Article

Latin Drama

Susanna Braund

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online August 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0052
Latin Drama

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Latin drama comprises several genres, serious and humorous, and extends chronologically from the beginnings of Latin literature in the 3rd century bce down into the imperial period. Unfortunately, much of what survives is fragmentary, and many significant works of Latin drama have not survived at all. This makes generalizations and reconstructions very problematic. In particular, the republican era yields twenty-six complete comedies but only fragments of tragedies, historical dramas, mimes, and native Italian comedies, while the imperial era yields eight complete tragedies and one incomplete one and one historical drama but little else; pantomime, a kind of performance by a nonspeaking dancer, leaves very little trace. The circumstances of some dramatic performances changed through time, from public occasions, such as festivals and triumphs, during the republic to more limited audiences under the principate.

Article.  19391 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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