OXFORD, ENGLAND—Providing insight into the culture of early Western civilization, historians from the University of Oxford announced Friday the discovery of new evidence revealing that ancient Greeks immediately regretted inventing theater. “Our research shows that directly after developing theatrical performances as a way to honor the gods during religious festivals, the people of sixth-century Athens realized what a terrible thing they had done,” said research associate Hannah Brubaker, whose team of translators and anthropologists are working to catalogue reams of writing in which classical Greeks confessed that the idea of a professional class of people wearing costumes and masks while standing on stage and performing stories was a horrendous mistake. “It appears the Greeks almost immediately recognized that this new craft would create an entire subcommunity centered around the worst attention-seeking narcissists in their society and inspire a litany of terrible productions that they would all have to sit through. The Athenians in particular, being the most refined, sensitive, and sophisticated of the Greeks, instantly wished they had never conceived of theater in the first place.” Brubaker added that several new findings suggest the ancient Greeks also lamented encouraging those prone to pondering life’s unanswerable questions out loud to call themselves “philosophers.”

Advertisement