Prof Peter Wilson Lecture

The Politics of Greece’s Theatrical Revolution

5:00pm - 7:00pm / Tuesday 15th November 2022 / Venue: Seminar Room 10 Rendall Building
Type: Lecture / Category: Department
  • Admission: Free event
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Prof Peter Wilson (University of Sydney)

Recent years have witnessed a shift away from the extreme Athenocentrism that has characterised the study of the Greek theatre for centuries. The received account always struggled with the contradiction of a Classical theatre exclusively in, by and for Athens that was instantly replaced by an equally static vision of a Hellenistic theatre that is ubiquitously Greek. The result has been that scholarship has remained largely oblivious to the regional, interurban and international festivals that competed with the Athenian festivals and ended up shaping them as much as Athens shaped theatre in Greece. In 2020, my colleague Eric Csapo and I published a volume that presents and analyses the evidence for the spread of theatre from Athens, and for its independent appearance, in and beyond the Mediterranean over the first two centuries of its existence: Theatre Beyond Athens: A Social and Economic History of the Theatre to 300 BC. Vol. 2, Cambridge University Press. In this seminar I build on the results of this research and ask what role, if any, politics played in this extraordinary expansion.

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