By Timothy Long
Greeks divided the realm into Greece vs. the land of foreigners, into Hellenes vs. barbarians, seeing their nation as a bastion of tradition, studying, and army may possibly surrounded by way of a sea of the uncivilized. Long indicates how comedy expressed the Greek feeling of superiority over the barbarians, the way it handled the so-called barbarian-Hellene antithesis. the result's a contribution to the learn of old Greek comedy—both the comedy itself and the ideals, the prejudices, the constraints, and the diversity within the society from which the performs emerged. The comedians’ responses to the barbarians ranged from idealization to neutrality to uncooked racism. Although contemptuous of barbarians, the Hellenes couldn't hold components of overseas tradition from getting into their very own. Long’s significant rivalry is that the Greek response to Oriental and different foreign effect will be visible within the treatment of barbarians in Greek comedy.
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Additional info for Barbarians in Greek comedy
The answer is the ichneumon that steals the eggs of the crocodiles, breaks them open, and eats them before they hatch. 71) described the hippopotamus, but incorrectly. Alexis (204) includes it in a list of apparitions from a dream. 73) recounts the picture of the phoenix that he saw at Heliopolis and the story of its reappearance every five hundred years. Eubulus wrote a comedy entitled Phoenix (114) and mentions, by way of comparison, that even the peacock is admired for its rarity. Antiphanes (Homopatrii 175) recites the various birds that are associated with templesowls with Athens, doves with Aphrodite on Cyprus, the peacocks of Hera on Samos, and the phoenix of Heliopolis.
What we can glean from later comedy is only a highly literary use of the same material. We cannot determine, much less claim, that what we read in Menander or Philemon represents the thinking of the average man or the normal state of affairs in Athens. We cannot take Menander as a concrete representation of his society in the way that we can take Aristophanes as a representative of his. For this reason, and also because most of the historical material about barbarians that can be won from comedy has long since been gleaned, the treatment in this book is largely literary, that is, it seeks not to see what we can tell about the actual, real barbarian and his treatment by the Greeks, but to see what use the comedians made of Page xii non-Greek material and what sort of barbarian characters they introduced.
Alexis (99) entitled a play Calasiris and Cratinus (Deliades 30) portrayed Lycurgus with one. There is a mention of the kupassis in Aristophanes (frag. 519), a mid-thigh length frock which Hecataeus (FGrH 1 F 284) says is a Persian garment. Ctesias (FGrH 688 F 41) described another Persian garment, the sarapis, an off-white cloakor, perhaps, Page 11 trousersthat Antiphanes (Scythotaurians 201) describes a group as putting on inappropriately along with the chiton. 11 The comedians also refer to the impressive royal costume of the Persian kings, as when Antiphanes (Anteia 36) mentions the donning of tragic raiment, Persian trousers, and tiaras.