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Unit 1: Aristophanes >>

Our first unit is devoted to Aristophanes (c. 447 - c. 383 BCE), the most famous of the old comedians, whose political satire was a scathing as anything produced in modern times.

We will also devote time in this unit to the origins of ancient Greek theater, as well as Athenian history in the fifth century BCE, which cannot be separated from Aristphanes' plays.

  Thursday, September 10
  Topics for today:
  -- Course overview and requirements
-- Semester project: introduction
-- Using the course website
-- Discussion:  What's so funny?
  Tuesday, September 15
  -- Easterling 1997 ("A Show for Dionysus")
  Topics for today:
  -- The origins of Greek drama
-- The theater of Dionysus
-- Actors, choruses, and masks
  Thursday, September 17

- Staging an Ancient Greek Play (Walter Englert, Reed College)

  Topics for today:
  -- The Great Dionysia and the Lenaea
-- Athenian festivals
  Tuesday, September 22
  -- Thomas R. Martin, An Overview of Classical Greek History (Perseus)
-- -- Chapter 7, "Introduction to the Fifth Century" (all)
-- -- Chapter 12, through "An Uneasy Peace"
  Topics for today:
  -- The Persian and Peloponnesian Wars
-- Life during wartime, part 1
-- Introduction to Aristophanes
-- Stagings:  troupes assigned, guidelines reviewed
-- Semester project: the date of the performance
  Thursday, September 24
  -- Aristophanes, Acharnians (Lenaea 425, first place)
-- Reflections on Acharnians (by 9:00 a.m.)
  Topics for today:
  -- Discussion of Acharnians
-- The parts of comedy
  Monday, September 28
  Yom Kippur
  -- No classes held.
  Tuesday, September 29

-- Aristophanes, Clouds (Dionysia 423, last place;  revised after 419)
-- Thomas R. Martin, An Overview of Classical Greek History (Perseus)
-- -- Chapter 11, "Education..." through "Unsettling Cosmologies"
-- -- Chapter 14, "Socrates" through "Execution of Socrates"
-- Reflections on Clouds (by 9:00 a.m.)

  Topics for today:

-- Discussion of Clouds
-- The agon or "contest"
-- Semester project: overview

  Thursday, October 1
  -- Aristophanes, Wasps (Lenaea 422, second place)
-- Reflections on Wasps (by 9:00 a.m.)
  Topics for today:

-- Discussion of Wasps
-- The parabasis or "stepping forward"

-- Staging:  Alpha

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