Euripides and the Gods. Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. xviii + 294 pp. $45.00. isbn 9780199752058 (hbk).Some legends die hard, and those legends about Euripides seem to die harder than most. I still get students majoring in theater who tell me they have been told that Euripides died torn apart by a pack of dogs on a mountain – a scenario lifted from allusions to the death of Actaeon in Euripides’ Bacchae, in which Actaeon’s cousin, the young king Pentheus, pays the price for his refusal to worship Dionysus by being similarly dismembered, but by his female relatives. Now, one would think that plays such as the Bacchae might have played a greater role in disproving the alleged atheism of Euripides, but that has never been the case. Mary Lefkowitz, now Andrew W. Mellon Professor, emerita, at Wellesley College, has spent almost thirty years, attacking the (literally) ancient perception that Euripides was an atheist.1 Not satisfied with having persuaded specialists in Greek literature to her cause, she has now written this book, which anyone interested in Greek tragedy will find interesting and useful, even taking into account some cautions I shall flag later
Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought – Brill
Published: Apr 12, 2018
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