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Title: Postclassical Choral Performances
Authors: Golab, Hanna
Advisors: Ford, Andrew L.
Contributors: Classics Department
Keywords: ancient Greek literature
choral lyric
Hellenistic Greece
Subjects: Classical studies
Classical literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This project focuses on a neglected subject of ancient Greek chorality in the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods. It confronts the customary belief that choral performances suffered a swift decline and subsequent death after the Late Classical age, and brings to light ritual choral poetry preserved in the extant epigraphic and papyrological material. This dissertation contributes to our understanding of the new roles performative Greek culture took on in the postclassical age. It reminds readers that khoroi were inscribed into the daily life of all Greek cities and that through those performances the participants could give meaning to the landscapes around them, entertain themselves at carnivalesque intervals of freedom, and define and perform the cultural and political identity of their community. Chapter 1 discusses creation and preservation of sacred spaces through choral rituals. It demonstrates that the establishment of recurrent choral performances in strictly defined locations was a fundamental way to mentally map sacred landscapes and invest them with meaning for the polity. Chapter 2 reconstructs a lively tradition of comic khoroi, which shows that thanks to their intense contacts with theatre they exhibit a significant dramatization of their performance styles and narratives. Chapter 3 presents evidence from Susa under Parthian rule, Republican Rome, and Egypt, which suggests that choral performances were not an ossified tradition isolated from new cultural contacts. It shows that performers and writers often positioned themselves between local (sometimes non-Greek) traditions and Panhellenic trends, thus constructing complex ethnic and religious identities. Chapter 4 investigates the role that khoroi played in the politics of Greek cities. It discusses the importance of female khoroi for the political identity of local communities and surveys some choral institutions that shaped the conditions for the cult of Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors in the East. It ends with an inquiry into the renewed interest in choral performances in the High Roman Empire. Three appendices at the end of the work gather surviving choral songs of the postclassical period, which are divided by their source material: stones, papyri and literary quotations.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Classics

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