Phrynichus

(redirected from Phrynicus)

Phrynichus,

fl. 430 B.C., Athenian comic poet. Fragments of his works, of the Old Comedy, survive.

Phrynichus

(frĭn`ĭkəs), fl. c.510–476 B.C., Athenian dramatist, considered by some ancients (including Plato) to be the founder of tragedy. His historical play, The Taking of Miletus, which concerns the capture of Miletus by the Persians, had such a painful theme that it moved the Athenian audience to tears, and Phrynichus was fined. He is said to have been the first to use female characters and was famous for his choreography. Fragments of his dramas survive.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Wiid read a paper on the origin and development of drama, in which he commented on the festivals of Dionysus, Thespis, Phrynicus, satyr-plays, Aeschylus' contribution, the structure of a tragedy and the theatre building before dealing with comedy (its origins, tone and organic growth, the phlyakes, Old Attic comedy and Aristophanes).
An interesting example is the reported reaction to Phrynicus's Fall of Miletus (Herodotus 6.21.2): the play made the Athenian audience burst into tears, and the poet was fined for reminding people of their own misfortunes (oikeia kaka).
The spectacle must have been impressive: towering epics based on the Greek myths, written in superb poetry by the great dramatists of the time: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and others less well remembered, like Thespis, Agathon, and Phrynicus. What is not so widely known today is that the verse of these empyreal works was set and performed to music, almost all of which has been lost.