation, which might be brief or extensive, essentially private or possessing an evident public dimension; poems, often hardly distinguishable from epicedia (see epicedion); and funeral speeches, which in late antiquity in particular might contain a substantial consolatory element. Outside the literary tradition narrowly understood also survive personal letters on papyrus and inscribed decrees from Greek cities consoling the relatives of deceased honorands. To the second category belong philosophical treatises and other writings on death and the alleviation of grief; *Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations 1 and 3 is a good example.

Article

Corax  

Donald Russell

Corax, of *Syracuse (5th cent. bce) is said to have been the first teacher of *rhetoric, and to have given instruction on prooemia, argumentation, and epilogues, and discussed arguments from probability (εἰκός). *Aristotle (Rh. 2. 24. 1402a17) knew of an ‘art’ (τέχνη) of Corax, and later rhetors call him a ‘technographer’ (τεχνόγραφος); but it is far from certain that his teaching was systematic or expressed in a textbook.

Article

C. Carey

Native of *Tanagra in *Boeotia, less probably *Thebes (1) (Paus. 9. 22; Suda). Tradition made her a pupil of *Myrtis (Suda) and contemporary (perhaps older) and rival of *Pindar, whom she allegedly defeated (once, Paus. 9. 22; five times, Ael.VH 13. 25, Suda). *Aelian's statement that Pindar retorted by calling her a ‘Boeotian sow’ is a biographical fancy derived from Pindar (Ol. 6. 90), likewise *Plutarch's anecdote (De glor. Ath. 4. 347f–348a) presenting her as adviser to the young Pindar (cf. Pind. fr. 29). Her traditional date has been contested. No *Alexandrian scholar studied her work, and the earliest references to her belong to the 1st cent. bce (Anth. Pal. 9. 26; Prop. 2. 3. 21); the papyrus fragments consistently reflect the Boeotian orthography of the late 3rd cent. bce; her metre shows some affinities with *Attic drama and her simple style is unlike that of Archaic choral poetry; the papyrus presents sporadic Atticisms.

Article

Carolina López-Ruiz

Early Greek cosmogonies and theogonies are mainly preserved in the form of hexametric poetry, rarely in systematic accounts, such as Hesiod’s, but more often within texts of broader mythical scope, as in Homer’s Iliad and the Homeric Hymns. The differing assumptions about the origins of and relations among the gods in these poems demonstrate the wide variety of cosmogonic traditions available in the Greek world and the poetic freedom to express or emphasize aspects of them. This is also evident in other sources for Greek theogony/cosmogony, such as the longer of the Homeric Hymns, which focus on specific gods, sometimes including their birth stories and framing their familial relations with other gods and with humans. The strand known as “Orphic” cosmogony or theogony runs parallel to the mainstream epic tradition (not without intersections), and underscores the connection between cosmogonic ideas and spiritual and philosophical movements. These alternative cosmogonies also served as a narrative and theological framework for mystery cults, which revolved around the figures of Demeter, Persephone, and Dionysus (e.