FNS Ambizione Project ‘Greek Theatre in Italy during the Republic (500-27 BC)’


The aim of this research project is to examine theatrical performances in Greek language that took place in Italy during the Republic (500-27 BC), including Sicily only when it falls under Roman domination. Its primary goal is to explore in which contexts (both private and public) and under which practical conditions such performances took place, as well as determine what was performed and why.

All relevant passages in ancient literary and documentary sources will be collected in the first phase of the project. A series of problems related to the relationship between Roman elites and performances in Greek will then be explored, as well as interactions between Greek and Roman theatre.

The wider question of the relation between Greek theatre and political power will also be examined. Another important goal of this project is to provide a better understanding of how and why an institution that saw its major development take place under Athenian democracy was exported and could survive in a very dissimilar environment.

Preliminary list of relevant passages in ancient literary sources. (Only references that provide clear evidence for performances in Greek language in Roman Republican Italy are listed here.)

Greek Theatre and Metatheatre: definitions, problems, limits

16th to 17th November 2018, University of Basel

Programme of the Conference

Greek Theatre in Italy

17th to 19th September 2020, University of Basel

Project Leader

Elodie Anne Paillard

Scientific Collaborators

Vanessa Monteventi