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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the institution of choregia for comedy in Classical Athens performed at the City Dionysia, the Lenaea, and the Dionysia held in the Attic demes. The choregia was part of the system of liturgies whereby state authorities assigned rich Athenians the task of providing funding and accommodating special public needs (in the military and the religious festivals). The choregos was responsible for recruiting the members of a chorus (dithyrambic, tragic, or comic), for providing whatever was necessary for its training, and for paying all associated expenses. The competitive context of theatrical performances explains why the choregia was termed an “agonistic liturgy” and why victorious choregoi dedicated monuments. Over the course of the fourth century BCE, the role of the comic chorus waned, and, in the last two decades, the choregia itself was abolished.

Keywords: choregia, City Dionysia, Lenaea, Attic demes, liturgies, chorus, agonistic, choregic monument, victorious choregos, choregic dedication, Dionysiac Festivals

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