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elevated stage. At first he may have been contented, like the exarchi of the improved Dithyramb, with personating Bacchus, and surrounding himself with a chorus of Satyrs; but there is every reason to believe that he soon extended his sphere of myths, and that his plots were as various as those of his successors.
Bentley was interested in the establishment of his proposition that Thespis did not write his plays, and naturally manifested the eagerness of a pleader rather than the impartiality of a judge® There is no antecedent improbability in the statement of Donatus that Thespis wrote tragedies. Solon, and, much earlier, Archilochus and Simonides committed their poems to writing; and in the days of Pisistratus it is not likely that a favourite rhapsode would leave his compositions unpublished. The destruction of Athens, in B.C. 480, made the older specimens of Attic literature very scarce, but there must have been some remains of his writings in the time of Sophocles, otherwise that poet would hardly have published strictures on him and Chærilus', which, as we may infer from his criticisms on Æschylus ', in all probability referred to the harshness of their style. Aristophanes speaks of him in precisely the same terms as he does of Phrynichus, predicating an antiquated stiffness of both these old Tragedians'. We may grant that the lines attributed to Thespis by Clemens Alexandrinus contain internal evidence of their spuriousness, but there is no presumption against the authenticity of the quotations in Plutarch and Julius Pollux “, beyond the ill-founded hypothesis, that Thespis composed only ludicrous dramas. This hypothesis, as we have seen above, rests on the old confusion between Thespis and
8 Below, Part II. p. 72, sqq.
9 Suid. 8. ν. Σοφοκλής: περί του χορού προς Θέσπιν και Χοιριλον αγωνιζόμενος.
See Müller, Ilist. Lit. Gr. vol. i. p. 340, and our note on the translation. ? Comp. Vesp. 220: áp xalo pelioidwvoppuvixņpara uéin, "antiquated honeysweet and popular ditties from the Phænissæ of Phrynichus," below, p. , note 2, with a passage in a subsequent part of the same play (1479) :
όρχούμενος της νυκτός ουδέν παύεται
ταρχαϊ' εκείν' οις θέσπις ηγωνίζετο. 3 Clem. Al. Strom, v. p. 675, Potter. * Plut. de audiendis poetis, p. 134, Wyttenb.
5 Jul. Poll. vii. 45. Another fragment has been lately published from a papyrus by Letronne, Fragmens inédits d'anciens poètes Grecs, Par. 1838, p. 7: oix εξαθρήσας οίδ' ιδών δέ σοι λέγω, where εξαθρέω is άπαξ λεγόμενον.
Susarion. The forgeries of Heraclides Ponticus are themselves no slight proof of the originally serious character of the Thespian Drama; for if his contemporaries had really believed that Thespis wrote nothing but ludicrous dramas, a scholar of Aristotle would hardly have attempted to impose upon the public with a set of plays, altogether different in style and title from those of the author on whom he wished to pass them off. The fact is, that the choral plays from which the Thespian Drama was formed were satyrical, for the Dithyramb in the improved form which it received from Arion was performed by a chorus of satyrs': and there is little doubt that Thespis may have been a satyric poet before he was a Tragedian, in the more modern sense of the word: but Chamæleon seems to have expressly mentioned the fact that Thespis passed from Bacchic to Epic subjects'. With regard to the titles of his plays preserved by Suidas and Julius Pollux, they are not really open to cavil. For even supposing that they refer rather to the apocryphal compositions of Heraclides than to the lost tragedies of the old Icarian, there is no reason for concluding that the titles were not borrowed by the fabricator from obsolete but genuine dramas. Unless we are prepared to maintain, against the prevalent tendency of all the authorities, that Thespis never wrote or acted a play of grave or pathetic character, we cannot assert that he was unlikely to have brought forward dramas, bearing the titles in question-namely, “ Pentheus ;” “ the Funeral
-, Games of Pelias," or “ Phorbas;" “the Priests;" “the
” Youths;” indeed it would not be difficult to show that these subjects were very well adapted for the narrative speeches which must have abounded while the actor was limited to the personation of one character at a time.
With regard to the violent and ludicrous dances, which were attributed to Thespis, and of which Aristophanes gives a somewhat ludicrous picture at the end of his “Wasps 8, we have only to remark that all antiquated postures, attitudes, and
Above, p. 30. ,: This seems to be the proper interpretation of the passage in Photius, Lex, s. v. ουδέν προς τον Διόνυσον-το πρόσθεν εις τον Διόνυσον γράφοντας τούτοις ηγωνίζοντο άπερ και σατυρικά ελέγετο ύστερον δε μεταβάντες εις τραγωδίας γράφειν κατά μικρόν εις μύθους και ιστορίας ετράπησαν μηκέτι του θεού μνημονεύοντες, όθεν και έπεφώνησαν κ. τ.λ. και Χαμαιλέων εν τω περί θέσπιδος. Below, p. , note 3. * V. 1848, sqq., below, Part. II. p. 92.
movements, appear ridiculous to those whose grandfathers practised them. Apollo himself is described as leading the Pæan with high and springy steps'; and the gymnopædic dance, in which the Tragic Emmeleia took its rise, must have been originally distinguished by the agility which it prescribed. In the early days of the drama a great deal of energetic and expressive gesticulation was expected from the Chorus, and even in the time of Æschylus it is recorded that Telestes, the balletleader of that poet, invented many new forms of xelpovouía or manual gesticulations, and that in the “Seven against Thebes” he represented the action of the piece by his mimic dancing :
The statement of Suidas, that Phrynichus was the first who introduced women on the stage (πρώτος γυναικείον πρόσωπον kionyayev), which Bentley, perhaps purposely, mistranslates, is no reason for concluding that Thespis never wrote a Tragedy called “ Alcestis,” were there any real evidence to show that this was the title of one of his plays; for it would have been perfectly easy to handle that subject in the Thespian manner, that is, with more narrative than dialogue, without the introduction of Alcestis herself?. Indeed we cannot conceive how she could be introduced as talking to the chorus, whom she does not once address in the play of Euripides, and there was no other actor for her to talk with.
Of course, there could be no theatrical contests in the days of Thespis :: but the dithyrambic contests seem to have been important enough to induce Pisistratus to build a temple in which the victorious choragi might offer up their tripods ‘, a practice which the victors with the tragic chorus subsequently adopted.
9 Above, p. 16, note 9.
1 Welcker, Nachtrag, p. 266, 7. Athen. i. p. 21, P: kai Técois dé À Teléorns, o ορχηστοδιδάσκαλος, πολλά εξεύρηκε σχήματα άκρως ταϊς χερσί τα λεγόμενα δεικνυούσαις . 'Αριστοκλής γούν φησίν ότι Τελέστης ο Αισχύλου όρχηστής ούτως ήν τεχνίτης ώστε εν τω όρχείσθαι τους Επτά επί Θήβας φανερά ποιήσαι τα a páyuara di' vexroews. See Heindorf ad Plat. Cratyl. $ 51.
2 In the “ Suppliants," one of the most archaic of the extant plays of Æschylus, no female character is introduced on the stage, although all the interest centres in the daughters of Danaus, who form the chorus.
Plutarch, Sol. xxix. * Πύθιον, ιερόν Απόλλωνος 'Αθήνησιν υπό Πεισιστράτου γεγονός είς και τους τρίποδας ετίθεσαν οι τώ κυκλίφ χορώ νικήσαντες τα Θαργήλια. Photius. Comp. Thucyd. ii. 15. vi. 54.
THE PROPER CLASSIFICATION OF GREEK PLAYS.
ORIGIN OF COMEDY.
The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral
comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited. For the law of writ and the law of liberty these are the only men.
It is generally stated that there were three kinds of Greek Plays, and three only—Tragedy, Comedy, and the Satyrical Drama. It will be our endeavour in the present chapter to examine this classification, and to see whether some better one cannot be proposed. With a view to this it will be proper to inquire into the origin of the Comical and Satyrical Dramas, just as we have already investigated the origin of Tragedy, and to consider how far the Satyrical Drama differed from or agreed with either the Tragedy or Comedy of the Greeks.
The word Tragedy- payqdía—is derived of course from the words tpayos and won. The former word, as we have already seen, is a synonym for sátupos': for the goat-eared attendant of Dionysus was called by the name of the animal which he resembled, just as the shepherd or goatherd was called by the name of the animal which he tended, and whose skin formed his clothing'. Tpayqdía is therefore not the song of a goat, because a goat was the prize of it; but a song accompanied by a dance performed by persons in the guise of Satyrs, consequently a satyric dance; and we have already shown how Tragedy in its more modern sense arose from such performances. At first,
1 See above, p. 30, note 4.
* The word Tityrus signifies, according to Servius, the leading ram of the flock; according to other authorities it means a goat : and some have even supposed it to be another form of Satyrus. See the passages quoted by Müller, Dor. iv. ch. 6, § 10, note (e).
then, Tragedy and the Satyric Drama were one and the same. When, however, the Tragedy of Thespis had firmly established itself, and Comedy was not yet introduced, the common people became discontented with the serious character of the new dramatic exhibitions, and missed the merriment of the country satyrs : at the same time they thought that their own tutelary deity was not sufficiently honoured in performances which were principally taken up with adventures of other personages; in the end they gave vent to their dissatisfaction, and on more than one occasion the audience vociferously complained that the play to which they were admitted had nothing to do with Bacchus'. The prevalence of this feeling at length induced Pratinas of Phlius, who was a contemporary of Æschylus, to restore the Tragic Chorus to the Satyrs, and to write Dramas which were indeed the same in form and materials with the Tragedy, but the choruses of which were composed of Satyrs, and the dances pyrrhic instead of gymnopædic“. This is the Drama which has been considered by some as specifically different both from Tragedy and Comedy, but which was in fact only a subdivision of Tragedy ', written always by Tragedians, and, we believe, seldom" acted but along with Tragedies'.
3 In his opening Symposiacal disquisition, Plutarch thus speaks : "Notep, ovv, Φρυνίχου και Αισχύλου την τραγωδίαν εις μύθους και πάθη προαγόντων, ελέχθη τί ταύτα προς τον Διόνυσον ;- ούτως έμοιγε πολλάκις ειπείν παρέστη προς τους έλκοντας εις τα συμπόσια τον κυριεύοντα-Ω άνθρωπε, τί ταύτα προς τον Διόνυσον ;-Sympos. i. 1.
Zenobius gives this explanation of the phrase Ουδέν προς τον Διόνυσον:-Τών χορών εξ αρχής είθισμένων διθύραμβον άδειν εις τον Διόνυσον, οι ποιηται ύστερον εκβάντες της συνηθείας ταύτης Αίαντας και Κενταύρους γράφειν επεχείρουν. "Οθεν οι θεώμενοι σκώπτοντες έλεγον, Ουδέν προς τον Διόνυσον. Διά γούν τούτο τους Σατύρους ύστερον έδοξεν αυτοίς προεισάγειν, ίνα μη δοκώσιν επιλανθάνεσθαι του θεού. p. 40.
Suidas, in his explication of the same saying, after mentioning the opinion by which it was referred to the alterations of Epigenes the Sicyonian, adds, Béltiov δε ούτω Το πρόσθεν εις τον Διόνυσον γράφοντες, τούτοις ηγωνίζοντο, άπερ και Σατυρικά ελέγετο ύστερον δε μεταβάντες εις το τραγωδίας γράφειν, κατά μικρών είς μύθους και ιστορίας ετράπησαν, μηκέτι του Διονύσου μνημονεύοντες –όθεν τούτο και έπεφώνησαν. Και Χαμαιλέων εν τη περί θέσπιδος τα παραπλήσια irtopei. So also Photius, above, p. 53, note 7.
4 Above, p. 31. Below, p. .
5 Demetrius says (de Elecut. S 169. vol. ix. p. 76, Walz) : ο δε γέλως έχθρα τραγωδίας ουδέ γάρ επινοήσειεν άν τις τραγωδίαν παίζουσαν, έπει σάτυρον γράψει αντί τραγωδίας.
• If Pratinas wrote only eighteen tragedies to thirty-two satyrical dramas, some of the latter must have been acted alone. See Welcker, Trilogie, p. 497–8.
7 It has been plausibly conjectured that the Satyrical Drama was originally acted before the Tragedy. Welck. Nachtr. p. 279.