Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

As with myth, the ancient Greeks did not have a term equivalent to what we refer to as ritual. On the one hand, the heroic past of Greece was rendered as archaion or palaion, on the other, cultural and religious practices were grasped in terms of agency (drama in particular). Attic tragedy is particularly meaningful in terms of this double foundation, spoken word and (dramatic) action, of what we call Greek religion. Integrated into a mousikos agon, tragedy is itself a ritualized poetic form: it stages an exemplary action taken from the heroic past of the civic community to lead up, at times through the aetiological institution of a cult, to its musical performance as part of ritual honours dedicated to a deity. From this point of view, attention is directed in particular to the choral songs which frame and punctuate, though ritual pragmatics, the dramatization of the tragic action.

Keywords: choral song, drama, pragmatics, ritual, tragedy, myth

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.