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Le statut de l'acteur dans l'Antiquité grecque et romaine

 | 
Christophe Hugoniot
, 
Frédéric Hurlet
, 
Silvia Milanezi

I. Naissance d'un monde professionnel

Some Social and Economic Conditions behind the Rise of the Acting Profession in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC

Eric Csapo

Texte intégral

  • 1 On admission charges, see further Sommerstein 1997, 66; Wilson 1997, 97-98.
  • 2 Henceforth all references to ancient dates are BC unless otherwise marked. For the finance of the G (...)
  • 3 For Hipponikos, see Davies 1971, 260.
  • 4 Bremer 1991, 59.
  • 5 This estimate is based on the lease for more than half a talent of the relatively small theatre of (...)

1We do not often think of ancient theatre as a business, let alone consider the many unique features it had as a business in its day. From the time, at least, of the democratic reorganization, the Athenian Dionysia differed from other musical festivals in frequency, in scale, and in the variety of economic interests directly involved in its operations. We know of no other annual musical festival before the Dionysia. Its venue, the Theatre of Dionysos, was also larger than any other, holding even in the fifth century an estimated 10,000-15,000 spectators. Financing the festival combined money from the state, from doners, from private investors, and, for the very first time in the history of Greek religious festivals, there were admission charges.1 In the fifth century, by a reasoned estimate, as much as thirty-two talents changed hands over the course of five days.2 This goes well beyond the means of traditional aristocratic or sanctuary patronage. It is more money than Hipponikos, the richest man in fifth-century Greece, could earn in five years.3 As Bremer has noted, the complexity of this kind of funding made drama less «sponsor-directed» and more «audience-oriented» than the cultural products patronized by aristocrats and tyrants.4 At the same time the complexity and scale of the investment introduced monetary interests with a direct financial stake in maximizing public participation in the festival. This was, most conspicuously, the chief interest of the theatronai, or theatropolai, entrepreneurs who bought franchises to build and manage the theatre for as much as an estimated two or three talents, in return for ticket sales.5 Maximizing attendance was thus also in the interest of the state which sold the franchise. From the beginning theatre had at least a modest impulse to expand into the mass-entertainment industry that it became by the end of the Classical period.

  • 6 Sutton 1987, 9-26, shows that the theatre was long dominated by family groups, and often elite fami (...)
  • 7 Sutton 1987, 9-26; Kaimio 1999, 43-61; Taplin 1999, 35.

2But the Great Dionysia alone, and even together (after 440) with the Lenaia, could presumably not by itself sustain a class of specialized labour, namely actors (who could not market their skills in any other forum). We do hear that actors were initially the poets, and then hired by the poet, though this frequently meant hiring one’s own sons and nephews, or the sons and nephews of other poets, as Sutton has shown.6 This suggests that acting, like playwriting, was originally undertaken by Athenians of independent or semi-independent means.7 It is of some interest to the questions raised by this conference to consider just when acting might have become a profession in the sense of an employment from which actors could derive a livelihood without any other means of support. And, further, when were employment opportunities plentiful enough to afford actors the power of refusal? This seems to me to be an essential condition for the next important stage of the history of actors, namely the development of the star system which gave some actors high status and salaries far above the norm.

  • 8 Easterling 1994; Csapo – Slater 1995, 2-4, Taplin 1999; Dearden 1999; Scodel 2001.
  • 9 Fullest discussion in Taplin 1993; Green 1996, esp. 64-70, extends the discussion to other media (i (...)
  • 10 Winkler – Zeitlin 1990.
  • 11 Scodel 2001, 218.
  • 12 Some, but not all, of the differences between my chronology for diffusion and those of the authors (...)

3Oddly the expansion and diffusion of the theatre has only recently become an object of serious interest. Most scholars still take it as axiomatic that fifth-century drama was produced only once, at Athens, for a single audience. Evidence for productions elsewhere, when it is not dismissed, is generally treated as exceptional. But in the past decade, Easterling, Taplin, Dearden, Scodel, and I myself have tried to challenge this Athenocentric view.8 The two main motives for opening the question were, one, the discovery that South Italian comic vases (produced from 400 to 330) show Attic Old Comedy,9 and, two, reaction to the interpretations of tragedy, chiefly heralded by the authors collected in the Nothing to do with Dionysos? volume published in 1989, which increasingly caricatured drama as totalitarian propaganda by the Athenian State and for the purpose of constructing the reflexes of a model citizen.10 My interest in reopening the question is to review the evidence for the expansion of the theatre industry with a view to its impact upon actors. Part I is a survey of the relatively fuller and clearer evidence for the economics of acting in the fourth century. Parts II and III will focus upon the expansion of the theatre in the period before about 370, looking first at expansion within Attica (Part II) and then including evidence for theatre outside of Attica (Part III). Even Taplin and Dearden do not see much expansion of theatre outside Athens before the last decade of the fifth century; Scodel allows it in «the last decades.»11 I would like to provide a somewhat clearer map of this process, which can, I think, be said to begin at least as early as the middle of the fifth century. I will also argue that, by the last quarter of the century, it had advanced far enough to provide the material conditions for the emergence of a self-sustaining acting profession.12 Part IV considers some more direct evidence for the development of professional actors and an actor’s profession in the fullest sense of the term.

I. The Fourth Century (from about 370)

  • 13 The earlier theatres (down to about 370) are discussed further below. My list includes: Fifth-Centu (...)
  • 14 See the sources collected in Csapo – Slater 1995, nos. IV 29-31. For Macedon and theatre, see Rever (...)

4Fourth-century Greek cities acquired theatres at an ever accelerated rate. We have architectural, epigraphic or literary evidence of over fifty permanent theatres built by the end of the fourth century.13 Moreover, permanent theatres or regular festivals were not the only venues for dramatic performances. Philip and Alexander especially made good use of occasional festivals and sometimes temporary theatres to celebrate royal weddings or military victories.14

  • 15 Plutarch, Alexander, 29. Cf. Aischines, On the False Embassy, 19, with scholia ad loc., Pollux, IV, (...)

5By the later fourth century the demand for good actors clearly outstripped the supply. Even the Athenian Dionysia found it necessary to secure actors by paying appearance fees, tendering large advances and imposing fines. And even the Athenian Dionysia was «stood up» by actors who found more profitable engagements elsewhere. We have no actual sums, but Plutarch’s sources found it worth recording that Alexander paid off a fine, set it seems at twice the deposit, for Athenodoros when he failed to honour an engagement at the Athenian Dionysia in order to appear at one of Alexander’s festivals.15 The anecdote aims to illustrate Alexander’s liberality to actors. (Juxtaposed is another anecdote about a spontaneous gift of ten talents to the comic actor Lykon.)

  • 16 [Plutarch] Ten Orators, 848b; Gellius, 11, 9, cf. 11,10, 6. Cf. Dio Chrysostomus, Or. LXVI, 11, whi (...)
  • 17 SEG I 362 (= Csapo – Slater 1995, no. IV 37).
  • 18 IG XII 9, 207 (= Le Guen 2001, I, TE 1), line 22, with Le Guen 2001, II, 71-74.

6By the end of the fourth century we see the impact this expansion of the theatre industry had upon actors’incomes. An anecdote, traceable to Critolaos in the early second century, tells us that Polos (or Aristodemos) could gain a talent «for two days’ competition.»16 A much more secure index of the actor’s bargaining power comes from a well-known Samian inscription, dated 306, in which Samos heaps fulsome honours upon Polos for agreeing to take lower than usual fees and defer payment in exchange for all of the box-office proceeds.17 How did the less illustrious actors fare? To get some idea we can stretch down some dozen years to the Euboean law relating to local dramatic festivals: in it three comic actors are chalking up 1600 drachmas for a five day appearance, not including expenses and prize-money.18 Each takes over 100 drachmas per performance.

  • 19 FD III 5.3.67, SIG 239 B.
  • 20 Demosthenes, 18.114, cf. 5.8. Neoptolemos later dedicated gold-plated cups worth the notice of Pole (...)

7Clearly the fourth century provided the necessary conditions for the development of a star-system of Hollywood proportions. But just when acting became so lucrative is a more difficult question. We have only indirect anecdotal evidence for the wealth of star actors in the earlier fourth century. Already in 362 Theodoros was able to make a personal contribution to the rebuilding of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi almost five times larger than that of any other private individual and larger than many states.19 Neoptolemos could afford repeated gifts of money for public works to the city of Athens, apparently beginning some time before 348.20 These are the earliest indications of the wealth that might be acquired by actors. For the economic factor most responsible for this wealth, namely, the expansion of the theatre industry, we can go back a good deal farther.

II. The Rural Dionysia of Attica

  • 21 The authority of Pickard-Cambridge (19682, 47-50, 54-56, 87, 361) and Ghiron-Bistagne (1976, 92-93, (...)
  • 22 See in general Wilson 2000, 30-31, 236ff. The only city inscription which can be related to a drama (...)

8The earliest evidence for the spread of drama comes from the immediate periphery of Athens: it comes from inscriptions, theatre architecture, and snippets of information culled from Greek prose authors. Though most of the inscriptions are well-known, three of the most important to our question are generally ignored, or avoided, because they fly in the face of a long-standing prejudice about Athens’ virtual monopoly on high-quality dramatic performance.21 All three of these inscriptions were found in the Attic countryside and all three appear on marble statue bases. Both these details would normally be taken as evidence that the inscriptions refer to the Rural Dionysia. Marble statues were the usual form of choregic dedication commemorating dramatic victories at the Rural Dionysia. For victories at the City festivals, by contrast, choregoi normally dedicated paintings or reliefs at a sanctuary within Athens.22 Nonetheless, these three choregic statue bases have generally been referred to the City festivals. The main reason for this is the fact that they list famous poets as didaskaloi. It is almost universally assumed that if drama was produced in the demes, it was by second-rate performers. This assumption is both groundless and disprovable.

  • 23 This rather romantic view of the early diffusion of drama goes back at least as far as Lüders 1873, (...)
  • 24 The point is well-made by Hughes 1996, 102. Cf. Dearden 1999, 245; Csapo 1999-2000, 299. Plato’s La (...)
  • 25 Demosthenes, On the False Embassy, 192; Suetonius, Caligula, 57.4; Stobaeus, Flor. 34.70; Plutarch,(...)

9The passages of Plato, Demosthenes and Demochares which are cited in support of a divided market not only fail to contrast «first-rate» drama in the City with a «second-rate» drama outside, but, if anything, one of them sooner shows that until about 380 the poets who produced in the City normally also produced outside. (The passages are cited and discussed in the Appendix). The frequently cited iconographic evidence also fails to support this view. The so-called Wanderbühne seen on the so-called phlyax vases are often referred to vaguely defined «wandering troupes» roaming the Mediterranean, like Mediaeval players, setting up their temporary stages and performing for their dinner in the marketplaces of roadside villages (in contrast to the «top talent» at Athens which is supposed to live solely off revenues from the two City festivals).23 But there is no reason to think these stages were any more temporary than the (also temporary, wooden) pre-Lycurgan skene at Athens.24 I know of no evidence for public performances of drama outside of formal theatres in the Classical period and of little evidence for performances outside of regular theatre festivals. Almost all of the evidence for drama outside of regular theatres and festivals relates to the occasional (i.e. «one-off») festivals celebrating Macedonian royal weddings, victories, or funerals, mentioned above.25 For the fifth and earliest fourth-century, at least, I find it difficult to believe that the market for drama was so large that it could so easily be divided into an «up-market» in Athens and a «down-market» in the periphery.

  • 26 IG II2 1186 (mid 4th c. BC, dithyramb and tragedy); IG II2 3100 (mid 4th c. BC, comedy); IG II2 310 (...)

10Of the three inscriptions, mentioned above as subject to prejudicial miscategorization, IG I3 970 is a choregic dedication by two synchoregoi, found in Eleusis, and dated by Lewis between 425 to 406, fifty years before other evidence for drama at Eleusis.26 Aristophanes was director of the victorious comedy and Sophokles directed the victorious tragedy.

Γ῝νάθις TιµoImage 10000000000000080000000F04A2D855.jpgήδὄςἌναξανδρίδης TιµἄImage 10000000000000080000000FAE587B6A.jpgóρo
Χoρηγõντες κωµωιδoῖς ἐνίκωv·
Ἀριστoϕάvης ἔδίδασκεv.
τέρα νίκη τραγωιδoῖς·
Σoϕoκλῆς ἐδίδασκεν.

  • 27 Capps 1943, 5-8.
  • 28 S Aristophanes, Frogs (= Aristotle fr. 630 Rose): ἔoικε δὲ παρεµϕαίνειν τι λιτῶς ἤδη ἐχoρηγεῖτo τo (...)
  • 29 Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 48 says that if the inscription refers to Athens, the plays would almost c (...)
  • 30 Including Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 47-48; Ghiron-Bistagne 1976, 92-93; Whitehead 1986, 217; Makres (...)

11As the verb ἐδίδασκεν on choregic inscriptions always implies the function of «director,» specifically «director of the chorus,» and not the office of poet, the stone indicates the physical participation of Aristophanes and Sophokles in the production here commemorated. Assuming that the Dionysia of Eleusis was an unworthy venue for such luminaries, scholarly opinion until 1943 inclined towards supposing that the inscription commemorates a victory at the City Dionysia on a monument set up in the local deme theatre of Elesusis. The critical evidence against this view came with the publication of a fragment of the Fasti which enabled Capps to show that the entire inscription allowed only room enough to report a single synchoregia at the City Dionysia.27 That synchoregia at the City Dionysia was in 405 (on the testimony of Aristotle).28 As we cannot ascribe both victories on this stone to 405 (for one thing the elder Sophokles was dead and the younger Sophokles not yet active) the case is closed.29 The Lenaia should probably also be excluded. We know of no synchoregiai there either and the scholiast’s evidence shows that he knew of none. But synchoregoi are as common as single choregoi at the Rural Dionysia. A majority of experts now concedes that IG I3 970 probably refers to the Rural Dionysia.30 On the evidence now available, this is the only reasonable conclusion.

  • 31 Cf. IG II2 1210, IG II2 3101.

12IG I3 969, an inscription dated by Lewis to ca. 440-431, was found at Anagyrous, antedating by a century other evidence for drama at this demesite.31

Σωκράτης ἀνέθηκεν ·
E
ὐριπίδης ἐδίδασκε ·
τραγωιδoί Aµϕίδηµoς
Πύθωv Eὐθύδικo~
Ἐχεκλῆς Λυσίας
M
εvάλκης Σv
Φιλκράτης Kριτόδημoς
Ἔχυλλoς Xαρίας
M
έλητoς Φαίδωv
Ἐµπoρίωv vacat

  • 32 I do not believe, with Gould and Lewis in the addendum to Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 261, that fourte (...)
  • 33 Makres 1994, 355-357. Cf. Wilson 2000, 132-33, though Wilson thinks it refers to the City Dionysia (...)
  • 34 Thompson 1950, 337; Androtion, FGrH 324 F 38. If the late fifth-century date assigned by Mitsos («X (...)
  • 35 See Matthaiou « Σv » 181.
  • 36 On this much discussed inscription, see esp. Wilson 2000, 248; Makres 1994, 359-361; Luppe 1969. Th (...)

13We find the names of the choregos, the director Euripides, and a list of fourteen tragoidoi. The latter term can only be read as «tragic chorusmembers.»32 Since all the chorusmembers are named without patronymic and demotic, we must assume that they are all demesmen of Anagyrous.33 In fact we know of a Socrates of Anagyrous from this period, and evidently of choregic class, since he served as a general in the Samian War, and later as a candidate for ostracism.3434 The inference that the choreuts also all come from Anagyrous is partly confirmed by a fourth century inscription, where a Son is identified as a member of that deme (the name is extremely rare).35 I find it very unlikely that all the choreuts for tragedy at the City Dionysia would be selected from Anagyrous, but this, of course, was mandatory for the deme’s Rural Dionysia. IG II2 3091 (= TrGF DID B 5), an inscription of the early fourth century, was found near Halai Aixonides and is now usually attributed to that deme (earlier literature gives it to Aixone).36

Ἐ῎.•. χoρηγῶv vίκα κὢµωιδoῖς.
Ἐχϕαντίδης ἐδίδασκε Πείρας
Θρασύβoπoς χoρηγῶv vίκα κωµωιδoῖς
Kρατῖvoς ἐδίδασκε Boυκόλος.
Θρασύβoπoς χoρηγῶv vίκα τραγωιδoῖς.
Tιµόθεος ἐδίδασκε Ἀλκµέωvα, ()λϕεσιβὄίαv.
Ἐπιχάρης χoρηγῶv vίκα τραγωιδoῖς.
Σoϕoκλῆς ἐδίδασκε Tηλέϕειαv.

  • 37 Wilson 2000, 248 «although the force of this argument has rightly come to be seen as overrated.»
  • 38 Wilson 2000, 375 n. 164 (cf. Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 55). This is an attractive suggestion, though (...)
  • 39 Luppe 1969, 151.
  • 40 Pace Makres 1994, 361: «whereas one would think that, at the rural contests, tragic poets would mor (...)
  • 41 Wilson 2000, 248.
  • 42 Perhaps the strongest argument for these victories referring to the City are those by Luppe 1969, 1 (...)

14The inscription lists four victories, that must begin about the middle of the fifth century, directed by Ekphantides, Kratinos, Timotheos, and Sophokles. Again the presence of famous poets is the main argument for referring this to a City festival.37 Wilson suggests that even the Timotheos named here as didaskalos may be the famous Timotheos, namely the dithyrambic poet.38 Luppe notes that the titles of the plays he directs are known from the tragedian Achaios.39 Other arguments for referring the victories to festivals in the City are based upon the traditional, but unfounded, notion that the Rural Dionysia were shoddy, derivative, late, lumpish and short. We have no evidence of the number of tragedies normally produced by each group of contestants at the Rural Dionysia, so it is a matter of indifference that IG II2 3091 names two and possibly three (Telepheia?) tragedies per set.40 The evident fifth-century date of the victories is also no obstacle,41 since we have other evidence of very active festivals in Ikarion and Thorikos, quite apart from the Eleusinian and Anagyrasian inscriptions discussed above.42

  • 43 Ghiron-Bistagne 1976, 133.
  • 44 Aelian, VH 2.13.
  • 45 Nicostratos, PCG 7 T 1-3, F 1-40.
  • 46 See Makres 1994, 371-373; Wilson 2000, 306-307.

15Since these monuments make no explicit reference to the City festivals, we would have to suppose that any demesman reading the stone would immediately conclude, like modern scholars, from the presence of big names that the victory was in the City, not the township. But what right have we to suppose that elite theatricians would not perform at the Rural Dionysia? Ghiron-Bistagne, who concedes that the Eleusinian inscription, IG I3 970, must refer to the Rural Dionysia, nonetheless argues, contrary to all evidence, that Sophokles and Aristophanes on the inscription are listed only as the poets, not as the actual directors. Why? She can only state a priori «...quand on considère l’organisation des Dionysies rurales, il paraît tout à fait extraordinaire d’imaginer que le poète était le veritable instructeur.»43 The only non-epigraphic evidence for top poets directing at the Rural Dionysia is Aelian’s anecdote about Euripides directing at Peiraeus (which we may well doubt).44 But the Nikostratos listed as didaskalos on an inscription (IG II2 3094) relating to the Rural Dionysia at Ikarion (beginning of the fourth century) is probably the one who left us some forty fragments from twenty-one plays and is said to be a son of Aristophanes.45 Of particular interest in this regard is a choregic inscription for the Dionysia at Acharnai from the same period or a little later (IG II2 3092 + Horos 10, p. 65):46

Mvησίστρατoς Mίσγωvος Διoπείθης
Διoδώρ
o ἐχoρήγov.
’′Δἲκαιoγέvης ἐδίδασκε
v.
Πoλυχάρης
Kώµὤὒος ἔδἴδασκεv.

Mvησµαχoς Mvησιστράτo
Θεóτιµος Διoτίµο ἐχoρήγo
v.
Ἀρίϕρω
v ἐδίδασκεv.

RHS

Θεóτἴµος Διoτίµὂ

Mvησίµαχoς Mvησιστράτo ἐχoρήγov.

Θέρσἄvδρoς ἐδίδασκεν.

  • 47 Dikaiogenes 1, TrGF 52 T 1-3.
  • 48 Ariphron 1, TrGF 53; PMG 813.
  • 49 Stephanis 1988, no. 1193.
  • 50 Demosthenes, Meid. 17; IG II2 3093 (triangular base for a tripod found in Salamis, beginning of fou (...)
  • 51 Nikarchus, AP 7.159.
  • 52 Thorikos VIII, no. 76 (dedicatory inscription on a statue base found in the theatre of Thorikos, da (...)
  • 53 Stephanis 1988, no. 1157.
  • 54 Thorikos IX no. 84 (a marble stele found in the theatre of Thorikos, thought by Bingen to be a list (...)
  • 55 Sannion: Demochares ap. Life of Aischines 7 (FGrH 75 F 6a), Demosthenes, Meid., 58-61 (both passage (...)

16The inscription names Dikaiogenes, a writer of both tragedies and dithyrambs, whom Aristotle praises for his recognitions, and the same Aristotle or a student praised as writing songs second to none.47 This inscription may be for dithyramb: an Ariphron is the composer of a famous paian to Hygieia;48 the Thersandros is conceivably the man identified by Polyainos and Xenophon as an aulete.49 We know that the famous piper Telephanes directed the chorus for Demosthenes’ dithyrambic chorus in 348; we find this very same Telephanes piping for a boys’ dithyramb at the Dionysia in Salamis at the beginning of the fourth.50 His fame is widely attested: one ancient author compares Telephanes’virtuosity to that of Orpheus, Nestor, and Homer in their respective specializations.51 A mid-fourth century choregic dedication from Thorikos lists a tragic actor [...] odoros.52 This is almost certainly the great Theodoros, most famous tragedian of the fourth century.53 A stele probably listing winners of the acting competition at Thorikos names Pindaros, a tragic actor notorious enough to be cited by Aristotle as a famous example, along with Kallippides, of an actor who overdoes it.54 From literary sources we may add Sannion, ca. 370, who was so sought after, according to Demosthenes, that ambitious tragic choregoi in the City hired him as chorodidaskalos, even at the risk of violating the law against employing disenfranchised citizens, and Parmenon, ca. 346 at Kollytos, who was one of the most celebrated comic actors of the fourth century.55 Though all this evidence belongs to the fourth century, this is precisely the time when we might expect the industry to be large enough to support the kind of inferior artist we are supposed to imagine frequented the demes. The fact that so many familiar names appear on deme inscriptions shows, rather, that the same performers who worked the City festivals also worked the deme festivals. IG I3 970, IG I3 969, and IG II2 3091 show that they did so from as early as the mid-fifth century.

  • 56 IG II2 3091 (see above), IG II2 1202 (SEG XXVI 133, SEG XXXVI 185); SEG XXXVI 186.
  • 57 IG I3 964 (see above); IG II2 1210; IG II2 3101.
  • 58 IG I3 254; IG II2 3094, 3095, 1178, 3098, 3099; SEG XXII 117; SEG XLIV 131.
  • 59 IG I3 970 (see above); IG II2 1186, 3100.
  • 60 Thorikos VIII, no. 75; Thorikos IX, no. 85; Thorikos VIII, no. 76; Thorikos IX, no. 83; Thorikos IX (...)
  • 61 IG II2 3092 (beginning 4th c. BC, tragedy); IG II2 3106 (4th c. BC, dithyramb and comedy); SEG XLII (...)
  • 62 IG II2 3097.
  • 63 IG II2 3108 (4th c. BC?, comedy); IG II2 3109 (the inscription belongs to the beginning 3rd century (...)
  • 64 Athens, NM 2400 (relief with tragic chorus and? choregos, late 4th c. BC).
  • 65 Aigilia: IG II2 3096 (before mid 4th c. BC, choregoi of unspecified genre); Myrrhinous: IG II2 1182 (...)
  • 66 Aelian, VH, II, 13; Demosthenes, On the Crown, 180 and 262.

17The inscriptions also show us a fairly rapid spread of drama from about 440 in Athens and Attica: drama is incorporated at the Dionysia at Halai Aixonides by ca. 440,56 at Anagyrous by 440-431,57 at Ikarion by 440-415,58 at Eleusis by 425-406,59 at Thorikos by ca. 400,60 and at Acharnai by the early fourth century.61 After this we can be sure of drama at Paiania by ca. 350,62 at Rhamnous sometime in the fourth century,63 and Sphettos before the end of the fourth century.64 Choregiai of unspecified genre (hence conceivably dithyramb rather than drama) are attested at Aigilia and Myrrhinous within the first half of the fourth century and at Halai Araphenides by shortly after mid-century.65 Literary sources add drama at Peiraeus in the late fifth and at Kollytos by ca. 370-360.66

  • 67 In principle theatres might have been built to serve only for dithyrambs, or more primitive spectac (...)
  • 68 Ikarion: Goette 1995, 10; Moretti 2000, 278-279; Thorikos: Hackens 1967, 75-96; esp. 95; Goette 199 (...)
  • 69 Goette 1995, 18; Travlos 1988, 342; Thucydides, VIII, 93,1; Lysias, XIII, 32; Xenophon, H., II, 4.3 (...)
  • 70 Trachones (= Euonymon): Pöhlmann 1997, 139; Lohmann 1998, 196; Tzachou-Alexandri 1999, 421.
  • 71 IG II2 3093.

18To this textual evidence we can add evidence of the existence of theatres. One must, of course, use this evidence with caution, since the existence of theatre buildings is no certain proof of the existence of drama.67 It is, however, reasonable to suppose that where a community has taken the trouble to build a permanent theatre, there is a strong likelihood of dramatic performance. In Attica, the earliest remains of the theatres at Ikarion and Thorikos have been dated to the late sixth or early fifth century and may be as old as the Theatre of Dionysos at Athens.68 (We have seen that inscriptions from both of these sites attest to the performance of drama, but only a good half century to a century after the construction of the theatres.) The rectilinear shape of the remains of the theatre of Peiraeus (Mounychia) would suggest a date in the fifth century; this in any case is confirmed by literary sources that show it existed by 411.69 The earliest phase of the theatre at Trachones can probably be dated to the late fifth.70 Inscriptions also attest a theatre in Salamis by the early fourth (but only dithyrambic performance is specifically attested (specific evidence of drama does not come until the late second century).71

  • 72 Plato, Republic, 475d. For the implication of poleis here, see Appendix.

19While evaluating this evidence we should keep in mind the fact that few deme sites have been properly excavated and most theatre inscriptions are chance finds: we would know nothing of drama at Thorikos, for example, if it were not for the Belgian synergasia. How many more of Attica’s 139 deme sites had regular dramatic competitions is anyone’s guess. The fact that Plato can speak of theatre lovers «running around to all of the Dionysia and omitting none, whether in the cities or in the villages» (Περιθέoυσι τῖς Διoνυσίoις oὔτε τῶv κατὰ πόλεις oὔτε τῶv κατὰ κώµας ἀπoλειπόµεv) shows that by ca. 370 they were many.72 The passage also suggests that the festivals were co-ordinated to allow the same audiences and doubtless the same performers to appear.

III. The Expansion of the Theatre in Greece

  • 73 Ginouvès 1972.
  • 74 Katane: Mitens 1988, 100-101, Courtois 1989, Dearden 1999, 245. Dion: Polacco 1986; Chaeroneia: dat (...)
  • 75 Moretti 1993, 83-86.
  • 76 Diodorus Siculus, XVII, 16, 3-4; Arrian, I, 11, 1; Polacco 1986.
  • 77 Auberson – Schefold 1972, 46; Auberson 1976, 64; Wilson 2000, 283-284.
  • 78 Xenophon, Hell., IV, 4,3; Diodorus Siculus, XV, 40.2. I omit the evidence of Polyainos, Strategemat (...)

20Architecture is our main evidence for the expansion of the theatre beyond Attica. But because of controversy surrounding the early chronology of most theatres, and because of the possibility that theatres were used, in the early period, for non-dramatic purposes, architectural evidence is most helpful when combined with textual evidence. Architectural remains show that Argos also had a theatre by the mid-fifth century.73 The theatres of Katane, Dion, and Chaironeia may go back to the fifth century, and the theatre at Isthmia is dated before 390.74 Many date the earliest theatre at Syracuse to the early fifth; but, architecture aside, we have plentiful evidence for the performance of drama, whether the comedies of Epicharmos and his successors, or the Persians and Aetnian Women of Aischylos first performed there around 471 and 458.75 The theatre of Dion (or, less likely, Aigai) is presumably also the site of productions by Euripides and Agathon in the last decade of the fifth century, including the play called Archelaos, doubtless at Archelaos’ new festival of Zeus and the Muses.76 Auberson and Schefold give a fifth-century date for a stone stage-building (which strongly suggests drama) at the theatre at Eretria (and we have abundant testimony of dithyrambic competitions there, at least, in the later fourth century).77 Xenophon attests theatre in Corinth by 393, and Diodoros a theatre in Phigaleia by 375.78

  • 79 Kossatz-Deissman 1978; Taplin 1993; Green 1994, esp. 64-70; Dearden 1999, 235-246; Taplin 1999, 39- (...)
  • 80 By the mid-fourth century Plato in the Laws (659a-c) speaks of the manner of judging competitions i (...)
  • 81 Euripides’popularity in Sicily: Satyros, Life of Euripides (POxy 1176, fr. 39, col. 19); Plutarchus (...)

21We must also consider iconographic evidence which shows a close familiarity in Southern Italy, especially Apulia, with Attic satyrplay from about 430, Attic tragedy from about 425, and Attic comedy from about 400.79 It can now be shown that the comic vases assume a market so closely familiar with Attic comedy that we must posit the production of Attic drama in centres like Taranto, Thurii, Metapontum, Syracuse and Katane beginning sometime between 430-400.80 This concurs with anecdotal and historical evidence for the popularity of Euripides in Southern Italy, and the strong presence of South Italian and Sicilian actors and poets in the theatre beginning about 380.81

Table of Known and Suspected Venues for Drama from ca. 440 to ca. 370 BC

By

Certain

Probable

Possible

ca. 440

Athenian Dionysia Lenaia
Syracuse

Halai Aixonides
Thorikos
Ikarion
Argos

ca. 400

Anagyrous 440-431
Eleusis by 425-406
Ikarion by 440-415
Thorikos by ca. 400

Peiraeus
Eretria
Taranto
Thurii
Metapontum
Dion

Chaironeia
Katane

ca. 370

Acharnai by early 4th
Kollytos by 370-360

Corinth before 393
Isthmia before 390
Phigaleia by 375

Aigilia
Myrrhinous
Trachones
Salamis

22Putting this evidence together, we have by ca. 440 certain evidence for three sites which sponsored dramatic performances, and certain to possible evidence for seven. By ca. 400 we have certain evidence for seven sites which sponsored dramatic performances, certain to probable evidence for fifteen, certain to possible evidence for seventeen. By ca. 370 we have certain evidence for ten sites which sponsored dramatic performances, certain to probable evidence for twenty, and certain to possible evidence for twenty-six. There is every reason to believe that these numbers represent only a view of the «tip of the iceberg» permitted by the random and fortuitous survival of evidence.

IV. Some More Direct Evidence for the Emergence of an Actor’s Profession

  • 82 Taplin 1999, 35; Dearden 1999, 244.

23I have tried to show that there were enough opportunities to act, that one could make a living as a professional actor in the fifth century, and perhaps even make a living without «wandering» very far. We have no instances in this period of Athenian actors wandering overseas (unless Aischylos took his actors with him). The earliest movement of this sort comes the other way, beginning, it would seem, in the 370s when we can trace the activities in Athens and Central Greece of Satyros of Olynthos, Aristodemos of Metapontum, and Neoptolemos of Skyros.82 This sudden efflorescence of foreign actors, more than anything, suggests that festivals in the far corners of the Greek world were run at least in part with local talent from about 400.

  • 83 Compare contemporary attitudes by elites towards the developing music profession: see Csapo 2004.
  • 84 See above, n. 7.
  • 85 Stephanis 1988, nos. 1348 (Kallippides) and 1861 (Nicostratos). On Kallippides, see Braund 2000, Cs (...)
  • 86 Plutarch, Ages, 21.4, Apophth. Lakon., 212f. Cf. Xenophon, Symp., III, 11; Aristotle, Poet., 1461b (...)
  • 87 Aristophanes, PCG F 490; Strattis, PCG T 1, F11-13.
  • 88 Life of Sophokles 14; Polyainos, Strateg., VI, 10; Plutarch, Ages, 21.4, Apophth. Lakon., 212f.
  • 89 Green 1991, esp. 30-33; Green 1994, 34-36; Taplin 1997; Csapo 2001.

24Ironically, the surest evidence for the professionalization of actors is probably the scorn felt for them by Athenian elites precisely for their brilliant success in developing, promoting and capitalizing upon their talent.83 There was a time, we noted, when actors were the poets or closely associated with the poets, often relatives, and so, like dramatic writing, acting was dominated by respectable or elite Athenian families.84 But by the 420s we get our first indications of open hostility directed at the hireling among the honourseekers. For earlier actors we have little more than names and didascalic dates. But for the great tragic actors of 425 – 390, Kallippides and Nicostratos, we have as much information as for any of the great stars of the fourth century.85 They were already noteworthy celebrities. The sources for Kallippides speak of his voµα κα δóξα even if they generally ridicule him for his presumption and lack of decorum.86 Kallippides’ vulgarity is ridiculed already by Aristophanes, and Strattis devoted an entire comedy to him.87 We also, incidentally, have anecdotes which depict Kallippides performing in such varied locations as Opous, Aiolis, and Sparta.88 From the late 420s actors had captured the popular imagination and their success had irritated the kaloikagathoi. In the late 420s at Athens we also get the first theatrical artifacts that focus upon actors and drama in performance.89

25By the last two decades of the fifth century an actor could not only make an independent livelihood, he could even become famous. By the early fourth century actors had sufficient consciousness of their common identity that they were able to organizate and co-operate in pursuit of common interests. The Athenian inscription known as the Fasti reports that in 386 tragedians were well enough organized as a profession to produce and donate an «old tragedy» preliminary to the festival competition:

ἐπί Θεoδóτoυ
παλαιòν πρῶτὄImage 100000000000000A0000000FD62A437C.jpg
παραδίδαξαv o τραImage 10000000000000080000000F3EE5F67A.jpgωιδoImage 10000000000000070000000F3F9DE947.jpg

  • 90 IG II2 2318, lines 201-3.
  • 91 Independence from poet and the specificity of a given performance context is also suggested by the (...)
  • 92 On this, see Wilson 2000, passim.
  • 93 See Le Guen 2001, TE 5 (with vol. II, p. 90), TE 10, TE 13, TE 53, and the inscriptions mentioned i (...)
  • 94 There is insufficient evidence to show if this donation of a tragic performance continued regularly (...)

26«The tragedians [as a group] first produced alongside the contest an old play.»90 This event marks a watershed in the relations between actors and other actors, between actors and poets, and between actors and their public. It is the first time we see actors assuming a corporate identity, acting in concert (so to speak) and organizing the entirety of a production, thus asserting their independence of sponsors, poets, and state bureaucracy.91 But most important of all, it is the first time that actors collectively rise above the conditions of their money economy to participate in the elite gift economy that the representations of the theatre profession had reserved for the choregoi, choreuts and poets.92 With this «gift,» they collectively make a gesture of largesse towards the Athenian demos, instituting the habit of euergetism, for which we have many examples in the days of the Technitai.93 It is a powerfully assertive public relations exercise on the part of a group whose status official and elite Athens had always regarded with a certain ambivalence.94

27Appendix: Literary Testimony which is Generally Thought to Show that Performers at the Rural Dionysia were «Second-Rate»

28Even discounting the rhetorical aims of the following passages and taking them at face value, none supports the hypothesis of a divided market, and especially not a distinction in the quality of performers normally associated with the Rural Dionysia and the City festivals.

29I. Plato, Laches 182d 83b: καὶ δή καὶ τò ὁπλιτικòν τοῦτο, εἰ μέν ἐστιν μάθημα, ὅπερ ϕασὶν οἱ διδάσκοντες, καὶ οἷον Νικίας λέγει, χρὴ αὐτò μανθάνειν ∙ εἰ δ’ ἔστιν μὲν μὴ μάθημα, ἀλλ’ ἐξαπατῶσιν οἱ ὑπισχνούμενοι, ἢ μάθημα μὲν τυγχάνει ὄν, μὴ μέντοι πάνυ σπουδαῖον, τί καὶ δέοι ἂν αὐτò μανθάνειν’ λέγω δὲ ταῦτα περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τάδε ἀποβλέψας, ὅτι οἶμαι ἐγὼ τοῦτο, εἰ τὶ ἦν, οῦκ ἂν λεληθέναι Λακεδαιμονίους, οἷς οὐδὲν ἄλλο μέλει ἐν τῷ βίῳ ἢ τοῦτο ζητεῖν καὶ ἐπιτηδεύειν, ὅτι ἂν μαθόντες καὶ ἐπιτηδεύσαντες πλεονεκτοῖεν τῶν ἄλλων περὶ τὸν πόλεμον. εἰ δ’ ἐκείνους λέληθεν, ἀλλ’ οὐ τούτους γε τοὺς διδασκάλους αὐτοὺ λέληθεν αὐτὸ τοῦτο, ὅτι ἐκεῖνοι μάλιστα τῶν Ἑλλήνων σπουδάζουσιν ἐπὶ τοῖς τοιούτοις καὶ ὅτι παρ’ ἐκείνοις ἂν τις τιμηθεὶς εἰς ταῦτα καὶ παρὰ τῶν ἄλλων πλεῖστ’ ἂν ἐργάζοιτο χρήματα, ὥσπερ γε καὶ τραγῳδίας ποιητὴς παρ’ ἡμῖν τιμηθείς, τοιγάρτοι ὃς ἂν οἴηται τραγῳδίαν καλῶς ποιεῖν, οὐκ ἔξωθεν κύκλῳ περὶ τὴν’ Αττικὴν κατὰ τὰς άλλας πόλεις ἐπιδεικνύμενος περιέρχεται, ἀλλ’ εὐθὺς δεῦρο φέρεται καὶ τοῖσδ’ ἐπιδείκνυσιν εἰκότως:

30«And we especially need to learn this military science, if it is a science, as the teachers claim, and as Nikias says. But if it isn’t a science and those who offer instruction are deceiving us, or if it does happen to be a science, but a trivial one, why should we learn it? I say this in consideration of my view that, if it were, the Spartans would know about it, since they have no other interest in life than to seek out and occupy themselves with whatever learning and practice will make them superior to all others in matters of war. But if they don’t know it, then the teachers of military science are certainly not unaware that the Spartans more than any other Greeks are preoccupied with this sort of thing, and that in Sparta a teacher of military science could gain honour and more money than anywhere else, just as we honour tragic poets. Surely anyone who thought himself a good tragedian would not travel about performing in a circuit around Attica to the other cities outside, but would in all likelihood be brought straight here [Athens] and perform for this audience.»

31This passage says nothing about the Rural Dionysia, but refers to poets performing outside Attica.

    • 95 Taplin 1993, 91, 1999, 39.
    • 96 I can find only two «exceptions.» Hekataios, FGrH 1 F 126, refers to Thorikos as a polis. Connor (1 (...)

    Taplin has called attention to the language of the last sentence.95 Though it is often translated as «doing the circuit around [i.e. inside] Attica,» vel sim., it cannot mean this. Laches says «to the other poleis.» The Attic demes are virtually never referred to as poleis (they are demoi), and never in contrast to Athens which is THE polis of Attica.96

  1. The logic of the argument requires that the contrast be between the Athenian audience and the audiences of other Greek cities. This is required by the analogy of teachers of military science going to other cities and avoiding Sparta (not going the rounds among the perioikoi and avoiding Sparta). It would, moreover, be difficult to suppose that Plato conceptually contrasts residents of Attica with residents of Athens in his reference to audiences at the festivals in the city, since they were composed of the former as much as the latter.

  2. The wording of the argument does not imply that good poets will not perform outside of Athens (or even outside of Attica). It only states that the good ones will not go to other places in preference to Athens, or to the exclusion of Athens. This is partly borne out by the analogy. The wonder is that the teachers of military science are to be found just about everywhere but in Sparta.

32This passage was traditionally misconstrued because it was taken as axiomatic that drama was exclusively Athenian, or nearly so, even at the time Laches was written (probably ca. 400-390). Far from showing that the Rural Dionysia was inferior, this passage shows:

  1. That there were several cities with dramatic festivals on the periphery of Attica by ca. 400.

  2. That tragic poets (even good ones) at this date themselves frequently or regularly instructed choruses in productions outside of Athens. This is shown both by the language and the analogy of the didaskaloi of military science.

33II. Demochares ap. Life of Aischines 7 (FGrH 75 F 6a): Δημοχάρης δέ ἀδελφιδοῦς Δημοσθένους, εἰ ἄρα πιστευτέον αὐτῷ λέγοντι περὶ Αίσχίνου, φησὶν Ἰσχάνδρου τοῦ τραγῳδοποιοῦ τριταγωνιστὴν γενέσθαι τòν Αίσχίνην, καὶ ὑποκρονόμενον Οἰνόμαον διώκοντα Πέλοπα αἰσχρῶς πεσεῖν, καὶ ἀναστῆναι ὑπò Σαννίωνος τοῦ χοροδιδασκάλου (ἐνθένδ’ οὖν ὁ Δημοσθένης Οἰνόμαον αὐτòν ὀνομάζει, πρòς εἰδότας τò πρᾶγμα ἐπισκώπτων), καὶ μετὰ Σωκράτους καὶ Σιμύλου τῶν κακῶν ὑποκριτῶν ἀλᾶσθαι κατ’ ἀγρούς ∙ εἴη ἂν οὖν ἐνθένδε ἀρουραῖος λεγόμενος.

  • 97 Cf. Demosthenes, Meid. 58-61.

34«Demochares, the nephew of Demosthenes, if he is to be trusted when he speaks about Aischines, says that when he was acting the part of Oenomaos chasing Pelops he fell disgracefully and was helped to his feet by Sannion the chorus director – this is why Demosthenes calls hims Oenomaos,97 mocking him before an audience well aware of the fact – and he wandered the countryside with Sokrates and Simylos, the ham actors. From this he is called a ‘clod-hopper’.»

35Cf. Demosthenes, On the Crown, 262: ἀλλὰ μισθώσας σαυτòν τοῖς βαρυστόνοις ἐπικαλουμένοις ἐκείνοις ὑποκριταῖς Σιμύλῳ καὶ Σωκράτει, ἐτριταγωνίστεις, σῦκα καὶ βότρυς καὶ ἐλάας συλλέγων ὥσπερ ὀπωρώνης ἐκ τῶν ἀλλoτρίων χωρίων, πλείω λαμβάνων ἀπò τούτων ἢ τῶν ἀγώνων, οὓς ὑμεῖς περὶ τῆς ψυχῆς ἠγωνίζεσθε∙ ἦν γὰρ ἄσπονδος καὶ ἀκήρυκτος ὑμῖν πρòς τοὺς θεατὰς πόλεμος, ὑϕ’ ὧν πολλὰ τραύματ’ είληφὼς εἰκότως τοὺς ἀπείρους τῶν τοιούτων κινδύνων ὡς δειλοὺς σκώπτεις.

36«You hired yourself out as a tritagonist to Simylas and Sokrates, the ‘deep-groaners’ as they were called, and collected the figs, grapes, and olives of other people’s farms like a fruit seller, earning more from this than from the contests, where your very life was at stake, since there was a truceless and undeclared war between you and the audience, from whom you took so many wounds that anyone unacquainted with such perils you rightly mock as a coward.»

37There is no question that Demosthenes thinks Simylas and Sokrates (and hence still more Aischines) inferior performers. It cannot, however, be argued that he makes the fact that they performed at the Rural Dionysia rather than the City an index of their inferiority. The rural context supports the comic image of Aischines living off the produce that was thrown at him, as if to imply that these were the only fruits to be gained by talent such as theirs. Nothing implies that such performers were in anyway typical of the rural «circuit» (on the contrary the rural audiences are portrayed as discriminating and demanding). Demosthenes could hardly afford to belittle the cultural life of the Attic countryside (since we must assume a large rural contingent among the jury), but this may not be the only reason why he does not.

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Notes

1 On admission charges, see further Sommerstein 1997, 66; Wilson 1997, 97-98.

2 Henceforth all references to ancient dates are BC unless otherwise marked. For the finance of the Great Dionysia, see Kallet 1998, 46-47, 54-55; Csapo – Slater 1995, 140-141, 287-288, Walton 1977, 79-88. Each year, by the late fifth century, the state provided an estimated five or six talents. (The public contribution was much higher if Bremer 1991, 56 is right at setting the pay for tragic poets at a talent; this is not too high, cf. [Plutarch] Ten Orators 842a which records a Lycurgan decree offering cash prizes to dithyrambic poets at Peiraeus ranging from 600 to 1,000 drachmas). The twenty-eight choregoi provided a further nineteen talents (if we can judge from figures provided by orators). Theatre-goers perhaps contributed a further three to four talents in admission charges. The entry cost was two obols by Demosthenes’day (On the Crown, 28.5). Assuming (without evidence) that admission was charged per entry (interpreting this to mean five times over the five days of the festival), a capacity audience at the Dionysia would generate revenues of two and four/fifths talents with an audience of 10,000, and four and one/sixth talents with an audience of 15,000. For the contributions of the theatronai, see below.

3 For Hipponikos, see Davies 1971, 260.

4 Bremer 1991, 59.

5 This estimate is based on the lease for more than half a talent of the relatively small theatre of Peiraeus in 324/3 BC (IG II2 1176+, the complete text, by Walbank, is in Lalonde et al. 1991, L13) and allowance for the greater size and much greater prestige of the Athenian theatre. Unfortunately we do not know the term of the Peiraeus lease.

6 Sutton 1987, 9-26, shows that the theatre was long dominated by family groups, and often elite family groups. The fact that theatrical families included poets and actors, but poets and actors of either comedy or tragedy, not both, suggests more than just the results of homeschooling, as Sutton would have it. I think it shows a degree of networking and family collaboration at least until the introduction of the system of assigning actors to poets by lottery (this might not have happened until 341; Hesychios, Suda, and Photios, Lex., s.v. nemeseis hypokriton, may well be referring to the system of sharing actors that we find first attested by IG II2 2320, in the years 341-339). Despite frequent claims to the contrary, the creation of an actor’s prize (ca. 449) may eventually have contributed to, but does not in itself imply, the economic independence of the actor, nor the independence of his art, nor the high social status that could be achieved by a professional man.

7 Sutton 1987, 9-26; Kaimio 1999, 43-61; Taplin 1999, 35.

8 Easterling 1994; Csapo – Slater 1995, 2-4, Taplin 1999; Dearden 1999; Scodel 2001.

9 Fullest discussion in Taplin 1993; Green 1996, esp. 64-70, extends the discussion to other media (in particular terracotta figurines and masks).

10 Winkler – Zeitlin 1990.

11 Scodel 2001, 218.

12 Some, but not all, of the differences between my chronology for diffusion and those of the authors just mentioned is due to a difference in aim and perspective. They are mainly concerned with the «internationalization» of theatre and therefore pay less attention to the Rural Dionysia; my focus is on its expansion as an industry and so the frequency and quality of drama in Attica is no less important a topic than performance in the rest of the Greek world.

13 The earlier theatres (down to about 370) are discussed further below. My list includes: Fifth-Century Theatres: Ikarion, Thorikos, Syracuse, Argos, Anagyrous, Halai Aixonides, Eleusis, Piraeus, Eretria, Dion, Chaironeia, Taranto, Metapontum,? Katane; Fourth-Century Theatres: Isthmia, Corinth, Acharnai, Salamis, Phigaleia, Kollytos, Megalopolis, Mantinea, Lemnos, Aigilia, Myrrhinous, Paiania, Halai Araphenides, Priene, Phillipi,? Philippopolis,? Olynthos, Sphettos (Philati), Aixone, Rhamnous, Trachones (= Euonymon), Morgantina, Phillipi, Tegea, Erythrai, Castiglione di Paludi (Cossa?), Kyrene, Epidauros, Delos, Elis, Orchomenos, Thasos, Leontion, Samos, Tyndaris, Rhodes, Iaitas, Typaneai (Aepium), Kato Paphos, Sikyon, Andros,? Thebai Phthiotides,? Kerynea,? Heraklea Minoa,? Solous,? Lokri Epizephyr.,? Arta,? Rhegion,? Stratos.

14 See the sources collected in Csapo – Slater 1995, nos. IV 29-31. For Macedon and theatre, see Revermann 1999-2000; Bosworth 1999; Polacco 1986.

15 Plutarch, Alexander, 29. Cf. Aischines, On the False Embassy, 19, with scholia ad loc., Pollux, IV, 88. For the Hellenistic period, see IG XII 9, 207 (= Le Guen 2001, I, TE 1) lines 42-3 and IG IX 1, 694, line 113, IG IV 1, 99-100; IK 28.1, 152 (= Le Guen 2001, I TE 53); Le Guen 2001, I, 54; Lightfoot 2002, 214-215 (the sums range from fines of 200 to 1,000 drachmas).

16 [Plutarch] Ten Orators, 848b; Gellius, 11, 9, cf. 11,10, 6. Cf. Dio Chrysostomus, Or. LXVI, 11, which inflates the cost of an appearance of «a Polos» to five talents.

17 SEG I 362 (= Csapo – Slater 1995, no. IV 37).

18 IG XII 9, 207 (= Le Guen 2001, I, TE 1), line 22, with Le Guen 2001, II, 71-74.

19 FD III 5.3.67, SIG 239 B.

20 Demosthenes, 18.114, cf. 5.8. Neoptolemos later dedicated gold-plated cups worth the notice of Polemon’s guidebook to the Athenian Acropolis (Athenaeus, 472c).

21 The authority of Pickard-Cambridge (19682, 47-50, 54-56, 87, 361) and Ghiron-Bistagne (1976, 92-93, 119-121) looms large in recent discussions of the diffusion of drama. Following this tradition Dearden (1999, 223) and Scodel (2001, 222) only mention Eleusis (the first of the three inscriptions we will examine); Taplin (1999, 37) briefly draws upon all three of our inscriptions in his discussion of the spread of drama, but draws no inferences from them about the identity and the quality of the performers outside of Athens. There is clearly need for a fuller discussion than I have given in Csapo – Slater 1995, 121-132.

22 See in general Wilson 2000, 30-31, 236ff. The only city inscription which can be related to a dramatic victory in the city (SEG XXXII 329) is for the Lenaia; this monument, however, is not choregic, but a dedication by the Archon Basileus.

23 This rather romantic view of the early diffusion of drama goes back at least as far as Lüders 1873, 60-61, and can be found in most discussions of the question, e. g. most recently, Pöhlmann 1997. Cf. Taplin 1999, 38.

24 The point is well-made by Hughes 1996, 102. Cf. Dearden 1999, 245; Csapo 1999-2000, 299. Plato’s Laws (817a-d) is usually supposed to reflect just such a portable stage erected in the marketplace, but the impression has much to do with the fact that Plato’s ideal city has no theatre, temporary or otherwise, and no regular dramatic festivals.

25 Demosthenes, On the False Embassy, 192; Suetonius, Caligula, 57.4; Stobaeus, Flor. 34.70; Plutarch, Alexander, 29, 72, On Alexander’s Luck, 334e; Chares, FGrH 125 F 4; Arrian, VII, 14,1, VII, 14,10. The exception is Polyainos, Strateg., VI, 10 (a dubious anecdote about an occasional competition arranged by a garrison commander in Aeolis).

26 IG II2 1186 (mid 4th c. BC, dithyramb and tragedy); IG II2 3100 (mid 4th c. BC, comedy); IG II2 3107 (4th c. BC, unspecified choregia).

27 Capps 1943, 5-8.

28 S Aristophanes, Frogs (= Aristotle fr. 630 Rose): ἔoικε δὲ παρεµϕαίνειν τι λιτῶς ἤδη ἐχoρηγεῖτo τoῖς πoιηταῖς. ἐπί γoῦν τoῦ Kαλλίoυ τoύτoυ ϕησὶν Ἀριστoτέλης ὅτι σύνδυo ἔδoξε χoρηγεῖν τὰ Διoνύσια τoῖς τραγῳδoίς κα κωµῳδoίς· ὥστε ἰσως ν τις κα περ τὸν Ληναικὸν ἀγῶνα συστoλη. Quite apart from the epigraphic evidence, we might have infer-red that the Dionysia had seen only one synchoregia from the scholiast’s words: he was loo-king for evidence for synchoregiai, but could report no other. The scholiast, namely, was loo-king for evidence to support the standard Hellenistic theory (cf. Csapo 2000) that the abolition of the choregia brought on «Middle Comedy» (n.b. λιτῶς ἤδη ἐχoρηγεῖτo). He goes on to say that soon afterwards Kinesias abolished the choregia once and for all (his «proof» is Strattis calling Kinesias a «choruskiller,» but given the fact that Kinesias was a champion of the New Dithyramb, which is clearly the point of the epithet, the scholiast’s interpretation is, to say the least, highly tendentious).

29 Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 48 says that if the inscription refers to Athens, the plays would almost certainly have been the Frogs and Oedipus at Kolonos. But Frogs was produced in 405 at the Lenaia by Philonides. It would be better, if one is determined to fit it into a City festival, to suppose that the stone refers to the reperformance of Frogs, probably in 404 (see Dover 1993, 74– 75). Sophokles the Younger is said to have produced Oedipus at Kolonos at a city festival in 401 and was not otherwise active until 396 (1TrGF 62 T 3 and 4).

30 Including Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 47-48; Ghiron-Bistagne 1976, 92-93; Whitehead 1986, 217; Makres 1994, 350-351; Wilson 2000, 375, n. 164.

31 Cf. IG II2 1210, IG II2 3101.

32 I do not believe, with Gould and Lewis in the addendum to Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 261, that fourteen choreuts might suggest rural economy vis-a-vis the usual number, fifteen, for the City festivals. I think the correct interpretation is given by Wilson, 2000, 353, n. 90: «In a number of sources, the number of tragic khoreutai is actually given as fourteev · the koryphaios is almost certainly excluded: Souda s.v. «Sophokles;» Pollux, IV, 109; SS Ar. Knights 589.» In the present case Wilson thinks it most likely that fourteen are listed because the choregos, Sokrates, served as koryphaios (2000, 133). I prefer Wilson’s other hypothesis (2000, 133), that the koryphaios was frequently, perhaps regularly, a paid operative (sometimes functioning also as chorodidaskalos), not a volunteer, and so not always conceptually part of the chorus, and in any case not among those whose services need to be thanked by public recognition (as opposed to cash). Some evidence for the view that the leader of the chorus might be paid labour is provided by the case of Sannion mentioned by Demosthenes (Meid. 58-61). Sannion functioned as a chorus-director, but is also clearly envisioned as performing in the theatre with the chorus (despite being disenfranchised); cf. Csapo – Slater 1995, 352-353. Demochares, FGrH 74 F 6a (see Appendix) also suggests that Sannion was performing in the orchestra, since he was in a position to help Aischines to his feet when the latter slipped during a performance.

33 Makres 1994, 355-357. Cf. Wilson 2000, 132-33, though Wilson thinks it refers to the City Dionysia despite the probability that all choreuts come from the same deme as the choregos.

34 Thompson 1950, 337; Androtion, FGrH 324 F 38. If the late fifth-century date assigned by Mitsos («Xoρηγικὴ Ἐπιγραϕή» 164) and Matthaiou («Σv» 181 n. 3) is retained, then the Socrates is likely to be another Socrates of Anagyrous, the presumed grandson of the general, who was a councillor in the first half of the fourth century (see IG II2 1697, line 16).

35 See Matthaiou « Σv » 181.

36 On this much discussed inscription, see esp. Wilson 2000, 248; Makres 1994, 359-361; Luppe 1969. The identification of the deme as Halai Aixonides is by Eliot 1962, 35-46. The only other possible evidence for drama (or dithyramb) at Halai Aixonides is the undated fragment, SEG XXXVIII 263 (cf. Wilson 2000, 367, n. 14).

37 Wilson 2000, 248 «although the force of this argument has rightly come to be seen as overrated.»

38 Wilson 2000, 375 n. 164 (cf. Pickard-Cambridge 19682, 55). This is an attractive suggestion, though Timotheos is a fairly common name in Attica (J. Traill kindly informs me of some two dozen from this period).

39 Luppe 1969, 151.

40 Pace Makres 1994, 361: «whereas one would think that, at the rural contests, tragic poets would more likely have presented single plays;» Wilson 2000, 248 rightly notes that «there is no good reason to deny [multiple dramas presented by the tragedians] to the Rural Dionysia.»

41 Wilson 2000, 248.

42 Perhaps the strongest argument for these victories referring to the City are those by Luppe 1969, 148 (cf. Luppe 1973) who urges that the selection of these particular victories makes little sense in a commemoration of deme victories in the deme, where there were any number of victories to choose from, and more sense if these four represented the sum total of City victories by choregoi from Halai Aixonides. It is true that we do not know what motivated this unusual monument, but Luppe’s explanation seems to me to explain obscurum per obscurius. We cannot, to take an obvious counter-scenario, exclude the possibility that the two or three choregoi here listed all belong to the same family. Despite Luppe, some editors and commentators continue to print the conjecture «jEpicavrh~» in the first line (as in line 7) leaving only two choregoi, or alternating generations of a family.

43 Ghiron-Bistagne 1976, 133.

44 Aelian, VH 2.13.

45 Nicostratos, PCG 7 T 1-3, F 1-40.

46 See Makres 1994, 371-373; Wilson 2000, 306-307.

47 Dikaiogenes 1, TrGF 52 T 1-3.

48 Ariphron 1, TrGF 53; PMG 813.

49 Stephanis 1988, no. 1193.

50 Demosthenes, Meid. 17; IG II2 3093 (triangular base for a tripod found in Salamis, beginning of fourth century) – note that this is the earliest choregic inscription which commemorates the aulete. For Telephanes, see Stephanis 1988, no. 2408.

51 Nikarchus, AP 7.159.

52 Thorikos VIII, no. 76 (dedicatory inscription on a statue base found in the theatre of Thorikos, dated 375-325). This is the only choregic inscription that lists actors.

53 Stephanis 1988, no. 1157.

54 Thorikos IX no. 84 (a marble stele found in the theatre of Thorikos, thought by Bingen to be a list of winners of the actors’ competition in the deme; Makres 1994, 348 suggests it may be a list of choregoi, because two of the names listed seem to have the same patronymic, but she notes that normally they would be listed as synchoregoi. For Pindaros, see Aristotle, Po. 1461b 35; Stephanis 1988, no. 2062. The inscription is dated to the fourth century (note that this clashes with the view that IG I2 950, line 83, a catalogue of soldiers who fell ca. 412/11, may relate to the same Pindaros).

55 Sannion: Demochares ap. Life of Aischines 7 (FGrH 75 F 6a), Demosthenes, Meid., 58-61 (both passages are discussed in the Appendix). Parmenon: Aischines, Tim., 157.

56 IG II2 3091 (see above), IG II2 1202 (SEG XXVI 133, SEG XXXVI 185); SEG XXXVI 186.

57 IG I3 964 (see above); IG II2 1210; IG II2 3101.

58 IG I3 254; IG II2 3094, 3095, 1178, 3098, 3099; SEG XXII 117; SEG XLIV 131.

59 IG I3 970 (see above); IG II2 1186, 3100.

60 Thorikos VIII, no. 75; Thorikos IX, no. 85; Thorikos VIII, no. 76; Thorikos IX, no. 83; Thorikos IX, no. 84. It is possible that the first two inscriptions may refer to dithyramb, in which case drama is only guaranteed by the mid-fourth century BC, but the other inscriptions refer only to tragedy and comedy.

61 IG II2 3092 (beginning 4th c. BC, tragedy); IG II2 3106 (4th c. BC, dithyramb and comedy); SEG XLIII 26 (315/14 BC).

62 IG II2 3097.

63 IG II2 3108 (4th c. BC?, comedy); IG II2 3109 (the inscription belongs to the beginning 3rd century, but the choregia for comedy might have been much earlier); SEG XL 181 (questionably a choregic inscription, questionably dated to ca. 250).

64 Athens, NM 2400 (relief with tragic chorus and? choregos, late 4th c. BC).

65 Aigilia: IG II2 3096 (before mid 4th c. BC, choregoi of unspecified genre); Myrrhinous: IG II2 1182 (mid 4th c. BC, unspecified spectacle); IG II2 1183 (after 340 BC); Halai Araphenides: Ergon 1957, 24-25; Praktika 1957, 45-47. Dionysia in 4th c. (archonship of Nikomachos). Unspecified contests mentioned. A Nikomachos was Archon Eponymous in 341/0.

66 Aelian, VH, II, 13; Demosthenes, On the Crown, 180 and 262.

67 In principle theatres might have been built to serve only for dithyrambs, or more primitive spectacles in the form of komoi (IG II2 3103), or phallic entertainments (Semos ap. Athenaeus, 622a-c = FGrH 396 F 24).

68 Ikarion: Goette 1995, 10; Moretti 2000, 278-279; Thorikos: Hackens 1967, 75-96; esp. 95; Goette 1995, 12-13.

69 Goette 1995, 18; Travlos 1988, 342; Thucydides, VIII, 93,1; Lysias, XIII, 32; Xenophon, H., II, 4.32.

70 Trachones (= Euonymon): Pöhlmann 1997, 139; Lohmann 1998, 196; Tzachou-Alexandri 1999, 421.

71 IG II2 3093.

72 Plato, Republic, 475d. For the implication of poleis here, see Appendix.

73 Ginouvès 1972.

74 Katane: Mitens 1988, 100-101, Courtois 1989, Dearden 1999, 245. Dion: Polacco 1986; Chaeroneia: dated to 5th by Anti – Polacco 1969, 19-44, or to 4th (Isler in Scaparro, de Septis et. al. 1994). Isthmia: Gebhard 1973, 9-26.

75 Moretti 1993, 83-86.

76 Diodorus Siculus, XVII, 16, 3-4; Arrian, I, 11, 1; Polacco 1986.

77 Auberson – Schefold 1972, 46; Auberson 1976, 64; Wilson 2000, 283-284.

78 Xenophon, Hell., IV, 4,3; Diodorus Siculus, XV, 40.2. I omit the evidence of Polyainos, Strategemata, VI, 10 for a theatre and drama in Aiolis by 399, and the inference drawn from the Life of Sophokles for theatre and drama at Opous in 405 (on the testimony of the third-century authors Istros and Neanthes). The latter attestations are attached to silly anecdotes, though the existence of theatres and drama in these places, by these dates, is credible enough.

79 Kossatz-Deissman 1978; Taplin 1993; Green 1994, esp. 64-70; Dearden 1999, 235-246; Taplin 1999, 39-41; Csapo 2001.

80 By the mid-fourth century Plato in the Laws (659a-c) speaks of the manner of judging competitions in the theatre «in Sicily and Italy» suggesting a large number of cities with regular festivals.

81 Euripides’popularity in Sicily: Satyros, Life of Euripides (POxy 1176, fr. 39, col. 19); Plutarchus, Nikias 29. Cf. Aristotle, Rhet., 1384b 15-17 with scholiast ad loc. Euripides’ popularity is also abundantly attested by vase paintings influenced by the subjects, action, and performance details of his dramas: see Taplin 1997 and 1999, 39-41; Dearden 1999, 235-241). Actors and poets from Magna Graecia: Dearden 1999, 244-5.

82 Taplin 1999, 35; Dearden 1999, 244.

83 Compare contemporary attitudes by elites towards the developing music profession: see Csapo 2004.

84 See above, n. 7.

85 Stephanis 1988, nos. 1348 (Kallippides) and 1861 (Nicostratos). On Kallippides, see Braund 2000, Csapo 2002.

86 Plutarch, Ages, 21.4, Apophth. Lakon., 212f. Cf. Xenophon, Symp., III, 11; Aristotle, Poet., 1461b 34, 1462b 9; Polyainos, Strateg., VI, 10; Epist. Sokr., 14, 3 (p. 620 Hercher). See esp. Braund 2000.

87 Aristophanes, PCG F 490; Strattis, PCG T 1, F11-13.

88 Life of Sophokles 14; Polyainos, Strateg., VI, 10; Plutarch, Ages, 21.4, Apophth. Lakon., 212f.

89 Green 1991, esp. 30-33; Green 1994, 34-36; Taplin 1997; Csapo 2001.

90 IG II2 2318, lines 201-3.

91 Independence from poet and the specificity of a given performance context is also suggested by the implicit development of a dramatic repertoire which could be reproduced on several occasions.

92 On this, see Wilson 2000, passim.

93 See Le Guen 2001, TE 5 (with vol. II, p. 90), TE 10, TE 13, TE 53, and the inscriptions mentioned in Le Guen 2001, II. 91, n. 443.

94 There is insufficient evidence to show if this donation of a tragic performance continued regularly after 386 (it was annual by 341, cf. IG II2 2320). Similarly the first comedy to be donated by «the comedians» was in 339 (IG II2 2318), but we cannot tell if it was annual before 311 (IG II2 2323a).

95 Taplin 1993, 91, 1999, 39.

96 I can find only two «exceptions.» Hekataios, FGrH 1 F 126, refers to Thorikos as a polis. Connor (1996, 221) points out that the townships near Marathon are called tetrapolis. The apparent exceptions in Thucydides, II, 15, 1 and 16, 2 would seem to prove the rule. Thucydides speaks of the poleis in the Attica before the synoecism. In this case polis refers to a politically independent community. In the second passage Thucydides speaks of the emotional upheaval of those who moved for safety from the Attic countryside into the city at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. They thought of it as «nothing less than leaving their own polis». This emotive use of the term underscores the independent traditions of the regions of Attica.

97 Cf. Demosthenes, Meid. 58-61.

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