- AnnouncementThe Gildersleeve Prize Winner for 2015
THE GILDERSLEEVE PRIZE
FOR THE BEST ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN
THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHILOLOGY
IN 2015 HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
for his contribution to scholarship in “Timokles Satyrographos and the Abusive Satyr Play,” AJP 136.4: 545–576.
In a timely contribution to a burgeoning area of scholarship, Cohn takes up what may seem a relatively minor dispute among scholars of satyr drama and shows in a meticulous and wide-ranging discussion that far larger stakes are involved; with scrupulous allowance for alternative interpretations of the evidence, his case study reopens a real point of dispute and casts a great deal of light on changing dramatic practices in the transitional period between Middle and New comedy.
The issue is whether the play Athenaeus cites as Ikarioi Saturoi (9.407d–f) was originally presented as a satyr play, a suggestion once mooted by Wilamowitz and then partly withdrawn. Most scholars and editors take it as a comedy because of Timokles’ repute as a comic poet and the play’s “modern” setting and comic-style abuse of contemporaries. Beginning with a review of how comedies and satyr plays are cited in ancient sources, Cohn finds Athenaeus’ testimony highly suggestive and goes on to build a case for Ikarioi as satyr play by focusing on its contents, metrics and the changing institutional contexts for dramatic performance in the late 340’s. The Timokles that emerges from Cohn’s long view is a bold experimenter in dramatic form at a time when satyr play was migrating away from tragedy toward comedy, a poet whose unprecedented mixing of comic and satiric elements importantly influenced his successors. Cohn’s breadth of perspective combined with careful handling of epigraphic and textual evidence will encourage and assist others to exploit the magnificent research tools that are now available in this field; the possibility that Ikarioi was a satyr play cannot be ignored, and must figure in the reconstruction of a fascinating period in the development of Greek satyr play and comedy generally.
Judges for Johns Hopkins University Press
Andrew Ford (Chair) Sharon L. James K. Sara Myers
The Twenty-eighth Annual Gildersleeve Prize of $1,000 will be awarded for the best article to appear in the Journal in 2016. The Press would like to thank the members of the committee for their time and effort.
William M. Breichner
Johns Hopkins University Press
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