Euripides: Cyclops and Major Fragments of Greek Satyric Drama

BookEuripides: Cyclops and Major Fragments of Greek Satyric Drama

Euripides: Cyclops and Major Fragments of Greek Satyric Drama

Aris & Phillips Classical Texts


September 30th, 2013

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Satyric is the most thinly attested genre of Greek drama, but it appears to have been the oldest and according to Aristotle formative for tragedy. By the 5th Century BC at Athens it shared most of its compositional elements with tragedy, to which it became an adjunct; for at the annual great dramatic festivals, it was performed only together with, and after, the three tragedies which each poet was required to present in competition. It was in contrast with them, aesthetically and emotionally, its plays being considerably shorter and simpler; coarse and half-way to comedy, it burlesqued heroic and tragic myth, frequently that just dramatised and performed in the tragedies. Euripides'Cyclops is the only satyr-play which survives complete. It is generally held to be the poet's late work, but its companion tragedies are not identifiable. Its title alone signals its content, Odysseus' escape from the one-eyed, man-eating monster, familiar from Book 9 of Homer's Odyssey. Because of its uniqueness, Cyclops could afford only a limited idea of satyric drama's range, which the many but brief quotations from other authors and plays barely coloured. Our knowledge and appreciation of the genre have been greatly enlarged, however, by recovery since the early 20th Century of considerable fragments of Aeschylus, Euripides' predecessor, and of Sophocles, his contemporary - but not, so far, of Euripides himself. This volume provides English readers for the first time with all the most important texts of satyric drama, with facing-page translation, substantial introduction and detailed commentary. It includes not only the major papyri, but very many shorter fragments of importance, both on papyrus and in quotation, from the 5th to the 3rd Centuries; there are also one or two texts whose interest lies in their problematic ascription to the genre at all. The intention is to illustrate it as fully as practicable.

'This volume, in short, will be game-changing, … [it] marks a formidable work of scholarship in its own right, an accessible compilation of the genre’s remains and a spectacular addition to the teacher’s toolbox.' Journal of Hellenic Studies

Author Information

Patrick O'Sullivan is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and has published widely on Archaic and Classical literature, aesthetics and intellectual history. Christopher Collard is Emeritus Professor of Classics, University of Swansea. He has published widely on tragedy and Euripides in particular. His work includes editions with commentary of Euripides, Suppliant Women (1975, 1984) and Hecuba (1991), and he is co-editor of Selected Fragmentary Plays of Euripides (1995, 2004) and Iphigenia at Aulis (2017). He was General Editor of the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series from 2007-2016.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page2
Copyright Page3
General Editor's Foreword6
Prefaces I and II8
General Introduction12
1. Satyric Drama: 'Tragedy at Play'12
2. Satyrs: Ambivalent Creatures for an Ambivalent Genre19
2.1 The Satyr as Transgressor20
2.2 More Positive and Paradoxical Features of Satyrs28
3. Aspects of Satyric Drama33
3.1. Origins and Functions33
3.2. Themes of Satyric Drama39
4. Euripides' Cyclops50
4.1. Theories about the Date of the Play50
4.2. Euripides' Cyclops as Satyr Play: an Overview52
General Bibliography70
Common Abbreviations83
Note on the Greek Text and Critical Apparatus85
Greek Text and Translation87
Major Fragments of Greek Satyric Drama238
Introductory Note240
Bibliography and Abbreviations243
Advice to Readers246
Bibliographical Guidance250
Pratinas 4 F 3: Hyporchema253
Aeschylus Glaucus the Sea-god (Glaucus Marinus)259
Net-Fishers (Dictyulci)265
Sacred Delegates or Isthmian Contestants (Theori or Isthmiastae)277
Prometheus the Fire-Kindler (Prometheus Pyrkaeus)293
Sisyphus: one play or two?301
F 281a, b, *451n: from a 'Justice' play309
Sophocles Lovers of Achilles (Achillis Amatores)317
Trackers (Ichneutae)347
Oeneus, F **1130389
Euripides Autolycus A and B395
Ion of Chios 19 F 17a–33a, *59: Omphale425
Achaeus I Selected shorter fragments, from The Games (Ludi, 20 F 3–4), Aethon (F 6–11), Alcmeon (F 12–14), Hephaestus (F 17), Linus (F 26), The Fates (Fata, F 27–8), Omphale (F 33–4)437
Critias (?) 43 F 19: from a 'Sisyphus' play451
Python 91 F 1: Agen459
Sositheus 99 F 2–3: Daphnis or Lityerses467
Lycophron 100 F 2–4: Menedemus473
Anonymous Adespota F 646a479
Adespota F 655: an 'Atlas' play489
Adespota F 667a: a 'Medea' play499
A new (2007) adespoton: satyric (?)509
Appendix: summary details of some other satyr-plays, by Pratinas, Aeschylus, Aristias, Sophocles, Euripides, Astydamas II and Chaeremon513
Index of Motifs and Characters520
General Index526