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Encyclopedia > Dithyramb

The dithyramb was originally an ancient Greek hymn sung to the god Dionysus. Its wild and ecstatic character was often contrasted with that of the paean: just as Paean was both a hymn to and a title of Apollo, Dithyrambos was also a title of Dionysus as well as a song in his honor. According to Aristotle, the dithyramb was the origin of the Ancient Greek theatre. Richard Bentley writes that the Dithyramb was an old Bacchic Hymn and too old to be dated.1 The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... This article is about the ancient deity. ... Paean, in Homer, was the Greek physician of the gods. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... ɾdrama are obscure. ...

Contents

Form

Dithyrambs were sung by a Greek chorus of up to 50 men or boys dancing in circular formation (there is no certain evidence that they may have originally been dressed as satyrs) and probably accompanied by the aulos. They would normally relate some incident in the life of Dionysus. The leader of the chorus later became the solo protagonist, with lyrical interchanges taking place between him and the rest of the chorus. The Greek chorus (choros) is believed to have grown out of the Greek dithyrambs and tragikon drama in tragic plays of the ancient Greek theatre. ... A bald, bearded, horse-tailed satyr balances a winecup on his erect penis, a trick worthy of note, on an Attic red-figured psykter, ca. ... A nude youth plays the aulos at a banquet: Attic red-figure cup by the Euaion Painter, ca. ...


Competitions between groups singing dithyrambs were an important part of festivals such as the Dionysia and Lenaia. Each tribe would enter two choruses, one of men and one of boys, each under the leadership of a choragos. The results of dithyrambic contests in Athens were recorded with the names of the winning teams and choregoi recorded but not the poets, most of whom remain unknown. The successful choregos would receive a statue which would be erected - at his own expense - on a public monument to commemorate his group's victory. The Dionysia was a large religious festival in ancient Athens in honour of the god Dionysus, the central event of which was the performance of tragedies and comedies. ... The Lenaia was a dramatic but one of the lesser festivals in Athens and Ionia in ancient Greece. ... In Ancient Greek drama, the choragos was a representative or member of the chorus who could enter the story as a character able to interact with the characters of a play. ...


History

The first dithyrambs were composed in Athens around the 7th century BC. Their inspiration is unknown, although it was possibly non-Greek, as the word is of unknown but probably non-Greek derivation. The form soon spread to other Greek city-states, and dithyrambs were composed by the poets Simonides, Pindar, and Bacchylides (only the latter's works have survived in anything like their original form). Later examples were dedicated to other gods but the dithyramb subsequently was developed (traditionally by Arion) into a literary form. According to Aristotle, it evolved into the Greek tragedy, and dithyrambs continued to be developed alongside tragedies for some time. The clearest sense of dithyramb as proto-tragedy comes from a surviving dithyramb by Bacchylides 1 2, though it was composed after tragedy had already developed more fully; as a dialogue between a single actor and a chorus, it is suggestive of what tragedy may have resembled before Aeschylus added a second actor. By the 4th century BC the genre was in decline, although the dithyrambic competitions did not come to an end until well after the Roman takeover of Greece. This article is about the capital of Greece. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 7th century BC started on January 1, 700 BC and ended on December 31, 601 BC. // Overview Events Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria who created the the first systematically collected library at Nineveh A 16th century depiction of the Hanging Gardens of... Bold textil8jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjpooSimonides of Ceos (ca. ... For the PINDAR military bunker in London, please see the PINDAR section of Military citadels under London Pindar (or Pindarus, Greek: ) (probably born 522 BC in Cynoscephalae, a village in Boeotia; died 443 BC in Argos), was a Greek lyric poet. ... Bacchylides, Ancient Greek lyric poet, was born at Iulis, in the island of Ceos. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Tragedy is one of the oldest forms of drama. ... This article is about the ancient Greek playwright. ... The 4th century BC started the first day of 400 BC and ended the last day of 301 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ...


Dithyrambic compositions have rarely been written in English, although one notable exception is Alexander's Feast by John Dryden (written 1697). A wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing is still occasionally described as dithyrambic. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... John Dryden John Dryden (August 19 {August 9 O.S.}, 1631 - May 12 {May 1 O.S.}, 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator and playwright, who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles... Events September 11 - Battle of Zenta, Prince Eugene of Savoy crushed Ottoman army of Mustafa II September 20 - The Treaty of Ryswick December 2 – St Pauls Cathedral opened in London Peter the Great travels in Europe officially incognito as artilleryman Pjotr Mikhailov Use of palanquins increases in Europe Christopher...


Footnotes

  • 1 Works of Richard Bentley, p.252

References

  • Bentley, Richard, Works of Richard Bentley, originally written in 1699, and collected by Alexander Dyce, 1836. v. 1-2. Dissertations upon the epistles of Phalaris, Themistocles, Socrates, Euripides, and upon the fables of Aesop ; also, Epistola ad Joannem Millium -- v. 3. Sermons preached at Boyle's lecture ; remarks upon a discourse of free-thinking ; proposals for an edition of the Greek testament.
  • Buckham, Philip Wentworth, Theatre of the Greeks, 1827.
  • Pickard-Cambridge, Sir Arthur Wallace
    • Dithyramb, Tragedy, and Comedy , 1927.
    • The Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, 1946.
    • The Dramatic Festivals of Athens, 1953.
  • Sourvinou-Inwood, Christiane, Tragedy and Athenian Religion, Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Wiles, David, The Masked Menander: Sign and Meaning in Greek and Roman Performance, 1991.

Richard Bentley (January 27, 1662 – July 14, 1742) was an English theologian, Classics scholar and critic. ... Alexander Dyce (June 30, 1798 - May 15, 1869) was a Scottish dramatic editor and literary historian. ...

See also


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The T Scholia on Iliad 24.496b express incredulity at the possibility that Theano, the wife of Antenor, could have borne the fifty children that Bacchylides is said to have claimed for her.
It will also emerge that certain ancient testimonies bear witness to ongoing controversy during the heyday of dithyramb as to its religious affiliations, partly a consequence of the interchange of poets and styles of poem between Dionysiac and non-Dionysiac Athenian performances in the same performance mode.
As such, I aim to pose questions and to challenge assumptions about the nature of Athenian dithyrambs - both in relation to particular Athenian festivals and to more general aspects of Greek choreia -, and about the relation between dithyramb as historically attested phenomenon and Dithyramb attested in the Alexandrian classifications of lyric poetry.
Dithyramb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (587 words)
According to Aristotle, the dithyramb was the origin of the Ancient Greek theatre.
Dithyrambs were sung by a chorus of up to 50 men or boys dancing in circular formation (there is no certain evidence that they may have originally been dressed as satyrs) and probably accompanied by the aulos.
The clearest sense of dithyramb as proto-tragedy comes from a surviving dithyramb by Bacchylides 1 2, though it was composed after tragedy had already developed more fully; as a dialogue between a single actor and a chorus, it is suggestive of what tragedy may have resembled before Aeschylus added a second actor.
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