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origin of the Athenian Tragedy and Comedy has been confidently referred to the drunken festivals of the place': indeed it is not improbable that the name itself may point to the old mimetic exhibitions which were common there. Thespis is stated to have introduced an actor for the sake of resting the Dionysian chorus'. This actor was generally, perhaps always, himself. He invented a disguise for the face by means of a pigment, prepared from the herb purslain, and afterwards constructed a linen mask, in order, probably, that he might be able to sustain more than one character. He is also said to have introduced some important alterations into the dances of the chorus, and his figures were known in the days of Aristophaneso. These are almost all the facts which we know respecting this celebrated man. It remains for us to examine them. It appears, then, that he was a contemporary of Pisistratus and Solon. He was a Diacrian, and consequently a partizan of the former; we are told too that the latter was violently opposed to him’. He was an Icarian, and therefore by his birth a worshipper of Bacchus. He was an úrokpit's: and from the subjects of his recitations it would appear that he was also a rhapsode 8. Here we have again the union of Dionysian rites with rhapsodical recitations which we have discovered in the Brauronian festival. But he went a step farther: his rhapsode, or actor, whether himself or another person, did not confine his speech to mere narration ; he addressed it to the chorus, which carried on with him, by means of its coryphæi, a sort of dialogue. The chorus stood upon the steps of the thymele, or altar of Bacchus; and in order that he might
1 Athen. ii. p. 40: από μέθης και η της κωμωδίας και της τραγωδίας εύρεσις εν Ικαρίφ της Αττικής ευρέθη. ? See Welcker, Nachtrag, p. 222.
"Υστερον δε θέσπις ένα υποκριτην εξεύρεν υπέρ του διαναπαύεσθαι τον xopóv. Diog. Laërt, Plat. Ixvi.
Plutarch, Sol. xxix : ο Σόλων εθεάσατο τον θέσπιν αυτόν υποκρινόμενον ür Tep iOos ņv torg #alatois. See also Arist. Rhet. iii. 1, and Liv. vii. 2.
* Welcker, Nachtrag, p. 271. Thirlwall’s History of Greece, vol. ii. p. 126.
& The names of some of his plays have come down to us : they are the llevoeús, "Αθλα Πελίου, η Φορβάς, Ιερείς, Hiθεοι. (Jul. Poll. vii. 45. Suid. 8. ν. θέσπις.) Gruppe must have founded his supposition that Ulysses was the subject of a play of Thespis (Ariadne, p. 129) on a misunderstanding of Plut. Sol. xxx. in which he was preceded by Schneider (De Originibus Trag. Gr. p. 56).
address them from an equal elevation, he was placed upon a table (ideós)', which was thus the predecessor of the stage, between which and the thymele in later times there was always an intervening space. The waggon of Thespis, of which Horace writes, must have arisen from some confusion between this standing-place for the actor and the waggon of Susarion '. Themistius tells us that Thespis invented a prologue and a rhesis ?. The former must have been the proæmium which he spoke as exarchus of the improved Dithyramb; the latter the dialogue between himself and the chorus, by means of which he developed a myth relating to Bacchus or some other deity or hero '. Lastly, there is every reason to believe, that Thespis did not confine his representation to his native deme, but exhibited at Athens
From a comparison of these particulars respecting Thespis with the facts which we have stated in connexion with the first return of Pisistratus to Athens, we shall now be able to deduce some further inferences. It appears, then, that a near approximation to the perfect form of the Greek Drama took place in the time of Pisistratus: all those who were concerned in bringing it about were Diacrians, or connected with the worship of Bacchus: the innovations were either the results or the concomitants of an assumption of political power by a caste of the inhabitants of Attica, whose tutelary god was Bacchus, and were in substance nothing but an union of the old choral
See Welcker, Nachtrag, p. 248. We think that the joke of Dicæopolis (Arist. Acharn. 355, seqq.) is an allusion to this practice. Solon mounted the herald's bema, when he recited his verses to the people. (V. Plut. c. 8.)
See Welcker, Nachtrag, p. 247. Gruppe says quaintly, but, we think, justly, (Ariadne, p. 122,) “ It is clear enough that the waggon of Thespis cannot well consist with the festal choir of the Dionysia ; and, in fact, this old coach, which has been fetched from Horace only, must be shoved back again into the lumber-room.” The words of Horace are, (A. P. 275—277,)
Ignotum tragicæ genus invenisse Camænæ
Quæ canerent agerentque peruncti fæcibus ora. p. 316, Hard. Θέσπις δε πρόλογόν τε και ρήσιν εξεύρεν. 3 This is the sense which the word pnois bears in Hom. Odyss. xxi. 290, 291.
αυταρ ακούεις ημετέρων μύθων και ρήσιος.
Eschyl. Suppl. 610: τοιανδ' έπειθε ρήσιν αμφ' ημών λέγων. See Welcker, Nachtr. p. 269. The invention of the pñois seems also to be referred to by Aristotle, when he says, (Poet. c. 4,) déžews dè yevouévns.
• Nachtrag, p. 254.
worship of Bacchus, with an offshoot of the rhapsodical recitations of the Ionic epopeists'.
We can understand without any difficulty why Pisistratus should encourage the religion of his own people, the Diacrians or Ægicores; and why Solon, who thought he had given the lower orders power enough', should oppose the adoption of their worship as a part of the religion of the state; for in those days the religion and privileges of a caste rose and fell together. It might, however, be asked why Pisistratus and his party, who evidently in their encroachments on the power of the aristocracy adopted in most cases the policy of the Sicyonian Cleisthenes, should in this particular have deviated from it so far as to encourage the rhapsodes, whom Cleisthenes, on the contrary, sedulously put down on account of the great predilection of the aristocracy for the Epos'. This deserves and requires some additional explanation. Pisistratus was not only a Diacrian or goat-worshipper: he was also a Codrid, and therefore a Neleid; nay, he bore the name of one of the sons of his mythical ancestor, Nestor: he might, therefore, be excused for feeling some sort of aristocratical respect for the poems which described the wisdom and valour of his progenitors. Besides, he was born in the deme Philaïdæ, which derived its name from Philæus, one of the sons of Ajax, and he reckoned Ajax also among his ancestors : this may have induced him to desire a public commemoration of the glories of the Æantidæ,
$ The conclusions of Gruppe are so nearly, in effect, the same as ours, and so well expressed, that we think it right to lay them before our readers (Ariadne, p. 127). “ Thespis developed from these detached speeches of the Choreytæ, especially when they were longer than usual, a recitation by an actor in the form of a narrative ; a recitation, and not a song. Thespis, however, was an inhabitant of Attica, an Athenian, and as such stood in the middle, between the proper Ionians and the Dorians. The formation of the epos was the peculiar property of the former, of lyric poetry that of the latter. So long as Tragedy or the tragic choruses existed in the Peloponnese, they were of a lyrical nature. In this form, with the Doric dialect and a lyrical accompaniment, they were transplanted into Attica ; and here it was that Thespis first joined to them the Ionic element of narration, which, if not quite Ionic, had and maintained a relationship with the Ionic, even in the language.” We may here remark, that all the old iambic poets wrote strictly in the Tonic dialect. Welcker has clearly shown this by examples in the case of Simonides of Amorgus. (See Rheinisch. Museum for 1835, p. 369.)
6 Solon. ed. Bach. p. 94 : Δήμη μέν γάρ έδωκα τόσον κράτος όσσον επαρκεί. Is not Niebuhr's translation of this line wrong? (Hist. Rom. vol. ii. note 700.) Comp. Æsch. Agamemn. 370:
έστω απήμαντον ώστε κάπαρκείς εύ πραπίδων λαχόντα. 7 Wachsmuth, Hell. Alt. ii. 2, 389.
just as the Athenians of the next century looked with delight and interest at the Play of Sophocles ': and we have little doubt but he heard in his youth parts of the Iliad recited at the neighbouring deme of Brauron'. If we add to this, that by introducing into a few passages of the Homeric poems some striking encomiums on his countrymen, he was able to add considerably to his popularity, and that it is always the policy of a tyrant to encourage literature', we shall fully understand why he gave himself so much trouble about these poems in the days of his power'. Solon also greatly encouraged the rhapsodes, and shares with Pisistratus the honour of arranging the rhapsodies according to their natural and poetical sequence :: we must not forget, too, that Solon was one of those writers of gnomic poetry, whom we have considered as the successors of the Epopæists, and from whose writings the Attic tragedians modelled their dialogue. Now we know that Pisistratus endeavoured, as far as was consistent with his own designs, to adopt the constitution of Solon, and always treated his venerable kinsman with deference and respect. May not a wish to reconcile his own plans with the tastes and feelings of the superseded legislator have operated with him as an additional reason for attempting to unite the old Epic element with the rites of the Dionysian religion, which his political connexions compelled him to transfer from the country to the city ? May not such a combination have been suggested by his early recollections of the Brauronia ? did the genius of the Icarian plan the innovation, or was he merely instrumental towards carrying it into effect? was the name Thespis originally borne by this agent
8 See Rheinisch. Mus. for 1829, p. 62.
9 See Nitzsch, Indag. per Od. Interpol. præpar. p. 37. Hist. Hom. p. 165. Welcker, Ep. Cycl. p. 393.
1 - Debbe un principe,” says Machiavelli (il Principe, cap. xxi. fin.) “ne' tempi convenienti dell'anno tenere occupati i popoli con feste e spettacoli; e perchè ogni città è divisa o in arti o in tribù, debbe tener conto di quelle università.”
2 Quis doctior iisdem illis temporibus, aut cujus eloquentia litteris instructior fuisse traditur, quam Pisistrati ? qui primus Homeri libros, confusos antea, sic disposuisse dicitur ut nunc habemus. Cicer, de Orat. iii. 34.
Πεισίστρατος έπη τα "Ομήρου διεσπασμένα τε και άλλαχού μνημονευόμενα poistro. Pausan, vii. 26, p. 594. "Υστερον Πεισίστρατος συναγαγών απέφηνε την Ιλιάδα και την Οδύσσειαν. Ælian. V. H. xiii. 14.
See also Joseph. c. Apion. 1, 2.- Liban. Panegyr. in Julian. t. i. p. 170, Reiske. Suidas v. "Ounpos, and Eustath. p. 5.
3 Comp. Diog. Sol. i. 57, with Ps. Plat. Hipparch. p. 228, B.
of Pisistratus, or was it rather a surname, derived from the common epithet of the Homeric minstrel“, and implying nothing more in its connexion with the history of the Drama, than that it arose from a combination such as we have described ?
But whatever reason we may assign for the union of the rhapsody with the Bacchic chorus, it seems pretty clear that this union was actually effected in the time of Pisistratus. And herein consists the claim of Thespis to be considered as the inventor of Attic Tragedy. Arion's satyrical chorus, and even the lyric Drama of Epigenes, may have been imitated at Athens soon after their introduction in the Peloponnesus. The cyclic chorus was performed as a separate affair till the latest days of Athenian democracy ', and the Pyrrhic dance, which was adopted by the Satyrs, was also a distinct exhibition. Nay, the Homeric rhapsody was recited by itself on the proper occasion; that is to say, generally at the great Panathenæa': nor would the Homeric hexameter have been so well suited to a dramatic dialogue as the trochaic tetrameter and senarius, which the vigorous and sententious poetry of Archilochus and the elder Simonides had made well known and popular in Attica and in the Ægean. Whether anticipated or not by Susarion, in the employment of the lambic metre in dramatic speeches, Thespis may claim the merit of having been the first to combine with the Bacchic chorus, which he received from Arion, a truly epic element, and he was clearly the first who made the rhapsode appear as an actor sustaining different characters, and addressing the audience from a fixed and
4 Hom. Od. i. 328:
του δ' υπερωϊόθεν φρεσι σύνθετο θέσπιν αοιδών
ώς άρα του πρόφρων θεός ώπασε θέσπιν αοιδών.
ή και θέσπιν αοιδόν, ό κεν τέρπησιν άείδων. See Buttmann's Lexilogus, i. p. 166. It was very common to invent names for persons from their actions, or for persons to change their own names according to their profession. Thus Helen is called the daughter of Nemesis, Arion the son of Cycleus, and Tisias changed his name into Stesichorus, by which alone he is known at the present day (above p. 27, and see Clintou's F. H. vol. i. p. 5); so that Thespis may even be an assumed name.
s Lys. drod. owpoo. p. 698, below, Part II. p. 132. • Lys. U. s. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 988. 7 Lycurg. c. Leocr. p. 161. Plat. Hipparch. p. 228, B. Ælian, V. H. viii. 2.