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Pericles (c. 495—429 bc) Athenian statesman and general

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The proagon in Classical Athens was an official theatrical presentation which took place a few days before the City Dionysia began. It was held in the Odeum, a building east of the theatre reconstructed by Pericles c.445 bc, where the poets appeared before the public with their choruses, actors, and presumably chorēgoi (see choregia), to give an exposition of the dramas with which they were to compete, perhaps little more than an indication of their general plot or subject‐matter. Those involved in the forthcoming competitions were thereby identified before their civic peers: for, though garlanded, actors and choruses appeared without costumes or masks. We hear only of tragedy being presented in this way, but the procedure may have included comedy. The evidence for the proagon is meagre. An anecdote tells how at the proagon following Euripides' death, Sophocles appeared in mourning, his troupe ungarlanded.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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