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Why Athens?A Reappraisal of Tragic Politics$
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D. M. Carter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562329.001.0001

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Hellenicity in later Euripidean tragedy *

Hellenicity in later Euripidean tragedy *

(p.383) 14 Hellenicity in later Euripidean tragedy*
Why Athens?

John Gibert

Oxford University Press

This chapter applies Jonathan Hall's distinction between 'digital' (ethnic) and 'analogic' (cultural) modes of Greek self-definition ('Hellenicity') to later Euripidean tragedy and finds that the general trend Hall observes in the fifth century BCE, an increase in 'analogic' thinking, is reflected in Euripides only until the year 412 (through Trojan Women, Iphigenia among the Taurians, and Helen), after which the 'digital' mode makes a comeback (in Orestes and Iphigenia at Aulis). In arguing that one reason for the change is Persian intervention in the Peloponnesian War, it re-introduces a cautious historicism into a scholarly debate that has long been wary of it. The chapter also discusses the sharply diminished presence of Athens and Athenian ideals in Euripides' latest plays, which are thus seen to move towards a kind of 'panhellenism'.

Keywords:   tragedy, Euripides, ethnicity, Hellenicity, panhellenism, Peloponnesian War

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