The Ancient Library

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frequently- uses the persona protatica. (Donat. Ter. Prolog, ad Andr.)

: The Si^opia was a double chorus, formed of the choruses of two separate plays: thus at the end of the Eumenides of Aeschylus the Furies of one play and the festal train of another come on the stage together. (Miiller, Literal. &c. p. 300.)

The principal modern writers on the Greek Tragedy are mentioned in the course, of the article. The reader may also consult Wachsmuth* vol. ii. pt. ii. pp. 467$ 4*21; Gfuppe, A riadne, Die Tragisclie Kunst der Griechen in Hirer Entivickelung und in ihrem Zusammenhange mit der Volkspoesie, Berl. 1834 ; Museum Criticum, vol. ii. p. 69, &c. ; Cop-leston, Praelectiones Acadcmicae ; Schneider, Ueber das AUische Theaterwesen, an exceedingly valuable book.

2. roman. The tragedy of the Romans was, for the most paftj an imitation of, or father a bor­rowing from, the Greek, the more imperfect and unnatural, as the construction of the Roman theatre afforded no appropriate place for the chorus, which was therefore obliged to appear on the stage, instead of in the orchestra. The first tragic poet and actor at Rome (Gellius, xxi. 17) was Livius Andronicus, a Greek by birth, who began to exhibit in b. c. 240. From the account in Livy (vii. 2), it would seem that in his monodies (or the lyrical parts sung, not by a chorus, but by one person), it was customary to separate the sing­ing from the mimetic dancing, leaving the latter only to the actor, while the singing was performed by a boy placed near the flutes-player (ante tibi-cineni) ; so that the dialogue only (diverbia) was left to be spoken by the actors. One of the plays written by him was an " Andromeda ;" and he also made a Latin prose translation of the Odyssee. The next tragic poet at Rome was Nae'vitiSj who however appears to have written comedies as well as tragedies (Hiefon. in Euseb. Olymp. 144. 3)j and a history of the first Punic war : so that the writing of tragedies was not a distinct profession at Rome, as at Athens. An " Alcestis " seems to have been written by him. To the same epoch as Livius Andronicus, and Naevius, belongs Ennius, who resembled the latter in being an epic poet as well as a tragedian. Amongst the plays written by him are mentioned^ a Medea^ an Ajax, a Phoenissae, an Iphigenia, an Andromache, and a Hecuba. The metre used by him and Naevius was iambic or trochaic in the dialogue, and ana­paestic for the lyrical parts. (Gellius, xi. 4.) The next distinguished tragedian was Pacuvius, a nephew of Ennius, and a painter also. His style was more remarkable for spirit and vigour of ex­pression than polish or 'refinement, a deficiency attributable to his age and provincial origin, as he was born at Brundisium. Among his plays occur an Antiope, a Chrysesi, and a Dulorestes (Quintil. x. 1 ; Cicero, Orat. iii. 39), and his tragedies found admirers even in the time of Persius (i. 77). Cicero (I. c.) quotes from him a spirited translation of the concluding lines of the Prome­theus Vinctus of Aeschylus. Attius or Accius the younger was junior to Pacuvius by about fifty years. His earlier plays were, as he himself ad­mitted, harsh and obscure (Gelliusj, xiih 2); but his style probably altered with increasing years. Many fragments of his pla}rs occur in Cicero and the Latin grammarians;, Diomedesj Nonius, and Varro. He was also a writer of annals in hexa-



meter verses* (Macrob. Sat. i. 7.) The five poets mentioned above belong, tb the earlier epoch of Roman tragedy, in which little was written but translations and imitations of the trreek, with oo casional insertions of original matter. How they imitated the structure of the choral odes is doubt* ful, perhaps they never attempted it. Ennius^ Pacuvius, and Accius are contrasted by Cicero (de Orat. iii. 7)^ with Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides ; and of the two last Quintilian (x. 1. § 97) says, " Virium Accio pliis tribuitiir ; Pacii-vium videri doctiorem, qui esse docti affectant^ volunt.1"

In the age of Augustus the writing of tragedies^ whether original or imitations, seems to have been quite a fashionable occupation. The emperor him­self attempted an Ajax, but did not succeed ; and when his friends asked him, " Quidnam Ajax ageret ? " his reply was ^ Ajacem suum in spongiam incubuisse." (Suet. Aug. 85.) One of the prin­cipal tragedians of this epoch was Asinius Pollio, to whom the line (Virg. Eclog. viii. 10)

" Sola Sophocleo tua carmina digna cothurno,"

is supposed to apply: he also excelled in other literary accomplishments. (Hor. Carm. ii. 1.) Ovid (Trtst. ii. 556) also wrote a tragedy, of which Quintilian (x. 1. § 98) says, " Ovidii Medea vi-detur mihi ostendere, quantum ille vir praestare potuerit si ingenio suo temperare quam indulgere maluisset." His " armorum judicium " (Metamor* xiii.) between Ajax and Ulyssesj oil which facit* vius and Accius also wrote dramas, proves that he might have rivalled Euripides in rhetorical skill. Quintilian also says of Varius, who was distinguished in epic as well as tragic poetry (Hor, Carm. i. 6, Ar. Poet. 55 ; Tacit. Dial. xii. 1), that his Thyestes might be compared with any of the Greek tragedies. Some fragments of this Thyestes are extant, but we have no other remains of the tragedy of the Augustan age. The loss perhaps is not great ; for the want of a national and indi­genous mythology must have disabled the Roman poets from producing any original counterparts of the Greek tragedy ; besides whicha, in the later days of the republic, and under the empire^ the Roman people were too fond of gladiatorial shows, and beast-fights, and gorgeous spectacles, to en­courage the drama. Moreover, it is also manifest that a tragedy like that of the Greeks could not have flourished under a despotism.

The only complete Roman tragedies that have come down to us are the ten attributed to the philosopher Seneca. But whether he wrote any of them or not is a disputed point. It is agreed that they are not all from the same hand, and it is doubtful whether they are all of the same age even. In one of them, the Medea, the author made his heroine kill her children on the stage5 •' coram populo," in spite of the precept of Horace. Schlegel (Lect. viii.) thus speaks of them: "To whatever age they belong, they are be}rond de­scription bombastic and frigid, utterly unnatural in character and action, and full of the most revolting violations of propriety, and barren of all theatrical effect. With the old Grecian tragedies they have nothing in common but the name, the exterior form, and the matter. Their persons are neither, ideal nor real men, but misshapen giants of pup-r pets, and the wire that moves them is at one time an unnatural heroism, at another a passion alik'0-

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