PRIN 2022 – Aeschylean Tragedy: Text, hypotexts, performance

Starting date
October 17, 2023
Duration (months)
Cultures and Civilizations
Managers or local contacts
Rodighiero Andrea

Aeschylean Tragedy: Text, hypotexts, performance

Our project arises from the firm belief that the study of Greek tragedy does not benefit from a sectorial approach. Rather, it requests an articulated interweaving of different perspectives. The project, dedicated to Aeschylean tragedy, is accordingly constructed around three main research lines. 1. TEXTS This section aims at investigating the textual and interpretative issues of three Aeschylean plays (Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Vinctus and Choephori), as a preparatory work for new critical editions with commentaries dealing with all the aspects of the works (language, style, metre, history, ethical and religious content, performance). Moreover, we plan the production of a digital tool in order to make the conjectures to the Seven against Thebes available online to scholars. 2. HYPOTEXTS This part of the project aims at better contextualizing Aeschylean tragedy as a genre among other performative genres of the archaic and classical period, as well as at detecting and recognizing shared, independent and/or innovative aspects of of Aeschylus in his use of the epic and lyric tradition. We plan the mapping of a repertoire of Aeschylean 'epic lexicon' and the scrutiny of ancient sources associating him to the epic tradition. Moreover, we shall investigate the intertextual connections between the choral sections of tragedy and their natural 'predecessor', i.e. choral lyric poetry. Our goal is to show how the preexisting genres represent an ideal 'hypotext' for tragic authors, and how traditional language, more specific terminology, formulae, figures of syntax and style become available to serve in the new performative context of the theatrical production. Another line of research will be dedicated to the Aeschylean treatment of pre-existing myths, in order to understand how they were transformed by Aeschylus in new dramatic constructions, and how much he influenced the later tragic treatments of the same mythical subjects. 3. DRAMATURGY AND PERFORMANCE The third part of the project aims at investigating some relevant aspects of the performative dimension of ancient tragedies. We envisage a detailed study of the Aeschylean plays indicated above from this point of view in order to reconnect the texts with ancient theatrical praxis. We firmly believe that this is an unavoidable passage of interpretation, in spite of the many difficulties that must be faced when trying to reconstruct the visual dimension of an ancient performance.

Project participants

Andrea Rodighiero
Full Professor

Collaboratori esterni

Enrico Medda
Università di Pisa Professore ordinario
Research areas involved in the project
Lingua, letteratura e filologia greca e latina
Classics, ancient literature and art


Research facilities