Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title Choruses in Attic Vase-Painting of the 6th–5th Centuries BC
Author email
About author Kulishova, Oksana Viktorovna — full doctor, professor. Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaia nab., 7/9, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Karpyuk, Sergey Georgievich — full doctor, leading researcher. Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr., 32a, 119334 Moscow, Russian Federation.
In the section Art and Artistic Culture of the Ancient World. Archaeological Object and a Work of Art: Their Similarities and Differences DOI10.18688/aa177-1-7
Year 2017 Volume 7 Pages 6977
Type of article RAR Index UDK 7.032; 94(38) Index BBK 85.103(0)32

The authors analyze some characteristics of ancient Greek vase-painting in order to study ancient drama and theatre. This problem has been discussed a lot within the last decades, e.g. in the works of J. R. Green,O. Taplin, E. Csapo et al. The authors focus on the Attic vase-painting of the 6th–5th centuries BC, which was close to the time of ancient Greek theatre to be born. The group of Attic vases with the so-called ‘animal’ choruses (ca. 560–480 BC) draws the scholars’ attention due to nearly twenty pictures of costumed processions offantastic birds, cocks, horsemen, riders on dolphins, etc. These sets remind of ‘animal’ choruses in Aristophanes’The Birds and The Knights. The authors specially analyze the so-called ‘rider choruses’ on the Greek vases from the museums of Berlin, Boston, New York, etc. All these pictures help to prove socio-cultural (and not onlyreligious!) aspects of komos. This analysis also allows the authors to discover sources of ancient Greek comedy and dramatic performances, which were connected with aristocratic culture of symposion in Archaic and early Classical Greece.


Reference Kulishova, Oksana V.; Karpyuk, Sergey G. Choruses in Attic Vase-Painting of the 6th–5th Centuries BC. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 7. Ed. S. V. Mal’tseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova, A. V. Zakharova. — St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Univ. Press, 2017, pp. 69–77. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
  • Bieber M. History of the Greek and Roman Theater. Princeton, Princeton University Press Publ., 1961. 343 p.
  • Braund D.; Hall E. Gender, Role and Performer in Athenian Theatre Iconography: A Masked Tragic Chorus with Kalos and Kale Captions from Olbia. Journal of Hellenic Studies, 2014, vol. 134, pp. 1–11.
  • Camp II J. McK. Horses and Horsemanship in the Athenian Agora. Athens, American School of Classical Studies in Athens Publ., 1998. 40 p.
  • Csapo E. Actors and Icons of the Ancient Theater. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell Publ., 2010. 248 p.
  • Davies J. K. Athenian Propertied Families, 600–300 BC. Oxford, Clarendon Press Publ., 1971. 653 p.
  • Green J. R. A Representation of the Birds of Aristophanes. Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2. Malibu, The Museum Publ., 1985, pp. 95–118.
  • Green J. R. On Seeing and Depicting the Theatre in Ancient Athens. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, 1991, vol. 32, pp. 15–50.
  • Green J. R. Theatre in Ancient Greek Society. London; New York, Routledge Publ., 1994. 256 p.
  • Greifenhagen A. Delphinreiter auf einem Psykter des Oltos. Pantheon, 1965, vol. 23, pp. 1–7 (in German).
  • Karpiuk S. G. Political Onomastic of Classical Athens in Inscriptions of the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC. Vestnik drevnei istorii (Journal of Ancient History), 2003, no. 3, pp. 4–35 (in Russian).
  • Kulishova O. V. Antichnyi teatr: organizatsiia i oformlenie dramaticheskikh predstavlenii v Afinah v V v. do n.e. (Antique Theater: Organization and Design of Dramatic Performances in Athens in the 5th Century BC). Saint Petersburg, Gumanitarnaia Akademiia Publ., 2014. 320 p. (in Russian).
  • Kulishova O. V. Chorus in Ancient Theater of the 5th Century BC. Maska i teatr v zrelishchnoi kul’ture antichnogo mira (Mask and Theater in Spectacular Culture of Antique World). Saint Petersburg, Institute of History of Saint Petersburg State University Publ., 2015, pp. 36–51 (in Russian).
  • Lissarrague F. Around the Krater. An Aspect of Banquet Imagery. Sympotica: A Symposium on the Symposion. Oxford, Clarendon Press Publ., 1990, pp. 196–209.
  • Millis B. W.; Olson S. D. (eds.). Inscriptional Records for the Dramatic Festivals in Athens. IG II2 2318–2325 and Related Texts. Leiden; Boston, Brill Publ., 2012. 238 p.
  • Murray O. (ed.). Sympotica: A Symposium on the Symposion. Oxford, Clarendon Press Publ., 1990. 351 p.
  • Olson S. D. (ed.). Broken Laughter. Select Fragments of Greek Comedy. Oxford, Oxford University Press Publ., 2007. 476 p.
  • Pickard-Cambridge А. W. Dramatic Festivals of Athens. Oxford, Clarendon Press Publ., 1988. 472 p.
  • Poppelreuter J. De comoediae atticae primordiis particulae duae. Diss. Berlin, R. Heinrich Publ., 1893. 95 p. (in Latin).
  • Rothwell K. S. Jr. Nature, Culture, and the Origins of Greek Comedy. A Study of Animal Choruses. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press Publ., 2007. 326 p.
  • Rusten J. Who “Invented” Comedy? The Ancient Candidates for the Origins of Comedy and the Visual Evidence. The American Journal of Philology, 2006, vol. 127, no. 1, pp. 37–66.
  • Sifakis G. M. Parabasis and Animal Choruses. A Contribution to the History of Attic Comedy. London, Athlone Press Publ., 1971. 150 p.
  • Surikov I. E. Commented Edition of Solon’s Fragments (Noussia-Fantuzzi M. Solon the Athenian, the Poetic Fragments. Leiden; Boston, Brill, 2010). Studia historica, 2015, vol. 14, pp. 194–210 (in Russian).
  • Taplin O. Comic Angels and Other Approaches to Greek Drama through Vase-Paintings. Oxford, Clarendon Press Publ., 1994. 129 p.
  • Taplin O. Pots and Plays. Interactions between Tragedy and Greek Vase-Painting of the Fourth Century BC. Los Angeles, Getty Publ., 2007. 310 p.