The statement that masks were not introduced on the Roman stage until after the time of Terence is still repeated by editors and has the support of Pauly Wissowa as well as Daremberg and Saglio ; it may, in fact, be regarded as generally accepted. Yet so long ago as 1912 A. S. F. Gow put forward strong arguments on the opposite side; his article, though mentioned with respect in Bursian and referred to by Schanz-Hosius , has not yet been (...) satisfactorily answered, so far as I am aware. Gow did not claim that a final solution of this problem could be attained on our present evidence, but he did show that the orthodox position is open to attack. I hope to prove that the arguments in favour of the early use of masks are even stronger than he claimed. (shrink)
The article by Professor Webster on ‘South Italian Vases and Attic Drama' in C.Q. xlii, pp. 15–27, raises problems for the reader of Roman comedy. Professor Webster takes the view that the Latin plays are good evidence for the costumes worn on the Greek stage; he even says that ‘the Greek original of Sceparnio in the Rudens certainly wore the phallus’, thus reviving a suggestion of Skutsch which Marx thought sehr k's argument that ancient works of art, in particular Italian (...) vases and terra-cottas, afford faithful representations of the costumes worn on the Attic stage. ‘It is certain’ ‘that the actors in Eubulus’ Auge looked like the figures on the vase'. (shrink)
In an interesting article entitled ‘XOPOY in the Plutus’ Mr. E. W. Handley questions the accuracy of some observations of mine on this subject, and complains of my ‘failure to state facts’. He quotes my remark that ‘the editors freely insert () in the Plutus; but, according to Weissinger , the only example afforded by the MSS. is after 770; and here there is no lapse of time’. I added in a footnote that R inserts XOPOY after line 801, according (...) to the Oxford text. Handley's own researches have shown him that R has KOMMATION XOPOY between 770 and 771, and that R has inserted XOPOY between 801 and 802. (shrink)
t is generally believed that the actors of Aristophanic comedy wore phallic dress. For example Mr. James Laver tells us that ‘in Old Comedy the actors all wore clothes grotesquely padded, and each was provided with an enormous phallus of red leather. The female characters too were padded, and over the padding wore the long chiton if they belonged to the upper classes, and the short one if they belonged to the lower.‘ Similarly Haigh says that ‘the Old Comedy was (...) the direct descendant of the boisterous phallic performances at the festival of Dionysus. … The actors therefore regularly wore the phallus. (shrink)
In my second article on this subject I asked Professor Webster to clarify his previous statements. My article was shown to him before publication, and his reply will be found immediately following it. I will confine my remarks here to a single point, because it is simple and decisive. The only passage in ancient literature explicitly connecting the phallus with Old Comedy is Clouds 537 f. There Aristophanes says that his play does not wear ‘any stitched-on leather, hanging down, red-tipped, (...) thick, to make the children laugh’. Webster, following Körte, throws all the emphasis on and interprets the passage as meaning ‘the phalli worn in this play do not hang down’. Asked why so much emphasis should be placed on the word , he makes no reply. (shrink)
Professor Webster has replied briefly to my article on this subject, and has dealt elsewhere with the works of art. One point I will gladly concede. In referring the phlyakes-vases to ‘the fourth or third century’ I was quoting Pickard-Cambridge's words in Dithyramb, etc. , p. 267. But in Dramatic Festivals , Pickard-Cambridge, perhaps influenced by Trendall, speaks of the fourth century only.
In the middle of September, 47 b.c., Cicero obtained a copy of Atticus' recently published Liber Annalis, which he was consequently able to use in preparing his Brutus and his Tusculans and De Senectute . Atticus himself had consulted Varro's works on questions of literary history . Cicero, reading his friend's work, found himself in the thick of a controversy about the beginnings of Latin literature.
The greatest confusion prevails among modern writers as to the use of the side-entrances in New Comedy and its Latin derivatives. The statements on this subject made by editors and others, whether confident or hesitating, differ widely from one another, and are seldom supported by any real consideration of the ancient evidence. In 1933 Professor Mary Johnston published a careful treatise, entitled Exits and Entrances in Roman Comedy, in which she discussed the internal evidence afforded by the Latin plays, and (...) came to the conclusion that ‘on the stage of the Roman theater the side-entrance to the right of the spectators was used for entrances and exits of characters from and to the city and the forum, and that the side-entrance to the left of the spectators was used for entrances and exits of characters moving from and to the port and foreign parts, and, probably, from and to the country as well.’ With regard to Greek usage, Professor Johnston was content to accept the orthodox view ‘that the side-entrance at the spectators’ right led to the harbour or the market-place and that at their left into the country, since the scene was regularly placed in Athens and since these were the actual topographical relationships in the Athenian theater’. Her conclusion, therefore, involved a discrepancy between Greek and Roman usage as far as the harbour was concerned. (shrink)