The Late Antique Theater

Blake Leyerle

in Theatrical Shows and Ascetic Lives

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780520215580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921634 | DOI:
The Late Antique Theater

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One reason for John Chrysostom's antipathy surely lies in his perception of competition between the church and the theater. The majority of performances in late antiquity took their plots from mythology. Within this canon, the most popular stories concerned sexual misconduct. The canons of mythology were not the only authority pilloried in the mime. Satirical jibes against contemporary political or religious figures were also popular. The goal of education in antiquity was not so much to develop reasoning faculties as to ensure the conservation of a literary heritage. Music was a big aspect of the theater's delight. Chrysostom was aware of the political role exercised by the theater. In the patron's desire for acclamation, Chrysostom sees how the world of the stage becomes for a moment indistinguishable from the world of society.

Keywords: church; theater; John Chrysostom; late antiquity; mythology; education; music; Daphne mosaic

Chapter.  13601 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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