Satyr and image in Aeschylus' Theoroi

Classical Quarterly 50 (2):353-366 (2000)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The enduring fame of Aeschylus as the earliest of the ‘three great tragedians’ has made him in effect the first dramatist of the Western tradition, in chronological terms at least. At the same time it is worth noting that among the ancients he also enjoyed a reputation as a master of the satyr play, as Pausanias and Diogenes Laertius tell us. It is to this kind of drama, which comprised one-quarter of his output as tragedian, that I would like to turn, with particular focus on his Theoroi or Isthmiastai, and its treatment of another visual medium, the plastic arts. Our fragments of this play begin with a figure presenting a chorus of satyrs with artfully wrought images made in their likenesses which bring them a startled delight. In the second discernible scene of the fragment the chorus receivesνεοχμᾰ… θρματα, usually understood as athletic equipment, which the satyrs find rather more unsettling. The following piece is primarily concerned with the first scene in which the coryphaeus urges his companions to dedicate the depictions as votives on Poseidon's temple, relishing the prospect of the comical, terrifying effect these images would have on his own mother and travellers, the latter probably on their way to the Isthmian games. At least this much is clear from the papyrus. This part of the fragment has attracted a good deal of attention for the evident ‘realism’ of the images that excites the satyrs so much in the first place.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,264

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Satyr and image in Aeschylus' Theoroi.Patrick O'Sullivan - 2000 - Classical Quarterly 50 (02):353-.
Father Silenus: Actor or Coryphaeus?1.Dana Ferrin Sutton - 1974 - Classical Quarterly 24 (1):19-23.
Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1343–71 page 23 note 1.R. Winnington-Ingram - 1954 - Classical Quarterly 4 (1-2):23-30.
Religion and Politics in Aeschylus' Orestela.A. M. Bowie - 1993 - Classical Quarterly 43 (01):10-.
Io and the dark stranger.Stephanie West - 1984 - Classical Quarterly 34 (2):292-302.


Added to PP

9 (#937,200)

6 months
1 (#449,844)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Aischylos' Isthmiastai.Bruno Snell - 1956 - Hermes 84 (1):1-11.
Knights 230–3 And Cleon's Eyebrows.D. Welsh - 1979 - Classical Quarterly 29 (01):214-.

Add more references