Performance and Text in Ancient Greece

Gregory Nagy

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Performance and Text in Ancient Greece

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  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Drama
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This article points out that many Greek texts were conceived as scripts for performance, rather than as literature designed for readers. Even the Greek alphabet, the first alphabetic script that recorded both vowels and consonants, and hence a crucial development towards the current literate culture, probably developed as it did out of a desire to reproduce as accurately as possible oral delivery. There is a link between performance and orality, matching the obvious link between text and literacy. The discussion considers these matching links.

Keywords: performance scripts; Greek literature; Greek alphabet; literate culture; oral delivery

Article.  7383 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Drama ; Classical Poetry

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