Online Encyclopedia

SUSARION

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 162 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SUSARION, Greek comic poet, a native of Tripodiscus in Megaris. About 58o B.C. he transplanted the Megarian comedy (if the rude extempore jests and buffoonery deserve the name) into the Attic deme of Icaria, the cradle also of Greek tragedy and the oldest seat of the worship of Dionysus. According to the Parian Chronicle, there appears to have been a competition on this occasion; in which the prize was a basket of figs and an amphora of wine. Susarion's improvements in his native farces did not include a separate actor or a regular plot, but probably consisted in substituting metrical compositions for the old extempore effusions of the chorus. These were intended for recitation, and not committed to writing. But such performances did not suit the taste of the Athenians, and nothing more is heard of them until eighty years after the time of Susarion. U. von. Wilamowitz-Mollendorff (in Hermes, ix.) considers the so-called Megarian comedy to have been an invention of the Athenians themselves, intended as a satire on Megarian coarseness and vulgarity. The lines attributed to Susarion (in Meineke, Poetarum comicorum graecorum fragmenla) are probably not genuine.
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