Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Choruses, Ancient and Modern$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joshua Billings, Felix Budelmann, and Fiona Macintosh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

The Politics of the Mystic Chorus

The Politics of the Mystic Chorus

(p.260) (p.261) 15 The Politics of the Mystic Chorus
Choruses, Ancient and Modern

Richard Seaford

Oxford University Press

The chorus had in the classical Greek polis an importance that is entirely unknown in mainstream monotheism. In ‘The Politics of the Mystic Chorus’, Richard Seaford argues that this importance was both religious and political, and was based on the implicit claim of the group to space (and time). In particular, the chorus of mystic initiates, in imagining themselves as coexistent with the cosmos as they prefigured their eternal solidarity, provided both for Platonic philosophy and (differently) for the polis a transcendent model of happy cohesion. It is as a result of this political significance that the mystic chorus developed at Athens into the public performance of dithyramb and tragedy, in both of which the chorus is marked by solidarity and anonymity. Rivalry and the naming of individuals, which in Alcman’s Partheneion occur within the cosmic chorus, in tragedy serve to contrast the (autocratic) individuals with the chorus.

Keywords:   mysteries, Greek religion, chorus and politics, classical Athens, Plato, dithyramb, Greek tragedy, Alcman

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .