Search results for: women-and-humor-in-classical-greece

Women and Humor in Classical Greece

Author : Dolores O'Higgins
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Women in Ancient Greece

Author : Paul Chrystal
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Examines women whose influence was positive, as well as those whose reputations were more notoriousSupremely well researched from many different historical sourcesSuperbly illustrated with photographs and drawings Women in Ancient Greece is a much-needed analysis of how women behaved in Greek society, how they were regarded, and the restrictions imposed on their actions. Given that ancient Greece was very much a man’s world, most books on ancient Greek society tend to focus on men; this book redresses the imbalance by shining the spotlight on that neglected other half. Women had significant roles to play in Greek society and culture – this book illuminates those roles. Women in Ancient Greece asks the controversial question: how far is the assumption that women were secluded and excluded just an illusion? It answers it by exploring the treatment of women in Greek myth and epic; their treatment by playwrights, poets and philosophers; and the actions of liberated women in Minoan Crete, Sparta and the Hellenistic era when some elite women were politically prominent. It covers women in Athens, Sparta and in other city states; describes women writers, philosophers, artists and scientists; it explores love, marriage and adultery, the virtuous and the meretricious; and the roles women played in death and religion. Crucially, the book is people-based, drawing much of its evidence and many of its conclusions from lives lived by historical Greek women.

Classical Greek Tragedy

Author : Judith Fletcher
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Classical Greek Tragedy offers a comprehensive survey of the development of classical Greek tragedy combined with close readings of exemplary texts. Reconstructing how audiences in fifth-century BCE Athens created meaning from the performance of tragedy at the dramatic festivals sponsored by the city-state and its wealthiest citizens, it considers the context of Athenian political and legal structures, gender ideology, religious beliefs, and other social forces that contributed to spectators' reception of the drama. In doing so it focuses on the relationship between performers and watchers, not only Athenian male citizens, but also women and audiences throughout the ancient Mediterranean world. This book traces the historical development of these dynamics through three representative tragedies that span a 50 year period: Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes, Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus, and Euripides' Helen. Topics include the role of the chorus; the tragic hero; recurring mythical characters and subject matter; Aristotelian assessments of the components of tragedy; developments in the architecture of the theater and their impact on the interactions of characters, and the spaces they occupy. Unifying these discussions is the observation that the genre articulates a reality beyond the visible stage action that intersects with the characters' existence in the present moment and resonates with the audience's religious beliefs and collective psychology. Human voices within the performance space articulate powerful forces from an invisible dimension that are activated by oaths, hymns, curses and prayers, and respond in the form of oracles and prophecies, forms of discourse which were profoundly meaningful to those who watched the original productions of tragedy.

Performing Oaths in Classical Greek Drama

Author : Judith Fletcher
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Oaths were ubiquitous rituals in ancient Athenian legal, commercial, civic and international spheres. Their importance is reflected by the fact that much of surviving Greek drama features a formal oath sworn before the audience. This is the first comprehensive study of that phenomenon. The book explores how the oath can mark or structure a dramatic plot, at times compelling characters like Euripides' Hippolytus to act contrary to their best interests. It demonstrates how dramatic oaths resonate with oath rituals familiar to the Athenian audiences. Aristophanes' Lysistrata and her accomplices, for example, swear an oath that blends protocols of international treaties with priestesses' vows of sexual abstinence. By employing the principles of speech act theory, this book examines how the performative power of the dramatic oath can mirror the status quo, but also disturb categories of gender, social status and civic identity in ways that redistribute and confound social authority.

In Bed with the Ancient Greeks

Author : Paul Chrystal
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From the Spartans to Alexander the Great, Paul Chrystal brings the murky world of sex with the Ancient Greeks to life.

Women s Ritual Competence in the Greco Roman Mediterranean

Author : Matthew Dillon
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Contributions in this volume demonstrate how, across the ancient Mediterranean and over hundreds of years, women’s rituals intersected with the political, economic, cultural, or religious spheres of their communities in a way that has only recently started to gain sustained academic attention. The volume aims to tease out a number of different approaches and contexts, and to expand existing studies of women in the ancient world as well as scholarship on religious and social history. The contributors face a famously difficult task: ancient authors rarely recorded aspects of women’s lives, including their songs, prophecies, and prayers. Many of the objects women made and used in ritual were perishable and have not survived; certain kinds of ritual objects (lowly undecorated pots, for example) tend not even to be recorded in archaeological reports. However, the broad range of contributions in this volume demonstrates the multiplicity of materials that can be used as evidence – including inscriptions, textiles, ceramics, figurative art, and written sources – and the range of methodologies that can be used, from analysis of texts, images, and material evidence to cognitive and comparative approaches.

Cultural Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean

Author : Erich S. Gruen
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Cultural identity in the classical world is explored from a variety of angles.

Laughter Humor and the Un making of Gender

Author : A. Foka
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Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. Throughout history, it has played a crucial role in defining gender roles and identities. This collection offers an in-depth thematic examination of this relationship between humor and gender, spanning a variety of historical and cultural backdrops.


Author : James Robson
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This accessible introduction to the work of one of the world's greatest comic writers tackles key questions posed by Aristophanes' plays, such as staging, humour, songs, obscene language, politics and the modern translation and performance of Aristophanic comedy. The book opens up exciting and contentious areas of Aristophanic scholarship in a way that is engaging and readily comprehensible to a non-specialist audience, never losing sight of the fact that Aristophanes' plays are vibrant literary texts, designed primarily to appeal to a classical Athenian audience as pieces of living drama. Key to the book's appeal is that James Robson conceives of the plays as dynamic texts, containing a treasure trove of information not only about how they might have been performed and received in classical Athens, but also how they might be read and understood today. Most importantly, readers are given the tools and information to make their own minds up about the debates that still rage about Aristophanic comedy in the modern world.

Greek Vase Painting and the Origins of Visual Humour

Author : Alexandre G. Mitchell
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In this enjoyable study Alexandre Mitchell uses sixth to fourth century vase painting to explore visual humour in Ancient Greece. He examines humourous scenes thematically looking at men, women and the everyday, at animals in humourous situations, at humourous interpretations of mythology and the comic potential of the satyr, and at caricatures, exploring what they reveal about Greek society and attitudes, and how they contributed to reinforcing social cohesion. The focus of the study is on Athens and Boetia, and the development of visual, satirical humour in this fashion is clearly linked to the development of Athenian democracy.