The Failure of Orestes

While many other Greek tragedies tend to reiterate already established myths and customs, Euripides's Orestes appears to be entirely his own invention. Chronologically, the plot of the play takes place after the events contained in Aeschylus's Libation Bearers. It was first performed in 408 BC, near the close of the Peloponnesian War. In Orestes, Electra recounts the story … Continue reading The Failure of Orestes

What Is Tragic About Greek Tragedy? Euripides’s Hecuba Considered

Euripides's Hecuba is perhaps the most bleak of the Greek tragedies. It takes place shortly after the sack of Troy by the Achaeans. The few remaining Trojans have been either killed or enslaved by the Greeks. Hecuba, Queen of Troy and wife of Priam, has been captured and enslaved by Odysseus. Like Job, the her life has had … Continue reading What Is Tragic About Greek Tragedy? Euripides’s Hecuba Considered

Xerxes, Thermopylae, and Salamis: Books VII – IX

In Book VII, Herodotus details the anger of Darius who was unable to seek vengeance on Athens and also Egypt that was revolting against the Persians. However, infighting between the sons of Darius began and Xerxes won out, thanks to the superior skills of persuasion he received from a Spartan defector. Xerxes consults with his … Continue reading Xerxes, Thermopylae, and Salamis: Books VII – IX

The Purpose of the Histories: Notes on Book I

Book I is often called "Kleio," named for the muse of the past meaning the "Proclaimer" or the "Rejoicer"; literally "to recount" or "to make famous." The Causes of the Persian Wars At the outset, in the proem of Book I of Herodotus's Inquiries, he first identifies himself as the author hailing from Halicarnassus in … Continue reading The Purpose of the Histories: Notes on Book I