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The book presents three essays by the well-known Danish theatre historian, Klaus Neiiendam. He attempts to provide greater insight into the dramatic art of antiquity by analysing three major groups of iconographical material in context with the written sources.
The first group consists of about two hundred phlyax vases. The vases were only produced in Magna Graecia in the fourth century BC, and in the present investigation an attempt is made to ascertain whether evidence of these "phlyax" farces shed any light on the performance of early Attic comedy, as exemplified by the celebrated plays of Aristophanes.
In the second group a number of theatre pictures from the early Hellenistic period illustrate scenes of both tragedy and comedy in performance. One or two of the scenes can be directly linked to dialogue in existing plays.
Finally, an attempt is made to shed new light on the Byzantine profane theatre, which played a crucial role in its time, using the diptychs of the Byzantine consul Anastasius as a frame of reference.
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