"The Cyclops of Euripides," edited with a prefatory essay, rhythmical scheme of the lyric parts, and exegetical and critical notes,--by John Patterson '83, New York. The Macmillan Company.
English speaking scholars have paid little attention to the Cyclops, and the edition of Mr. Patterson will therefore be of much real service to scholars and students.
The history of the Greek Satyr play, of which the Cyclops is the only surviving example, in an interesting one. Both tragedy and comedy in Greece were the results of evolution, continuing over a long period of time. From its origin the theatre was closely connected with the worship of he god Dionysys; tragedy began with the narration and then the performance of the adventures of the god by a chorus of satyrs, who danced and sang rude songs. Soon the subject broadened into other fields and the dramatic element increased at the expense of the choral element. But the conservation of the stage and perhaps of the priests of Dionysus preserved in the satyr play an interesting memorial of earlier days. Each tragic poet presented at the feast of the patron-god four plays; the last of these was the satyr play, which was really neither tragedy nor comedy, but a tragedy of the old type with all the rudeness and boisterousness of earlier times. Such a play is the Cyclops, the subject being the blinding of Polyphemus by Odysseus.
Mr. Patterson had added to the text of the play explanatory notes on the various readings given, and has prefixed a brief comment on the meters of the choruses. The prefatory essay deals very interesting with the origins of the theatre and the poet's treatment of the story.