The Ancient Library

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On this page: Choregus – Choreutae – Chorizontes – Chresmologi – Chrysaor – Chryseis – Chrysippus – Chthonia



connexion is sometimes loose, and with the later tragedians, after the time of Agathon, the choral performance sank to a mere in­termezzo. The style of the chorus was distinguished from that of the dialogue partly by its complex lyrical form, partly by its language, in which it adopted a mix­ture of Attic and Doric forms. The proper place of the chorus was on the orchestra, on different parts of which, after a solemn march, it remained until the end of the piece drawn up, while standing, in a square. During the action it seldom left the orchestra to re-appear, and it was quite exceptional for it to appear on the stage. As the per­formance went on the chorus would change its place on the orchestra; as the piece re­quired it would divide into semi-choruses and perform a variety of artistic movements and dances. The name of Emmeleia was given to the tragic dance, which, though not lacking animation, had a solemn and measured character. The comedy had its burlesque and often indecent performance called Cordax; the satyric drama its Sicin-nis, representing the wanton movements of satyrs. The songs of the choruses, too, had their special names. The first ode per­formed by the entire body was called pdr5-d5s; the pieces intervening between the parts of the play, stasima; the songs of mourning, in which the chorus took part with the actors, commoi. The number of the members (choreutai) was, in tragedies, originally twelve, and after Sophocles fifteen. This was probably the number allowed in the satyric drama: the chorus in the Old : Comedy numbered twenty-four.

The business of getting the members of the chorus together, paying them, maintain­ing them during the time of practice, and generally equipping them for performance, was regarded as a Ltturgia, or public ser­vice, and devolved on a wealthy private citizen called a Choregus, to whom it was a matter of considerable trouble and expense. We know from individual instances that j the cost of tragic chorus might run up to 30 minae (about £100), of a comic chorus | to 16 minae (about £53). If victorious, the ' Ch&regus received a crown and a finely wrought tripod. This he either dedicated, with an inscription, to some deity as a memorial of his triumph, or set up on a marble structure built for the purpose in the form of a temple, in a street named the Street of Tripods, from the number of these monuments which were erected there, i One of these memorials, put up by a certain

Lysicrates in 335 b.c., still remains. (See ltsicrates.) After the Peloponnesian war the prosperity of Athens declined so much that it was often difficult to find a sufficient number of choregi to supply the festivals. The State therefore had to take the business upon itself. But many choruses came to an end altogether. This was the case with the comic chorus in the later years of Aristo­phanes ; and the poets of the Middle and New Comedy accordingly dropped the chorus. This explains the fact that there is no chorua in the Roman comedy, which is an ; imitation of the New Comedy of the Greeks. In their tragedies, however, imitated from Greek originals, the Romans retained the chorus, which, as the Roman theatre had no orchestra, was placed on the stage, and as a rule performed between the acts, but some­times during the performance as well. Choregus, Chdrentae. See chorus. Chorizontes. See homer. Chresm516gi. See mantike. Chrysaor. Son of Poseidon and MSdusa, brother of Pegasus, and father of the three-headed giant Geryon and Echidna by the Ocean-Nymph Callirrhoe.

Chrysels. The daughter of Chryses, priest of Apollo at Chryse. She was carried away by the Greeks at the con­quest of her native city, and allotted to Agamemnon. Agamemnon having refused the father's proffered ransom, Apollo visited the Greek camp with pestilence until Aga­memnon gave her back without payment. (See trojan- war.)

Chrysippus. (1) Son of Pglops and the Nymph AxiBche, murdered by his step­brothers Atreus and Thyestes, who were consequently banished by Pelops.

(2) A Greek philosopher of Tarsus or Soli in Cilicia (about 282-206 b.c.). At Athens he was a pupil of the Stoic Cleanthes, and his successor in the chair of the Stoa. Owing to the thorough way in which he developed the system, he is almost entitled to be called the second founder of the Stoic school; and, indeed, there was a saying (t Had there been no Chrysippus, there had been no Stoa." The author of more than 705 books, he was one of the most prolific writers of antiquity, but his style was marred by great prolixity and carelessness. Only a few fragments of his writings survive. Chthdnla. (1) Daughter of Erechtheus of Athens, who was sacrificed by her father to gain the victory over the men of Eleusis. (See erechtheus.)

(2) An epithet of Demeter (q. v.}.

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