Bollack, Jean. 2016. The Art of Reading: From Homer to Paul Celan. Trans. C. Porter and S. Tarrow with B. King. Edited by C. Koenig, L. Muellner, G. Nagy, and S. Pollock. Hellenic Studies Series 73. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_BollackJ.The_Art_of_Reading.2016.
9. An Act of Cultural Restoration: The Status Accorded to the Classical Tragedians by the Decree of Lycurgus*
I. Evidence of early corruption of the tradition: The contemporaneous use of the text
1. The corruption of the text
2. The reconstitution of a less corrupted tradition, to halt the deteriorations ensuing from stage performances (Dindorf)
II. Readings of the text since the Renaissance
1. The scribe takes the poet’s place by reciting the play to the Actors
2. Performances are eliminated and replaced by public recitations
3. Performances Are not categorically Forbidden, but recitation takes the place of Acting performed on stage
4. The scribe Attends the performances to supervise the production and prevents the Actors from taking liberties with the text
5. Prior verification of the quality of the text by the “Men of the Theater”
III. The Original meaning is political, Aimed at the complete restoration of a national cultural past
1. Taking the technical copies of Theatrical texts into consideration
2. Two complementary measures: The elevation of tragedies to the rank of Official texts Integral to the life of the city, and the perpetuation of the material conditions for Their performance
- Before they could be transcribed, the texts had to be obtained; these were not texts used by professionals, but books, such as Oedipus Rex or Medea, that were intended for reading.
- From these publications, Lycurgus had official copies made that were to include—this being the point of the exercise—the complete works of each of the tragedians.
- In order to make it possible for these official texts to be used in performances in the theater of Dionysos (that is, in order to make the text more faithful to the original), the secretary’s task was one of revision. He completed what the scribes had copied from the commercial editions (Buchausgaben) by adding the stage directions from the actors’ copies (Bühnenausgaben), which were, in fact, working scripts, prepared and annotated.
- The enterprise certainly affected the actors, depending on the reading proposed, not just in terms of the establishment of the correct text, but more concretely, because they needed the stage directions to do their work. It now remains to be seen what these working scripts might have contained.  Wilamowitz thought that the authors had added certain stage directions [παρεπιγραφαί] gleaned from marginal notes to the books that were circulated to readers right from the first performance.  These could have come from the separate theatrical tradition. Lycurgus’ measure had the inevitable effect of providing the theater with a solid basis for performance and for the stage setting, which cannot be separated from the original or explicit aim.
3. Evidence of a political objective