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Greek Theater of Dionysos in Athens

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This is a photograph of the ruins of the Theater of Dionysos in Athens, built on the south side of the Acropolis. Dramatic performances were held here during the city's festivals in a competitive context, with separate prize categories for tragedies and comedies. The biggest festival, known as the City Dionysia, took place in the month of March. People from all over Greece were invited to attend and several days were devoted to the dramatic performances.

Another annual festival at Athens was the Lenaia; this was smaller, drawing mostly locals, and took place in Athens at the end of January. It was during the Lenaia of various years that most of Aristophanes' extant plays were first performed. The exact location of the festival's performances is still a matter of contention, but many scholars believe that in the 5th cent. BCE - Aristophanes' time - the dramatic competitions took place in the Theater of Dionysos.

Lysistrata was probably performed at the Lenaia in 411 BCE. How it placed in the competition is unknown.


via Wikimedia Commons.

Contemporaneous Resource
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Public Domain