Nature, Culture, and the Origins of Greek Comedy: A Study of Animal Choruses by Kenneth S. Rothwell, JrNature, Culture, and the Origins of Greek Comedy: A Study of Animal Choruses by Kenneth S. Rothwell, Jr

Nature, Culture, and the Origins of Greek Comedy: A Study of Animal Choruses

byKenneth S. Rothwell, Jr

Paperback | September 30, 2010

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Aristophanes' Birds, Wasps, and Frogs offer the best-known examples of the animal choruses of Greek comedy of the fifth century BC, but sixth-century vase-paintings of men costumed as cocks, bulls, and horses indicated that comedies were only the last phase of a longer tradition. This book suggests that although the earlier masquerades may have had ritual origins, they should also be seen as products of the culture of the archaic aristocratic symposium. The animal choruses of the late fifth century may have been conscious revivals of an earlier tradition. Moreover, the animals of comedy were not the predators found in other literary genres; they were, instead, social animals who showed that nature and culture could co-exist. The Birds, which tells the story of a city foundation, also parodies fifth-century philosophical accounts of the origins of human civilization. Also discussed are the Wasps, Frogs, and fragments of lost comedies.
Title:Nature, Culture, and the Origins of Greek Comedy: A Study of Animal ChorusesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:340 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 7.87 inPublished:September 30, 2010Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521171938

ISBN - 13:9780521171939

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Table of Contents

1. Komos, symposium, and performance; 2. Animal choruses: the evidence of vase-painting; 3. Animals and satyrs in classical Greece: an excursus; 4. The literary fragments and Aristophanes; Knights, Wasps, and Frogs; 5. Aristophanes' Birds and the rise of civilization; Conclusions; Appendix A: Testimonia and fragments of lost comedies; Appendix B: Miscellaneous depictions of animal costumes.

Editorial Reviews

"Attic comedy's origins and the appearance of animal choruses in late fifth-century comedy have been matters frequently debated in classical scholarship. Kenneth Rothwell's study offers a stimulating contribution to both debates...R[othwell] has given us an intriguing new perspective from which to view both comedy's late fifth-century animal choruses and the possible impact of the aristocratic symposion on Athenian drama. I suspect that it will generate a significant amount of further discussion." --Classical Bulletin