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William Davis, A Day in Old Athens

 

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Page 6

The Greater Dionysia and the Drama

 

    Again we are in Athens in the springtime: "The eleventh of Elapheboliön" [March]. It is the third day of the Greater Dionysia. The city has been in high festival; all the booths in the Agora hum with redoubled life; strangers have flocked in from outlying pars of Hellas to trade, admire, and recreate; under pretext of honoring the wine god, inordinate quantities of wine are drunk with less than the prudent mixture of water. There is boisterous frolicking, singing, and jesting everywhere. It is early blossom time. All whom you meet wear huge flower crowns, and pelt you with the fragrant petals of spring.[8]

    So for two days the city has made merry, and now on the third, very early, "to the theater" is the word on every lip. Magistrates in their purple robes of office, ambassadors from foreign states, the priests and religious dignitaries, are all going to the front seats of honor. Ladies of gentle family, carefully veiled but eager and fluttering, are going with their maids, if the productions of the day are to be tragedies not comedies.[9] All the citizens are going, rich and poor, for here again we meet "Athenian democracy"; and the judgment and interest of the tatter-clad fishermen seeking the general "two-obol" seats may be almost as correct and keen as that of the lordly Alcmænoid in his gala himation.

 

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/old-athens-festivals.asp?pg=6