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Sunday, July 23, 2017

050 - Early Tragedy and Aeschylus

In this episode, we discuss what is known about the lives and works of the earliest tragic poets that set the stage for the first great Athenian playwright, Aeschylus, to make all sorts of theatrical innovations at the onset of the Classical Period; and we discuss the historicity and some of the major themes of his seven surviving plays--The Persians, Prometheus Bound, Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliants, and the trilogy known as the Oresteia (which includes Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and the Eumenides)

Playwrights Discussed: Choerilus, Pratinas, Phrynichus, Polyphrasmon, Chionides, Magnes, and Aeschylus (also mentioned are Aeschylus' sons Euphorion and Euaeon, and his nephew Philocles, who themselves became playwrights)

Greek terms: sicinnis, mechanecothurni

Recommended Sources for Further Reading:
Text/Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound
Text/Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes
Text/Aeschylus' The Suppliants
Text/Aeschylus' Agamemnon
Text/Aeschylus' The Libation Bearers
Text/Aeschylus' The Eumenides
Text/Aeschylus' Fragments

Sunday, July 9, 2017

049 - Theater and the Dionysia

In this episode, we discuss the origins of drama; the Dionysia festivals, both Rural in the month of Poseideon (late December/early January) and City in the month of Elaphebolion (late March/early April), and the Lenaia in the month of Gamelion (late January/early February); the physical space of the theater; and the components of tragedy and comedy

Greek termstheorika (a fund set aside to pay for the Dionysia), tragos (goat), oíde (song), hypokritai (actor), paredroi (officials), epimeletai (curators), eisagoge (the bringing in), pompe (procession)phalloi (symbolic images of penises), phallophoroi (phallus carriers)kanephoroi (basket carriers)obleliaphoroi (long-loafed bread carriers)skaphephoroi (carriers of offerings)hydriaphoroi (water jar carriers)askophori (wine jar carriers), choregoi (sponsors of the choruses), xenismos (ritual reception and entertaining of a guest), komos (drunken revelry), enkomion (song sung at a komos)agonothetai/kritai (judges of the plays), proagon (pre-contest), ikria (wooden bleachers), orchestra (circular area where chorus performed)theatron (viewing place), prohedria (special seats in front rows), choryphaios (chorus leader), skene (low stage or stage building), paraskenia (stage wall, "in place of a skene), episkenion (upper floor, "above the skene"), proskenion (projecting sides, "in front of a skene), pinakes (wooden plaques for decoration), paradoi/eisodoi (spaces between sides of stage and seating area), parados (first song sung by chorus), logeion (raised speaking place on the orchestra), mechane (crane), deus ex machina (Latin "god from a machine"), ekkyklema (a wheeled platform which could be rolled forward through the central door of the skene into the orchestra), kothornoi (special boots), prosopon (masks), epeisodia (episodes), stasima (choral interludes), agon (contest/dispute between the two characters), exodos (the exit of the audience), and katharsis (cleansing effect)

Recommended Podcast Episodes for Further Listening:
Words for Granted Episode 26 Tragedy
Words for Granted Episode 27 Comedy
Words for Granted Episode 28 Scene
Literature and History Episode 26 Ancient Greek Theater
Wonders of the World Episode 24 The Theater of Dionysus
Ancient Greece Declassified Ep 06 What is Greek Tragedy?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

048 - Food, Wine, and the Symposium

In this episode, we discuss how and when the ancient Greeks consumed food and their diet; the economic, religious, and medicinal role of winethe festival of Anthesteria in the month of Anthesterion (late February/early March)and the Symposium (drinking-party)

Greek terms: akratismos (breakfast), akratos (barley bread dipped in wine)tagenites (a kind of pancake made with wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk), tagenon (frying pan), staitites (another kind of pancake topped with honey, sesame, and cheese), staitinos (of flour or dough)ariston (lunch), deipnon (dinner), hesperisma (light meal in afternoon), aristodeipnon (lunch-dinner), apomagdalia (pieces of bread used as spoon/napkin), ipnos (clay oven), pnigeos (dome-shaped cover for oven), sitos (wheat), krithe (barley)aleiata (wheat flour), artos (loaves), alphita (barley flour), maza (flatbread), esthein krithas monas (to eat only barley, i.e. a diet of bread and water), opson (relish), sitonai (grain buyers), etnos (thick vegetable soup), garon (fish sauce), balanoi (oak acorns), phake (lentil soup), melas zomos (black soup), bouturon (butter), pyriate/oxygala (curdled milk products), hedypatheia (life of luxury), katharsis (purification/asceticism), xerophagia (diet of dry foods), kykeon (barley gruel), kykao (to shake/mix), akraton (undiluted wine), skyphos (drinking vessel), kantharos (deep cup with handles), rhyton (drinking horn), anathessasthai (to pray up), anthos (flower), Pithoigia (The Jar-Opening), pithoi (jars), Choai (The Pouring), choes (jugs), Dionysos en limnais (Dionysos in the marshes), hieros gamos (sacred marriage), basileus (king), basilinna (queen), gerarai (matrons), Chytroi (The Pots), Hermes Chthonios (Hermes of the Underworld), sympinein (to drink together), andron (men's quarters)klinai (couches), tragemata (snacks)agathos daimon (good spirit), symposiarchos (lord of the drinking party), kylix (wine cups), oenochoe (pitchers), hetairai (high-class female prostitutes), aulos (flute-like instrument), barbiton (stringed instrument), kordax (specific dance), skolia (drinking songs), agon (contest), kottabos (specific drinking game), plastinx (tiny statuette holding manes), manes (large disc), latax (noise made when ringing disc with wine), komazein (to revel about the streets in a gang), komastai (revelers)