This collection of twenty essays examines the art, profession and idea of the actor in Greek and Roman antiquity, and has been commissioned and arranged to cast as much interdisciplinary and transhistorical light as possible on these elusive but fascinating ancient professionals. It covers a chrological span from the sixth century BC to Byzantium (and even beyond to the way that ancient actors have influenced the arts from the Renaissance to the twentieth century) and stresses the huge geographical spread of ancient actors. Some essays focus on particular themes, such as the evidence for women actors or the impact of acting on the presentation of suicide in literature; others offer completely new evidence, such as graffiti relating to actors in Asia Mir; others ask new questions, such as what subjective experience can be reconstructed for the ancient actor. There are numerous illustrations and all Greek and Latin passages are translated.
Pat Easterling is Emeritus Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Newnham College and a Fellow of the British Academy. She was Professor of Greek at University College London from 1987 to 1994, and has also served as President of the Classical Association (1989/1990) and the Hellenic Society (1996-1999). In addition to serving as General Editor of the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics ever since its foundation over thirty years ago, she has published an edition within this series of Sophocles' Trachiniae (1982), co-edited, with B. M. W. Knox, Volume 1 of the Cambridge History of Classical Literature (1985) and edited The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy (1997). She is currently working on an edition of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus for the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series. Edith Hall is Professor of Greek Cultural History at the University of Durham and has previously taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Reading and Oxford. She is Co-Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford and author of Inventing the Barbarian (1989), editor of Aeschylus' Persians (1996) and co-editor of Medea in Performance (2000).