The Greek Tragic Chorus and Its Training for War: Movement, Music and Harmony in Theatrical and Military Performance

  • Will Shüler
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


As institutional education focused on music and movement, and most importantly the harmony of both, this chapter positions the theories and practice of ancient Greek choral and military training as a continuation of primary education. As such, choral and military performance contributed to inculcating Athenian cultural knowledge. It will be shown that the training in song and dance for tragic choruses sought to prepare young Athenians for much more than performing in a festival. Through an examination of ancient texts and art alongside Diana Taylor’s notion that “performances function as vital acts of transfer, transmitting social knowledge, memory, and a sense of identity”, it will become clear that choral rehearsal was also a rehearsal for battle and citizenship.


Greek tragic chorus Pyrrhic dance Hoplites Military training Athenian education 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LondonLondonUK

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