Evaluating "Popularity" of Ancient Playwrights
It is often asserted that Euripides was not as popular or successful as his older contemporary Sophocles. In this assignment, students will gather and assess what data we actually have, and construct an argument for or against that proposition. They will need to find out what we know about how many tragedies each poet produced, how many of these were awarded prizes, and (given the eccentric way in which Athenians awarded those prizes) what that information actually tells us about the popularity of the two poets.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
I don't have this yet.
I would need to provide the students with:
a) the method we believe the Athenians used to determine which play won first, second and third place in the Dionysian dramatic competition.
b) the didaskalia, a fragmentary listing of winning tragedies.
c) the evidence for tragedies composed by Sophocles and Euripides (if found elsewhere than the didaskalia), and whether or not they won (if we know that).