Epicharmus

(1838 words)
  • Kathryn Bosher (Northwestern University)

Epicharmus was a comic playwright and perhaps a philosopher, who worked in Syracuse in the first half of the 5th century BCE. He was a contemporary of Aeschylus, as well as Pindar and Bacchylides. Little of his work survives, but antiquity thought very highly of him. He is credited, for example, with the invention of comic plot structure, and praised and remembered well into the Roman period. He is important not only in his own right, but because he shows that the development of ancient drama was not the story of Athens alone. At least one other city, Syracuse, played an important role.

Many tales circulated about Epicharmus in antiquity. These give us a sense of his enormous importance in the history of Greek …

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Citation:
Bosher, Kathryn. "Epicharmus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 June 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=11802, accessed 19 December 2014.]