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Euripides and the Gods$
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Mary Lefkowitz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199752058

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199752058.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2022

Euripides, Socrates, and Other Sophists

Euripides, Socrates, and Other Sophists

(p.24) 1 Euripides, Socrates, and Other Sophists
Euripides and the Gods

Mary Lefkowitz

Oxford University Press

Caricatures of Euripides by comic poets led ancient biographers to portray Euripides as a pupil of radical thinkers like Socrates, Anaxagoras, Protagoras, and Prodicus, who question the nature and even the existence of the traditional gods; some biographers even went so far as to characterize him as an atheist. But if Euripides puts the words and ideas of contemporary philosophers and thinkers into the mouths of his characters, he does not do so in order to promote or espouse those ideas, but because as a dramatist he wants his characters to express themselves in a contemporary manner, and using the words and theories that members of his audience had heard about, whether from the sophists themselves, or from references to them in comedy. Almost always the characters who express these ideas are proved wrong by the end of the drama.

Keywords:   Sophists, Socrates, Anaxagoras, Protagoras, Prodicus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Greek comedy, ancient biography

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