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  • Print publication year: 1982
  • Online publication date: March 2008

5 - Drama



The acting profession came to depend and to thrive on a circuit of musical and dramatic festivals among which Athens was only one of several centres. This chapter looks at the importance of the theatrical traditions of South Italy and Sicily. Andronicus is a major figure in the history of literature as the first to tackle the problems of literary translation. His approach was crucial for the subsequent development of Latin literature. All kinds of Roman drama were far more musical and operatic than Greek. Grammarians drew a distinction between tragoediae, modelled on Greek tragedy, and fabulae praetextae 'Hem-' or 'Robe-plays ', on Roman themes, ancient and modern. This is parallel to the distinction of comoediae and fabulae togatae. Accius, the polemical scholar, the Pergamene rhetorician, the authority on orthography, the head of the college of poets, the historian of the Greek and Roman theatre, and the Hellenistic tragedian evinces a new self-confidence and artistic awareness.
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