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Pratinas

PRATINAS (the quantity of the second vowel is doubtful), one of the oldest tragic poets of Athens, was a native of Phlius in Peloponnesus. About 500 B.C. he competed with Choerilus and Aeschylus, when the latter made his first appearance as a writer for the stage. Pratinas was also the introducer of satyric dramas as a species of entertainment distinct from tragedy, in which the rustic merry-makings and the extravagant dances of the satyrs were retained. The associations of his home, not far from Corinth, where Arion was said to have established the cyclic choruses of satyrs, may account for his preference for this kind of drama. Pratinas was also a writer of dithyrambs and the choral odes called hyporchemata (a considerable fragment of one of these is preserved in Athenaeus xiv. 617). It is related that, during the performance of one of his plays, the scaffolding of the wooden stage gave way, in consequence of which the Athenians built a theatre of stone; but recent excavations make it doubtful whether a stone theatre existed in Athens at so early a date. A monument was erected by the inhabitants of Phlius in honour of Pratinas's son Aristias, who, with his father, enjoyed the reputation of excelling all, with the exception of Aeschylus, in the composition of satyric dramas, one of which was called Cyclops.

See Pausanias ii. 13; Suidas q.v.; fragments in T. Bergk, Poetae lyrici graeci, vol. iii.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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