The Function of the in Euripidean


Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of The Ohio State University

By Christine Rose Elizabeth Hamilton, B.A. Graduate Program in Greek and

The Ohio State University 2017

Dissertation Committee: Dana L. Munteanu, Advisor Sarah Iles Johnston Thomas Richard Hawkins


Copyright by Christine Rose Elizabeth Hamilton 2017



This dissertation explores ’ use of the deus ex machina device in his extant plays. While many scholars have discussed aspects of the deus ex machina my project explores the overall function not only of the deus ex machina within its but also the function of two other aspects common to deus ex machina speeches: aitia and prophecy.

I argue that deus ex machina interventions are not motivated by a problem in the that they must solve but instead they are used to connect the world of the play to the world of the through use of cult aitia and prophecy. In Chapter 1, I provide an analysis of Euripides’ deus ex machina scenes in the , , Suppliants,

Electra, , in , , , Bacchae, and . I argue that in all but the Orestes the intervention does not have a major effect on the plot or characters and

I identify certain trends in the function of deus ex machina scenes such as consolation, enhancing Athenian pride, and increasing experimentation in the deus ex machina’s role in respect to the plot of the play and the wider world of . In Chapter 2, I examine cult aitia in Euripides’ Hippolytus and Iphigenia in Tauris and argue that Euripides uses cult aitia in plays with strong religious or cultic themes in order to connect the world of the play with the world of the audience through ritual. I also argue against the idea that ii there is perfect correspondence between the aitia represented in Euripides and real life cult practice instead contending that differences between the aitia in Euripides and our evidence for real cult practice may stem from Euripides referencing real cults but modifying certain aspects in order to better suit his literary motives. In Chapter 3, I examine Euripides’ use of prophecy in his , Helen, and Orestes. Using and concepts from media studies I argue that Euripides uses prophecy to connect the world of the play to the world of the audience through myth. Euripides uses deus ex machina prophecy to connect plays which deviate substantially from the mythic tradition back to more established versions of the myth. Euripides links up his versions of a or myth not only to portrayals by other authors like and , but he also uses prophecy to link his own plays to other plays of his within the same arc.



Dedicated to my husband James



A thanks to my advisor Dana Munteanu for all of her support and guidance throughout my time at The Ohio State University. This project would not have been possible without her. I am also very grateful to my other committee members Sarah Iles

Johnston for all her help with the dissertation as well as for a very informative seminar which heavily influenced this project and to Thomas Richard Hawkins who was a great help throughout the course of the project and whose feedback was invaluable.



May 2004...... Maple Lake High School

2008...... B.A. Classical Studies, Concordia College –

Moorhead, MN

2011 to present...... Graduate Teaching Associate, Department

Greek and Latin, The Ohio State University

Fields of Study

Major Field: Greek and Latin


Table of Contents

Abstract...... ii

Dedication...... iv

Acknowledgements...... v

Vita...... vi

Introduction...... 1

Chapter 1: An Overview of Deus ex Machina in Euripides’ Extant Plays...... 25

Hippolytus...... 27

Andromache...... 35

Suppliants...... 41

Electra...... 47

Ion...... 56

Iphigenia in Tauris...... 67

Helen...... 78

Orestes...... 86 vii

Bacchae...... 99

Medea...... 109

Chapter 1: Conclusion...... 116

Chapter 2: Aitia...... 127

Hippolytus...... 135

Iphigenia in Tauris...... 154

Chapter 2: Conclusion...... 190

Chapter 3: Prophecy...... 196

Electra...... 215

Helen...... 235

Orestes...... 260

Chapter 3: Conclusion...... 289

Conclusion...... 294

Bibliography...... 323



In this dissertation I will explore Euripides’ use of the deus ex machina1 as a narratological device as well as the function of two common DEM components: aition and prophecy. Euripides is famous for his frequent use of DEM, and although various scholars such as Spira (1960), Dunn (1996), Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), and Mastronarde

(1990) and (2010) have discussed some aspects of DEM scenes my project will provide a more comprehensive treatment. I will give a comprehensive overview of the extant DEM scenes and their effect on the plot and the characters as well as providing an in-depth analysis of select DEM aitia and prophecies. By examining these aspects together I will uncover what function the DEM device served. Before I can begin, however, I must first define in clear terms what exactly constitutes a DEM.

Defining a DEM is not as straightforward as it seems. There seem to be many criteria that are used by scholars but there is a certain lack of consistency amongst those who study it. We can gain some insight however, through an examination of the term deus ex machina, or θεὸς ἀπὸ μηχανῆς in the original Greek. This literally means “ from the Machine” and thus reveals two aspects that are often deemed essential to the

1 I will take a moment to clarify how I deal with the term deus ex machina. I will be abbreviating deus ex machina to DEM in order to avoid the awkwardness of declining the word deus to dea in the case of a female divinity or to dei in the case of multiple divinities appearing as deus ex machina in the same epiphany. I will abbreviate throughout except when discussing the term itself. 1

classification of a particular intervention as a “deus ex machina.” The name implies that a god must be involved; moreover, the god’s involvement should include the use of the crane, or machina, and thus be fairly direct. Although the name of the device only yields two criteria there are other commonalities. The formal term “deus ex machina” seems to be exclusively applied to interventions by a god which occur at of a play. In addition every example which is generally agreed upon includes a speech delivered by the , which typically explains the present circumstances and/or predicts the future.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that there are problems with even such a simple list of characteristics as I have laid out above. For example, the use of the crane is highly debated. Mastronarde in a well-known article, gives an extensive overview of when he the crane was used, which includes many instances where it was used for mortals or not at the end of the play.2 Examples include Evadne’s leap to her death in the Suppliants, as well as the crane’s appearance in ’ Clouds. Thus use of the crane alone cannot justify classifying an intervention as a DEM. To add to the confusion even amongst plays that are generally agreed upon as having DEM, use of the crane is not always certain, though it can generally be assumed hard evidence is often lacking unless the on stage verbally note the god’s entrance (as they do in the Ion).

To add to the problem, , though often seen as having a DEM, is problematic since the end of the text suffers from lacunas which make determining use of the crane for that play nearly impossible.

2 Mastronarde (1990), 281ff. 2

Even the stipulation that a god must appear on the stage in order for the intervention to be a DEM is problematic. For example, Medea’s appearance on a chariot at the end of Euripides’ Medea is often classed as a DEM by scholars such as

Dunn even though at this point in the mythical storyline Medea is not technically a goddess. Despite limiting the use of the term deus ex machina “to divine entrances that make use of this stage property”3 (i.e. the crane) Dunn makes an exception for the entrance of Medea on the palace roof classing her as, “a mortal with divine prerogatives.”4 Others use the term still more broadly such as Duncan, who includes even the dove in the Ion drinking the poisoned wine as a DEM,5 despite the fact that no god actually appears on the stage at all and the crane was certainly not used in that scene.

Although there are differences in how scholars have classified what makes something a DEM, I will keep to a fairly conservative definition. For the purposes of this dissertation a DEM is an intervention by a god at the end of the play that likely made use of the crane. This definition has advantages. First, it includes most of the generally agreed upon instances of DEM.6 Furthermore, this definition does not presuppose knowledge of whether or not the crane was used. There are two main for this, the first that despite our best efforts we will likely never know for sure whether certain plays used the crane so probable use allows for the flexibility to include most agreed upon instances. The second is that the stage actions of DEM and how the crane

3 Dunn (1996), 27. 4 Dunn, (1996), 28. 5 Duncan, (1935). 6 This definition leaves out the Medea as well the and the which contain elements of the DEM but do not actually have a god come down. I also exclude the which has a god come down in the middle of the play. 3

worked is not a part of my argument. My interest instead lies in what function this device served and use of the crane has little bearing on that.

Thus the Euripidean plays that fit the definition that I have set out are as follows:

Hippolytus, Andromache, Suppliants, Electra, Ion, Iphigenia in Tauris, Helen, Orestes, and Bacchae. It may be surprising that I have not included the Medea amongst the DEM plays as so many other scholars have done. This relates to the uncertainty about Medea’s divine status. Unlike the uncertainty surrounding use of the crane, it is much easier to identify whether or not a character was considered a god. Although Medea certainly has divine connections, powers beyond the typical mortal, and eventually is worshipped by the Greeks as a goddess, the play ends at a point in her mythical storyline where she is not actually divine. Thus I treat Medea the same as Heracles in the and the

Heracles, and in Suppliants, Hippolytus, and Heracles. Even though all of these characters eventually are elevated to god or demigod status and receive cult, when they appear in these plays they have not yet attained that status in their mythical storylines and thus I believe would have been viewed by the audience as powerful but still mortal.

Nevertheless, due to Medea’s popularity and general acceptance I will include a discussion of her “DEM” along with the other extant DEM scenes in the first chapter.

The purpose of this dissertation is to evaluate what function the DEM as a whole served for the plots of the plays in which they occur, as well as what functions certain aspects which occur within DEM scenes (namely aition7 and prophecy) served. The

7 The word aition comes from the Greek word αἰτία. The LSJ (1996) gives many different deffinitions for αἰτία. The LSJ lists the most common meaning as “responsibility, mostly in bad sense, guilt, blame or imputation thereof, ie.e accusation” It can also mean “in forensic oratory, invective without proof,” “in good sense…the credit”. It’s secondary meaning, however, is quite different meaning “cause”. The 4

DEM has long been viewed as an unsophisticated literary device, as a way for an author who has control of the plot to resolve the . This view of the DEM is reflected in the modern definition of deus ex machina in the Oxford English Dictionary where it is defined as, “a power, event, person, or thing that comes in the nick of time to solve a difficulty; provide an interposition, esp. in a or play.”8 This view of the DEM, as a lazy way of ending a play, however, is not new. We can see the beginning of this criticism of the DEM in ’s .

Aristotle criticizes the use of the DEM saying:

φανερὸν οὖν ὅτι καὶ τὰς λύσεις τῶν μύθων ἐξ αὐτοῦδεῖ τοῦ μύθου συμβαίνειν, καὶ μὴ ὥσπερ ἐν τῇ Μηδείᾳ ἀπὸ μηχανῆς καὶ ἐντῇ Ἰλιάδι τὰ περὶ τὸν ἀπόπλουν. ἀλλὰ μηχανῇχρηστέον ἐπὶ τὰ ἔξω τοῦ δράματος, ἢ ὅσα πρὸ τοῦγέγονεν ἃ οὐχ οἷόν τε ἄνθρωπον εἰδέναι, ἢ ὅσαὕστερον, ἃ δεῖται προαγορεύσεως καὶ ἀγγελίας:ἅπαντ α γὰρ ἀποδίδομεν τοῖς θεοῖς ὁρᾶν. ἄλογον δὲμηδὲν εἶναι ἐν τοῖς πράγμασιν, εἰ δὲ μή, ἔξω τῆςτραγῳδίας…9

So it is clear that the resolution of the play results from the play itself, and not from the crane as in the Medea and in the with respect to the starting of the voyage. But one must make use of the crane for the things outside of the drama, either things that have happened before which were not seen by man, or the things occurring later which must be foretold and announced. For we believe the see everything. Nothing must be allowed to be irrational in these matters, unless it is outside of the ...

Aristotle stipulates that resolutions should come from the plot itself, not from a theatrical device (literally ἀπὸ μηχανῆς), unless the information lies outside of the world of the play either taking place sometime before or after the events of the play. Based on these

modern scholarly term comes from this second meaning. However, in an attempt to aid in clarity I will use an alternate form of αἰτία “αἴτον” which “is used like αἰτία in the sense of cause, not in that of accuation.” Thus when discussing this phenomenon in the singular I will use aition, when discussing it in the plural I will use the plural version of the term which is aitia. I use this term to refer to a story which explains the cause or origin of something, often a particular practice or name. Aitia are relatively common in Greek and mythology and cult aitia in particular are common in Euripidean DEM scenes. 8 OED Online, (2016), “deus ex machina. n.” 9 Aristotle, Poetics 1454a.37-1454b.7. 5

stipulations, Aristotle would likely have approved of most extant Euripidean DEM scenes since, with the sole exception of the Orestes, the resolution comes from within the play itself without the god interfering in any major way. Most Euripidean DEM are focused on reporting the elements which Aristotle approves such as prophecies which correspond with Aristotle’s’ “things occurring later which must be foretold and announced.” Despite the fact that Aristotle does leave room for the DEM to be used, this passage has often been taken as criticism of the device in general.

Other ancients also criticized the DEM as a device. The comic poet Antiphanes was also highly critical of DEM and says that tragedians make use of the DEM <ἔπει> θ᾿

ὅταν μηθὲν δυνωντ᾿ εἰπεῖν ἔτι, κομιδῇ δ᾿ ἀπειρήκωσιν ἐν τοῖς δράμασιν, αἴρουσιν ὥσπερ

δάκτυλον τὴν μηχανήν, καὶ τοῖς θεωμένοισιν ἀποχρώντως ἔχει10 “when they are able to say nothing else, and they have given up on the drama completely, just like a finger they lift the crane, and it is enough for the spectators.” Even though a comedian is perhaps not the best source to determine how the DEM was viewed in general, the attitude that he expresses seems to be echoed by later elites. In his , Horace cautions the recipient Piso who has asked for advice on writing a tragedy to avoid use of a DEM unless absolutely necessary saying, nec deus intersit, nisi dingus vindice nodus inciderit11

“Nor let a god take part, unless a problem arises that is worthy of a protector.” This definition and critique of DEM has persisted into the modern day and it is generally seen as a mark of a poor author to resort to a DEM to resolve a plot.

10 Antiphanes fragment 189.13-16 PCG. 11 Horace, Ars Poetica, 191-192. 6

Aristotle’s comments on the DEM, particularly his criticism of the device, has loomed large in the history of scholarship of Euripides and DEM as well. Michelini notes that in the early 19th century scholars like Friedrich and A.W. Schlegel saw Euripides as

“the step down from perfection…into a progressive degeneration, at once , social and aesthetic” especially as compared to Euripides’ more popular (with scholars at least) contemporary .12 Michelini notes, however, that at the end of the 19th century

Verrall begins to take Euripides more seriously as an artist and thinker by introducing the idea that Euripides is being ironic.13 However, Verrall only rehabilitates Euripides at the expense of the DEM. In fact he went so far as to say that DEM scenes were not actually part of the story of the play and should be seen as extraneous.14 Verrall’s dismissal of the

DEM as disconnected from action of the play persisted for over 50 years. As late as 1967

Conacher endorsed Verrall’s view of the DEM as largely superfluous.15 Verrall’s view, however, was no longer the only interpretation of the DEM. In 1960 Spira, became the first scholar to take Euripidean DEM seriously.

Spira challenged the common view that the DEM existed to solve a desperate situation that resulted from a flaw in the poet’s plot.16 Spira suggested that the DEM was used by an author intentionally and was decided on in advance, not as a last minute fix for a mangled plot.17 Yet, in my view the most important contribution of Spira lies in the fact that he recognized that most of the time the DEM did not actually solve some sort of

12 Michelini, (1987) 5; citing Schlegel [1794] 1979, 45ff. 13 Michelini, (1987), 12-13; Verrall (1895), 90-91. 14 Michelini, (1987), 13; Verrall (1895), 160. 15 Michelini, (1987), 26-28; Conacher (1967) 197, 210, 224. 16 Spira, (1960), 9. 17 Spira, (1960) 10, 7

“plot knot”, though there are some DEM interventions which do. Spira sees two basic types of DEM. The first is the “knot cutting” DEM as exemplified by Sophocles’

Philoctetes and Euripides’ Orestes. He uses the Ion as an example of the second type which is focused on the dramatic technical relationship between the play and the DEM.

In the latter type the plot intertwines in a completely different way from the first type, and it involves intrigue and divine action.18 Spira further separates some items in this category into two subgroups: plays where a situation of pathos causes the DEM

(Hippolytus, Andromache, and Electra) and plays in which a situation of danger motivates a tangle which is especially created to cause the external appearance of a god.

This results in a god appearing on stage to enlighten the characters about a divine plan which determines their fate (IT, Helen, Ion).19

Spira goes on to explore each main type through an in depth analysis of

Sophocles’ as representative of the knot cutting DEM type and Euripides’ Ion as an example of the more common type. In his discussion of the Philoctetes, Spira comes to the conclusion that a knot cutting DEM seems to result from a play in which the author explores psychological issues of character and is focused on ethical problems.20

Spira sees a moral and social change of character in plays such as the Ion, therefore he believes that the DEM was religiously significant.21

I am in agreement with Spira’s point about the basic separation of these two types of DEM: one which solves a major issue and is necessary for the plot to resolve

18 Spira, (1960) 10-11. 19 Spira, (1960) 113. 20 Spira, (1960) 12-13; 30. 21 Spira, (1960) 82-84. 8

(Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Euripides’ Orestes) and the other which does not solve a major plot complication (the remaining instances of the Euripidean DEM). However, I would like to challenge the explanations for these two different types of DEM. I believe there is a different reason (especially for Euripides) for why some DEM scenes have a major effect on the plot, which I will explain in my chapter on prophecy particularly in my discussion of the Orestes. My focus on Euripides will also allow me to compare how

Spira’s two main DEM types are used by the same author.

Dunn in his Tragedy’s End: Closure and Innovation in Euripidean Drama explores the endings of Euripidean . Like Spira, Dunn correctly recognizes that the charge that Euripides uses DEM out of laziness is not true, the plots could often resolve without a deity’s intervention.22 As Dunn suggests, the reason may be that

Euripides, unlike Aeschylus and Sophocles, is not concerned with ending his tragedies with the destruction of the . Rather Euripidean endings are more similar to pauses in a story to be continued later. Thus, Euripides uses closing gestures like choral tags and

DEM to give the play a sense of closure.23

In addition to simply signifying closure, for Dunn, the DEM rather than changing the course of events, interprets the meaning of these events for the characters and the audience.24 Dunn identifies three signs of a DEM’s effectiveness: First, most DEM interventions begin with commands which, while not altering course of the play, serve to ratify the conclusion by showing their divine authority. Second, the DEM provides an

22 Dunn, (1996), 27. 23 Dunn,(1996) 6-7. 24 Dunn, (1996) 28. 9

explanation which resolves remaining doubts and makes the events of the play intelligible. Third, there is usually some sort of response by the characters of the play which signals their acceptance of the command and thus signals that the god’s intervention served its purpose.25 The purpose of the intervention is generally to restore order in early plays, which is done through positive actions such as reconciliation or consolation, whereas in later plays the purpose is more negative: rather than ordering affairs, the gods intervene to remove threats to order.26

Dunn also identifies two aspects common in Euripidean DEM (and his endings in general): prophecy and aition. The aition serves to connect the world of the play with the world of the audience by showing that the events of the play have persisted in some way and can still be seen in the audience’s world. Aitia occur at the end of most of Euripides’ plays and in all of the fully extant DEM, this use of aitia particularly at the end is unique to Euripides.27 Prophecy also occurs in most Euripidean plays and in all of his DEM scenes and like aitia it extends the scope of the play. Dunn notes that prophecies offer a sequel of sorts, telling what adventures or activities his characters experience after the plays end.28

I agree with Dunn’s rejection of the idea that the DEM is only there to solve a problem in the plot. Dunn also correctly identifies the DEM’s frequent use of aition and prophecy. The use of these devices indicates that the DEM serves more complex functions in addition to helping to add closure to a play. Dunn does provide six chapters

25 Dunn, (1996) 32-36. 26 Dunn, (1996) 36-7. 27 Dunn, (1996) 45-48. 28 Dunn, (1996) 65. 10

on different plays and his analysis of aition and prophecy in these plays is excellent.

Nevertheless I would like to build on these ideas as well as incorporating other perspectives on these issues which have been published since Dunn.

Sourvinou-Inwood’s basic argument in her book Tragedy and Athenian is that tragedy was not merely a theatrical experience framed by ritual, but was a ritual performance and the and religious elements were viewed as part of the audience’s religious reality.29 Sourvinou-Inwood focuses primarily on the importance of cult aitia.

Like Dunn, Sourvinou-Inwood sees cult aitia as a way to connect the world of the play to the world of the audience to relate to the audience’s own experiences. Sourvinou-Inwood refers to this phenomenon seen in aitia as a “zooming device” which allows connection between the world of the play and the world of the audience. This zooming is necessary to combat the distancing devices (plays taking place in a different time and location from the Athenian ’ world) which emphasize the otherness of the heroic age and the necessary separation from the daily lives of the audience which was necessary to make the action of the play non-transgressive.30

In general Sourvinou-Inwood focuses on the religious elements of tragedy, which relate to a ritual context. She argues against Dunn’s idea that the DEM and cult aition are dramatic techniques which signify closure to the audience.31 Sourvinou-Inwood proposes instead that the epiphany of the god in a DEM would have mirrored the three types of divine appearance in lived religion: real life epiphanies where people believed a god

29 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003), 1. 30 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003) 22-23. 31 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003) 414-415. 11

appeared to them in life or a dream, impersonation of divinities by priestly personal in ritual, and festivals of advent where the arrival of a deity is enacted through the “finding” and return of a cult statue.32 She defends the idea that the cults and practices stated in the aitia related back to real cults in some way, and even if an aition was invented by , it would have had real religious meaning for the audience as a part of their religious reality even if the cult did not currently have that particular ritual.33

Concerning Euripides, Sourvinou-Inwood argues against subversive and ironic readings saying these are shaped by post-modern assumptions and are not accurate.

Instead she contends that the deities in Euripides are serious representatives of their divinities.34 She asserts that Sophocles, who was known in ancient tradition for his piety, would never have used DEM if it had been subversive and thus his use of it in his

Philoctetes means that the DEM scenes of Euripides could not have been subversive.35

For Sourvinou-Inwood Euripides was not being subversive or critical of the religion but was accused of being atheistic because he showed the gods’ darker side more explicitly than other playwrights and asked more disturbing questions. The dramatists’ purpose was not to call into question the gods but rather to respond to the religious needs of the time. Even though his characters often express criticism of the gods these are generally invalidated in the end and his DEM scenes often give positive, reassuring, albeit complex,

32 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003) 460-461. 33 This happens throughout her book at various points but her defense of the existence of a cult to Iphigenia at is the best example. Though she entertains the idea that this aitia could be false she ultimately comes out strongly saying that it did exist and even if it did not that it would have been meaningful to the audience. Sourvinou-Inwood (2003) 420-421. 34 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003) 291-92. Lefkowitz (2016), expresses a similar view especially at 24-76. 35 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003) 293. 12

answers to religious problems.36 After many examples Sourvinou-Inwood contends that

Euripidean tragedies (often via DEM) restore order.37

I agree with Sourvinou-Inwood that aitia play and important role in tragedy and in DEM in particular. I also agree with her proposition, which branches off of Dunn’s, that cult aitia helped to “zoom” the reality of the play to the reality of the audience thus allowing them to more easily connect the world of the play with their own lived reality and thus make the play more relevant to their own lives. At times, however, she seems to overemphasize the religious significance of the appearance of a divinity or the statement of a cult aition. For example, in her discussion of the DEM by in the IT,

Sourvinou-Inwood latches on to Athena’s last words of the play and imbues them with great significance. Athena resolves the play with the following words. αἰνῶ: τὸ γὰρ

χρεὼν σοῦ τε καὶ θεῶν κρατεῖ. / ἴτ᾿, ὧ πνοαί, ναυσθλοῦσθε τὸν Ἀγαμέμνονος / παῖδ᾿ εἰς

Ἀθήνας: συμπορεύσομαι δ᾿ ἐγὼ / σῴζουσ᾿ ἀδελφῆς τῆς ἐμῆς σεμνὸν βρέτας (1486-

1489). “I say this: for necessity has power over you and the gods. Thus, oh wind, carry the children of to : I will accompany them, saving the holy statue of my sister.” Sourvinou-Inwood gives these lines the following significance.

What, I would argue, this tragedy does with Athena’s last words is shift the focus, displace it, from this unfathomable notion to the gods; first to Athena’s help to Iphigeneia, Orestes, and , and then to the audience’s own realities, by evoking, through semnon bretas, which are her very last words, the of the gods, especially, through the mention of this cult statue, the audience’s cult of Tauropolos. Cult, especially a cult founded on Athena’s instructions, is the reassuring aspect of religion.38

36 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003) 297. 37 Sourvinou-Inwood, (2003) 402. Also see her section on the Heraclediae where she argues that the ending of that play and the notion of ’ protecting Athens from Spartan invasions acted as religious reassurance in the face of the reality of the Spartan invasions and that this threat was too serious for the ending reassurance (which was desperately needed) to be taken ironically, 324-5. 38 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 304. 13

Sourvinou-Inwood places a great amount of religious significance upon a rather general statement of Athena that is not all that different from many other parting words by deities and which could also be interpreted as merely tying up loose ends and brining the play to a close. She also makes assumptions by taking the aitia in the DEM as a cult reality39 which the audience would have been familiar with and takes a simple reference to the statue which has been the entire driving point of the play as having a deep religious significance.

In addition, she seems to oversimplify Dunn’s argument to only seeing DEM and aition as closing devices. The reality seems to fall somewhere between these two views;

Sourvinou-Inwood is right that the cult aitia do have some significance for the audience beyond being a signal of closure, but the religious significance she subscribes to the appearance of the divinity should not be overstated.

Sourvinou-Inwood is right to question authors such as Segal and Foley40 who may have taken the dubious ancient reputation of Euripides as atheistic with too much credence, since it is possible that they have been influenced by their own post- enlightenment viewpoints that privileged . Yet, she may go too far in the other direction in portraying Euripides (or at least his audience) as deeply religious and highly attuned to these references to cult and appearances of the divinity. Once again I believe the falls somewhere in between. For example, I would like to challenge her view

39 See Scullion (1999) for an argument against taking Euripidean cult aitia as accurate representations of cult reality. 40 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 294-295. She does not name these authors specifically rather appealing to Lefkowitz (1989) 70-71 instead. Lefkowitz in her article names Segal (1983), Foley (1985), Goldhill (1986) and Michelini (1987) as examples of the trend of scholars seeing Euripides as questioning the gods due to his ancient reputation. 14

that the aitia in Euripidean DEM can be used as evidence for real cult practice and that its main purpose was religious.

Finally, it will be useful to explore the topics of DEM appearances of the divinity and of cult aitia separately from other religious aspects of the play. While Sourvinou-

Inwood’s thoroughness in discussing cult references and religious matters in the plays is admirable, we can gain a better understanding of the devices of DEM and cult aition if they are examined separately from other cult references. This will allow us a better understanding of the common features of these devices across Euripides’ corpus that may give us insights into their use, which may be quite different from other cultic references.

Mastronarde, in to Sourvinou-Inwood, sees the gods of tragedy as more panhellenic when compared to the gods of everyday cult practice which he considers to have been “extremely localized.” He points out: “the god you see on stage is mysteriously both the same and not the same as the god you worship in a completely different local context.”41 Even if Euripidean tragedy in particular often featured aitiologies and cult-foundations at the end these acted primarily as references to the present which would help to connect the mythical past to the contemporary present.

Furthermore, another distinction exists between the gods in tragedy and those in cult: the gods in “are involved in stories of disorder and emerging order,” while in cult the religious practice “aimed at maintaining an achieved order or equilibrium.”42

Mastronarde also notes that the gods in myth often have more developed psychological personalities than the gods of cult. Through this contrast, the gods of tragedy show the

41 Mastronarde, (2010) 157, 158. 42 Mastronarde, (2010) 158. 15

limitations of the human condition rather than being there to reassure the audience of divine justice or to establish theological principles.43

Mastronarde also takes on the topic of criticism of the gods in Euripides. Like

Sourvinou-Inwood and others,44 Mastronarde acknowledges that despite the criticism of the gods it is important take into account the context of the tragedy. The comments against divinities are often voiced by characters who are despairing so their words can be seen as ironic or unfair to the gods by the audience who may have superior knowledge of the situation. Mastronarde, however, differs from other scholarly opinions in questioning whether or not the fact that criticisms against the gods are usually uttered when characters are under duress is enough to fully normalize the religion in tragedy and assimilate it to traditional piety.45 Mastronarde uses the example of the sea wave at the end of the

Iphigenia in Tauris to illustrate a situation which could cause religious unease for the audience. It could be viewed as evidence that even if someone has the favor of a god that is no guarantee of success since other gods may stand in their way. This would lead to unease because it shows a world which is unstable due to potential between

43 Mastronarde, (2010) 159-160. 44 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003) in her discussion of the Heracles says that the audience would not have identified with Heracles’ criticism of the gods since they would have felt that Heracles did overstep and was not innocent. She also argues that they would be reassured by the fact that they knew that and Heracles would eventually reconcile, 370. She makes a similar argument for saying that the accusation in the Trojan Women that the gods had them would be lessened because the prologue makes it clear to the audience that the Trojans had wronged the gods and their destruction was payment. Lefkowitz (1989), says that there is divine justice in the Trojan Women in the prologue where it is revealed that the Greeks will be punished for their impiety in the fall of , Hecuba and the rest just don’t know that, but the audience does and thus the superior knowledge of the audience would have helped to combat the notion that the gods were unjust, 108. She also notes that characters most often doubt the existence of gods or are highly critical of them after they have suffered a complete negative reversal of fortune and that their mental state needs to be taken into account, 113. Also see Lefkowitz (2016), 49-76. 45 Mastronarde, (2010) 162. 16

multiple divine forces which cannot be relied upon or predicted by humans.46 In another example, concerning the Ion, Mastronarde takes a middle path between two extreme interpretations. Although he rejects the idea that a primary purpose of the play is to criticize , he also questions the opposite assertion that Apollo is clearly a benevolent protector.47 Thus Mastronarde sees the possibly for more ambivalent audience reactions to DEM than other scholars, who primarily see them as either potentially espousing Euripides’ and heavy criticism of the gods or as being entirely benevolent and reassuring.

Mastronarde also considers the relevance of the DEM to the plot. He identifies several functions of the DEM. First, its foundational aspect which comes through primarily in the form of instructions on instituting a cult, festival or city. This serves to acknowledge and explain origins which then reassures the community that it has a common past as well as shared beliefs and rituals.48 The gods also exhibit superior knowledge in DEM and their epilogue speeches often relate the true state of affairs to the characters of the play and sometimes the audience as well.49 Mastronarde also identifies certain patterns in DEM scenes, such as a tendency for the god to give orders.50

Mastronarde also discusses problems concerning the deus’ moral authority. Gods are

46 Mastronarde, (2010) 165. 47 Mastronarde, (2010) 166. He cites Norwood (1960) 236-43 and Rosenmeyer (1963) 105-52 as proponents of the first viewpoint seeing the Ion as criticizing Apollo and cites Wassermann (1940), Burnett (1962), (1971), and Spira (1960) as defending Apollo and taking the play as showing his benevolence and protectiveness. 48 Mastronarde, (2010) 182-3. 49 Mastronarde, (2010) 185. 50 Mastronarde, (2010) 186-187, The content of the command varies. Sometimes the command is to stop the action as in the Helen when the Disocuri command not to kill his sister. The command can also be positive as in the Electra where the Dioscuri order Pylades and Electra to marry. The gods may also command a redundant action such as in the Hippolytus where Artemis orders Theseus and Hippolytus to reconcile. 17

rarely impartial (Artemis is favorable to Hippolytus and hostile to ). There is further ambiguity about whether or not an event was fated or could have been avoided.51

He ends his section by discussing the problematic case of the Orestes which he sees as giving a “corrosive treatment of human values and character”52 and sees the intervention of Apollo as failing “to assert comforting order and to undo the social and ethical decay portrayed in the mortal world of the play.”53

Mastronarde’s nuanced take on the gods of tragedy as being both the same and different from the gods worshiped in cult, is persuasive; and so is his more middle of the road approach on the religiosity of Euripidean plays, particularly in how DEM and potential criticism of the gods would have been viewed. Finally, I think he makes some very good observations about the potential functions and patterns of DEM. Nevertheless,

I believe there is much more that should be explored.

While the contributions of these scholars have been invaluable, the study of

Euripidean DEM would be best benefited through a more systematic evaluation of how the DEM solutions relate to the plots of their plays that includes all extant DEM plays.

Moreover, I would also like to take a more in depth look at examples of aition and prophecy in Euripides and explore how these elements contribute to the function of the

DEM as a whole.

The purpose of my dissertation is, first, to explore the function of the DEM as a narratological device, i.e. what function does the DEM serve in the narrative in which it

51 Mastronarde, (2010) 188. 52 Mastronarde, (2010) 192. 53 Mastronarde, (2010) 195. 18

appears. My second goal is to examine two aspects that are common to the DEM: aition and prophecy. My first chapter will briefly present the overall function of the device as a whole in each play in which it appears, specifically what affect the DEM has on the plot of its play and what affect the intervention has on the characters as well as examining

Euripides’ choice in epilogue deity and what function each DEM scene ultimately served in its play. My second chapter will focus in on the use of cult aition in Euripidean DEM scenes. I will examine major cult aition from two plays: the Hippolytus and the IT. For each play’s aition I will examine three main aspects pertaining to the aition: first, what aspects in a play make a cult aition in the DEM more likely and why; second, how does the cult aition relate the situation in the play; and, third, how does the cult aition reported in Euripides compare to what we know of real life cult practice. My third chapter will examine Euripides’ use of DEM prophecy in the Electra, Helen, and Orestes. In this chapter I will focus on several important aspects for understanding how Euripides uses prophecy. This will include elements such as Euripides’ use of intertextuality, his use of the broader mythic tradition, and his handling of non-dominant mythical variants. To aid in understanding these issues I will borrow some concepts from media studies such as: episodic serials, plurimedial figures, maximal and submaximal characters.

While discuss the function of the DEM in terms of , I am not exploring how the device of DEM is used in the traditional narratological sense which de

Jong lays out.54 I do not focus on traditional narratological concerns such as point of view of the speaker as de Jong does for various works55 and as Barrett often does in his

54 De Jong, (2004), 3-11. 55 De Jong, (2004), 13-24, 101-114, 255-268. 19

book on messenger speeches,56 nor do I discuss the intertextual or metatheatrical elements that Barrett makes the main focus of his work.57 Rather, I will be focusing on what effect the intervention of a DEM has on the plot of the play and the fate of the characters as well as determining other effects such as how the intervention either does or does not make the play’s ending more satisfying by tying up loose ends, achieving an emotionally rewarding experience, or broadening the scope of the story to include other myths. Nevertheless, though I have chosen to focus on a different device and have identified different features that I will focus on, my project is in some ways an attempt to provide a detailed treatment of the DEM as a literary device much in the same way as

Barrett and Dickin58 have done for messenger speeches. It is my hope that my analysis of the DEM may yield similar insights to what they have achieved.

While scholars such as Dunn59 and Mastronarde60 have pointed out that the DEM interventions typically (with the exception of the Orestes) do not solve an unsolvable problem that would prevent the play from ending in a coherent way, I would like to contribute to the discussion with an examination of each play with an in depth analysis of the interventions’ effect on the plot’s resolution as well as an exploration of what function the DEM does serve for these plays. My analysis of each play will include three aspects: whether or not the DEM affects the plot or the main characters, how the choice of DEM deity is (or is not) foregrounded in the play (since the choice of deus - especially

56 Barrett, (2002) 32-34, 118-121, 196-200. 57 Barrett, (2002) xviii-xix. 58 Dickin, (2009). 59 Dunn, (1996), 27. 60 Mastronarde, (2010) 192-195. 20

if it at first seems surprising - can often shed some light on the purpose of the god’s intervention) and, finally, how the arrival of the deus contributes to the play.

After exploring the function of the DEM as a whole, I will move on to examining two features commonly found in DEM speeches: aition and prophecy. In the aition chapter I will follow in the footsteps of scholars such as Dunn,61 Sourvinou-Inwood,62

Scullion,63 and Seaford64 in examining how Euripides uses cult aition at the end of his plays. While these scholars have all made great contributions to the study of aitia in

Euripides, there has been a great degree of disagreement between them about how cult aitia should be interpreted, particularly in regard to whether or not Euripidean cult aitia can be used as reliable evidence for real cult practice. I will suggest a middle road highlighting and arguing for solutions that have been suggested to a certain extent by

Hollinshead,65 Scullion,66 and Torrance.67 I will also discuss other issues involved with

Euripidean cult aition that have received less attention such as why Euripides uses cult aition in some plays and not others and how the cult aitia in Euripides relate to problems in the rest of the play.68

My last chapter will discuss how Euripides uses DEM prophecy. While prophecy has been recognized as an important DEM element by Dunn,69 and Mastronarde70 it has

61 Dunn (1996), 45-63. 62 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003). 63 Scullion (1999). 64 Seaford (2009). 65 Hollinshead (1985), 425. 66 Scullion (1999), 229. 67 Torrance (2013), 38. 68 This aspect has been discussed to an extent by Dunn (1996) and Sourvinou-Inwood (2003). 69 Dunn (1996), 64-83. 70 Mastronarde (2010), 182, 186-187. 21

received less attention that aitia. Euripides often expands the scope of his plays to include the future fates of his characters through his frequent use of DEM prophecy. In doing so Euripides makes connections with other episodes in a character’s storyline which are familiar to the audience from other authors’ versions of the myth or even from other Euripidean plays which deal with the same characters. Often Euripides’ use of the myth contradicts other authors and their versions of that particular character’s story and may even conflict with how Euripides presents that particular character in other plays.

Euripides often uses DEM prophecy to link the characters in his play with the wider mythic tradition. This makes Euripides’ use of myth highly relevant to my study of


Examining how Euripides uses myth requires several different concepts. The first and most straightforward is intertextuality, particularly how Euripides referenced other authors who presented the same myth such as Aeschylus and Homer.71 Second, is how

Euripides used the wider mythic tradition; this differs from intertextuality in that it is not concerned with establishing that Euripides referenced a particular author or work but a particular mythic tradition. This is best exemplified by Euripides treatment of the Helen myth. At times Euripides follows a traditional Homeric version of Helen who went to

Troy while at other times he follows a tradition (normally attributed to but which also appears in other authors)72 that Helen did not go to Troy.73 These two very

71 Torrance (2013) and Zeitlin (2003) are particularly useful. 72 This is not the same as intertextuality since multiple authors follow the same tradition and use of this tradition cannot be tracked to a specific author’s usage but is more generalized. 73 Euripides uses a version of Helen who goes to Troy in his Trojan Women, Orestes, and Hecuba (where Helen is referenced but does not appear). He uses a version of Helen who does not go to Troy in his Electra and Helen. 22

different versions of Helen represent two distinct traditions concerning Helen’s character: a dominant and non-dominant mythical variant. I define a “non-dominant storyline” as a version of a myth that cannot be understood without knowledge of another myth which this myth contradicts. Put another way, a non-dominant storyline is one which must mention a different version in order to explain itself. Many scholars have discussed the differing versions of the Helen myth, such as Calame who focuses on differences in portrayals of Helen between Homer, Stesichorus, , and ,74 and Wright who discusses Euripides’ use of ‘counterfactual myths.’75 While these treatments have been helpful for understanding how Helen’s character is treated by different authors, since Euripides’ makes use of a the non-dominant storyline of Helen in two of his DEM plays I would like to explore how Euripides incorporates these conflicting stories into his larger mythic universe. To do this I will draw from concepts developed in media studies which discusses these types of problems.76

There has been a revived interest in Euripides in recent years as evidenced by projects such as Mastronarde (2010), Torrance (2013), Pucci (2016), and Lefkowitz

(2016). Euripides’ later plays in particular have enjoyed increased attention and appreciation as can be seen in Wright (2005), Blondell (2013), Hall (2013) and Marshall

(2014). Given this new focus on Euripides, now is the perfect time to reevaluate the

DEM as a device. My project contributes to the scholarship on Euripides by making a thorough examination of the function of Euripidean DEM in each extant DEM in order to

74 Calame, (2009), 152-178. 75 Wright, (2005), 58-80. Also see Austin (1994) and Blondell (2013). 76 Johnston, (2015b), (2015a); Mittell (2010); Denson (2011); Richardson (2010); and Reicher (2010). 23

explore what effect the DEM has on the play. My project also makes strides by looking at how Euripides uses both cult aitia and prophecies in key plays. Through a close investigation of cult aitia in DEM I show that Euripides uses cult aitia as a device that works to add relevance and reinforcement to the plots which he tells by connecting his work to important religious and cultural institutions. Through my discussion of DEM prophecy I will demonstrate that Euripides uses prophecy in a similar way to how he uses aitia: as a bridge between the audience’s reality and the reality portrayed in the play.

These connections also work into Euripides’ literary agenda and aid in adding credibility to his version of a myth especially where it deviates substantially from other popular versions.


Chapter 1: An Overview of Deus ex Machina in Euripides’ Extant Plays

In this chapter I will give an analysis of each extant Euripidean DEM. My survey will examine whether or not the intervention of the deity is necessary for the play to resolve and whether or not the intervention has a substantial effect on the main characters of the drama. In addition, I will discuss each play’s choice of intervening deity and see whether or not the deity who arrives would be the most expected based on sign posts earlier in the play and on the plot entanglements that remain at the end of the play.

Special attention will be given to plays in which the epilogue deity is rather unexpected.

I will end each play’s section by discussing what possible function that DEM may serve.

By doing an analysis of each DEM’s effect on the play, choice of deus, and possible function I will uncover narratological functions of the DEM as well as discounting the idea that the DEM is used to fix an out of control plot. I will discuss each DEM in the order in which it was produced on stage with one exception: The Medea, which will be treated last as it does not conform to the DEM criteria I laid out in the introduction.

While it is certainly possible for a DEM intervention to have an important dramatic effect on the play outside of an intervention that greatly impacts the plot or the fate of the characters I have chosen to focus on these aspects when determining whether or not the intervention is needed for the play to resolve. I have chosen this focus in order to determine whether or not the DEM is plot oriented (i.e. necessary to resolve a plot hole


of some sort). While others have discussed this to a certain extent to refute the idea that the DEM is used in order to save a hopeless plot,77 I would like to contribute by doing an in depth analysis of what each extant DEM accomplishes and whether or not their intervention is necessary for the plot. Moreover, I will also examine the choice of intervening deity and determine if this is foregrounded through a vested interest in the action, familial relationship between the DEM deity and addressee, , and/or references to the deity throughout the play. In many cases the DEM deity has many features which make it a fitting choice for the intervention, but in some cases there may have been a certain element of surprise in the choice of deity. I will pay particular attention to such instances and examine advantages that the deity who arrives may have had over a deity who might be more expected. This analysis often reveals that a deity who at first seems somewhat surprising often turns out to be exceptionally well suited to the purpose that particular DEM speech ultimately serves for its play. The choice of

DEM deity whether surprising or expected generally shows that the DEM is not typically concerned with matters of plot but instead with other issues.

77 Spira (1960); Dunn (1996), 27; Mastronarde (2010) 182-185. 26


Artemis’ appearance as DEM (like all extant examples of the device) occurs at the end of the play, but also after the main action of the play has been completed. Theseus has just received the news that Hippolytus has been mortally wounded after a chariot as he was leaving Trozen for . A bull from the sea drove Hippolytus’ horses mad and he was dragged by them until he was nearly dead. Theseus sarcastically receives the news that Hippolytus is about to die saying

“πρὸς τοῦ; δι᾽ ἔχθρας μῶν τις ἦν ἀφιγμένος / ὅτου κατῄσχυν᾿ ἄλοχον ὡς πατρὸς βίᾳ;”

(1164-1165). “Who killed him? Did he quarrel with someone whose wife he as he did to his father’s?” Theseus goes on to comment with surprise that must truly be his father since he has answered his (1169-1170). Though originally to hear of his son’s accident, once he gets the full details Theseus becomes more ambivalent, saying he was happy to hear of the accident since he hates Hippolytus the man but out of respect for the gods and for the blood tie between him and his son he takes neither pleasure nor pain from the news (1257-1260). The chorus then gives a small song about Aphrodite and her power (1268-1282). It is at this moment that Artemis appears.

78 Plays with an * will also be discussed in later chapters. 27

Artemis’ appearance as DEM balances the appearance of Aphrodite in the prologue. As Barrett says in his commentary, the parallel between the two appearances is further heightened by the fact that immediately after Aphrodite’s appearance in the prologue Hippolytus and the chorus sing in praise of Artemis; whereas immediately before Artemis’ epilogue appearance the chorus sings in praise of Aphrodite.79 The balance between the two goddess would also have been reflected in the staging of the play since there were statues of Aphrodite and Artemis on either side of the stage.80 The whole play is balanced between the two goddesses not only in their competition with one another but in the play’s very structure. The bookending of Aphrodite and Artemis throughout makes Artemis’ appearance in the epilogue natural after Aphrodite’s prologue scene.

Of course Artemis’ appearance at the end of the play is also fitting due to her close relationship with Hippolytus who is a devotee of her cult. The focus on the two goddesses is almost constant. Artemis is mentioned by Hippolytus at many different points, as is natural due to his devotion, but she is also mentioned by the Chorus and

Phaedra as well.81 While Aphrodite participates in the action of the play more than

Artemis through her manipulation of , her relationship was with Phaedra and so once Phaedra dies and Aphrodite achieves her end of making Hippolytus suffer for his neglect of her and her rites there is no need for her to appear to him in person. Thus,

79 Barrett, (1964) on the 4th stasimon lines (1268-82), pg 392. 80 See Barrett (1964), at Scene, pg 154; See Halleran (1995), at The setting, pg 144-145 for more on the statue’s placement. 81 Phaedra mentions Artemis by name at line 228 but expresses wishes to be in Artemis’ domain and engage in activities associated with Artemis throughout the scene. The chorus mention Artemis favorably at 168 and swear by her at 713. The chorus mention her again at 1139 in conjunction with the banished Hippolytus. 28

despite the fact that Aphrodite is mentioned more frequently throughout the play, it is no surprise that it is Artemis who arrives as DEM. However, other aspects of her appearance are quite surprising especially if one subscribes to the viewpoint that the

DEM occurs to solve an unsolvable problem in the plot.

Artemis simply appears too late to make any meaningful difference in the actual outcome of the plot. Hippolytus has already been mortally wounded before her arrival; her coming saves no one and really changes nothing major in the plot of the play or the general fates of the characters. She herself recognizes this, saying to Theseus that

καίτοι προκόψω γ' οὐδέν, ἀλγυνῶ δέ σε· ἀλλ' ἐς τόδ' ἦλθον, παιδὸς ἐκδεῖξαι φρένα τοῦ σοῦ δικαίαν, ὡς ὑπ' εὐκλείας θάνηι, καὶ σῆς γυναικὸς οἶστρον ἢ τρόπον τινὰ γενναιότητα. τῆς γὰρ ἐχθίστης θεῶν ἡμῖν ὅσαισι παρθένειος ἡδονὴ δηχθεῖσα κέντροις παιδὸς ἠράσθη σέθεν· (1297-1303).

And indeed I will not accomplish anything except that I will cause you grief. But I have come to this place to show that the mind of your son was just, so that he might die with a good reputation and to show the insane passion of your wife or the manner of her nobility. She was stung by the pangs of that goddess most hateful of all the gods to me and to those who take pleasure in virginity, and she fell in love with your son.

Artemis’ arrival then is not to save Hippolytus but instead is motivated to cause Theseus grief by telling him that his son was innocent and in doing so defend Hippolytus’ reputation as well as Phaedra’s who was a victim of Aphrodite. Thus even Artemis admits that her intervention is not designed to change the outcome for Hippolytus but rather to to Theseus that he has made a critical error. Artemis’ intervention does ensure that Theseus knows the truth and redeems Hippolytus’ reputation, which is an


important function, but she does not make a substantial change to the fate of the characters.

Artemis actually seems to feel somewhat compelled to explain her lack of action.

She explains to Theseus that:

θεοῖσι δ' ὦδ' ἔχει νόμος· οὐδεὶς ἀπαντᾶν βούλεται προθυμίαι τῆι τοῦ θέλοντος, ἀλλ' ἀφιστάμεσθ' ἀεί. ἐπεί, σάφ' ἴσθι, Ζῆνα μὴ φοβουμένη οὐκ ἄν ποτ' ἦλθον ἐς τόδ' αἰσχύνης ἐγὼ ὥστ' ἄνδρα πάντων φίλτατον βροτῶν ἐμοὶ θανεῖν ἐᾶσαι. (1329-1334).

There is a custom among the gods. No one is willing to resist the desire of another, but we always keep out of the way. Know clearly that if not for the fact that I fear , I would not ever have come to such a point of shame that I would allow the man most dear to me of all mortals to die.

Artemis reveals that even the gods have some limits in what they are able to do. While she would normally never allow a favorite of hers to come to such an end, she has no choice in the matter since one god cannot undo something another god has done. Barrett explains this section of Artemis’ speech as necessary since she cannot be resentful of

Aphrodite’s actions without explaining why she does not intervene. In addition Barrett posits that in order for Artemis’ failure to make sense it must be from a higher authority but it must also be tied to Aphrodite otherwise Artemis would not be justified in her resentment against her. Thus for Barrett Euripides creates a principle of non-intervention enforced by Zeus in order to explain Artemis’ inaction in such a way that she is still able to place blame on Aphrodite.82 Halleran sees the policy of non-intervention as a more

82 Barrett (1964), at lines 1328-30, pg 401. 30

general principle which is implicit in Homer where although the gods do fight one another, they ultimately defer to Zeus’ will and fate.83

Yet there is a greater issue at stake here than coming up with an explanation that allows for the feud between the two goddesses to be highlighted or general principles of non-intervention. The explanation at its core is present to explain why Artemis does not interfere in Hippolytus’ fate. This is a pertinent question especially considering that this is the first extant DEM.84 If this is indeed the first play85 or even one of the first plays to have a god come down ex machina then it would make sense to give some sort of explanation for why the gods do not interfere if they would have the power to do so.

If gods could arrive on stage before the main plot is completed they could interfere with the plot, yet this rarely happens in extant drama.86 By giving an explanation for the god’s inaction, Euripides is able to have the gods appear and reveal knowledge that would otherwise be unknown to the characters but without the divine interference actually changing the plots that have been established by mythical tradition.

83 Halleran (1995) at lines 1328-34, pg 261. 84 Of the extant plays Euripides’ Hippolytus is the first proper DEM. While Aeschylean plays often had divine figures involved they generally did take a larger role in the action and have greater effects on the course of the play than their Euripidean successors (Athena, Apollo and the Furies in the Eumenides serve as a good example). Gods only appear on stage in Sophocles in the whose dating is uncertain and the Philoctetes. In the Ajax Athena’s involvement is much more direct than anything we see in Euripidean DEM and Sophocles’ Philoctetes is securely dated to 409, much later than Euripides Hippolytus. Of Euripides’ own extant plays the only one prior to the Hippolytus which may have a DEM is the Medea which was performed in 431 a few years prior to his Hippolytus. I do not, however, consider Medea’s exit in her play as a full DEM and the fact that no external deity comes down prevents a similar explanation to that in the Hippolytus from being necessary. 85 It should be noted that the version of the Hippolytus we have is Euripides’ second attempt after his unpopular Hippolytus Veiled. It is unknown whether or not that play also featured a DEM ending. 86 There are some instances where gods do arrive on stage earlier in the play or in time to have major effects on the plot. Examples of this include: Aeschylus’ Eumenides has gods as the main actors with the Eumenides as the chorus arguing against Orestes, Apollo defending Orestes, and Athena acting as judge. Sophocles’ Ajax when Athena arrives at the beginning of the play and influences Ajax. In Euripides’ Heracles and come down mid play and drives Heracles insane. In Euripides’ Orestes Apollo comes down as DEM at the end of the play and has a major effect on the action. 31

If gods could come down and do anything then people would wonder why Artemis did not actually save Hippolytus. Artemis explains that though she would like to do so she is constrained by certain rules. While this particular rule is not cited again in extant drama other DEM deities such as the Dioscuri in the Electra (1301-1302) and the Helen (1658-

1661) also give explanations for their prior inaction usually citing fate or the will of Zeus or some other more powerful god. Not only does this type of policy end up preserving the traditional plotline of Hippolytus’ myth but it provides divine consolation and reassurance that the gods do care about human even if they are unable to on their behalf.

Whatever conclusions we may draw about the reasons behind Artemis’ explanation or what that explanation meant in terms of ancient views on religion, it is clear from the text that Artemis’ intervention does not really change anything major for the characters and their fates. Hippolytus and Phaedra still die. Moreover, it is also clear that the play could easily end without Artemis’ intervention and still be resolved successfully. Sophoclean plays especially tend to end in the destruction of the hero

(Women of , Antigone, and Ajax) and so one could easily imagine this play ending in much the same way, with the hero destroyed and everyone shaking their heads in sadness over the tragedy.

This is not to say that Artemis’ intervention is pointless. In fact while Artemis does admit that she doesn’t really accomplish anything in terms of the plot she does give a reason for her intervention, which is to cause Theseus to realize that Hippolytus is innocent and thus cause him grief (1296-1299). Yet this grief is not mean spirited rather


it is productive giving Theseus the time to make amends for his mistreatment of

Hippolytus. This purpose is alluded to later on in the epiphany when Artemis tells

Theseus “δείν' ἔπραξας, ἀλλ' ὅμως / ἔτ' ἔστι καί σοι τῶνδε συγγνώμης τυχεῖν·” (1325-

1326). “You have done terrible things, but, nevertheless, it is still possible for you to be pardoned.” This happens via the reconciliation between father and son which is the real motivation for the DEM. Thus, due to the reconciliation, Artemis’ intervention is critically important from a moralistic perspective. Even though it achieves little in terms of saving Hippolytus’ life, it succeeds in preserving his memory and the relationship between father and son.

While the plot could resolve without an intervention by a deity, the intervention by Artemis serves to inform Theseus of his mistake. If Hippolytus dies without Theseus realizing that he is innocent then the play would have a rather unsatisfying ending since

Theseus would not realize the full extent of the tragedy that occurred. The by

Artemis of Hippolytus’ innocence heightens the pathos of the play and makes it more meaningful for the characters and more satisfying for the audience. It would be difficult for another character to reveal the truth since most characters are bound by oaths not to reveal the truth. In addition, another character defending Hippolytus’ innocence would not have as much authority as Artemis does. Having Artemis reveal the truth as DEM makes the revelation more dramatic as well as achieving a greater sense of pathos than would have been gained if the truth were not revealed to Theseus.

Thus in the case of the Hippolytus the intervention by Artemis as DEM has little to no effect on the plot. Artemis herself makes it clear that she is not going to come in at


the last second and save Hippolytus. Artemis’ intervention while not narratively necessary does have a dramatic function. Through Artemis’ intervention Theseus discovers his error; while he cannot correct it he can atone for it and gain Hippolytus’ forgiveness before he dies. Thus Artemis’ intervention makes the ending more emotionally satisfying by facilitating a reconciliation between father and son.



Just as in the Hippolytus, the DEM goddess in Andromache appears after the main action of the play, but in this case arrives even later in the action than Artemis did, since by the time of Thetis’ arrival is already dead. has just received news of Neoptolemus’ death at the hands of the Delphians who were urged on by Orestes and Apollo. The body of Neoptolemus is brought in and Peleus bemoans the fact that both his son and grandson have died before him at the hands of Apollo (1209-1213).

While Peleus focuses on his childlessness, the chorus remarks that his marriage did him no good (1218). Peleus responds by addressing Thetis:

“σύ τ᾽, ὦ κατ᾽ ἄντρα νύχια Νηρέως κόρη, / παντώλεθρόν μ᾿ ὄψεαι πίτνοντα πρὸς γᾶν”

(1224-1225). “And you, daughter of in your dark cave, you will see me fallen to the earth utterly destroyed.” At this point Thetis arrives as DEM.

Thetis is a fitting choice as a DEM since she has a vested interest in the characters and she lies in the background of much of the play.87 Her appearance is foreshadowed through the setting of the play at Peleus’ home and more specifically at her shrine. The shrine is particularly prevalent since Andromache seeks protection at Thetis’ shrine when

87 Lloyd (1994) at line 1231, pg 162 classes Thetis alongside the Dioscuri in Electra and Helen as well as the Muse in as “being a minor deity with a personal involvement in the characters.” He also points out the presence of Thetis’ shrine throughout the play as a further indicator that she would be the most likely and appropriate DEM. 35

she is trying to save her life. Thetis is also mentioned at several points in the play.88 In addition, Thetis’ marriage to Peleus lies in the background of the whole situation since the future of the house is at the center of the play. Moreover, right before Thetis’ arrival

Peleus and the chorus discuss Peleus’ marriage to Thetis with the chorus arguing that

Peleus’ marriage has done him no good since he has now lost not only his son but his grandson. The position of this passage directly before the DEM highlights the of marriage which appears throughout the play. While many marriages are discussed in the play, Thetis and Peleus’ marriage is the only marriage which is coded positively.89 The other marriages which are mentioned ( and Helen, Agamemnon and

Clytemnestra, and and Neoptolemus) are all examples of failed marriages.

While the chorus says that Peleus’ marriage did him no good, this is said in a context of extreme stress and grief at the loss of Neoptolemus and more importantly it is proven wrong almost immediately by Thetis’ arrival as DEM especially when she deifies Peleus thus giving him the ultimate benefit from their marriage. Thus Thetis’ arrival at the end of the play serves as a reminder that a successful marriage is possible.

Yet what foregrounds Thetis’ intervention the most is Peleus’ address to her which Thetis immediately answers through her arrival. Thetis leaves no doubt that her arrival is due to her personal relationship with Peleus saying, “Πηλεῦ, χάριν σοι τῶν

πάρος νυμφεθμάτων / ἥκω Θέτις λιποῦσα Νηρέως δόμους.” (1231-1232) “Peleus, I,

88 Thetis is mentioned at lines: 18, 43, 108, 117, 246, and 565. 89 Both mentions of Peleus and Thetis’ marriage prior to the DEM occur in brief references early in the play. Both speak of the shrine as a place of honor and worship as a monument to their marriage (19-20, 45- 46). Their marriage is also coded positively throughout the DEM in sharp contrast to the negative references to other marriages and the dangers of a poor match. While Andromache and ’s marriage is also largely coded positively there are still hints of problems as evidenced by Andromache’s assertion that she suckled Hector’s bastards (222-225). 36

Thetis, have come to you on account of our former marriage, leaving the homes of the

Nereids.” From the beginning she makes it clear that her arrival is a direct response to

Peleus’ distress. This is confirmed via her actions as DEM as well. The entire content of her speech is focused on family affairs. She advises where to bury their grandson

Neoptolemus (1239-1242), she relates the fate of Andromache and her son who stands as the last descendent of (1243-1252), and she grants Peleus as well as promising a reunion of sorts with their son Achilles (1263-1269). Nevertheless, while the choice of epilogue deity for this play is fitting, the intervention itself seems to accomplish little for the plot. Thetis again arrives too late to change anything major for the fates of the characters. She does not seem to take much of an interest in

Andromache’s situation until after it has been resolved even though Andromache had been taking refuge at Thetis’ shrine. More tellingly she arrives well after the death of her grandson Neoptolemus and her arrival changes nothing about his fate except the location of his burial. Moreover, the play could easily resolve without Thetis’ intervention. No character is saved by her intervention and the play could end easily without Thetis’ comforting words to Peleus.

Scholars often used to claim that the Andromache is a disconnected and second rate play.90 Although often seen as having two main parts, Burnett defines the

Andromache as a play of “mixed reversal” with three parts: a suppliant tragedy which resolves happily when Andromache is saved by Peleus from the threat of death due to

Hermione’s jealousy, a rescue action where Hermione becomes the heroine and is saved

90 See Burnett (1971) 131-132 for the play’s reception as well as Michelini (1987) 14, 24. 37

by Orestes from the absent threat of Neoptolemus, and finally as a tragedy of divine punishment when Neoptolemus is killed through the will of Apollo.91 While the first two problems resolve happily for their respective heroines, the last ends in tragedy despite the fact that the intervention happens at this point, making Thetis’ belated arrival seem all the more strange. Thus despite the fact that Thetis and her marriage to Peleus lie in the background of much of the play, her arrival seems rather random and disconnected from the plays’ events particularly since she doesn’t really do anything to change those events.

Nevertheless, Thetis does accomplish some things in her intervention. Some of her speech fulfills a common function of the DEM by giving prophecies which extend the scope of the play and thus tie up any loose ends. She gives orders for Neoptolemus’ burial at and says that his burial there will serve as a source of shame for the

Delphians. She also relates the fate of Andromache and her son, which connects

Andromache’s story in the play to other traditions about her fate. Finally, she promises deification to Peleus so he will remain grateful for their marriage.

Yet all of these actions have the effect of helping to assuage Peleus’ grief. She begins by commiserating with Peleus saying that she too has lost her son. Lloyd points out that “a standard form of consolation is that others have had similar or worse sufferings”92 thus further showing that Thetis works towards consolation of Peleus from the very beginning of her speech. Through her commands concerning Peleus’ burial

Thetis reassures Peleus that Neoptolemus will be buried at a famous shrine, ensuring

91 Burnett (1971), 131. 92 Lloyd (1994) at lines 1235,1254, 1236-7, pg 162. 38

honors and fame after his death as well as his presence there acting as a reproach to his killers. By relating the fate of Andromache and her son she lets Peleus know that the bloodline of Achilles will not die, but will survive through Neoptolemus’ illegitimate son,

Molossus who will go on to rule. Finally, through deification Thetis offers Peleus freedom from a miserable old age with no descendants to care for him. All of this news should serve as a comfort to Peleus. This, however, is no coincidence; Thetis’ desire to comfort Peleus is explicit throughout her speech. She begins by saying “καὶ πρῶτα μέν

σοι τοῖς παρεστῶσιν κακοῖς / μηδέν τι λίαν δυσφορεῖν παρήνεσα:” (1233-1234) “and first

I will advise you to not be too upset at these present evils” saying that she too suffer from grief and that he is not alone. Though commiserating in the beginning she soon turns towards finding a cure for his grief promising, “κακῶν ἀπαλλάξασα τῶν βροτησίων.”

(1255) “I will set you free from mortal evils.” This idea is further stressed at the end of her speech where she commands Peleus to “παῦσαι δὲ λύπης τῶν τεθνηκότων ὕπερ”

(1270) “stop your grief for the dead”. Though Thetis reports many comforting things, it is through her last action that she works to ensure that Peleus’ grief will be minimized.

Peleus will become immortal and leave the mortal world and its woes behind.

Thus the main purpose of Thetis’ intervention is to console Peleus and lessen his grief.93 This is somewhat similar to what Artemis ultimately does in her intervention in the Hippolytus: although at first she causes grief she then allows it to be assuaged a bit by

93 Stevens (1971), also recognizes that Thetis comes down for the purpose of consolation but says this is only part of the reason and the main function that Thetis performs here is “to adjust the outcome of this play to established ” at Epilogue: 1231-end, p 242. Based on the following commentary Stevens seems to be referring to the tradition that Neoptolemus was buried at Delphi as the “established legend” which Thetis must adhere to at lines 1235 and 1240 pg, 242-243. 39

enabling a reconciliation between Theseus and Hippolytus. Though their methods differ, both goddess comfort those who are . Nevertheless, it is important to recognize the uniqueness of Thetis’ intervention;94 by granting immortally to Peleus due to their marriage, Thetis goes far beyond simple comfort. While Thetis does affect

Peleus’ fate by making him a demigod, this largely lies outside the actual plot of the play and her intervention is certainly not necessary for the play to resolve.95 If it were not for

Peleus’ exceptional status as a husband to a goddess he would not be deified. Even so there is no necessity inherent in the plot which would dictate that Thetis interfere in any way and the play could have easily ended with Peleus being left to sort through the pain of loss alone, like so many other tragic figures who survive the end of the play.96

94 There are only two other DEM plays where the deity offers immortality to a character. In the Helen the Dioscuri report that when Helen dies she will join them in their honors and be worshipped alongside them. This however, is less extreme since Helen is the daughter of Zeus and has divine brothers and sisters. Menelaus, who is in a similar situation to Peleus is not deified but rather he is compensated in a lesser way by being promised a spot on the Iles of the Blest after his death on account of his marriage to Helen. The deification of Helen is echoed again in the Orestes when Apollo takes Helen up to Olympus with him at the end of the play after saving her from being killed by Orestes and Pylades. In the Orestes, however, Menelaus does not gain any special privileges as he had in the Helen. 95 This is especially true since as Morwood (2000) points out at line 1256 on page 166 the deification of Peleus is likely a Euripidean invention with the main antecedent being Peleus being sent to the Isles of the Blest in (Ol. 2.78-80). 96 In Sophocles Cf Antigone, Ajax. In Euripides Cf Heracles and the Trojan Women. 40


The Suppliants seems to be over when Athena suddenly arrives. Prior to her arrival, Theseus and his men have returned victorious from a battle with the Thebans over the burial rights of the fallen Argives. Evadne throws herself on the pyre, adding sorrow on top of sorrow for her father who had already lost his son in the battle. After this sudden new source of sorrow the Chorus of the mothers and children of the fallen

Argives lament. Theseus concludes that the Argives must remember this favor and hand down the memory of the Athenian’s help in this situation (1169-1175). Adrastus does not disappoint and offers eternal gratitude and acknowledgement of the debt without hesitation (1176-1179). They are about to part ways amicably when Athena suddenly arrives.

The choice of Athena as DEM is relatively straightforward. This play takes place near Athens, involves Theseus, and Athenians going to war against a neighbor. Athena makes sense as a DEM since she would be an appropriate god to protect Athens’ interests. would also work as a DEM (at least on the surface) because the

Argives are supplicating before her temple which dominates the background of the play.

Nevertheless the content of the DEM and its obvious concern with Athenian interests has much more to do with Athens in general rather than the Eleusinian mysteries specifically and thus Athena remains the best choice for DEM.


Of all the DEM scenes in Euripides Athena’s arrival in the Suppliants stands out as one of the most unnecessary interventions. The play has come to a logical conclusion, there is no crisis to be solved. Both parties are about to part as friends and Adrastus and the Argives seem sufficiently grateful for Theseus’ help and Theseus has reminded them that they are in Athens’ debt. Athena here seems to accomplish less than Artemis in the

Hippolytus or Thetis in the Andromache since Artemis succeeds in reconciling the estranged Theseus and Hippolytus and Thetis deifies her husband Peleus. Here in the

Suppliants in contrast, as Mastronarde has noted, Athena’s commands seem superfluous since there is every indication that an alliance of some sort has been formed between the two cities already.97 It seems clear that the intervention is not motivated by some sort of plot hole.

Athena has a lot to say, but ultimately she changes very little for the characters.

She does not change the fate of the characters in any way and is less concerned with individual fates than with the future relations of the two cities in general. Most of

Athena’s instructions are for making a more specific and binding alliance between

Athens and Argos. She takes what was originally a spoken acknowledgement of the

Athenians’ aid and that Argos was in their debt and expands it into a binding pact of non- aggression and alliance between the two cities which places the responsibility for keeping the oath squarely with Argos. Although Athena does prophesy to the children who lost their fathers in the battle that they will rise up and avenge them by sacking Thebes, this

97 Mastronarde (2010), 186-187. 42

seems to be an afterthought and not Athena’s main concern. Once Theseus says he will obey her commands and hold Adrastus and the Argives to the oaths, Athena disappears.

While these actions contribute little to the plot of the play, Athena’s insistence on a more official oath between Athens and Argos makes sense when taken in the context of the political importance of oath taking in Athens and how this is often reflected in tragedy. Fletcher notes that oath taking was a vital part of Athenian democracy and in tragedy Theseus is seen as “a consummate oath-swearer”.98 Athena sets out not only the specific terms of the oath but spends most of her speech on the details for the rituals surrounding the oath. Athena is quite specific in her instructions saying to take a specific tripod connected to Heracles and “ἐν τῷδε λαιμούς τρεῖς τριῶν μήλων τεμὼν / ἔγγραψον

ὅρκους τρίποδος ἐν κοίλῳ κύτει, / κἄπειτα σῴζειν θεῷ δὸς ᾦ Δελφῶν μέλει, / μνημεῖά θ᾿

ὅρκων μαρτύρημά θ᾿ Ἐλλάδι.” (1201-1204) “In this cutting the throats of three sheep, engrave the oath in the empty hollow of the tripod, and then give it to the god caring for

Delphi to preserve, a record and a testimony of the oaths for .” The reference to

Delphi here reflects Delphi’s importance as the traditional site where alliances between

Athens and her allies were sworn.99 Nevertheless while the record of the oath is kept at

Delphi as is customary, the oath itself is sworn in Athenian territory reflecting the tendency in tragedy for Athens to rival Delphi as the most authoritative place to swear an oath.100

98 Fletcher (2011), 103. 99 Fletcher (2011), 104. 100 Fletcher (2011), 104-105. 43

Euripides’ imbues this oath with power not only through its terms, its authorization via Delphi, and its specificity, but also through its divine origin. As

Fletcher points out, other plays which deal with oaths such as Sophocles’ Antigone, often pertain to where oaths stand in the relationship between human law and divine authority.

She says “this concept of the divine authorship of law is related to the religious character of the oath, which as an instrument of democratic also involves the gods in its .”101 Thus by having Athena stipulate the terms of the oath, the specific ritual needed to enact it, and the very necessity of a formalized oath, Euripides emphasizes the religious of oaths and changes a mere political alliance into an alliance dictated and protected by the gods themselves.

One final reason for Athena ensuring a formal oath be made may lie in the contemporary political relationship between Athens and Argos. Although the exact dating of the play is uncertain, Cropp and Fick’s metrical analysis of the play places it between 424-420.102 Depending on where one places the date there are two significant events that may have influenced Suppliants. The alliance that Athena brokers between

Athens and Argos is somewhat reminiscent of an actual alliance formed between the two cities in 420.103 This connection is strengthened by the fact that Argos did swear to make war on invaders of , which was one of the conditions specified in the oath in

Suppliants.104 It is also possible, as Morwood notes, that Euripides could be looking back

101 Fletcher (2011), 107. 102 Cropp, Fink (1985), also see Morwood’s (2007) discussion of the dating of the Suppliants, 26-30. 103 Morwood (2007), 27. 104 Zuntz (1955), 75. 44

to an earlier alliance with Argos in 461.105 It is likely that Euripides has one of these alliances in mind since, as Morwood points out, the language used in the oath which

Athena sets out is reminiscent of treaties between cities as well as incorporating diplomatic idiom and the patterns found in real treaties.106 Another possible contemporary connection is the aftermath of the battle of Delion in the winter of 424/3 after which the Boeotian victors (including Thebans) prevented the Athenians from collecting their dead. This similarity in situation between the Athenians and the Argives after the attack on Thebes may have prompted Euripides to dramatize Theseus’ intervening to help the Argives in a similar situation, thus creating an opportunity to stress the historical alliance between the two cities in the DEM.107 Whatever the motivation it is clear that the alliance between Argos and Athens is emphasized clearly in the DEM in the Suppliants despite the fact that strengthening this relationship is dramatically unnecessary.

Yet the political function of Athena’s intervention has more to do with the general relationship between Athens and her allies than any particular event that the play may have been motivated by. As Tzanetou notes, Athens’ relationship with her allies became more strained as Athens established greater hegemony in the years following the Persian invasions.108 Euripides’ Suppliants exemplifies the Athenian perspective of their empire as defending Greece and its customs and .109 Suppliants is focused on Athens as

105 Morwood (2007), 27-28. 106 Morwood (2007), lines 1191-5, pg 236-237. 107 Morwood (2007), 28. 108 Tzanetou (2012), 68-69. 109 Tzanetou (2012), 70. 45

the defender of common decency by helping the Argives to recover the bodies of the fallen Seven, even going so far as to risk Athenian lives in this fight against Theban indecency. Tzanetou notes that Euripides ensures that the decision to help the Argives is not made unilaterally by Theseus but is decided by the people through participation in their democracy, further supporting the idea of Athenian democracy against the tyranny exemplified by .110

Nevertheless, it is how the Athenians interact with their subservient ally the

Argives that makes this play and its DEM interesting. While Theseus does assert that the

Argives are in Athens’ debt, he stops short of subjugating them too harshly as a subordinate ally at Athens’ beck and call. This leniency, while fitting in well with the

Athenian view of themselves as saviors that benefit their allies, does not match the reality of the 420s where Athens had become much more domineering towards their allies. Yet the ideal and the reality are able to meet through the interference of Athena who takes the loose alliance between Athens and Argos established by Theseus and turns it into an ironclad contract between the two states which is in the best interest of Athens. By having Athena demand the subservience of the weaker ally Argos rather than Theseus demanding it himself the Athenians are able to appear lenient towards their allies while at the same time asserting a divinely mandated dominance over them.

110 Tzanetou (2012), 70. 46


As in the previous examples, Castor and Polydeuces are too late to change the outcome of the play; they arrive after and are killed. The choice of the Dioscuri as DEM is fitting due to their relationship to Clytemnestra and in fact they highlight this relationship as the reason for their arrival saying early on in their speech

“δεινόν δὲ ναυσὶν ἀρτίως πόντου σάλον / παύσαντ᾿ ἀφιγμεθ᾿ Ἀργος, ὡς ἐσείδομεν /

σφαγὰς ἀδελφῆς τῆσδε, μητέρος δὲ σῆς.” (1241-1244). “Just now we have come to

Argos after stopping a storm on the sea terrible for ships when we saw the slaughter of our sister, your mother.” By naming their relationship to Clytemnestra and then immediately following it by stating the relationship between Clytemnestra and her children, the Dioscuri emphasize not only the close relationship each party has with the deceased but they also highlight the relationship between Orestes, Electra and the


111 Roisman and Luschnig (2011) at lines 1239-40, pg 226 also emphasize the importance of the Dioscuri stating their family relationship, but take it a step further saying “This family relationship explains why the Dioscuri go to the trouble of telling Orestes what he must do to protect himself from the Furies and to obtain pardon for the matricide, and of arranging Electra’s marriage to Pylades” While this is an interesting take, the kin relationship alone cannot account for the whole of the prophecy/orders given. Prophecy such as this is very common in DEM even in ones where there relationship between the deity and those they address is not as strong. Detailed instructions/prophecy is given by Athena to Theseus in Suppliants, Athena to Ion and in the Ion, Athena to Orestes and Iphigenia in the IT, and Apollo to Orestes and Menelaus in the Orestes. 47

The relationship between the Dioscuri and is also brought to the fore through references to the Dioscuri earlier in the play. Electra mentions Castor twice (312, 1064) and implies that their relationship was very close saying “ἀναίνομαι

γυναῖκας οὗσα παρθένος, / ἀναίνομαι δὲ Κάστοῤ, ᾧ πρὶν ἐς θεοὺς / ἐλθεῖν ἔμ᾿

ἐμνήστευον, οὗσαν ἐγγενῆ.” (311-313). “Since I am a virgin I turn away from women, I turn away from Castor, who courted me before he went to the gods, since we were relatives.” Electra’s concern for a good marriage is a major theme in this play112 and by associating Castor with this theme early on Euripides emphasizes Castor and Electra’s close relationship which will have important effects on the DEM as will be shown below.

It is also worth noting that in the immediate aftermath of Clytemnestra’s murder Electra bemoans what the act means for her future asking “ἰὼ ἰώ μοι. ποῖ δ᾿ ἐγώ, τίν᾿ ἐς χορόν, /

τίνα γάμον εἷμι; τίς πόσις με δέξεται / νυμφικὰς ἐς εὐνάς;” (1198-1200) “Oh alas for me!

Where can I go, what dance, what marriage will I go to? What husband will accept me accept me into his marriage bed.” Though these lines are in keeping with the themes and concerns of the play, it is interesting that this exclamation about Electra’s fears for her future marriage prospects is answered by the arrival of her former fiancé who then establishes a different marriage more suitable to her social station (1249).

Nevertheless, it should be noted that Apollo may have been a more expected choice of intervening deity than the Dioscuri since Apollo is more directly involved in the

112 While this is not surprising given the very name Electra means unbedded/unwedded Electra’s concern here is somewhat strange since in a major departure from tradition in Euripides’ version Electra is married to a lowborn farmer who has not bedded her but married nonetheless. Before the DEM marriage is mentioned in reference to Electra or by Electra 11 times in the play at 19-28, 34-49, 98-99, 247-249, 254- 259, 310-313, 364-366, 916, 925-937, 949-951, 1198-1199 not even counting the conversation between Electra, Clytemnestra and the Chorus where the topic is discussed at length with each character contributing to the conversation. 48

action since it was his which commanded that Orestes should kill his mother to avenge his father.113 Apollo’s connection to the events of the play is stressed throughout and he is mentioned by name on four different occasions prior to the DEM114, twice as much as Castor who actually does arrive. Moreover, a vested interest in the action and references in the play had to a certain extent acted as predictors of the choice of intervening deity in the Hippolytus, Andromache,115 and Suppliants and thus might have implied that Apollo would be the most likely to appear. Thus Apollo’s absence here right after his oracle has been achieved is perhaps somewhat surprising. Apollo’s absence, however, could perhaps be explained by how the other characters in the play refer to him.

Although Apollo’s oracle is the motivating force for the revenge which the pair of siblings carry out, they do not follow the oracle’s advice without some reservations.

Orestes and Electra plan for Aegisthus’ death without any ambivalence and they appear to be just as eager for Clytemnestra’s death right up until it actually comes time to commit to the deed. After they are done gloating over Aegisthus’ corpse Orestes begins to have doubts about killing his mother. While Electra tries to convince him to go through with the plan Orestes exclaims “ὧ Φοῖβε, πολλήν γ᾿ ἀμαθίαν ἐθέσπισας” (971).

“Oh Phoebus, You have prophesied a great folly”. Though Electra tries to convince

113 Cropp (1988) in his commentary on the Dioscuri’s arrival at lines 1233-1237, pg 182 says “It is significant that Apollo does not appear himself and is thus left open to criticism like Aphrodite in Hipp., Apollo in Ion.” Aphrodite’s failure to appear is less jarring, however, since the role of epiphany deus is taken by another goddess who has more interest in the situation at the end of the play, as well as due to conflict between the two deities which serves as the main balancing mechanism for the play. The criticism of Apollo in the Ion makes for a better parallel since the epiphany deity there (as here to a lesser extant) does not have a stronger interest in the situation than Apollo. 114 Apollo is mentioned in the following lines: 221, 399, 971-972, 1190. 115 The choice of deity here is most similar to the choice of Thetis in the Andromache since in both plays the intervening deity is related in some way to those to whom they appear. Nevertheless, there were more references to Thetis in the Andromache than to other gods and more references to Apollo in the Electra than to the Dioscuri. 49

Orestes saying that if anyone is wise Apollo must be, Orestes is not reassured and fears vengeance for the matricide. The act seems so fundamentally wrong to him that Orestes even questions whether or not this is Apollo’s oracle at all saying “ἇῤ αὔτ᾿ ἀλάστωρ εἷπ᾿

ἀπεικασθεὶς θεῷ;”(979). “Could it have been some avenging spirit who spoke disguised as a god.” and “οὐδ᾿ ἂν πιθοίμην εὗ μεμαντεῦσθαι τάδε”(981). “I cannot believe that this thing was prophesed well.”

Although in the end Electra convinces Orestes to go along with the plan after

Clytemnestra is dead both of them immediately regret killing their mother and Orestes mentions Phoebus saying that he prophesied “δίκαἰ ἄφαντα, / φανερα δ᾿ ἐξέπραξας

ἄχεα”(1190-1191). “obscure justice, but have caused clear distress.” These doubts and criticisms of Apollo are all the more relevant since they account for half of the references in the play and both of the later ones. The criticism of Apollo here is interesting since fear of criticism is cited as a major motivating factor for Apollo’s failure to appear in person in the Ion. Yet, as the Orestes shows Apollo could certainly have appeared despite criticism earlier in the play. The answer to why Euripides chose the Dioscuri rather than Apollo may lie in how the Dioscuri interact with Orestes and Electra during the epiphany.

Like Orestes and Electra, the Dioscuri are also are relatively critical of Apollo or at least of his oracle. After introducing themselves and recounting the reason for their visit the Dioscuri comment on Orestes’ and Electra’s actions saying, “δίκαια μέν νυν ἥδ᾿

ἔχει, σὺ δ᾿ οὐχὶ δρᾷς: / Φοῖβός τε, Φοῖβος - ἀλλ᾿ ἄναξ γάρ ἐστ᾿ ἐμός, / σιγῶ: σοφὸς δ᾿ ὢν

οὐκ ἔχρησέ σοι σοφά.” (1244-1246). “Now your mother has justice, but you did not act


justly, Phoebus, Phoebus – But because he is my , I will be silent. Although he is wise, he did not prophesy wise things to you.” Denniston notes that the Dioscuri here move from a “rather matter-of-fact speech…to passion”.116 This sudden burst of emotion is unique in tragic ephiphany and highlights the distress the Dioscuri feel since they have lost their sister. Although the Dioscuri say that they will not criticize Apollo since he is their “ἄναξ” they express displeasure at Apollo’s actions anyway.117 By having deities other than Apollo arrive as DEM Euripides creates an opportunity for criticism towards the god and his oracle that would otherwise have been either impossible or at the very least very awkward.118

In addition to the criticism of Apollo, the Dioscuri also provide some words of consolation to Orestes and Electra. They act in the mortals’ interest by giving detailed instructions of what to do next. While prophecy is a common DEM element (as will be discussed in detail in the prophecy chapter) the Dioscuri include details in their prophecy meant to reassure Orestes and Electra. After giving directions and predictions about

Orestes’ trial at Athens, Castor adds detail about life after the trial: εὐδαιμονήσεις τῶνδ᾿

ἀπαλλαχθεὶς πόνων (1291). “You will be happy having been freed from this toil.”

Apollo’s prediction at the end of the Orestes, despite also prophesying the same basic elements of the trial at Athens, leaves out this detail. The Dioscuri also give bits of consolation to Orestes and Electra in the questioning section. When Orestes laments

116 Denniston (1939), at line 1245, pg 203. Roisman and Luschnig (2011) also see this line as emotional citing the repetition of Φοῖβός at line 1245-6, pg 226 as an example of anadiplosis. 117 Although Denniston (1939) notes that this is a “stock rhetorical trick (paraleipsis)” (line 1245, 204) this does not take away from the critical of the outburst. 118 Cf criticism of Apollo by the mortal characters in the Ion, and to a lesser extent criticism of Aphrodite by Artemis in the Hippolytus and criticism of Apollo by Thetis in the Andromache (though it is more subtle there). 51

being separated from Electra the Dioscuri point out positive aspects of her situation

(1311-1313). They are even more explicit in their encouragement to Orestes. θάρσει:

Παλλάδος / ὁσίαν ἥξεις πόλιν: ἀλλ᾿ ἀνέχου. (1319-1320). “Take heart, you will come to the holy city of : but be patient.” It is unlikely that Apollo would express similar words of encouragement, but these words are fitting coming from the Dioscuri because they are relatives and thus have Orestes’ and Electra’s best interests at heart and also because since they used to be mortal themselves they have a better understanding of what

Electra and Orestes are going through. These elements add to the overall effect of consolation which is common in the earlier DEM plays.

The DEM in the Electra is also the first and only time in our extant sources that the epilogue deities are asked why they did not interfere earlier and prevent a disaster.119

After the main speech by the Dioscuri the chorus dares to ask, “πῶς ὄντε θεὼ τῆσδέ τ᾿

ἀδελφὼ / τῆς καπφθιμένης / οὐκ ἠρκέσατον κῆρας μελάθροις;” (1298-1300) “How is it that with you being gods and brothers of this murdered woman you did not ward off death from her house?”120 The topic of divine inaction has been brought up before in the

Hippolytus but the situation there was different. First, the relationship between the victim

119 Gods do occasionally volunteer this information, examples include Artemis in the Hippolytus (1329- 1334) and the Dioscuri in the Helen (1658-1661), but this is the only time in extant tragedy where a mortal demands an explanation rather than the god giving one without prompting. The closest parallel for the questioning of a deity about their actions or lack of actions is in the Bacchae who critiques ’ actions and admonishes him not to act like a human (1344-1349). Though questioning of actions is still present the situation in Bacchae is different since the reproach is for deeds that the god has done rather than reproach for not preventing others from doing deeds. 120 It is worth noting that line attribution for this entire section is somewhat disputed, though there is general agreement that these lines are assigned to the Chorus, Diggle (1981) assigns lines 1298-1302 to Orestes. Cropp (1988) follows Diggle here and comments that “Orestes must now be the questioner so that he and Electra each ask a substantive question, symmetrically with their requests to speak” at lines 1298- 1300, pg 189. Orestes being the speaker at lines 1298-1300 would add more force to the question by having it come from a relative rather than from the more detached chorus but the phrase retains force regardless of to whom it is assigned. 52

and the deity are quite different. In the Hippolytus, though Artemis cares for Hippolytus greatly and he is her favorite mortal their relationship is one built around Hippolytus’ worship of her cult. Here in the Electra the relationships between the Dioscuri and the victim as well as her killers are all kin relationships.121 The movement from a cultic relationship to a personal relationship based on blood effects the tone of the interaction allowing perhaps for more freedom for the mortals to question their divine relatives than was possible for Hippolytus and Theseus when conversing with Artemis.122 This is reflected in how the topic of the deity’s non-intervention is brought up. Artemis choses to give an explanation for her lack of interference without being prompted by anyone

(1328-1334). In the Electra, however, mortals on the stage dare to question the god about why he allowed this to happen, thus putting the deity on the defensive far more than in previous plays.

This brings me to the second major difference between the situation in the Electra and the Hippolytus: the relationship between the disagreeing gods is different. In the

Hippolytus Euripides introduces a policy of non-interference through Artemis. One god cannot undo the actions of another. This implies a certain equality between the gods, each one has rights that cannot be impinged on by another. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Aphrodite and Artemis are of similar divine status. Both are daughters of Zeus and have relatively equal power. The situation in the Electra, however, is entirely different. The Dioscuri clearly see Apollo as higher up in the divine hierarchy than themselves. They refer to him as their “ἄναξ” a term which implies that they are lower in

121 Cropp (1988) at lines 1233-1237, pg 182 also notes this relationship. 122 See Andújar (2016), 165-166. 53

status than Apollo. 123 This makes sense since in traditional mythology Polydeuces had to share his immortality with Castor.124 Thus their relationship with Apollo is different from the relationship between Artemis and Aphrodite who are able to more openly oppose one another and are generally seen as roughly equivalent in power, at the very least one is not really “ἄναξ” over another.

Yet the Dioscuri see themselves as subordinate not only to Apollo but to other forces as well, as evidenced by their response to the chorus’ question. The Dioscuri reply to the chorus that “μοῖρά τ᾿ ἀνάγκης ἧγ᾿ ἐς τὸ χρεών, / Φοίβου τ᾿ ἄσοφοι γλώσσης

ἐνοπαί.” (1301-1302). “The fate of necessity led to what must be, and the unwise voice of Apollo.” This is not a throwaway excuse by a diety trying to dodge criticism. The

Dioscuri mention abstract forces such as fate at two other points in their epiphany. Right after their original criticism of Apollo at (1244-1246) the Dioscuri continue saying,

“αἰνεῖν δ᾿ ἀνάγκη ταῦτα: τἀντεῦθεν δὲ χρὴ / πράσσειν ἃ Μοῖρα Ζεύς τ᾿ ἔκρανε σοῦ

πέρι.”(1247-1248). “Necessity approved these things: hence it is ncessary for you to do the things which Fate and Zeus ordain.” And when Electra asks what oracle demanded that they murder their mother the Dioscuri reply that “κοιναὶ πράξεις, κοινοὶ δὲ πότμοι, /

μία δ᾿ ἀμφοτέρους / ἄτη πατέρων διέκναισεν.” (1305-1307). “You have acted in common, and a common destiny, one ancestrial ruin has destroyed you both.” This

123 Many scholars have noted the Dioscuri’s lower status in relation to Apollo including: Denniston (1939) at line 1247, pg 204; Cropp (1988) at lines 1233-1237, pg 182; Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 348. 124 See Hom Il. 3.236-244; Od. 11.298-304, Cypria frr. 6 and 11, Hymn. Hom. 17 and 33, fr. 34 LP, frr. 24 and 197-199 MW, Pindar Pyth. 4. 171-173, 11.61-64, Nem. 1049-1090). 54

emphasis on fate and the will of Zeus preventing dieties from interfereing shows up in many DEM speeches, and often serves as a reason for the dieity’s inaction.125

Though I will save more in depth analysis of this DEM for my prophecy chapter, it is clear that the Dioscuri’s arrival conforms to the DEM interventions I have explored so far in that it do not have a major effect on the characters or plot. While the Dioscuri do provide a lot of information via commands and prophecy it all regards future events.

Even when they discuss contemporary and past events such as Menelaus and Helen’s arrival and her time in Egypt, their invention does not have any effect on the events of the play. Their advice is all geared towards dealing with the aftermath of the matricide rather than doing anything to prevent Clytemnestra’s death or Orestes’ resulting madness and exile. This is especially interesting since Castor and Polydeuces have a vested interest in the play’s outcome due to their close kin relationships both to one of the victims and the perpetrators of the violence, yet almost because of their close ties with mortals they are more powerless to intercede than other deities and are limited to advising and predicting future events.

125 Fate and Zeus are commonly given as reasons for the play’s events by the DEM deity. Examples include: Artemis in Hippolytus at line 1330 cites the will of Zeus and at line 1436 cites fate. Thetis in Andromache cites the will of Zeus as well as destiny at line 1269. The Dioscuri in the Helen cite something NOT being destined at line 1645, and things that are fated at lines 1650, their inferiority to fate and other gods at lines 1660-1661, and finally what is destined by the gods in line 1676. 55


The Ion appears to be wrapping up when Ion becomes insistent on asking

Apollo’s oracle who his father really is. Ion has received mixed messages about this throughout the play. First, Ion is told by that the oracle has named Ion as his son.

This is thrown into confusion when Creusa proves she is Ion’s mother when she is able to name all the tokens in the basket. Though Creusa has proven that she is Ion’s mother, his paternity is left in doubt since Ion is hesitant to believe her story that his father is Apollo and fears that she is lying and his father was really some mortal and Creusa is lying to save face. Though Creusa vows she is telling the truth the earlier oracle given to Xuthus still concerns Ion and he is determined to find out the truth by asking Apollo himself.

Ion, however, is prevented from confronting the oracle by Athena who arrives ex machina.

Athena’s sudden arrival at the end of the Ion is certainly unexpected and perhaps even bizarre. Even though Athena has been mentioned throughout the play, she is certainly not the god that one would expect to clear up the issue of Ion’s paternity.126 The most natural god to reveal this would be Apollo himself. 127 Apollo would likely have

126 Though Athena is still an unexpected choice it is worth noting that when Ion is asking whether or not Apollo is really his father, Creusa swears by Athena that Ion’s father is Apollo (1528-1531). 127 Burnett (1970), 125 points out that Ion’s exclamation of the god’s arrival also suggests Apollo since he focuses on the sun like brightness of the god’s face which would heavily imply Apollo who is associated with the sun. 56

been the most expected deity to arrive for several reasons. First, he is the god most directly involved in the situation and would be best suited to put Ion’s fears and questions to rest. Another indicator that may have suggested Apollo to the audience would be the setting of the play. Since everything occurs at Apollo’s temple at Delphi he would be a natural god to appear; moreover, the location of the play had acted as a predictor of sorts of the intervening deity for the Andromache which is set at the shrine of Thetis and foregrounds Thetis’ DEM arrival. Another frequent indicator of the intervening deity is some sort of familial relationship, a factor that was present in the Andromache and the

Electra. As Ion’s father Apollo would fit into this pattern. This would also be appropriate since Ion was raised in Apollo’s temple so Apollo had been a foster father of sorts in addition to being his biological father. Ion himself also seems to believe that

Apollo should be the one to answer this question since Ion is about to ask the oracle whether or not Apollo was his father when the DEM interrupts the action. Finally,

Apollo’s word that he is Ion’s father would also be more authoritative than his oracle or another god reporting it.

The strangeness of Apollo’s absence is highlighted by the fact that Athena explains why she has appeared instead of Apollo. When she introduces herself she says,

ἐπώνυμος δὲ σῆς ἀφικόμην χθονὸς Παλλάς, δρόμῳ σπεύσασ᾿ Ἀπόλλωνος πάρα, ὃς ἐς μὲν ὄψιν σφῷν μολεῖν οὐκ ἠξίου, μὴ τῶν πάροιθε μέμψις ἐς μέσον μόλῃ, ἡμᾶς δὲ πέμπει σ᾿ ἐξ Ἀπόλλωνος πατρός, δίδωσι δ᾿ οἶς ἔδωκεν, οὐ φύσασί σε, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς νομίζῃ ᾿ς οἷκον εὐγενέστατον. (1555-1562).

I, Pallas, named after your land have come rushing to this house on behalf of Apollo, who did not think it right to come before your eyes, lest blame for the


things before should get in the way, he sent me to tell these things to you: That she bore you from Apollo your father, and he gave you giving not to those who begot you, but in order that you might be honored in a well-born house.

This explanation shows not only that Apollo would have been the one who was expected by the characters and the audience but that Athena’s arrival is unexpected enough that it requires an explanation.128 This is also the only extant DEM where the epiphany god explains why they have come instead of a different god129 despite the fact that there are other instances where the god who appears is not necessarily the one which would be the most expected based on the signposts given throughout the play.130

Athena’s explanation hardly paints Apollo in the best light.131 Athena says that she is coming in Apollo’s stead because he doesn’t think it right to appear himself for fear of being blamed for his past actions. Although Apollo is right that many of the characters in the play, Creusa in particular, have negative feelings towards him, having

Athena deliver his message rather than coming himself appears cowardly.132 In addition it shows that Apollo does not want to face responsibility for his actions and that he might even be somewhat ashamed of them.

Yet it is not only the past that is problematic for Apollo. In the prologue lays out the background of the play as well as what Apollo has planned.

δώσει γὰρ εἰσελθόντι μαντεῖον τόδε

128 Swift (2008), 34 also notes this. 129 Zacharia (2003), 141-142 notes that it is exceedingly rare for one god to send another as their emissary in tragedy. 130 I argue this also occurs in the Electra and IT. 131 For a staunch defense of Apollo having Athena appear in his stead and of Apollo in general see Burnett (1962) and (1971). 132 Hartigan (1991), 86 notes problems with Apollo saying “Apollo’s credibility has been suspect throughout the play, both for his action prior to this day (the rape) and his ambiguous response to Xouthos’ question. Now further doubts are realized by his refusal to lose face by revealing in Delphoi that he had lied and that he had failed to anticipate human reaction to his words.” 58

Ξούθῳ τὸν αὑτοῦ παῖδα, καὶ πεφυκέναι κείνου σφε φήσει, μητρὸς ώς ἐλθὼν δόμους γνωσθῇ Κρεούσῃ, καὶ γάμοι τε Λοξίου κρυπτοὶ γένωνται παῖς τ᾿ ἔχῃ τὰ πρόσφορα. (69-73).

For he will give his child to Xuthus when he enters this shrine, and he will say that Xuthus had brought forth the boy, and so that Creusa will recognize him when he comes to her house, and that her union with Apollo might be kept secret and her son may have what is suitable.

Yet this is not actually what occurs. While Apollo does go forward with his plan to gift

Ion to Xuthus, it does not have its intended effect. Creusa does not recognize her son and seeing him as a threat decides to kill him. This is clearly not what Apollo intended and he has to intervene indirectly through his palace doves to avoid Ion being poisoned to death. Even after the crisis is passed and the mother and son recognize one another

Apollo’s plans are still foiled. Athena reveals that Apollo had to change his plans again.

ἔμελλε δ᾿ αὐτὰ διασιωπήσας ἄναξ ἐν ταῖς Ἀθήναις γνωριεῖν ταύτην τε σήν, σέ θ᾿ ὡς πέφυκας τῆσδε καὶ Φοίβου πατρός. ἀλλ᾿ ὡς περαίνω πρᾶγμα, καὶ χρησμοὺς θεοῦ, ἐφ᾿ οἷσιν ἔζευξ᾿ ἅρματ᾿, εἰσακούσατον. (1566-1570)

Lord Apollo intended to keep these things silent, and to reveal them at Athens, that she had born you and that Apollo was your father. But in order to finish the matter, hear the of the god, for which I yoked my chariot.

Again, what Apollo intended to remain secret is revealed prematurely. Although he wanted it revealed that he and Creusa were Ion’s parents at Athens, Ion’s insistence on having the truth confirmed forces Apollo’s hand. Revealing the identity of Ion’s mother early is not enough, Ion demands proof of who his father is before Apollo intended.

It is rare for a DEM to reveal that the god’s plans did not work the way they intended, in fact most DEM scenes reveal the exact opposite, that all of this had been


ordained by Zeus and/or fate long ago and has worked out exactly as planned. Though the plans of lesser deities have been thwarted before such as the Dioscuri and Thetis being unable to prevent the deaths of their loved ones, this is usually due to some higher power preventing them from acting. In fact in the case of the Electra it is Apollo and his oracle which prevents the Dioscuri from interfering, showing Apollo’s privileged status in the hierarchy. Even when Artemis loses Hippolytus it is due to another god of equal status. It is only here that the plans of a powerful god such as Apollo fail due to the actions of humans rather than gods of equal or higher status.133 The failure of Apollo to anticipate the consequences of his actions and the need for him to readjust his plans is all the more ironic since as a god of prophecy he of all deities should have been able to accurately predict the future and the best way to accomplish his ends.134

Athena does her best to gloss over Apollo’s shortcomings commenting near that end of her speech that,

καλῶς δ᾿ Ἀπόλλων πάντ᾿ ἔπραξε: πρῶτα μὲν ἄνοσον λοχεύει σ᾿, ὤστε μὴ γνῶναι φίλους: ἐπεὶ δ᾿ ἔτικτες τόνδε παῖδα κἀπέθου ἐν σπαργάνοισιν, ἁρπάσαντ᾿ ἐς ἀγκάλας Ἐρμῆν κελεύει δεῦρο πορθμεῦσαι βρέφος, ἔθρεψέ τ᾿ οὐδ᾿ εἴασεν ἐκπνεῦσαι βίον. (1595-1600).

Apollo has done everything well: first he caused you to deliver without pain so that your family would not know. Then you bore the child and laid him out in swaddling clothes, and enfolding him in his arms he ordered Hermes to bring the baby here and he raised him not allowing him die.

133 Zacharia (2003), 142-143 also comments on this. The closest parallel to this that I can find is in the Bacchae. In the prologue Dionysus says if the Thebans try to get the Bacchae down from the mountains by force he will lead the into battle (50-54). This does not actually happen, however, he manages to convince go to spy on the Bacchae alone. Although this differs from his intentions in the prologue it is clear throughout the play that Dionysus is in control of Pentheus and thus changes his mind preferring to drive Pentheus mad and go to the mountain alone than to lead the Maenads into battle. 134 Rynearson (2014) also notes “the god of prophecy’s failure to anticipate these human reactions” 61. 60

Although these things are true and everything turns out in the end, it is somewhat of a stretch to say that Apollo has managed everything well and that he made no mistakes in his actions. Owen argues that Apollo’s shortcomings in this regard are so severe that they serve as an explanation for his refusal to arrive and thus Athena appearing in

Apollo’s stead should not be surprising. Owen points out that Apollo “has had a discreditable incident in his past made known; Delphi has been proved to have given a false oracle; his plans have wrong, and he has been shown to have limits to his divine powers.”135

There is one final hint of unease at the end of Athena’s speech when she cautions

Creusa about letting Xuthus know the truth. She advises, νῦν οῦν σιώπα, παῖς ὅδ᾿ ώς

πέφυκε σός, / ἵν᾿ ἡ δόκησις Ξοῦθον ἡδέως ἔχῃ, / σὺ τ᾿ αὗ τὰ σαυτῆς ἀγάθ᾿ ἔχουσ᾿ ἴῃς,

γύναι. (1601-1603). “So now, keep silent that this child is your son, so that sweet holds Xuthus, and you lady may go forth having your blessings.” Despite all that has been learned the truth cannot be revealed to all. In order to maintain household ,

Xuthus must be kept in the dark believing the half truth that Apollo’s oracle delieved to him about Ion.136 This half truth was a good part of what concerned Ion in the first place and made him want to confront the oracle (1532-1538) and the idea that the oracle could be less than truthful is disturbing even if a liberal interpretation of the oracle is accepted.

Yet perhaps the strangest thing about this DEM is not that Athena appears instead of Apollo but that there is a DEM at all.137 The play looks as if it could resolve nicely

135 Owen (1939) at lines 1557-1558, pg 178. 136 Kindt (2007), 24-25 also notes the uneasiness of this continued deception. 137 Owen (1939) at line 1549, pg 177 suggests that rather than coming so solve a problem in the plot, Ion’s doubts are pushed to the forefront in order to give an excuse for Athena’s appearance. Owen compares the 61

after Creusa and Ion’s recognition scene. The problem is Ion’s paternity. It would be possible to close the play with Ion simply accepting that Creusa is telling the truth. In fact, we know from Hermes and Athena that the original plan was for Ion to remain in the dark about who his father was until he reached Athens. This implies very heavily that the knowledge could have been held off without any problem. Ion, however, demands more proof. Yet Ion does so not by demanding an epiphany but rather begins to do what would be natural for one raised at Delphi, go to the temple to ask the oracle (1537-1538). This would be a perfectly adequate way for him to find out the truth. Yet the sudden appearance of Athena prevents it.138

It seems odd that the truth is not revealed through either Apollo or his oracle in a play which is set in Delphi and concerned with Apollo’s progeny. The oracle would be a perfectly reasonable way to clear up the problem. Yet, perhaps there is a reason why the oracle is not used. When Creusa and Ion first meet, Creusa seeks Ion’s advice about approaching the oracle concerning her ‘friend’s’ son by Apollo. Ion responds that despite her friend’s misfortune and suffering she should not approach the oracle. Ion points out that a god would not prophesy something that he has been hiding (365). When Creusa presses Ion he says,

ἐν τοῖς γὰρ αὑτοῦ δώμασιν κακὸς φανεὶς Φοῖβος δικαίως τὸν θεμιστεύοντά σοι δράσειεν ἄν τι πῆμα. ἀπαλλάσσου, γύναι. situation as similar to that in the IT 1435 when the wave appears in order to motivate Athena’s appearance. Hartigan (1991) notes that the ’s appearance which stops Ion’s violent action against Creusa “has the dramatic effect of a deus ex machina.” She goes so far as to suggest that the audience may have even expected a DEM intervention at that point in the play, 84. Though it is true that an intervention at this point would fulfill the purported function of a DEM solving a problem in the play, as we have seen up to this point extant DEM do not act in this way. 138 Hartigan (1991) believes the truth must be revealed via DEM since a mortal has challenged a god making a divine intervention necessary, 85. 62

τῷ γὰρ τοσοῦτον ἀμαθίας ἔλθοιμεν ἄν, εἰ τοὺς θεοὺς ἄκοντας ἐκπονήσομεν φράζειν ἃ μὴ θέλουσιν, ἢ προβωμίοις σφαγαῖσι μήλων ἢ δἰ οἰωνῶν πτεροῖς. ἃν γὰρ βίᾳ σπεύδωμεν ἀκόντων θεῶν, ἀκοντα κεκτήμεσθα τἀγάθ᾿, ὧ γύναι: ἃ δ᾿ ἂν διδῶσ᾿ ἑκόντες, ὠφελούμεθα. (370-380).

For if Phoebus would appear evil in his own house he would rightly cause some sort of misery to the one who gave the oracle to you. Leave it alone woman. For an oracle must not be uttered contrary to the god. For we would come to great discourtesy if we prevail upon the gods when they are unwilling to say something which they do not wish to, either by sacrificing sheep before the altar or through the flight of birds. For if we urge on with force when the gods are unwilling, we will acquire unwilling goods, oh lady: the things which they give willingly, we benefit from.

This advice works into Apollo’s original plan. It states that no good can come from forcing the god’s hand when it would incriminate him or if he is unwilling in some way.

Anything taken from the god by force whether it is an unflattering truth or some other sort of demand can only end badly for those who demand what needs to be freely given.

Yet Ion eventually decides to forgo his own advice when he sets out to ask Apollo’s oracle about his parentage.139 If Ion’s cautions here are right, if he were to go to the oracle and force a truth from it which is not flattering to Apollo there could be serious consequences.140 Thus while the oracle could have cleared up the question, the oracle itself might be compromised if the truth were revealed in this way.

139 Owen (1939) at line 1546, pg 172-173 explains Ion’s asking the oracle after his former advice to Creusa as a change of viewpoint. Nevertheless Owen points out that “It is difficult to see what he can gain from his question, which, according to 1537, is whether the god speaks the truth or not. The question ‘Are you telling the truth?’ will be satisfactorily answered by the greatest liar.” 140 Owen (1939) at line 1546, pg 177 notes that Verrall (1890) believes that there would be disastrous consequences if the truth is revealed against the god’s will but Owen argues that if the oracle is a fraud the way Verrall argues the oracle could just lie. 63

Having a divine messenger tell the news rather than a mortal one attached to the oracle has several advantages. First, the issue discussed above about the oracle having to give information not flattering to the deity and the possible consequences for whoever would give the oracle can be avoided. Second, Athena’s arrival ensures that the oracle at

Delphi will not need to give an oracle that seems to conflict with the oracle given to

Xuthus for the truth to be revealed.141 Having a god arrive to clarify things also creates a contrast between direct divine intervention and the oracle of Apollo. The Delphic oracle was notoriously difficult to interpret and many scholars142 as well as Ion in his conversation with Xuthus (531-539) and Creusa in her explanation to Ion about his parentage (1532-1545) have discussed the possible double meanings inherent in the oracle that Xuthus receives. Even if the oracle is not actually false, it is at the very least misleading. Kindt argues that even if the oracle is literally true there is a big problem with getting any real sense of truth from “a divinity that gives everybody the oracle they want to hear even though it might not represent the truth.”143 Hartigan also notes that by having Athena appear instead of Apollo, Euripides elevates Athena and Athens over

Apollo and Delphi. The problems created in the play by the ambiguity of the Delphic oracle can only be solved by the clear unambiguous words of Athena and her more definitive prophecy.144 Competition of sorts between Athens and Delphi already appears

141 This still does not entirely solve the problem with having the oracle give Xuthus false information, however, the oracle was notoriously difficult to interpret so since Apollo gives Ion to Xuthus as a son perhaps the oracle saying Ion is his son is not a lie. In addition Athena reveals that Creusa and Xuthus will go on to have two children together so the core of Xuthus’ original request is fulfilled by Athena’s prophecy. 142 See Hartigan (1991), 74-88 and Kindt (2007) 9-12 as examples. 143 Kindt (2007), 11. 144 Hartigan (1991), 87. See also Kindt (2007), 22. 64

in the Suppliants so its possible appearance here as well is interesting. It is possible that these signs of competition between Athens and Delphi could be due to increased tensions between the two cities due to Delphi’s Spartan sympathies in the .

Nevertheless clearing up Ion’s paternity is only the first part of the DEM and

Athena says at the end of that section that she has a prophecy to report which is the real reason for her arrival. Ion’s descendants will go on to produce many peoples who will be named after them. This prophecy is the true reason for why Athena in particular arrives as DEM. While any god could answer the pressing questions that end the play it wouldn’t make much sense for Apollo to report what will happen to Ion at Athens as well as how the Athenian royalty will go on to produce the foundations for many Greek peoples. This is Athenian business and it is most suitable for Athena to report it. Hoffer goes a step further and notes that “the play exaggerates Athens’ importance in the Ionian colonization” by emphasizing one version of Ionian migration over another.145 Thus by having Athena appear as DEM rather than Apollo and by focusing in on the connection between Ion and his decedents and Athens, Euripides shifts the focus of the play from

Apollo and Delphi to Athena and Athens.

Although Athena reports several aitia which connect Ion and his family with the peoples of Greece, none of this information would be necessary for the play to resolve.

Creusa has proven to Ion that she is his mother and his miraculous survival and being raised at Delphi would seem to be enough to corroborate her claim that his father is

Apollo. Since Ion could have easily asked Apollo’s oracle for confirmation or simply

145 Hoffer (1996), 313-14. For more on Ion and his connection to Athens see Swift (2008), 16-18; Zacharia (2003), 48-55. 65

waited for the truth to be revealed at Athens as Apollo had originally intended, a DEM is not strictly necessary for the play to resolve. Athena’s arrival, however, does make for a more dramatic ending. It also enables a stronger connection between the play’s characters and Athens as well as a connection between the Athenians and other Greek peoples, thereby enhancing Athenian pride.


Iphigenia in Tauris*

The DEM in the Iphigenia in Tauris is quite complex due to the rapid changes prior to Athena’s arrival. After being reunited, Orestes and Iphigenia plan to escape from

Tauris with the statue of Artemis which Orestes and Pylades had been seeking. Their plan appears at first to be successful. is convinced by Iphigenia’s claims that the statue has been polluted by the stain of matricide from the Greek victims. Thoas allows her to take the prisoners and the statue down to the sea in private to be purified. When the messenger returns to tell Thoas of the deception Orestes’ group appears to be escaping successfully until the end of the messenger’s speech.

Although Orestes and Iphigenia were able to launch the ship and make their way across to the mouth of the harbor, once there a sudden sea swell and contrary wind begins to drive the ship back towards shore. Despite the sailors’ efforts and Iphigenia’s prayers to Artemis begging her to help them escape in accordance with her brother Apollo’s oracle, the sudden change in weather still drives them back to the point that the Taurians are trying to get hold of the ropes and pull the ship back. The messenger credits Poseidon and his hostility to the house of for this sudden stroke of good luck and urges

Thoas to take advantage of this and to seize the ship. Thoas gives the orders to do so and put those on the ship to death when Athena suddenly arrives.


Athena’s intervention in the IT appears to be necessary in order for the plot to resolve happily. The messenger reports that a sea swell sent by Poseidon has pushed

Orestes’ ship back to shore so the heroes are in danger of being captured and executed.

Athena then saves them by getting Poseidon to stop the wave and help them escape.

Thus the DEM in the IT seems at first glance to break from the established pattern. It does have an effect on the plot and the characters of the play in that the probable outcome is reversed resulting in success for the heroes when they were about to fail. This would seem to suggest that the stereotype of the deus coming down to solve an unsolvable problem is true in this case.

The situation, however, is not as simple as it first appears. Although the sea wave does present a problem for the heroes that is solved via divine intervention, the problem is just as sudden and random as the solution. Orestes and his ship at first seem to be escaping successfully. Iphigenia’s plan to sneak the prisoners and statue down to the sea and escape works without any problems. They are able to board the ship and are about to leave the harbor successfully when the wave first appears. Thus the play could have easily resolved without the characters ever being threatened in the first place. There is nothing in the plot other than the extraneous wave that would pose a problem for their escape and one could easily see a coherent ending to the play that excluded the wave and

Athena’s intervention.146 While a last minute obstacle does cause an element of surprise,

146 Kyriakou (2006) at 1284-1499, pg 408 while not going so far as to say the DEM is unnecessary she admits that it is very unexpected saying, “After the recognition, which could be thought to have been arranged or at least favored by the gods, everything in the play, including the celebratory third stasimon and the Greeks’ success in boarding the ship under Taurian attack (1375-85), points to a successful escape under favorable weather (cf. e.g. Hl. 1610-13). A major problem such as the wind and the divine displeasure it seems to signify could hardly have been anticipated.” 68

this is not the whole story; the wave seems to exist not so much because it is necessary for the plot but to cause a last minute problem that must be resolved via divine intervention. Thus the wave does not bring about the DEM but instead the wave acts as an excuse for the DEM to occur.147 Since the purpose of the DEM does not seem to be the wave, it must be motivated by something else. The true function of this DEM can be revealed in two ways. First, be examining the choice of the intervening deity and second by examining what the DEM speech actually accomplishes.

The choice of Athena as epilogue deity is almost as strange and random as the wave since Athena does not seem the most likely goddess to take an active interest in the situation.148 Given the play’s subject matter and setting Artemis would be the most likely choice. The entire play takes place in front of a temple to Artemis making her quite literally the focal point of the play.149 Yet from the play’s prologue to its end Artemis stands as an ambiguous figure.150 Iphigenia’s prologue shows two very different sides of

Artemis. The play begins with a dark version of Artemis as Iphigenia explains how she

147 Mastronarde, (2010) 165-166, 182. Mastronarde takes the opposite view, that the wave is put in as a problem that Athena must solve rather than the wave coming up in order to force a DEM. Scholars who believe the wave occurs in order to force a DEM include Spira (1960), 120-1; Matthiessen (1964), 57 n. 4; Lesky (1983), 306; Hartigan (1991) 103; Dunn (1996), 138; Owen (1939) in his commentary on the Ion at line 1549, pg 177 says that “the shipwreck has been brought about so that Athena may utter her prophecies” citing this instance in the IT as similar to the motivation for the DEM in the Ion saying “Ion’s doubts seem to have revived in order to warrant her [Athena’s] appearance.” 148 Kyriakou (2006) at lines 1435-1474, pg 451, also comments on the oddity of Athena as DEM saying that Artemis or Apollo would be more expected and appropriate to handle the issues in the play. She says, “In the IT the absence and silence of the sibling gods and the failure of Athena to speak in their name or elaborate on their behavior underscores the problematic character of their relationship to mortals…The divine agents that have caused distant and more recent events fail to appear, explain their actions and provide guidance to their believers.” Ketterer (2013) also notes that Artemis or Apollo were invoked throughout the play perhaps causing to be the expected deity, 229. 149 This setting of the play was a predictor for the intervening deity in the Andromache and Suppliants. 150 This ambiguity, the bright and dark side of the goddess as it were, does fit into her wider worship as Vernant (1991), 204, 209-211, 213 points out. The tension between the two differing aspects of Artemis will be explored more fully in the aitia chapter. 69

was sacrificed at Artemis’ demand (8-9, 16-20), but another side quickly emerges as she reveals that Artemis substituted a deer at the last second (28-30) and made Iphigenia a priestess (34).151 The prologue, however, ends on a dark note when Iphigenia hints at the nature of Artemis’ worship.

ὅθεν νόμοισι τοῖσιν ἥδεται θεὰ Ἀρτεμις, ἑορτῆς, τοὖνομ᾿ ἧς καλὸν μὸνον - τὰ δ᾿ ἄλλα σιγῶ, τὴν θεὸν φοβουμένη - θύω γὰρ ὄντος τοῦ νόμου καὶ πρὶν πόλει, ὃς ἂν κατέλθῃ τήνδε γῆν Ἕλλην ἀνήρ. κατάρχομαι μέν, σφάγια δ᾿ ἄλλοισιν μέλει ἄρρητ᾿ ἔσωθεν τῶνδ᾿ ἀνακτόρων θεᾶς. (35-41)

Where the goddess Artemis delights in these rites, a feast which is noble in name only – But I am silent concerning these things since I fear the goddess – For, in accordance with the custom established before in the city, I sacrifice any Greek who comes to this land. I begin the sacrificial ceremonies, but the slaughter is a care for others, unspoken within the temple of the goddess.

This tension between the bright and dark Artemis persists throughout the play. On the one hand Artemis has saved Iphigenia showing her merciful side, but on the other hand she has made Iphigenia as her priestess complicit in . The notion of

Artemis condoning human sacrifice is so disturbing to modern readers that there is much scholarly debate about whether or not these lines should be included at all.152

151 Kyriakou (2006) at lines 17-34, pg 58 notes these conflicting sides of Artemis saying, “The opaque role of Artemis in Iphigeneia’s sacrifice and rescue provides the first indication in the play that the behavior of the gods is inscrutable to humans.” 152 This dark image of Artemis taking pleasure in human sacrifice and the accusation that her feast is not noble is so disturbing that some scholars believe that lines 38 and 39 are suspect. Scholars who believe the lines were interpolated include: Platnauer (1938) at lines 35-36, 38-41, pg 63; Kyriakou (2006) at lines 35- [41], pg 62. Cropp (2000) is somewhat split on the issue and argues at 38-41, pg 175 that lines 40-41 are an interpolation but lines 38-39 are genuine. 70

The seemingly irreconcilable dichotomy in Artemis’ nature is not lost on the characters in the play. When faced with the belief that Orestes has died, Iphigenia expresses her frustration with Artemis.

τὰ τῆς θεοῦ δὲ μέμφομαι σοφίσματα, ἥτις βροτῶν μὲν ἢν τις ἅψηται φόνου, ἢ καὶ λοχείας ἢ νεκροῦ θίγῃ χεροῖν, βωμῶν ἀπείργει, μυσαρὸν ὡς ἡγουμένη, αὐτὴ δὲ θυσίαις ἤδεται βροτοκτόνοις. οὐκ ἔσθ᾿ ὅπως ἔτεκεν ἂν ἡ Διὸς δάμαρ Λητὼ τοσαύτην ἀμαθίαν. ἐγὼ μὲν οὗν τὰ Ταντάλου θεοῖσιν ἑστιάματα ἄπιστα κρίνω, παιδὸς ἡσθῆναι βορᾷ, τοὺς δ᾿ ἐνθάδ᾿, αὐτοὺς ὄντας ἀνθρωποκτόνους, ἐς τὴν θεὸν τὸ φαῦλον ἀναφέρειν δοκῶ: οὐδένα γὰρ οἷμαι δαιμόνων εἷναι κακόν. (380-391).

I blame the fastidiousness of the god, any mortal if he has committed a murder, or even come into contact with childbirth or a dead body with their hands, she keeps away from her altars, as if considering them dirty, but she herself takes pleasure in human sacrifices. It cannot be that the wife of Zeus, , bore such great folly. So I judge that ’ feast for the gods, and that they took pleasure in the feast of his son, is not credible and I think that those men here who are themselves slaughterers of men, attribute their bad behavior to the god: for I think that nothing of the gods is evil.

Although Iphigenia is able to come up with a rationalization for Artemis’ behavior, saying that the horrible practice of human sacrifice must not be in accordance with

Artemis’ will and is simply a misguided custom of a barbarian people, there remains tension in the play about what Artemis’ wishes really are.153

153 Kyriakou (2006) at lines 380-391, pg 143 concerning Iphigenia’s explanation for Artemis’ actions notes, “Iphigeneia is too quick to reach certainly based on equivocal evidence” in the same section she goes on to speculate about the audience’s reaction to such a rationalization saying, “The audience may have found Iphigeneia’s claim about the Taurians’ murderous instincts plausible because of their possible cultural biases but the play does not endorse the claim and it is questionable whether Euripides meant it to appear plausible to the audience.” Ketterer (2013) also discusses the tension about Artemis’ will that lies throughout the play, 228. 71

The ambiguity about Artemis’ nature persists even to the end of the play. Despite

Iphigenia’s unease about Artemis’ nature that she expresses early on in the play Iphigenia prays to Artemis for help on three separate occasions: 1082-1088, 1230-1233, and 1398-

1402. When Iphigenia begins to set her plan for escape in motion she prays to Artemis for its success:

ὧ πότνἰ, ἤπερ μ᾿ Αὐλίδος κατὰ πτυχὰς δεινῆς ἔσωσας ἐκ πατροκτόνου χερός, σῶσόν με καὶ νῦν τούσδε τ᾿: ἢ τὸ Λοξίου οὐκέτι βροτοῖσι διὰ σὲ ἐτήτυμον στόμα. ἀλλ᾿ εὐμενὴς ἔκβηθι βαρβάρου χθονὸς ἐς τὰς Ἀθήνας: καὶ γὰρ ἐνθάδ᾿ οὐ πρέπει ναίειν, παρόν σοι πόλιν ἔχειν εὐδαίμονα. (1082-1088)

Oh lady, you who saved me from the killing hands of my father under the terrible glens of save me and these men now also: or the words of Loxias will no longer be true for mortals because of you. But being well disposed to us let us together go out from this barbarian land to Athens: For it is not fitting to dwell here any longer when it is possible for you to have such a fortunate city.

Hall takes special note of this and points out that while using the standard prayer formula of da-quia-dedisti (help now because you helped before) Iphigenia also formulates the prayer with an awareness that “Artemis must consent to being removed from the Taurian land to the city of Athens.”154 Iphigenia is especially concerned that

Artemis approve their actions and after obtaining Thoas’ permission for her to perform her purifications down at the sea she makes another more ambiguous prayer (since she is in front of Thoas as she prays) asking for success in their endeavor (1230-1233).

Yet despite all of these prayers, their escape seems cut off when the mysterious wind appears. Hall points out that encountering a contrary wind when trying to escape

154 Hall (2013), 40-41. 72

with Artemis’ statue would have reminded the audience of the contrary winds at Aulis that Artemis inflicted on Agamemnon’s fleet when she was displeased.155 Whether or not

Iphigenia herself makes the connection she perhaps suspects that this may be Artemis’ way of objecting to her statue’s removal and in desperation Iphigenia makes a final prayer to Artemis.

ὧ Λητοῦς κόρη σῷσόν με τὴν σὴν ἱερέαν πρὸς Ἐλλάδα ἐκ βαρβάρου γῆς καὶ κλοπαῖς σύγγνωθ᾿ ἐμαῖς. φιλεῖς δὲ καὶ σὺ σὸν κασίγνητον, θεά: φιλεῖν δὲ κἀμὲ τοὺς ὁμαίμονας δόκει. (1398-1402).

Oh daughter of Leto, bring me, your priestess, safe to Greece from this barbarian land and forgive my theft. Even you love your brother, goddess: believe that I also love my brother.

Cropp points out that Iphigenia properly formats her prayer and uses a prayer form that includes “invocation, request, indication of her claim on Artemis (your priestess), an apology for possible offence, and a precedent reinforcing her demand for understanding and support from the goddess.”156 Hall also takes note of Iphigenia’s choice in prayer.

Iphigenia also uses the prayer formula in which an apology can be slotted into a request. She apologizes for stealing the statue. She had asked for Artemis’ assent in the first of these three prayers, but is worried that it has not been given. The implication is surely that Artemis is angry, or at the very least that Iphigenia understand that the goddess is not happy about the theft of her cult image.157

As the situation described in the messenger speech becomes ever more desperate it seems more and more that Artemis does not want her statue to leave Tauris at all. Iphigenia has prayed for her help on three separate occasions and Artemis has not aided them in their

155 Hall (2013), 42. 156 Cropp (2000) at lines1398-1402, pg 258. 157 Hall (2013), 42. 73

escape, in fact Artemis seems to be doing the exact opposite and actively preventing the group’s departure. Iphigenia is right here to point out the similarities in her and Artemis’ situation. Both of them love their brothers and Apollo has sent Orestes to “rescue” his sister in much the same way that Orestes is seeking to rescue Iphigenia. Artemis herself has a vested interest in the action even if she does not feel like aiding Iphigenia for the girl’s own sake. If Artemis truly objects to the Tauric worship she receives it would make sense for her to aid in their escape and establish that she does not desire human sacrifice and in doing so resolve the ambiguity surrounding her nature.158 Yet Artemis does not appear159 and her wishes in the matter are never revealed by Athena as DEM the way that Athena speaks on behalf of Apollo in the Ion.

Another god who would be a suitable choice based on problems of plot would be

Apollo. After all it was Apollo who first sent Orestes and Pylades on to

Tauris to bring back Artemis’ statue. If for some reason Artemis could not interfere to ensure the safety of the statue herself, her brother Apollo who ordered it to be saved in the first place would be a logical choice to appear and ensure that Orestes was able to escape with it. If Orestes is truly on a divine mission that was in danger of failing it would make sense for Apollo to aid him to ensure success in such an important venture.

Apollo would also be a sensible deity to show up since the choral ode before the

158 Kyriakou (2006) strongly objects to the idea that Artemis did not approve of these human sacrifices. She says, “since Artemis kept the girl’s rescue secret for many years and especially since she put the rescued victim in charge of the human sacrifices offered by the Taurians, it is implausible that she considered human sacrifices unacceptable…The assumption that a goddess would hide her displeasure at the Aulis sacrifice and would tolerate for several years the polluting human sacrifices of the Taurians without manifesting her aversion or punishing the mortal perpetrators of the crimes is naively absurd and cannot be supported by any tenet or parallel in Greek religion” 15. 159 Kyriakou (2006) at lines 1327-1419, pg 422 also acknowledges likely distress at Artemis’ lack of response to Iphigenia’s prayer. 74

messenger speech is all about Apollo (1234-1283), thus bringing this particular deity to mind at an important junction in the play.160

Yet, when the wave comes and threatens the siblings’ escape their in

Artemis and Apollo seems to be tragically misplaced. Hartigan accurately describes the effect that the sudden appearance of the opposing wave has on Orestes and Iphigenia:

“All evidence of divine intent and support now seems to be revealed as invalid, false, deceptive. One thing alone is true: Artemis and Apollo do not appear to save the brother and sister who have finally come to trust in them.”161 The oddity of Athena’s appearance cannot be overstated, especially since even Poseidon would make a more logical deus than Athena since it is his wave which is causing the problem it would be easiest for him to fix it directly. In fact Athena does not fix the wave herself, Poseidon does so at her urging.

The fact that Athena seems to be an odd choice to resolve the issues at hand

(many of which have to do with the escape plot) suggests that the purpose of the DEM here is not based on plot at all. The choice of Athena becomes clear when the content of her DEM speech is taken into account. Athena basically accomplishes two things in her

DEM aside from resolving the issue of the wave. First she explains to Thoas that Orestes came following Apollo’s oracle in order to take the statue and to rescue his sister so his madness could be cured. Second she sets up various rituals in Attica.

160 Cropp (2000) in his discussion of Third Stasimon lines 1234-1283, 247, interprets the hymn to Apollo’s purpose as “to invite his favour and assistance in the present situation. Their hymn by implication expresses confidence in the god’s power to help his worshippers in their escape, and encourages him to uses this power in their favor.” There is reference to the DEM deity just prior to their arrival also in the Andromache (1224-1225), Ion (1528-1531), and Helen (1495-1511). 161 Hartigan (1991), 103. 75

It is this second act which takes up the majority of the DEM and seems to be the more significant action. She orders Orestes to take the statue to Halae and build a temple for it there where it will be named Tauropolis after Tauris and the work he did. She then commands that a rite be instituted where the throat of a young man is nicked and blood is drawn in order to appease Artemis. Athena then turns towards Iphigenia and orders her to go to Brauron to be Artemis’ priestess and she will be buried there and honored with offerings of clothing from women who died in childbirth. Finally, Athena recalls the aid she gave Orestes when he was on trial in Athens and the fact that because of her when the votes are equal the defendant will go free.

Though the choice of Athena is odd for the content and focus of the play, it turns out that based on what she says Athena is in fact a very logical choice. Other than her explanation to Thoas which is by no means necessary everything that she says concerns

Athens or Attica. This is very similar to Athena’s role as DEM in the Ion.162 There too although the situation would suggest that Apollo would be a more appropriate deity, the content of the DEM shows that the majority of the intervention gives information relevant to Athens rather than Delphi. The same holds true here in the IT; although the rites that

Athena orders are for her sister Artemis, in both cases they seem to be distinctly Attic rites. Thus while Artemis would still be a logical choice here based on the geography of the area, based on the content of the DEM and its focus on Attic cults Athena becomes the most logical choice for a DEM. It is perhaps because of the fact that although plays

162 Owen (1939) at line 1549, pg 177 also draws a comparison between Athena’s appearance in the Ion and the IT. Ketterer (2013) notes that Athena often appears as DEM in this period doing so in the Ion, as well as the and . 76

traditionally did not have an Athenian setting but were performed there that Athena becomes the most common extant DEM deity.163

Athena’s intervention in the IT stands out from other previous DEM scenes in that it is the first to solve a major problem for the plot, however, this problem is last minute and suggests strongly that the supposed problem of the wave is not the real motivation for having a DEM but rather a new inventive way to bring one about. This DEM also stands out from previous ones because it is one of the most aitia rich DEM speeches.164 These two facts together suggest strongly that the purpose of this DEM is related to the ritual elements introduced. While there is no doubt that these elements then are very significant for understanding the function of the IT DEM there is much more that must be discussed than it is practical to do here and thus I will save a more in depth look at this

DEM’s function for the aitia chapter.

163 Kyriakou (2006) argues that Athens’ prominence in religion makes Athena a natural choice for announcing cult atita as a DEM, 24. Ketterer (2013) believes that Kyriakou overstates Athens’ prominence as a reason for her appearance here and suggests instead that the appearance of Athena is foregrounded by how Iphigenia uses a rite of washing the statue in the sea as an means for escape, a rite which had a parallel in the Athenian cult practice of the purification of the Palladian in which the statue of Athena was taken to the sea to be washed yearly as well as parallels with other Athenian cults, 230-231. 164 The two cult aitia in the IT will be explored in detail in the aitia chapter. 77


The situation at the end of the Helen is very similar to that in the IT. Menelaus and Helen have just escaped by sea by fooling the ruler of the land with a trick about a made up ritual. A messenger who witnessed the trick arrives to tell the king about the deception and that they are escaping. However, unlike in the IT there is no sudden wave to complicate matters. Helen and Menelaus have successfully escaped and it seems there is nothing that Theoclymenus can do to stop them. Without being able to punish the departed heroes, Theoclymenus decides to punish his own sister Theonoe who, despite having the gift of prophecy, allowed the couple to escape. The slave is very distressed upon learning Theoclymenus’ intentions and vows to stop him even if it costs him his life. It is at this point that the Dioscuri arrive as DEM.165

While the situation in the Helen at first seems to mirror the one in the IT, the

Helen avoids having a last minute problem usher in the entrance of a deus in order to solve the issue. The play seems to be ending without any problem for the main characters. Helen and Menelaus’ plan has worked and they have successfully escaped by

165 Burian (2007) at lines 1512-1692 pg 284 also notes the similarities between the ending of the IT and the Helen. He also notes the principle differences: that IT is “more closely bound to the central dramatic action.” He goes into more detail stating: “Compared to the situation in IT, where the lives of the central figures are at stake, the crisis thus produced [in Helen] is relatively minor, and the plot element to be resolved relatively marginal. As in IT, however, the sudden arrival of divinities at the critical moment blocks the king’s plan, and he, too accepts the new state of affairs.” 78

the time that Theoclymenus is informed. There is no wave to threaten them and unlike in the IT where Thoas was giving orders to pursue and kill the escapees when Athena arrives, here in the Helen Theoclymenus appears to make no attempt at pursuing or capturing Menelaus and Helen. The play could end without any complication.

The Dioscuri’s entrance, however, like the entrance of Athena in the IT does actually have an effect on the play. While the main characters have escaped successfully,

Theoclymenus is threatening to kill his sister Theonoe and the slave who is trying to protect her when the Dioscuri arrive. The Dioscuri begin their speech with a command166 saying, “ἐπίσχες ὀργὰς αἷσιν οὐκ ὀρθῶς φέρῃ, / Θεοκλύμενε, γαίας τῆσδ᾿ ἄναξ” (1642-

1643) “Restrain your anger which you bear unjustly at these things, Theoclymenus, lord of this land.” After the initial command to control his violent anger, the Dioscuri turn to matters of fate and then command Theoclymenus not to kill his sister because she has done nothing wrong since she has followed the will of the gods and honored their father

Proteus’ commands. Thus their intervention does make a difference but only for a

166 Commands at the beginning of DEM are not uncommon. In the Hippolytus Artemis’ first words (1283- 1284) address Theseus and command him to listen; In the Suppliants Athena commands Theseus to hear her words and then proceeds to tell him not to give the bones of the Seven without having them take an oath first (1183-1187); In Electra the Dionscuri begin by addressing Orestes and commanding them to listen (1238); In Ion Athena begins by commanding them not to try to escape (1553) In IT Athena begins with a question asking where Thoas is pursuing. Immediately after she commands him to listen to her and then orders him to not follow (1435-1437); In Orestes Apollo begins with a similar command to that in the Helen and orders Menelaus to calm his anger, he also tells Orestes to listen (1625-1628); It is worth noting, however, that as time passes the commands that begin DEM speeches change. The first ones are all commands to listen, this changes with the Ion when Athena commands Ion not to flee, but being god fearing Ion is frightened by her appearance so the command not to flee is similar enough to a command to listen. Even in IT the traditional command to listen happens first though it is quickly followed by a command not to follow. Yet in the last DEM scenes in which we have the beginning of the deus’ speech the god cautions the mortals to restrain their anger and their appearance prevents violent action. Thus as time goes on the point at which the god choses to intercede becomes more and more tense and they must begin with commands not merely to listen but to refrain from violence. For more on commands in DEM see Mastronarde (2010), 186-187. 79

relatively minor character, Theonoe.167 Nothing else that the Dioscuri do in the DEM affects the outcome for a character. Thus rather than the DEM being motivated by a death as in earlier plays, an impasse caused by a character as in the Ion, or by putting the main characters into sudden peril as in the IT, the Helen uses the threat to Theonoe in order to cause an issue which the deus can be called upon to resolve. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the intervention, while having a greater effect than earlier DEM scenes have typically had, is not necessary for the play to resolve in a manner which aligns with the mythical tradition.

The choice of the Dioscuri as DEM deities is very conventional.168 They have a vested interest in the outcome since Helen is their sister. The fact that they are kin to those in the play conforms to the pattern of a divine relative coming down as DEM.169

Moreover, their appearance here for Helen’s sake echoes their appearance in the Electra on behalf of Clytemnestra. Their appearance is also forecasted by references to them

167 I consider Theonoe to be a minor character primarily because she is an invented character who did not have an existence outside of this play unlike the main Helen and Menelaus. Also, her barbarian status along with her lack of representation in the wider world of mythology would suggest that the audience would not be particularly concerned with her fate in the same way as they are concerned with Menelaus and Helen who have other mythological duties which tradition says they must fulfill. Burian (2007) at lines 1512-1692, pg 284, and at lines 1621-1641 pg 288 also notes that the threat to Theonoe is a minor element of the plot. Dunn (1996) 135-142 also emphasizes that Theonoe’s fate is not really relevant to the larger plot which concerns Menelaus and Helen. Mastronarde (2010) 186 also refers to Theonoe as “an invented or minor character.” 168 Burian (2007) at lines 1642-1687, pg 290 also notes the suitability of the Dioscuri as DEM specifically since as savior deities epiphany is common for them, they are Helen’s brothers, they are mentioned several times in the play, they are asked by the chorus to save Menelaus and Helen, and they appear in the Electra another play which deals with one of their sisters. 169 This pattern appears in the Andromache, Electra, Helen, Bacchae, and even to an extent in the Ion since Ion and Creusa are descended from Erechtheus who was born indirectly by Athena. While Menelaus and Helen are not technically present for the epiphany I view this as similar to Athena’s appearance to Orestes and Iphigenia in the IT where she notes that even though they are not present they can hear her. 80

early on in the play. When Helen is conversing with they have the following conversation about the Dioscuri’s fate.

Ἑλένη: οἱ Τυνδάρειοι δ᾿ εἰσὶν ἢν οὐκ εἰσὶν κόροι; Τεῦκρος: τεθνᾶσι καὶ οὐ τεθνᾶσι: δύο δ᾿ ἐστὸν λόγω. Ἑλένη: πότερος ὁ κρείσσων; ὧ τάλαιν᾿ ἐγὼ κακῶν. Τεῦκρος: ἄστροις σφ᾿ ὁμοιωθέντε φάσ᾿ εἷναι θεώ. Ἐλένη: καλῶς ἔλεξας τοῦτο: θάτερον δὲ τί; Τεῦκρος: σφαγαῖς ἀδελφῆς οὔνεκ᾿ ἐκπνεῦσαι βίον. (137-142).

Helen: Are the sons of alive or not? Teucer: They are dead and they are not dead, it is a double story. Helen: Which is the stronger? Oh I am miserable with these evils. Teucer: There are those who say they are gods with a likeness to the stars. Helen: In this you speak well: What is the other story? Teucer: That they breathed out their lives on account of the slaughters of their sister

The reference to the Dioscuri here while natural in the course of the conversation also serves to foreground their appearance at the end of the play while simultaneously making an intervention by the two seem unlikely. If the first story is true and they are gods it would be natural for them to interfere and save their sister. If the second story is true, however, then an intervention by them is impossible.170

Though the story is ambiguous Helen seems to fear the worst.171 After her conversation with Teucer, Helen is despondent, she sings a lament to the chorus and says concerning her brothers:

170 It is worth noting that in the Iliad while Helen is on the wall of Troy commenting on the foremost Greeks in the army she is somewhat surprised at Castor and Polydeuces’ absence. She believes they either did not come with the rest of the Greeks or did and could not bring themselves to fight because of fear of shame. However, though she does not know it Homer reports that the two are dead (2. 236-244). 171 Campbell (1950) at lines 220-1, pg 67 disagrees. He says that “it is obvious from the wording of that passage that she has kept an even mind as between the two accounts given by Teucer at 140 and 142.” While Campbell is right that Helen retains the ambiguous wording and does not say outright that the two are dead it is clear from the context that this is what she believes. Campbell asserts that since the Dioscuri are gods the audience must know the truth and argues against Jerram (1892) and Pearson (1903) who translates εὐδαιμονεῖ as “are fallen from their high place”. Burian (2007) at lines 138-139, pg 199 also 81

κάστορός τε συγγόνου τε διδυμογενὲς ἄγαλμα πατρίδος ἀφανὲς ἀφανὲς ἱππόκροτα λέ- λοιπε δάπεδα γυμνάσιά τε δονακόεντος Εὐρώ- τα, νεανιᾶν πόνον. (205-211)

Both Castor and his brother, twin-born delight of their fatherland, unseen, unseen, having left the plain echoing with the sound of horses and their training in reedy and their youthful labors.

The term ἀφανὲς (207) preserves the ambiguity of the report that Helen has received.

Nevertheless, ἀφανὲς often has associations with the underworld suggesting that Helen has despaired of the happier story. This is also likely given the context of the ode in which she laments her mother’s and Menelaus’ deaths. The chorus this pessimistic view saying “δίδυμά τε Διὸς οὐκ εὐ- / δαιμονεῖ τέκεα φίλα” (220-221) “The twin beloved young sons of Zeus are not happy.” Finally, Helen again laments her brothers, “τὼ τοῦ

Διὸς δὲ λεγομένω Διοσκόρω / οὐκ ἐστόν.” (284-285). “The Dioscuri said to be sons of

Zeus are no more.” Teucer’s report in the play leaves the option of the Dioscuri being gods open, but this optimistic view is overshadowed by Helen’s certainty of doom.172

Her assumption that her brothers have died perhaps is justified in that she believes that if they had survived (especially with the powers of gods) they would have saved her

interprets these lines as Helen fearing the worst. Also see Burian (2007) at lines 220-221 and line 226, pg 203. Nevertheless it should be noted that Teucer’s report reflects two very different traditions concerning the Dioscuri either one of which Euripides could be using especially in a play focused on a non-dominant varient of the Helen myth. Finally, even though in the end the Dioscuri are proven to be divine at this point in the play there is no way for the characters or audience to know this for certain. 172 Helen’s surety of the Dioscuri’s death is somewhat flawed, however, since at this point in the play she believes that Menelaus is dead as well and she does not bother to question the uncertain fate of the Dioscuri even after she finds out that the more definitive report about Menelaus was false. 82

before.173 Yet the ambiguity of the Dioscuri’s status as either divine or dead both makes their arrival more striking as well as strongly hinting perhaps that no deity will appear or at least not the Dioscuri.

The greatest indicator that the Dioscuri will arrive as DEM occurs when the chorus invoke the Dioscuri in their final lines before it is reported by messenger that

Helen and Menelaus have escaped.174 At this pivotal moment the chorus calls upon the

Dioscuri urging them to come over the sea and rescue Helen (1495-1511). Thus the

Dioscuri’s arrival is foreshadowed shortly prior to their arrival as DEM just as the arrival of Thetis in the Andromache was preceded by Peleus praying to her.

Yet the Dioscuri do not actually save Helen, which is what the chorus called upon them to do since by the time they arrive she has already escaped. The Dioscuri spend the first half of their speech tying up loose ends concerning Theoclymenus and Theonoe.

They explain that he was never fated to have Helen and that she must return to Greece with her husband.175 They also command him not to harm Theonoe. Although the injunction against harming Theonoe does make a difference in the plot it is relatively minor.

173 This belief is not unreasonable since there are mythic stories of the Dioscuri rescuing Helen when she was abducted by Theseus as a child. These are recorded mostly in summaries of lost works by later authors. We get the story of Helen’s abduction by Theseus and the Dioscuri’s rescue from who draws from Alkman (21 PMG); Herodotus mentions it at (9.73.2); Diodorus (4.63.1-3); (Thes 31- 4); Hyginus (Fab 79,92), see Gantz (1993) for more. 174 Burian (2007) at line 1495-511, pg 283 also notes that the chorus’ prayer to the Dioscuri here foregrounds their DEM appearance. 175 Dunn (1996) 140, points out that this information is hardly essential to the plot. Theoclymenus presumably knew that it was always his father’s intention to return Helen to Menelaus and thus this should not be huge news to him. 83

It is the last part of their speech that they direct towards Theoclymenus that is perhaps the most intriguing. The Dioscuri explain why they did not come to save their sister sooner:

πάλαι δ᾿ αὐτὴν σωφρόνως πράσσειν τάδε. ἐπείπερ ἡμᾶς Ζεὺς ἐποίησεν θεούς: ἀλλ᾿ ἧσσον᾿ ἧμεν τοῦ πεπρωμένου θ᾿ ἅμα καὶ τῶν θεῶν, οἷς ταῦτ᾿ ἔδοξεν ὧδ᾿ ἔχειν (1658-1661).

We would have saved our sister long before this, when Zeus made us gods. But we are weaker than what has been fated and than the other gods, to whom it was pleasing for these things to happen.

This explanation is very similar to the one they give in the Electra as to why they did not interfere and prevent Clytemnestra’s death. There are, however, some interesting differences. In the Electra the Dioscuri’s explanation for not interfering is brought about by the chorus questioning them about why they did not prevent Clytemnestra’s death

(1298-1300). This is not information that they volunteer willingly in the Electra, however, here in the Helen the Dioscuri offer an explanation without prompting. Also, although both speeches include fate as a reason why they were unable to interfere the second reason is slightly different between the two plays. In the Electra fate and the

“unwise speech of Apollo” (Φοίβου τ᾽ ἄσοφοι γλώσσης ἐνοπαί) are blamed for their inaction (1301-1302), whereas here in the Helen it is simply that they are weaker than fate and the other gods. Thus there is a more negative coloring to their explanation in the

Electra where they seem to attach blame to Apollo versus a more neutral explanation in the Helen that is devoid of judgmental language and their inability to help is laid out as a fact of life rather than seen as an injustice of some kind. This difference in tone may be due in part to the fact that Helen receives a and is ultimately saved whereas


Clytemnestra is killed and thus there is more resentment at a poor outcome than at delayed happy one.

The rest of their speech is aimed at Helen and prophesying her future. The speech largely consists of assurances that they will successfully reach Greece. Once this is established the Dioscuri extend the scope of the prophecy further into the future, predicting that Helen will become a goddess and share in the Dioscuri’s libations and honors as well as revealing that Menelaus will be honored by going to the Isles of the

Blest. Nevertheless compared to some of the other DEM interventions such as Athena’s

DEM in the Ion and the IT they seem to accomplish little outside of their rescue of

Theonoe.176 In fact their intervention even lacks instructions for the heroes like most

DEM speeches.177 Yet there is more to this prophecy than it first appears as will be further explored in the prophecy chapter. But the Helen DEM is also important because like the IT it foreshadows a major change in how the DEM relates to the plot as a whole and character’s fates as we shall see in the Orestes.

176 Dunn (1996) 142 goes so far as to say that this DEM is unique in that it has all the formalized features of a DEM but serves no real practical purpose. At 139 Dunn says that the Dioscuri fail as DEM because they arrive when there is no need for them. 177 Dunn (1996). 137. 85


The situation at the end of the Orestes is nothing short of bizarre. The Furies are hounding Orestes after the death of his mother as is traditional but Orestes stands trial at

Argos instead of Athens and is sentenced to death by the Argives. Pylades comes up with a plan to save Orestes. He suggests that they kill Helen both to pay Menelaus back for not helping Orestes in his time of need and because he believes that by killing the woman who caused so many deaths at Troy Orestes will be praised and his crimes forgiven. Electra adds to the plan by suggesting that they kidnap Menelaus’ daughter

Hermione and threaten to kill her unless Menelaus agrees to help Orestes. Their plan appears to be going well when Helen suddenly disappears.

The play soon reaches an impasse: Orestes and his accomplices have Hermione on the roof with a sword to her throat as a desperate Menelaus looks on from below.

However, there is confusion about what happened to Helen, and Menelaus appears not to be backing down. Orestes is about to cut Hermione’s throat and orders Electra and

Pylades to set the palace on fire as Menelaus calls for Argive reinforcements to save his daughter. It is at this crucial juncture that Apollo arrives as DEM.

The Orestes stands apart from the other plays that I have discussed in this section as well as from Euripides’ corpus in general. This is the only extant play of Euripides where the intervention by the DEM is absolutely necessary to resolve the play without


severely altering the mythic tradition and Apollo’s appearance has a major effect on the main characters of the play. It is this play more than any other that seems to conform to the stereotype about the DEM which I stated near the beginning of my introduction: that the DEM is used when an author sees no other way to resolve a problem.

From almost the beginning of the play, the traditional path of Orestes’ myth is constantly threatened. If Orestes is put to death in Argos directly after the murder of his mother without a trial taking place at Athens this would be a huge break with the established mythic tradition at Athens.178 Although the audience likely would have expected something to happen to prevent Orestes’ death, Pylades’ plan to kill Helen and

Electra’s idea to threaten to kill Hermione only leads the play further away from the established mythic tradition. While it is true that the Orestes’ Helen is more traditional in that it is clear that she did in fact go to Troy, the idea of her being killed by Orestes in order to gain a better reputation in Argos would have been seen as bizarre at best and an impossible way to end the play at worst. One problem which threatens to conflict with the mythic tradition has potentially been solved only to create a more severe issue.

The situation quickly escalates, although Helen has mysteriously been saved from being killed by Orestes, severe threats to the mythic tradition remain.179 First, Helen’s fate is unclear, a confusion shared by both the characters and the audience and one that must be resolved in some coherent way.180 Second, Orestes is threatening to kill

178 This would most notably clash with Aeschylus’ Eumenides where Orestes famously stands trail for killing his mother. For more on this see the Orestes section of the prophecy chapter. 179 There was of course some flexibility in treatment of the myth but only within certain limits. Many scholars view the situation at the end of the Orestes prior to Apollo’s DEM intervention as being a threat to the mythic tradition. See West (1987), at line 1549-1693, pg 286-287; Dunn (1996), 170; Zeitlin (2003), 310-311; Mastronarde (2010), 192. See the Orestes section of the prophecy chapter for more detail. 180 Mastronarde (2010), 185. 87

Hermione. Though the mythic tradition is split on Hermione’s fate, she is generally married to either Neoptolemus or Orestes himself, thus making the possibility of her death conflict not only with general tradition but with Euripides’ own Andromache where she marries Neoptolemus only to run off with Orestes after Neoptolemus’ death at

Delphi. Though inconsistences between Euripidean plays do happen (such as in his

Electra and Helen where Helen is innocent and has been in Egypt in contrast to his

Orestes, Trojan Women, and Hecuba where Helen appears in the play as the traditional

Helen who went to Troy) such major contradictions typically only occur when there is an alternative mythic tradition which upholds this variation or if it is later corrected in the play.181 Yet at the end of the Orestes there seems to be little hope of a solution which would realign the play with the tradition. 182 Menelaus is calling for reinforcements presumably ensuring Hermione’s death and Orestes has ordered the palace to be set on fire thus seeming to ensure not only Hermione’s death but the deaths of Electra, Pylades and himself which would further conflict with the wider world of myth.

It is at this crucial juncture that Apollo arrives as DEM. His arrival with Helen on the crane would have been very dramatic since the play has come to such a crisis point without any sign of a resolution which would conform to the tradition. Lefkowitz, however, has argued that the audience would have expected some sort of intervention at this point. She contends, “Euripides’ Athenian audience knew that Orestes did not kill

Helen or Hermione, and that Apollo would see that in the end Apollo would save Orestes

181 See the prophecy chapter particularly the section on the Helen for more on mythic variants and the limits of mythic elasticity. 182 Dunn (1996), 170-171 discusses the problems with either solution which seems likely without an intervention. 88

from persecution by the .”183 It is important, however, to recognize that the arrival of Apollo, while it ultimately does fix things, might not have immediately have signaled that all would be well and the mythic tradition would be reestablished. As I have shown through my analysis of how the DEM interacts with the characters and plots of Euripides’ prior plays the epilogue deity often does not have any major effect on the play at all or only affects last minute changes or more minor characters.

The choice of Apollo as DEM here is relatively conventional and unsurprising.184

Apollo has been at the center of this conflict from the very beginning since it was his oracle which urged Orestes to kill his mother in the first place. He has also been referenced by the characters at many points throughout the play (Apollo is mentioned a total of 13 times in the play before he appears as DEM). The only aspect which makes

Apollo’s appearance as DEM surprising is that up to this point he had not appeared as epilogue deity elsewhere in extant Euripidean drama even in situations like in the Ion and

IT in which he would be well suited to act as DEM. His appearance here is further interesting because he appears despite a lot of criticism during the course of the play

183 Lefkowitz (2016), 119. 184 The choice of Apollo makes sense given the issues in the play, yet West (1987) alludes to an interesting other possibility in his commentary at line 1633, pg 290. While Apollo explains that he rescued Helen West notes that “such rescues were familiar from Homer. Apollo had no special concern for Helen; it is merely for dramatic economy that the poet has her rescued by him rather than by, for instance, the Dioscuri.” Though this is an off-hand comment by West it raises an interesting other possibility. The Dioscuri often show up when their sisters are involved and this play is centered on the consequences of the death of Clytemnestra and the DEM is partially motivated by the confusion surrounding Helen. It would make a certain amount of sense for the Dioscuri to swoop in and actually save their sister since they have a vested interest. Two issues, however, make them a poor choice as DEM here. First, they have already appeared in the Electra. If we see these two plays as somewhat connected (something I will explore in the prophecy chapter) then it would be awkward for the Dioscuri to have to arrive a second time to the same characters since it would imply that their original intervention was not enough. The second reason is that since the Dioscuri’s prior intervention was not sufficient a higher ranking god is needed to resolve the issues. This is especially true since this DEM has such a major effect on the plot of the play that a more authoritative god is needed to set things right. 89

which is odd since he does not appear in the Ion due to fear of blame (1557-1558). There is a great deal of criticism of Apollo in the Orestes: of all the references to Apollo prior to the DEM eight are unambiguously negative185, two are positive186 and the remaining are neutral or ambiguous.187

Both of the positive references to Apollo are spoken by Orestes thus providing a certain amount of emphasis. Early in the play when Orestes awakes to a fit of madness in his terror he turns to Apollo for defense188 saying to Electra, “δὸς τόξα μοι κερουλκά,

δῶρα Λοξίου, / οἷς μ᾿ εἷπ᾿ Ἀπόλλων ἐξαμύνασθαι θεάς, / εἴ μ᾿ ἐκφοβοῖεν μανιάσιν

λυσσήμασιν.” (268-270) “Give my horn-tipped bow to me, gift of Loxias, with which

Apollo said for me to ward off the goddess, if they should alarm me with frantic ravings.”

The second positive reference occurs when Orestes is conversing with Menelaus where

Orestes expresses hope for the future.

Ὀρέστης: ἀλλ᾿ ἔστιν ἡμῖν ἀναφορὰ τῆς συμφοράς. Μενέλαος: μὴ θάνατον εἴπῃς: τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ οὺ σοφόν. Ὀρέστης: Φοῖβος, κελεύσας μητρὸς ἐκπρᾶξαι φόνον. Μενέλαος: ἀμαθέστερός γ᾿ ὣν τοῦ καλοῦ καὶ τῆς δίκης. Ὀρέστης: δουλεύομεν θεοῖς, ὅ τι ποτ᾿ εἰσὶν οἱ θεοί. Μενέλαος: κᾇτ᾿ οὐκ ἀμύνει Λοξίας τοῖς σοῖς κακοῖς; Ὀρέστης: μέλλει: τὸ θεῖον δ᾿ ἐστι τοιοῦτον φύσει. (414-420).

Orestes: But there is a way for me to repair this misfortune. Menelaus: Don’t speak of death. For that is not wise. Orestes: Phoebus, ordered me to commit the murder of my mother.

185 Negative references are located around lines 75, 160-165, 191-192, 285-294, 325-330, 416-418; 591- 599, 953-56. 186 Positive references are located around lines 268-69, and 419-420. 187 The remaining neutral or ambiguous references are at lines 28-33 where Electra says “what need is there for me to charge Phoebus with wrong-doing?” But then goes on to say that it was Apollo who convinced Orestes to kill his mother. At line 260 Orestes cries out to Phoebus saying the Furies will kill him. At line 1389 the Phrygian says that Helen is a curse to Apollo’s tower. 188 Burnett (1971) 201-203 makes much of this scene and argues that Apollo is “tangibly present” and that he has given Orestes exactly what he needs to fend off the Furies: his bow. She argues that tragically, Orestes does not seem to understand its significance and abandons it after the first scene. 90

Menelaus: Being very ignorant of what is good and right. Orestes: We are slaves to the gods, whatever the gods are. Menelaus: Hasn’t Loxias defended you in your troubles? Orestes: He will eventually, such a thing is natural for a god.

Here, Orestes seems to show faith that Apollo has not abandoned him. The situation appears somewhat hopeless as evidenced by the fact that Menelaus believes Orestes is speaking of death when he mentions that there is a way out of his predicament. Orestes, however, corrects Menelaus and says that Apollo ordered the deed. Menelaus responds negatively to this placing blame on the god for encouraging such an act but Orestes has a more pragmatic viewpoint saying that humans must do what the gods command essentially dodging personal responsibility for the act as he does throughout the play.

Menelaus then brings up a crucial question and asks if Apollo has done anything in

Orestes’ defense as would be natural since Apollo commanded the act. Orestes replies that Apollo will act in his own time. These two references would imply that Orestes at least has faith in Apollo. He turns to Apollo for help when he is confronted by the furies189 and he expresses faith to Menelaus that Apollo will aid him since his actions were divinely mandated.

189 There is debate about whether or not the bow from Apollo that Orestes requests to help him ward off the furies is real or not. Willink (1986) discusses the debate in his commentary at lines 268-274, pg 129-130, 361. He says that most modern commentators believe the bow is a figment of Orestes’ caused by his madness and he only mimes having the bow on the stage. Willink himself takes this view. West (1987) at line 268, pg 200 agrees saying “clearly no one actually hands Orestes a bow at this point, and we must assume that it has no existence outside his imagination. The scholiast records that ‘modern actors’ use no bow, but wrongly infers from Stesichorus (PMG 17) that they should.” Nevertheless, Willink notes some dissenting opinions who believe that a real bow was used as a prop on stage. These scholars include Chapouthier (1959), Arrowsmith (1958), and Greenberg (1962). Burnett (1971) in particular believes the bow is a real given by the god and represented on the stage 201-203. Lefkowitz (2016), 116-118 takes a similar view. Either way, however, the fact that Orestes turns to a real or fictional tool given to him by Apollo shows that he has faith that the god will aid him in some way, 91

These positive references to Apollo, however, do not represent the prevailing attitude of the characters in the play towards Apollo. Mastronarde notes that Apollo “is strongly criticized, through the first quarter of the play, for ordering matricide, and there is little sign of faith in his protection.”190 Almost everyone expresses criticism of Apollo at some point or other. Electra places blame for their dire situation squarely on Apollo saying to the chorus that “ἐξέθυσ᾿ ὁ Φοῖβος ἡμᾶς / μέλεον ἀπόφονον αἷμα δοὺς /

πατροφόνου ματρός.” (191-193) “Phoebus sacrificed us when he decreed the unhappy unnatural murder of our father killing mother.” The language here is striking191 as

Electra transforms her brother and her from the slayers of their mother to the victims of a sacrifice orchestrated by Apollo. This clearly shows the resentment that Electra holds for

Apollo. Electra, however, is not alone in placing responsibility or blame for the murder on Apollo. While Orestes expresses confidence that Apollo will aid him in his conversation with Menelaus (414-420) at the same time Orestes places the responsibility for the deed with Apollo even going so far as to say that he was a slave to Apollo’s will.

This shift in responsibility is not just the case for the perpetrators of the deed but Helen says that it is right for her to speak to Electra “προσφθέγμασιν γὰρ οὐ μιαίνομαι σέθεν, /

ἐς Φοῖβον ἀναφέρουσα τὴν ἁμαρτίαν. / καίτοι στένω γε τὸν Κλυταιμήστρας μόρον, /

ἐμῆς ἀδελφῆς” (75-78). “For I do not pollute myself by addressing you, I place the blame on Apollo. Although I mourn for the fate of Clytemnestra my sister.” Despite the pain at her sister’s death Helen sees no problem conversing with her murderers since she

190 Mastronarde (2010), 192. 191 Willink (1986) also notes the language here saying of the verb ἐξέθυσ᾿ at 191, pg 116 “A remarkable word to use of Apollo.” West (1987) at line 191, pg 194 also notes the violence of the language. 92

places the blame solely on Apollo. Even the chorus joins in; as the beg the Furies to leave Orestes alone they lament for Orestes’ situation:

φεῦ μόχθων, οἵων, ὧ τάλας, ὀρεχθεὶς ἔρρεις, τρίποδος ἄπο φάτιν, ἃν ὁ Φοῖβος ἔλακε, δε- ξάμενος ἀνὰ δάπεδον, ἵνα μεσόμφαλοι λέγονται μυχοί. (327-331).

Alas, for such troubles which you, miserable one, strove after when you asked the voice from the tripod, which Phoebus proclaimed, received from the chamber floor where the hollows are called the navel of the earth.

Orestes’ encounter with the divine, rather than being seen as a fortuitous event is pinpointed as the cause of his current hopeless situation.

Although both positive references come from Orestes he is far from consistent192 about the matter. It is also significant that the first positive reference when Orestes asks for the bow that Apollo gave him happens while Orestes is not in his right mind and is desperate due to the tormenting Furies. There is evidence that Orestes’ faith in Apollo is not necessarily wholehearted. When Orestes has some respite from his affliction he says:

Λοξίᾳ δὲ μέμφομαι, ὅστις μ᾿ ἐπάρας ἔργον ἀνοσιώτατον, τοῖς μὲν λόγοις ηὔφρανε, τοῖς δ᾿ ἔργοισιν οὔ. οἷμαι δὲ πατέρα τὸν ἐμόν, εἰ κατ᾿ ὄμματα ἐξιστόρουν νιν, μητέῤ εἰ κτεῖναι χρεών, πολλὰς γενείου τοῦδ᾿ ἂν ἐκτεῖναι λιτὰς μήποτε τεκούσης ἐς σφαγὰς ὧσαι ξίφος, εἰ μήτ᾿ ἐκεῖνος ἀναλαβεῖν ἔμελλε φῶς, ἐγώ θ᾿ ὁ τλήμων τοιάδ᾿ ἐκπλήσειν κακά. (285-293).

I blame Loxias, who persuaded me to do an unholy deed with his words, but not his actions. I know that my father, if I asked him standing before his eyes if it were necessary for me to kill my mother, strongly by his beard, he would have

192 Willink (1986) notes this inconsistency in argument at line 591-599, pg 180 saying “Naturally his defense is inconsistent, as he exploits every possible argument (short of denying the μίασμα, which his σύνεσις forbids.” 93

stretched out strong entreaties swearing by his beard not ever to thrust a sword towards the slaughter of the one who bore me, since that man was not destined to gain back his life, and I miserable, would accomplish such evils.

This clearly indicates that Orestes blames Apollo for his deeds and has come to believe that the god’s commands were wrong.193 Although Orestes switches to a more positive view of Apollo while speaking to Menelaus saying he believes that Apollo will eventually help (414-420), later in the conversation after Tyndareus argues against helping Orestes, Orestes again places the responsibility for the deed on Apollo but also raises some interesting questions about the consequences if Apollo does not act on his behalf.

ὁρᾷς δ᾿ Ἀπόλλων᾿, ὃς μεσομφάλους ἕδρας ναίων βροτοῖσι στόμα νέμει σαφέστατον, ᾧ πειθόμεσθα πάνθ᾿ ὅσ᾿ ἂν κεῖνος λέγῃ: τούτῳ πιθόμενος τὴν τεκοῦσαν ἔκτανον. ἐκεῖνος ἡγεῖσθ᾿ ἀνόσιον καὶ κτείνετε: ἐκεῖνος ἥμαρτ᾿, οὐκ ἐγώ. τί χρῆν με δρᾶν; ἢ οὐκ ἀξιόχρεως ὁ θεὸς ἀναφέροντί μοι μίασμα λῦσαι; ποῖ τις οὗν ἔτ᾿ ἂν φύγοι, εἰ μὴ ὁ κελεύσας ῥύσεταί με μὴ θανεῖν; (591-599).

You see Apollo, who dwelling at the navel of the earth dispenses most clear words to mortals, to which we obey everything that he says: trusting in him I killed the one who bore me. Believe that he is unholy and kill him: he made a mistake not me. What is it necessary for me to do? Or is the god not able to annul the pollution for the one carrying it? Where then should someone flee in the future, if the one who ordered the deed will not protect me from death?

Although Orestes casts his lot with Apollo maintaining his defense that he was acting in accordance with Apollo’s will he is rather bold saying that Apollo made a mistake and

193 Orestes’ assertion that his father would have advised against killing his mother is all the more striking and significant because as West (1987) points out at lines 288-293, pg 201 this argument goes against the tradition established in Aeschylus and followed by both Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electra that Agamemnon would either persecute Orestes for not avenging him or at the least would support Clytemnestra’s murder. 94

not himself. Orestes also questions why he is still being persecuted for his deed since

Apollo as a god should be able to erase this pollution. Then, Orestes raises a rather disturbing question about whether or not the gods will actually aid mortals and what the consequences of divine inaction might be. By pointing out possible consequences for human belief in the gods if Apollo continues to fail to act Orestes almost dares Apollo to intervene. Finally, while Orestes does have positive things to say about Apollo these statements are few and are said either while he is being tormented by Furies or while he is trying to convince Menelaus to help him in which case it is in Orestes’ best interest to present his side as being supported by the gods.

Whether positively or negatively, Apollo is mentioned more often than any other god and so it may seem that his arrival as DEM is not surprising. As we have seen in prior plays, however, Apollo often fails to appear in plays in which he is expected. It is also strange that Apollo refuses to appear in the Ion because he is afraid of being blamed, but appears without issue here in the Orestes where it is clear that many of the characters do blame him for the situation. Moreover, the characters in both the Ion and the IT seem to be less critical of Apollo than they are in the Orestes and thus perhaps more confident that he might appear. Other than in Orestes’s statement to Menelaus which I believe should be taken with a grain of salt, Orestes and the rest of the characters seem to have despaired of help from Apollo and seem convinced that they are on their own. Even

Lefkowitz admits that “in all but the last few minutes of Euripides’ Orestes there is no indication that the god is playing any active role in what happens onstage.”194 Rather

194 Lefkowitz (2016), 109. 95

than the references to Apollo conditioning the audience to believe that Apollo will appear, based on his refusal to appear in a prior play due to fear of blame it would seem that the characters’ negative views of Apollo would condition the audience to believe the opposite, that Apollo would not actually intervene, thus making the tension at the end of the play even more severe. Apollo’s aloofness may not be unique to his portrayals in

Euripides,195 Lefkowitz comments, “Minimalist interventions are characteristic of this god, who prefers not to spend more time in the world of mortals than suits his immediate pleasure”196 citing instances of Apollo’s rather minimal intervention in other works such as his rather impersonal defense of Orestes in Aeschylus’ Eumenides, his dismissive attitude towards humans in the Iliad, as well as only influencing events indirectly via his oracle in Sophocles’ Electra and Rex.197

Nevertheless, Apollo does appear and for the first time in an extant Euripidean

DEM the epiphany deity has a major effect on the characters of the play and a huge role in resolving the plot. He appears at the breaking point and stops the action in the nick of time before mythic tradition is completely broken and molds the myth back into its traditional shape. Apollo first resolves the issue of what has happened to Helen explaining that she has been saved since she is the daughter of Zeus and therefore cannot die. Helen will go on to be reunited with Castor and Polydeuces and Menelaus will have to find a different wife. It is furthered explained that Helen’s entire purpose was to cause strife to start the war at Troy and thus cause the death of many mortals to unburden the

195 It is also possible that Euripides in particular casts Apollo in a negative light due to the tensions between Athens and Delphi in the Peloponnesian War. 196 Lefkowitz (2016), 123. 197 Lefkowitz (2016, 123-125. 96

earth. This revelation works to make the entire pointless and the deaths incurred even more needless.

With the issue of Helen resolved, Apollo orders Orestes and Menelaus back into their traditional mythological roles. After a short delay, Orestes will resume his typical path and go to Athens where he will stand trial for his mother’s murder against the Furies and he will be victorious. Apollo next turns toward Hermione’s fate accounting for both of her traditional mythological paths by ordering Orestes to marry her but still acknowledging the other tradition which has her marry Neoptolemus by saying that while

Neoptolemus thinks he will marry her he will not and goes on to explain that he will be killed at Delphi. Apollo then echoes the command of the Dioscuri in the Electra ordering

Orestes to have Pylades and Electra marry. Menelaus is ordered back to and must leave rule of Argos to Orestes whom Apollo will reconcile with the Argives. Orestes and

Menelaus who just before were on the point of killing one another over their quarrel agree to these terms without complaint and with the traditional myths for these characters reestablished the play ends.

The Orestes is no doubt unique amongst Euripidean DEM. In no other extant

Euripidean play does a god take such drastic action which affects the plot and characters in such a profound way. This is not, however, due to laziness on the part of Euripides and an inability to come up with any other solution once he had written his play as some of his ancient critics suggest.198 One possibility is that Euripides purposely derailed the

198 Antiphanes fragment 189.13-16 PCG. Willink (1986), at lines 1625-1690, pg 350-351 rejects the idea Apollo untying a knot as well as the idea of Euripides being pigeonholed into this ending. He says, “As in Sophocles’ Philoctetes…the human impasse has just been resolved in the ‘wrong’ way, and the deus arrives (in the nick of time) to cancel ‘what must not be’; also, paradoxically, to bring to pass the 97

myth so severely in order to explore the possibilities of what a god could accomplish if their actions were not restrained by a need not to alter the mythic tradition in a major way. Although there is much more to discuss concerning the Orestes and its relationship with the wider world of myth as well as its relationship to the rest of Euripides’ DEM corpus further discussion must be delayed until the section on the Orestes in the prophecy chapter.

aesthetically (if not morally) satisfying conclusion for which the entire earlier part of the play has been devised as a preparation.” He does not however speculate on why Euripides choses to do this. 98


The DEM in the Bacchae is problematic for a variety of reasons. The first and most obvious problem is the two lacunae at the end of the play after line 1300 and line

1329. Secondly, the DEM here is rather unconventional in that the epilogue deity has technically been present (though disguised) throughout the entire play, a situation which is unique amongst extant DEM plays.199 Nevertheless, it is generally recognized as a

DEM along with the other agreed upon instances.

The context in which Dionysus arrives as DEM is complicated by the text’s incomplete state but it is still possible to discuss the situation prior to his arrival and to make a judgment about whether or not this intervention is necessary for the plot. The exact moment of Dionysus’ arrival is lost in the lacuna after 1329 but the basic context of the situation prior to his arrival is relatively clear. has just come down the mountain after killing Pentheus, still in a Bacchic frenzy and not knowing what she has done. She believes she has killed a lion and in fact has Pentheus’ head mounted on her . Meanwhile Cadmus is also arriving back at Thebes after attempting to collect the scattered body parts of Pentheus.

199 Seaford (2005), 28-31 contends that Euripides’ Bacchae was similar to many other plays about Dionysus that are no longer extant. It is possible that some of these plays could have had Dionysus appear on stage both in the course of the play as well as in the role of DEM. 99

Agave at first glories in her kill bragging about it to Cadmus and is surprised at his negative reaction to her believed success. Cadmus gets her to come back to herself and to realize what she has done. She asks many questions about the circumstances of

Pentheus’ death and learns that she and her sisters killed him on mount Cithaeron where

Pentheus had gone to spy on the Bacchae. Agave finally understands that Dionysus has caused this and Cadmus explains that Dionysus acted out of revenge for Agave and her sisters’ disbelief in his divine status. A brief lacuna occurs in which Agave and Cadmus likely try to piece back together Pentheus’ body.200 The text briefly resumes with Agave asking what Pentheus had to do with her own mistakes. Cadmus explains that neither she nor Pentheus revered Dionysus, and thus Dionysus punished them both as well as their entire house including Cadmus. Cadmus laments for Pentheus and even the rather unsympathetic Bacchic chorus feels pity for Cadmus since while Pentheus deserved his punishment the rather innocent Cadmus is hurt as well. Agave begins to say her situation has changed at which point the text breaks off. The text begins again in the middle of

Dionysus’ speech.

As with so many other DEM scenes in Euripides’ corpus the intervention by

Dionysus is not necessary for the play to resolve.201 The main action of the tragedy has

200 Dodds (1960) at line 1300 discusses the break in the text here as well as some of the conjectures about what transpired in the missing lines including a compositio membrorum by Agave, 232. Also see Segal (1999), 275-278. 201 Kirk (1970) at lines 1329 discusses the purpose of the DEM here and in Euripides in general. He rejects the idea that it is necessary for plot resolution saying, “This was not, of course, due to dramaturgical inadequacy, an inability to resolve the action in any other way, but rather to the fact that the underlying myth usually did give the ultimate decision to a god, and Euripides was curiously faithful to certain aspects of the myth. Of course he developed the device for his own special purposes, and particularly, in plays like Hippolytus or Ion, to give additional complexity to the ambiguous role of the god or goddess; so too with Dionysus here”, pg 134. 100

already taken place and none of Dionysus’ DEM actions affect the basic facts that Agave in a Bacchic frenzy killed her own son and that she and Cadmus will mourn this event.

Although Dionysus does expand the scope of the play into the future by relating a somewhat bizarre prophecy concerning Cadmus and this is not all that different than other prophecies in DEM scenes which I have discussed up above. These predictions are also strange202 and rather disconnected from the action of the play so despite the fact that Cadmus and Agave’s exile is caused by the play’s events, these prophecies are in no way necessary to give the play proper closure especially since as

Seaford points out, Cadmus foresees the exile that Dionysus announces before Dionysus’ appearance as DEM.203

The Bacchae stands out from other late DEM plays by Euripides since the ending is not a “happy” one as in the Ion, Helen, IT, and Orestes. The ending of the Bacchae with its focus on a major character death seems more in line with the earlier DEM plays of Euripides such as the Hippolytus which also ends with the death of a main character, the surviving characters’ laments, and then with a DEM appearance which is motivated by the death.204 Segal points out that lament is a common way to close a tragedy and

202 Dodds (1960) comments at lines 1330-1339 at the strangeness of the prophecy saying “This bizarre prediction has puzzled mythologists no less than it startles the common reader. The story bears the traces of having been put together at a relatively late date out of heterogeneous older elements. None of these (apart from the marriage to Harmonia) appears in extant literature before the fifth century”, 235. He later remarks in the same note that Pindar (Ol. 2.78) knew of Cadmus and Harmonia going to the Isle of the Blest. Seaford (2001) points out at lines 1333-1338 pg 254 that an oracle about the temple at Delphi being sacked is mentioned in Herodotus (9.42-3) and he takes it to refer to the Illyrians and the army of the Encheleis. He then mentions that Herodotus says at (5.61) that the Kadmeians were expelled by the Argives and sought refuge with the Encheleis who were often associated with Illyria and suggests that this might be where Euripides gets this part of the prophecy. 203 Seaford (2001) at line 313, pg 252. 204 As I have shown above, the early DEM plays often end with a deus that comes to help deal with the aftermath of a death. This occurs in Hippolytus, Andromache, Suppliants, and Electra. However, in Andromache Neoptolemus never actually appears on stage making his death less vivid. In Suppliants there 101

occurs in many of Euripides’ plays both plays containing a DEM such as the Hippolytus,

Andromache, and Suppliants, as well as in plays without a DEM such as the Trojan

Women, Phoenissae, and Medea and thus it is a fitting way to close the Bacchae.205 The death of Pentheus and accompanying mourning is also reminiscent of many Sophoclean plays206 which also tend to end with character deaths such as in Antigone but which do not make use of the DEM as a closing device. As I said above about the Hippolytus, there is nothing in the Bacchae that would prevent the play from ending without a DEM intervention. The Bacchae could easily end like the Antigone and other similar plays, with the survivors lamenting their mistakes and mourning the dead, yet Euripides’ choses to have a god appear.

Part of the reason for this is that the Bacchae is different from Sophoclean plays which end with a character death or Euripidean DEM plays which end with a god coming down to console the survivors or to otherwise help the community deal with the death. In the Bacchae, Dionysus has been a character taking part in the action the entire time. This means that Dionysus is far more involved than gods either in Sophocles who typically remain distant or even in Euripidean DEM plays where the deity only shows up at the end of the play and only very rarely interferes with the action.

Dionysus’ DEM appearance in the Bacchae differs from other DEM appearances where the god comes in reaction to a death for the simple reason that it is Dionysus

is a vivid death, but the character who dies, Evadne, is minor and only appears in her death scene. The situation in Electra is more complex since the only characters left at the end of the play took part in the murder and though they regret it there is no heart wrenching mourning that occurs in plays like Hippolytus, Antigone, Ajax, , etc. 205 Segal (1999), 274. 206 Michelini (1987) 278-279 also discusses similarities between Hippolytus and to a lesser extent Bacchae and Sophocles’ work. 102

himself who actively caused Pentheus’ death. In typical DEM interventions that are motivated by a death such as in the Hippolytus and the Andromache a major part of the deus’ function is to provide consolation to the survivors. This, however, cannot be the case in the Bacchae since Dionysus caused Pentheus’ death. The Hippolytus stands as the Bacchae’s closest parallel since there too the main character’s downfall is brought about by a deity. Aphrodite, however, takes a more indirect role in Hippolytus’ death than Dionysus does in Pentheus’ death. In addition, it is not the vengeful Aphrodite who appears ex machina at the end of the Hippolytus to revel in the death (as Dionysus seems to have done in the Bacchae) but rather the sympathetic Artemis comes down to give comfort to Hippolytus and Theseus. Not only does Dionysus fail to provide comfort to

Agave and Cadmus for their loss but Dionysus also causes the survivors more pain by forcing them into exile, even Cadmus who had worshipped Dionysus.

Dionysus’ epiphany is unique because unlike other epilogue deities he places the blame for the tragedy entirely on the mortals and their refusal to recognize his divinity.

While Artemis in the Hippolytus also ascribes blame to Theseus for the disaster (1286-

1295), Theseus is much more directly involved in his son’s death since he called down a curse on him. Even in that case where Theseus is partially to blame for Hippolytus’ death Artemis does eventually console Theseus saying that it was not entirely his fault but that the whole thing was orchestrated by Aphrodite (1326-1329). Dionysus, however, consistently places responsibility for Pentheus’ death on the mortals. After his prophecy concerning Cadmus and Harmonia Dionysus wraps up his speech saying, ταῦτ᾿ οὐχι

θνητοῦ πατρὸς ἐκγεγὼς λέγω / Διόνυσος, ἀλλὰ Ζηνός: εἰ δὲ σωφρονεῖν / ἔγνωθ᾿, ὅτ᾿ οὐκ


ἠθέλετε, τὸν Διὸς γόνον / εὐδαιμονεῖτ᾿ ἂν σύμμαχον κεκτημένοι (1340-1343). “I,

Dionysus, say these things not being born from a mortal father, but from Zeus. If you knew to be temperate when you did not want to be, then you would be happy and would have gained the son of Zeus as your ally.” Dionysus here implies that if they had accepted his worship then they would have benefitted rather than being punished.

There is also a bit of a difference in the blame that should accrue to the mortals in each of these situations. In Hippolytus both Theseus and Hippolytus really are somewhat at fault: Hippolytus for neglecting to worship Aphrodite as he should and Theseus for failing to more thoroughly investigate what had happened and for using a gift from his father as a weapon against his son rather than an enemy (1315-1324). In the Bacchae, the situation is a bit different. While Agave and her sisters did reject Dionysus, their punishment was being driven mad by the god (32-34). Pentheus is also at fault for actively trying to prevent Dionysus’ worship but it is also clear that Dionysus cunningly leads him into a trap from which there is no escape. Yet, while brutal, the punishment of

Agave and Pentheus makes a certain amount of sense. Cadmus and Harmonia, however, appear blameless.207 Cadmus and early on in the play accept Dionysus and do their best to get Pentheus to allow his worship.208 Cadmus is missing throughout most of the play precisely because he is worshipping Dionysus in the mountains. Yet most of the

207 For more discussion about issues of divine justice in this play see Taxidou (2012) especially 5-9. 208 Dodds (1960) suggests at lines 1344-1351 that Dionysus perhaps punishes Cadmus since Cadmus at lines 333-336 had “equivocal motives” or “conformism” and therefore was not actually a true believer. Nevertheless, it should be noted that for the Greeks orthodoxy (or correct belief) was not as important as orthopraxy (correct practice) and thus as long as Cadmus performed the correct rituals for Dionysus and gave him his due worship the sincere or pragmatic nature of his belief would not be a major issue. Dodds himself seems to reject a problem with Cadmus’ beliefs as the reason for his punishment concluding that “the underlying implication is perhaps rather that when great natural forces are outraged we can expect no nice adjustment of the punishment to the magnitude of the individual offense.” 104

DEM that remains is centered on the punishment of Cadmus and the heretofore absent


The violence of the revenge especially considering the relative innocence of

Cadmus is not lost on the characters of the play. Immediately after his speech Cadmus and Dionysus enter into a dialogue. Rather than the usual acceptance of what the god has said, this back and forth is more contentious.

Κάδμος: Διόνυσε, λισσόμεσθά σ᾿, ἠδικήκαμεν. Διόνυσος: ὄψ᾿ ἐμάθεθ᾿ ἡμᾶς, ὅτε δὲ χρῆν, οὐκ ᾔδετε. Κάδμος: ἐγνώκαμεν ταῦτ᾿: ἀλλ᾿ ἐπεξέρχῃ λίαν. Διόνυσος: καὶ γὰρ πρὸς ὑμῶν θεὸς γεγὼς ὑβριζόμην. Κάδμος: ὀργὰς πρέπει θεοὺς οὐχ ὁμοιοῦσθαι βροτοῖς. Διόνυσος: πάλαι τάδε Ζεὺς οὑμὸς ἐπένευσεν πατὴρ. (1344-1349)

Cadmus: Dionysus, we beseech you, we have done wrong. Dionysus: You have learned, late, when it was necessary you did not know it. Cadmus: We have learned these things: but you punish too much. Dionysus: For I born a god was outraged by you. Cadmus: It is not fitting for gods to be like mortals in their anger. Dionysus: Zeus my father approved these things long ago.

Cadmus stops short of questioning Dionysus the way that the chorus, Orestes, and Electra question the Dioscuri in the Electra, the only other back and forth that is somewhat critical. Part of what made the questioning of the Dioscuri work, however, was both the familial relationship between the gods and those they were addressing as well as the sympathy the Dioscuri had for the mortals and the fact that they placed the blame on

Apollo. Here, while there is still a familial relationship to work from, Dionysus is much more hostile to those he addresses209 than the any of the epiphany deities in the other

209 Segal (1999), 286 speculates that the tone of Dionysus’ missing address to Agave was likely particularly harsh. It is clear that her punishment is exile but Segal posits that Dionysus may have named her pollution as the reason for his exile, which is all the more unfair since it was a pollution Dionysus himself caused. 105

DEM plays. The pity exhibited by the Dioscuri for the plight of mortals (ἔνι γὰρ κἀμοὶ

τοῖς τ᾿ οὐρανίδαις / οἷκτοι θνητῶν πολυμόχθων. (1329-1330) “for us and amongst those in the heavens there is pity for much suffering mortals”) or the sympathy over a shared loss shown by Aphrodite (μάλιστα μέν νυν σοὶ τάδ᾿ ἔρρωγεν κακά, / λύπη δὲ κἀμοί: τοὺς

γὰρ εὐσεβεῖς θεοὶ / θνῄσκοντας οὐ χαίρουσι: τούς γε μὴν κακοὺς / αὐτοῖς τέκνοισι καὶ

δόμοις ἐξόλλυμεν. (1338-1341) “Now these evils break upon you most of all but I also grieve; for the gods do not rejoice when those who are reverent die. But the wicked we completely destroy them, their children and their house”) are completely missing in this exchange.

The uniqueness of this play makes the choice of DEM deity a moot point. Since unlike the other DEM plays of Euripides a god is present throughout the play it only makes sense that if a DEM were to happen at all the deity to give it must be Dionysus.

Having the same god give the prologue and epilogue speech only happens in the Bacchae but Dionysus’ constant presence throughout the play makes the idea of a different god coming down for the last speech seem strange. There is no conflict between divine forces as in the Hippolytus (the Bacchae’s closest parallel) so there is no logical other choice of deity to balance Dionysus’ point of view. The entire play has been centered on Dionysus and his divine status. If a different deity were to come ex machina this would seem random and could also undermine Dionysus’ divinity. The best way to make his divinity clear to those who questioned it is for him to appear ex machina at the end of the play.210

Although Athena often substitutes herself for other expected deities such as Apollo in the

210 Seaford (2001) at lines 1329-30, pg 252 recognizes this saying that Dionysus’ appearance on the crane in the traditional DEM positon would emphasize his divine status. 106

Ion or Apollo or Artemis in the IT, an appearance by Athena here would likely undermine

Dionysus’ status (as I have argued her appearance in those plays has undermined

Apollo’s status and made Artemis’ nature more problematic). For a play centered on the question of a god’s divinity this would be almost unthinkable.

The appearance of Dionysus at the end of the play is both desirable and religiously problematic. By appearing as DEM Dionysus is able to confront those who doubted him directly and establish his without a shadow of a doubt. It also allows Dionysus to justify his actions to the mortals on the stage and give some answers

(this was Zeus’ will) to Cadmus and Agave. Although this answer is perhaps unsatisfying, it is in line with other DEM explanations for suffering. Dionysus demonstrates the importance of his worship in much the same way Aphrodite does when she takes revenge on Hippolytus for ignoring her rites.211 In the Hippolytus, however, the play closes with the sympathetic Artemis who sets up a cult in Hippolytus’ and Phaedra’s memory as well as promising revenge for Hippolytus’ death, and comforting Theseus and

Hippolytus by facilitating a reconciliation between the two before Hippolytus’ death.

Dionysus (so far as we know) does not set up a cult to commemorate Pentheus’ death

(nor would it makes sense for him to do so) and does not comfort the survivors in any way.

Without a to balance against, Dionysus’ appearance is far less comforting than that of Artemis in the Hippolytus or other intervening deities.212 Unlike the other

211 Dodds (1960) at lines 1296-1298, pg 232 also notes the similarities between Dionysus’ and Aphrodite’s justification for their actions. 212 Dodds (1960) in his section on the exodos (1165-end), pg 222 divides the end of the play into five sections and then concludes, “The whole is evidently designed to produce a revulsion of sympathy from the 107

extant DEM epiphanies Dionysus’ appearance in the Bacchae does not bring a sense of reassurance nor as Seaford notes of the DEM appearance of Heracles in Sophocles’

Philoctetes a “brilliance of absolutes and the strength of direct heroic speech into the dark, tangled maze of human misconception, likes and intrigue.” Segal contrasts these two DEM scenes saying, “The Bacchae’s deus ex machina can produce no such effect, for the god of this play is himself the central problem in the question of the truth-value of myth and dramatic .”213 Instead of a clear sense that everything has happened in accordance with divine will, instead the Bacchae leaves the impression of a conflict of interest as Dionysus attacks his family for a personal slight using divine power to do so, thus mixing the roles of a character acting to achieve his own ends and a god implementing the divine will of Zeus. Dionysus’ establishes himself as a god but a rather cold and vengeful one and vividly demonstrates the terrible consequences of ignoring a divinity.214 This is not to say that this would be especially problematic for Greek religion; every god had their dark and light side. Nevertheless, Dionysus’ epiphany is far darker than the other DEM appearances in Euripides.

god who is so terribly avenged to the human victims of his vengeance.” Seaford (2001) at lines 1165-1392 pg 242 disagrees with Dodds’ assessment here and says that “The audience may have been more impressed by the need to honor Dionysus.” 213 Segal (1982), 275. 214 Segal (1999) describes the end of this play as follows: “The finale leaves us with the shocked and reduced victims cowering before a punitive and vengeful god. This ending, while it magnifies Dionysus’ power, also raises the underlying questions about this nature implicit in these resistance myths, of which the Bacchae is our most powerful extant example” 291. 108


The Medea is controversial not only for Medea’s shocking deeds but also for her departure at the end via the crane. In many ways Medea fits the criteria for a DEM: the intervention happens at the end of the play, the crane is certainly used, and she gives a speech to which contains many DEM elements such as a cult aition concerning the burial of her children as well as a prophecy concerning Jason’s death.215 One factor that would make Medea a strange DEM is the fact that Medea is a major character throughout the play and has a major effect on the action of the play. Nevertheless, as I have shown above with Dionysus’ involvement in the events of the Bacchae, Medea’s involvement in the body of the play alone does not disqualify her as a DEM.

There is, however, one necessary feature of an epilogue deity that Medea lacks: she is not yet a goddess at this point in her story.216 It must be admitted that she does have divine connections. She is the granddaughter of , a point that is stressed in the play at several points. 217 She is also a devotee of the goddess Hecate218 as well as a

215 Mossman (2011) at lines 1293-1419 pg 353 also notes these features: “she is at the right height, on the above the stage, and she says the right sort of thing: she gives orders, she refers to the powers other gods have given her, and she provides the aition for a religious cult in honour of her children.” 216 Mossman (2011) at lines 1293-1419, pg 353-354 notes that despite the ending which may seem to assimilate Medea to a goddess via her assent on the mechene “she is not constructed as one elsewhere in the play, whatever may have been the case in earlier .” 217 Helios is mentioned at lines: 406, 746-747, 752, 764, 953-955, 1321-1322. The children’s connection to divine blood via Medea and her grandfather is mentioned at lines 1255-1257. 218 Medea’s connection with is mentioned at lines: 395-398. 109

witch talented in magical spells and potions as her deeds prior to the play219 as well as her successful poisoning of Jason’s wife and Creon demonstrates. The wider context of

Medea’s story also may lend itself to interpreting Medea as divine. She is seen as divine in Hesiod’s (992-1002).220 In fact some scholars believe that Medea was worshipped as a goddess in her own right before being assimilated with Hera.221

Nevertheless, though there is some early evidence of Medea’s divine status, her role in myth seems to have been that of a powerful mortal. As Graf notes, “in our extant (as opposed to possible earlier narrations) she neither is a goddess nor performs initiations; rather, she seems to be a human albeit powerful helper. Once her myths had been inserted into the polytheistic system, Panhellenic cult goddesses (namely

Hera and Aphrodite) took over her former initiatory roles.”222 Thus despite some early evidence for a divine Medea in Hesiod, in the world of mythology Medea soon changes from a goddess to a heroine, with her former powers associated with more powerful goddesses. This suggests strongly that by the time of Euripides a story involving Medea would cast her as a mortal rather than a goddess.

The differences between this interaction and a more traditional DEM make the

Medea difficult to analyze when compared to the other DEM endings. Nevertheless, it is still possible to determine whether or not the scene is strictly necessary for the plot as

219 Medea’s role in aiding Jason in the trials her father set before him are mentioned at lines 476-482. Medea’s role in killing her brother is alluded to at lines 166-167, 257-258, 502-503, 1334-1335 and her role in ’ murder at lines 9-10, 486-487, 504-505. Though these references are non-specific these were relatively famous tales that often involved Medea using magic. Her magic is mentioned in general terms at lines 285-286, 401-403. 220 Graf (1997) bases Medea’s divine nature off of her placement in Hesiod’s amongst “goddesses and mortal men that produced mortal children” 31. Also see Krevans (1997) 75-76. 221 See Graf (1997) 40-41, Johnston (1997) 46. 222 Graf (1997), 41. 110

well as the choice of “deity” and function. First, the context: prior to Medea’s famous departure, Medea kills Jason’s new bride and her father Creon with a poisoned dress and diadem which she has her own children offer as a supposed reconciliation token. Killing

Jason’s bride and father-in-law, however, is not enough to punish Jason. Rather than punish him directly by killing him as she says that she will do earlier in the play (375)

Medea instead decides that the best way to make Jason suffer is to kill their children.

Medea takes them inside and kills them before Jason’s arrival at the scene. Upon learning of the children’s deaths Jason demands to be let inside the house to see the children’s corpses and to punish Medea. It is at this point that Medea arrives above the skene on the crane which is decorated as a winged chariot and precedes to mock Jason.

It is difficult to see how the Medea could have retained its innovative ending without her accent via dragon chariot or some sort of divine intervention.223 Euripides’

Medea was daring in its execution well before her arrival on the crane since Euripides is our first extant source to have Medea kill her own children.224 In most versions of the

Medea story previous to Euripides the children were killed by the women of Corinth. If

Euripides had stuck with a more traditional version of Medea’s story it would be quite easy for the play to resolve without any sort of intervention. Yet by having Medea kill her children Euripides created a situation that became more difficult to resolve, at least

223 It should be noted that it would have been possible for Medea to make the same exit but with it merely reported rather than acted out on the stage similarly to how the ending is done in Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis. 224 There is much scholarly debate on whether or not having Medea deliberately kill her children was an innovation of Euripides’ or some other earlier author who is no longer extant. For more on this debate see Mastronarde (2002) 50-53. See Graf (1997) 34-36 for discussion of different versions of Medea at Corinth. See Johnston (1997) 44 -67 for the view that Medea the was not the work of any single author but rather this aspect “evolved out of one variant of the original myth,” 66. For discussion of Neophron’s Medea as a possible precedent for Euripides see Mastronarde (2002) 57-64, Mossman (2011) 23-28. 111

without having Medea captured at the end of the play.225 Nevertheless, deaths occur in tragedy quite often and it would have been feasible for Medea to confront Jason on the stage or even on the top of the skene without use of the crane. An escape for Medea without the chariot would be more difficult but it would be possible with help from another character such as who had promised to aid Medea earlier in the play. But

Aegeus had only promised to help Medea when she reached Athens and having the

Athenian king Aegeus help Medea escape after murdering her children would be problematic; it is one thing for a king to accept or pardon someone with blood guilt once they are already in exile, it is quite another to help them escape punishment before they have left the scene of the crime.

Although a DEM is not strictly necessary for the Medea the easiest alternative to

Medea arriving on the crane would be for a god to come down to resolve things. In fact the situation presented here in the Medea is most similar to that in the Orestes. Dunn and

Zeitlin226 in particular have seen the ending of the Orestes as a replay of sorts of the

Medea. Though unlike in the Medea, Orestes’ hostages are not dead (Helen having disappeared, and Hermione still being alive although threatened) both Jason and

Menelaus ask for their loved ones bodies and are refused. Moreover, Orestes occupies the same space as Medea lending to the impression by Dunn that “the systematic parallels clearly portray the entrance of Orestes as a version of the demonic deus ex machina.”227

225 Mastronarde (2002) at lines 1293-1419, pg 372 says the audience would have expected to see the bodies of the boys on the ekkyklema but would have been uncertain of how Medea would have escaped to Athens. Her arrival on the crane would have been “a major theatrical surprise”. 226 Zeitlin (2003), 325-326. 227 Dunn (1996), 159-160. 112

Yet Orestes, unlike Medea, lacks any divine powers and his position is usurped by

Apollo’s true DEM arrival.228 There are parallels apart from surface similarities as well.

By choosing to depart from tradition (as Euripides did both in the Orestes and in the

Medea) Euripides creates a situation that can only be resolved by a drastic action.

Usually if there is an impasse a third party must solve it, but by making use of Medea’s divine connections and otherworldly powers Euripides creates a surprising shift in power that places Medea in the superior position. Nevertheless, there are alternatives to giving

Medea such a powerful position and there are deities who would be well suited to resolve the situation.

Themis or the Furies would be the most logical choices since they are mentioned at various times throughout the play both in conjunction with Jason’s broken oaths to

Medea as well as being alluded to by Jason as possibly punishing Medea for her actions.

Themis is mentioned several times229 and would be a good choice of goddess to settle the dispute between Medea and Jason since she is personification of law and custom and also has strong associations with justice and moral behavior including oath breaking.230 The

Furies would also be an appropriate deity to intervene. They are mentioned throughout the play and the dispute is well within their purview.231 The Furies are most famously associated with avenging kin-killing, something Medea is very experienced in since she killed her brother as well as her children. Yet Medea believes that the gods will punish

228Mastronarde (2010), 186. 229 References to Themis: 160-163, 168-170, 208-209. 230 Mastronarde, (2002), at line 160 pg 197. 231 References to the Furies: 1059-1061, 1258-1260, 1389-1390. Fletcher (2011), 183. 113

Jason for his oath breaking232 and one of the most logical deities to do this would be the

Furies. This leads to a conflict that would be difficult to resolve and would force the

Furies either to privilege one of their functions over another, or for them to punish both parties for their various offenses. There is a heightened awareness of the Furies and general gods of vengeance throughout the play233 and Jason goes so far as to say that an avenging god has punished him instead of Medea for her crimes (1333-1335). 234 The matter is further confused by the chorus who call Medea a Fury due to her obsession with revenge (1258-1260).235 If Themis or the Furies were to come down they would have to endorse either Jason or Medea or possibly punish both of them for their actions. This would mean that Euripides would have to have the gods take a stand on who was right.

Another option would be for Euripides to choose a god that was relatively well disposed to Medea and thus had an interest in the action such as Hecate or Helios who would both likely act in her favor. Mastronarde points out that Helios in particular would have a “twofold interest, as Medea’s progenitor and as a witness of human action in general and of adherence to or violation of oaths in particular.”236 He goes on to note that the frequent references to Helios (though not brought to fruition via a DEM by the deity as sometimes happens in other plays) perhaps helps to foreground Medea’s use of his

232 Medea implies divine punishment for Jason at lines: 492-495, 1372, 1391-1392. 233 References to the “gods” that are connected in some way with oaths or vengeance: 20-23, 412-413, 492- 495, 1268-1270, 1333-1335, 1370-1373, 1391-1392, 1408-1412. 234 Page (1938) at line 1333 pg 175, clarifies Jason’s line saying that “the avenger who should have punished you for your sins (fratricide, treason), has in fact been sent against me.” For the distinction between an and an Erinys see Elliott (1969) at line 1333, pg 99. For more discussion of alastores see Mossman (2011), at line 1059, pg 326. 235 For more on Medea as a Fury as well as other instances of tragic figures being referred to as an Erinys see Mossman (2011), at line 1260, pg 349-350. 236 Mastronarde (2002), 32. 114

chariot at the end. 237 Nevertheless the use of an implement associated with the sun may have made this all the more disturbing to the audience. Elliott argues: “In Greek thought, the sun is the source of light and purity, and the polluted ought either not to look on it, or to find it unbearable to do so….Here there is a clear break with convention: the sun was the source of the murderous gifts and of Medea’s means of escape from vengeance.” 238

Thus perhaps it is understandable that Helios does not appear as DEM and instead only gives indirect aid. Indeed, given the violence of Medea’s actions toward her own children perhaps any direct intervention by a god (especially an action that favored

Medea) would be difficult to justify.

Yet, part of what makes the Medea such a haunting play is the fact that the gods do not intervene or give an answer as to who was in the right or mete out punishments to anyone. This leaves the play in a state of ethical uncertainty and perhaps uneasiness concerning the lack of divine action or opinion, implying that people may do horrible things without any divine consequences. Without a specific divine point of view at the end of the play, Medea’s escape using a divine implement suggests a tacit agreement with her actions on the part of the gods or perhaps an indifference.239 While this is certainly unsettling as Mastronarde says, “the action of the gods is not entirely predictable to mortals or fully ethical by mortal standards…The final impression of this drama is morally disquieting, but this is not the result of a godless world.”240

237 Mastronarde (2002) also notes that the end is “a surprise to the audience and seems a spontaneous intervention, since there is no report of any prayer or request for this aid”, 32. 238 Elliott (1969) at lines 1321-1327, pg 99. 239 Mastronarde (2002) suggests that the gods’ tacit cooperation with Medea’s plot may stem from Jason’s oath breaking, 13. 240 Mastronarde (2002), 34. 115

Chapter 1: Conclusion

In this overview of Euripides’ extant DEM plays I have striven to answer several key questions about Euripidean DEM. First, whether or not the intervention by the deity is necessary for the plot of the play to resolve in a logical manner as well as whether or not the intervention has a substantial effect on the main characters in the play. I have also analyzed each choice of epiphany deity and whether or not it was foregrounded in the text, makes sense in light of the issues in the play or the characters involved, or makes sense instead based off of what issues the DEM itself addresses. I have also discussed other possible options for epilogue deities that the audience may have expected to arrive based on the context. Finally, I have examined what function each DEM intervention has on its play.

The answers to these questions differ from play to play but it is still possible to see general trends. The first issue – whether or not the intervention is necessary for the plot and whether the DEM has a substantial effect on the main characters is perhaps the easiest to answer. In the early plays the intervention is not necessary for the plot to resolve and the intervention by the DEM seems to change little for the main characters.

In the Hippolytus Artemis arrives too late to save Hippolytus and she admits that her intervention does not actually change much of anything. Likewise in the Andromache,

Thetis arrives after Neoptolemus is killed and her instructions do not have major affects


on the characters of the play with the possible exception of Peleus who will be deified after the play closes. In Suppliants Athena arrives after an alliance between Athens and

Argos has already been formed and she merely strengthens the union between the two rather than having a substantial effect. The play could easily end without this strengthened alliance and nothing would really be different. In the Electra the Dioscuri come too late to save their sister Clytemnestra or prevent the suffering that Orestes and

Electra will undergo as a result of killing their mother. Despite their intervention nothing really changes in their situations and thus the intervention is not necessary for the plot to resolve. This pattern also seems to hold true to the Bacchae which harkens back to this early model for DEM intervention with the intervention occurring after the death of a character and one which does not change the fates of anyone involved.

Yet in the later Euripidean plays (other than the Bacchae) there is more ambiguity in about the necessity and effect of these endings. While not strictly necessary, the intervention begins to seem more motivated by events in the play than in earlier plays.

While the Ion could certainly end without the god coming down to resolve matters, Ion’s insistence on asking Apollo’s oracle about his parentage creates a problem that an epilogue deity is suited to resolve. Although the problem stems not from a problem with the logic or plot of the play but rather from a character’s sudden stubbornness this play represents a subtle change in how Euripidean DEM scenes are motivated. The situation at the end of the IT causes a rather significant problem for the DEM to solve and for the first time the influence of an epilogue deity in Euripides yields a substantial effect on the plot, changing a failure into a success. Nevertheless, the problem presented is also last minute


and strongly suggests that Euripides creates a problem for the deity to solve rather than needing to rely on a DEM to solve a problem that has no other solution showing that the play could still have resolved normally without a DEM intervention. The situation in the

Helen is similar; except rather than there being a last minute threat to the main characters, a lesser character Theonoe is threatened and gives occasion for the Dioscuri to come down to save her. Despite a direct action on the deities’ part, however, since it only effects a minor character this intervention is less striking than the appearance of Athena in the IT.

Despite the increasing role that the epilogue deity plays in the resolution of the plot the intervention in the Orestes stands out from the rest of Euripides’ corpus. For the first time in Euripidean DEM the intervening deity’s appearance is absolutely necessary for the preservation of the mythical tradition concerning the characters in the play. This is no mere last minute problem for the deity to solve as in the IT. In the Orestes the plot has departed from the mythic tradition in such a violent way and from so early on in the play that the only way that the ending could realign with the tradition requires divine intervention. The intervention is essential in order for the plot to resolve and Apollo’s orders are directly responsible for the fate of the characters involved. Though more analysis of this play must wait until the Orestes section of the prophecy chapter it must be noted here that the Orestes marks a very significant change in how Euripidean DEM is carried out. Ironically the closest parallel to the situation in the Orestes where the play must be resolved by a deity occurs in the Medea Euripides’ first play to make use of the


crane.241 This is all the more strange because the Medea does not have a proper DEM at all since Medea is not divine yet she is able to appear almost godlike in her position and powers. In fact, the easiest alternative ending for the Medea that allows her an escape would almost have to involve a deity coming down and brokering a similar agreement to what Apollo accomplishes in the Orestes.

This brings me to the question of whether or not the DEM intervention is tied to the plot. I would argue that the evidence shows that in the vast majority of cases the

DEM is not necessary for the plot to resolve in a coherent way and the deities’ intervention rarely has a significant impact on the major characters. The few times where the plot or character fates are impacted by the god’s intervention it is usually to solve a last minute or minor problem that could have been left out entirely or resolved relatively easily without the help of a god. It is only in the Orestes (and possibly the Medea) that the plot has veered away from tradition early on to such a degree that only a god’s intervention can make sense of the ending. The very fact that the problems lie so far back in the play suggests that the crisis point that occurs as a result is an intentional playing with the myth and pushing the boundaries of what the DEM as a device is capable of rather than a clumsy attempt at closure when there is no other choice.

The second major investigation I have made into the DEM is in analyzing

Euripides’ choice of epilogue divinity. Oftentimes the choice of intervening deity is logical and can be explained based on foregrounding in the play, relationships to the characters involved, or a stake in the outcome of the play. Sometimes, however, these

241 For more interesting similarities between the endings of the Orestes and the Medea see Dunn (1996), 159-160; Zeitlin (2003), 325-326; 119

features would cause an audience member to expect a particular god to come down only for another less connected god to appear instead. Instances like this require some explanation and by analyzing whether or not the god who appears makes sense for the story we can gain better insight as to why the DEM occurs, especially in cases where the intervening deity is somewhat odd given the circumstances.

In early plays the intervening deity often makes good sense based on the factors in the play. Artemis’ appearance in the Hippolytus is logical based on her close relationship with Hippolytus as well as the rivalry between her and Aphrodite which is set up in

Aphrodite’s prologue. Thus Artemis’ appearance serves to balance Aphrodite’s appearance as well as provide consolation to her favorite. The situation in the

Andromache is similar. Andromache supplicates at Thetis’ shrine, placing Thetis in the background of the play from the beginning. Thetis is also a logical choice since she is the wife of Peleus and grandmother of Neoptolemus. Her arrival is also preceded by Peleus addressing her directly so it is only natural that she responds to console her husband.

While the DEM in the Suppliants is somewhat unexpected the choice of Athena as DEM makes good sense. The play is set just outside of Athens, with Theseus as a main character and is concerned with Athenian and their alliance with Argos. It makes perfect sense for Athena to show up in a play that is centered on Athens.

After Suppliants, however, the choice of epilogue deity becomes a bit more complex and while there is often still logic and reason to the choice there are other options which may have been just as well suited or even more logical than the deity who does appear. The Dioscuri’s appearance in the Electra makes sense based off of their


close familial relationship with Clytemnestra whose death they come to respond to as well as to Clytemnestra’s killers their niece Electra and nephew Orestes. There are also references to the Dioscuri especially Castor in the play that also serve to foreground their arrival. In fact, the Dioscuri’s appearance in the Helen is based on these same features: references to the Dioscuri in the play and a close relationship to the main character their sister Helen. Nevertheless, in the Electra Apollo is referenced more often than the

Dioscuri are in the play and also is more directly involved with the circumstances since

Electra and Orestes killed Clytemnestra partially due to Apollo’s command. In fact,

Apollo is mentioned many times by the Dioscuri themselves and they place the blame for

Clytemnestra’s murder on Apollo and his oracle which they criticize going so far as to call it unwise.

Apollo fails to appear when it would make good sense for him to come down ex machina not only in the Electra but also in the Ion and to a lesser extent in the IT as well.

In the Ion the problem which motivates the DEM deals with Ion’s paternity. Ion wants to know if Apollo is really his father, making Apollo the most logical deity to answer that question. Yet Athena arrives instead and even explains why she comes instead of Apollo, showing that her appearance instead of his is quite a surprise and must be explained in some way. Apollo would also have been a logical choice as DEM in the IT. Orestes has come to Tauris because of Apollo’s command to get Artemis’ statue and hence Apollo stands behind the entire action of the play. Artemis would also have been a logical goddess to intervene because the setting is at her temple, Iphigenia is her priestess, the


statue they attempt to steal is hers, and Iphigenia prays for her aid on three separate occasions. Yet neither Apollo nor Artemis arrive to settle things, Athena comes instead.

At least in extant DEM, Apollo often appears as a logical choice of DEM and perhaps even an expected one but he often fails to appear. Moreover, many of the characters in these “Apollo plays”242 are highly critical of Apollo. In the Electra

Apollo’s replacement, the Dioscuri, are critical of him and clearly unhappy with his commands. In the Ion and the IT, Athena appears in his stead and though she tries to paint Apollo in a positive light (especially in the Ion) the reason expressed for him not arriving is a fear of blame. This makes Apollo’s arrival in the Orestes is all the more surprising. Apollo is the most logical deity to arrive in the Orestes yet given the criticism of Apollo in the play (some of the harshest criticism of Apollo in any of the plays) and

Apollo’s habit of failing to appear, when he does arrive in the Orestes it is quite surprising, and the surprise is only heightened by the forceful nature of the Orestes DEM which has a greater effect on the plot than any other DEM.

When the expected deity (usually Apollo) fails to appear, however, it provides an interesting opportunity to examine the DEM device. A strange choice in deity can often be explained through what is said in the DEM itself. In the Electra, the arrival of the

Dioscuri instead of Apollo allows for a more relaxed conversation between gods and mortals than would otherwise be possible and perhaps opens the door for more consolation as well as an opportunity to criticize Apollo. In the Ion, although Athena begins by settling the issue of Ion’s paternity the majority of her speech consists of

242 As Hartigan (1991) calls them. 122

prophecies concerning Athens’ future via the lineage of Ion as well as that of Creusa and

Xuthus’ future offspring. In the IT much of Athena’s speech is concerned with setting up cult for Artemis in Attica. Although the cults in question are connected with Artemis,

Athena makes sense as the one to stipulate them because they are Attic cults and thus associated with Athens.243

The last two plays I have discussed, the Bacchae and the Medea, are both similar in choice of intervening figure because both have DEM like appearances from figures who have had an active part in the action of the play. Dionysus is present throughout the entire play and since the play is focused on him establishing his worship and divine status in Thebes the appearance of any other deity as a DEM would undermine his divine status, making almost any other choice impossible. In the Medea, although she is not yet fully divine, Medea’s entrance via the crane demonstrates a god-like power that is all the more shocking based off of her mortal status throughout the play. Medea appears as her own

DEM when the gods themselves do not seem to intervene to wield the justice she believes is due her. By having Medea appear instead of a god or goddess, Euripides allows the divine stance on the situation to remain uncertain by not having a DEM reveal Zeus’ will or mete out justice. In both the Bacchae and the Medea the wronged party takes matters into their own hands and punishes the offences against them themselves.

Finally, what can be gleaned about the function of the DEM from all of these examples? While the function does change to some extent from play to play to suit the

243 It should also be noted that in all the cult aitia we have we never see a situation in which the epilogue deity giving the aition establishes a cult in their own honor, it is always for someone else either a mortal (such as Hippolytus) or a different divine figure as here. 123

unique needs of each, there are some overarching themes that show up. Again the early plays are the most similar. The DEM appearances in the Hippolytus, Andromache, and

Suppliants all serve to provide consolation and closure to those who are grieving the death of a loved one. In the Hippolytus Artemis reveals the truth to Theseus and allows for a reconciliation to take place. In Andromache all of Thetis’ actions serve to comfort

Peleus in his grief. In Suppliants Athena ensures that something good will come from the deaths via an alliance between Athens and Argos as well as a promise of revenge for the sons of the Seven against Thebes. The Dioscuri in the Electra also serve to provide some consolation to Electra and Orestes for their role in their mother’s death which they now regret though of course this is complicated by the fact that they are the ones who killed her.

Suppliants also has the effect of spreading pro-Athenian propaganda and endorsing the idea that Athens’ dominance over her allies is divinely mandated. Athena’s intervention in the Ion and the IT has a similar motivation. In the Ion Athena focuses on the future of the Athenian race, setting it out as the basis for most of the Greek peoples, a belief which only legitimizes the idea that Athens has a right to rule over the others. In the IT, Athena’s establishment of cults is also Athens centric and portrays Athens not only as an important political center but an important religious one as well. In the plays in which Athena appears, Athens is emphasized no matter what the setting of the play itself is. Athena also often shows up where Apollo would perhaps be more logical perhaps hinting at a desire for Athens to assert her dominance over Delphi and her

Spartan sympathies.


In the Helen, Orestes, and to some extent the IT the function of the DEM appears to be more plot based. In the Helen the main accomplishment of the Dioscuri is saving

Theonoe from death as well as prophesying future events that help to link up the play with future episodes in those character’s storylines – Helen and Menelaus will return to

Greece successfully as mythical tradition states they will. In the IT, Athena partially comes to solve a last minute problem to the plot which has the effect of changing a failure into a success before switching to discussing the cultic implications of their success in removing the statue from Tauris to Attica. Finally, in the Orestes, Apollo performs the most daring interventions in extant DEM scenes, rescuing the play from complete and reestablishing the threatened mythical tradition through last minute commands and prophecy.

Finally, in the Bacchae and the Medea the main function of the DEM appears to be revenge. Although in both of these plays like the Hippolytus, Andromache,

Suppliants, and Electra the DEM is motivated in part by a death, unlike in these four in the Bacchae and the Medea Dionysus and Medea themselves are responsible for the deaths. Rather than coming down with the aim of consoling the survivors for what they have lost, Dionysus and Medea instead rebuke the surviving victims for the offences they committed against them, placing the blame solely on the victims. Dionysus is the most hostile of the DEM deities and he blames the tragedy entirely on the mortals and their refusal to recognize his divinity going so far as to punish Cadmus even though Cadmus did not reject him. Medea punishes Jason for the wrongs he committed against her at great cost to herself in a play that is highly disturbing due to the fact that the gods to do


not arrive and mete out punishment or even provide a of right and wrong. Her revenge complete, Medea uses her supernatural powers to escape punishment. The

Bacchae and the Medea are unique amongst DEM type plays for many reasons but perhaps most of all because rather than consolation or salvation they leave destruction in their wake - not due to Zeus or fate as in other DEM plays where a tragedy occurs but instead due to their own actions.

My examination of the function of the DEM in this chapter has shown that in general the DEM’s function is not to fix a problem in the plot since in all but the Orestes the plot could easily resolve without a divine intervention. My examination of the choice of DEM deity has shown that while the deity is often forecasted in some way there are occasions in which Euripides choses a somewhat surprising deity. The element of surprise may be a factor in and of itself and may contribute to Euripides’ choice, however, the deity chosen also is the most suitable to accomplish the main task present in the DEM speech. In the Hippolytus, Andromache, Electra, and to a lesser extent the

Suppliants this task is consolation and the choice of deity is well suited to that particular task. In the Suppliants and Ion the function of the DEM is generally political in nature and often has to do with enhancing Athenian pride making Athena the most appropriate deity to appear. In the IT, Helen, and Orestes Euripides engages in more experimentation with the motivation of the DEM. While my examination of the DEM here has yielded some common traits and functions there are two other elements which appear in DEM scenes that must be explored: aition and prophecy.


Chapter 2: Aitia

In this chapter I will be discussing the role of aitia in DEM scenes. To review, an aition is a story which explains the cause or origin of something, often a particular practice or a name. There are two basic types of aitia that occur in Euripidean DEM scenes: name based aitia and cult aitia. Every extant DEM scene contains at least one of the two types244 making it an important aspect of DEM scenes.

The first, and simpler type of aitia is name based aitia which occurs in the

Electra, Ion, Helen, and Orestes. In every case (except the Ion) the name based aitia explains the reasoning behind a particular place name. In the Ion, the same basic type is used instead to primarily explain the names of peoples (though the names of lands are mentioned briefly).245 The name based aitia in the Helen given by the Dioscuri serves as a good example of the type.

244 Aitia concerning place names occur in the following Euripidean DEM scenes: Electra (1273-1275), Ion (1575-1594), Helen (1670-1675), and Orestes (1643-1647). Cult aitia occur in the following Euripidean DEM scenes: Hippolytus (1423-1430), Andromache (1239-1242), Suppliants (1196-1212), Electra (1265- 1272), and IT (1448-1467). Bacchae does not have an aitia of either type but the DEM is not fully extant. Aitia are particularly important for a study of DEM in Euripides since while they appear often in DEM scenes they only occur twice before the end of a play: In the Hippolytus in the prologue Aphrodite gives an aition for a temple in Athens being named after Hippolytus, in the middle of the IT Orestes gives an aition for the origin of the Choes festival in Athens. See footnote 261 for concluding aitia in Euripides outside of DEM scenes. 245 See the introduction to the Prophecy chapter for more on the genealogical name based aitia in the Ion and how it compares to genealogical prophecy and prophecy in general. The mention of the names being given to land appears at 1577, the rest of the aitia focuses instead on the names being given to peoples. 127

οὖ δ᾿ ὥπισέν σοι πρῶτα Μαιάδος τόκος, Σπάπτης ἀπάρας, τὸν κατ᾿ οὐρανὸν δρόμον, κλέψας δέμας σὸν μὴ Πάρις γήμειέ σε, - φρουρὸν παρ᾿ Ἀκτὴν τεταμένην νῆσον λέγω - Ἑλένη τὸ λοιπὸν ἐν βροτοῖς κεκλήσεται, ἐπεὶ κλοπαίαν σ᾿ ἐκ δόμων ἐδέξατο. (1670-1675)

But where the child of first set the boundary for your course through the air, after snatching you from Sparta, stealing your body so that would not marry you – I speak of the island stretched like a guard alongside Attica – it will be called Helen by mortals in the future, since it received you when you were stolen from your home.

In this type of aitia, a place name is explained through a story which then makes the name clearer by placing it within a mythical framework. This links the events of the play to the world of the audience by having a place take its name from events in the episode.

In each case the name given comes from a primary character in the play in which the name aitia occurs246 who then lend their name to a place which is somehow connected to them through an event. In the case of the Helen, the aitia both acts as a way of explaining why an island otherwise not specifically connected to Helen might be named after her as well as serving to connect the play to the real world.

The place name aitia in the Electra and Orestes are interesting since each aitia relates the same basic place name aitia: that Orestes will lend his name to a town in

Arcadia. They are not, however, identical since the details and timeline differ slightly between the two aitia. The aition in the Electra begins immediately after the prophecy about Orestes and his trial at Athens is reported. σὲ δ᾿ Ἀρκάδων χρὴ πόλιν ἐπ᾿ Ἀλφειοῦ

246 In the case of the Ion the aitia is extended past Ion to his descendants. So while the names given is not limited to those in the play, the first in the chain of names is the titular character of the play. Dunn (1996), 137 argues that in the Helen aition the name of the island does not actually come from Helen at all signaling the irrelevance of this particular aition as compared to other cult and named based aitia. For more on differences between name based and cult aitia see Dunn (1996), 54-55. 128

ῥοαῖς / οἰκεῖν Λυκαίου πλησίον σηκώματος: / ἐπώνυμος δὲ σοῦ πόλις κεκλήσεται. (1273-

1275). “It is necessary for you to dwell in an Arcadian city on the River near the sacred enclosure of Lycean Apollo; the city will be called by your name.” The aition in the Orestes is very similar but offers a slightly different timeline.

...σὲ δ᾿ αὗ χρεών, Ὀρέστα, γαίας τῆσδ᾿ ὑπερβαλόνθ᾿ ὅρους Παρράσιον οἰκεῖν δάπεδον ἐνιαυτοῦ κύκλον. κεκλήσεται δὲ σῆς φυγῆς ἐπώνυμον Ἀζᾶσιν Ἀρκάσιν τ᾿ Ὀρέστειον καλεῖν. ἐνθένδε δ᾿ ἑλθὼν τὴν Ἀθηναίων πόλιν...(1643-1648).

It is necessary for you once more, Orestes, to pass over the boundary of the land and to dwell in the Parrhasian valley for a year. And it will be named Oresteion for your flight by the Azanians and Arcadians. From there go to the city of the Athenians...

The repetition of the aition concerning Orestes dwelling in and a city being named after him is in many ways not surprising. The Orestes acts a sequel of sorts to the

Electra247 and thus the repetition of the command to go to Arcadia in the Orestes makes sense since other aspects such as the trial at Athens is also given in both DEM scenes.

The main difference between the two name based aitia here is that there is a change in the timeline of Orestes’ time in Arcadia: in the Electra he is to go to Arcadia after the trial in Athens, in the Orestes he is to go to Arcadia for a year before standing trial at

Athens. While these name based aitia are important they are relatively simplistic compared to the more complex cult aitia.

247 For more on this see the Orestes section in Chapter 3: Prophecy. 129

The second type of aitia that regularly occurs in Euripidean DEM are aitia explaining the origin of a cult or ritual.248 It is this type of aitia that has been at the center of most scholarly discussion of aitia as a phenomenon. Cult aitia typically explain the origins of a particular cult ritual. Some cult aitia have wider reaching effects and more connection to the subject of the play than others. The aitia in the Hippolytus and the Iphigenia in Tauris are the two aitia with the greatest connection to the subject of the play as well as establishing more lasting and complex rituals than many of the other cult aitia in Euripidean DEM scenes. The appearance of cult aitia in the Hippolytus and the

IT is also fitting due to the special relationship between the epilogue deity and the mortals which are connected with the cults. The aitia of these two plays will be explored in detail in this chapter.

Although it is not possible to examine each cult aitia which occur in DEM scenes

I will briefly overview the other plays in which cult aitia occur. In general plays with cult aitia often have a strong focus on cult issues and/or feature a strong relationship between the deity and mortal involved in the cult. For example, in the Andromache the relationship between the epilogue deity (Thetis) and the mortal whose death is commemorated (Neoptolemus) is close due to their familial relationship. Cult also lies in the background of the play since much of the play takes place at the altar of Thetis where

Andromache acts as suppliant for the first half of the play. In the Suppliants the relationship between Athena and Theseus is not as personal as the relationships in the

Andromache, but the Suppliants is highly political and the type of relationship portrayed

248 Cult aitia occur in the following Euripidean DEM scenes: Hippolytus (1423-1430), Andromache (1239- 1242), Suppliants (1196-1212), Electra (1265-1272), and IT (1448-1467). 130

reflects this. Athena as the patron goddess of Athens is naturally concerned with and connected to Theseus as the legendary king of Athens. The political nature of the play and relationship is also reflected in the aition which is established in order to strengthen the political alliance between Argos and Athens in the Athenian’s interest. The case of the Electra is a bit different because rather than creating a new cult aition as the other

Euripidean DEM cult aitia do, instead Euripides rehashes the original cult aition for the

Areopagus court established in Aeschylus’ Eumenides and thus Euripides treats this aition more like a prophecy.249

Both aition and prophecy are important common aspects in DEM scenes and have been discussed by scholars. Dunn identifies aetiology and prophecy as “further closing gestures” that are often given by the epilogue deity.250 Mastronarde, though he uses different terminology, discusses aetiology in his analysis of Euripides’ “references to future cults and foundations at the close of the play”251 as well as prophecy in his discussion of “commands giving dispositions for the character’s immediate futures.”252

Buxton also divides the DEM appearance of a deity into two distinct functions “to reintegrate the action into the audience’s experience by referring to ritual (Artemis at the end of Hippolytos; Athene at the end of Iphigeneia in Tauris) or by placing the events of the play in a wider mythical context (Kastor in Euripides’ ; Apollo in Orestes;

Thetis in Andromache).”253 Sourvinou-Inwood has discussed aitia at length and

249 See the Electra section of the Prophecy chapter for an analysis of this aition. 250 Dunn (1996), 45. 251 Mastronarde (2010), 182-183. 252 Mastronarde (2010), 186. 253 Buxton (2013), 142. While he does not specifically say aitia and prophecy it is clear from the and examples that he is referring to the same thing. 131

proposed that cult aitia in Euripides’ plays serve to “zoom” the reality of the play closer to the reality of the audience by connecting the events of the play with aspects of cult that the audience would have encountered in their day to day lives.254 Although the importance of aitia in DEM speeches has been recognized by many scholars, there has been a great deal of disagreement as to what these aitia can tell us about Euripides’ plays, religious views, and about the cults referred to in the aitia themselves. Viewpoints have ranged from very devout seeing aitia represented in Euripides as true representations of what the cults he references were like with valuable information of how these rituals were preformed,255 to skeptical seeing aitia in Euripides as either invented rituals with no connection to a real cult or perhaps with invented details only loosely connected to real cults256 and many viewpoints in-between the two extremes.257

Despite the many differences of opinion concerning the reliability and religiosity of aitia most of these scholars seem to agree that aitia in Euripidean plays acted as a way to connect the reality of the play with the reality of the audience’s present through references to a familiar cult, hero, or deity. Although Dunn and Sourvinou-Inwood, for example, are at odds on the issue of aitia, their language when discussing aitia is oddly

254 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 25-40. 255 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003) especially falls into this trend, particularly concerning the rituals laid out in the IT. At her most skeptical she says that even if the details are invented they still had religious meaning to the audience, but maintains for the most part that the cults and rituals described did in fact exist (420- 421). 256 Scullion (1999), reacts against the trend of taking aitia in Euripides as evidence for actual cult practices. He instead suggests that the cult aitia in Euripides’ plays are the result of Euripidean innovation. Dunn (1996) also suggests that at least some Euripidean aitia were invented by Euripides, 61. 257 Seaford (2009), takes exception to Scullion’s article on the danger of taking information in Euripides as a reliable source for cult aitia, yet his main objection seems to be the idea that Euripides is inventing these aitia rather than saying that we can use the aitia in Euripides as a real source for what the rituals were like. Mastronarde (2010) admits that we have no way of knowing whether or not the cult aitia introduced in DEM are Euripidean interventions or representations of real cult practice but maintains that “whatever invention may be present is not completely a matter of play or, I think, a source of ” 183. 132

similar. Dunn asserts: “Perhaps the most characteristic feature of the Euripidean aition is the explicit connection between the mythical plot and the world of the audience.”258

Although Sourvinou-Inwood vehemently disagrees with Dunn’s ideas about aitia being invented and even devotes a full section of her book to refuting him, her language on the basic idea of aitia as a way to connect present and past is quite similar. When discussing cult aitia or religious references in general Sourvinou-Inwood often identifies them as

“‘zooming devices,’ which had the effect of bringing the world of the play nearer, pushing the audience into relating their experiences and assumptions directly to the play.”259 Although Sourvinou-Inwood takes her idea of aitia and other religious references as “zooming devices” far further than just a way of connecting the past and the present, this basic idea is relatively common to most of the scholars invested in the debate. So it ultimately does not matter whether cult references are true as Sourvinou-

Inwood argues, or invented as Dunn believes, in either case they connect the myth with religious practice anyway. Mastronarde, though referring to aitia as cult references, expresses much the same idea:

Of the three tragedians, Euripides is most explicit in tying his plots to the vast fabric of Greek myth and cult. The creative interpretation and invention of the past that take place within the actions of a particular drama are anchored and, as it were, authenticated on the one end by the elaborate genealogical, aetiological, and narrative details of the prologue speech and on the other end by the references to future cults and the foundations at the close of the play, usually foretold by divine speakers from the crane, but insistently conveyed through reports of oracles even in plays lacking a deus ex machina. This practice carries on an important traditional aspect of Greek public poetry: the acknowledgement and explication of origins in a way that reassures the community of its rootedness in a common past and of the weight of its shared beliefs and rituals.260

258 Dunn (1996), 51. 259 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 22, 22-25. 260 Mastronarde (2010), 182-183. 133

Despite the many disagreements between scholars of Euripidean aitia its importance as a source of connection between the mythical past and the present is a consistent thread through the scholarship on the topic. I too agree with this basic tenant concerning aitia in

Euripides. Through the use of aitia Euripides connects his plays to the world of the audience by alluding to ritual.

With this basic idea in mind, I will be examining a couple of examples of cult aitia in Euripidean DEM: (1) the aition commemorating Hippolytus in which girls will cut their hair and leave it as an offering for him before their marriage which Artemis establishes in the Hippolytus and (2) the aitia for rituals to Artemis at Halai and (3) the aitia for rituals at Brauron which Athena lays out at the end of the IT.261 For each of these aitia I will discuss several issues: why these particular plays focus so heavily on cult aitia; how the cult aition relates to the situation in the play and/or the contemporary situation of the audience; and what real life cults, if any, these aitia relate back to. By examining these aspects we can gain a better understanding of under what circumstances

Euripides tends to use cult aitia, how his use of cult aitia relates to the plays in which they occur, and finally what these aitia can (and cannot) tell us about the actual cults they reference.

261 There are of course other notable cult aitia in Euripides, though time prevents exploring them all. The most complex are the aition at the end of the Heracleidae concerning Eurystheus’s death and how he will serve as a protector of the Athenians, the aition in the Medea concerning the burial of Medea’s children, and the aition at the end of Suppliants in which Athena arranges a more secure pact between Argos and Athens. In the case of the aition in the Heracleidae I have chosen not to include it since it does not strictly take place in a DEM. I exclude the Medea for similar reasons, the Suppliants I do not include due to lack of space as well as the fact that an existing cult is not mentioned. The aitia in the Hippolytus and the IT all reference real cults by name. 134


The Hippolytus is valuable for a study of Euripidean DEM cult aitia for several reasons. First, as I have mentioned above it has one of the more complex cult aitia in

Euripides. Second, it is a play which is greatly focused on problems of worship as well as exhibiting a very close relationship between gods and mortals something which I believe is a key aspect of plays which feature complex DEM cult aitia. Third, the cult aition which is established in the DEM speech at first appears to be an odd fit for the play which makes it valuable for examining how Euripides incorporated cults into his plays.

Finally, the cult referenced in the aition is a real cult, creating an opportunity to compare the cult aition as it appears in Euripides to what we know of the real cult.

From the beginning the Hippolytus is particularily focused on issues of worship and the relationship between gods and mortals. Sourvinou-Inwood sees the religious issues as central to the play asserting, “The prologue, then, places ritual, above all the absence of ritual, of Hippolytus’ worship of Aphrodite, at the center of the play.”262 This aspect is brought out in several places in the prologue. First, Aphrodite emphasizes the importance of a deity receiving their due worship: τοὺς μὲν σέβοντας τὰμὰ πρεσβεύω

κράτη, / σφάλλω δ᾿ ὅσοι φρανοῦσιν εἰς ἡμᾶς μέγα. / ἔνεστι γὰρ δὴ κἀν θεῶν γένει τόδε: /

262 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 326. 135

τιμώμενοι χαίρουσιν ἀνθρώπων ὕπο. (5-8) “I place first those honoring my power, I bring down those who are presumptuous. For indeed this is in the race of the gods: they rejoice in being honored by men.” Even before Hippolytus is mentioned the basic problem of the play is laid out. Gods demand worship from mortals and if they do not receive it there are dire consequences. Aphrodite then lays out the specific issue of the play, the fact that Hippolytus refuses to worship her, and instead focuses on Artemis. Aphrodite describes Hippolytus as παρθένῳ ξυνὼν ἀεὶ (17) “always attending the virgin” and their relationship as μείζω βροτείας προσπεσὼν ὁμιλίας (19) “falling upon a relationship greater than mortal”. Both of these phrases use terms which often imply incredibly close relationships that would not normally take place between gods and mortals.263

Aphrodite’s accusation that Hippolytus neglects her in favor of Artemis is immediately borne out in Hippolytus’ song in which he Artemis using a strange epithet and a flurry of superlatives:264

ἕπεσθ᾿ ᾁδοντες ἕπεσθε τὰν Διὸς οὐρανίαν Ἄρτεμιν, ᾇ μελόμεσθα. πότνια πότνια σεμνοτάτα, Ζηνὸς γένεθλον, χαῖρε, χαῖρέ μοι, ὧ κόρα Λατοῦς Ἀρτεμι καὶ Διός,

263 The verb σύνειμι often implies an incredibly close relationship and can be translated not only as simply “to be with, “to associate with” and “follow” but is also often used for the most intimate of relationships and translated as “to be joined with”, “live with”, and even “to have sexual intercourse.” Barrett (1964) at line 17 pg 157, also notes that this expression is usually used in a sexual context he elaborates “the sense is not ignored here, but παρθένωι contradicts it in a kind of oxymoron. The result is not ‘insinuation’ (Wilamowitz) but a contemptuous stressing of Hippolytus’ unnatural asceticism.” ὁμιλία commonly means “interaction” and can also mean “communion”, and even “sexual intercourse”. Halleran (1995) at line 19 page 148 also notes that Euripides’ uses ὁμιλία which like his use of συνεῖναι with the dative, also has sexual connotations and Euripides’ uses this to express “the unusualness of the relationship”. Likewise προσπίτνω can also mean “embrace”. 264 While some have argued that 61-71 were only sung by the chorus and not by Hippolytus I follow Barrett (1964) at 58-60, pg 169 and Halleran (1995) at 58-71 pg 152 who both believe that Hippolytus also sings along with the chorus from 61-71. 136

καλλίστα πολὺ παρθένων, ἃ μέγαν κατ᾿ οὐρανὸν ναίεις εθ᾿πατέρειαν αὐ- λάν, Ζηνὸς πολύχρυσον οἷκον. χαῖρέ μοι, ὧ καλά, καλ- λίστα τῶν κατ᾿ Ὀλυμπον (58-71).

Follow, follow, praising the heavenly daughter of Zeus Artemis, who cares for us. Lady, most revered lady born from Zeus, welcome, take delight in me, oh maiden Artemis daughter of Leto and Zeus, best by far of all virgins, who dwell in the great heaven in the courtyard of a noble father, the house of Zeus rich in gold. Be favorable to me, oh fair one, fairest of all those in Olympus.

While it is right for Hippolytus to give Artemis her due worship, he goes much farther than that. As Halleran points out in Hippolytus’ first address to Artemis he refers to her as οὐρανίαν an epithet which was traditionally applied to Aphrodite.265 The juxtaposition would be all the more obvious since Aphrodite has just left the stage. Hippolytus’ preference for Artemis at Aphrodite’s expense is also evidenced by his sustained use of superlatives. His prayer makes it clear that not only is Artemis superior in general but she is superior to the other gods. In addition, Hippolytus specifically says that she is superior in terms of through his repeated use of καλλίστα.266 This is all the more insulting to Aphrodite since she is famously known as the most beautiful of all the gods and very particular about being considered so as the attests. Thus not only does Hippolytus praise Artemis while ignoring Aphrodite but he praises Artemis with epithets and superlatives that relate to Aphrodite’s sphere of influence. Although

Hippolytus does use the qualifier παρθένων, when he refers to Artemis as καλλίστα thus

265 Halleran (1995), at line 59, pg 153. Also see Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 327. 266 Halleran (1995), at line 66, pg 153 notes that καλλίστα was traditionally used for both Artemis and Aphrodite as well as for other gods. Nevertheless, its use here right after Aphrodite’s appearance and accusation against Hippolytus coupled with his use of οὐρανίαν to refer to Artemis rather than to Aphrodite makes his use of καλλίστα more notable. 137

creating a loophole of sorts that prevents Aphrodite from being directly compared to

Artemis the overall effect is still one of Hippolytus worshiping Artemis at Aphrodite’s expense. This impression is further strengthened when the servant cautions Hippolytus not to neglect Aphrodite, a request which Hippolytus refuses.

This relationship is also emphasized when Hippolytus presents Artemis with a garland. In his dedication speech it is revealed that Hippolytus’ relationship with Artemis allows him special privileges.

σοἰ τόνδε πλεκτὸν στέφανον ἐξ ἀκηράτου λειμῶνος, ὧ δέσποινα, κοσμήσας φέρω, ἔνθ᾿ οὔτε ποιμὴν ἀξιοῖ φέρωειν βοτὰ οὔτ᾿ ἧλθέ πω σίδηρος, ἀλλ᾿ ἀκήρατον μέλισσα λειμῶν ἠρινὴ διέρχεται (73-77)

I bring to you this plaited garland, oh mistress, arranged from the pure meadow, there neither the herdsman would think it right to bring his flocks, nor iron ever to come, but the honeybees in spring pass through the pure meadow.

Hippolytus emphasizes the purity of the meadow and specifically how it is barred to most people, nevertheless despite the restrictions Hippolytus can not only enter the meadow but can pluck flowers for a garland there without polluting the pure area.267 Nevertheless

Hippolytus has more privileges than simply entering an otherwise forbidden meadow.

ἀλλ᾿, ὧ φίλη δέσποινα, χρυσέας κόμης ἀνάδημα δέξαι χειρὸς εὐσεβοῦς ἄπο. μόνῳ γάρ ἐστι τοῦτ᾿ ἐμοὶ γέρας βροτῶν: σοὶ καὶ ξύνεμι καὶ λόγοις ἀμείβομαι, κλύων μὲν αὐδῆς, ὄμμα δ᾿ οὐχ ὁρῶν τὸ σὸν. (82-86).

267 Halleran (1995) at lines 73-87 pg 154 remarks that “This prayer also confirms Aphrodite’s words about Hippolotus’ special relationship with Artemis. This relationship, as well as the highly unusual demands he makes for exclusivity, marks him off as extraordinary.” He also notes that the meadow is often used in of violent sexual activity and thus the description of the meadow has erotic overtones. 138

But, oh dear lady, accept this crown for your golden hair from this pious hand. For this privilege is for me alone of mortals: I both associate with you and I exchange words with you, hearing your voice, but my eye does not see you.

Hippolytus has the extraordinary privilege of being able to converse with the goddess and hear her voice. He makes it clear that this is a privilege that is only allowed to him, much like his freedom to go into the otherwise pure meadow but much more rare.268 The only privilege that Hippolytus is denied due to his mortal status is being able to see her.

Although the Hippolytus has its share of family strife through Phaedra’s unrequited love of Hippolytus, Phaedra’s suicide and her false accusation against

Hippolytus, and Theseus’ destruction of his son through use of a divine curse, the core conflict in the play is between gods. From Aphrodite’s prologue on it is clear that

Phaedra and Hippolytus are mere pawns in a dispute between the gods. Aphrodite uses

Phaedra to destroy Hippolytus for his neglect of her in favor of Artemis and in her DEM speech Artemis promises to get revenge for Hippolytus’ death by killing a favorite of

Aphrodite’s (presumably Adonis). Thus the scope of the play is much wider than is typical in tragedy. Though the play takes place in the mortal realm it is clear that this is a divine battle.269

The focus on the divine and issues of worship and cult is emphasized by the close cultic relationship between Hippolytus and Artemis. This is established in the divine prologue, in Hippolytus’ prayers and account of his worship of Artemis, in the concerns of the servant who urges Hippolytus to worship Aphrodite, as well as in the very set up of

268 Halleran (1995) at lines 84-86 pg 156 also notes the emphasis on exclusivity here in that “he alone may consort and converse with the goddess.” 269 Deities battling through mortal proxies is relatively common and has its roots in the Iliad. 139

the stage which is thought to have had a statue of Artemis on one side with a statue of

Aphrodite on the other.270 The focus on religious problems has been noted by Sourvinou-

Inwood who classified the Hippolytus as a “Type 1 Tragedy” a group which is categorized as having “a significant density of ritual elements, intertwined with deep and riche religious problematization…with a deep and intense type of religious exploration.”271 In many ways the Hippolytus is based on the close relationship between a deity and their devotee. This is unique relationship in tragedy; I can think of no other tragedy where the close relationship between a divine figure and their devotee is so familiar and emphasized throughout.272

Thus it is quite fitting that the DEM in the Hippolytus has one of the most detailed cult aitia in Euripides. After Artemis reveals the truth of Hippolytus’ innocence to

Theseus (1296-1312), Hippolytus arrives and Artemis turns towards comforting him

(1389ff). Although their relationship is still close and Artemis expresses her fondness for

Hippolytus she as a goddess remains rather aloof273 and she is not able to save him.

Hippolytus, in bitterness at Aphrodite, wishes he could curse the gods (1415). It is at this point that Artemis steps in and provides compensation in two ways. First by vowing that

270 Barrett (1964) at Scene, pg 134 and Halleran (1995) on the setting, pg 144-145. 271 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 405. Other plays in this category include: Andromache, Electra, Trojan Women, IT, and Heracles. 272 There are of course other tragedies where there are close relationships between divine and human figures. However, many of these relationships are based on familial ties rather than on cultic ones. Examples include: Thetis and Peleus in the Andromache, Electra and Orestes with the Dioscuri in the Electra, the Dioscuri and Helen in the Helen, and Ion and Apollo (to an extent) in the Ion. There are other plays where the cultic relationship is foregrounded such as the IT and the Bacchae. However, in IT although Iphigenia is Artemis’ priestess she has severe doubts concerning Artemis and her worship, and in the Bacchae the cultic relationship between Dionysus and Pentheus is a negative one – more similar to Hippolytus’ estranged relationship with Aphrodite than his close relationship with Artemis. 273 The difference between Hippolytus’ mortal and Artemis’ divine status are highlighted at several points and creates a distance between the two. Artemis cannot shed tears for Hippolytus (1396), she leaves before he dies (1437-1439), and Hippolytus comments on the ease with which she leaves their relationship (1441). 140

she will get revenge on Aphrodite by killing one of her favorites (1416-1422) and second through ritual honors for Hippolytus.

σοὶ δ᾿, ὧ ταλαίπωρ᾿, ἀντὶ τῶνδε τῶν κακῶν τιμὰς μεγίστας ἐν πόλει Τροζηνίᾳ δώσω: κόραι γὰρ ἄζυγες γάμων πάρος κόμας κεροῦνταί σοι, δι᾿ αἰῶνος μακροῦ πένθη μέγιστα δακρύων καρπουμένῳ. ἀεὶ δὲ μουσοποιὸς ἐς σὲ παρθένων ἔσται μέριμνα, κοὐκ ἀνώνυμος πεσὼν ἔρως ὁ Φαίδρας ἐς σὲ σιγηθήσεται. (1423-1430).

But to you, oh miserable one, in exchange for these evils I will give the greatest honors in the city of Trozen: For unmarried girls before marriage will cut their hair for you, throughout the ages your suffering will bear the fruit of the greatest tears. And making poetry the maidens will always have a care for you, and the love of Phaedra for you will not fall nameless and be silent.

Hippolytus’ death then is compensated for via the establishment of a ritual. This is one of the more detailed cult aitia in Euripides. At first glance the ritual outlined here does not seem like a very fitting way to commemorate Hippolytus. Throughout the play

Hippolytus scorns women, wishing to remain a virgin to his dying day (87) and lamenting the need for women in order to reproduce (616-650). He explicitly rejected the very idea of marriage and this refusal to accept this part of life is what led to his refusal to give Aphrodite due worship which led to his downfall. Thus a rite concerning young women (whom he avoided) and marriage (an institution he abhorred) seems an ill-fitting way to remember him. Dunn picks up on the oddity of this aition as a way to commemorate the death of Hippolytus. He points out that “The aitiology likewise makes no mention of the hero’s tomb in Trozen, nor does it refer to his death or burial. Instead it describes a custom associated with wedding ritual.”274

274 Dunn (1996), 95. 141

Yet the death of Hippolytus and the wedding ritual used to commemorate it are not as mismatched as it first appears. For example, there are ritual connections between marriage and death since both involve a transition from one of being into another.275 Moreover, Hippolytus’ death and the institution of marriage have more in common than both being a rite of passage. For Sourvinou-Inwood the answer to this question lies in the fact that the polarization of Artemis and Aphrodite as exact opposites is inaccurate. Hippolytus’ problem is that he only focuses on one aspect of Artemis and ignores other important aspects of her divine persona. Hippolytus emphasizes a core aspect of Artemis: her status as a virgin huntress who roams the forest, yet this is not her only aspect. Vernant notes that in addition to her function as a goddess of the untamed she is also “a goddess of fertility, who makes everything grow – plants, animals, and humans.”276 It is this aspect which includes functions related to women and childbirth that Hippolytus ignores making his version of her one dimensional and inaccurate.277 Yet what makes this even worse is that by refusing to acknowledge this aspect Hippolytus fails to allow Artemis her primary role in the lives of her worshippers. As Vernant expresses it “The role of Artemis is to enable the young to leave her when the moment comes. While accompanying them to the other side, into the territory of the Same, she institutes the rites by which she dismisses them.”278 Artemis then acts as a bridge

275 See Rehm (1994). 276 Vernant (1991), 197. 277 While it is relatively normal for a worshipper to focus on an aspect of a deity which is important to them Hippolytus takes it further by actively reviling the other aspects. Although Artemis herself does not complain about this as a slight this is likely due to the oversimplification of each goddess’ role which is key to the opposition between Artemis and Aphrodite established in the prologue. Moreover, Artemis’ concern for this other aspect of her worship is shown through the nature of the ritual which she sets up for Hippolytus. 278 Vernant (1991), 200. 142

between youth and adulthood, between her own realm and that of Aphrodite. By rejecting this aspect of Artemis Hippolytus fails to see that Artemis and Aphrodite complement one another and are not opposites.279

It is his incomplete view of Artemis which causes Hippolytus’ downfall, yet the ritual works to correct this oversight. By commemorating Hippolytus with a ritual that concerns aspects of Artemis that Hippolytus rejected, the imbalance caused by his one sided of Artemis is corrected. Or as Sourvinou-Inwood puts it: “the fact that

Hippolytus will be the recipient of this rite, in a way, compensates for his failure to acknowledge the need for the transition to full adulthood and the married status in his lifetime: he himself did not make that transition, but he is now, after his death, forever implicated in it.”280 By emphasizing this aspect of Artemis which Hippolytus neglected, the new ritual restores the balance between the two functions of Artemis as well as ensuring that others will successfully make their transition from the realm of Artemis to that of Aphrodite. This idea also works well with a theory set out by Panoussi and

Seaford who argue that in many Greek plays ritual is perverted and disrupts the religious order and “intensifies the conflict and crisis.” The perversion is then resolved through

“correct performance of the ritual or institution of a new cult.”281 The aition at the end of the Hippolytus seems to be a good example of this phenomenon since Hippolytus’ refusal to fully embrace adult life is then corrected by the institution of a ritual which ensures that this will not happen to others in the future.

279 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 326-328. 280 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 329-330. 281 Panoussi (2009), 13-14. Seaford (1994), 368-405. 143

Yet the description of the ritual to prepare young women for marriage is not the end of the aition. After describing the ritual’s details Artemis states that through this ritual Phaedra’s love for Hippolytus will not be forgotten. This detail seems even more out of step with what Hippolytus valued in life. Hippolytus was horrified by Phaedra’s desire for him, it is hard to imagine that Hippolytus would want this love which he did not return to be remembered and commemorated. Moreover, it was this love that eventually led to Hippolytus’ death.

In fact Hippolytus is very reluctant to see Phaedra as a victim at all. While

Hippolytus and Artemis are conversing and Artemis is explaining that Aphrodite caused his death due to his rejection of her Hippolytus responds: τρεῖς ὄντας ἡμᾶς ὤλεσ᾿,

ᾔσθημαι, μία. (1403). “I understand, she alone, destroyed us three.” Hippolytus makes it clear through his use of ἡμᾶς that he takes the three destroyed to be those who are present: himself, his father, and Artemis.282 This idea is further supported by the preceding lines in which Hippolytus laments that with him dead no one will tend to

Artemis’ horses or statue (1399) and thus his death is a blow to her since she has lost such a faithful devotee. Artemis is quick to correct this idea responding πατέρα γε καὶ σὲ

καὶ τρίτην ξυνάορον (1404) “yes, your father, and you, and his wife as a third.” Even with this mention of Phaedra, Hippolytus refuses to acknowledge her suffering saying:

ᾤμωξα τοίνυν καὶ πατρὸς δυσπραξίας (1405). “I now also lament the misfortune of my

282 There is some disagreement amongst scholars about which three people Hippolytus includes in his “three”. Scholars who believe that Hippolytus means himself, Theseus, and Phaedra include Gregory (1991), Gould (1990), Lombard (1988), Kovacs (1987) among others. Norwood (1954) 90 believes the trio meant is Hippolytus, Phaedra, and Artemis. Segal (1970) 137, Poole (1987) 160-161, and Zeitlin (1985) 63 n. 29 believe the three meant are Hippolytus, Theseus, and Artemis. For a thorough treatment of the various viewpoints see Schenker (1995). 144

father.” When Phaedra’s destruction is brought up by Artemis Hippolytus completely ignores it and choses to focus on his father’s suffering instead. At no point in the conversation does Hippolytus mention Phaedra.

Dunn in particular picks up on the fact that the ritual in honor of Hippolytus seems to focus more on Phaedra: “What the virgins keep alive is not memory of the hero’s death but the passion of Phaedra…The aition that ostensibly commemorates the death of the is not concerned with him after all. What lives on from the drama, what survives and is given a name…is the story of his .”283 This detail, while strange in the context of Euripides’ version of the Hippolytus story makes more sense when the actual cult which Euripides refers to is considered.

Most of the details we have concerning the cult of Hippolytus at Trozen come from Pausanias. The ritual described in the aition in Euripides’ Hippolytus appears to match that of the worship of Hippolytus at Trozen. First, Artemis’ description of the rite in the Hippolytus:

σοὶ δ᾿, ὧ ταλαίπωρ᾿, ἀντὶ τῶνδε τῶν κακῶν τιμὰς μεγίστας ἐν πόλει Τροζηνίᾳ δώσω: κόραι γὰρ ἄζυγες γάμων πάρος κόμας κεροῦνταί σοι, δι᾿ αἰῶνος μακροῦ πένθη μέγιστα δακρύων καρπουμένῳ. ἀεὶ δὲ μουσοποιὸς ἐς σὲ παρθένων ἔσται μέριμνα, κοὐκ ἀνώνυμος πεσὼν ἔρως ὁ Φαίδρας ἐς σὲ σιγηθήσεται. (1423-1430).

But to you, oh miserable one, in exchange for these evils I will give the greatest honors in the city of Trozen: For unmarried girls before marriage will cut their hair for you, throughout the ages your suffering will bear the fruit of the greatest tears. And making poetry the maidens will always have a care for you, and the love of Phaedra for you will not fall nameless and be silent.

283 Dunn (1996), 95. 145

Second, Pausanias’ description of the rites for Hippolytus at Trozen:

Τροιζηνίοις δὲ ἱερεὺς μέν ἐστιν Ἱππολύτου τὸν χρόνον τοῦ βίου πάντα ἱερώμενος καὶ θυσίαι καθεστήκασιν ἐπέτειοι, δρῶσι δὲ καὶ ἄλλο τοιόνδε: ἑκάστη ταρθένος πλόκαμον ἀποκείρεταί οἱ πρὸ γάμου, κειραμένη δὲ ἀνέθηκεν ἐς τὸν ναὸν φέρουσα. (2.32.1)

There is a priest of Hippolytus amongst the Trozenians who serves as priest for the whole of his life and annual sacrifices have been established and they give this also: each girl before marriage cuts off a lock of hair, and having cut it, carrying it they dedicate it to the temple.

First, and most obviously Artemis claims at the beginning of the aition that the practice she describes will take place at Trozen so the aition associates itself directly with the cult at Trozen which Pausanias describes.284 Moreover, the practice that Artemis describes more or less matches the ritual described by Pausanias. Both rituals involved unwed maidens making a hair offering to Hippolytus before being married.

In addition to the similarities in ritual practice between Euripides’ aition and

Pausanias’ account, the stories associated with the cult at Trozen as well as the building placement and worship link Hippolytus and Phaedra. Pausanias’ account emphasizes the tradition at Trozen that Phaedra first saw Hippolytus there and fell in love with him as she saw him exercising as well as an aitiology that explains that she poked pins in a the leaves of a myrtle bush when she was at a loss about what to do about her passion.285

When the ritual practices and aitiologies associated with the cult of Hippolytus at Trozen are taken into account, the end of the Euripidean aition which says that the love of

284 See Mitchell-Boyask (2008), 48-45-49 for the significance of Trozen for the setting of Euripides’ Hippolytus as well as some connections between Trozen, the cult of , and the plague at Athens. 285 Pausanias 2.32.3-4. Nagy (2013), 548-549. 146

Phaedra for Hippolytus will always be remembered makes much more sense than it does when only the context of the play is taken into account.

Not only does the aitiology of the myrtle at Trozen link Hippolytus and Phaedra, but Hippolytus is also connected with Aphrodite (and through her Phaedra) through the geography of the shrine itself. Nagy points out:

Among the sites contained by the temenos or ‘sacred space’ of Hippolytus is a nāos or ‘shrine’ that belongs to Aphrodite kataskopiā ‘the one who is looking down from on high’, as we saw in Text D, Pausanias 2.32.3. This stance of the goddess of love and sexuality is duplicated by the stance of the beautiful mortal Phaedra when she herself was looking down from her vantage point on high, next to the myrtle bush, and saw Hippolytus exercising naked.286

Thus not only is Hippolytus connected to Phaedra via the story about when she first caught sight of him, but he is connected ritually to Aphrodite since their shrines are in the same area.

Again, in the context of the play such a close connection seems very odd. From the beginning of the play and throughout Aphrodite is hostile to Hippolytus and he is likewise scornful of her. Nevertheless, it is quite common for individuals who were antagonistic in myth to have a close relationship in cult. Nagy explains: “So in both the

Athenian and the Trozenian evidence, we see a pattern of coexistence or symbiosis between Aphrodite and Hippolytus inside a ritual space that corresponds to the myth about their mutual antagonism.”287 This is not an isolated occurrence. Nagy lays out this pattern in his The Best of the by examining the relationship between Apollo and Pyrrhus. Nagy notes that Pyrrhus’ grave was part of Apollo’s sacred precinct despite

286 Nagy (2013), 551. 287 Nagy (2013), 551. 147

the fact that in myth Apollo kills Pyrrhus. Nagy sees this as a typical situation for hero cults which are located within the sacred space of a deity saying, “we see here a striking illustration of a fundamental principle in Hellenic religion: antagonism between hero and god in myth corresponds to the ritual requirements of symbiosis between hero and god in cult.”288 This inverse relationship between the bonds between gods and heroes in myth and in cult can explain both the focus on Phaedra (a surrogate for Aphrodite in this situation) in Euripides’ aition as well as the fact that Hippolytus and Aphrodite shared a sacred space in Trozen and as we shall see in Athens as well.

While the details of the cult for Hippolytus at Trozen can help to inform how to interpret Artemis’ aition in the Hippolytus, this does not necessarily mean that it is appropriate to link the cult described in Euripides and the actual cult at Trozen completely. It is clear from the reference to the cult at Trozen and the fact that such a cult existed there that Euripides means to allude to an actual cult in his aition.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the cult described in Euripides’ aition and the cult of Hippolytus in Trozen described by Pausanias should be seen as identical.

Dunn, though acknowledging that the aition in the Hippolytus does refer to the rites at Trozen “without contradicting common knowledge of those rites”289 he also points out that the aition is not a perfect reproduction of the cult at Trozen since it leaves out basic facts about the cult. For example, it makes no reference to the hero’s tomb or

288 Nagy (1979), 121. For more detail and examples of antagonism between god and hero see 118-121, 142-150. 289 Presuming we can accurately judge what would be common knowledge for various members of the audience. 148

his death and burial,290 something that is quite common in other aitia commemorating the death of a hero such as the aition concerning Neoptolemus’ body and burial at Delphi.

While Euripides is not obligated to give a full description of the cult, the omission of a reference to the tomb and burial is odd given the stated commemorative function of the cult in Artemis’ speech.291

Scullion takes this idea even further by pointing out that most of our details for the cult of Hippolytus at Trozen come from Pausanias (2.32.1-4) and (Dea Syria

60), which are much later sources. 292 While this is an excellent point, it is worth noting that Seaford objects to Scullion dismissing later sources such as Pausanias saying that

Pausanias typically cites his sources making it unlikely that he would borrow from

Euripides without saying so. Seaford also notes that while Pausanias does cite Aeschylus and Sophocles concerning myth and religion he never cites Euripides and never cites tragedians in matters of cult practice.293 Although Seaford does an admirable job of defending the validity of later sources such as Pausanias it must be recognized that it is possible that Pausanias is not always as careful with his sources as we would like to believe. While this does not mean that we should throw out all late sources, it is necessary to acknowledge some of the limitations of these types of sources rather than to assume complete accuracy. In addition, while it is relatively clear that Hippolytus did

290 Dunn (1996), 95. 291 Mitchell-Boyask (2008), 47 suggests a possible solution to this by pointing out that Euripides suppresses Asclepius’ resurrection of Hippolytus. Likewise, Halleran (1995) fn4 notes that according to Pausanias the Trozenians did not show Hippolytus’ grave even though they were aware of it and links this to the idea of Hippolytus’ resurrection. Nevertheless, as Mitchell-Boyask (2008), 47 states Euripides represses Hippolytus’ resurrection, commenting on Hippolytus’ grave would only reinforce this suppression. 292 Scullion (1999), 225. 293 Seaford (2009), 226. 149

receive cult at Trozen294 it is entirely possible that rather than Euripides’ aition reflecting actual contemporary ritual practice at Trozen, Euripides’ aition may have come to influence later worship of Hippolytus295 and thus even if Pausanias did not knowingly borrow from Euripides, Pausanias’ testimony could still be the result of the Euripidean aition rather than confirmation of the aition’s validity.

Scullion goes on to point out that while hair offerings by girls before marriage is commonplace in Greek ritual, in all other cases that we have the recipient of the offering is female, 296 thus making Hippolytus receiving this type of offering an anomaly at best and impossible at worst. Scullion posits that although making Hippolytus the recipient of hair offerings would go against what we know of typical cult practice, it does make perfect sense giving the themes of the play and would play into “Euripidean ritual irony”.297 Nevertheless, it is important to note that our sample size for hair offerings by girls before marriage is quite small. Seaford counters Scullion’s argument here by pointing out that there are “only four other known instances of pre-marriage hair- offerings”298 and thus Hippolytus receiving these offerings may not be as abnormal as

Scullion implies. Seaford also offers an possible explanation for the dedications being

294 Halleran (1995) 21-22 notes that the cult at Trozen likely dates back to the Bronze Age and extended into the 2nd century CE. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the cult practices remained unchanged during this time. See below. 295 Changes in cult practice are not unheard of. The cult of Artemis Orthia at Sparta underwent drastic changes over time. See Graf (1993), 115. 296 Lefkowitz (2016) elaborates on the known cases in fn 18, pg 234-235 “Girls offered locks of their hair before marriage (Pollux. 3.38), e.g., to in Boetia and Locris (Plut. Aristides 20.6), to Iphinoe in (Paus. 1.43.4), and to Athena on the acropolis of Argos (Stat. Theb. 2.253-6). Both girls and boys offered locks of their hair to the Hyperborean maidens who died on Delos (Hdt. 4.34.1-2). In the Hellenistic era young men offered hair clippings to Apollo at Delphi, to mark the transition to the status of ephebe (e.g., HE 1801-4; Rhianus HE 3242-5; Antipater of Thessalonica GP 632-8; Plut., Thes. 5)”. 297 Scullion (1999), 225. 298 Seaford (2009), 230. 150

made to Hippolytus rather than to Phaedra or some other woman: “there is no reason why at Trozen the recipient should not have been male, especially as he is as a male unique also in the intensity of his devotion to virginity (and accordingly to Artemis), which is unlikely to have been invented by Euripides.”299 While this is certainly plausible the fact remains that we lack evidence of the cult details that are contemporary with Euripides.

I have shown above that certain aspects of the aition that are puzzling in the context of the plot of the play become more reasonable when one considers the cult practices at Trozen. Nevertheless, this view is not necessarily incompatible with

Scullion’s argument here. Although Seaford has taken issue with Scullion’s ideas concerning Euripidean aitia being inventions of the poet300 a middle path exists.

Torrance suggests,

There is a middle ground between these two views. Seaford is surely correct in stressing the links between many aetiologies and evidence of cultic reality. However, Scullion also makes an important point in underlining the poet’s role as inventor. It seems to me that while Euripidean aetiologies may well allude to known cult practice, they are also communicated and constructed with a particular literary agenda in mind.301

This seems to me to be the most reasonable solution to the problem. It is possible that elements of the real cult were used to an extent to avoid complete contradiction with a well-known cult but also modified to better suit Euripides’ poetic goals.302 It is possible

299 Seaford (2009), 230. 300 Seaford (2009) 221-233 argues convincingly against Scullion’s assertion that Euripides invented cult aitia at many different points. Nevertheless, many of Seaford’s arguments do not necessarily argue that Euripides’ aitia was true to the cult it describes but rather that Euripides did not invent it. Among his explanations for this phenomenon include: Euripides misremembering the inscription at Delphi mentioned at the end of Andromache (222-223), engaging in wishful thinking and thus believing that the inscribed tripod at Delphi mentioned at the end of Suppliants really existed when it did not (223-224). 301 Torrance (2013), 38. 302 This may be at work in Euripides reference to Asclepius and the suppression of Hippolytus’ resurrection as Mitchell-Boyask (2008), 46-49 argues. 151

that the hair offerings were originally made to Phaedra and not Hippolytus. This would be more consistent with what evidence we do have for women being the traditional recipients of pre-marriage hair-offerings as well as perhaps explain the focus on the love of Phaedra for Hippolytus both in Pausianias’ account of the aition of the myrtle as well as the somewhat out of place focus on Phaedra in Euripides’ aition. While Phaedra would be a somewhat odd recipient of a hair offering since she is married rather than a virgin as all the other known recipients were, Phaedra’s married status may actually be a

Euripidean innovation as well. As Gantz notes “Before the tragedies of Sophokles and

Euripides she surfaces only once, in a single line of the Nekuia, where she is simply named together with Prokris and (Od 11.321).”303 If Euripides modified the myth to make Phaedra married to Theseus this may explain why he names Hippolytus (a virgin) as the recipient of the hair offering. If the hair offerings originally were offered to

Phaedra and not Hippolytus, Euripides’ focus on her in his aition would act as a nod to the real aspects of the contemporary cult. Euripides’ claim that Hippolytus received the hair offerings may also have arisen due to the focus on Hippolytus and his death at the end of the play and a desire to commemorate Hippolytus’ death via ritual aitia.

By keeping some of the details of the cult but changing others to better suit his purpose Euripides can refer to an actual cult and thus tie in his story with established cults while still putting his own spin on both the myth and cult involved in his play. This is especially likely since as Scullion points out “no Athenian could have participated in

303 Gantz (1993), 285. Phaedra appeared in Euripides’ first version of Hippolytus again married to Theseus but it is possible that he merely carried through that innovation into his second attempt. She also appeared in Sophocles’ Phaedra but it is not known when this was preformed in respect to Euripides’ two Hippolytus plays. For more on Phaedra in myth see Gantz (1993) 285-288. 152

anything like the full complement of distinct rituals for distinct divinities performed in

Attica in a given year, or been familiar with all the aitia traditionally attached to them.”304 When one takes into account both the flexibility of paganism in relation to dealing with different versions of the same myth as well as the vast span of time during which these cults existed some variation even from known cults could easily be explained or forgiven by the audience. Moreover, deviation from the contemporary practice of a ritual in tragedy may have been viewed in much the same way as deviation from the traditional myth: as an entertaining new interpretation of a commonly dramatized myth

(or in this case ritual aitia).

While we cannot take Euripides’ testimony in the aition about the specifics of the cult of Hippolytus at Trozen at face value, nevertheless, it is clear that Euripides here is connecting his play with a real cult that existed in some form. Even if the details of the cult that Euripides mentions are not completely accurate, by linking his play with a real cult through the use of an aition Euripides situates his play within the larger cultic traditions surrounding the characters that he depicts. This is important for our understanding of Euripidean DEM since Euripides is able to make connections between the world of the play and the audience through use of these cult aitia (and prophecy which we shall see in the next chapter), something which may be a core function of the

DEM as a whole. Although this process is relatively straightforward in the Hippolytus, as we shall see Euripides use of cult aitia in the IT is more complicated.

304 Scullion (1999), 218. 153

Iphigenia in Tauris

Like the Hippolytus, the IT deals with issues of religion and ritual. Both the

Hippolytus and the IT focus on cultic relationships between a human and the god that they serve, yet despite this basic similarity the relationship between the goddess and her devotee is quite different between the two plays. In the Hippolytus Artemis and

Hippolytus are closely connected. Hippolytus is so obsessed with Artemis that he worships her to the exclusion of Aphrodite. The relationship between Artemis and

Iphigenia in the IT is quite different. On the one hand it could be seen as closer than that of Artemis and Hippolytus since Iphigenia is Artemis’ priestess and is intimately involved in Artemis’ worship in a way that Hippolytus could not be no matter how devoted or favored he is. On the other hand, it is clear from the beginning of the play that

Iphigenia is much more ambivalent about Artemis than the devoted Hippolytus.

As in the Hippolytus the tone of the relationship between the devotee and the goddess in the IT is established early in the prologue. Unlike the unwavering devotion of

Hippolytus, Iphigenia’s experience with Artemis has been mixed at best. Artemis is first mentioned in the context of human sacrifice as Iphigenia recounts her father’s decision to sacrifice her to appease Artemis (8-9). Artemis is briefly viewed positively when

Iphigenia relates that she was saved from being sacrificed when Artemis replaced her with a deer and brought her to Tauris (28-30). However, the tone soon turns negative as


Iphigenia describes the worship which Artemis receives from the Taurians:

ναοῖσι δ᾿ ἐν τοῖσδ᾿ ἱερέαν τίθησι με: ὅθεν νόμοισι τοῖσιν ἥδεται θεὰ Ἀρτεμις, ἑορτῆς, τοὔνομ᾿ ἧς καλὸν μόνον - τὰ δ᾿ ἄλλα σιγῶ, τὴν θεὸν φοβουμένη - θύω γὰρ ὅντος τοῦ νόμου καὶ πρὶν πόλει, ὃς ἂν κατέλθῃ τήνδε γῆν Ἕλλην ἀνήρ. κατάρχομαι μὲν, σφάγια δ᾿ ἄλλοισιν μέλει ἄρρητ᾿ ἔσωθεν τῶνδ᾿ ἀνακτόρων θεᾶς. (34-41)

She placed me in this temple as her priestess: where the goddess Artemis delights in these rites, a feast which is noble in name only – But I am silent concerning these things since I fear the goddess – For, in accordance with the custom established before in the city, I sacrifice any Greek who comes to this land. I begin the sacrificial ceremonies, but the slaughter is a care for others, unspoken within the temple of the goddess.

Unlike the beginning of the Hippolytus where Hippolytus expresses nothing but praise for

Artemis, Iphigenia opens with some veiled criticism of the goddess. Although she stops short of outright criticism it is clear that she is silent about Artemis’ rites out of fear rather than out of any great love for the goddess. Iphigenia says that the rites that

Artemis delights in are noble in name only, stopping just short of criticism and then appealing to silence in much the same way as the Dioscuri do when they discuss Apollo in the Electra. Yet the Dioscuri demure from saying more by giving the excuse ἀλλ᾿

ἄναξ γάρ ἐστ᾿ ἐμός (1245) “For he is my lord”, Iphigenia in contrast gives fear as the reason for her silence. Although as a human Iphigenia has more to fear from her mistress than the Dioscuri do from another god who is simply higher in the hierarchy, by naming fear as the reason for her silence Iphigenia makes it clear that her relationship with

Artemis is in many ways negative which is in sharp contrast to Hippolytus’ view of the same goddess.


The fact that Artemis saved Iphigenia from being sacrificed does not seem to temper Iphigenia’s negative feelings towards Artemis to any great degree. Iphigenia’s description of her life since being saved shows that she is quite dissatisfied and that

Artemis’ saving her from being sacrificed has not resulted in a particularly happy life for her:

νῦν δ᾿ ἀξείνου πόντου ξείνα δυσχόρτους οἴκους ναίω, ἄγαμος ἄτεκνος ἄπολις ἄφιλος, οὐ ἱστοῖς ἐν καλλιφθόγγοις κερκίδι Παλλάδος Ἀτθίδος εἰκὼ καὶ Τιτάνων ποικιλλουσ᾿, ἀλλ᾿ αἱμόρραντον δυσφόρμιγγα ξείνων αἱμάσσουσ᾿ αὐδὰν οἰκτρόν τ᾿ ἐκβαλλόντων δάκρυον (218-228).

Now, I dwell in a barren house on an inhospitable sea, a stranger, unwed, without children, without city, and without family, I do not celebrate the dance to Hera at Argos, nor do I embroider with a shuttle on a beautiful sounding loom the likeness of Athenian Pallas and the , but a blood splattered ruin of strangers stain the altars, strangers weeping a piteous cry, and letting fall piteous tears, unfit for the lyre.305

Rather than being grateful for being spared and praising Artemis for her salvation,

Iphigenia sees her life as a dreary existence devoid of the normal elements of life which bring joy and make life worth living.306 Iphigenia focuses on her lack, she is without a spouse, children, a city, or family all the aspects that she believed that she would have when she came to Aulis to marry Achilles. At first it was her impending sacrifice and death that would prevent these things, but even after being saved Iphigenia is still denied

305 The chorus expresses similar desires at 1138-1152 as Hall (2013), 54 points out. Hall (2013), 58 sees the mention of these festivals (Hera at Argos and Pallas at Athens here and also at (220-224)) as “embed[ing] the ideas of travel with the purpose of attending festivals - theōria - between the major cities of Greece.” 306 Kyriakou (2006) at lines 218-219 pg 102, also notes Iphigenia’s misery saying “this present is even more distressing than the terrible past.” 156

these aspects of life. She mourns the life that she would have had in Greece had she married Achilles or someone else, and also mourns the aspects of life that she enjoyed before, embroidering mythic scenes on the loom.307 She even feels cut off from the cultic life that she would have enjoyed if she had married308 and does not seem to see service to

Artemis as compensation for this lack. She sharply contrasts the happy future she once envisioned with her present circumstances which are filled with the blood and sorrow of victims who are not spared as she was, all in the name of a seemingly bloodthirsty goddess.

It is natural given the situation that Iphigenia would have a more nuanced and conflicted view of Artemis than Hippolytus. As a victim of human sacrifice herself for her to have a role in human sacrifice is of course distressing. Yet as the play goes on

Iphigenia’s attitude towards Artemis begins to change. The first step is for Iphigenia to disassociate Artemis from the rites that Iphigenia finds so distasteful.

τὰ τῆς θεοῦ δὲ μέμφομαι σοφίσματα, ἥτις βροτῶν μὲν ἢν τις ἅψηται φόνου, ἢ καὶ λοχείας ἢ νεκροῦ θίγῃ χεροῖν, βωμῶν ἀπείργει, μυσαρὸν ὡς ἡγουμένη, αὐτὴ δὲ θυσίαις ἤδεται βροτοκτόνοις. οὐκ ἔσθ᾿ ὅπως ἔτεκεν ἂν ἡ Διὸς δάμαρ Λητὼ τοσαύτην ἀμαθίαν. ἐγὼ μὲν οὗν τὰ Ταντάλου θεοῖσιν ἑστιάματα

307 Cropp (2000) at lines 222-224 pg 190 explains the reference to embroidering the likeness of Athena and the Titans as evoking the Panathenaia since it and the Heraia (which is also mentioned) involved those fit for marriage presenting the goddess with a new robe and the robe in Athens was decorated with scenes from a battle between Athena and the (which is close enough to the Titans mentioned here). It is worth noting, however, that in addition to acting as a reference to the Panathenaia it also represents Iphigenia’s home life. The weaving Iphigenia did of the mythic scene concerning the golden ram and Atreus and Thystes serves as one of the recognition tokens later in the play (811-817). 308 Cropp (2000) at line 221 pg 190 notes that Iphigenia’s reference to the dance of Hera is fitting since “as a local princess Iphigenia would have played a leading part in the Heraia, chief festival which was celebrated annually at the Argive Heraion between Argos and .” Yet the reference to Hera is fitting not just because of Hera’s connection with Argos but her role as a marriage goddess. The same festival is mentioned in the Electra at lines 167-212 with a focus on marriage. 157

ἄπιστα κρίνω, παιδὸς ἡσθῆναι βορᾷ, τοὺς δ᾿ ἐνθάδ᾿, αὐτοὺς ὄντας ἀνθρωποκτόνους, ἐς τὴν θεὸν τὸ φαῦλον ἀναφέρειν δοκῶ: οὐδένα γὰρ οἷμαι δαιμόνων εἷναι κακόν. (380-391).

I blame the fastidiousness of the god, any mortal if he has committed a murder, or even come into contact with childbirth or a dead body with their hands, she keeps away from her altars, as if considering them dirty, but she herself takes pleasure in human sacrifices. It cannot be that the wife of Zeus, Leto, bore such great folly. So I judge that Tantalus’ feast for the gods, and that they took pleasure in the feast of his son, is not credible and I think that those men here who are themselves slaughterers of men, attribute their bad behavior to the god: for I think that nothing of the gods is evil.

This new view that Artemis does not desire human sacrifices and these rites are only carried out by misguided followers allows Iphigenia to reconcile herself with Artemis and signifies the beginning of a better relationship with Artemis. This process is further facilitated by her reconciliation with Orestes and his quest from Apollo to remove

Artemis’ statue from Tauris and thus from the human sacrifice Iphigenia hates.

While Iphigenia’s relationship with Artemis is much more complex and strained than Hippolytus’ relationship with the goddess, the formality of the priestess/goddess relationship makes the IT more concerned with issues of cult than the Hippolytus. The play is completely focused on the Tauric cult of Artemis.309 This comes through visually since the skene stands for the temple of Artemis in Tauris and acts as a constant visual reminder. The plot of the IT is also far more interconnected with specific issues of cult practice than we see in the Hippolytus. Iphigenia’s whole identity for most of the play is concerned with her role as Artemis’ priestess and all that this entails. As Sourvinou-

309 Hall (2013), 63 in particular argues that the IT is focused on the area of the Black Sea and the cult of Artemis there against Bilde (2009) 305, 311 who argues that the play is concerned only with the cult of Artemis in Attica. 158

Inwood puts it “much of this tragedy is, in one way or another, structured by ritual, above all human sacrifice” even to the point that “some of the preliminaries [of human sacrifice] are enacted, or announced, or partly enacted.”310 Yet the play has more cultic connections than just those involving human sacrifice. The play also includes a purification ritual, which though fake, used real elements from purification rituals in order to appear convincing to those that Iphigenia was attempting to fool.311 In addition to all this, Orestes has been sent on a divine mission from Apollo to rescue the cult statue of Artemis.

There is so much “ritual density” in the IT that Sourvinou-Inwood places it in her first and most ritually dense category of tragedies. The Hippolytus is also in this category but she makes it clear that the IT has more ritual density than the Hippolytus does.312

Both the Hippolytus and the IT are greatly concerned with problems of religion and ritual, but in different ways. The Hippolytus focuses more on the close personal relationship between Hippolytus and Artemis while the IT instead focuses on ritual and Iphigenia’s formalized position as Artemis’ priestess. Thus it is only fitting that the Hippolytus and the IT both have some of the most complex and detailed cult aitia in Euripides.

Despite the fact that both the Hippolytus and the IT have very detailed cult aitia in their DEM scenes, even before getting into the details of the cult aitia in the IT it is clear that there are some fundamental differences between the aitia in the two plays. One main difference is the epilogue deity who delivers each aitia. In the Hippolytus, Artemis

310 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 301. 311 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 302. 312 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 405. 159

herself comes down as DEM and establishes cult rites in compensation for Hippolytus’ death. Given the close personal relationship between Hippolytus and Artemis it makes good sense that Artemis would come down herself to say goodbye to Hippolytus. The situation in the IT is quite different, in this case, despite the close cultic relationship between Artemis and Iphigenia, Athena is the one to come down ex machina and to institute the new cults.

The other major difference between the aition in the Hippolytus and the aitia in the IT is the purpose behind each cult. In the Hippolytus the cult is instituted to commemorate Hippolytus’ death and the love of Phaedra for Hippolytus. In the IT in contrast, Athena comes down and saves the heroes from destruction via the wave that threatened to bring them back to Tauris and certain death. Therefore, there is no death that must be commemorated.

Before we can analyze these differences and what they mean it is necessary to take a closer look at the IT aitia. After arriving and neutralizing the wave which threatened Orestes and Iphigenia’s escape from Tauris with the cult statue of Artemis as well as telling Thoas not to pursue the ship Athena turns to Orestes and gives several commands involving cult aitia.

χώρει λαβῶν ἄγαλμα σύγγονόν τε σήν. ὅταν δ᾿ Ἀθήνας τὰς θεοδμήτους μόλῃς, χῶρός τις ἔστιν Ἀτθίδος πρὸς ἐσχάτοις ὅροισι, γείτων δειράδος Καρυστίας, ἱερός, Ἁλάς νιν οὑμὸς ὀνομάζει λεώς: ἐνταῦθα τεύξας ναὸν ἵδρυσαι βρέτας, ἐπώνυμον γῆς Ταυρικῆς πόνων τε σῶν, οὕς ἐξεμόχθεις περιπολῶν καθ᾿ Ἑλλάδα οἴστροις Ἐρινύων. Ἄρτεμιν δέ νιν βροτοὶ τὸ λοιπὸν ὑμνήσουσι Ταυροπόλον θεάν.


νόμον τε θὲς τόνδ᾿: ὅταν ἑορτάζῃ λεώς, τῆς σῆς σφαγῆς ἄποιν᾿ ἐπισχέτω ξίφος δέρῃ πρὸς ἀνδρὸς αἷμά τ᾿ ἐξανιέτω, ὁσίας ἕκατι θεά θ᾿ ὅπως τιμὰς ἔχῃ. σὲ δ᾿ ἀμφὶ σεμνάς, Ἰφιγένεια, κλίμακας Βραυρωνίας δεῖ τῇδε κλῃδουχεῖν θεᾷ: οὗ καὶ τεθάψῃ κατθανοῦσα, καὶ πέπλων ἄγαλμά σοι θήσουσιν εὐπήνους ὑφάς, ἅς ἂν γυναῖκες ἐν τόκοις ψυχορραγεῖς λίπωσ᾿ ἐν οἴκοις. (1448-1467);

Go taking the statue and your sister. When you come to god-built Athens, there is a place near the farthest borders of the Attic land, neighbor of the Carystia Mountains, holy, which men call Halai. There found a shrine and set up the wooden image, named from the Tauric land and your labors, which you achieved wandering through Greece in your frenzy caused by the Erinyes. But in the future, mortals will praise the Taurian goddess Artemis with hymns. And establish this custom: whenever the people celebrate the festival, let them hold a sword to the throat of a man and let blood come forth for form’s sake and so that the goddess may have her honors. It is necessary that you, Iphigenia, be priestess and key-keeper to the goddess about the holy stairs of Brauron: where after dying, you will be honored with funeral rites and they will dedicate gifts of well woven clothing to you, which women dying in childbirth leave in their houses.

There are two main aitia here. The first involves Orestes setting up a shrine and ritual at

Halai. The second involves Iphigenia acting as a priestess at Brauron and the fact that she will receive cult there herself after she dies.

The most surprising thing about these aitia is the fact that instructions for setting up these cults to Artemis are commanded by Athena rather than Artemis313. Given the focus on Artemis’ worship at Tauris and her statue it would be natural for her to be the one to resolve the questions concerning her stance on human sacrifice and where she

313 Kyriakou (2006), at lines 1435-1474, pg 450-451 notes the strangeness of the choice of DEM: “Although in IT Athena performs all these functions unexceptionally, her appearance is unexpected and her speech does not settle all issues raised in the play. Since Apollo and Artemis have dominated the lives of the siblings and largely determined the events of the play, it would be much more plausible for one or both of them than for Athena to appear at the end.” Torrance (2013), 36 also discusses the oddity of Athena’s appearance saying “In the IT we might have expected Artemis to appear ex machina, as she does in the Hippolytus, since she is the most prominent deity in the play.” 161

wants her statue to reside. Yet the aitia themselves give some clues as to why it is

Athena who instructs the foundation of these cults rather than Artemis. The first and most obvious reason has to do with the location of the cults. These are Attic cults which are presented to an Athenian audience who would be somewhat familiar with them.

Given the location of the cults and the audience of the play Athena suddenly becomes a natural choice for setting up these cults.314 Sourvinou-Inwood goes so far to say, “it is

Athena rather than Artemis herself who orders the foundation of these cults because in this way Athena, the poliad divinity of Athens, is shown as sanctioning, and participating in, the foundation of the two cults.”315

Athena also makes sense for mythological reasons. She was instrumental in

Orestes’ acquittal at Athens.316 Although this play takes place after the trial, the result of the trial or rather the incomplete result of the trial serves as a motivating factor for the entire play. In this version of events the trial at Athens did not fully settle the matter since not all the Erinyes accepted the judgment. Orestes’ motivation for going to Tauris and stealing the statue is to finally escape the torture of the Erinyes. Although Orestes will be successful in his mission to bring back the statue, there needs to be more closure to ensure that Orestes’ torment really will come to an end. This is achieved partially through the institution of new rituals for Artemis so she will not be angered at a loss of honors, and also through Athena’s reaffirmation of the results of the trial.

314 Platnauer (1938), xviii goes so far as to say that Athena’s arrival specifically justifies the use of a DEM here saying ”it was reasonable in the to introduce the eponymous and tutelary goddess of Athens as ordainer of the Attic cult and ritual the aetiology of which he desired to explain.” 315 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 39. 316 Torrance (2013), 36 also sees a mythological connection with the myth in Aeschylus’ Eumenides saying “Athena’s appearance ex machina in the IT is somewhat unexpected and creates a further parallel to Aeschylus’ Eumenides where Athena is such an important figure.” 162

ἐκσῴσασα δὲ καὶ πρίν σ᾿ Ἀρείοις ἐν πάγοις ψήφους ἴσας κρίνασ᾿, Ὀρέστα: καὶ νόμισμ᾿ ἔσται τόδε, νικᾶν ἰσήρεις ὅστις ἂν ψήφους λάβῃ. (1469-1472)

I saved you before, on the hill of , judging the votes to be equal, Orestes. And this will be the custom, whoever has equal votes wins.

By arriving herself, Athena, reaffirms the decision of the trial and ensures that the result will stand this time,317 both through a reaffirmation of the verdict and its lasting affect and through the establishments of new cults318 to ensure that the savage Tauric Artemis will not become angry as the Erinyes did.319

The second major difference from the Hippolytus aition is that in the IT the rites are not instituted to commemorate a death of a character in the play. Nevertheless, despite not having an immediate commemorative function the aitia in the IT are vital to resolving the cultic conflict of the play. The cult aitia in the IT are necessary in order to integrate the bloodthirsty rites of the Tauric Artemis with the more civilized rites in


Integration of the Tauric Artemis and the Greek Artemis is necessary because they are in fact the same goddess. This is apparent even in the prologue. Iphigenia makes it clear that Artemis demanded that Agamemnon sacrifice Iphigenia and also that

Artemis saved Iphigenia from being killed. The acknowledgement that the Greek

317 Cropp (2000) at lines 1471-1472, pg 264 also sees these lines of Athena as reestablishing the decision of Orestes’ acquittal. For more on why Athena is an ideal DEM for this play due to her authority on several matters see Cropp (2000) at lines 1435-1489, pg 260. 318 Torrance (2013), 37, Also sees the reason for Athena’s presence as twofold: “Athena’s presence is relevant, of course, since she will prescribe the foundation of two new cults in her Attic territories, but her presence also serves to remind us of the play’s status as a response to Aeschylus.” 319 Torrance (2013), 37-38 presents an interesting idea that the bloodletting ceremony at Halai may serve both to appease Artemis and the Furies. Also see Cropp (2000) at line 1459, pg 263. 163

Artemis was the one to ask for Iphigenia’s sacrifice helps to connect the Greek Artemis to the Artemis portrayed in the play as accepting human sacrifice from the Taurians. The connection is strengthened by the fact that it was the Greek Artemis who whisked

Iphigenia off to Tauris to be her priestess and participate in her cult which used human sacrifice. Sourvinou-Inwood stresses the connection between the two goddesses since a reference to Agamemnon’s vow to Artemis “relates the goddess of the play directly to the

Attic cult of Artemis, especially the Brauronian cult (and also the closely related

Mounichian cult)…In this way the Artemis spoken of in the prologue was zoomed to the

Artemis of Athenian cultic reality…”320 Yet the barbarity of the Tauric cult of Artemis is stressed throughout the play. Although Iphigenia is eventually able to disassociate the two by coming to the conclusion that Artemis does not want human sacrifice and the misguided Taurians worship her in this way against her wishes, there is still a great amount of uncertainty about what Artemis’ true wishes are. Artemis herself never appears in the play. She does not respond to Iphigenia’s three prayers to her and she also fails to do anything to stop the human sacrifice that is occurring or aid in the abduction of her statue from Tauris. Although the Tauric Artemis is distanced from the Greek Artemis due to distance both in terms of time and space between the Tauris of the heroic age and contemporary Athens, the distance is often destabilized especially through the frequent references to Iphigenia’s sacrifice.321

This uneasy connection between the Tauric Artemis of the play and the Artemis which the Athenians worshipped in cult makes some sort of integration between the two

320 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 32. 321 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 33. Also see Hall (2013), 68. 164

necessary. The aition at Halai achieves this by establishing a compromise of sorts, humans will no longer be sacrificed to Artemis but she will still receive some sort of blood sacrifice through the ritual of drawing a little blood from the neck of a victim.

Although this is a new rite, its connections with the old cult are obvious both through the name Ταυροπόλος and through the practice of spilling blood. As Sourvinou-Inwood explains, “the rite of blood spilling in the cult of Artemis Tauropolos is presented as a milder form of human sacrifice which in another time and place had been thought to have been appropriate for Artemis; so the cult itself is presented as an acculturated version of the Tauric cult, ordered by Athena.”322 Athena founding Attic cults on Artemis’ behalf ensures that the new rites to Artemis will turn away from the barbaric practices of the

Taurians while still acknowledging and fulfilling (to a lesser extent) the honors that

Artemis received at Tauris. As Sourvinou-Inwood explains the establishment of this new cult acknowledges the darker aspect of Artemis while also creating “the notion that those savage practices really were remote and located in the geographical and chronological other; it is these mild versions that have the sanction of the poliadic goddess, on whose orders they were instituted” and thus it presents “the present day Athenian cult and of Artemis as a superior version of those in the barbarian other and also in certain respects of those in the heroic past.”323 This has the effect both of normalizing

Artemis and glorifying Athena as a bringer of civilization. In short the aition instituted by Athena helps to normalize the Tauric Artemis and incorporate her into the cults of

Artemis familiar to the Athenians and thus minimize the unease about the bloodthirsty

322 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 37. 323 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 38. 165

Tauric version of Artemis presented in the play. Thus rather than being used as a way to memorialize someone who has died as in the Hippolytus, the aitia in the IT memorializes instead a change in Artemis’ worship.

Although the reasoning behind the establishment of the cult at Halai makes good sense given the problems and themes of the play, the second aition is more problematic.

The second aition that Athena introduces is that Iphigenia must act as priestess for

Artemis at Brauron and live out her days there in Artemis’ service until she herself dies and receives cult offerings there of the clothing of women who have died in childbirth.

Although the cult at Brauron was quite famous and thus it makes good sense to mention it in conjunction with the other cult for Artemis in Attica at Halai, it is more difficult to see a good connection between this cult and the play. It is of course possible that Iphigenia was associated with the cult at Brauron already making a mention of it here very suitable.

As I will discuss in the next section, however, evidence for Iphigenia’s associations with the cult at Brauron are quite sparse – to the point that many scholars believe that the aition associating Iphigenia with Brauron was invented.324 Yet even if the cult details of the cult at Brauron concerning Iphigenia were invented, the aition concerning Iphigenia and Brauron still serves a function for the narrative.

Just as the cult at Halai is important to the play as a way to resolve the Tauric

Artemis with the Greek Artemis, the cult at Brauron and specifically Iphigenia’s role

324 Dunn (1996) 62-63; Scullion (1999) 217-233; Ekroth (2003), Kyriakou (2006) at lines 1462-1467a, pg 459-460 all believe that the aition concerning the clothing of women in childbirth being dedicated to Iphigenia is invented; Cropp (2000) at 1464-1467 pg 263 and Johnston (1999) 238 take a more cautious approach saying that there is no hard evidence yet but that it is possible that the cult existed; Sourvinou- Inwood (2003) 30-40, 301-308, 419-421 believes the cult described for Iphigenia really existed. 166

there serves to help resolve the issues surrounding Iphigenia’s relationship with Artemis.

The importance of Iphigenia going to Brauron to serve as Artemis’ priestess is underlined by its strangeness. Unlike Orestes, Pylades, and even possibly the other Greek girls who were held captive at Tauris, Iphigenia will never return home. As Kyriakou points out this is quite unexpected; Apollo’s oracle implies that Iphigenia will return not only to

Greece but to Argos with Orestes.325 It is also clear from the conversations between

Orestes and Iphigenia that they plan on Iphigenia accompanying Orestes back home to

Argos. Iphigenia expresses at several points in the play her desire to go home and stay reunited with Orestes. With the help of Athena they are able to escape back to Greece, implying that Iphigenia and Orestes will return to Greece together and remain reunited, but it is soon revealed that Iphigenia will not actually return to her old life.

Kyriakou interprets this as a negative consequence of the fact that “Iphigenia has been too closely associated with Artemis to be able to return to a life of pre-sacrificial normalcy.”326 As she points out, in a way this has been determined even before

Iphigenia’s birth since she was dedicated to Artemis by Agamemnon before she was born. Thus even though Iphigenia is able to escape her unhappy life at Tauris she is ultimately not freed from the service of Artemis. Thus Iphigenia’s post as priestess at

Brauron “guarantees Iphigenia’s salvation but does not allow her to resume her former life [and] is the last ‘reflection’ of Aulis, the last unexpected reversal of expectations and the last in a series of open questions about divine behavior in the play.”327

325 Kyriakou (2006), at lines 1440-1441, pg 453. 326 Kyriakou (2006), at lines1462-1467a, pg 460. 327 Kyriakou (2006), at lines1462-1467a, pg 460. 167

Even without taking into account the fact that Iphigenia has been dedicated as a priestess to Artemis, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for Iphigenia to regain her old life. Even though Iphigenia is alive she was believed to be dead and was symbolically killed when the hind was substituted for her. In the time since, she has been disconnected from her family and country and thus removed from the normal course of a woman’s life. Once missed, these opportunities are difficult to regain and so even though she escapes from the barbaric Tauric cult she cannot be easily reintegrated into society.

She must therefore, continue in the only role which she has known, as a priestess to


Iphigenia’s inability to achieve the major cornerstones of female life may explain the aition concerning the dedications to Iphigenia by women who died in childbirth.

Johnston while discussing how clothing dedications to Iphigenia may have worked says,

“The clothing of a woman who has failed to make her transition to motherhood is dedicated to a heroine who was believed to have failed as well.”328 At first it may seem like Iphigenia would have little in common with these women who die during childbirth since she herself never married or became pregnant but the failure of the women to successfully enter into the next phase of a woman’s life connects them to Iphigenia. In addition, Iphigenia is closely associated with Artemis who despite being a virginal goddess, acts as the goddess of childbirth. Johnston relates how this would work in terms of cult:

That they [the clothes] were offered to Iphigenia reflects in part, probably, the fact that she had originally been a birth goddess herself, like Artemis, but that they were offered to her instead of Artemis in Artemis’s own sanctuary surely

328 Johnston (1999), 239. 168

also reflects the fact that, like the dead woman to whom the clothes belonged, Iphigenia was a victim of the goddess, whose career as a gynē had been cut short. As is so often the case, a divinity and the once-mortal heroine worshipped in her sanctuary mirror one another.329

Thus it is Iphigenia’s failure to marry or have children that makes her a fitting hero for women who also fail to successfully make this transition.

Iphigenia’s failure to return to Greece and take up her position in society as a wife and mother is not necessarily a negative event. Sourvinou-Inwood sees Iphigenia as a victim who has suffered but is ultimately rewarded for that suffering.

Iphigenia, who survived but suffered, will found the Brauronian cult and be its first priestess, she will become a priestess in a civilized Artemis cult in Greece, at the center of Greece from the viewpoint of tragedy and its audience, and after her death she will receive heroic cult. This does not neutralize her suffering, but it puts it in perspective; correlative with her exceptional suffering is her exceptional fate and her exceptional relationship to the goddess.330

Although Sourvinou-Inwood recognizes that Iphigenia has suffered both in her initial sacrifice and in her role as the priestess to Artemis’ Taurian cult, in her view Iphigenia’s role as priestess acts as compensation for this suffering rather than adding to it. Up to this point Iphigenia’s exceptional status and close relationship with the goddess has been mostly a source of suffering through her sacrifice and her duties in the Tauric cult. With the establishment of a new and powerful cult with Iphigenia as head priestess, however, this exceptional status will finally result in a reward and favor with the goddess.

At this point it is necessary to compare how the aitia related by Euripides compares to the historical cults both at Halai and at Brauron. Although Halai is the first aition mentioned in the DEM speech I will examine the aition about Brauron first

329 Johnston (1999), 240. 330 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 39. 169

because there is more evidence for the Brauron cult than the cult at Halai and because much of what we know or can speculate about the Halai cult is in relation to the cult at


The cult of Artemis at Brauron is well attested both by archaeological evidence as well as through ancient sources. Most of what we know concerning the nature of the rites particularly concerning their cultic aitiology comes from a on Aristophanes’

Lysistrata line 645 and from the ἄρκτος entry in the Suda.331 Yet unlike the case of the

Hippolytus, there is very little overlap between the cult aitiology and information about the real cult reported in these two sources and the aitia in Euripides.

The account of the cult aitiology and rites in the Lysistrata scholia and in the Suda entry are very close to one another. Both report that young girls (between the ages of 5 and 10) were sent to Brauron to serve the goddess Artemis. The rites involved wearing a saffron-colored robe and imitating a bear. These rites must be performed before the girls can be married. The same basic aitiology for the practice is also reported in both sources: a girl is accidentally blinded by a bear sacred to Artemis and her brother kills the bear.

Artemis responds to this by sending a plague to the Athenians and demands that they send their girls to her temple and wear saffron-colored robes and imitate the bear before they can be married in recompense for the death of the bear. The Athenians comply, the plague ends, and the ritual of the arkteia is the result.332

331 Other evidence for the cult at Brauron in literary sources include: Hesychius - HE1:s.v. Brauroniois, HE2:s.v. arkteia; Harpocration - HA1: s.v. arkteusai, HA2:s.v. dekateusai; Bekker, Anecdota Graeca p. 444 s.v. arkteusai; Eustathius ad Iliad 2.772; See Faraone (2003), 51-54 for an overview and of these sources. 332 For more on this as well as slight variations in the sources (perhaps due to being different but related rites) see Faraone (2003), 51-61. 170

Compare the account of the aitia in Euripides:

σὲ δ᾿ ἀμφὶ σεμνάς, Ἰφιγένεια, κλίμακας Βραυρωνίας δεῖ τῇδε κλῃδουχεῖν θεᾷ: οὗ καὶ τεθάψῃ κατθανοῦσα, καὶ πέπλων ἄγαλμά σοι θήσουσιν εὐπήνους ὑφάς, ἅς ἂν γυναῖκες ἐν τόκοις ψυχορραγεῖς λίπωσ᾿ ἐν οἴκοις. (1462-1467)

It is necessary that you, Iphigenia, be priestess and key-keeper to the goddess about the holy stairs of Brauron: where after dying, you will be honored with funeral rites and they will dedicate gifts of well woven clothing to you, which women dying in childbirth leave in their houses.

Unlike Athena’s description of the rites that must be performed at Halai, there is little detail about the rites at Brauron. More importantly nothing mentioned here matches up either with what we know of the cult practices from ancient sources or with the aitiology laid out in the Lysistrata scholia or the Suda.333 Even more interesting is the fact that

Euripides does not mention any of the key features of the rites at Brauron reported in the sources: bears or ‘acting the bear’, wearing saffron robes, young girls, or marriage.334

The primary dissonance between our ancient sources for the rites at Brauron and

Euripides’ aitia is in regards to Iphigenia. Although the scholia on the Lysistrata mentions a tradition where Iphigenia was sacrificed at Brauron rather than Aulis and a bear being sacrificed in her place rather than a hind, this mention of Iphigenia seems to be an aside rather than reporting that Iphigenia received dedications as Euripides says she does. The other problem is that both the Lysistrata scholia and the Suda are much later

333 It should be noted that the scholia mentions a Euphorion reporting a cenotaph of Iphigenia reported in the scholia on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. However, as Kyriakou (2006) at lines 1462-67a, pg 458 points out this fragment may be reworking Euripides. In addition a cenotaph is different than the tomb which Artemis mentions and there is no mention in the sources of dedications. 334 Ekroth (2003), 63 also notes this fact. While the arkteia does not seem to have much to do with the subject of the play, it would have been possible fore Euripides to forge a link. 171

than Euripides335 and it is possible that they have been influenced by Euripides himself or by traditions that sprung up as a result of Euripides’ aitia. 336 In fact Euripides is the earliest and most explicit source of Iphigenia’s connection with Brauron.

While it is clear that there was a cult to Artemis at Brauron, Iphigenia’s involvement if any is much more uncertain. Ekroth in particular explores how Euripides’ testimony that Iphigenia received cult at Brauron has led many scholars to interpret the archaeological evidence at the sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron as confirming Euripides’ reports of her presence there. However, she proposes that the archaeological findings do not confirm that Iphigenia received cult at the site, but rather that Euripides’ aitia has influenced how the evidence of the site has been interpreted.337 The original excavator of

Brauron, John Papadimitriou, influenced heavily by the evidence in Euripides, identified structures in a cave near the temple of Artemis as a tomb of Iphigenia, as well as associating other areas of the site with Iphigenia.338 Yet, as Ekroth points out, much of the archaeological evidence does not support the idea that Iphigenia was associated with these areas and in the case of the proposed tomb of Iphigenia, the dating of the remains and artifacts in the area do not support this idea since they are very late and some of the findings date to Roman times.339

Ekroth is not the only scholar to have questioned Iphigenia’s connection to the

Brauron site and the validity of using Euripides’ aitia as evidence for a historical cult.

335 For more on the dating of the scholia to Aristophanes in general see Dickey (2007), 28-31. 336 Ekroth (2003) 61 talks about this issue in more detail. Hollinshead (1985), 425 also takes this view. 337 Ekroth (2003), 59. 338 Ekroth (2003), 67; Hollinshead (1985), 425. 339 See Ekroth (2003) 77-81 for discussion on the findings in the cave, for the lack of mentions of Iphigenia see 70-73. 172

Although Dunn in general takes a stance that Euripides for the most part invents his aitia, he acknowledges that in the case of the aitia concerning Brauron it is closer to actual practice. Dunn concedes that wool and clothing were dedicated to Artemis Brauronia at the very least on the Athenian Acropolis and possibly at Brauron as well. However,

Dunn is much more skeptical about the supposed dedications to Iphigenia: “There is no evidence for offerings to Iphigenia, no evidence that offerings were associated with childbirth and no reason to suppose that the offerings were posthumous.”340 This assertion is seemingly backed up by the evidence (or more properly the lack of evidence) at the site which Ekroth reports, specifically the fact that Iphigenia’s name does not appear anywhere at the site.341 Despite the disconnect between what we know of practice and what Euripides reports, Dunn still points out that the aitia here comes a bit close to actual practice. Dunn’s explanation for this closeness between aitia and cult practice is that aitia associate themselves with familiar places and practices to make a claim that there is continuity between the fictional plot and the audiences’ world. Yet, he contends,

Euripides places a twist on this because the world described in the aitia is just as fictional as the events of the play.342 This last statement goes a bit too far; while it true that we have no evidence for dedications to Iphigenia this does not mean that these dedications were impossible or (even if these dedications did not exist) that Euripides’ aition has no connection with reality. The fact that the aition shares similarities with real cult practice while still having key differences is better explained by Torrance’s hypothesis that

340 Dunn (1996), 63. 341 Ekroth (2003), 70-73. 342 Dunn (2000), 22. 173

Euripidean aitiologies allude to a real cult practice but are modified in order to mesh with his own literary agenda.343 Lefkowitz argues against Dunn using a very similar argument:

There is no reason to suppose that the audience of that drama [IT], or any of Euripides’ other , would have understood his new aetiologies as ‘fabrications’ or ‘playing a self-conscious game’ with them or the other poets with whom he was competing. It is not as if there ever had been a single orthodox account of how these or any other cults had been established. New versions of any myth could always be devised to suit a particular purpose or occasion...In presenting different versions of traditional Euripides and other dramatists were not seeking to deceive their audiences. Rather, they were finding new and ingenious ways to entertain them, and at the same time, to represent as vividly as the conventions of the theater would allow them to do the extraordinary range of the gods’ powers.344

This view has the advantage of acknowledging some sort of relationship (albeit an imperfect one) with the real cult while not necessitating complete correspondence between Euripides’ aition and actual cult practice.

Scullion also takes the view that the aitiologies were invented. Like Ekroth and

Hollinshead he takes issue with the Papadimitruiou’s identification of the hieron at the site with Iphigenia and also with the fact that Iphigenia’s name does not appear on any of the objects.345 He speculates that the well-known practice of women dedicating garments to Artemis after successful childbirth acted as “the prompt for the Euripidean dedication of dead women’s garments to Iphigenia, for which there is no evidence whatever.”346

This seems far more likely as does Scullion’s conclusion that “Euripides’ aition is a

343 Torrance (2013), 38. 344 Lefkowitz (2016), 97. Lefkowitz in general sides more closely with Sourvinou-Inwood and against Dunn. Nevertheless, although she argues against Dunn’s take on Euripides invention of aitiologies she does not insist on the historical validity of the aitia the way Sourvinou-Inwood does. 345 Scullion (1999), 229. 346 Scullion (1999) 228-229. 174

reflex of the play’s themes rather than of cultic practice”347 This hypothesis works well with Torrance’s’ view: if Scullion is correct here then Euripides is simply modifying real cult practice to better suit his literary agenda and thus his aition still has a relationship with the real cult rather than being a complete as Dunn contends.348 Although

Seaford and other scholars have taken issue with Scullion’s conclusions here Scullion is certainly right to question the validity of taking the testimony of aitia that occur in tragedy, a which has great flexibility in its portrayal of myth and whose authors often give quite different accounts of the same mythic events, at face value.

There are, however, some scholars such as Sourvinou-Inwood who view

Euripides aitia in a more literal light.349 While critiquing Dunn’s view that many

Euripidean aitia were invented by the poet, Sourvinou-Inwood focuses in on the aitia concerning Brauron in the IT. She argues that Dunn’s skeptical position is “based on the neglect of the process of the creation of meanings by the ancient audience.”350 This criticism of Dunn rests on Sourvinou-Inwood’s belief that she has accurately

“reconstructed perceptual filters of the fifth-century Athenian audience,”351 which she interprets as showing that “the fifth-century Athenian audiences perceived such divinities as representations of the ‘real’ divinities of cult…”352 Thus Sourvinou-Inwood makes it

347 Scullion (1999), 229. 348 Dunn (1996), 22. 349 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), (1988), has perhaps focused on this more than most. Seaford (2009) in his response against Scullion’s (1999) paper also supports a more literal reading of Euripidean aitia. In the case of the IT aition involving Iphigenia in particular he is quick to denounce Scullion’s views and seems to view the Iphigenia aition as an accurate representation of cult, 232-234. However, at other places Seaford (2009), argues less for total Euripidean accuracy as he seems to here and more for unintentional errors on the part of Euripides that may have resulted in an aition that was not completely accurate to cult reality. See note 300 above. 350 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 420. 351 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 5. 352 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 6. 175

clear from the beginning that she takes cult aitia in plays as solid evidence for cult practice, or at the very least that the Athenians would have believed these aitia were accurate. Nevertheless, while Sourvinou-Inwood makes many valuable contributions to work on Euripidean cult aitia, her assertion that plays can serve a solid evidence for actual cult practice relies too much on her accurately constructing the ‘perceptual filters’ of the Athenians, and not enough on the actual evidence of the site.

While Sourvinou-Inwood acknowledges that it is possible that there may have been differences between the cult practices that the Athenians performed and Euripides’ description of the cult, she argues that any discrepancy would have been reconciled as

“the result of the distance between the present and the earliest practices in the heroic age which have now lapsed.”353 While this explanation is certainly possible and could account for the differences between our evidence for cult practice and the aitia reported by Euripides354 she makes it clear that she believes that the rites did exist more or less as

Euripides describes:

Dunn is critical of scholars who postulate that the rites specified by Athena had been part of the cults of Halai and Brauron, and then proceeds to assume that we can know that they were not, simply on the basis of the fact that for some things there is no other evidence to show that those specific rites were practiced, despite the fact that all these rites make sense in terms of what we do know independently about these cults. Familiarity with the primary evidence makes one more aware of the fragility of these ex silentio arguments. In fact some of Dunn’s assertions are simply wrong. It is not true that there is no evidence for offerings to Iphigenia at Brauron. On the contrary, that Iphigenia received cult at Brauron is a fact.355

353 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 420. 354 This solution (among others) is also proposed by Scullion (1999) 230 as a less extreme version of his viewpoint. 355 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 421. 176

Yet as I have shown above at least in the case of Brauron, for which we have more independent evidence, none of the specific aspects of the cult that Euripides describes are corroborated by the other literary sources. She goes on to assert “that Iphigenia received cult at Brauron is a fact”. Yet Sourvinou-Inwood presents little evidence to support this

‘fact’ only citing two sources to support her assertion. The first source sited is a short guide to the site and museum by Themelis and dated to 1971 and the section which

Sourvinou-Inwood references only gives basic details of the site. While Themelis does identify several features as being related to Iphigenia towards the end of the section he cites “the opinion of the excavator”. 356 This is problematic since as both Hollinshead and Ekroth have pointed out, Papadimitriou was heavily influenced by Euripides when making identifications at the site357 making Sourvinou-Inwood’s argument here rather circular. The only other source Sourvinou-Inwood cites to support her claim is a footnote in another one of her own works.358 This tendency to place a great deal of trust on literary sources on matters of cult can happen to even the most renowned scholars.

Burkert makes a similar assumption when talking about Brauron saying that the garments of women who died in childbirth were dedicated at Brauron using only the IT aitia as evidence.359 Thus while Dunn perhaps goes too far in his assertion that the aition in

Euripides is a complete fiction, Sourvinou-Inwood also goes too far in her assertion that it is an indisputable fact. The truth likely lies somewhere between these two views.

356 Themelis (1971), 24-26. 357 Ekroth (2003) 61. Hollinshead (1985), 425. 358 Sourvinou-Inwood (1997), 19 n. 46. 359 Burkert (1985), pg 151, note 25, note 25 on page 407 redirects to II2 n. 32; which states on page 374, note 32 “Eur. Iph. Taur. 1464-7” 177

Many scholars do take a more moderate view between the two extremes.

Hollinshead’s article “Against Iphigenia’s Adyton in Three Mainland Temples” based on the title alone seems to go against the idea that Euripides’ aitia in the IT can be accurately applied as evidence of cult. Hollinshead does not just question the identification of the inner rooms with Iphigenia at Brauron but at Aulis and Halai as well. Yet Hollinshead is not ready to completely dismiss Euripides’ aitia. She says,

We assume that an actual religious practice is described here, if only for the sake of the dramatist’s credibility with his audience. A dramatist describing Attic religious rites to an Athenian (or Attic) audience would not stray too far from current practice. Likewise, there must have been an Iphigenia at Brauron to whom such garments were dedicated.360

This at first seems like a wholehearted acceptance of Euripides’ aitia as an accurate source for the Brauron cult. Yet Hollinshead stops short of total agreement. Rather than accept Euripides at his word that Iphigenia served as a priestess to Artemis and received dedications, Hollinshead instead notes that this was unlikely since it was not customary for priestesses to receive dedications even posthumously. Moreover, Hollinshead argues that Euripides added this detail for literary reasons. Such an identification makes sense for literary reasons since making Iphigenia Artemis’ priestess at Brauron allows

Iphigenia to continue in the same role that she had in Tauris. It also is a convenient way to deal with the fate of her character.361

However, what is most interesting is how Hollinshead attempts to reconcile the details of Euripides’ aitia that she believes to be true with the problems and assumptions

360 Hollinshead (1985), 425. Lefkowitz (2016), 92 presents a possible solution to this problem: “It would not have mattered to Euripides’ audience if the rituals Athena describes did not exist in their day, since they believed that cult practices could change over time and vary from polis to polis.” 361 Hollinshead (1985), 425. 178

of the archaeological record. After tracking the appearances of Iphigenia’s name in ancient sources she suggests that Iphigenia was a name or epithet of a birth goddess at

Brauron before Euripides but that this Iphigenia was not necessarily the Iphigenia familiar in mythology as Agamemnon’s daughter. 362

I would speculate that the original cult at Brauron involved worship of Iphigenia as a cave-dwelling goddess of childbirth to whom women’s garments were dedicated. Over time, Artemis may have taken over most of this goddess’ identity. Whether this deity was left with the dark side of childbirth – the offerings after unhappy deliveries – or whether she was always a figure parallel to Artemis and responsible for this specific jurisdiction cannot be answered on the basis of present evidence. Iphigeneia is thus seen to be divine herself or else associated with divinity at Brauron, but she need not be the heroine described in Euripides’ aition for Brauronian cult practice – an Iphigeneia figure whom I interpret as his deliberate conflation of Brauron’s deity and the legendary daughter of Agamemnon.363

Hollinshead’s theory is useful for its attempt at reconciling the similarities between what we know of Brauronian cult practice with the aition in Euripides while still recognizing the problems with using Euripides to interpret archaeological evidence.

Johnston also takes a more cautious approach when dealing with the reliability of

Euripides’ aition concerning Iphigenia’s role at Brauron. While acknowledging the lack of archaeological evidence, Johnston presents a plausible theory that could reconcile what evidence we do have with the aition reported in Euripides. Johnston notes that while the

Brauron temple inventories have not been published,

…inscriptions from the Brauronion in Athens mention that some unfinished pieces of clothing were dedicated there. It is hard to see why anyone would dedicate unfinished clothing to a goddess; typically, in fact, favorite items of used clothing were dedicated to goddesses. Perhaps these strange dedications in the Brauronion represent projects left incomplete at the time of their creator’ deaths;

362 Hollinshead (1985), 420-425. 363 Hollinshead (1985), 425-426. 179

if so they would fit Euripides’ description of dedications to Iphigenia very nicely.364

The records of unfinished clothing, if they hold true for Brauron as well as Athens, may present a solution to the problem of Euripides’ so far unsubstantiated claim of dedications to Iphigenia from women who died in childbirth which is not otherwise attested in ancient sources or in the archaeological record as it now stands.

Johnston also presents a possible solution to the problem that Hollinshead raised concerning two different Iphigenia’s: one who was a birth goddess and one who was the daughter of Agamemnon.

Iphigenia was a birth goddess; when she was subordinated by Artemis, she may have fallen into the same mythic paradigm that other former divinities had, a virgin whose death Artemis caused or whom Artemis rescued as she was about to die, but in cult she could retain her original function of protecting childbirth and nurture.365

Johnston’s theory presents an elegant solution to the problem of two different

Iphigenia’s. Not only that, but Johnston’s explanation also fits in with Nagy’s ideas about how to reconcile the cult of Hippolytus at Trozen with Euripides’ account.366

Nevertheless, while this theory makes a great deal of sense and perhaps comes the closest to reconciling Euripides’ aition with our evidence for cult practice, Johnston stops short of Sourvinou-Inwood’s position that the worship of Iphigenia at Brauron must have occurred in the way that Euripides’ aition says.367 Instead Johnston presents a possible

364 Johnston (1999), 238. 365 Johnston (1999), 240. 366 Nagy (2013), 333, 551. 367 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 421. 180

solution but acknowledges that given our current evidence it is simply not possible to say for certain.368

It is clear that the case of Brauron is a complicated one. Euripides stands as one of the earliest sources for the rites at Brauron and thus has had great influence on how what little archaeological evidence that has been published has been interpreted. Our other main ancient sources on the cult at Brauron are much later than Euripides so obtaining information about how the cult operated in Euripides’ time is quite difficult.

There is significant disagreement amongst scholars on whether or not we can use

Euripidean aitia as an accurate source of information on ancient cults. This is further complicated by the fact that much of what is reported in the IT aition about Brauron differs from or is not confirmed directly by other sources for the cult at Brauron.

Scholars have suggested various answers to these problems ranging from total acceptance of Euripides’ account to dismissing Euripides’ aitia as having nothing to do with the main cult. The truth likely lies somewhere in between. Since Euripides mentions Brauron by name it is highly unlikely that he would have given details with no resemblance to the actual cult which the Athenians would have been familiar with, and indeed there are some similarities between what he reports and what we know of the cult

– dedications were made by women who underwent childbirth. Nevertheless, there is very little if any evidence for Iphigenia’s connection to Brauron or dedications from women who died in childbirth. As tempting as it is to accept what Euripides says as accurate we cannot simply say that what Euripides reports is true without evidence to

368 Johnston (1999), 238. 181

back it up. Given the lack of evidence the most likely scenario is that Euripides used a similar technique in the Brauron aitia as to what he did for the cult of Hippolytus in

Trozen: he took basic details of an existing cult but tweaked them to better fit his literary agenda. Instead of dedications to Artemis from women who gave birth, he took that basis and tweaked the recipient to Iphigenia and made the dedications come from a similar but non identical group to avoid contradiction to known dedications to Artemis. Though there are other possible theories, I believe this is the most probable explanation at least until new evidence can tell us otherwise.

At this point I will briefly turn to the cult of Artemis Tauropolos at Halai.369 Like in the case of Brauron, the temple at Halai has been discovered and excavated to an extent and is located near Brauron. 370 It has generally been seen as linked closely to the cult at Brauron even leading some scholars to believe that they were the same cult, a notion which is disproved by Strabo.371 While it is clear from Strabo and other evidence that the cults at Brauron and Halai were distinct from one another there are many similarities between the two cults. For example, small mixing bowls called krateriskoi have been found at both sites.372 The bowls feature young girls wearing a chiton or naked running a race towards an altar with a flame burning on it or towards a tree. Some

369 It is worth noting that Artemis Tauropolos was not just worshipped at Halai but was commonly worshipped in Minor as well. See Cropp (2000), 54, Lloyd-Jones (1983), 96-97, Farnell (1877), 2.529, Hollinshead (1985) 428. 370 Cropp (2000), at line 1453 pg 262 – It was discovered by Kyparissis in 1930 and re-excavated by Papadimitriou in 1956. 371 Deubner (1969), 208; Lloyd-Jones (1983), 91; Strabo, 9.1.22. 372 Lloyd-Jones (1983), 93; Kahil (1965), 25. These bowls have also been found at the shrine of Artemis Mounychia in Piraeus, Artemis Aristboule near the Agor, and and the at Agora and near . 182

vases also show girls dancing or carrying garlands.373 Our main literary evidence for the rites at Halai is Menader’s Epitrepontes in which a girl is raped during the all-night festival at Halai; fragments from the play describe girls dancing and playing together.374

Brauron and Halai have also traditionally been connected by the belief that, at least in their early stages, both cults were concerned with initiation – the Tauropolis at Halai for males, and the Brauronia at Brauron for females.375 The connection between these rites and initiation, however, has recently been questioned by scholars, at the very least in the case of Brauron. Faraone has made a convincing argument that the rites at Brauron were not initiation rites but rather “a series of two or three different and perhaps unrelated sacrificial rites aimed at the appeasement of Artemis.”376 This conclusion may have implications for the rites at Halai as well, either that they are also more likely to be sacrificial rites or that they are not as connected to the rites at Brauron as was first thought.377

As in the case of Brauron, although Euripides’ aitia refers to the cult by name

Euripides does not seem to describe the rites which appear in our evidence for the cult but instead focuses on different ones.

μαθὼν δ᾿, Ὀρέστα, τὰς ἐμὰς ἐπιστολάς - κλύεις γὰρ αὐδὴν καίπερ οὐ παρὼν θεᾶς - χώρει λαβὼν ἄγαλμα σύγγονόν τε σήν. ὅταν δ᾿ Ἀθήνας τὰς θεοδμήτους μόλῃς,

373 Lloyd-Jones (1983), 93, Kahil (1965), 25. 374 Cropp (2000), 54; , Epitrepontes, 445-520, cf 863, 1118-20. 375 Lloyd-Jones (1983), 97. 376 Faraone (2003), 44. 377 Given the evidence in Faraone (2003), 43-62 I am inclined to believe that the rites at Halai were also sacrificial rather than initiatory. A sacrificial purpose would also fit in better with the rites described in Euripides as well as the themes in the IT in general. While Euripides should not necessarily be taken as evidence of cult practice at Halai it would make sense for Euripides to mention a cult concerned with sacrifice and appeasing Artemis at the end of a play concerned with human sacrifice to Artemis. 183

χῶρός τις ἔστιν Ἀτθίδος πρὸς ἐσχάτοις ὅροισι, γείτων δειράδος Καρυστίας, ἱερός, Ἁλάς νιν οὑμὸς ὀνομάζει λεώς: ἐνταῦθα τεύξας ναὸν ἵδρυσαι βρέτας, ἐπώνυμον γῆς Ταυρικῆς πόνων τε σῶν, οὓς ἐξεμόχθεισ περιπολῶν καθ᾿ Ἑλλάδα οἴστροις Ἐρινύων. Ἄρτεμιν δέ νιν βροτοὶ τὸ λοιπὸν ὑμνήσουσι Ταυροπόλον θεάν; νόμον τε θὲς τόνδ᾿: ὅταν ἑοράζῃ λεώς, τῆς σῆς σφαγῆς ἄποιν᾿ ἐπισχέτω ξίφος δέρῃ πρὸς ἀνδρὸς αἷμά τ᾿ ἐξανιέτω, ὁσίας ἕκατι θεά θ᾿ ὅπως τιμὰς ἔχῃ. (1446-1461).

But learning my orders, Orestes, for you hear them although you are not near the goddess – go taking the statue and your sister. When you come to god-built Athens, there is a place on the furthest boarders of Attica, neighbor to the Carystian ridge, holy, my people call it Halai: There found a temple and set the statue in it, named for the Tauric land and your suffering, which wore you out going around throughout Greece because of the goad of the Erinyes. Mortals in the future will hymn the goddess Artemis Tauropolos. Establish this custom: whenever the people keep the festival let a sword be held the neck of a man and let blood be drawn in atonement for your sacrifice, the goddess may have honor by virtue of this law.

The main similarity between the evidence we have for Halai and the aitia in Euripides is that both show the connection between the cults at Brauron and Halai. By mentioning both in his aitia Euripides makes it clear that they are related while at the same time by giving them different founders and discussing them separately Euripides makes it clear that they are separate cults. Yet the similarities between evidence for cult practice and what is reported in Euripides’ aitia seems to end there. There is no mention of girls running a race or dancing in Euripides aitia as is shown on the krateriskoi.

The Euripidean aitia comes closest not to the archaeological or literary evidence for the activity of the cult at Halai, but rather to a report in Pausanias regarding the fate of the statue of Artemis that in the Euripidean aitia Athena commands be kept at the newly


founded Halai temple. Pausanias discusses the statue at two points, primarily speculating on its location. His first passage, however, deals with Brauron rather than Halai.

Μαραθῶνος δὲ ἀπέχει τῇ μὲν Βραυρών, ἔνθα Ἰφιγένειαν τὴν Ἀγαμέμνονος ἐκ Ταύρων φεύγουσαν τὸ ἄγαλμα ἀγομένην τὸ Ἀρτέμιδος ἀποβῆναι λέγουσι, καταλιποῦσαν δὲ τὸ ἄγαλμα ταύτῃ καὶ ἐς Ἀθήνας καὶ ὕστερον ἐς Ἄγος ἀφικέσθαι: ξόανον μὲν δὴ καὶ αὐτόθι ἐστὶν Ἀρτέμιδος ἀρχαῖον, τὸ δὲ ἐκ τῶν βαρβάρων οἵτινες κατὰ γνώμην ἔχουσι τὴν ἐμήν, ἐν ἑτέρῳ λόγῳ δηλώσω: 1.33.1

At a distance from Marathon is Brauron, there they say Iphigenia daughter of Agamemnon fleeing from Tauris came carrying a statue of Artemis, leaving the statue there, she came to Athens and later to Argos. Indeed there is an ancient wooden statue of Artemis there, but who has the one from the barbarians according to my opinion, I will make clear in a later section.

Thus Pausanias refers to a real statue and connects it the story of Iphigenia stealing it from the Taurians more or less as Euripides sets out but with a major difference. He locates the statue in Brauron rather than Halai as the aition states. The matter of the statue’s location becomes even more complex later on. While discussing the Spartans

Pausanias mentions a wooden image and returns to the story of the statue stolen from the


τὸ δὲ χωρίον τὸ ἐπονομαζόμενον Λιμναῖον Ὀρθίας ἱερόν ἐστιν Ἀρτέμιδος. τὸ ξόανον δὲ ἐκεῖνο εἷναι λέγουσιν ὅ ποτε καὶ Ὀρέστης καὶ Ἰφιγένεια ἐκ τῆς Ταυρικῆς ἐκκλέπτουσιν: ἐς δὲ τὴν σφετέραν Λακεδαιμόνιοι κομισθῆναί φασιν Ὀρέστου καὶ ἐνταῦθα βασιλεύοντος. καί μοι εἰκότα λέγειν μᾶλλὸν τι δοκοῦσιν ἤ Ἀθηναῖοι. ποίῳ γὰρ δὴ λόγῳ κατέλιπεν ἄν ἐν Βραυρῶνι Ἰφιγένεια τὸ ἄγαλμα; ἤ πῶς, ἡνίκα Ἀθηναῖοι τὴν χώραν ἐκλιπεῖν παρεσκευάζοντο, οὐκ ἐσέθεντο καὶ τοῦτο ἐς τὰς ναῦς; 3.16.7

There is a place called Limnaeum which is sacred to Artemis Orthia. They say that there is a statue there which Orestes and Iphigenia once stole from the Taurians: The Spartans say that it was brought to their land because Orestes was also king there. And to me they seem to speak more truly than the Athenians. For why would Iphigenia leave the statue in Brauron? Or why, would the Athenians when they prepared to leave their land would they not place it on their ships?


Pausanias discusses the many different places which claim to have the statue Iphigenia and Orestes brought from Tauris. Pausanias primarily focuses on the claim of the

Spartans, finding it more likely than the Athenian claim and other claims which he discusses (3.16.7-11).

Pausanias believes the Spartan claim to be the most legitimate for several reasons.

He first attacks the logic of the Athenian claim that the statue was in Brauron (3.16.7-8).

He also favors the Spartan claim because the statue there was said to cause madness

(3.16.9). But the evidence that is most convincing for Pausanias is concerns a rite to

Artemis Orthia. He relates a story that while the Spartans and others were sacrificing to

Artemis they fought and many were killed at the altar with the rest dying of a disease

(3.16.9). They are then delivered an oracle saying in order to atone for this they must stain the altar with blood. Overtime the custom becomes to scourge young males so they bleed on the altar as a priestess holds the wooden statue and if the young man is not scourged hard enough the statue becomes heavy (3.16.10-11). It is the bloodthirstiness of the statue which serves to convince Pausanias of the legitimacy of the Spartan claim. He says: οὕτω τῷ ἀγάλματι ἀπὸ τῶν ἐν τῇ Ταυρικῇ θυσιῶν ἐμμεμένηκεν ἀνθρώπων αἵματι

ἥδεσθαι (3.16.11). “So statue stays true and takes pleasure in the blood of men just as it did from the sacrifices in Tauris.” This claim in many ways is consistent with the aitia in

Euripides, or at least what is implied by it: that the mock sacrifice of a man by drawing blood with a sword (or in this case by drawing blood through scourging) acts as a replacement for the real sacrifices Artemis received in Tauris.


There are, however, problems with this connection between the Euripidean aitia and what Pausanias reports. First, Pausanias never locates the statue in Halai. While it is certainly possible to assume that perhaps the statue was originally in Halai and then taken elsewhere, Pausanias is generally careful to discuss each claim and even takes care to track the supposed movements of the statue when applicable (3.16.8), if the temple at

Halai were built in order to house the statue, as the aitia states, such a strong even supposed connection would almost certainly have been mentioned by Pausanias when discussing the various claims.

The second main problem is the rites described themselves. Though Pausanias finds the Spartan claim the most reasonable because the statue seems to have retained its bloodthirsty Tauric origins (which is in keeping with the basic idea of the aitia) the rite

Pausanias describes is quite different from the rite described in Euripides and does not take place at Halai but rather in Sparta. Although Pausanias acknowledges changes in the rite over time, the change he describes - from human sacrifice to scourging - is more consistent with the change from the Tauric human sacrifice to the rite at Halai rather than being consistent with a change in the rite described in the Euripidean aitia to the rite that

Pausanias describes. Thus the statue and rite at Sparta and the statue and rite described by Euripides in Halai seem to be following the same logical pattern but do not seem to be directly related.

The final main problem is that the story and resulting scourging rite that

Pausanias describes is not the historical background of the cult. As Graf relates, the scourging rite first appears in Cicero and was popular in the Roman Imperial period, and


thus it is quite late and cannot be seen as evidence for Euripides’ time.378 Although

Pausanias admits that the scourging was not the initial rite but was a lesser version of human sacrifice that was stopped by Lycurgus (3.16.10) this still leaves an insurmountable gap in the explanation of the practice between Lycurgus and Cicero.

Moreover, we have evidence of the rite in the 4th century that is vastly different. Rather than being flogged, two young men engaged in a cheese-stealing competition where one man tried to steal the cheese from the altar and the other tried to prevent him from doing so. Thus rather than an initial human sacrifice becoming less harsh over time, the opposite effect occurs: a bloodless cheese stealing ritual is changed to a much more violent scourging ritual.379

As for the core of the Halai aitia reporting a ritual where a sword was held to a man’s neck and blood was drawn to appease the Artemis, we have no real evidence. As in the above case of the dedications to Iphigenia of women who died in childbirth, lack of evidence for the cult practice has not stopped scholars from discussing this ritual at length. The general attitude of the scholarship can be summed up by Cropp’s commentary on the IT. In his introduction Cropp states: “Athena’s instruction that the festival at Halai should include the ritual drawing of blood from a male victim’s throat in compensation for the unfulfilled sacrifice of Orestes probably provided an origin (aition) for a real ritual in which young men underwent an initiatory mock-death comparable with that of the girl-‘bears’ at Brauron”380 At this point Cropp directs the reader to his note on

378 Graf (1993), 115. 379 Graf (1993), 115. 380 Cropp (2000), 54. 188

the specific lines in the commentary where he appears more cautious: “As with the dedications of clothes to Iphigenia (1464-7) we have no further evidence for this practice, but it seems likelier to have been an established ritual than Euripides’ (or a recent) invention”381 Thus suffice it to say that, as with the Brauron aitia, the aitia for the rite at

Halai is the subject of great debate amongst scholars with various interpretations ranging from outright acceptance of the aitia as testimony for real cult practice to complete rejection of the historicity of the ritual.382 This is not a matter that can be solved in a single chapter, but I hope to have shown that while there are similarities between the aitia that Euripides reports and knowledge we have of the cult through other sources, there are also many important differences that cannot be overlooked and it would be irresponsible to accept the aitia reported in Euripides as fact without more evidence to support it.

381 Cropp (2000), at lines 1459-1461 pg 263. 382 For the most part the same scholars discuss both Brauron and Halai and their positions on each cult are generally similar to one another so I do not think it necessary to rehash the same basic arguments here. 189

Chapter 2: Conclusion

So what can be said then about cult aitia in Euripidean DEM? First, it is important to note that cult aitia appear most commonly in Euripidean DEM scenes in plays that have a strong focus on cultic issues. This is particularly true for the Hippolytus and the IT. Both plays revolve around issues of worship and cult. For the Hippolytus the focus is placed on the importance of not neglecting one god in favor of another. The IT revolves around problematization of human sacrifice. Both plays also feature strong relationships between a god and a mortal. In the Hippolytus this takes the form of the strong personal relationship between Hippolytus and Artemis, a relationship so strong that Hippolytus neglects other gods. In the IT the personal relationship between

Iphigenia and Artemis is more problematic and nuanced but they still remain connected though a more formalized cult relationship – that of goddess and priestess. Although I did not have time in this chapter to explore other DEM scenes that include aitia in detail the same basic pattern holds true for most DEM plays with cult aitia.383 Although the frequent appearance of aitia and cult aitia in particular in Euripidean DEM may at first seem random, when seen through the lens of the broader concerns of the plays in which cult aitia appear the appearance of cult aitia in these plays is less surprising.

383 See the introduction to this chapter for a short analysis. 190

Another commonality between how Euripides uses cult aitia in the two plays is in how each cult aitia described connects in some way to the wider issues of the play. At first glance the ritual set up for Hippolytus in the cult aition does not seem to be a fitting way to commemorate Hippolytus, which Artemis states as the purpose of the aition.

Hippolytus’ death is remembered through a ritual for young women before marriage, an institution Hippolytus abhorred. Yet this ritual is fitting when one considers the fact that it was Hippolytus’ rejection of women, marriage, and Aphrodite that caused his downfall.

The ritual is even more fitting when one considers the fact that the transition associated with marriage and childbirth are aspects of Artemis that Hippolytus ignored and thus the ritual set up in his memory serves to compensate for this neglect of one of Artemis’ key roles and serves to restore balance, ensuring that others will successfully make the transition to adulthood.

The situation in the IT is similar, as in the Hippolytus, the nature of the cult established at the end works to resolve an issue in the play and to restore balance, in the case of the IT this issue is human sacrifice. The entire play is focused around the issue of human sacrifice both Iphigenia’s experience of being sacrificed by her father, as well as the human sacrifice that is a part of the Taurian worship of Artemis. The nature of

Artemis and whether or not she approves of human sacrifice is a major ambiguity in the play and there is much tension trying to reconcile the civilized Greek idea of Artemis and the bloodthirsty Taurian Artemis. The two cult aitia for Artemis helps to resolve this tension by allotting Artemis new less violent rites and honors in Attica that normalize the

Tauric Artemis and incorporate her into cults of Artemis familiar to the Athenians and


thus minimize the unease about the bloodthirsty Tauric version of Artemis presented in the play. So the play is resolved not only through the happy return of Orestes and

Iphigenia to Greece but with the return of Artemis as well and with a reconciliation of her two . Thus, both for the Hippolytus and the IT what first appears as a rather strange and random cult aition at the end of the play actually serves to correct an imbalance within the play.

The final aspect of cult aitia that must be dealt with is the most complex. How does Euripides’ cult aitia in these plays compare to the actual ritual practices of these cults? The incomplete nature of this evidence makes it impossible to answer this question with complete surety but we can make some observations. In the case of the three cults which Euripides mentions during his Hippolytus and IT cult aitia we do not have sufficient collaborative evidence from other reliable and contemporary sources to support the claim that these cults operated in the way in which Euripides states. This does not mean that it is impossible that these cult rituals were enacted the way that

Euripides describes, but rather that we cannot assume that they did based on the evidence that we currently have.

So what can be said? It is clear from these aitia that Euripides at the very least referenced real cults: the cult of Hippolytus at Trozen, the cult of Artemis at Brauron, and the Tauropolia cult of Artemis at Halai. There is overlap between what we know of cult practice and what Euripides says in his aitia, though the match is not perfect for any of the cults. One explanation may be that the audience may have believed that these cults really were practiced as Euripides said they were originally but changed over time which


may account for differences between later evidence and the testimony in Euripides’ aitia.384 There is, however, a better solution; namely, that Euripides referenced real cult practice and included some accurate details of the cults but made some changes in order to better suit his literary goals.385 This idea is supported in many ways by the text itself and many of the discrepancies between the Euripidean aitia and our evidence for cult practice are changes which fit in with Euripides’ plays better than the true aitia reported from other sources would, as I have discussed above.

The main objection to this idea is that the Athenians would not have accepted a cult aition which went counter to the cult that they themselves knew and perhaps participated in. Yet, Lefkowitz presents a solution to this problem when talking about the clothing dedicated to Iphigenia in the IT aition arguing, “It would not have mattered to

Euripides’ audience if the rituals Athena describes did not exist in their day, since they believed that cult practices could change over time and vary from polis to polis.”386

Moreover, this criticism does not take into account several aspects of Greek cult. First, that there were multiple cult aitia for cults rather than just one particular story and not everyone would know all the cult aitia for each cult, thus making it relatively easy for the audience to view discrepancies as an alternative cult aition that they were not familiar

384 Scullion (1999), 230 presents this as a compromise; Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 420 gives a similar possibility saying any difference between cult practice and Euripides’ aitia may have been viewed by the audience as being caused by a change in worship over time. Sourvinou-Inwood, however, does not seem to favor this view but offers it as a possibility to appease her critics. 385 This view is also held by Torrance (2013), 38; Scullion (1999), 229; Hollinshead (1985), 425. Lefkowitz (2016), 92 verges on this argument saying “Perhaps Euripides though it appropriate to create a connection between Iphigenia (who in some myths was sacrificed to Artemis) and women who died in childbirth, because women who died untimely deaths were sacred to Artemis.” 386 Lefkowitz (2016), 92. 193

with.387 Second, as is seen throughout Euripides’ plays, myth was very flexible for the ancient Greeks and multiple versions of the same basic story did not cause the audience much distress. Each playwright took a well-known myth and added their own particular twists and flair to the same basic tale sometimes resulting in vastly different versions of the same tale. Differences in the stories of figures such as Helen, Iphigenia, Oedipus, and many others were common and many authors’ interpretations and retellings of their stories were vastly different from one another.388 A cult aition at its core is a particular type of myth and thus it is reasonable that cult aitia would have a similar fluidity as other types of myth thus allowing for some on Euripides’ part to make the cult aition fit better with his literary work. As Scullion argues “Just the most basic thing about

387 Scullion (1999), 230. One example of multiple stories for the same cult (or related cult) is the existence of multiple aitia for the arkteia cults at Brauron and Munychia. There are three main aitia explaining the practice of ‘acting the bear’ 1. A wild bear was tamed and a parthenos was playing with it, irritated it and was injured, her brother killed it and a plague resulted, the Athenians petitioned the oracle and it was revealed that Athenian parthenoi must play the bear to pay for the slain bear. The Athenians voted that a parthenos could not marry until she had played the bear for Artemis. 2. Agamemnon sacrificed Iphigenia at Brauron and a bear took her place so they perform this rite for her. 3. A bear appeared in the Piraeus and harmed people, young men killed it, a plague resulted, Apollo ordered them in an oracle to honor Artemis by sacrificing a girl for the bear. A man Embaros (or Baros) promised sacrifice his daughter if he could have the priesthood in his family forever, they agree and Embaros hid his daughter in the sanctuary, dressed a goat in his daughter’s clothes, called the goat his daughter and sacrificed it. These aitia all claim to be the origin for the same basic ritual of girls playing the bear for Artemis. There are minor variations in amount of detail and specifics in different sources of the same basic story. Most sources only mention one version but the Lysistrata scholion mentions 1 and 2 as possibilities. See Faraone (2003), 51-61 for an analysis of all of these different sources and a chart of the different story variants. 388 Some brief examples of these differences. In Homer Helen ran off with Paris and went to Troy, in Stesichorus she never went to Troy, in Herodotus she and Paris were stopped by in Egypt on their way to Troy and he detained her until the end of the war while Paris went to Troy and the Greeks attacked Troy not believing that Paris did not have Helen. In Euripides’ Helen Paris stole a phantom Helen and the real Helen was flown through the air to Egypt by Hermes. In the Iliad and Agamemnon Iphigenia is sacrificed to Artemis at Aulis to get favorable winds to sail to Troy, in Euripides’ IT and IA she is saved by Artemis at the last minute and taken to Tauris to become Artemis’ priestess. In the book 11 Oedipus rules at Thebes even after Jocasta’s suicide, in Sophocles’ Oedipus leaves Thebes in exile after discovering the truth and after Jocasta’s suicide. There are many other examples of mythical variants throughout . 194

Greek myths is their variability, and there is no reason to isolate a special category of aitiological myth of which this is not true, which are somehow fixed and privileged.”389

In this chapter, I hope to have shown that cult aitia in Euripidean DEM are not merely a random or ornamental device which Euripides favored when ending a play.

Rather, much like the device of the DEM itself, cult aitia in Euripides served a function.

First, it marked the close cultic relationships between the epiphany deity and the mortals in the play. Second, cult aitia served to resolve tension in the play concerning cult topics from working to restore a lost balance between different functions of the goddess Artemis as in the Hippolytus to reconciling vastly different versions of Artemis in the IT. Finally, the cult aitia in Euripidean plays connected the play back to real cults which allowed

Euripides to better reinforce his version of events by connecting them to something concrete in the audiences’ world, even if he did not necessarily match the cult reality in every detail.

389 Scullion (1999), 230-231. 195

Chapter 3: Prophecy

As we have seen in the last chapter, aitia connect the world of the play with the world of the audience through ritual. In this chapter, I will argue that prophecy achieves the same thing by connecting the world of the play with the world of the audience through myth. First, however, it is necessary to define what prophecy is especially compared to aitia. Prophecies, like aitia, are commonly found in DEM speeches.390

Defining prophecy in DEM speeches is relatively difficult since the content of the prophecy is often mixed in with or related through commands and even aitia. For example, in Euripides’ Ion, prophecy mixes with command and aitia.

λαβοῦσα τόνδε παῖδα Κεκροπίαν χθόνα χώρει, Κρέουσα, κὰς θρόνους τυραννικοὺς ἵδρυσον. ἐκ γὰρ τῶν Ἐρεχθέως γεγὼς δίκαιος ἄρχειν τῆς γ᾿ ἐμῆς ὅδε χθονός, ἔσται τ᾿ ἀν᾿ Ἑλλάδ᾿ εὐκλεής. οἱ τοῦδε γὰρ παῖδες γενόμενοι τέσσαρες ῥίζης μιᾶς ἐπώνυμοι γῆς κἀπιφυλίου χθονὸς λαῶν ἕσονται, σκόπελον οἳ ναίουσ᾿ ἐμόν. Γελέων μὲν ἔσται προῶτος: εἷτα δεύτερος Ὅπλητες Ἀργαδῆς τ᾿, ἐμῆς τ᾿ ἀπ᾿ αἰγίδος ἔμφυλον ἕξουσ᾿ Αἰγικορῆς. οἱ τῶνδε δ᾿ αὗ παῖδες γενόμενοι σὺν χρόνῳ πεπρωμένῳ Κυκλάδας ἐποικήσουσι νησαίας πόλεις χέρσους τε παράλους, ὃ σθένος τἠμῇ χθονὶ δίδωσιν: ἀντίπορθμα δ᾿ ἠπείριον δυοῖν

390 Prophecies occur in the following DEM speeches: Andromache (1239-1269), Suppliants (1214-1226), Electra (1249-1291), Ion (1571-1589), Helen (1663-1677), Orestes (1629-1665, 1684-1690), Bacchae (1330-1339). 196

πεδία κατοικήσουσιν, Ἀσιάδος τε γῆς Εὐρωπίας τε: τοῦδε δ᾿ ὀνόματος χάριν Ἴωνες ὀνομασθέντες ἕξουσιν κλέος. Ξούθῳ δὲ καὶ σοὶ γίγνεται κοινὸν γένος, Δῶρος μέν, ἔνθεν Δωρὶς ὑμνηθήσεται πόλις κατ᾿ αἷαν Πελοπίαν: ὁ δεύτερος Ἀχαιός, ὂς γῆς παραλίας Ῥίου πέλας τύραννος ἔσται, κἀπισημανθήσεται κείνου κεκλῆσθαι λαὸς ὄνομ᾿ ἐπώνυμος. (1571-1594);

Taking this child, Creusa, go to the land of Cecrops, and set him on the royal throne. For it is just for the one borne from Erechtheus to rule this land of mine, and he will be famous throughout Greece. For four children will be born from this one root and they will give their names to the land and the tribes of people living there. Geleon will be first, then Hopletes will be second and Argades, and the Aegicores will have their name from my aegis. The children after them are destined in the future to settle in the cities of the Cycladic islands and on the shore and they will give strength to my land. They will colonize the plains of both mainlands: Asia and Europe. They will be called Ionians after this boy’s name and they will have glory. Xuthus and you will have children together, first , from whom the Dorian state will be praised throughout the whole Peloponnesus. Second, Achaeus, who will be king of the land by the sea near Rhion, the people will be called after him and will be referred to by his name.

This section of the DEM speech in the Ion contains elements command, aitia, and prophecy. The passage begins with a command to Creusa to take Ion to Athens. This command helps to establish what will happen in the future by commanding the mortals to do it.391 After the beginning command, Athena goes on to give several aitia concerning the future descendants of Ion as well as Creusa and Xuthus and how these children will lend their names to peoples and lands. These aitia are place name aitia rather than a cult aitia, but are more complex than other place name aitia for several reasons. First, unlike

391 There is no DEM where the mortals on stage refuse to do the god’s bidding. In the majority of cases they accept the god’s command without any problems even when it is quite bizarre or contrary to their previously stated intentions or even interests. There is only one play in which the mortals even dare to ask questions of the god (Electra (1292-1320)) and even in this case the mortals obey the god’s commands in the end. For more on commands in DEM scenes see Mastronarde (2010), 186-187. 197

other plays containing a place name aition, in the Ion there are several name aitia in the passage and the names are not derived from the characters in the play, as is customary in normal place name aitia, but rather the places are named after the decedents of the characters that appear in the play (with the exception of Ion who will also lend his name to a people). Again these aitia are also different in that not only do Ion and the decedents lend their names to places, but to entire peoples as well.

Yet, despite the elements of command and aitia, the above passage also is clearly marked as prophecy. Just before the quoted speech Athena says, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς περαίνω

πρᾶγμα, καὶ χρησμοὺς θεοῦ, ἐφ᾿ οἷσιν ἔζευξ᾿ ἅρματ᾿, εἰσακούσατον. (1569-1570). “But so that I might bring the matter to an end, listen to the oracles of the god, for which I yoked my chariot.” Athena specifically marks out the speech as a χρησμός or oracle and thus demarcates it as prophecy. Even without this explicit marker the content of the speech itself clearly would qualify as prophecy. Athena does more than command

Creusa to an action and set up place (and people) name aitiologies. Athena reveals aspects of the future in her speech that can only be seen as prophecy. She predicts that

Ion will be famous throughout Greece as well as reporting that he will have four children, even going so far as to give their names. The fact that Ion will have children is significant since producing progeny is not a given. For example, Creusa and Xuthus only went to Delphi in the first place to see if they would be able to have children so the fact that Ion will have four children is a very specific revelation about the future. Athena further reveals that peoples will be named after them and that these decedents of Ion’s children will go on to colonize various places throughout the Greek world. Athena also


prophesies that Creusa and Xuthus will have children of their own and that they too will give their names to various Greek peoples. The prophecy about Creusa and Xuthus’ children is also important since it finally gives an honest answer to the question which

Xuthus first posed to the Delphic oracle. Despite the fact that the prophecy given contains place name aitia, the content of the aitia reveals knowledge about the future that could only be known through divine means and thus qualifies as prophecy.392

The intertwined nature of prophecy and aitia makes true definition difficult.

Dunn sees prophecy as an almost vital part of a Euripidean ending saying: “The

Euripidean epilogue is a prophecy at the end of the play usually delivered by a deus ex machina that describes events subsequent to the action.”393 Despite the fact that aitia can also describe events subsequent to the action as I have shown above, Dunn goes on to separate aitia from prophecy:

The of events to follow distinguishes the concluding prophecy both from the closing aetiology and from other uses of prophecy. Aition and concluding prophecy both allude to a future beyond the drama, but the aition is more explicitly extra-dramatic. The aition connects two distinct worlds, past and present, inside and outside the drama, drawing attention to the gap between them. The concluding prophecy, however, simply extends the course of events.394

While this is a helpful distinction, as the above passage clearly shows it is certainly possible to have a passage which contains a mixture of these elements that cannot be neatly separated out from one another. Yet, Dunn’s definition is helpful for the prophecies I will be focusing on in this chapter.

392 The same basic technique of providing information about the future through divine means which amounts to prophecy is quite common and can also notably be seen in Vergil’s in Book 6 where learns about the future of Rome through his trip to the underworld. 393 Dunn (1996), 66. 394 Dunn (1996), 66. 199

In discussing the difference between a general prophecy and a concluding prophecy Dunn states,

...prophecy anticipates how the plot will proceed, arousing interest in whether, and how, these goals will be realized. The concluding prophecy, on the other hand, describes events that lie entirely outside the play; rather than arousing within the drama, it removes uncertainty from the sequel.395

It is this focus on the sequel that will be the subject of this chapter. The above example of the Ion does refer to the future outside the drama, but it does so in a relatively remote way. Although Athena does mention that Ion as well as Creusa and Xuthus will have children the focus is not on the characters in the drama or even their own children but rather on the decedents of their children. The actions described are also very generic, they will go on to colonize broad areas of Greece but we learn nothing new about the specific actions of particular people other than simple genealogical information.

Not all prophecies are as remote from the characters as the prophecies in the Ion.

When discussing the positive divine commands that often contain the content of prophecies in Euripides, Mastronarde also hones in on the genealogical aspect of prophecy.

Of the positive commands giving dispositions for the characters’ immediate futures, the instructions to marry (Electra and Pylades in ., Or., Orestes and Hermione in Or.; Andromache and in Andr.) are foundational of a dynasty or at least of an aristocratic family, and thus serve, like the cultic references, to tie the conclusion of the newly reconceived slice of heroic legend back to the inherited genealogical tradition.396

The examples that Mastronarde cites are far more immediate than the genealogical prophecies of the Ion. Most of the genealogical prophecies in the Ion are focused on the

395 Dunn (1996), 66-67. 396 Mastronarde (2010), 186-187. 200

far future and entire peoples who will be called after a particular person’s name. The named figures themselves only are named in order that their name can be given to others.

The focus on genealogy in the Ion is fitting considering most of the extant prior tradition concerning Ion is made up of genealogical information rather than heroic events.397

While Ion is always connected to Athens as a founder of the Ionian Greeks,398 Swift notes that Euripides enhances this connection by making Ion a descendant of Erectheus through

Creusa as well as by making Ion the son of Apollo rather than Xuthus and thus removing any foreign element while also glorifying Ion and the Ionians as divinely descended.399

While these genealogies are a great source of pride for contemporary Athenians, they are rather remote from the events and characters in the play. It is only in the case of Creusa’s and Xuthus’ children that both of the parents are even known. The mother of Ion’s children is never named, and there are no mythic sequels mentioned for the characters, this shifts the focus of the prophecy away from the play in which it occurs and towards the Athens of Euripides’ time.

Although many plays contain genealogical information in their DEM prophecies, the situation in the Ion is very different from the situation in the plays which Mastronarde

397 Swift (2008), 16-18. Hesiod provides a genealogy for the sons of Hellen: Xuthus, Dorus, and Aeolis. Herodotus builds on this genealogy establishing Ion as the son of Xuthus and founder of the Ionians as well as providing a connection between Ion and Athens, saying Ion was an Athenian military leader and the four Athenian tribes got their names from his sons. Pausanias also gives a more detailed genealogy and echoes Ion’s military connection to Athens as well as adding in a story about a conflict in the succession. 398 Swift (2008), 16-18. For more on the relationship between Athens and see Zacharia (2003), 48- 55. 399 Swift (2008), 16-18, Pausanias also has a genealogy of Ion being the son of Xuthus and a daughter of Erechtheus, it is hard to say whether or not this was a tradition outside of Euripides or if it was established by Euripides and then followed by Pausanias. Concerning Ion’s paternal lineage, both Sophocles and Euripides make Ion the son of Apollo rather than Xuthus although it is impossible to say which play was first. 201

mentions.400 By predicting marriages rather than just offspring, the deity in these speeches makes the information more immediately relevant for the characters, especially in the cases of the Electra and the Orestes where the matches involve characters who both appear in the drama. Yet what truly sets these DEM prophecies apart from the Ion is that far more is predicted than genealogical data. The genealogical prophecies of the Ion are focused on connections to contemporary Athens and its institutions401 which makes them more similar to the effect of cult aitia, the prophecies in the Electra and Orestes in contrast are more closely related to the characters which appear in the plays, creating a larger focus on connections to other mythic episodes told in other authors making it more similar to the concerns of prophecy.

Despite the fact that both aitia and prophecies establish or predict future events,

Dunn is right to make his distinction between the two: namely that aition are “more explicitly extra dramatic” and “connects two distinct worlds, past present, inside and outside the drama”.402 Yet prophecy seems to fulfill a very similar function. Dunn observes, “An important effect of the concluding prophecy is therefore to place the action of the drama within a larger continuum.”403 So according to Dunn both aitia and prophecy do connect elements of the drama with elements outside of it, the main difference is that aitia connect to institutions that are external to drama itself and exist in the real world through place names or cults that the audience may have experienced in

400 Mastronarde (2010), 186-187. 401 Swift (2008), 78-79 notes that Ion’s status as being both Athenian born and the founder of the Ionians may act as a justification for Athens’ domination of the Ionian allies. Also see Zacharia (2003), 48-55. 402 Dunn (1996), 66. 403 Dunn (1996), 76. 202

their own lives. Prophecy also relates to material outside the drama since it extends the scope of the drama outside the bounds of the plot which is performed on stage extending it to other mythical events. Yet these events are also outside of the drama in a different way: the audience would recognize these references to mythical events outside of the scope of the drama through their knowledge of other myths and other authors’ versions of events. Thus, aition and prophecy are more related to one another than is generally recognized. I argue that the relationship between the two is quite close since both serve the same basic function: connection between the content in Euripides’ play and material outside of the world of the play.

Prophecies the gods give to the characters of the play often link those characters and Euripides’ version of their story with other myths having to do with that character that the audience would be familiar with. Buxton picks up on the basic functions of DEM providing connection to outside sources saying that the gods “reintegrate the action into the audience’s experience by referring to ritual (Artemis at the end of Hippolytus; Athene at the end of Iphigenia in Tauris) or by placing the events of the play in a wider mythical context (Kastor in Euripides’ Elektra; Apollo in Orestes; Thetis in Andromache).”404 By connecting his characters and his version of their story with other episodes in that character’s story that have been told by other authors (and even by sometimes plotting his version against other authors’ versions of that character), Euripides inserts his vision of the myth into the wider mythic narrative of those characters and in doing so helps to reinforce his own version of that myth. Since Euripides often makes connections

404 Buxton (2013), 142. 203

between his work and that of other authors (as well as other works of his own) through

DEM prophecy scenes, a discussion of how one myth can join itself to another is important for understanding how Euripides uses DEM prophecy.

In his Poetics, Aristotle advises that a good play must have a beginning a middle and an end (1450b 21-33). Yet, due to the interconnectedness of the various characters in

Greek mythology it is difficult to say when one story begins and one ends. Does the myth of the house of Atreus begin with the feud between and Atreus over the kingship of Argos? Does it begin even further back with Tantalus’ banquet where he served to the gods? For that matter when does the myth of the house of Atreus end? Does it end when Thyestes takes his revenge on Atreus by serving him his own sons? Or does the myth of the house of Atreus continue on to Agamemnon’s death at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra and Orestes’ murder of his mother in revenge?

Aristotle himself seems to be well aware of the difficulty in choosing the appropriate scope for the plot of a play, saying that a play must also have the correct magnitude, if it is too small we would take it in all at once without being able to appreciate its parts and if it were too large it cannot be viewed without losing the sense that it is one complete whole (1450b 34-1451a 1-5). Moreover, a plot is not unified if it deals with one character since one character can have many separate adventures so in order to have a sense of unity the plot must cover one single action (1451a 16-36).

Aristotle praises Homer for centering his Odyssey on a single action (1451a 19-30), yet it is clear that the events of while they comprise a unity, would be too large in


scope for the subject of a single play.405 If one were to include every story element in the wider narrative of the house of Atreus it would be far too large for one play to contain all of the elements in a way that would easily be remembered by an audience. Moreover, a playwright also needed to choose a proper scope to adhere to the stage conventions as well as needing to have proper scope to make the best possible story. Yet Aristotle is mostly concerned here with defining the scope of a single plot rather than how to join one or more related plots together.

The field of media studies is helpful here since it is greatly concerned with how stories are structured, particularly how a larger story may be told through connected episodes. Modern media and ancient myth have much in common in terms of how stories are arranged and presented. Like a modern television series, many myths such as the myths concerning the house of Atreus have wide ranging plots that cannot be resolved in one short session. For modern television there are two basic types of series: episodic series and serial narratives. An episodic series “present[s] a consistent storyworld, but each episode is relatively independent: characters, settings and relationships carry over across episodes, but the plots stand on their own, requiring little need for consistent sequential viewing or knowledge of story history to comprehend the narrative.”406 A serial narrative in contrast features “storylines traversing multiple episodes, with an ongoing that demands viewers to construct a storyworld using information

405 Indeed the only play that we have that deals in some way with the events of the Odyssey (Euripides’ play ) only deals with a small episode in book 9 of the Odyssey. 406 Mittell (2010), 228. 205

gathered form their full history of viewing...serial programs do provide closure of storylines, but rarely in the same episode in which the plot was introduced.”407

Ancient ’s treatment of myths seems to be a cross between these two extremes. Greek tragedies contain elements of an episodic series. All of the plays’ myths take place in the same storyworld408 and each play’s plot is largely independent since it is resolved at the end of the play. This is especially true given the general performance context of each play. Aside from Aeschylus’ there are no other surviving cases of a of plays which featured myths that were related to one another to form one coherent story.409 In most cases while each play in a trilogy is set in the same basic storyworld, the characters and settings would often change between plays and thus would lack a major part of the continuity of an episodic series. Not only did the characters and settings differ between plays but there was no sense of sequential viewing since the plots of the plays pulled freely from various myths set in different times and thus other than rare connected tragedies like Aeschylus’ Oresteia there was no real opportunity to view the plays in any sort of sequential order in terms of plot.

While the consistent storyworld, independent plots, and there being no need for sequential viewing would suggest that the Greek tragedies are in a sense an episodic series, they do not fit well into this group since they also contain features of serial narrative. As Johnston points out the Greek storyworld in general is incredibly interconnected and even characters and events that at first seem disconnected are actually

407 Mittell (2010), 230. 408 For more on the storyworld of myth see Johnston (2015a), 283-311. 409 While there were some connected aside from Aeschylus’ Oresteia such as the Trojan Trilogy of Euripides (See Scodel (1980).), in general most trilogies were unconnected. 206

part of a complex “mythic network” since each character is always connected to other characters in other myths.410 Yet even before taking into account the wider mythic network, there are many instances of “storylines traversing multiple episodes” which is in many ways the hallmark of a serial narrative. Aeschylus’ Oresteia certainly contains this element since it consists of related sequential episodes which tells one coherent story.

Yet at the same time Greek tragedies have elements not usually found in serial narratives. Serial narratives typically do not introduce a plot and resolve it within the same episode, something which Greek plays do accomplish. Despite the plots in

Aeschylus’ Oresteia being related they all have a complete plot which is introduced and resolved within each play. In addition, serial narratives often rely on viewing installments in sequential order since knowledge of other episodes in the series are necessary to fully understand the current episode. While we know that sequential viewing was generally not possible, the gap was filled through the audience’s prior general knowledge of the myth being portrayed through other sources.

Although it is easy to see that the Greek tragedies have elements of both an episodic series and a serial narrative, they do not fit cleanly into either category.

Fortunately, there is a middle road between episodic series and serial narratives: episodic serials. In an episodic serial “although the main extends across a number of installments, each installment or episode includes a smaller story arc that is resolved within that episode.”411 The mythic stories told by Greek tragedy fit far better into this

410 Johnston (2015a), 292-299, especially 297 for her concept of hyperseriality. 411 Johnston (2015b), 203. Also see Mittell (2010), 228-242 and O’Sullivan (2013). 207

model.412 A large story arc, such as the house of Atreus, that would be too long for any one play to handle can successfully be told in smaller episodes that can then be joined to other episodes until they form one large story arc in which the myth is told. This may seem to account for Aeschylus’ Oresteia but most of the plays that have come down to us do not seem to be so mythically connected to one another to be able to be seen as parts in one larger coherent series. Yet a wider story made up of several different episodes not only occurs in Aeschylus’ Oresteia but also to a certain extent in Euripides as well.

Euripides has several plays that feature the same group of characters and narrate various episodes that can be put together in such a way as to make a mostly consistent story. The DEM speech in Euripides’ Electra mentions that Helen and Menelaus are about to return to Greece not from Troy but from Egypt. Castor further reveals that

Helen did not actually go to Troy at all but remained in Egypt for the duration of the war and the ‘Helen’ at Troy was really a phantom sent by Zeus. This sparse mention is then expanded into its own developed narrative in Euripides’ Helen. At the end of the Helen, the Dioscuri come down as DEM a second time and predict that Helen and Menelaus will soon return to Greece. The aftermath of their return to Greece is then narrated in

Euripides’ Orestes which picks up both where the Helen left off through Helen and

Menelaus’ arrival to Greece, as well as where the Electra left off both through the predicted return of Helen and Menelaus but also picking up again the story of what happened to Orestes and Electra after the events of the Electra. It is possible to take this thread even further and to include other plays by Euripides which deal with Orestes’

412 See Johnston (2015b), 203 for more detail on how ancient narratives in general and not just tragedy fit within this model. 208

continued adventures after the Orestes including the rescue of his sister Iphigenia in the

IT which picks up after the story of Orestes’ trial at Athens which is predicted in both the

Electra and the Orestes. The Andromache can also be connected to these other plays since it explores Orestes’ marriage to Hermione and the death of Neoptolemus, events which were predicted at the end of the Orestes.

To best illustrate how Euripidean DEM prophecies connect the characters in the drama to other versions of those characters’ stories, I will focus on plays that involve the same mythic characters to illustrate how Euripides connects different episodes of a characters’ overall myth both with other authors’ versions as well as within his own work. The plays I will be examining all deal with the characters Helen, Electra, and

Orestes. Although there are many Euripidean plays which include these characters I will confine my discussion to plays with these characters which include DEM prophecies:

Electra, Helen, and Orestes.413 I will discuss these plays in the order in which the mythological events occur. Thus I will begin with the Electra where Orestes and Electra kill their mother, which culminates in a DEM treatment of an alternate version of the

Helen myth. I will then move on to the Helen, in which Euripides expands on the

Electra’s DEM mention of Helen’s Egyptian adventures. I will end with the Orestes, in which we pick up Orestes’ and Electra’s story in the aftermath of Clytemnestra’s murder

413 I will not include other plays which deal with these characters (Trojan Women, IT, and Andromache) for several reasons. First, the TW does not have a DEM nor prophecy. Second the TW features a version of Helen which connects to the Orestes but not to the other two plays, so I will discuss TW and the portrayal of Helen there briefly in the Orestes section. I will leave out IT and Andromache because although they do have DEM scenes they do not contain much prophecy concerning characters fates outside of aitia. Also the events of IT and Andromache are not as interconnected as the events in Electra, Helen, and Orestes. 209

as well as featuring the return of Helen and Menelaus to Greece as predicted in both the

Electra and the Helen DEM.

In my discussion of how Euripides uses DEM prophecy in his Electra, Helen, and Orestes to connect his version of these characters to the wider tapestry of myth I will draw primarily from works on intertextuality and media studies. Although I will discuss many different authors’ versions of these mythological characters, I will take a rather cautious approach to intertextuality. Although I will allow for the possibility of Euripides being familiar with multiple variations of a character’s story in general I will only assume direct knowledge and intentional intertextuality with authors that he would have had to be familiar with, namely Homer, and the other tragedians, particularly Aeschylus.414 While various scholars have well examined matters of intertextuality in Euripides,415 I shall emphasize the importance of intertextuality as a strategy for Euripides to normalize a myth that has significant deviations from the more traditional versions, a tactic which he uses throughout his plays but particularly in his DEM prophecies.

Nevertheless, direct intertextuality is not necessarily always at work in these situations. In order to fully understand some of the issues at stake in Euripides’ use of myth in his DEM prophecies it is necessary to introduce a few concepts from media studies. The first is that of a plurimedial figure. Unlike more modern characters who tend to have “a linear form of serial progression, continuation, and development” or one

414 Although I recognize that Euripides would likely be quite familiar with Sophocles I do not feel that Sophocles’ work particularly affected Euripides’ portrayals of the characters I will be focusing on since the Electra is the only surviving Sophoclean play that deals with the characters I will be focusing on and there is much disagreement on whether Euripides’ or Sophocles’ version was performed first. 415 Torrance (2013), for the Oresteia with Electra and Orestes. Zeitlin (2003) for the Oresteia with the Orestes. Wright (2005) for Euripides use of myth in the Helen. Austin (1994) for influence of other authors on Euripides. Blondell (2013) for issues surrounding Helen’s character. 210

consistent story by a single author in which the character continues to grow and progress,

‘plurimedial’ or ‘serial’ figures instead have “a non-linear form of serial ‘concrescence,’ snowballing accumulation, or compounding sedimentation,”416 as their story is told over and over again by different authors with different versions of that character.

Plurimediality is similar to intertextuality but with a key difference. Intertextuality involves one author referencing or borrowing from another specific author, whereas as

Johnston notes, “a plurimedial character shimmers at the nexus of several, perhaps even many, different instantiations of that character taken from different texts, none of which has absolute authority over that character or any one of which may therefore dominate in the others in the mind of the individual who creates it.”417 Plurimediality then, is a conglomeration of many different versions or ‘instantiations’ of a character rather than a simple borrowing of one specific version. The concept of plurimedial figures works well with mythological characters such as , Oedipus and Helen since they are not characters created by any single author but are instead cultural figures which many different authors create stories around. These characters and the mythology which surrounds them are part of a preexisting tradition which specific authors then use to create one particular version of their stories.

For example, stories about Odysseus in the ancient world were not linear affairs that moved through his life continuing to fill in the gaps and develop him slowly as one consistent character. Instead different authors presented drastically different versions of the same character. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus overcame many hardships to return

416 Denson (2011), 536. 417 Johnston (2015b), 208. 211

to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. In Hesiod’s Theogony in contrast

Odysseus, in addition to Telemachus, had three sons, , , and Telegonus with and two sons Nausithous and Nausinous with (1011-1019).

Although Homer had a somewhat privileged position and enjoyed a certain amount of authority, his poems were not canonical and despite the popularity of his rendition of Odysseus’ character, Homer’s version could not completely eclipse other versions. As Johnston states when discussing plurimediality and multiple narrators:

“Even if a character is primarily associated with one particular instantiation that is embedded in one particular narrative, the character may be popularized through other narratives as well, each of which offers a different instantiation of that character – sometimes a strikingly different instantiation.”418 Not only do the facts about Odysseus’ character change between authors but the way in which he is portrayed also differs. In

Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus is clever, skilled in , but overall a sympathetic character despite his trickery. In Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes in contrast, Odysseus is portrayed not as a hero but as a whose trickery instead of being a positive trait is portrayed as contemptable. This is significant since people would experience the ‘same’ character in different ways based on the different versions of that character they were familiar with or prioritized. Each person would as Johnston explains: “repeatedly chose, even if unconsciously, to engage more deeply with some instantiations than with others, and each of us therefore ends up creating our own composite character, no two of which are likely to be exactly the same.”419 Thus rather than Odysseus having a stable character

418 Johnston (2015b), 206. 419 Johnston (2015b), 207. 212

as a protagonist or antagonist, how he would be viewed by an audience would depend in part on what versions of his tale they not only knew but prioritized over other possibilities. While each author leaves his own mark on a character through his portrayal of that character, certain patterns eventually emerge as authors prioritize one version over another, leading to different traditions concerning basic facts about a character that multiple authors would follow to at least some degree.

These traditions are the result of the plurimedial nature of mythological characters. Thus, the concept of plurimediality is important for this project because while

Euripides does engage in direct intertextuality with particular authors such as Aeschylus during his DEM prophecies he also engages in more indirect borrowing of wider traditions, picking and choosing different aspects of various traditions to form his own unique version of characters and events. This can be seen in the Electra DEM prophecy and in Euripides’ Helen which both explore a non-dominant version of the Helen myth in which she never went to Troy which can be found in varying degrees of detail in

Stesichorus420 and Herodotus421 as well as in the case of the Helen drawing from some

Homeric traditions as well. The mixing of different traditions is also found to a great extent in the Orestes as Euripides combines different aspects of traditions concerning

Helen, Orestes, Hermione and other characters which cannot be traced back as a direct reference to any one particular author.

Although aitia have long been recognized as an important element of DEM speeches, prophecy in DEM speeches has received less attention. Yet, as I will argue

420 Stesichorus Fr. 192 Davies. 421 Herodotus 2.112-120. 213

next, prophecy serves a similar function to aitia: both connect the world of the play to the world of the audience. Aitia serves to connect the world of the play to ritual while prophecy works by connecting the events in Euripides’ play to other episodes in that character’s storyline known from other myths. By examining how Euripides uses myths concerning recurring characters in several of his plays, I hope to demonstrate not only how Euripides connects his versions of these characters’ myths to other authors and traditions, but also how versions of one character can be connected or disconnected across several of his own works.



The Electra stands as a perfect example of many of the elements I have identified above. First, it contains DEM prophecy which goes far beyond genealogical data and focuses instead on subsequent episodes in the characters’ storylines. Second, although the play deviates in significant ways from aspects of the established tradition, Euripides demonstrates a great deal of intertextual engagement with Aeschylus particularly in his use of Aeschylus’ recognition tokens in the recognition scene and the general plot of

Orestes’ trial which is narrated via DEM prophecy. Finally, in his second DEM prophecy, Euripides introduces a non-dominant version of the Helen myth which is important not only for discussion of Euripides’ use of non-dominant mythical storylines but also for how Euripides uses DEM prophecy to connect his plays.

There are two primary threads of prophecy in the Electra DEM speech. The first deals with the immediate fate of Orestes and his trial in Athens.

Πυλάδῃ μὲν Ἠλέκτραν δὸς ἄλοχον ἐς δόμους, σὺ δ᾿ Ἄργος ἔκλιπ᾿: οὐ γὰρ ἔστι σοι πόλιν τήνδ᾿ ἐμβατεύειν, μητέρα κτείναντι σήν. δειναὶ δὲ κῆρές σ᾿ αἱ κυνώπιδες θεαὶ τροχηλατήσουσ᾿ ἐμμανῆ πλανώμενον. ἐλθὼν δ᾿ Ἀθήνας Παλλάδος σεμνὸν βρέτας πρόσπτυξον: εἵρξει γάρ νιν ἐπποημένας δεινοῖς δράκουσιν ὥστε μὴ ψαύειν σέθεν, γοργῶφ᾿ ὑπερτείνουσα σῷ κάρᾳ κύκλον. ἔστιν δ᾿ Ἀρεώς τις ὄχθος, οὗ πρῶτον θεοὶ ἕζοντ᾿ ἐπὶ ψήφοισιν αἵματος πέρι,


Ἀλιππόθιον ὅτ᾿ ἔκταν` ὠμόφρων Ἄρης, μῆνιν θυγατρὸς ἀνοσίων νυμφευμάτων, πόντου κρέοντος παῖδ᾿, ἵν᾿ εὐσεβεστάτη ψῆφος βεβαία τ᾿ ἐστὶν ἔκ τε τοῦ θεοῖς. ἐνταῦθα καὶ σὲ δεῖ δραμεῖν φόνου πέρι. ἴσαι δέ σ᾿ ἐκσῴζουσι μὴ θανεῖν δίκῃ ψῆφοι τεθεῖσαι: Λοξίας γὰρ αἰτίαν ἐς αὑτὸν οἴσει, μητεέρος χρήσας φόνον. καὶ τοῖσι λοιποῖς ὅδε νόμος τεθήσεται, νικᾶν ἴσαις ψήφοισι τὸν φεύγοντ᾿ ἀεί. δειναὶ μὲν οὗν θεαὶ τῷδ᾿ ἄχει πεπληγμέναι πάγον παῤ αὐτὸν χάσμα δύσονται χθονός, σεμνὸν βροταῖσιν εὐσεβὲς χρηστήριον: (1249-1272).

Give Electra to Pylades as a wife in his house and you leave Argos: for it is not for you, having killed your mother, to set foot in this city. For the terrible dog eyed death goddesses will drive you to and fro causing you to wander, raving. Go to Athens and embrace the holy image of Pallas: for she will shut them out, fluttering with terrible snakes so that they cannot touch you, stretching out her fierce-eyed shield over your head. There is a hill of Ares, where the gods first sat with their voting pebbles concerning bloodshed, when savage-minded Ares slay Halirrothius, the son of the sea king, in divine anger over the unholy marriage of his daughter, so that the voting pebble is most sacred and secure to the gods from this case. And then it is necessary for you to run the risk on account of bloodguilt. Equal votes will save you from dying with this custom set down: for Loxias will bear the responsibility himself for decreeing your mother’s death. And in the future, this will be the custom: the defendant always wins when the votes are equal. So the terrible goddesses, heavily defeated grieve at this and will sink into a cleft in the earth near this hill, a revered, holy oracle for mortals.

In this speech, for the most part, Euripides follows the main story pattern that Aeschylus sets out in the Eumenides. The Dioscuri predict the arrival of the Furies who will go on to torment Orestes, driving him mad until he reaches Athens (Eum. 75-77). They command that Orestes must stand trial on the hill in Athens just as it happens in Aeschylus’ Eumenides. The Dioscuri also report details of the trial that occur in

Aeschylus. They predict that the votes will be equal (Eum. 752-753) and that a custom will be formed off of this precedent that in the case of equal votes the defendant will be


acquitted. They reveal that Apollo will take responsibility for commanding Orestes to kill his mother as also happens in the Eumenides (Eum. 576-581). Even smaller details of

Aeschylus’ account are present. The Dioscuri advise Orestes to embrace a statue of

Athena to gain protection from the Furies upon his arrival in Athens (Eum. 79-80).

Finally, they prophesy that the Furies, upset at their loss, will remain near the hill in

Athens and act as an oracle for mortals, which predicts the compensation that Athena awards the Furies at the end of the Eumenides (Eum. 804-807, 921-931).

Despite the many similarities to Aeschylus, this passage is more than just a copy of Aeschylus’ Eumenides. Although Euripides follows the main storyline of the

Eumenides in this passage, he deviates from Aeschylus’ version as well. First, the exact circumstances of Orestes’ arrival to Athens are tweaked. Aeschylus’ Eumenides opens with Orestes and the Furies at the oracle of Apollo at Delphi where Orestes went to be purified of his mother’s murder at Apollo’s urging (Eum. 205, 276-285). In Euripides’

Electra, the Dioscuri order him to depart immediately to Athens to seek the protection of

Athena and to stand trial there. There is no mention of a trip to Delphi to seek Apollo’s aid or expiation for his bloodguilt. The nature of the Areopagus court is also somewhat changed. Euripides deviates from Aeschylus’ version by changing the history of the

Areopagus saying that it was established when the gods cast their votes to decide the case of Ares killing Halirrothius the son of Poseidon over the rape Ares’ daughter (El. 1258-

63). This differs significantly from Aeschylus’ version where the trial of Orestes serves as the origin of the court (Eum. 482-489).


While there are certainly differences between the account of Orestes’ trial in

Aeschylus’ Eumenides and the DEM prophecy of Euripides’ Electra, the similarities between the two accounts are more prevalent. Euripides’ faithfulness to Aeschylus in his prophecy is particularly striking given the great amount of variation between Aeschylus’

Libation Bearers and Euripides’ Electra in general, especially in how each playwright portrays Clytemnestra and Aegisthus’ deaths. Despite the fact that the two plays dramatize the same mythological episode, they have vastly different plots.

In Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers Orestes returns to Argos sent by Apollo to kill his mother and Aegisthus in revenge for his father’s death. He meets Electra at

Agamemnon’s tomb and is recognized via three recognition tokens: a lock of hair, footsteps, and a weaving of Electra’s. At the chorus’ urging Orestes and Electra plot

Clytemnestra and Aegisthus’ deaths through deceit. Orestes goes to the palace and makes a false report of Orestes’ death in order to lure out Aegisthus. When Aegisthus comes to hear the news, Orestes kills him; soon after Clytemnestra arrives investigating the commotion and Orestes kills her as well with Pylades prompting him. After the murders Orestes is hounded by the Furies and vows to go to Delphi to be freed from their presence.

In his Electra, Euripides deviates greatly from Aeschylus’ version. Electra has been married off to a poor farmer so that she will not bear noble children who could threaten Aegisthus. The marriage, however, remains unconsummated due to the farmer’s respect for Electra and Orestes. Orestes meets Electra, not near the tomb of Agamemnon but near her husband’s house. Unlike in Aeschylus, Orestes does not reveal himself to


his sister right away, 422 instead saying that he bears a message from Orestes, thus delaying the recognition. After Orestes goes into the house an old man arrives from

Agamemnon’s tomb and reports the same three recognition tokens used in Aeschylus. In another twist on Aeschylus’ version, Euripides’ Electra rejects these tokens as not reliable and is only convinced of Orestes’ identity by means of a scar which the old man recognizes.423 The old man helps Orestes plot the death of Aegisthus who is going outside the palace to make a sacrifice. Electra sets in motion a plan to send a messenger to tell Clytemnestra that Electra has given birth and Clytemnestra’s presence is necessary to perform rites. Orestes succeeds in killing Aegisthus at the sacrifice and returns to

Electra’s hut victorious. Nevertheless, he hesitates when he sees Clytemnestra arriving but Electra convinces him to go through with the murder of their mother and soon lures

Clytemnestra inside the house where Orestes, with Electra helping to guide his sword, kills Clytemnestra. The play closes with the appearance and prophecies of the Dioscuri.

The differences between these two versions of the same mythic event are significant. Not only are aspects of the events changed (Orestes does not give a false report of Orestes’ death in Euripides, Euripides’ Electra rejects the recognition tokens that Aeschylus’ Electra had accepted, and the chorus takes a less forceful role in

Euripides than in Aeschylus) but also the entire set up of the plays is completely different. The play is set not at Agamemnon’s tomb and the palace, but at the poor hovel

422 Sophocles’ Electra also delays the recognition of Orestes and Electra. The dating of Sophocles’ Electra, however, is uncertain so we do not know if Euripides took this idea from Sophocles, if Sophocles took it from Euripides, or if they both came up with it independently. 423 The scar is discussed by many different scholars, primarily as a reference to Odyssey (19.390 fff). See Denniston (1939), at lines 573-574, pg 121; Cropp (1988), at lines572-573, pg 141 who connects the scar to Odyssey (21.217-219); Torrance (2013), 28-30; 219

of a local farmer; Electra is not unwed, but trapped in a fruitless and unworthy marriage; rather than kill Aeschylus as he revels in the false report of Orestes’ death, Orestes kills him in the midst of a sacrifice; rather than killing Clytemnestra as she comes to learn of

Aegisthus’ death, they kill her after luring her by claiming Electra had a child and

Clytemnestra must perform rites, and finally in Aeschylus Orestes and Electra admit no remorse for their deeds, whereas in Euripides they immediately regret their actions.

While the same basic story is told (Orestes returns to Argos and kills Aegisthus and

Clytemnestra, avenging his father but earning the ire of the Furies) the surrounding circumstances change.

Yet despite the differences between the two versions, Euripides’ version clearly references, and competes with Aeschylus’. This is most apparent in the recognition scene. In Aeschylus three recognition tokens serve to establish Orestes’ identity: a lock of hair, footprints, and a piece of weaving. These tokens are presented to

Electra and accepted, fulfilling a common convention of Greek tragedy, a recognition usually accompanied by some sort of token. Euripides presents these same three tokens in his Electra, but instead of having Electra accept them as Aeschylus’ does, instead

Electra criticizes these tokens as insufficient and unrealistic. After the old man mentions a lock of hair he found at the tomb and suggests that it belongs to Orestes, Electra belittles the lock of hair and other signs.

Ἠλέκτρα: οὐκ ἄξἰ ἀνδρός, ὧ γέρον, σοφοῦ λέγεις, εἰ κρυπτὸν ἐς γῆν τήνδ᾿ ἂν Αἰγίσθου φόβῳ δοκεῖς ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἐμὸν εὐθαρσῆ μολεῖν. ἔπειτα χαίτης πῶς συνοίσεται πλόκος, ὁ μὲν παλαίστραις ἀνδρὸς εὐγενοῦς τραφείς, ὁ δὲ κτενισμοῖς θῆλυς; ἀλλ᾿ ἀμήχανον.


πολλοῖς δ᾿ ἂν εὕροις βοστρύχους ὁμοπτέρους καὶ μὴ γεγῶσιν αἵματος ταὺτοῦ, γέρον. Πρέσβυς: σὺ δ᾿ εἰς ἴχνος βᾶσ᾿ ἀρβύλης σκέψαι βάσιν εἰ σύμμετρος σῷ ποδὶ γενήσεται, τέκνον. Ἠλέκτρα: πῶς δ᾿ ἂν γένοιτ᾿ ἂν ἐν κραταιλέῳ πέδῳ γαίας ποδῶν ἔκμακτρον; εἰ δ᾿ ἔστιν τόδε, δυοῖν ἀδελφοῖν ποὺς ἄν οὐ γένοιτ᾿ ἴσος ἀνδρός τε καὶ γυναικός, ἀλλ᾿ ἅρσην κρατρεῖ. Πρέσβυς: οὐκ ἔστιν, εἰ καὶ γῆν κασίγνητος μολών, κερκίδος ὅτῳ γνοίης ἂν ἐξύφασμα σῆς, ἐν ῷ ποτ᾿ αὐτὸν ἐξέκλεψα μὴ θανεῖν; Ἠλέκτρα: οὐκ οἷσθ᾿, Ὀρέστης ἡνίκ᾿ ἐκπίπτει χθονός, νέαν μ᾿ ἔτ᾿ οὗσαν; εἰ δὲ κἄκρεκον πέπλους, πῶς ἄν τότ᾿ ὢν παῖς ταὐτα νῦν ἔχοι φάρη, εἰ μὴ ξυναύξοινθ᾿ οἱ πέπλοι τῷ σώματι; ἀλλ᾿ ἤ τις αὐτοῦ τάφον ἐποικτίρας ξένος ἐκείρατ᾿, ἢ τῆσδε σκοποὺς λαβὼν χθονὸς -(524-546)

Electra: What you say is not worthy of wisdom, old man. If you think that my courageous brother would come in secret to this land in fear of Aegisthus. Then how would a loose lock go along with on the one hand that which is grown in wrestling schools from a wellborn man, and on the other one nurtured by a women through combing? But it is impossible. And you may find similar hair even between those not born from the same blood, old man. Old Man: But step in the footprint of his shoe with your foot to see whether it is the same size as your foot, child. Electra: How could there be an impression of feet in the rocky ground of the earth? And if this is the case, the feet of two siblings, a man and a woman, would not be equal in size, but the male one would be greater. Old Man: Is there not, if your brother came to this land, a weaving of the shuttle by which you would know your brother which he wore when I once carried him off lest he die? Electra: Do you not know, that Orestes came away from this land when I was still young? If I wove a garment, how would he then a child still have that cloth now, unless the cloth would increase with his body? But either some stranger being compassionate cut a lock of hair on the grave or keeping watch over the earth.

Electra’s rejection of these tokens, which were accepted by her counterpart in Aeschylus, has long been noted by scholars as evidence of Euripides engaging directly with


Aeschylus.424 Nevertheless, there has been disagreement as to what Euripides’ reference to Aeschylus means. In his commentary on the Electra, Denniston devotes a section to the interplay with Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers and the varied scholarly opinions concerning it,425 in which he notes: “Almost all scholars have seen in this episode a piece of deliberate, and even malicious criticism.”426 Nevertheless, Denniston presents a variety of scholarly opinion from the harsh critic Wilamowitz who saw Euripides’ dramatic choice as reminiscent of his character in Aristophanes’ Frogs, 427 to a more sympathetic Murray who argued that Euripides used the three recognition tokens because they were canonical so he could not leave them out.428 Denniston himself takes a more moderate view saying that Euripides felt obligated to use the traditional signs in some way but was committed to making a realistic drama and thus had to be critical of the traditional signs.429

Nevertheless, Denniston touches on something very interesting: “Euripides’ attitude is, I think (though the analogy must not be pressed), something like that of the of a detective story who contrasts what happens in his story with what happens in

Sherlock Holmes.”430 Although Denniston insists that his analogy must not be pressed, his choice of comparing what Euripides does with the recognition tokens in Aeschylus’

424 See Denniston (1939), at lines 520-584, pp. 112-115; Cropp (1988), at lines 518-544, pg 137-138; Torrance (2013), 14-28. 425 Denniston (1939), at lines 520-584, pp. 112-115. 426 Denniston (1939), at lines 520-584, pg 114. 427 Denniston (1939), at lines 520-584, pg 114; Wilamowitz (1904), 169-173. 428 Denniston (1939), at lines 520-584, pg 114; Murray (1923), 89-91. 429 Denniston (1939), at lines 520-584, pg 114. Nevertheless, Euripides reverts back to an even more traditional token by using a scar to prove Orestes’ identity much like Odysseus is recognized by Eurycleia in Book 19 of the Odyssey. 430 Denniston (1939), at lines 520-584, pg 114. 222

Libation Bearers to what a writer of a detective story does with Sherlock is too fitting to be ignored. In using the example of Sherlock (although he is careful to italicize)

Denniston compares what Euripides does with his version of the character Electra to one of the most widely known and revamped plurimedial characters. Sherlock Holmes is frequently cited as an example when scholars try to describe a plurimedial figure.431 Yet

Euripides’ use of Aeschylus goes beyond what Denniston’s analogy suggests. In the analogy Denniston compares how the writer of a detective story in general may be influenced by Sherlock. In this case the writer would use Sherlock as a model of how to write his own version of a similar character. In Euripides’ case, his version of Electra was influenced not by how a different author portrayed a similar character with perhaps the same profession as in Denniston’s example, but rather he was influenced by how a different author portrayed the same character.

Nevertheless, although there are more generalized plurimedial elements to the treatment of various characters, Euripides does echo Aeschylus specifically in his recognition tokens. The similarities are greater than just using the same tokens as

Aeschylus. Although the lock of hair appears in Aeschylus it also is attested in

Stesichorus’ Oresteia (PMG 217), Aristophanes (Nub. 534-6), and Sophocles’ Electra

(892ff), as well as being a rather typical type of grave offering.432 What specifically points to Aeschylus is the inclusion of the other two tokens which do not appear in

431 Denson (2011), 537 mentions Sherlock Holmes when listing examples of plurimedial/serial figures; Johnston (2015b), uses Sherlock Holmes as an example at 197 (as an example of a parasocial relationship), at 207 (as an example of a plurmedial figure), 208 (as a combination of both). 432 Cropp (1988), at lines 518-544, pg 137. 223

sources other than Aeschylus as well as verbal echoes,433 which signify direct intertextuality rather than merely following the same basic tradition.

While the connection to Aeschylus is clear, what Euripides means by echoing

Aeschylus’ tokens only to reject them as ridiculous before they are then proven to be accurate has been up for a great deal of debate. Solutions to the problem range from rejecting the lines entirely as interpolations,434 to simple explanations about following the basic tradition set out by Aeschylus, which I have outlined above, to more nuanced interpretations. Torrance identifies two main trends in interpreting Euripides’ relationship to Aeschylus here435: the first sees Euripides as parodying Aeschylus in order to criticize his work,436 the second sees Euripides use of Aeschylus as a .437

Torrance provides a third option: that Euripides’ use of Aeschylus is not criticism of

Aeschylus but rather criticism of the limitations of certain stage conventions by calling to mind previous versions only to show how the convention has become tired.438 This is in a way underlined by the irony of reverting back to an even older form of recognition, the scar which goes back to the Odyssey.

The field of media studies, however, perhaps provides a more useful explanation.

Richardson suggests that a later author may make a variation on a previous author’s work

433 Verbal echoes in particular are called out by Cropp (1988), at lines 518-544, pg 137 where he says “Verbal echoes prove that Aeschylus is the specific target...” as well as by Torrance (2013), 25 who also points out possible metapoetic meanings in addition to the verbal echoes. Bond (1974), 2 also points out some verbal echoes. 434 See Cropp (1988), at lines 518-544, pp. 137-138 for discussion on arguments for and against deletion and their proponents. 435 Torrance (2013), 13. 436 See Bond (1974) for a thorough discussion of this trend, Hammond (1984) argues that in addition to the recognition scene being a of Aeschylus, there were other of features of Aeschylus in the staging of Euripides’ Electra. 437 Wolff (1992), 329. 438 Torrance (2013), 14-15. 224

in order to make a “claim to superior verisimilitude” as well as claiming “to correct a variety of ‘mistakes’ or distortions in the motivation of the characters and the forces shaping the fictional world that is being appropriated.”439 This is especially fitting for the

Electra passage since Electra rejects the tokens previously used in Aeschylus on the grounds that they are unrealistic. In fact, Richardson himself uses the example of

Euripides’ use of Aeschylus’ tokens in his Electra as an example of this phenomenon.440

Richardson is not the only media studies scholar to acknowledge this trend. Denson also comments on how a later version of a story can ‘correct’ elements of previous versions and in doing so “claim its own superiority”441 Euripides’ Electra’s criticism of the recognition tokens both acknowledges the Aeschylean version by referencing the same tokens yet also attempts to compete with the prior work to make Euripides’ own new version appear superior. This may, however, not be done for the purpose of parody and criticism of the previous work as scholars such as Bond and Hammond have suggested in the case of Euripides’ use of Aeschylus in his Electra, but rather the prior version is acknowledged since it is well known by the audience and by incorporating the old version in a new one the later author is able to fit their own version of events within the larger existing framework.442

Like Richardson, Torrance also analyses the recognition tokens which Euripides borrows from Aeschylus as making a statement about the difficulty of establishing a new

439 Richardson (2010), 532. 440 Richardson (2010), 532. 441 Denson (2011), 539-540. 442 See Denson (2011), 539-540 for an excellent example of how this works. 225

version of a well-known story.443 Torrance notes that Electra’s reasons for rejecting each one reveal “a self-conscious concern with being compared to previous poets.”444

Torrance’s most interesting observation is that Electra’s first objection that no footprint could possible exist on such rock-hard ground may be a comment on the difficulty of a poet truly making a mark after so many other authors have dealt with the same material.

Torrance argues that Electra’s question about the ability of someone to leave their footprint on hard ground “relates directly to the issue of poetic posteriority and the constraints of composing tragedy within the confines of mythology. The metapoetic question implied in this formulation asks ‘how can one make one’s mark on established poetic tradition.’”445 Yet, this comparison can be taken even further. Electra objects to comparing the sizes of their footprints because her second footprint would certainly be smaller than the previous one, may be Euripides’ way of acknowledging Aeschylus’ prior place and larger reputation. The relationship between Euripides and Aeschylus here is more complicated than either Euripides paying homage or parodying Aeschylus.

Although Euripides rejects Aeschylus’ tokens, through the explanation of why they are

443 Torrance (2013) 20-24 also makes an interesting observation about the wine the old man uses for the libation (described at lines 498-499) seeing it as a comparison between Aeschylus’ and Euripides’ works. Since wine is often a for poetry Torrance interprets the stronger pleasant smelling wine as a reference to Aeschylus’ heavier poetry and the weaker drink to Euripides’ own lighter work. This metaphor both complements Aeschylus by acknowledging the pleasantness of his poetry and how a different work may benefit from his influence, while also showing Euripides’ own work to be superior since the Greeks preferred watered down wine 444 Torrance (2013), 24 relies on the double meaning of the word χρῶμα which can refer to both hair and the ‘texture of poetic and musical ’; as well as the footprint being interpreted as a metrical foot. Finally, (26-28) she takes the token of weaving as a metaphor for storytelling and suggests that the old man asking about a piece of finished weaving suggests that the story has already been done and Electra’s response that Orestes would arrive in new robes is a comment on the need for mythological characters to be given new stories. 445 Torrance (2013), 25-26. 226

insufficient, Euripides pays subtle complements to his predecessor while also praising his own ability to make his own mark on the tradition despite Aeschylus’ popularity.

There may be another aspect at play in Euripides’ use of prior authors. As

Munteanu notes the comparison between Euripides’ version of the Orestes and

Aeschylus’ Oresteia “could lead the audience to a unique type of cognitive pleasure, which is based on reasoning ‘this is that’.”446 According to Aristotle part of the pleasure of tragedy was seeing tragedy as a of or of the emotions of pity and fear. It is possible, however, that there may have been other mimetic sources of pleasure for the audience that Aristotle did not discuss. Munteanu suggests:

...perhaps in addition [to the mimetic pleasures discussed by Aristotle], the spectators of the Orestes enjoyed likening two types of mimeses through inferring how the Euripidean imitation of myth relates to the Aeschylean: this is how Euripides refers to that Aeschylean scene...When the spectator, then, focused on how Euripides’ Orestes imitates Aeschylus’ trilogy, he would feel delight through recognizing similarities and differences between the two.447

The same technique may be at work here in Euripides’ use of Aeschylus in his Electra.

Thus it may be that Euripides uses references to other texts simply to enhance pleasure for his audience.448

Whether or not we accept Richardson’s, Torrance’s, and/or Munteanu’s interpretations of Euripides’ engagement with Aeschylus, it is clear that Euripides’

Electra, both in its recognition scene and the Dioscuri prophesy concerning Orestes’ trial at Athens, plays with Aeschylus’ version of events. While there may be some degree of

446 Munteanu (2012), 213. Also see Halliwell (2002), 177-206. 447 Munteanu (2012), 213. 448 See Swift (2015) 125-126 for a discussion of how different segments of the audience would appreciate and understand to other works and/or . 227

parody and criticism, to Aeschylus go beyond the idea of competing with the great myth makers of the past. By connecting his own (drastically different) version of

Electra’s story to Aeschylus’ more conventional and well-known one, Euripides is able to reinforce his own version of events while at the same time creating a pleasurable experience for his audience.

This is not to say that Euripides was not free to innovate without referring to authors of the past. Aristotle in his Poetics makes it clear that the poet has a certain amount of freedom to innovate as he sees fit and does not need to follow the traditional stories in every aspect, in fact in cases such as Agathon’s Antheus all the characters and events were invented (1451b.19-26). Nevertheless, this does not mean that the poet is free to make drastic changes to a once he has chosen to relate a particular story. τοὺς μὲν οὖν παρειλημμένους μύθους λύειν οὐκ ἔστιν, λέγω δὲ οἷον τὴν

Κλυταιμήστραν ἀποθανοῦσαν ὑπὸ τοῦ Ὀρέστου καὶ τὴν Ἐριφύλην ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἀλκμέωνος,

αὐτὸν δὲ εὑρίσκειν δεῖ καὶ τοῖς πραδεδομένοις χρῆσθαι καλῶς. (1453b.22-26). “It is not right to break up the traditional stories. I am speaking of such things as Clytemnestra being killed by Orestes and by Alcmaeon. But it is necessary for the poet to invent and to make use of the things handed down well.” This is to say that while there is room for innovation, there are certain major aspects which should not be changed.

In the Electra, while there is a great degree of inventiveness, this line does not really get close to being crossed, however, in other plays such as the Orestes, Euripides is much closer to crossing the line of what is an acceptable change. Even though there is not a significant threat to the mythical tradition in the Electra, Euripides already starts to


make use of a coping method for innovation implied in this passage in Aristotle: namely

τοῖς πραδεδομένοις χρῆσθαι “making use of the things handed down”. This includes not only the basic ‘facts’ of the myth which Euripides’ inherits but also to a certain extent aspects of the tale included by other authors. Thus by referencing Aeschylus’ version in his own Electra, Euripides balances his innovation with tradition.

This strategy can be seen particularly in the epilogue of the Electra and the prophecy concerning Orestes’ trial at Athens. Unlike his use of Aeschylus’ recognition tokens, Euripides’ use of Aeschylus’ version of Orestes’ trail does not seek to correct the version in Aeschylus’ Eumenides. Euripides for the most part accepts Aeschylus’ version of events wholesale without providing alternative options. This conventionality has a dual purpose. On the one hand, Euripides is able to reinforce his own work by appealing back to Aeschylus’, thus allowing his divergent narrative to match up with Aeschylus’ at the end, therefore, establishing his place within the larger mythic tradition. On the other hand, Euripides’ establishes a strong connection to tradition in his first prophecy in order to normalize his work and place in the tradition before departing from a dominant version of the Helen myth in his second prophecy.

In the second prophecy at the end of the Electra Euripides turns unexpectedly from the fate of Orestes to that of characters who, up until this point, were outside the scope of the play: Helen and Menelaus. This second prophecy is also unique because in some ways it is not prophecy at all since rather than discussing the future, it recounts a strange version of recent events concerning Helen, namely that she is returning, not from

Troy but from Egypt.


σοὶ μὲν τάδ᾿ εἷπον: τόνδε δ᾿ Αἰγίσθου νέκυν Ἀργους πολῖται γῆς καλύψουσιν τάφῳ. μητέρα δὲ τὴν σὴν ἄρτι Ναυπλίαν παρὼν Μενέλαος, ἐξ οὗ Τρωικὴν εἷλε χθόνα, Ἐλένη τε θάψει: Πρωτέως γὰρ ἐκ δόμων ἥκει λιποῦσ᾿ Αἴγυπτον οὐδ᾿ ἧλθεν Φρύγας: Ζεὺς δ᾿, ὡς ἔρις γένοιτο καὶ φόνος βροτῶν, εἴδωλον Ἑλένης ἐξέπεμψ᾿ ἐχ Ἴλιον. (1276-1283)

To you I speak the following things: The citizens of Argos will conceal the corpse of Aegisthus in a grave in the earth. But as for your mother, Menelaus who is just now near Nauplia, coming out from the Trojan land, and Helen will bury her: for she comes from the house of Proteus leaving Egypt, for she never went to Troy. Zeus, so that there might be strife and the slaughter of mortals, sent out a phantom of Helen to Troy.

Although this passage is a mere fraction of the size of the first, its content is far more provocative. Using the relatively insignificant loose end of the burial of Aegisthus and

Clytemnestra as its starting point, the Dioscuri soon present an even more wildly divergent mythical variant than the one presented in the main body of the play. For unlike in the Electra, where Euripides, while expressing the story in a unique way, ultimately tells the traditional tale of Electra and Orestes’ murder of Aegisthus and

Clytemnestra, these eight lines contain a wholly divergent version of events from the norm, namely that did not actually go to Troy at all and the most famous war in all of Greek mythology was entirely in vain.

At this point it may be helpful to review some definitions set out earlier in this work concerning dominant and non-dominant mythical variants. Most myths exist in several different versions, none of which can be established as the canonical, correct, or original version. As Richardson acknowledges, in the case of characters from antiquity

“we will seek in vain to find an original/copy model; in these cases there is no original to


be unearthed. The character pre-exists, but not in a definitive form; all versions are variants.”449 If every version of a character is a variant with no greater claim to legitimacy than any other, how then can one speak of dominant or non-dominant versions? While it is true that, in general, every version must be viewed as equally valid there is one case in which one version can be said to be non-dominant: a version of a myth that cannot be understood without knowledge of another myth which this myth contradicts. Put another way, a non-dominant storyline is one which must mention a different version in order to explain itself.

Richardson discusses this to an extent when talking about the conflicting versions of the recognition tokens in Euripides and Aeschylus since the knowledge of Aeschylus’ tokens is necessary to fully appreciate how Euripides appropriates them.450 Nevertheless, for my purposes a non-dominant story line differs more violently than one author merely referencing something done in another author. In a truly non-dominant storyline the new version must mention a prior one in order to explain itself. The non-dominant version exists not as a mere correction to a prior myth but as a refutation of the entire story of the myth. This is readily apparent in the first version of this non-dominant myth that Helen did not go to Troy that we know of. Plato quotes a section of Stesichorus’ Palinode which reads simply “οὐκ ἔστ᾿ ἔτυμος λόγος οὖτος, οὐδ᾿ ἔβας ἐν νηυσὶν εὐσέλμοις, οὐδ᾿

ἵκεο Πέργαμα Τροίας.”(Plato, Phaedrus 243a). “The tale is not true, I did not board a well-beaked ship, I did not go to Pergamonian Troy.” Although this myth is eventually expanded by Herodotus and later by Euripides himself, in Stesichorus’ version the entire

449 Richardson (2010), 538. 450 Richardson (2010), 531-532. 231

myth exists only as a denial of a prior myth. Wright defines these myths which openly refute a popular tradition as ‘counterfactual myths’451, a type popular with Euripides who uses this type of myth both in his Helen when he asserts she did not go to Troy, and in IT when he asserts that Iphigenia was not sacrificed at Aulis but was saved by Artemis.452

While Euripides often plays with a myth, changing various features and even devoting entire plays to counterfactual versions of a myth (such as his Helen and IT), it is only in the Electra that he references a counterfactual myth within a DEM.453 What is even more remarkable, is that the myth and characters referenced are not directly relevant to the play, another feature which sets this DEM apart from others. Finally, and perhaps most interestingly for my purposes, Euripides later picks up on this counterfactual myth included so last minute in the Electra and later expands it into an entire play.454

The two prophecies in Euripides’ Electra are quite different from one another, yet both play a vital role in connecting Euripides’ play with other myths that the audience would be familiar with. His first prophecy concerning Orestes’ trial at Athens connects

Euripides’ divergent myth about Electra and Orestes killing Aegisthus and Clytemnestra to the version of events established by Aeschylus. Even though Euripides’ version is very different from Aeschylus’ in most respects he aligns his plot with Aeschylus’ both

451 While Wright’s term ‘counterfactual’ is quite helpful and to a certain extent captures the idea well, I prefer the term ‘non-dominant’ to avoid the implication that there is a definitive ‘fact’ of the myth, since this is problematic for a non-canonical tradition with a great degree of flexibility and variation. 452 Wright (2005), 58-80. 453 This of course is under the assumption that the ending of Iphigenia at Aulis is not authentic. 454 This is all the more interesting if the later proposed date for the Electra of 413 is correct rather than the metrical estimate of 420 since this would have Euripides providing almost a teaser for his entry for the next year (since the Helen is securely dated to 412) at the end of his Electra. For more on the dating of the Electra especially in relation to the Helen see Wright (2005), 111-113. For a justification based on metrics placing the Electra in the 420’s see Cropp (1985). 232

through his use of Aeschylus’ recognition tokens from the Libation Bearers and the basic story of Orestes’ trial at Athens presented in Aeschylus’ Eumenides. Yet Euripides uses these two Aeschylean reference points in very different ways. In his use of Aeschylus’ recognition tokens Euripides challenges the verisimilitude of Aeschylus’ version of events and perhaps in doing so makes a claim to the superiority of his own version while also commenting on the difficulty of making his work stand out from so many other authors who have dealt with the same material. Although Euripides intentionally sets himself apart from Aeschylus in his use of the recognition tokens, he uses Aeschylus’ basic story of Orestes’ trial in a completely different way. Rather than challenge

Aeschylus as he did before, Euripides conforms his own version of events to the wider tradition by connecting his deviant version to the wider mythic tradition through an appeal to Aeschylean authority. By referencing a well-known episode in Orestes’ myth

Euripides helps to incorporate his own more unique version into the general mythic timeline. As we shall see, Euripides often uses this technique in his DEM speeches.

In his second prophecy in the Electra, Euripides takes an entirely different track.

Rather than connecting his version of events to other more well-known and established versions, Euripides instead introduces a new myth, not only relatively disconnected from the events and characters of the Electra but also new in the sense of featuring a non- dominant mythic storyline. Thus, immediately after reinforcing his version of events by reconnecting it to the wider tradition, Euripides veers off into new territory by referencing a non-dominant version of a well-established myth. This reference would perhaps be nothing more than an interesting mythological footnote if not for Euripides’


further developing the thread in his Helen. Thus, to fully understand Euripides’ use of prophecy we must turn to the Helen itself.



The Helen is relevant here for three reasons. First, the plot of the Helen continues to explore the non-dominant mythical storyline introduced in the DEM prophecy of

Euripides’ Electra. Second, the Helen’s status as a play which explores a non-dominant version of the Helen storyline is important for understanding how Euripides uses myth, and the tension between two different versions of Helen in the play is perfect for exploring how Euripides dealt with differing versions of the same basic myth. Finally, the Helen also contains a DEM speech which, like the speech in the Electra, seems to set up the next mythic episode for the characters involved. So not only does the topic of the

Helen continue the alternate mythical thread introduced in the Electra, but its DEM also sets the stage for the next part of Helen’s journey: her and Menelaus’ arrival back to

Greece which was promised in the Electra. This comes to pass with the continuation not only of Helen and Menelaus’ storyline but also that of Electra’s and Orestes’ as well in the Orestes.

In the last section I have analyzed how the DEM speech at the end of the Electra introduces a non-dominant version of the character of Helen. At the time of the Electra we have evidence of only two other authors who used this variant storyline of Helen:

Stesichorus and Herodotus. The three lines of Stesichorus’ Palinode quoted by Plato says that Helen did not go to Troy without providing more detail on the variant


(Plato, Phaedrus 243a).455 Herodotus goes into more detail providing a rationalistic explanation that Helen was detained in Egypt by the king Proteus when she and Paris sailed there on the way to Troy. Proteus let Paris leave but kept Helen with him in Egypt, not knowing of this turn of events the Greeks set out to Troy to get Helen back. The

Trojans told the Greeks that Helen was in Egypt but the Greeks did not believe them so they fought until the Greeks sacked the city. When they did not find Helen at Troy after the fall of the city, Menelaus finally went to Egypt to reclaim Helen. Proteus gave Helen back to Menelaus, but before leaving, Menelaus outraged Proteus by sacrificing two

Egyptian children and was pursued to Libya (Herodotus, 2.113-119).

Euripides seems to combine aspects of Stesichorus and Herodotus in his alternative version of the Helen myth presented in the Electra DEM.

σοὶ μὲν τάδ᾿ εἷπον: τόνδε δ᾿ Αἰγίσθου νέκυν Ἀργους πολῖται γῆς καλύψουσιν τάφῳ. μητέρα δὲ τὴν σὴν ἄρτι Ναυπλίαν παρὼν Μενέλαος, ἐξ οὗ Τρωικὴν εἷλε χθόνα, Ἐλένη τε θάψει: Πρωτέως γὰρ ἐκ δόμων ἥκει λιποῦσ᾿ Αἴγυπτον οὐδ᾿ ἧλθεν Φρύγας: Ζεὺς δ᾿, ὡς ἔρις γένοιτο καὶ φόνος βροτῶν, εἴδωλον Ἑλένης ἐξέπεμψ᾿ ἐχ Ἴλιον. (1276-1283)

To you I speak the following things: The citizens of Argos will conceal the corpse of Aegisthus in a grave in the earth. But as for your mother, Menelaus who is just now near Nauplia, coming out from the Trojan land, and Helen will bury her: for she comes from the house of Proteus leaving Egypt, for she never went to Troy. Zeus, so that there might be strife and the slaughter of mortals, sent out a phantom of Helen to Troy.

455 Austin (1994), 96 points out that there is also an allusion in Plato’s (586c) to Stesichorus’ Palinode suggesting that Stesichoruis said that the Helen who went to Troy was a phantom. Nevertheless, Plato does not quote Stesichorus here as he did in the Phaedrus so it is difficult to know exactly what he said about Helen and the phantom. Wright (2005), 87-110 devotes a great deal of time to problems with taking Stesichorus’ Palinode as evidence that Stesichorus invented the idea of Helen’s phantom. 236

The passage begins conventionally with Helen and Menelaus’ return to Greece after the end of the Trojan War, a detail that occurs in Homer. Yet soon the alternative version of

Helen’s Egyptian sojourn comes into play. Proteus and Egypt possibly referring both to

Herodotus and Stesichorus.456 The detail that Helen never went to Troy at all works both with the three lines of Stesichorus as well as with Herodotus’ more detailed story. The last detail is more striking: Zeus sent a phantom of Helen to Troy. This aspect is much more unique, there is some evidence that this detail first appeared in Stesichorus.457

While there is some debate on this, this topic is too large to be treated here.

As Wright correctly points out “the question of whether the phantom-double of

Helen herself appeared in any pre-Euripidean poem is unanswerable...”458 Nevertheless the DEM mention of Helen in Euripides’ Electra stands as our first reliable extant reference to the phantom Helen. The entrance of the phantom into the narrative of Helen is important not just for establishing whether or not the phantom was indeed Euripides’

456Proteus and Egypt both appear prominently in Herodotus’ version. The influence of Stesichorus here is more uncertain. The lines we have from Plato’s Phaedrus simply state that Helen did not go to Troy. Nevertheless, as Burian (2007), 5 especially fn 11 points out the discovery of P. Oxy. 2506, frag. 26, col. 1 aka Stesichorus frag. 193. 12-16 (PMG) a papyrus fragment from an ancient commentary mentions both Proteus and Egypt as well. 457 Burian (2007), 5, fn 11 provides the following evidence for the phantom first appearing in Stesichorus: A reference in the Republic to Stesichorus and a phantom being fought for at Troy (Republic 9.586 c) as well as of P. Oxy. 2506, frag. 26, col. 1 aka Stesichorus frag. 193. 12-16 (PMG). Wright (2005), 82-110 strongly argues against Stesichorus being an antecedent for the phantom and argues it is a Euripidean invention. Marshall (2014), 83 follows Cunningham (1994), 68 and suggests that the eidolon may have been present in Aeschylus’ Proteus with Stesichorus again as an antecedent. There is, however, no concrete evidence for the eidolon being mentioned in Proteus. 458 Wright (2005), 84. For a thorough treatment of the question of the origins of the phantom of Helen in Greek literature including possibilities from Hesiod and Stesichorus see 82-86. For a thorough treatment of the problems concerning Stesichorus’ Palinode see 87-110. For the more traditional view that the phantom first appeared in Stesichorus see Burian (2007), 4-9, for his response to Wright see footnote 12 pg 6. For more on Stesichorus’ Palinode and Hesiod’s Catalogue of women as possible antecedents for the phantom see Austin (1994), 90-117. Also see Marshall (2014), 56-61. 237

invention, but the appearance of the phantom also works to reconcile the non-dominant version of the Helen story more fully with the Homeric Helen.

All three authors establish their version as a non-dominant variant of the more prevalent myth that Helen went to Troy since their version cannot be understood without direct reference to the Helen who went to Troy. Stesichorus begins with the assertion that “the tale is not true” and couches all three lines in denials of the version where Helen goes to Troy (Plato, Phaedrus 243a). Similarly, Herodotus mentions the Homeric version after he finishes telling the different story he heard from the Egyptians.

Ἑλένης μὲν ταύτην ἄπιξιν παρὰ Πρωτέα ἔλεγον οἱ ἱρέες γενέσθαι: δοκέει δέ μοι καὶ Ὅμηρος τὸν λόγον τοῦτον πυθέσθαι: ἀλλ᾿ οὐ γὰρ ὁμοίως ἐς τὴν ἐποποιίην εὐπρεπὴς ἧν τῷ ἑτέρῳ τῷ περ ἐχρήσατο, ἑκὼν μετῆκε αὐτόν, δηλώσας ὡς καὶ τοῦτον ἐπίσταιτο τὸν λόγον: δῆλον δὲ κατὰ γὰρ ἐποίησε ἐͺν Ἰλιάδι (καὶ οὐδαμῇ ἄλλῃ ἀνεπόδισε ἑωυτὸν) πλάνην τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρου, ὡς ἀπηνείχθη ἄγων Ἑλένην τῇ τε δὴ ἄλλῃ πλαζόμενος καὶ ὡς ἐς Σιδῶνα τῆς Φοινίκης ἀπίκετο. (2.116).

The priests say this is how the arrival of Helen to Proteus happened. But it seems to me that Homer also knew this story; but since it did not seem to be fitting for as the other story he willingly gave it up, while making it clear that he knew this story also, for he made this clear in the Iliad (and he corrects himself in no other place) that the wandering of Paris, when he was leading Helen he was carried off wandering to another place and he even arrived at Sidon of Phoenicia.

Aware of how this version from the Egyptian priests conflicts with Homer, and being unwilling to discredit Homer completely, Herodotus seeks to minimize this problem by arguing that Homer knew the truth of this story but chose the version that Helen went to

Troy for poetic reasons. Rather than making this claim without evidence, Herodotus provides three passages that supposedly prove that Homer was aware of the Egyptian’s


version of the story going so far to say that these passages459 also serve as evidence that the Cypria was not written by Homer (2.117).

Although Herodotus takes pains to come up with an explanation for Homer’s version of events differing from the Egyptian priests’ version, he does not truly reconcile the two stories. Herodotus says that while Homer knew the version that Helen did not go to Troy, he chose a different one which served his literary purposes better. Since

Herodotus heavily implies that the Egyptian story is the true one, this would mean that scenes in the Iliad which clearly show Helen at Troy must be false. Thus Herodotus competes with his predecessor Homer by challenging his version of the Helen story in much the same way as Euripides competed with his predecessor Aeschylus in challenging the verisimilitude of the recognition tokens that Aeschylus used in his Libation Bearers.

Yet this is more than one poet disputing the events in another, Herodotus sets out to establish the superiority of his new genre of history when it comes to relating the past at the expense of literature which had previously fulfilled this function.460 Herodotus still gives Homer his due, by suggesting that Homer was not ignorant of the true story, but while crediting Homer with knowledge, Herodotus still challenges the accuracy of the story that Homer tells. Paradoxically, by saying that even Homer knew the story that

Herodotus tells us, Herodotus further reinforces his own version of the story by appealing to the authority of Homer, an authority he has just questioned.

459 The passages are a reference to Paris going to Sidon in the Iliad (6.289-292) and references to Menelaus and Helen’s time in Egypt in the Odyssey (4.227-230, 4.351-352). 460 Austin (1994), 123 notes: “Herodotus defines himself vis-a-vis Homer as much as Stesichorus had done. As Stesichorus asserted the superiority of his Helen story as myth, Herodotus asserts the superiority of his kind of storytelling over Homer’s as history. Homer is relegated to being no more than a poet who would sacrifice historical truth to romantic fancy – poetry’s stock is now in decline, while history’s is on the rise.” 239

The addition of the phantom in the DEM speech in the Electra in Euripides, however, works more towards explaining Helen’s clear presence at Troy in the Iliad by reconciling the phantom Helen with the events reported by Homer. In Euripides’ short version of events, her appearances at Troy in Homer could conceivably be attributed to the phantom. Marshall also notes this, “Because of the eidōlon, there is a sense that other stories may still have happened: the events of the Iliad can have taken place as described in Homer, with the exception that Helen is the eidōlon, indistinguishable from Helen from the outside: her, but not her.”461 Thus in a few lines Euripides provides a more plausible explanation for the tale told in Homer, while still telling a non-dominant version of the Helen story that both rejects Homer’s version while still relying on it be coherent.

Yet the version of the Helen story in the Electra does not have much detail and leaves many questions unanswered. In Euripides’ Helen he expands on this new version of Helen and the phantom in such a way that both acknowledges the version in Homer and other poets that Helen went to Troy, while providing a more detailed explanation for how the war at Troy could have been fought without Helen ever having stepped foot there. Euripides lays out the foundations for this very strange version of events in his prologue to the Helen. In the beginning of the prologue Helen sets the scene of the play as Egypt and gives the background of Proteus’ family, specifically that king Proteus is dead and introducing his son Theoclymenus and daughter Theonoe as characters. It is only at line 16 that Helen even begins to identify herself as Helen. Rather than defining herself by her role at Troy or even as Menelaus’ wife, she instead uses the identifying

461 Marshall (2014), 60. 240

features of her homeland being Sparta, her father being Tyndareus (or possibly Zeus) and her mother as . After identifying herself via her hometown and lineage she begins rather conventionally with the story of the Judgment of Paris.

Up until this point there is nothing that Helen says (other than her odd presence in

Egypt and her mention of Proteus) that would suggest she is anything other than the traditional Helen who went to Troy with Paris. Even these features could in some ways correspond to the Helen found in Homer since in Homer’s Odyssey Menelaus and Helen tell Telemachus a story about their return home to Greece which includes a stay in Egypt when they were blown off course. Not only do Menelaus and Helen go to Egypt in

Homer, but they encounter a character named Proteus who in the Homeric version is the

Old Man of the Sea and gives Menelaus information about how to leave Egypt as well as informing him of Agamemnon’s death (4.351-586).462 Thus, even the setting in Egypt would not on its own deviate from Homer, and while Proteus is described as a king rather than the old man of the sea it would still theoretically be possible to resolve these elements with Homer. It is only at line 31 of the play that the non-dominant storyline that makes up the plot of the play is established.

After setting up the familiar story of the Judgment of Paris, Helen’s tale veers off dramatically from the established Homeric tradition of the Helen who went to Troy and only went to Egypt after returning from Troy with Menelaus.

Ἥρα δὲ μεμφθεῖσ᾿ οὕνεκ᾿ οὐ νικᾷ θεάς, ἐξηνέμωσε τἄμ᾿ Ἀλεξάνδρῳ λέχη, δίδωσι δ᾿ οὐκ ἔμ᾿, ἀλλ᾿ ὁμοιώσασ᾿ ἐμοὶ εἴδωλον ἔμπνουν οὐρανοῦ ξυνθεῖσ᾿ ἄπο,

462 Marshall (2014), 64 suggests Aeschylus’ lost Proteus as another possible intertext for Euripides’ Helen in addition to Homer. 241

Πριάμου τυράννου παιδί: καὶ δοκεῖ μ᾿ ἔχειν - κενὴν δόκησιν, οὐκ ἔχων; τὰ δ᾿ αὗ Διὸς βουλεύματ᾿ ἄλλα τοῖσδε συμβαίνει κακοῖς: πόλεμον γὰρ εἰσήνεγκεν Ἑλλήνων χθονὶ καὶ Φρυξὶ δυστήνοισιν, ὡς ὄχλου βροτῶν πλήθους τε κουφίσειε μητέρα χθόνα γνωτόν τε θείη τὸν κράτιστον Ἑλλάδος. Φρυγῶν δ᾿ ἐς ἀλκὴν προυτέθην ἐγὼ μὲν οὔ, τὸ δ᾿ ὄνομα τοὐμόν, ἇθλον Ἕλλησιν δορός. λαβὼν δέ μ᾿ Ἐρμῆς ἐν πτυχαῖσιν αἰθέρος νεφέλῃ καλύψας - οὐ γὰρ ἠμέλησέ μου Ζεύς - τόνδ᾿ ἐς οἷκον Πρωτέως ἱδρύσατο, πάντων προκρίνας σωφρονέστατον βροτῶν, ἀκέραιον ὡς σῴσαιμι Μενέλεῳ λέχος. κἀγὼ μὲν ἐνθάδ᾿ εἴμ᾿, ὁ δ᾿ ἄθλιος πόσις στράτευμ᾿ ἀθροίσας τὰς ἐμὰς ἀναρπαγὰς θηρᾷ πορευθεὶς Ἰλίου πυργώματα. ψυχαὶ δὲ πολλαὶ δἰ ἔμ᾿ ἐπὶ Σκαμανδρίοις ῥοαῖσιν ἔθανον: ἡ δὲ πάντα τλᾶσ᾿ ἐγὼ κατάρατός εἰμι καὶ δοκῶ προδοῦσ᾿ ἐμὸν πόσιν συνάψαι πόλεμον Ἕλλησιν μέγαν. (31-55).

Hera complaining that she did not prevail over the goddesses, puffed up my marriage with Paris, giving not me but making a phantom that looked like me, alive, put together from the sky, to the child of king . And he thinks he has me – an empty belief since he does not. But again the plans of Zeus increase these evils. For he brought about war in the land of the Greeks and unfortunate Phrygians, so that he might lighten the multitude of the crowed of mortals from mother earth and award fame to the mightiest of the Greeks. And not I but my name was set out as a prize for the strength of the Phrygians, a spear prize for the Greeks. But taking me Hermes hid me in a cloud in the folds of the air – for Zeus did not overlook me – but he placed me in this house of Proteus, because he judged him the most prudent of all mortals, so that I might keep my bed pure for Menelaus. And so I am here, and my wretched husband gathered together an army for recapturing me, having set out on the hunt to the walled city of . But many souls on my account died at the river , and I suffering all these things am accursed and I seem to be betraying my husband and to bring on a great war to the Greeks.

Helen’s explanation of events in the prologue succeeds not only in drawing together the details of Stesichorus, Herodotus and Euripides’ mention of Helen in the Electra into one coherent story, but also adds many new details that were previously absent from these


other non-dominant story lines. The features in Stesichorus – Helen not going to Troy, and even not traveling by boat – are all accounted for. The addition of Egypt and the details concerning a king Proteus which were highlighted in Herodotus’ version of the story are also present. The phantom, whether first introduced by Stesichorus, Hesiod,

Euripides’ Electra or someone else entirely is also accounted for in this version. Yet

Euripides here does far more than simply bring these threads of tradition together into one place, rather he expands on the existing motifs and creates something much more complex.

The first difference from the other versions of this non-dominant storyline, is that

Euripides ties his unconventional Helen to the more conventional story by incorporating the Judgment of Paris as the starting point for the creation of the phantom. Just as the

Judgment of Paris traditionally serves as the impetus for the Trojan War, Euripides also choses this well-known event as the catalyst for the creation of the phantom and Helen’s sojourn to Egypt. We also receive more information about the phantom than in other versions; specifically that it was made from the sky by Hera, and that Paris believes that he has the real Helen (a true departure from Herodotus’ version). The true motivation for the war (Zeus’ desire to lighten the burden of men from the earth)463 that was mentioned in the DEM speech in Euripides’ Electra, is repeated here, adding to the continuity

463 Dale (1967), at line 36-41, pg 71 notes that “the oldest known source for Zeus’ desire to relieve Mother Earth of surplus human population by means of the Trojan War is the Cypria, fr. 1, quoted in a scholion on Il. 1.5.” Dale also notes that this explanation also appears in Euripides’ Electra at 1282-1283 and in the Orestes at 1639-1642. A softened version of this appears in the prologue of the Iliad where the events are attributed to Zeus’ will (1.5). 243

between the two plays. Finally, Hermes enters the picture when it is revealed that it was he who conveyed Helen through the air to Egypt to be kept in the care of King Proteus.

It is vital to remember that all of this information about Helen and the phantom, all of the adjustments to the Homeric tradition and adjustments and expansions of the non-dominant storyline set out by Stesichorus and later Herodotus are all merely part of the prologue and act not as the main plot of this play but as a set up for what will follow.

Wright in particular discusses the difference between aspects of the myth which a playwright choses to tell and the more specific and unique aspects of the plot which he develops out of the basic setup of the myth.464 Plot for Wright consists of the specific scenes and events that take place in the play, whereas the myth is broader and consists of the basic set up of the tale, the aspects of the story which lie in the background of the play, rather than what is presented to the audience. 465

Interestingly, as Wright notes, the parts of a play which are the most focused on myth rather than plot are the prologues, choral odes, and DEM speeches.466 This is particularly true of the Helen. The events reported in the prologue – the Judgment of

Paris, the creation of the phantom by Hera, Helen’s arrival in Egypt, and the events of the

Trojan War itself, all exist outside the action of the play. The same effect can be seen in

464 Interestingly, Mittell (2010) makes a similar distinction when discussing how stories are told in television. Mittell makes a distinction between story and plot. “The story of a television narrative consists of all events and characters within the world of a show, whether they are shown on-screen or not. A program’s plot is the way the story is told, consisting only of events shown on-screen, and the particular choices used to present that material, such as chronological order, omission of key details, and retelling events from multiple perspectives. Plot also includes nondiegetic material that guides our understanding of the story, such as musical scores, captions, and voiceover narration.” 217. The comparison of Greek tragedy with television is not as far-fetched as it might seem. They were both performance genres and had elements outside of the text or script such as , music, and movement. 465 Wright (2005), 74. 466 Wright (2005), 74-77. 244

the DEM speech by the Dioscuri at the end of the play;467 Helen and Menelaus’ arrival in

Greece, Helen’s eventual deification and shared worship with the Dioscuri, and

Menelaus’ translation to the Isle of the Blest all happen outside of the play, they are relegated to the wider realm of myth, rather than the plot acted out in the course of the play. Thus, according to Wright, Euripidean tragedy interacts the most with other versions of a myth (or references other mythic episodes outside of itself) most often in prologues which set up the basic context for the play by establishing the characters involved as well as any relevant background needed to understand what episode in a particular myth the play will explore, and in DEM scenes which also expand the scope outside of the events enacted on stage by linking them to other mythic episodes that are related to the newest presentation of the myth that has just been performed. If this is true then DEM speeches are an important key to understanding how Euripides uses myth.

While this chapter is concerned primarily with DEM prophecy rather than prologue speeches, the prologue of the Helen is relevant for two main reasons. First, since the Helen occupies the middle position between the Electra DEM and the events of the Orestes, its prologue is relevant due to the mythic links it creates between plays.

Second, the Helen’s status as a play which explores a non-dominant mythic storyline, particularly one in which two different versions of the same character come into conflict with one another makes the Helen prologue, and the Helen as a whole, relevant to the question of how Euripides used non-dominant or counterfactual myths.

467 Wright (2005), 74-77. 245

Wright tracks a variety of variants that existed in these counterfactual myths which in the case of Helen include not only the differing versions of Helen concerning her connection to Troy, but variations on her birth, suitors, children, and ultimate fate as well.468 Yet what truly makes the Helen unique even amongst the other counterfactual plays is the fact that Euripides himself draws attention to the various versions of the

Helen myth within the Helen itself.

Even before introducing the mythic variant of Helen’s phantom, Helen’s prologue creates a tension between different versions of the Helen myth. When introducing herself

Helen first identifies herself by her home city of Sparta and then by her father Tyndareus.

But immediately Helen herself calls this seemingly straightforward identifier into question.

....πατὴρ δὲ Τυνδάρεως: ἔστιν δὲ δὴ λόγος τις ὡς Ζεὺς μητέῤ ἔπτατ᾿ εἰς ἐμὴν Λήδαν κύκνου μορφώματ᾿ ὄρνιθος λαβών, ὅς δόλιον εὐνὴν ἐξέπαξ᾿ ὑπ᾿ αἰετοῦ δίωγμα φεύγων, εἰ σαφὴς οὗτος λόγος: (17-21)

My father was Tyndareus, but there is a story that some Zeus flew to my mother Leda taking the form of a bird, a swan, and he brought about their deceitful marriage bed by fleeing the pursuit of an , if this story is the clear truth.

It seems that the mythic variation concerning Helen is so severe that Helen seems unsure about the basic facts of her own birth. The fact that Helen herself expresses these doubts is significant; as Dale rightfully states, “Doubt of the swan-story is more strongly expressed in IA 793-800, but here from Helen’s own lips the effect of ambivalence is

468 See Wright’s (2005), 67 very useful chart for an in-depth breakdown of all the different variants. 246

curious and a little upsetting.”469 After all Helen should be the ultimate authority on her own life, so her skepticism of the typical story right at the beginning of the play helps to destabilize what the audience may think they already know about the myth of Helen.

Thus, even before introducing a radical variant to the traditional Homeric version of

Helen who went to Troy, Euripides shows that there are already great variations in the stories about Helen. By establishing early on that even something as simple as the parentage of such a well-known figure as Helen has varying accounts, Euripides accustoms his audience to the idea that there can be more than one version of a character’s story.

The confusion over Helen’s parentage occurs throughout the play. Teucer and the chorus both refer to Helen as the daughter of Zeus.470 Yet Helen is also referred to as the daughter of Tyndareus throughout the play as well, by Theoclymenus (1179) and more strikingly by the eidolon (614).471 Adding to the confusion some characters refer to her both as the daughter of Zeus and as the daughter of Tyndareus. The old woman who scolds Menelaus refers to Helen both as the daughter of Zeus (470) and then in the next breath as the daughter of Tyndareus (472). Menelaus when contemplating what the old women has said about Helen attempts to account both for the mention of Helen as a daughter of Zeus and the mention of Tyndareus (489-494) and after finally recognizing

Helen he greets her as the daughter of Zeus and Leda (637). The final messenger also

469 Dale (1967), lines 16ff, pg 70. Similarly, Burian (2007), at line 21, pg 192 also comments on the issue but also contends that “Skepticism and criticism of the mythical tradition are by no means the only possible explanations.” 470 Teucer at line 77 and 81, the chorus from lines 214-216 when they mention the swan story, and later at 1144-1146 where she is simply the daughter of Zeus and Leda. 471 The eidolon’s speech is delivered via messenger but it is presented as a direct quote giving it more authority. 247

refers to her as both the daughter of Zeus (1527) and as the daughter of Tyndareus (1546) in the same speech.

Helen does not do much to clarify things. In addition to her expressions of doubt in the prologue she soon raises the issue again saying, ἇρ᾿ ἡ τεκοῦσά μ᾿ ἔτεκεν

ἀνθρώποις τέρας; / γυνὴ γὰρ οὔθ᾿ Ἑλληνὶς οὔτε βάρβαρος / τεῦχος νεοσσῶν λευκὸν

ἐκλοχεύεται, / ἐν ᾧ με Λήδαν φασὶν ἐκ Διὸς τεκεῖν. (256-259). “Did the one who bore me, bear me as a portent for mortals? For no women, neither Greek nor barbarian is born from the white shell of chicks, in which they say Leda gave birth to me from Zeus.” If anything Helen seems to support the notion that she is the daughter of Tyndareus rather than Zeus. When attempting to get Menelaus to accept that she is his wife she says that she is ἥν σοι δίδωσι Τυνδάρεως, ἐμὸς πατήρ (568) “she whom Tyndareus my father gave to you.” The situation is not even necessarily cleared up by the appearance of the

Dioscuri at the end of the play. Though they mention Zeus and they do say that Helen will recieve offerings with them and Menelaus will go to the Isle of the Blest, they never directly refer to Helen as the daughter of Zeus.

The double paternity of Helen may not at first seem surprising. Burian seems to treat it as an established part of the tradition saying “double paternity is a regular feature of heroic legend (e.g. Theseus, Heracles) and, in Helen’s case at least, apparently reflects her original status as a Spartan deity.”472 While double paternity does have other mythical precedents, Burian does not emphasize the uniqueness of Euripides’ use of it here for Helen. Gantz notes that in both the Iliad and the Odyssey Zeus is unequivocally

472 Burian (2007), at line 17-18, pg 192. 248

Helen’s father and Helen is not listed amongst Tyndareus’ and Leda’s children in the

Ehoiai. 473 Although Tyndareus is often mentioned in an adoptive role, Gantz finds no instance of Tyndareus being Helen’s natural father.474 This makes Helen’s focus on

Tyndareus as her father and skepticism of tales saying her father is Zeus all the more strange. It seems that Zeus was her father in most versions, so her hesitance about the story of her birth from Zeus and her focus on Tyndareus is strange. In a play where the

Helen myth is under a great deal of revision, this suggests that Euripides is perhaps working to destabilize the established version of the Helen myth not only concerning her role at Troy but concerning other aspects of her character. This could work to make the audience question their basic assumptions about Helen.475

To be fair Helen’s skepticism concerning Zeus being her father seems to be mostly due to the particular story of her conception in that Zeus mated with Leda as a swan and Helen was born from an egg. Yet according to Gantz this version of the story may be a Euripidean revision. While there were two main variations concerning Helen’s birth by this point,476 Gantz asserts that the first source to give the story of Zeus pursuing

Leda as a swan is Euripides’ Helen itself, suggesting that this may be a conflation of the two traditions.477 Thus Euripides has Helen emphasize Tyndareus over Zeus and

473 Gantz (1993), 318. 474 Gantz (1993), 318-319. 475 Austin (1994), 142 makes a similar observation saying, “equally unsettling is the issue of her double paternity, raised by Helen herself, and in the play that intends to resolve the several Helens into one.” 476 Gantz (1993), 319-320. In the first version Helen is the daughter of Zeus and Leda and there is no mention of a swan or eggs. In the second version Helen is the daughter of Zeus and with several sources reporting that Nemesis shapeshifted either into various animals or into birds resulting in Helen being born from an egg and either being tended by her birthmother Nemesis or an adoptive Leda. 477 Gantz (1993), 320. 249

destabilizes the more traditional tale that Zeus was Helen’s father by creating a new variant of Helen’s birth by combining two traditions about Helen’s mother.

These small variations on the Helen myth may not seem to be of much consequence compared to the massive revision of the myth that Euripides undertakes by following a non-dominant version of the Helen myth; nevertheless, these small changes accumulate, making it more difficult to define Helen as a character. This works well in a play which focuses on the difficulties in separating the real Helen from her phantom

(difficulties that become very real when Menelaus has trouble accepting the real Helen over her phantom version), but these changes also beg the question of what really defines

Helen’s character. It is conceivable that perhaps the real Helen never went to Troy and an eidolon went in her stead. But if Helen’s main mythic adventure never happened is she really the same character? And furthermore if even basic information about her birth and pre-Iliadic life events are also called into question or changed is there anything really holding her identity as a character together at all?

Reicher, in an attempt to deal with problems of character identity especially in regards to different versions of the same character across different works, comes up with several concepts that may be helpful here. The first concept is essential and inessential properties. There are certain aspects that seem to define a character, and too much variation from these aspects could cause the character to be rejected by its audience. If a quality that is essential to defining a character is missing, then it may differ too much to be called the same character. The difficulty with this approach is in trying to determine


which aspects are essential and which ones are not.478 The variation between the Helen who went to Troy and the one who went to Egypt could arguably be too large. If going to

Troy is an essential part of Helen’s character then perhaps Euripides’ new version of

Helen is not really Helen at all.479

But there is another option. Reicher solves this issue with the concept of maximal and submaximal characters. According to Reicher, “A maximal character is a character that has all the properties...that it exemplifies according to a given story. A sub-maximal character is a character that has a subset of these properties...”480 In the case of Helen, all of the aspects ascribed to her across all the different works that include her as a character

(even contradictory characteristics) would co-exist as properties of Helen as a maximal character. Each version of Helen in each work then would pull from different aspects of the maximal character of Helen (and even add in their own new ones) and thus create their own new sub-maximal version of the character of Helen. In the case of Euripides’

Helen, this particular version of her character would pull aspects from other authors such as Homer (that she is the daughter of Zeus, married to Menelaus, etc.), Stesichorus (that she did not go to Troy), Herodotus (that she went to Egypt and was kept under the protection of King Proteus), among others, as well as Euripides adding new material (the story of her conception from Zeus and Leda in the form of Swans, the tricks she and

478 Reicher (2010), 127. 479 It may be the case that going to Troy is not an essential property of Helen. While it is nearly impossible to say which properties are essential and inessential it seems likely that if nothing else, Helen’s beauty (and perhaps her cleverness as well) may be essential properties of her character. 480 Reicher (2010), 129. 251

Menelaus use to escape Egypt, etc.), would all combine into a new sub-maximal version of the Helen character.

Thus, paradoxically by including multiple aspects of her character from many different versions, Euripides may actual help to reinforce Helen’s character since by including more variants he is able to include more attributes that are associated with the character (even some contradictory ones) that have accumulated over many different versions of her character and thus is more likely to hit on one that members of the audience may include in their own “composite character”481 Thus audience members knowledgeable of the version of Helen in which she is the daughter of Leda will be able to accept this Helen as well as those who are more familiar with the story the Helen was hatched from an egg. This especially comes into play in the DEM scene with the deification of Helen which would appeal to those in the audience who might have worshipped her as a goddess. Yet, for those who perhaps did not worship Helen in particular in cult may have worshipped the Dioscuri and thus would also be able to form a personal connection to the end of the play through the inclusion of the Dioscuri and perhaps even be more likely to accept or focus on Helen as an object of worship as a result of her close association with them there.482

481 Johnston (2015b), 207. 482 Burian (2007), at lines 1666-1669, pg 291 notes that “the prophecy of Helen’s apotheosis to join her brothers, also made at Orestes 1635-7 corresponds to the cult of Helen and the Dioscuri first attested by Pindar Olympian 3.1-2 (dated to 476). Mention of guest-gifts (ξένια; see 480n.) from mortals alone with us alludes to Helen’s part in the theoxenia, the traditional and widespread ‘feast of the gods’ whose primary guests were the Dioscuri (see Burkert [1985] 107, 213). For the probably presence of Helen in Spartan votive reliefs connected to the theoxenia, see the references in Kannicht [1969].” Also see Burkert (1985), 107 for more on the Dioscuri and their association with theoxenia both in Sparta as well as in Athens (but without any mention of Helen taking part). See Burkert (1985), 212-213 for the Dioscuri more generally. At 203 Burkert reports a cult of Menelaus and Helen at Sparta. For more on Helen cult in Sparta see West (1975). 252

Nevertheless, such a large change to Helen’s character such as erasing her from

Troy requires that Euripides include many other core aspects of her character that are relatively stable across versions in order to make sure her character retains some consistency with other versions that the audience may have been familiar with. This has less to do with pasting on facts about Helen such as her parentage or her status as a goddess in Greek cult and more to do with preserving aspects of her personality, character, and even to a certain extent the pattern of events in her life. Blondell articulates the problem and its possible solution quite well.

As we saw in the case of Stesichorus, however, the very notion of the double denatures ‘Helen of Troy’ by stripping this legendary heroine of the deeds that define her. How, then, was Euripides to make his innocent protagonist believable as Helen? He addresses this problem, as we shall see, by providing her with versions of all her principal epic moments – the elopement, the war, the Recovery, remarriage at Sparta – but rewriting them in her favor. Her character, too, remains recognizable. She is still beautiful, dangerous, remorseful, quick-witted, deceptive, persuasive, and manipulative of men.483

Blondell here shows that even when losing the defining aspect of Helen’s role at Troy her character still retains important traits that are highly associated with Helen in almost all of her iterations. Her beauty is retained, along with her wit and deceptiveness. Although these traits are now harnessed for Menelaus’ good, as Blondell notes,484 these are still the traits of the traditional Helen who went to Troy, they are merely reoriented. Moreover,

Euripides’ Helen does reenact many of the story elements familiar to the traditional

Helen’s established storyline. She runs away with a man while her keeper is away, only this time she elopes with her husband Menelaus and runs away from a foreign prince

483 Blondell (2013), 204-205. 484 Blondell (2013), 205. 253

instead of the other way around.485 The war is reenacted in the battle on the ship,486 and she and Menelaus are reunited after their time apart and eventually reestablished as husband and wife in Sparta. By reenacting elements of their own story Euripides reinforces Helen’s and Menelaus’ characters.

Euripides also reinforces his Helen by creating echoes of Homer’s Iliad and

Odyssey. While the variant that Helen did not go to Troy directly contradicts the version of Helen in Homer, other aspects in the play constantly call the Homeric version to mind.

Although the Egyptian setting occurs in Herodotus and perhaps even in Stesichorus,

Euripides makes allusions to the Odyssey through the specifics that Helen gives about the situation in Egypt. In book 4 of the Odyssey Menelaus spends considerable time relating his (and Helen’s) adventures in Egypt, so the Egyptian setting is not inconsistent with

Homer, the timeline has merely changed. Although Proteus is referred to as a King in the

Helen there are other aspects that hint at the Odyssey. Burian notes that the mention of

Pharos in the prologue is “designed to square the Homeric account with later understanding by placing the king’s palace on Pharos.”487 The mention of Pharos is distinctly Homeric; in Herodotus King Proteus’ palace is in Memphis, so Euripides’ use of it here is meant to call the Odyssey in particular to mind. Other key names in the play also are taken directly from Homer. Burian remarks that Theoclymenus gets his name

485 Blondell (2013), 207. 486 Blondell (2013), 218. 487 Burian (2007), at line 4-5, pg 191-192 gives a good explanation of the existing geography and how Herodotus and Homer use it differently. 254

from the seer in the Odyssey488 and that Theonoe’s childhood name Eido is short for

Eidothea – the name of Proteus’ daughter in the Odyssey.489

Yet connections to the world of Homer, continue outside of the prologue even in this new version of events. The play is deeply concerned with the aftermath of the Trojan

War, which constantly lies in the background of the play through Helen’s guilt concerning all the deaths that her name has caused as well as through of characters and similar situations that arise. Immediately after Helen’s speech Teucer shows up and reports on characters and events of the Trojan War well known from

Homer. Even without Teucer’s appearance and the setup of the prologue with its allusions to Homer through places and names, the basic situation set out in the Helen is quite similar to the situation (and even plot) of the Odyssey.490 Like Penelope, Helen is also waiting for a husband who has been missing for a great amount of time and is rumored to be dead. Similarly, Helen is attempting to fend off an unwanted suitor in the figure of Theoclymenus and there is an implication that she may not be able to successfully resist for much longer.491 Marshall in particular argues that the parallels between Helen and Penelope would be quite strong: “The virtuous and chaste Helen resisting Theoclymenus was probably enough to allow spectators to draw associations with Homer’s Penelope (I suspect there would be very few spectators who would not

488 Burian (2007), at line 9-10, pg 191. 489 Burian (2007), at line 11-13, pg 191. Marshall (2014), 79-80 also makes an argument for Eido going back to Aeschylus’ lost Proteus which also used the name Eido for Proteus’ daughter and was based heavily off of the Odyssey book 4 episode in Egypt and was the satyr play after the Oresteia. 490 See Eisner (1980), for more specifics on the many parallels between the Odyssey and Euripides’ Helen. 491 Austin (1994), 140 also notes the parallel between Helen and Penelope: “The influence of the Odyssey is apparent: the new Helen will be another Penelope; the play with be another ‘faithful wife’ story, of a woman’s unflagging fidelity to her knight-errant.” 255

make this association before the end of the prologue).”492 The parallels are only heightened when Menelaus makes his way onto the scene. He is in much the same position as the oft shipwrecked Odysseus. Like Odysseus, Menelaus has come to an unfamiliar land which he does not recognize, seeks out ξενία (hospitality) unsuccessfully, is reduced to the level of a beggar, and is disguised.493 Marshall also makes this connection adding that these parallels “would confirm the earlier Penelope associations for any spectator still hesitating or resistant to the allusion.”494 There is a plot to remove the threat of the suitor/s through use of disguise and trickery. This plot is then carried out successfully culminating in the destruction of a large force of antagonistic men and a happy ending for the couple.

So the Helen recalls and even replays the Odyssey while at the same time denying

Homer’s version of Helen’s character. By focusing on Homer’s Odyssey, Euripides is able to ground his new version by relating it back to a more familiar pattern of myth. The closer Euripides keeps to the rest of the Homeric tradition, the more he references other aspects and even recalls and rewrites events that take place in Homer (albeit with other characters) the more grounded Euripides new version is. By referencing Homer at every turn Euripides shows that he is not discarding the tradition. This also allows Euripides to create pleasure through his references to other works with which his audience would likely be familiar.495 Euripides’ characters are deeply implicated in the events of

492 Marshall (2014), 63. 493 Austin (1994), 156 also notes this parallel and compares Menelaus and his rags both to “the Odysseus arriving naked before Nausikaa and the later Odysseus arriving before Penelope disguised in a beggar’s rags.” 494 Marshall (2014), 63. 495 See Halliwell (2002), 177-206 for more on mimesis as a source of pleasure. Also see Munteanu (2012), 213. 256

Homer’s Trojan War and Euripides’ play portrays the same motifs as Homer only with a different cast of characters playing the roles.

This tactic cumulates in the DEM speech where Euripides wayward version of the

Helen myth is finally synced back up to Homer. Just as in the first section of the DEM speech in the Electra, the Dioscuri reestablish mythical orthodoxy and connection with established tradition (in this case Homer) through prophecy.

σοὶ μὲν τάδ᾿ αὐδῶ, συγγόνῳ δ᾿ ἐμῇ λέγω: πλεῖ ξὺν πόσει σῷ: πνεῦμα δ᾿ ἕξετ᾿ οὔριον: σωτῆρε δ᾿ ἡμεῖς σὼ κασιγνήτω διπλῶ πόντον παριππεύοντε πέμψομεν πάτραν. ὅταν δὲ κάμψῃς καὶ Διοσκόρων μέτα σπονδῶν μεθέξεις ξένιά τ᾿ ἀνθρώπων πάρα ἕξεις μεθ᾿ ἡμῶν: Ζεὺς γὰρ ὧδε βούλεται. οὗ δ᾿ ὥρισέν σοι πρῶτα Μαιάδος τόκος, Σπάρτης ἀπάρας, τὸν κατ᾿ οὐρανὸν δρόμον, κλέψας δέμας σὸν μὴ Πάρις γήμειέ σε, - φρουρὸν παῤ Ἀκτὴν τεταμένην νῆσον λέγω - Ἑλένη τὸ λοιπὸν ἐν βροτοῖς κεκλήσεται, ἐπεὶ κλοπαίαν σ᾿ ἐκ δόμων ἐδέξατο. καὶ τῷ πλανήτῃ Μενέλεῳ θεῶν πάρα μακάρων κατοικεῖν νῆσόν ἐστι μόρσιμον: (1662-1677).

I speak these things to you, my sister: Sail together with your husband: and have a favorable breeze. We two savior brothers going along with you on the sea will send you to your homeland. When you come to the last turn of your life, you will be called a god and you will have a share in libations with us the Dioscuri and you will have offerings from men with us. For thus Zeus has willed. But where the child of Maia first lifting off passed through the boundary of Sparta, taking your body through the heavenly course lest Paris marry you – I am speaking of the island stretching forth as a guard along the coast of Attica – in the future will be called Helen by mortals, since it accepted you when you were stolen from your home. And it is fated by the gods for wandering Menelaus to settle on the Island of the Blest.

The Dioscuri here do not seem to accomplish much. Dunn goes so far to say: “In Helen, the Dioscuri fail because they are out of place: they make the grand entrance of a deus


where the story does not require them.”496 At first glance this seems correct, they do not really accomplish much that was not already set up to happen; Helen and Menelaus have already escaped by the time the Dioscuri arrive and there does not seem to be any danger of pursuit.

Yet the Dioscuri’s arrival provides confirmation that Euripides’ deviant version of

Helen will be reconciled (at least to an extent) with the Homeric version. Helen and

Menelaus will return to Greece successfully and will presumably be in place for

Telemachus to question them about his father Odysseus. While there is not complete agreement with Homer (Homer’s Helen admits to having been in Troy) by putting Helen back in her accustomed place Euripides normalizes his version enough to be accepted.

Moreover, Euripides even adds another Homeric tidbit, Menelaus will have his place on the Island of the Blest, just as his Homeric counterpart does.497 This prophecy about the

Isles of the Blest is even more striking a connection with Homer since it is revealed to

Menelaus by none other than Proteus when he gives predictions about Menelaus’ future

(Od. 4.561-569).

Yet the prophecy does more than merely link Euripides’ new Helen back up with her Homeric counterpart. The prophecy also links this new Helen story to his own corpus since Euripides already introduced this variant version of the Helen story in the DEM speech in the Electra. This further lessens the impact of his deviation from the traditional story since he is able to link it to a play that he has already written. Thus the two plays

496 Dunn, (1996), 139. 497 Hunter (2015), 155-156 suggests that Helen and Menelaus are worshipped as gods in Stesichorus’ Helen, using evidence from Isocrates’ Helen (62-64). If this is true then Euripides here may be using an aspect that occurs both in Homer and in Stesichorus’ former tale on Helen before his Palinode. 258

work to reinforce one another. The DEM revelation about Helen in the Electra is borne out by the story that Euripides tells about Helen in the Helen; and likewise the Dioscuri prophecy of Helen and Menelaus’ successful return here in the Helen, conforms to their prophecy of Menelaus’ and Helen’s imminent return to Greece in the Electra. The two plays work to confirm one another and thus the presence of one adds to the validity of the other.

There is, however, one aspect of the Dioscuri prophecy in the Helen that does not link back to either the Homeric tradition or to what has been established in the Electra: the deification of Helen. While it is conceivable that this is working almost like a cult aitia, and Helen’s deification is mentioned in order to match up with Greek cultic reality, there is more to it than that. This prediction of Helen’s eventual deification is fulfilled in the DEM scene in Euripides’ Orestes.



The Orestes is incredibly important in any discussion of DEM since it differs so greatly from all other extant Euripidean DEM in that it is the only play where the deity’s intervention has a major effect on the plot of the play and the main characters. The

Orestes is also the play with the greatest amount of mythical deviation from established tradition making it highly relevant to my discussion of Euripides’ use of myth. In the

Orestes, as in the Electra and Helen, Euripides uses references to more established versions of the Orestes myth by other authors to reinforce his version as well as creating mimetic pleasure for the audience through these connections. The Orestes is also important since it acts as a continuation of the Electra and the Helen. Finally, the Orestes

DEM is striking since Euripides uses Apollo’s intervention to bring his wayward version of the myth back into line with the main tradition through last minute DEM references to more established versions as well as to some of his own plays. For these reasons the

Orestes has much to tell us about the function of DEM and the use of myth in Euripides.

In many ways the Orestes is similar to the Electra and the Helen. All three plays have events that deviate quite drastically from the general mythic tradition. In the

Electra, Euripides takes the unprecedented step of having Electra, whose very name means unbedded, be married to a farmer. In the Helen Euripides turns the traditional tale of the Helen who went to Troy on its head by devoting an entire play to the non-dominant


mythical variant that Helen did not go to Troy but went to Egypt instead. In the Orestes,

Euripides continues this trend of drastically rewriting the mythic tradition. This is apparent from the very beginning of the play. Rather than continuing with the next installment in the Orestes story after the murder of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, namely the trial at Athens popularized by Aeschylus’ Eumenides, when the Orestes opens

Orestes and Electra are about to be put on trial not at Athens but in Argos. Moreover, unlike the divine contest of the Eumenides, there are no gods involved in this trial, only humans who find Orestes and Electra guilty of matricide and sentence them to death.

This is not merely the case of following a non-dominant but already established mythological thread as in the Helen. The threat to the mythological tradition is very real, killing Orestes and Electra would go against the entire mythic tradition of these characters. Euripides, stops short of this violent deviation but only by causing another.

Rather than Orestes and Electra committing suicide as ordered by the court, Pylades comes up with the idea of killing Helen in order to gain public favor. Electra contributes with a plan to kidnap Hermione in order to get Menelaus to accept Helen’s death and to let them go. These changes to the myth lead to a dramatic confrontation between Orestes and Menelaus that only gets resolved by Apollo’s DEM intervention.

As I have shown in the first chapter, the Orestes stands out as the only play in which a DEM intervention fixes an otherwise unsolvable issue in the play.498 I contend that Euripides does not use Apollo’s intervention to resolve the play because he has no

498 This may have been received by the audience in many different ways, see Munteanu (2012), 211-212 for more on possible audience reactions to Apollo’s intervention. 261

other choice,499 but rather intentionally deviates from the mythic tradition more radically than in other plays in order to experiment with how much one could diverge from mythic tradition without breaking the myth and risking his version of Orestes not being accepted as Orestes at all.

While the Orestes takes Euripides’ mythical deviations to an extreme, myths in the later Euripides plays in particular tend to be more radical and erratic, as I have shown above. When considered amongst other plays which treat established myths in unexpected ways such as the Electra, Helen, and IT, the Orestes appears not to be an outlier so much as the end result of increasing mythological experimentation.500 The main difference is not in the degree of innovation in the setup of the myth or in the plot but rather in the situation in each play at the point just prior to the arrival of the DEM.

In the Electra and Helen, for all of the in their plots, by the time the

Dioscuri arrive the characters have more or less achieved what they are supposed to achieve in the basic story of the wider myth. In the IT there is a last minute disruption which threatens cohesion with the traditional story but this is only a momentary threat and is gone almost as quickly as it arrives. In the Orestes, the innovations in the plot of the play continue all the way until the end and there is no easy way to see how the story told in this play could fit with other aspects of Orestes’ general mythic career. The situation in the Orestes presents the greatest threat to the established tradition in extant

499 Zeitlin (2003), 310 also argues that rather than being forced into creating a solution Euripides’ DEM in the Orestes is motivated by artistic considerations. She notes that the Orestes “is a play whose surface of seeming incoherence, instability and chaos is, in reality, under that kind of artistic control that brings about the fusion of forms and content we call art...” 500 Zeitlin (2003), 309 makes a similar observation saying “What marks the difference in this play is the extent to which these implications are carried out, the outer limits to which these techniques are pushed; it is a question of intensification, escalation...” 262

tragedy501 since no likely scenario based on the options available to the characters would fit in with the tradition. As Dunn notes:

No middle ground remains between the two extreme scenarios of success and defeat; it will be total victory or total disaster. Yet neither is possible. Both scenarios contradict the established legend in which Orestes will suffer for his deed, pursued and harassed by the Furies, but will eventually be acquitted in Athens. It is impossible that Orestes, Electra, and Pylades should die immediately after killing Clytemnestra, and it is equally impossible that they should kill Helen and Hermione, and that Orestes should rule in Argos without being driven into exile by the Furies.502

At the point of the intervention, neither available result would match up with the tradition, resulting in an almost unbearable tension. Moreover, the end of the play threatens the story patterns not only for Orestes’ character, but for Menelaus’, Helen’s, and Hermione’s as well.

Yet Euripides’ prior experiments with mythic variation yielded some strategies for helping to reinforce his new version of the events surrounding Orestes after the matricide. By making references to other well-known and established versions of the

Orestes myth by other authors, Euripides is able to make connections between his own work and those of his forerunners. Zeitlin also stresses the importance of other works for understanding the Orestes:

It is perhaps the first work of literature in which close sustained familiarity with other texts is imperative for any genuine appreciation of its meaning and achievement. Even as the play attempts to escape its mythic frame and freely formulate its own actions and reactions, it makes an appeal to all the literary resources that preceded it to create a of such rich allusiveness and resonance, such density of texture, that, although one can track down a movement in this

501 The closest parallel is Philoctetes’ refusal to go to Troy at the end of Sophocles’ Philoctetes which would threaten the closure of the Trojan War. But all that is required to avoid the problem is for Philoctetes to change his mind, there are fewer serious deviations from tradition to contend with. 502 Dunn (1996), 170. 263

direction in a few earlier plays, we might speak here of a new type of literary consciousness.503

Yet Euripides’ use of other texts has a function beyond mere artistic allusion. By acknowledging the wider tradition through these references, Euripides fits his own version within the existing framework. Moreover, as Reicher’s work shows, the accumulation of characteristics associated with a character or story from other authors’ versions allows for deviations in the story or character in the new work to be accepted.504

Finally, Euripides makes use of prophecy in DEM speeches to bring about a return to mythological normalcy and thus Euripides is able to make radical changes to the story of

Orestes without breaking the bounds of myth.

At first glance, the beginning of the Orestes seems to go against tradition.505

When the play opens shortly after the murder of Clytemnestra, Orestes is being tormented by the Furies as the audience would likely expect; however, he is not located at Delphi or

Athens as in Aeschylus, but he is still in Argos and he is awaiting a trial not by the gods in Athens but by the men of Argos.506 Yet, in a sense Orestes and Electra are exactly where we should expect them to be. At the end of the Electra, the Dioscuri leave with a warning to Orestes that the Furies are coming and he must leave as soon as possible

(1342-1346). If we take the Orestes as a continuation of the Electra, it seems we are

503 Zeitlin (2003), 312. 504 Reicher (2010), 129. 505 Gantz (1993), 680 notes that our sources for the aftermath of the matricide are scarce. Aeschylus’ Eumenides is the fullest early account. He goes on to say, “we have seen that well before Aischylos Stesichoros preserves for us the notion of a mother’s Erinyes tormenting Orestes (217 PMG), but we know nothing about the outcome of the problem in his account, nor what early artists (whether or not the snakes discussed above are Erinyes) thought of the matter.” 506 For sources after Euripides which give different versions of a trial see Gantz (1993), 685. 264

picking up more or less where we left off. 507 Orestes and Electra were not able to escape

Argos in time, as the Dioscuri urged at the end of the Electra, and now remain prisoners in Argos. The overall impression of Euripides picking up with the story where he left off is increased by the information that Helen and Menelaus have just returned. Helen and

Menelaus’ presence in Argos at the beginning of the Orestes not only links the Orestes to the Electra which predicted their arrival in the DEM, but also links to the prophecy at the end of the Helen which states that they will return successfully to Greece.508

To explore how Euripides makes use of other authors to reinforce his version of the myth, however, it is necessary to explore connections not only in the Orestes prologue and DEM, but in the play as a whole. While the Orestes in general veers away from the tradition laid down in Aeschylus through the bizarre version of events that

Euripides choses to display, in other ways Euripides makes use of Aeschylus at the same time,509 not by conforming to his version of the aftermath of the matricide but by working within the general patterns of the myth established in the Oresteia as a whole. Torrance in particular sees the Orestes as a reworking of the Oresteia in reverse. The reversed order is fitting since the Orestes begins shortly after Clytemnestra’s murder making it match up most closely with the storyline from Aeschylus’ Eumenides.510 The connection

507 Dunn (1996), 175 makes a similar observation of the Orestes starting where another play left off but for Dunn the Orestes provides an immediate sequel to Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers. 508 We will see that this is not exactly the same Helen as the ‘new’ Helen of the Helen, however. 509 While the primary intertext is Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Zeitlin (2003), 311 points out that Euripides also works off of the timeline of the Odyssey (4.544-548) where Menelaus returns to Argos after the funeral of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, with the only difference between Euripides and Homer is a slight delay of six days. 510 Torrance (2013), 47-48 points out that the beginning of the play sets up this expectation and prolongs it be delaying the reveal that the setting is in Argos until line 46. Zeitlin (2003), 315 also comments on the connection between the opening scene in the Eumenides and the Orestes. 265

is strengthened through an obvious allusion to Aeschylus through Electra’s use of the term ‘Eumenides’ when referring to the Furies (El. 38), the very name of Aeschylus’ play. Moreover while Apollo and the rest of the gods are conspicuously absent in the

Orestes (especially as compared to the Eumenides), aspects of Apollo’s argument in the

Eumenides that the father is the true parent rather than the mother, appear in Orestes’ own defense of his actions to Tyndareus and Menelaus.511

Yet the structure of the Orestes does not mirror the Eumenides but the Oresteia as a whole. As the plot structure of Euripides’ play moves forward, the allusions to

Aeschylus recess backwards into the earlier plays of his famous trilogy. While the beginning of the play alludes strongly to the Eumenides, it almost immediately afterwards begins to replay aspects of Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers. Torrance argues that Helen’s request for Electra to go to Clytemnestra’s grave and make a libation on her behalf replays the beginning of Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers where Clytemnestra sends Electra to make a libation at Agamemnon’s grave.512

After the plotting of Helen’s death, the Orestes, moves from echoing the Libation

Bearers to replaying Aeschylus’ Agamemnon through the attempted murder of Helen.513

After Electra comes up with the plan to take Hermione as a hostage, Orestes comments that Electra has the mind of a man (1204-1205) and that Pylades will be lucky to have

511 Torrance (2013), 49-50; Zeitlin (2003), 320. 512 Torrance (2013), 50-51. This has also been recognized by Zeitlin (2003), 320. 513 Torrance (2013), 53 discusses this event primarily as a replay of the Agamemnon, however, she identifies elements that replay Orestes and Electra plotting Clytemnestra’s death in the Libation Bearers as well at 52. Zeitlin (2003), 320 notes a further parallel in that the invocation of Agamemnon by Orestes, Electra, and Pylades (Or. 1225-1245), echoes the in the Libation Bearers (Li. 479-509). 266

such a wife (1207-1208). Torrance points out that this is an ironic reference to the


It had been Clytemnestra, of course, who was infamously introduced as having the heart of a woman which plans like a man in the prologue (Ag. 11) and this passage of Orestes serves as an intertextual marker for the engagement with Agamemnon in the last third of the play. Clytemnestra’s masculine planning entailed the slaughter of her husband, so the suggestion that Pylades is lucky to wed such a woman reverses the Aeschylean paradigm.514

Although the irony of Orestes’ statement is lost on the characters on stage, those in the audience likely would have realized the somewhat hypocritical implications of this statement. This is especially true since this play’s setting establishes it as the sequel to the revenge plot established both in the prior mythic tradition as well as in Euripides’ own Electra. Thus although the plot of the Orestes is innovative in many ways and takes

Orestes’ and his conspirator’s characters down new paths of action, at the same time this new path is familiar as a reworking of the same endless cycle of revenge that the establishment of law courts in the Eumenides supposedly ended.515

Thus even as Orestes’ myth threatens to careen dangerously out of control, at the same time these deviations from tradition replay aspects of other versions and episodes not only in the of the house of Atreus but in other myths as well.516 These layers of intertextuality are significant in that they add some reinforcement to Euripides’ version so even while the audience would be surprised by all the variation from tradition at the same time there would likely be a sense of familiarity through the many references to other

514 Torrance (2013), 53. 515 Zeitlin (2003), 311 expresses a similar idea. 516 Zeitlin (2003), explores various other intertexts outside of Aeschylus including: Sophocles’ Philoctetes, 314-315; Homer’s Odyssey, 323-325; Euripides’ Medea, 325-326, IT, 334-336, and Andromache, 340-341. Dunn (1996), 159 also sees aspects in the Orestes as a replay of Euripides’ Medea. 267

texts.517 The effect is disorienting and unsettling, yet deeply interesting, especially for an audience that would likely have some expectations of what was likely to happen based off of their prior knowledge of the myth.518 Yet at the same time, the many references to well-known texts and story patterns would likely be enough to show Euripides was not completely working outside of the existing tradition.

The extreme amount of deviation and experimentation in this play necessitates some adherence to convention. I mentioned earlier that the Orestes can be seen perhaps to act as a sequel to both the Electra and the Helen, particularly because at the end of each of these plays the Dioscuri report that Menelaus and Helen are about to return to

Argos. This is fulfilled at the beginning of the Orestes, yet there is a key difference between the version of Helen set forth in the Electra and Helen and the Helen presented in the Orestes. The Helen of the Electra and Helen is Euripides ‘new’ Helen who never went to Troy, while the Helen who arrives in Argos in the Orestes freely admits that she went to Troy (77-79) and has the Trojan entourage to prove it.

Though Euripides connects these plays, I argue that he goes with a more traditional Helen here precisely because he deviates so widely from the traditional

Orestes myth. The version of Helen presented in both the Electra and Helen, while taken from concepts already established in Stesichorus and Herodotus, is still a non-dominant

517 The intertexts are so significant that Zeitlin (2003), 314 describes the Orestes as a “palimpsestic text, where one layer can be deciphered under another; each one makes its own contribution, but the total effect is one of a bewildering and cumulative complexity that establishes a series of new if often contradictory relations between the primary level of the text and the oscillating substratum that shifts beneath it.” 518 Buxton (2013), 142 notes: “although it is usually impossible to determine precisely how far the spectator’s background knowledge of mythology might have shaped their expectations, the manner in which Euripides introduces abrupt changes of dramatic direction suggests that even an audience acquainted with the general outlines of a myth might have reacted with astonishment.” 268

mythical variant. As Reicher’s work illustrates, if too many aspects of a character (or story) are changed then the new version runs the risk of not being able to be accepted as truly belonging to the same character or story.519 Given all the deviations already present in the Orestes, if Euripides were to present a version of Helen who did not go to Troy, the myth would run the risk of collapsing entirely and not being able to be accepted by the audience as a story about Orestes at all. Moreover, a Helen who did not go to Troy would not serve the purposes of Orestes’ and Pylades’ plot to kill Helen in revenge for all the men who died at Troy on her account. An innocent Helen here would completely invalidate this (albeit bizarre) plot point.

Nevertheless, Euripides does not abandon the new version of Helen completely, but finds a way to acknowledge it while still presenting the more traditional version of her character. When Helen comes to Electra to ask for her to make offerings at

Clytemnestra’s grave on her behalf she establishes herself almost immediately as the

Helen who went to Troy (77-79). The scene closes with a replay of the Libation Bearers only with Hermione going to Clytemnestra’s grave instead of Electra going to

Agamemnon’s grave as has been noted above. Yet after Helen returns to the palace,

Electra makes an intriguing comment: εἴδετε παρ᾿ ἄκρας ὡς ἀπέθρισεν τρίχας, / σῴζουσα

κάλλος; ἔστι δ᾿ ἡ πάλαι γυνή. (128-129). “Look how she cut only the tips from her hair, saving her beauty. She is the woman of old.” This comment works on two different levels. First, in the context of the situation in the Orestes, Electra is saying that Helen is

519 Reicher (2010), 127-129. 269

the same as she was before she went to Troy. She has learned nothing from her transgressions and still acts selfishly placing herself and her beauty above others.

Yet there is something else at work here as well. Some scholars have read these lines as Euripides making a contrast between this Helen in the Orestes and his ‘new’ version of Helen in the Helen.520 As Willink notes this line establishes that this Helen only cuts the tips of her hair “unlike the heroine of Helen, who had unsparingly sacrificed her hair in (pretended) mourning”521 for the supposedly dead Menelaus. The allusion to the version of Helen in the Helen here is made stronger by the fact that reference occurs at the end of a scene which as we have seen above is already deeply engaged in intertextuality with other plays thus making another reference more likely to be recognized. Yet, Willink notes more than a reference to the Helen here. He also contends that this reference to the Helen “reasserts that this is the traditional Helen” as opposed to the new Helen that did not go to Troy.522 Yet Euripides has already established that this is the Helen who went to Troy in Helen’s first entrance. Thus,

Electra’s comment that Helen is the same old Helen since she only cut the tips of her hair is not just another attribute of the original Helen who went to Troy,523 it is also an oblique

520 Willink (1986), at lines 128-129, pg 103; Blondell (2013), 214-215. 521 Willink (1986), at lines 128-129, pg 103. 522 Willink (1986), at lines 128-129, pg 103. The traditional Helen represented in the Orestes follows the same tradition as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey as well as the wicked Helen in Euripides’ own Trojan Women which also would have been relatively fresh in the minds of the audience since it was performed only a few years before the Helen in 415. There is not total agreement between versions of characters in Euripides’ own plays, see the discussion below on differences in the fate of Hermione in Euripides’ Orestes and his Andromache as another example. 523 There may also be a reference here to his Helen in the Trojan Women who is also inappropriately concerned about her appearance in a situation where those around her suffer. See Marshall (2014) 72-73 for how the staging of Helen in the Trojan Women might have emphasized this. 270

reference to the version of Helen who did not go to Troy, a version of Helen that

Euripides introduced only a few years earlier.

I argue that this reference to the new Helen is not here to clarify which Helen

Euripides is dealing with, since that has already been established in prior lines. Rather the reference to the ‘new’ Helen is Euripides’ way of acknowledging his other version of

Helen despite the fact that the Helen of the Orestes is the traditional Helen who went to

Troy. Since the Orestes in many ways is a continuation of the Electra and the Helen, the difference between the new ‘good’ version of Helen that appears in those two plays and the traditional ‘wicked’ Helen who appears in the Orestes should be accounted for in some way.524 By referencing his other ‘new’ version of Helen, Euripides shows that he has not forgotten the version of Helen that he used in the plays leading up the Orestes, just that he chooses to go with the more traditional Helen in this case.

By using the traditional Helen set out in Homer, while at the same time referencing the new version of Helen set out in the non-dominant mythological variant established in Stesichorus, Herodotus, and his own Helen, Euripides is able to add some reinforcement to his new strange account of Orestes’ story.525 His use of the traditional

524 There is not to say that there is total agreement between versions of characters in Euripides’ own plays. The difference between the two versions of Helen in the Helen (and Electra) and the Orestes is more jarring since the plays are so interconnected, whereas the Trojan Women does not have as many connections with the other plays so the appearance of a more traditional Helen there is less distressing. For more on differences between the same character within Euripides’ own corpus see the discussion on differences in the fate of Hermione in Euripides’ Orestes and his Andromache near the end of the chapter as another example. 525 Austin (1994), 8 notes another interesting connection between the Helen in the Orestes and the Helen in Euripides’ Helen. He notes that “In Euripides’ Orestes, where Helen is painted in the most pejorative light, it unexpectedly transpires that Orestes, thinking to kill Helen, kills instead only her , which Apollo had substitute for Helen at the last minute (lines 1629-42). Helen herself Apollo spirited into the Ether so that she might share in her brother’s function as the protector of sailors.” Thus according to Austin by having Orestes kill only a simulacrum of Helen while Apollo spirits away the real Helen in the Ether, Euripides replays elements of the non-dominant version of Helen’s character through the use of the 271

Helen who went to Troy allows for more cohesion with the main tradition and thus gives

Euripides more flexibility to deviate from the traditional story arc for Orestes established in Aeschylus since he keeps other major aspects such as the Helen who went to Troy consistent. Yet paradoxically by also acknowledging his prior new version of Helen’s character from the Helen Euripides perhaps is able to add some support to his account since he references both main versions of Helen’s character and in doing so creates even more intertexts to reinforce his new account of Orestes’ story.

Yet, there are limits to what changes can be made to the tradition even in a text that references other texts to the degree that Euripides’ Orestes does. By the end of the play the entire mythical tradition concerning Orestes is threatened. Orestes and Pylades have attempted to kill Helen but she mysteriously disappears, Hermione has been kidnapped by the group and there is a standoff between Orestes and Menelaus. Neither group is willing to back down. Menelaus is demanding that Orestes return Helen’s body, while Orestes maintains he no longer has her and threatens to kill Hermione and set fire to the palace unless Menelaus persuades the Argives to let them go free. Menelaus refuses and Orestes orders Electra sand Pylades to set fire to the palace as Menelaus calls upon the Argives to attack.

The entire course of the myth is threatened when Apollo suddenly arrives and quickly puts a stop to the action. He then explains what has happened to Helen:

Μενέλαε, παῦσαι λῆμ᾿ ἔχων τεθηγμένον: Φοῖβός σ᾿ ὁ Λητοῦς παῖς ὅδ᾿ ἐγγὺς ὢν καλῶ: σύ θ᾿ ὃς ξιφήρης τῇδ᾿ ἐφεδρεύεις κόρῃ, phantom and taking away the real Helen via the ether even while he retains the traditional Homeric Helen. Willink (1986) at lines 1494-1497, 328 also notes the connection between the disappearing phantom Helen in the Orestes and the phantom in the Helen. 272

Ὀρέσθ᾿, ἵν᾿ εἰδῇς οὓς φέρων ἥκω λόγους. Ἑλένην μὲν ἢν σὺ διολέσαι πρόθυμος ὢν ἥμαρτες, ὀργὴν Μενέλεῳ ποιούμενος, ἥδ᾿ ἐστίν, ἣν ὁρᾶτ᾿ ἐν αἰθέρος πτυχαῖς, σεσῳσμένη τε κοὺ θανοῦσα πρὸς σέθεν. ἐγώ νιν ἐξέσῳσα κἀπὸ φασγάνου τοῦ σοῦ κελευσθεὶς ἥρπασ᾿ ἐκ Διὸς πατρός. Ζηνὸς γὰρ οὗσαν ζῆν νιν ἄφθιτον χρεών, Κάστορὶ τε Πολυδεύκει τ᾿ ἐν αἰθέρος πτυχαῖς σύνθακος ἔσται, ναυτίλοις σωτήροις. ἄλλην δὲ νύμφην ἐς δόμους κτῆσαι λαβών, ἐπεὶ θεοὶ τῷ τῆσδε καλλιστεύματι Ἕλληνας εἰς ἕν καὶ Φρύγας συνήγαγον, θανάτους τ᾿ ἔθηκαν, ὡς ἀπαντλοῖεν χθονὸς ὕβρισμα θνητῶν ἀφθόνου πληρώματος. τὰ μὲν καθ᾿ Ἑλένην ὧδ᾿ ἔχει: (1625-1643).

Menelaus, stop your temper which has been excited. I, Phoebus, the son of Leto who is now near calls you. And you Orestes, who lies a sword upon the girl, so that you might witness the words which I have come bearing. Helen, whom you failed to destroy although you were eager, in order to cause the wrath of Menelaus, is here, she whom you see in the folds of the air, having been saved and not killed by you. I saved her and snatched her from your sword, since I was ordered to do so by father Zeus. For since she was born from Zeus she must be immortal. She will be together with Castor and Polydeuces in the folds of the air, a savior for sailors. Find another wife for your house, since the gods through this beautiful one, joined together Greece and and placed death on them so that the outrage of the bounteous full number of mortals would be lessened from the earth. Thus are the matters concerning Helen.

Given the tense situation between Orestes and Menelaus, an explanation of what happened to Helen may seem to be an odd choice for the first issue for this DEM to handle. Yet, the confusion surrounding what happened to Helen is in many ways a primary cause of the impasse. Menelaus assumes that Orestes has killed Helen and demands her body, Orestes has no body to give since Helen disappeared, but there is not real proof for him to show. While Helen’s disappearance into thin air seems to echo in some ways the Helen of Euripides Helen who also is whisked away into the air, in many


ways this situation more closely parallels Herodotus’ alternative account of the war at

Troy. In Herodotus’ version, Helen never goes to Troy but is instead detained in Egypt and Paris is forced to go back to Troy without her. Yet when Menelaus arrives at Troy and demands Helen back, Paris says he does not have her in much the same way that

Orestes has no Helen to give back to Menelaus here. In both cases Menelaus assumes that the person he is besieging is lying about his wife’s presence and begins to attack.

Thus just as the structure of the plot of the Orestes echoes that of Aeschylus’ Oresteia and just as Electra’s comment that this is the ‘same old Helen’ references the new Helen in Euripides’ Helen, the replay of the motif in Herodotus of Menelaus demanding Helen back from someone who does not have her and the resulting confusion leading to an attack on the city (or in this case palace) thought to house her, allows the wayward plot of the Orestes to be strengthened through a reference to other more established versions of the myth.

There are also some practical considerations in favor of dealing with what has happened to Helen first. First, DEM speeches often clear up confusion for the characters the DEM deity addresses. In her appearance in the Hippolytus, Artemis begins by berating Theseus for his actions and revealing the truth of what happened and that his actions were committed due to his not understanding the reality of the situation.

Likewise, in the Helen the Dioscuri begin by explaining to Theoclymenus that the marriage between him and Helen was not destined and in the IT Athena’s first action is to explain that Orestes was on a mission from Apollo to bring his sister and the statue of

Artemis is back to Greece. The characters in the Orestes are similarly confused about


what has happened to Helen so clarification on this point early on in the speech is not surprising. Yet as Mastronarde notes, there is far more going on in this case since, “In

Orestes...the audience may be almost as confused as the characters about what has happened to Helen.”526 Thus, unlike in the other examples, the explanation of what happened to Helen is necessary not only for the characters on stage, but also for the audience as well. Moreover, the explanation is also necessary to explain Helen’s presence on the crane with Apollo as Mastronarde also notes.527

Yet there is a third reason for Apollo dealing with the issue of Helen’s fate first: the death (or even disappearance) of Helen is the in the Orestes that strays the most violently from the larger tradition. In fact, Willink comments when the murder plot of Helen is first introduced that “much of the effect depends upon perversion of tragic precedents and traditional values.”528 Moreover, unlike the variety of traditions surrounding Helen’s role at Troy, there is not a large degree of variation in traditions concerning Helen after the close of the Trojan War. In Homer, she returns with

Menelaus not only to Greece but also to Sparta where she meets Telemachus and reminisces about his father Odysseus. There are many sources which allude to her deification (as the Orestes itself ultimately does).529 Willink notes that a shared cult of

526 Mastronarde (2010), 185. 527 Mastronarde (2010), 185. West (1987), at line 1629, pg 290 also sees Helen’s appearance with Apollo on the crane as the reason why Helen must be explained first. 528 Willink (1986), at Act Four: 1013-1245, pg 258, especially compare this to his comment about the death sentence result of the Argive trial at Act Three: 844-956, pg 224 “As to the ‘life or death’ issue, any element of ‘surprise’ comes at the beginning of the scene (852-60), so that we attend to the narrative in the knowledge that Or. and El. are going to be condemned to death; and this knowledge comes less as a surprise than as a ‘shock’ for which we (like El. herself, 859-60) have been fully prepared.” 529 Burian (2007), at lines 1666-1669, pg 291 notes that “the prophecy of Helen’s apotheosis to join her brothers, also made at Orestes 1635-7 corresponds to the cult of Helen and the Dioscuri first attested by Pindar Olympian 3.1-2 (dated to 476). Mention of guest-gifts (ξένια; see 480n.) from mortals alone with us alludes to Helen’s part in the theoxenia, the traditional and widespread ‘feast of the gods’ whose primary 275

Helen and the Dioscuri is attested in Pindar’s Olympian (3.1-2) as well as in Euripides’

Helen (1666-1669).530 Yet there is no hint in extant sources of Helen being killed or even dying, making this aspect of the deviant plot of the Orestes all the more disturbing. Thus, it is important that this change to the tradition be corrected especially since it conflicts with the other fates of Helen delivered via Euripidean DEM. Although Apollo’s solution to the problem via the immediate deification of Helen goes against the established return of Helen and Menelaus to Sparta in the Odyssey, it does not disagree with other aspects of the tradition. Moreover, since Helen has technically returned to Greece after the war at Troy this aspect of the tradition has been fulfilled and her deification was already predicted in the DEM in the Helen. Thus, her apotheosis here is not so much in conflict with the tradition as a fulfillment of the prediction in Euripides’ Helen which as we have already seen is closely associated with the Orestes as well as the Greek’s own lived experience of her as a goddess.531

One final element points to the deviation concerning Helen being the most troubling change in the Orestes: the fact that it is the only aspect in the reestablishment of the tradition that is repeated. At the very end of the play just prior to the final choral tag on victory, Apollo ends the play by reiterating once more the fate of Helen.

guests were the Dioscuri (see Burkert [1985] 107, 213). For the probably presence of Helen in Spartan votive reliefs connected to the theoxenia, see the references in Kannicht [1969].” Also see Burkert (1985), 107 for more on the Dioscuri and their association with theoxenia both in Sparta as well as in Athens (but without any mention of Helen taking part). See Burkert (1985), 212-213 for the Dioscuri more generally. At 203 Burkert reports a cult of Menelaus and Helen at Sparta. For more on Helen cult in Sparta see West (1975). 530 Willink (1986), at lines 1635-1637, pg 352. In the case of the Helen, Willink sees these lines as an allusion to the Athenian festival of the Ἀνάκεια following Kannicht (1969). 531 Nevertheless, Helen’s role here as at help to sailors is odd. The Dioscuri were associated with that role but Helen generally was not. See Willink (1986), at lines 1635-1637, pg 352; and West (1987) at line 1637, pg 291 for more on this as well as a possible explanation. 276

ἲτε νυν καθ᾿ ὁδόν, τὴν καλλίστην θεῶν Εἰρήνην τιμῶντες: ἐγὼ δ᾿ Ἑλένην Δίοις μελάθροις πελάσω, λαμπρῶν ἂστρων πόλον ἐξανύσας, ἔνθα παρ᾿ Ἥρᾳ τῇ θ᾿ Ἡρακλέους Ἥβῃ πάρεδρος θεὸς ἀνθρώποις ἔσται σπονδαῖς ἔντιμος ἀεί, σὺν Τυνδαρίδαις, τοῖς Διὸς υἱοῖς, ναύταις μεδέουσα θαλάσσης. (1682-1690).

Go now down the road, honoring peace, most beautiful of the gods: I will bring Helen to Zeus’ halls, arriving at the vault of the heavens among the radiant stars. There, she will sit a goddess besides Hera and the wife of Heracles, and she will be honored always with mortal libations together with the sons of Tyndareus, Zeus’ sons, a guardian for sailors on the sea.

Although there is no new information here, the fact that this is the only issue in the DEM that Apollo returns to shows its importance. Moreover, it is given further weight by the fact that it is almost the last thing that the audience hears.

After settling the complicated issue of Helen’s fate, Apollo turns to Orestes and the conflict at hand. The deviations in the play concerning Orestes and his fate threatened to be just as unsettling as the changes to Helen’s story. Before Apollo’s intervention, not only does Orestes have a trial at the wrong place (Argos instead of

Athens) the jurors and verdict were also incorrect. Rather than being acquitted through a tie vote and Athena’s judgement siding with Orestes and Apollo against the antagonistic

Furies, in the Orestes, Orestes is judged entirely by humans, has human , and is sentenced to death rather than acquitted. In addition to the changed circumstances and outcome of the trial, at the end of the Orestes Menelaus is about to storm the palace and

Orestes orders Electra and Pylades to set fire to the building rather than surrender to

Menelaus. Thus, rather than Orestes undergoing a trial and acquittal as in Aeschylus, the


Orestes changes this completely, threatening to undo every aspect of Orestes’ previously predicted future, until the formerly absent Apollo appears to set things back on their familiar Aeschylean path.

σὲ δ᾿ αὗ χρεών, Ὀρέστα, γαίας τῆσδ᾿ ὑπερβαλόνθ᾿ ὅρους Παρράσιον οἰκεῖν δάπεδον ἐνιαυτοῦ κύκλον. κεκλήσεται δὲ σῆς φυγῆς ἐπώνυμον Ἀζᾶσιν Ἀρκάσιν τ᾿ Ὀρέστειον καλεῖν. ἐνθένδε δ᾿ ἐλθὼν τὴν Ἀθηναίων πόλιν δίκην ὑπόσχες αἵματος μητροκτόνου Εὐμενίσι τρισσαῖς: θεοὶ δέ σοι δίκης βραβῆς πάγοισιν ἐν Ἀρείοισιν εὐσεβεστάτην ψῆφον διοίσουσ᾿, ἔνθα νικῆσαί σε χρή (1643-1652).

But it is necessary for you Orestes again, to pass over the boundaries of this land and to dwell on the plains of Parrhasia for the revolution of a year, it will be named for your flight, and called Orestion by the Azanians and Arcadians. From there you will go to the city of Athens and you will undergo a trial for the murder of your mother against the three Eumenides: and the gods as judges of your case will give their vote for you in the sacred vote on Ares’ hill. There it is fated that you will conquer.

The main function of this section is to reestablish the mythical resume of Orestes set down in Aeschylus.532 Apollo undoes the deviation from Orestes’ traditional fate by reasserting the trial at Athens. Basic elements of the trial in Aeschylus are reasserted here namely that Orestes’ opponents in this trial will be the Eumenides (again as in the

Electra’s prologue they are referred to by their titular name in Aeschylus’ play) as well as reestablishing some divine participation in the voting, and most importantly Apollo

532 Aeschylus seems to be the only author to have given an account of a trial to free Orestes of the guilt of matricide and in the process the punishment of the Furies. See Gantz (1993), 680. For later literary sources on the trial see Gantz (1993), 685. It is worth noting that even in these strange later versions Orestes is always acquitted. 278

reasserts the outcome of acquittal established by Aeschylus that was threatened in

Euripides’ Orestes.533

Yet the speech does more than simply reestablish Orestes’ fate in Aeschylus, it also connects to other traditions as well. This is particularly true for the first part of the speech which says Orestes will dwell in Parrhasia for a year and found a town called

Orestion. Willink notes that “A strong tradition already connected Orestes with Arcadia and located his grave near .”534 This detail acts more as an aitia than a prophecy in its function of connecting to an aspect from the Athenian’s lived reality, in this case the existence of a town named Orestion. But there are literary connections as well. Both the account of Orestes’ actions after the matricide in the Electra (1272-1275) and the Orestes

(1644-1647) include Orestes founding a city named after him in Arcadia.535

Another aspect that comes from traditions about a trial other than that represented in Aeschylus’ Eumenides is that here Orestes’ trial at Athens will be judged not by a jury of humans with Athena deciding the tie as in Aeschylus, but the jury is to be made up entirely of gods. While this aspect can be easily overlooked, since Apollo and Athena play such a huge role in the trial in the Eumenides, it is important to remember that this is a striking difference with consequences for ideas about justice. As Lefkowitz notes:

533 Willink (1986), at lines 1648-1652, pg 354-355, also notes the parallel with Aeschylus. 534 Willink (1986), at lines 1645-1647, pg 354. He cites: “(Paus. 2.18.5, 8.5.4, 34.1-4, 54.4; cf. Hdt. 1.67-8, Str. 13.1.3; Asclepiades in the fourth century [ap. Σ, FGH 12 F 25] described Or.’s death in Arcadia from snakebite at the age of seventy.”534 It is also worth noting that there was a “small town called Ὀρέστ(θ)ειον in the upper Alpheus valley on the road from Sparta to Tegea was not in Parrhasia proper (in Th. 5.64 it is Ὀρέσθειον τῆς Μαιναλίας), but it was not too remote to be thought of as an outlying Parrhasian township (for the spelling with θ, cf. Hdt. 9.11, Plut. Arist. 10.7; Paus. Gives both forms, also a third, Ὀρεσθάσιον, Frazer on 8.44.2).” Also see West (1987), lines 1645, 1647, pg 292. 535 Willink (1986) at lines 1648-1652, pg 354-355 also notes this similarity while also pointing out a difference in the timelines between the two versions of the city being founded. In the Orestes the city is founded before his trial at Athens, in the Electra he founds it after being acquitted. 279

“Having the gods serve as judges is a striking departure from Aeschylus’ version of the story...In the Orestes Euripides makes the gods the benevolent purveyors of justice, as if they alone were capable of putting a stop to human violence.”536 Yet while this change is a major departure from Aeschylus, it does have other precedents. Willink observes this is

“in accordance with an ancient tradition... [that] the jury is to be of gods, not men (divine acquittal being necessary to cancel the human verdict of the Argive Assembly.)”537

While Willink’s rationalization for the reasoning behind the need for divine judges is sound, this also matches up with the alternative origin that Euripides referenced for the

Areopagus court in his Electra. 538 There the Dioscuri direct Orestes to an Areopagus court that was already established when the gods gave a judgement over the murder of

Halirrothius whom Ares killed in recompense for the rape of his daughter (1258-1263).

If we take the Orestes as a continuation of sorts of the Electra then the divine trial mentioned in the Electra must be the same one that is then again predicted in the Orestes.

Again, by connecting his version to multiple traditions rather than just to Aeschylus,

Euripides strengthens his take on events since he can connect it not only to what was likely the most popular account of the trial, but also to other traditions as well.

Yet Euripides does more than simply bring this account back into agreement with the tradition in Aeschylus and other works. He also makes it match prophecies concerning Orestes in his other DEM speeches. The brief reestablishment of Orestes’ trial at Athens here matches up with the account prophesied by the Dioscuri in the

536 Lefkowitz (2016), 112. 537 Willink (1986) at lines 1648-1652, pg 355. He cites Dem. Aristocr. 66 as evidence for this tradition. 538 Willink (1986) at lines 1648-1652, pg 355 and West (1987) at line 1650, pg 292, also makes the parallel with the Electra. 280

Electra (1252-1272). Although the Electra account is far more detailed than the one here, in both the basic elements remain the same, Orestes will undergo trial at Athens for his mother’s murder, he will be opposed by the Furies, and will be victorious.

Euripides further connects the account of the trial in Orestes with the mention of the trial in the IT.539 While Athena in her DEM speech (1469-1472) does not provide much detail, focusing instead on the custom that when the votes are equal the defendant will be acquitted (an aspect also stressed in the Electra), the version in the Orestes and the IT still match up on the basic fact that the trial happens on Ares’ hill, and that he is acquitted. Moreover, Orestes himself tells a more complete version of the trial at Athens earlier in the IT (939-969) and again the basics of the account match more or less with the account in Orestes with the additional agreement between the two versions that Apollo sends him to Athens, and that the Furies were the antagonists.

After dealing with the fates that presented the greatest threats to the tradition

(Helen and Orestes) Apollo turns and settles the fates of the lesser characters: Hermione,

Neoptolemus, Pylades, Electra, and Menelaus.

ἐφ᾿ ἧς δ᾿ ἔχεις, Ὀρέστα, φάσγανον δέρῃ, γῆμαι πέπρωταί σ᾿ Ἑρμιόνην: ὃς δ᾿ οἴεται Νεοπτόλεμος γαμεῖν νιν, οὐ γαμεῖ ποτε. θανεῖν γὰρ αὐτῷ μοῖρα Δελφικῷ ξίφει, δίκας Ἀχιλλέως πατρὸς ἐξαιτοῦντά με. Πυλάδῃ δ᾿ ἀδελφῆς λέκτρον, ὥς ποτ᾿ ᾔνεσας, δός: ὁ δ᾿ ἐπιών νιν βίοτος εὐδαίμων μένει. Ἀργους δ᾿ Ὀρέστην, Μενέλεως, ἔα κρατεῖν, ἐλθὼν δ᾿ ἄνασσε Σπαρτιάτιδος χθονός, φερνὰς ἔχων δάμαρτος, ἥ σε μυρίοις πόνοις διδοῦσα δεῦῤ ἀεὶ διήνυσεν. τὰ πρὸς πόλιν δἐ τῷδ᾿ ἐγὼ θήσω καλῶς,

539 The Orestes is securely dated to 408, the IT is estimated to be dated to around 414, making the IT relatively fresh in the minds of the audience by the time of the Orestes. 281

ὅς νιν φονεῦσαι μητέῤ ἐξηνάγκασα. (1653-1665).

As for the one against whose throat you are holding a sword, Orestes, it is fated for you to marry Hermione. Neoptolemus who thinks he will marry her, never will, for it is his lot to die by a Delphic sword, when he demands justice from me for his father Achilles. And give your sister’s bed to Pylades, as you promised before and he will remain fortunate throughout his life. Menelaus permit Orestes to rule Argos, and go and rule over the Spartan land, having the dowry of your wife, who always gave you countless suffering until now. I will settle matters between the city and Orestes well, he who I forced to kill his mother.

As in Euripides’ treatment of Helen and Orestes, the resolution provided for the other characters also helps to link Euripides’ version of events in the Orestes with other traditions. Yet rather than just linking to works such as the Odyssey and Eumenides, in this case, Euripides draws from a wider variety of sources.

There is a major difference in how Euripides treats the fate of Hermione as compared to his treatment of Helen and Orestes. While for Helen and in particular

Orestes, Euripides for the most part followed one specific thread of tradition, in his treatment of Hermione rather than relate back to one main text, he instead simultaneously references two incompatible traditions. In the Orestes Apollo orders Orestes and

Hermione to marry noting briefly that Neoptolemus thinks that he will marry Hermione, but in reality he will be killed at Delphi. The first thread of tradition comes from

Homer’s Odyssey, where Telemachus arrives on the same day that Hermione is sent to marry Neoptolemus in fulfillment of a promise made at Troy (4.1-14).540 In the Homeric tradition there is no conflict over who marries Hermione and no mention of Orestes doing so. Thus Apollo’s statement that Orestes will marry Hermione rather than Neoptolemus

540 See Gantz (1993), 690 for an argument against Homer knowing of a marriage between Hermione and Orestes. 282

rejects the Homeric tradition while at the same time acknowledging it through the comment that Neoptolemus thinks he will marry Hermione. The weight of the Homeric tradition is not easily cast aside, as Willink notes, “the marriage of Hermione to

Neoptolemus was perhaps too widely reported to be ignored altogether...”541 This acknowledgement of a tradition even as this tradition is denied, as we have seen before, allows Euripides to tie his DEM resolution of events to multiple traditions at the same time.

The death of Neoptolemus at Delphi exists in several different versions which all agree on the basic point of Neoptolemus’ dying at Delphi while varying somewhat on the exact circumstances of his death. The earliest reference to Neoptolemus’ death at Delphi is Pindar’s Paian 6 which places blame for his death on Apollo who is angry with

Neoptolemus over the death of Priam and Nemean 7 which takes a softer view by eliminating any strife between Apollo and Neoptolemus and he is killed by a man over a quarrel concerning sacrificial victims. The marriage to Hermione and death of

Neoptolemus at Delphi also appears in Pherekydes. 542 Thus it seems that Neoptolemus’ death at Delphi was attested in several versions so Euripides’ mention of it here, while seeming on a level to be a somewhat random aside allows both for the mention of the

Homeric version that Hermione married Neoptolemus rather than Orestes as well as a mention of a relatively stable tradition of Neoptolemus’ death, enabling further connections to other texts. In fact, Euripides’ hostile treatment of Neoptolemus may have actually worked towards reestablishing tradition after a deviation by a prior author.

541 Willink (1986), at lines 1653-1659, pg 355. 542 See Gantz (1993), 690-691 for more detail on each of these versions. 283

Willink observes that “the recent prominence of Neoptolemus in Sophocles’ Philoctetes

(sympathetically treated) will have been an extra reason for reasserting the usual tradition hostile to Neoptolemus.”543

According to an Odyssey scholia and Eustathios, the first instance of a conflict between Neoptolemus and Orestes over Hermione appears in Sophocles’ Hermione.544

The quarrel over Hermione apparently arose from her being promised by two different relatives to two different men: Menelaus promised her to Neoptolemus at Troy (as established in Homer), but Tyndareus in the meantime promises her to Orestes.545 In

Sophocles the matter is resolved only through a strange back and forth where Menelaus first takes Hermione away from Orestes (whom she presumably had already married) and gives her to Neoptolemus only to have her return to Orestes after Neoptolemus inevitably dies at Delphi.546 Thus the first source we know of to have Orestes marry Hermione is

Sophocles’ Hermione.547 While the tradition of Neoptolemus’ death at Delphi was well established before Euripides in several sources, the tradition that Orestes married

Hermione is relatively new first appearing only in Sophocles. With the marriage to

Neoptolemus far more prevalent than the marriage to Orestes it is perhaps surprising that

Euripides chooses to have Hermione marry Orestes; even going so far as to say that not

543 Willink (1986), at lines 1653-1659, pg 355. 544 Gantz (1993), 690-691. 545 Gantz (1993, 690 names (Σ Od 4.4) as the source for this tradition. Marshall (2014), 81 follows Sommerstein (2010) 135-136 who suggests that Proteus may have suggested the match between Hermione and Orestes to Menelaus in Aeschylus’ Proteus. If this is the case then Aeschylus would then become the earliest source for this. 546 See Gantz (1993), 690-691 for more specifics. 547 Gantz (1993), 692. 284

only does Hermione ultimately end up with Orestes instead of Neoptolemus but that

Hermione never marries Neoptolemus at all!

Yet Euripides’ pairing of Orestes and Hermione in the Orestes makes more sense when Euripides’ Andromache is taken into account.548 Here, as elsewhere, Euripides fixes his characters’ fates in his DEM in such a way that they agree (to an extent) with their fates in other Euripidean plays. In Euripides’ Andromache, Hermione is married to

Neoptolemus but while he is away at Delphi she tries to kill Andromache and her bastard son, due to jealousy over the fact that Andromache has borne a son to Neoptolemus while

Hermione herself remains barren. After Andromache escapes with the help of Peleus,

Hermione is distraught fearing Neoptolemus’ reaction upon his return. Yet just as she is ready to give up hope Orestes arrives with the news that he has arranged for

Neoptolemus’ death at Delphi and the two are free to marry as Menelaus had originally arranged.

The account in the Orestes, however, does not match up with Euripides’

Andromache exactly, first, in at the beginning of the Andromache Neoptolemus and

Hermione are married while in the Orestes Apollo makes it clear that Neoptolemus will never marry Hermione.549 Yet, while this detail differs from both the tradition established in prior authors as well as in Euripides’ own Andromache, other aspects of

Neoptolemus’ fate as laid out in the Orestes adhere more closely to tradition. Gantz

548 Although this is a much earlier play (usually dated to around 425) even if it was not fresh in the audience’s mind, as one of Euripides’ own plays he almost certainly was thinking of it. 549 Zeitlin (2003), 340-341 goes so far as to suggest that the allusion to the Andromache is made only to then be obliterated: “The reference to Neoptolemus serves still another function, allied in another way to that same principle of arbitrariness, for by it clear allusion is made to the Andromache, a play which the poet himself has already written, a play whose plot we are told retroactively will never take place.” 285

notes that the account of Neoptolemus’ death at Delphi in the Orestes is more canonical than his version in the Andromache. Instead of dying in a second visit to Delphi due to the machinations of Orestes as in the Andromache, in the Orestes there is only one trip to

Delphi and Apollo retains responsibility for Neoptolemus’ death which was deserved due to Neoptolemus’ own hubris. Moreover, since Apollo predicts this outcome to Orestes, it seems relatively clear that in this case Orestes is not involved.550

Finally, Gantz gives a plausible explanation for Hermione never being wed to

Neoptolemus in the Orestes DEM arguing that this change is necessary “to explain why she is with her mother in Mykanai and thus available for Orestes and Pylades to threaten.”551 If Gantz is correct here, then the only aspect not supported in prior traditions, namely that Hermione cannot be present if she is married to Neoptolemus, is motivated in a similar way to Euripides’ use of the Homeric version of Helen in the

Orestes, and is thus a change made in order to satisfy an aspect needed for Euripides’ plot to make sense. With this change accounted for, the remaining elements of Hermione’s twin fates represent two different traditions. By incorporating both of them Euripides not only regains some normalcy after his deviant plot, but also is able to introduce a new element to the Hermione story without straying too far.

After settling Hermione’s fate, Apollo hastily deals with the rest of the characters, ensuring that they more or less wind up where they are supposed to. Apollo orders

Orestes to give Electra to Pylades as a wife. This is another example of the DEM deity

550 Gantz (1993), 692-693. 551 Gantz (1993), 693. 286

commanding an action that would have taken place anyway;552 Orestes has already promised Electra to Pylades at 1207-1208. Yet Apollo takes care to reassert this pairing in the DEM. One reason is, as Mastronarde notes, establishing this paring works into the genealogical aspect of DEM prophecy.553 Yet, at the same time Apollo’s command that the two wed here in the Orestes (1658-1659), echoes the DEM order by the Dioscuri in the Electra (1249, 1284, 1311) as well as a reference to their marriage in IT (915) where

Electra and Pylades seem to already be married. Even though this match may have been first established by Euripides, at this point it would be relatively well established since it is mentioned in both Electra and IT, thus Euripides is careful to remain consistent with what he has established in prior plays.554

The case of Menelaus is somewhat problematic mostly due to the early apotheosis of Helen. Nevertheless, while the narrative in Homer of them returning to rule together in Sparta cannot be (and Menelaus’ place in the Isle of the Blest no longer seems to be assured), Apollo is careful to grant Menelaus his rightful place as ruler of Sparta, and though Menelaus must find another wife, he still retains the dowry of Helen and the rights he received from their marriage. Willink also notes the inconsistency of Menelaus’ fate with what was established in Homer as well as the afterlife promised in the Helen but writes it off as a relatively minor deviation which is mitigated by several factors: “Apollo is not concerned to forecast Menelaus’ destiny (so there is no mention here of his traditionally happy afterlife, as described in Helen 1676-7); it suffices to reconcile him to

552 Mastronarde (2010), 187. 553 Mastronarde (2010), 186-187. 554 Gantz (1993), 683; West (1987) at line 1078, pg 258-259, while acknowledging the match first appears in Electra 1249, he suggests it may go back to the Nostoi. 287

willing acceptance of the altered situation by anticipating possible protests. Menelaus still has Helen’s dowry and (prospect of) the Spartan throne...”555 Although Helen has gone, Menelaus’ overall fate and position has not changed enough to threaten the tradition significantly.

555 Willink (1987), at lines 1660-1665 Incl. 1638-42), pg 356. 288

Chapter 3: Conclusion

So what conclusions can we draw about the function of DEM prophecy from these examples? First, in many ways prophecy fulfills a similar function as aitia. Both devices work to establish some sort of connection between the world of the play and the world of the audience: aitia by connecting ritual and place names that exist in the audience’s current reality to the world of the play and prophecy by connecting the stories and characters in the play to other versions of those stories and characters that appear in other authors that the audience would be familiar with. Second, prophecy is more common in plays whose plots represent one small episode in a larger narrative arc. Since the action in the play only represents one small part in a larger story by using prophecy at the end of the play Euripides is able to connect the episode that he tells to other episodes within the same larger tale.

Yet Euripides uses prophecy for more than just connection to other myths. After all as Johnston demonstrates the world of myth is incredibly intertwined and one seemingly unrelated tale can often be related to another even if at first a connection seems to be lacking.556 Not only does the most prophecy occur in plays that are part of a larger closely related arc, prophecy is most commonly used in plays where Euripides has

556 Johnston (2015a), 292-299, especially 297 for her concept of hyperseriality. 289

deviated rather wildly from other established myths dealing with that character’s story

(primarily in Electra, Helen, and Orestes). The Electra deviates from the established tradition by making Electra a wife and by changing the circumstances of Aegisthus’ and

Clytemnestra’s death. Yet the same end goal as in more traditional versions is achieved when Aegisthus and Clytemnestra are killed. The DEM appearance of the Dioscuri further work to reestablish the traditional narrative by connecting Euripides’ play to the sequel to the episode in Aeschylus: the Eumenides. In the Helen, Euripides changes the traditional tale concerning Helen more drastically by devoting an entire play to the non- dominant mythical variant that Helen never went to Troy, yet at the end of the play the

DEM prophecies of the Dioscuri reestablish the Homeric version by ensuring that Helen will successfully accompany Menelaus back to Sparta. Finally, in the Orestes, the stability of Helen and Orestes’ characters is completely threatened by the events of the play only for their traditional paths to be reinstated at the last minute by Apollo.

By using prophecy to reference other myths (often ones which are quite popular versions) Euripides helps to reconnect his own deviant version of events with the more established mythic tradition. This enables Euripides to experiment with traditional characters and storylines while still bringing his version back into line with more established versions of the character’s myth in the end. Thus Euripides threatens the dominant version of the myth in the course of his play but then normalizes it at the end by connecting it back to the wider tradition.

Euripides is able to add further reinforcement to these deviant versions by making frequent references to other myths both in the structure of his stories, references


throughout the play, and prophecies in his DEM speeches.557 Yet, Euripides adds reinforcement not only by linking his plays and versions of the character’s myth within them to other authors (such as Aeschylus and Homer) but also he will occasionally link up a myth from one of his plays with a myth in another of his plays.

While it is possible to also connect plays by different playwrights by simply placing their plots in the sequential order dictated by the wider world of myth such as grouping Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Antigone, and as the “Theban plays”, Euripides is more intentional about connecting his plays both to other plays he writes as well as to other authors’ renditions of these myths. Rather than simply narrate each story, and allow his body of work to accumulate into a sequential narrative,

Euripides specifically refers to narratives from some of his other works at the end of his plays, thus making a more explicit connection between them, suggesting the idea of a sequel at the end of many of his plays, particularly those which contain DEM scenes.558

This is clear from the summary of the story created from Euripides Electra, Helen,

Orestes, IT, and Andromache above since it is not the general storyline that serves as the connection, but rather links between plays are formed at the end of each play.

While the connections between his own plays helps to reinforce the version of the myth he chooses to tell, the key to Euripides’ being able to get away with such drastic changes to the mythic tradition in the course of his plays lies not with the connections to other texts via structure, references or intertextuality. What allows Euripides the

557 See Torrance (2013), 20-26, 47-53. Zeitlin (2003). 558 See Dunn (1996), 65-70 for more on Euripides’ use of prophecy as a way to create a sequel to the given narrative. 291

flexibility to deviate from tradition is his use of prophecy. This can be seen most easily in the Orestes, as Mastronarde observes:

The finale of Orestes gives the strongest sense of any extant play (the closest comparandum is the nearly contemporary Sophocles’ Philoctetes) that the decision of the characters may burst the bonds of tradition, that the creativity displayed with such virtuosity within the course of the drama has taken on a life of its own. Thus the intervention of the god is here felt to be much more controlling from the point of view of the characters and salvific from the point of view of the poet’s duty to the tradition.559

Likewise Dunn also recognizes how Apollo’s intervention works to reestablish the tradition. When discussing the similar problem that occurs in Sophocles’ Philoctetes,

Dunn notes:

This forceful intervention has its closest parallel in the Orestes of Euripides. In each play, the action is about to make a surprising departure from the familiar legend, when a god intervenes to return events to their traditional course. In each case, the intervention is abrupt and troubling and seems to negate or overturn a prior ending that had already been reached.560

It is only through the DEM appearance of Apollo and his prophecies for the characters’ futures that Euripides is able to get his wayward myth back into its traditional shape.

Yet it is West in his commentary on the Orestes that perhaps best captures that a primary function of DEM scenes (particularly those containing prophecy) is to link the play up with other myths. In the case of DEM which concern prophecy “such instructions and predictions [are present] as will tie the plot of the play up with other traditions about what happened to these persons, subsequent reigns, marriages,

559 Mastronarde (2010), 192. West (1987), at line 1081, 259 suggests another reason for the match to be reiterated saying at this point “Orestes releases Pylades for all obligation in this respect. At the end of the play the link will be restored.” 560 Dunn (1996), 38. 292

descendants, cults, etc.”561 Yet the importance of linking with the wider tradition in

DEM scenes is increased in certain cases: “Occasionally, as in Philoctetes and Orestes, the poet has spellbound the audience by threatening an outcome incompatible with firmly established tradition, and here...the god has to put a stop to the irregular proceedings and prescribe what everyone knows really happened.”562

Yet this is not necessarily a function that only occurs in the Orestes. While the degree to which the tradition is threatened at the end of the Orestes is unprecedented, to a certain extent the affirmation of traditional mythic events is a function of DEM prophecy in general. This function is glimpsed in the Electra and Helen, but only attains its full potential in the Orestes where it is laid bare for all to see. DEM prophecy links the play’s events to the wider tradition and ensures a return to orthodoxy if it has strayed. One could go so far as to say that the function of prophecy in DEM taken to its full potential is to bring a wayward myth back into line.

561 West (1987), at lines 1549-1693, pg 287. 562West (1987), at lines 1549-1693, pg 287. 293


In this dissertation I have shown that Euripides’ use of the DEM at the end of many of his plays is more complicated than it first appears. While many scholars have discussed aspects of the DEM563 my aim here was to provide an overall look at the function not only of the DEM itself as a narratological device but also the function of two aspects common to DEM speeches: aitia and prophecies. It is my hope that by looking at all of these aspects together we can glean a better understanding of how and why

Euripides uses this device.

In my first chapter I explored the possible function of the DEM as a whole by examining in detail each DEM that appears in the extant Euripidean plays: Hippolytus,

Andromache, Suppliants, Electra, Ion, Iphigenia in Tauris, Helen, Orestes, Bacchae, and

Medea. For each play I examined three aspects. First, whether or not the intervention was necessary to resolve a problem in the plays as well as whether or not the intervention had a major effect on the fates of each plays’ main characters. Second, the reasoning behind the choice of the DEM deity particularly in cases where Euripides gives signals earlier on in the play that a different deity would be perhaps more likely to arrive than the

563 Most notably Spria (1960), Dunn (1996), Mastronarde (1990), (2010), Sourvinou-Inwood (2003). 294

god who ultimately intervenes. Finally, I discuss the possible function for each DEM by examining what each intervention does accomplish for the play and its characters.

The results of this chapter show several different trends. The first aspect, whether or not the DEM intervention is necessary for the plot to resolve and/or whether or not the main characters are greatly affected by the intervention, yields the most definitive conclusion. In the vast majority of Euripidean plays with a DEM ending, the intervention of the deity is not necessary to tie up a loose end in the plot and does not have any major effect for the fate of the main characters. In every case other than Euripides’ Orestes

(and to a lesser extent the Medea), plays do not have a complication that would prevent them from ending in a sensible way without the intervention of a DEM deity.

In general, the deity only arrives after the basic crisis point of the play has passed.

Moreover, the god rarely accomplishes any action that substantially changes the fate of a character in the play.564 In the Hippolytus, Andromache, and Electra the DEM deities

(Artemis, Thetis, and the Dioscuri respectively) come too late in their plays to save the main characters Hippolytus, Neoptolemus, and Clytemnestra from their deaths. Likewise

Athena only appears in the Suppliants after the Athenians and Thebans have fought each other and has no effect on the outcome of the battle. Her appearance is also too late to save the grief stricken Evadne. While these gods do provide some closure and comfort for those left behind their appearance does not prevent characters from dying. Even in plays which have a relatively happy ending, this ending is not generally due to any action of the epilogue deity. In the Ion, Creusa and Ion have successfully been reunited before

564 This has also been noted by Spira (1960), 9-11; Dunn (1996), 27. 295

Athena’s appearance, and in the Helen, Menelaus and Helen have already escaped from

Egypt before the Dioscuri arrive. Finally, in the Bacchae, Dionysus’ appearance neither saves Pentheus nor comforts those left behind, but rather in what remains of the DEM section Dionysus seems most interested in firmly establishing his divine status.

For a few select plays the DEM does appear to resolve an issue or have an effect on the characters at the end of the play. In the case of the IT, Orestes and Iphigenia are endangered at the last minute by a random wave which threatens their otherwise successful escape from Tauris. It is at this last minute crisis point that Athena intervenes to save them. Yet, even this comparatively heavy handed intervention does not quite conform to the stereotype that the god comes to solve an unsolvable problem for the main characters. Up until the very end the escape seems to be successful and there is no reason why Euripides couldn’t have ended the play with their successful escape by simply leaving out the extraneous wave, much like Helen and Menelaus escape at the end of the

Helen. I argue that Euripides uses the wave in order to give a stronger motivation for the divine appearance of Athena.565

A less jarring instance of a problem being created in order to better motivate a divine appearance occurs in the Ion. There is nothing really stopping the play from resolving except for Ion’s sudden stubbornness and refusal to believe Creusa about the identity of his father at the end of the play.566 The issue could easily be resolved simply through Ion’s acceptance of the matter, but his stubbornness here provides a more

565 Other scholars who take this view include: Spira (1960), 120-1; Matthiessen (1964), 57 n. 4; Lesky (1983), 306; Hartigan (1991) 103; Dunn (1996), 138; Owen (1939), in his commentary on the Ion at line 1549, pg 177. Mastronarde (2010), 165-166, 182 takes the opposite view. 566 See Owen (1939) at line 1549, pg 177. 296

compelling reason for a god to intervene than is seen in earlier plays. Likewise the Helen creates a last minute problem for the deity to solve through Theoclymenus’ threat to kill his sister Theonoe at the end of the play.567 This conflict and threat to a minor character serves as a less serious threat than the one in the IT since Theonoe’s fate is not elsewhere established in the mythological tradition, but it still provides a problem for the DEM to solve and thus better motivate the Dioscuri’s appearance.

There is perhaps a simple explanation for why later plays provide more of a dramatic reason for the intervention of a DEM. Up until the Ion each instance of a DEM intervention occurs in plays in which characters die. The DEM appearances of Artemis in the Hippolytus, Thetis in the Andromache, and the Dioscuri in the Electra are all motivated by a death of a major character and the DEM deity’s primary role is to provide some sort of explanation or consolation to those left behind.568 Even in the Suppliants where no major character dies, dealing with the aftermath of deaths is a large part of

Athena’s intervention as she establishes a lasting treaty between Athens and Argos and thus extends their alliance past the end of the play and their involvement in a singular conflict to a long lasting agreement which will benefit both states and hopefully prevent similar deaths by having one another to rely on. Moreover, Athena provides consolation to the wives and sons of the Seven against Thebes by relating a prophecy that they will eventually get revenge for their loved ones’ deaths.

The Ion stands as the first play with a DEM that is not motivated at least in part by a death, thus Euripides provides another motivator for the DEM. Likewise, the Helen and

567 Dunn (1996), 138. 568 Spira (1960), 113 also groups these plays together for similar reasons. 297

IT also lack character deaths that must be resolved so these plays too provide a conflict for the DEM to solve in order to better justify its appearance. This scenario reaches its full potential with the Orestes.

The Orestes is the first play which conforms to the stereotype that a DEM intervention occurs when there is no other way to resolve a wayward plot. Apollo’s intervention occurs when the play has reached an impasse between Menelaus and Orestes that appears to have no resolution that would be in keeping with the mythological tradition. Apollo succeeds in setting the characters back into their traditional fates, and only then is the play allowed to end.569 Euripides, however, constructs his plot with purpose as is evident from the drastic departure that play takes from the traditional myth which makes the DEM at the end necessary. Unlike even the most similar interventions to the Orestes which occur in the IT and Helen the problems caused in the Orestes are not last minute but stem from the very beginnings of the play and thus cannot be accidental.

Rather it appears that the Orestes is instead a new stage in an evolution of the motivations for DEM appearances which in early plays are brought about through the god resolving a character’s death and then through creating increasingly severe threats to the characters in order to better motivate a divine intervention.

The case of the Medea is the most difficult since it breaks from the mold in many ways. First the Medea is not a true DEM since Medea is not divine at the point in the storyline during which the Medea occurs. Second, although the Medea matches most

569 See West (1987), at line 1549-1693, pg 286-287; Dunn (1996), 170; Zeitlin (2003), 310-311; Mastronarde (2010), 192. 298

closely with the Orestes in terms of the necessity of the intervention,570 it is one of the farthest removed plays from the Orestes in terms of performance date which means it does not fit into the schema of increasing plot experimentation in DEM.571 Yet many of the problems brought about by the similarity of the Orestes and Medea may be explained to a certain extent by their differences. Although Medea’s DEM type of ending is unexpected, because she is not properly divine and she has been on stage the entire time certain aspects which are troubling in the Orestes are less so in her case. Medea does not need some sort of excuse to appear since she is already a character in the play and since she appears in the play herself her actions at the end of the play (though extraordinary) are not as intrusive since she was originally an active participant in the action rather than an outside figure intruding upon the action as more traditional DEM deities are. Thus many of the issues that arise with DEM endings, particularly endings like the Orestes and some of the later plays do not quite apply in the case of the Medea.

Just as the reasons for the appearance of a DEM deity and the scope of the actions they perform change from the earlier Euripidean plays to the later plays, the choice of intervening deity also seems to evolve to a certain extent. In the early DEM plays

Euripides gives plenty of signposts to predict the deity which will eventually intervene.

In the Hippolytus the entire play is devoted to the relationship between Hippolytus and

Artemis making her the natural choice for DEM deity. Likewise, in the Andromache,

Thetis is referenced at several points in the play: Andromache is supplicating at her

570 For an interesting analysis of similarities between the two plays see Dunn (1996), 159-160. 571 Medea is securely dated to 431, Orestes is securely dated to 408. Amongst extant plays only the Alcestis (438) and Bacchae (405) performances were further apart. 299

shrine, Thetis and her marriage to Peleus are mentioned at multiple points,572 and just prior to her DEM appearance Peleus addresses Thetis (1224-1225). In the Suppliants, although the intervention itself is quite unexpected, the choice of Athena as DEM deity is quite logical since the play takes place near Athens and is concerned with Athenian politics.

Similar markers for the DEM deity appear in other plays as well. In the Helen the

Dioscuri are mentioned at several points, including just prior to their appearance as DEM.

In addition, the Dioscuri are connected to Helen since she is their sister so they are a natural deity to appear and report her happy future. Likewise, in the Orestes, Apollo is mentioned more often than any other god, and he is deeply involved in the situation since

Orestes killed Clytemnestra in accordance with his oracle. Finally, Medea’s appearance on the crane in the Medea and Dionysus’ epiphany in the Bacchae make perfect sense since they are deeply involved in the action of the play. In Dionysus’ case in particular his involvement in the play coupled with the fact that his divinity is a major issue ensures that he is the only practical choice to act as DEM.

Yet in the Electra, Ion, and IT there is a great deal of signposting in the plays that would suggest that Euripides was laying groundwork for an intervention by Apollo.573 In the Electra the Dioscuri are mentioned in certain places and certainly are a logical choice for a play whose DEM is largely concerned with consoling the regretful Electra and

Orestes. There are, however, also lots of signs that would point to an appearance by

572 Thetis is mentioned in the following places (16-20), (42-46), (108-110), (117-118), (246), (565-566), 573 Scholars who note Apollo’s failure to appear in these plays as strange include: Cropp (1988), at lines 1233-1237, pg 182; Hartigan (1991); Kyriakou (2006), at lines 1435-1474, pg 451; Ketterer (2013), 229. 300

Apollo. Apollo is mentioned more often in the course of the play (something which acted as a signpost of the choice of deity in earlier DEM plays), moreover, since Orestes killed

Clytemnestra due to his oracle, it would perhaps be logical for Apollo to appear after

Orestes performed the deed to reassure Orestes that he will aid him against the Furies.

Similarly in the Ion, Apollo would be an ideal DEM deity and may have even been somewhat expected based upon the situation and location of the play. The Ion takes place at Apollo’s shrine at Delphi and thus perhaps an audience may have expected

Apollo to be the most likely deity to appear especially since in the Andromache and the

Suppliants the location of the play acted as a forecast of sorts for the deity who would appear as DEM. Yet the greatest indicator that Euripides gives that would suggest Apollo would be a natural expectation for a DEM deity is the subject matter of the play as well as the conflict that the DEM is brought in to solve. The entire play is devoted to discovering

Ion’s true parentage and the DEM deity intervenes ostensibly in order to establish the fact that Apollo is Ion’s father. Apollo would be the most suited to this task but this job is instead given to Athena who even goes so far as to explain why she appears instead of

Apollo. This may suggest that the audience would have expected Apollo to be the most likely DEM deity based on the events of the play and the lead up to the DEM itself.

The situation in the IT is similar. Apollo and Artemis are the most talked about gods throughout the play. On the one hand, Apollo would be logical choice as DEM deity since it was Apollo who sent Orestes on his mission to retrieve the statue of Artemis from Tauris. On the other hand, it is Artemis who is foregrounded the most in the play.


Iphigenia is Artemis’ priestess, the play is set at Artemis’ shrine in Tauris, and it is

Artemis’ statue that they are attempting to steal. Yet, in the end it is Athena who arrives.

It is interesting that in each case where the events in the play suggest that one god may appear and another god appears instead, the god that was hinted at was Apollo. Yet, the choice of the deity that actually appears, especially in cases where the appearing deity is somewhat unexpected, can reveal a great deal about the function of the DEM. Since

Euripides must have chosen that particular deity for some reason, examining what the deity actually accomplishes contrasted with the problem that seems to set up the DEM can often reveal that the deity arrives for reasons other than what is implied earlier in the play.

In the early plays574 the DEM appearance seems to be motivated in large part by a death. In the Hippolytus, Artemis, in addition to being a major figure in the play, is the perfect deity to console Hippolytus and to establish a reconciliation between him and

Theseus. Moreover, she is also the most fitting goddess to establish a marriage ritual in honor of Hippolytus and thus to join together the two aspects of her divinity: the chastity that Hippolytus valued and the transition into a new stage of life, which is one of her major divine functions. In the Andromache, Thetis is appropriate not only because of her marriage to Peleus and the fact that her shrine literally stands as the background of the play, but also because she is the perfect goddess to provide Peleus with the consolation which he needs. Moreover, since Peleus gains immortality due to his relationship with

Thetis, she is the only god who would logically bestow this privilege. In the Suppliants,

574 Hippolytus (428), Andromache (c. 425), Suppliants (c. 423). 302

Athena as the patron goddess of Athens is the most fitting goddess to ratify an alliance between Athens and Argos which will ensure that further death can be prevented by giving Athens a strong ally.

The Electra, as I have mentioned before, is a play where the main function seems to be consolation, but it is also a play in which Apollo has strong influence on the plot before the Dioscuri arrive in the end. Yet, it is the role of consolation which may best explain why the Dioscuri appear rather than Apollo at this point; Apollo would be an inappropriate god to provide consolation since it was he who ordered Clytemnestra’s death. The Dioscuri, however, are perfectly suited to provide consolation since as relatives of Clytemnestra, Orestes, and Electra they will naturally also mourn their sister while also being sensitive to their niece and nephew’s plight.

A close relationship with those they address is relatively commonplace in

Euripidean DEM. Familial relationships between deus and addressee are relatively common and occur in the Andromache (Thetis to Peleus), Electra (Dioscuri to Orestes and Electra), Helen (Dioscuri to Theoclymenus, Helen and Menelaus), and Bacchae

(Dionysus to Cadmus and Agave).575 In all but the Bacchae (where Dionysus takes revenge upon his cousin Pentheus), the deity is sympathetic to their relative and seeks to console or aid them in some way. Moreover, the conversation and relationship between a deity who is related to the characters is much closer and familiar than interactions between gods and characters who are not related in some way. The reasons for this are twofold; first, the familial relationship makes them take a greater interest in the mortal’s

575 See Andujar (2016) and Mastronarde (2010), 188 for more on this. 303

well-being. Second, the status of gods and goddesses who have close relationships with mortals tend to be lower than other DEM deities. The Dioscuri have a complicated relationship with divinity since depending upon the version one or both of the brothers used to be mortal and they openly admit in their speech in the Helen that they have a lower status than the rest of the gods (1658-1661) as well as implying their subservience to Apollo in the Electra (1245-1246). Thetis, while fully divine is a relatively minor goddess and her lack of power is confirmed by her forced marriage to Peleus. Deities who have a familial relationship with their addressees are well suited to consolation because they care about the mortals’ well-being and because their lower status (and in the case of the Dioscuri their mortal experience) gives them a better understanding of what the mortals are going through.

More powerful DEM deities such as Artemis, Apollo, and Athena tend to be more aloof towards mortals and thus are rather ill suited to consolation.576 Even Artemis who consoles Theseus and Hippolytus at the end of the Hippolytus is rather hard on Theseus and is even somewhat detached from Hippolytus who comments on how she steps easily away from their relationship right before Artemis leaves just as Hippolytus is about to die


The greater distance these gods maintain between themselves and their mortal addressees perhaps explains to an extent the reason why Apollo does not appear in the

Ion. While the relationship between Ion and Apollo should be quite close, Apollo retains

576 Mastronarde (2010), 193-195 has pointed out that Apollo’s intervention in the Orestes shows that he does not understand human beings. Lefkowitz (2016), 112 expresses a similar sentiment but one more favorable to Apollo. 304

his divine aloofness by relegating the task of clearing up the paternity of Ion to Athena.

Unlike when the Dioscuri act as surrogates for Apollo in the Electra, Athena here does not sympathize with Ion and Creusa nor does she express a sense of closeness or regret as the Dioscuri do to Electra and Orestes. Moreover, while the paternity of Ion is the ostensible issue that must be resolved this is done rather quickly in Athena’s speech and the majority of her intervention is devoted to predicting the characters’ futures at Athens as well as the influence that they (and through them Athens) will have on the greater

Greek world. Since in the Ion since the object is clarification rather than consolation, a close relationship with the DEM deity is not desired, so Apollo’s close ties with Ion are not needed. Instead the focus is on the future of Athens, making Athena the perfect deity to send. Similarly in the IT both Apollo and Artemis are deeply involved in the situation in which Orestes, Pylades, and Iphigenia find themselves. By sending Athena, Apollo does not have to face possible blame from Orestes, and Artemis does not have to face

Iphigenia’s criticisms nor directly address the human sacrifice of her Tauric cult. Finally, the main accomplishment of the IT DEM is the establishment of cults for Artemis in

Attica something which Athena is well suited to oversee, and thus avoids the awkwardness of Artemis commanding a cult be set up in her own honor.

A close examination of the choice of deity in Euripidean DEM reveals a few patterns in the function of the DEM intervention. For early plays such as the Hippolytus

(428), Andromache (c. 425), Electra (c. 420), and (to a lesser extent) Suppliants (c. 423), the purpose seems to be primarily to console characters who have lost loved ones. In the

Suppliants, Ion (c. 414), and IT (c. 414) Athena acts as the DEM for each and achieves


similar aims. In the Suppliants by setting up the alliance between Athens and Argos

Athena has the effect of spreading pro-Athenian propaganda as well as giving divine sanction to Athens’ dominance of her neighbors and allies.577 In the Ion and IT Athena focuses on the future glorification of Athens. In the Ion she accomplishes this through prophesying the prosperous future of Ion’s children and their wide ranging influence over the Greek world.578 In the IT Athena focuses on Athens as an important cultic center of worship through the establishment of Attic cults to Artemis.579 The later plays show more experimentation with the DEM device and how it can interact with the plot of the play and wider myth surrounding the characters. In the Ion Euripides uses Ion’s stubbornness to create an issue for the DEM to solve. This trend continues in his IT where he creates a more serious threat to the characters in order to let Athena solve an issue and in the Helen (412) where a threat to a minor character prompts a DEM intervention. This experimentation culminates in the Orestes (408) where Euripides creates a situation that cannot be resolved without the aid of a deity without threatening the mythic tradition concerning Orestes, Helen, Electra, Hermione, and Menelaus.

Finally, use of the DEM in the Bacchae (405) and Medea (431) seems to be motivated by a desire for revenge on the part of the DEM figure. Both Dionysus and Medea play a more active role throughout their plays and even cause the death of other characters in the play. Unlike the earlier plays which include character deaths, however, in the Bacchae and the Medea the DEM figure does not appear to the survivors in order to provide

577 See Tzanetou (2012), 68-70. 578 See Hoffer (1996), 313-14; Swift (2008), 16-18; Zacharia (2003), 48-55. 579 See Kyriakou (2006), 24. 306

consolation but in order to gloat over the success of their revenge upon the mortals who have wronged them.

While the first chapter refutes the idea that the DEM device is used as a way to regain control over a rogue plot it also proposes new ways of determining the function of

DEM appearances in each play. By looking at the choice of DEM deity it is possible to identify certain patterns and trends in the choice of deity. The choice of deity (even in cases where the choice seems somewhat unexpected due to the foregrounding that

Euripides provides) coupled with what each deity actually accomplishes in the course of their intervention suggest possible functions that each DEM was meant to serve. These possible functions include: providing consolation to loved ones left behind after a character death, political motivations particularly pro-Athenian propaganda, increasing experimentation with the DEM’s role in respect to the plot of the play and the wider world of myth, as well as exploring possibilities of more active participation of the DEM figure throughout the course of the events of the play, and divine retribution.

Yet no discussion of the function of the DEM would be complete without an examination of the function of common techniques that appear within DEM speeches: aition and prophecy. The second chapter focuses in on the role of aitia in DEM speeches, particularly cult aitia. In this chapter I build on ideas from Dunn (1996), Sourvinou-

Inwood (2003), and Mastronarde (2010) regarding cult aitia’s function of providing a connection between the world of the play and the world of the audience. By mentioning cults which either existed or were similar to cults that the Athenians would be aware of at


the end of his plays Euripides fits his stories within the larger world of Athenian religious reality.

My second chapter focuses on cult aitia that appear in two of Euripides’ plays: a hair cutting ritual for young women before marriage at Trozen in the Hippolytus and the establishment of a bloodletting ritual at Halai and offerings to Iphigenia at Brauron in the

IT. For each of these aitia I discuss three main issues. First, why the particular play focused so strongly on cult aitia, how the aition relates to the situation in the play as well as the contemporary reality of the audience, and, finally, what real life cults (if any) that the aitia relate back to.

Both the Hippolytus and the IT are plays that have a strong focus on religious and cult issues throughout their story. In the Hippolytus, Euripides explores the consequences of excessive devotion of one deity to the detriment of another. Hippolytus’ obsession with the virginal aspect of Artemis causes him to neglect Aphrodite to his peril. Likewise the IT also has strong religious and cultic themes throughout as Iphigenia struggles with the Tauric practice of human sacrifice to Artemis, a practice which almost claims her brother. Yet there is another key commonality between these two plays: both plays portray very close relationships between goddesses (in both cases Artemis) and a devoted mortal. While the nature of these relationships differ, Hippolytus having a more personal relationship with Artemis as her devotee and Iphigenia having a more formalized role as

Artemis’ priestess, the closeness of the relationships between the deities and their chosen mortals is unique. This is especially noteworthy since the relationships here are portrayed as even closer than the kin relationships which occur between many DEM


deities and their addresses. It seems then that the focus on cult aitia in these plays stems from the issues at the heart of each play as well as from the close cultic (rather than familial) relationship between the primary goddess and mortal pair.

One of the most interesting aspects of the cult aitia in the Hippolytus and the IT is that in some ways the aitia seem to be somewhat random or even contrary to the events in the play. In the Hippolytus Artemis sets up a ritual to commemorate Hippolytus, but it is a ritual which involves marriage, an institution that Hippolytus hated and sought to avoid. While this may at first seem strange, a marriage ritual, as Sourvinou-Inwood points out, is a fitting way to remember Hippolytus since by rejecting marriage and the natural transition from virgin to married that Artemis traditionally oversees Hippolytus developed an unbalanced view of Artemis and failed to worship not only Aphrodite but some of Artemis’ own key attributes.580 Although Artemis does not fault him for this openly, the establishment of a marriage ritual in Hippolytus’ memory serves as a memorial to one who did not successfully make the transition and the resulting ritual helps to aid others in making such a transition. Thus Hippolytus stands as an example of the dangers of an incomplete transition and the establishment of a new ritual at the end prevents others from meeting the same fate.581

There is another troubling aspect to the ritual in the Hippolytus. Although the ritual is introduced as compensation for Hippolytus’ death, the aspect which is emphasized as being remembered in the ritual is not Hippolytus’ death, but Phaedra’s love for Hippolytus, the very thing which Hippolytus was so disgusted and ashamed by

580 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 326-330. 581 Panoussi (2009), 13-14; Seaford (1994), 368-405; Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 329-330. 309

and which was the cause of his death.582 Yet when details about the actual cult from

Pausanias are considered (if the cult operated in the same way in Euripides’ own time), the focus on Phaedra’s love makes more sense. Pausanias’ account focuses on an aitiology concerning Phaedra falling in love with Hippolytus. In addition to stories which emphasize Phaedra’s love, the geography of the temple also serves to connect Hippolytus and Aphrodite.583 These aspects of the real cult, if known to the audience, may have further helped to connect the aition in Euripides’ play to their knowledge and/or experience of the corresponding cult.

Just as the aition in the Hippolytus works to resolve a central problem in the play, namely Hippolytus’ refusal to accept Aphrodite as well as the transition to adulthood which Artemis represents, in the IT the nature of the cults established through the aitia work to resolve a core issue in that play: human sacrifice. The problem of Artemis’ nature and her approval or at least acceptance of human sacrifices is a point of tension throughout the play. While Artemis’ failure to appear to settle this issue has been seen as somewhat unsettling, the brutal nature of Artemis’ Tauric cult is partially resolved through the establishment of less disturbing Attic rites. 584 By establishing a ritual which spills human blood without killing the victim, Artemis is able to still obtain some of her traditional Tauric honors without the accompanying problems associated with human sacrifice. The ritual at Halai works to civilize the wild Tauric Artemis and integrate her with her milder Athenian version.

582 Dunn (1996), 95. 583 Nagy (2013), 548-549, 551. 584 Sourvinou-Inwood (2003), 37-38. 310

While the first aition helps to resolve the problems inherent in stealing Artemis’ statue from the Taurians and translating it and her worship into a civilized Greek context, the second aition works to settle the problem of Iphigenia’s relationship with Artemis.

Since Iphigenia has missed the milestones of marriage and childbearing due to her sojourn in Tauris it is too late for her to be reintegrated into Greek society.585 The only role which Iphigenia can fill at this point is a version of the role she has always had since her symbolic death: a priestess to Artemis. Like Hippolytus, however, Iphigenia’s failure to transition into her traditional role makes her a fitting figure for those attempting to achieve this status to acknowledge through dedications. The main difference is that the girls who dedicate their hair to Hippolytus do so before their marriage in an attempt to avoid the fate that he had. Iphigenia receives dedications from those who have also failed to successfully transition into the role of motherhood.586

The most controversial aspect of cult aitia in Euripides for modern scholars is whether or not the information about the rituals contained in the cult aitia can reliably be used as evidence for actual cult practice. This is a complex issue since Euripidean aitia often are considered to be the first extant source on various rituals in the Greek world.587

We are further hampered by incomplete evidence, even for rituals which are attested in other places. These other sources are often quite late and thus the evidence at that point

(and perhaps even the cult practices themselves) may be influenced by the Euripidean

585 Kyriakou (2006), at lines 1462-1467a, pg 460. 586 Johnston (1999), 239-240. 587 This is true at least for the Hippolytus and the IT which are discussed here. For more on this issue in these and other plays see Scullion (1999) and Seaford (2009). 311

aitia rather than serving as accurate evidence for these cults in Euripides’ own time.588

While archaeological evidence is valuable, in some cases little has been published on the particular sites, or what has been discovered has perhaps itself been interpreted based on the reports found in Euripides rather than relying solely on the evidence at the site.589

This is not to say that it is impossible that these cults did in fact operate in the way in which the Euripidean aitia report or imply, but simply that it is impossible for us to determine with the present evidence.

Nevertheless, there is some evidence to suggest that at least for the Hippolytus and the IT that Euripides does retain some aspects of the real cult in his cult aitia. First, it is clear that Euripides does reference real cults in his cult aitia. It is clear from literary and archaeological evidence that the cult of Hippolytus at Trozen, the cult of Artemis at

Brauron, and the Tauropolia cult of Artemis at Halai all seem to have existed in some form and were not simply invented by Euripides in their entirety. Moreover, even though the information in Euripides’ aitia concerning these cults is not a perfect match for what we know of these cults’ practices from other sources, there is considerable overlap.

While it is possible that the discrepancies between the cult aitia in Euripides and cult practices reported in other sources could be due to changes in the cult over time and that the cults in the time of Euripides were practiced in the way that he says and changed by the time of our later sources, there is another simpler possibility. Perhaps Euripides referenced real cults and provided some accurate information about their practices but

588 See Scullion (1999). 589 This is a particular problem concerning the site at Brauron. See Hollinshead (1985), and Ekroth (2003) for more on the archaeological evidence at Brauron (and Halai) and the problems surrounding it. 312

modified other aspects in order to fit in better with his literary motives.590 Although some scholars counter that if Euripides had invented aspects of his aitia an Athenian audience familiar with these cults would not have accepted these changes,591 this criticism does not adequately take into account several aspects of Greek cult. First, that there were multiple cult aitia for each cult, second that not everyone would know all of these cult aitia offhand, and finally that myth in general is quite flexible in Euripides and the other playwrights, which would allow for aitia (which are after all simply a different type of myth) to have a similar amount of flexibility.592

While the second chapter retreads a lot of ground that many scholars have covered concerning cult aitia in Euripides, many of the issues concerning Euripidean cult aitia are taken separately from one another. There has also been a great focus on whether or not cult aitia can act as evidence for real cult practice. While this is an important issue, there is far more at stake than merely deciding whether or not Euripidean cult aitia can be used to glean accurate information about real cult practice in Euripides’ time. For many reasons answering this question is not possible due to the constraints of the evidence. Moreover, Euripidean aitia have more significance than merely serving as evidence for something else. Euripides used cult aitia not to provide future scholars with evidence for Athenian cult practice but rather in order to enhance the audiences’ experience of his play.

590 See Torrance (2013), 38; Hollinshead (1985), 425; Scullion (1999), 229. 591 Hollinshead (1985), 425; Seaford (2009), 233. 592 Scullion, (1999), 230-231. 313

By examining multiple aspects of cult aitia in one place it is possible to get a better idea of the what function cult aitia served in Euripides’ plays as well as why they occur so often in DEM scenes. This last question is perhaps the easiest to answer,

Euripides seems to use cult aitia primarily in plays that are centered on religious problems as well as plays which feature a close relationship between a deity and a chosen mortal. By placing cult aitia in DEM scenes Euripides is able to connect the stories that his plays tell with the world of the audience through references to cults which they were familiar with in their daily lives. By connecting the mythical events of his plays with the audience’s reality Euripides reinforces his version of the myth and adds a sense of historicity to the events of his play. The end of the play is an ideal place to do this since it is the last thing the audience will remember and it can act as a transition between the fictional world the audience has been viewing and their own reality which they are about to reenter. Nevertheless, cult aitia do more than merely act as a connection between play and cult. Cult aitia often are concerned with resolving religious problems in the play and/or perversions of rituals by establishing new cults which can resolve the problem and prevent it from occurring in the future.593 Finally, due to the flexibility inherent in myth,

Euripides is likely not completely constrained to an accurate depiction of the cult reality, but can modify certain aspects in order to better suit his own literary goals.594

In many ways chapter two on aitia and chapter three on prophecy are intertwined.

Although both chapters explore different common elements used in DEM speeches, both of these devices are used in similar ways. While aitia work to connect the world of the

593 Panoussi (2009), 13-14; Seaford (1994), 368-405. 594 See Torrance (2013), 38; Scullion (1999), 229. 314

play with the world of the audience in respect to either geography or cult depending upon the type of aitia employed, prophecy serves to connect the world of the play with the world of the audience through myth. Moreover, both devices use these connections to further reinforce the version of events that Euripides presents in his play.

In my third chapter I focus on the role of DEM prophecy in three different plays:

Electra, Helen, and Orestes. All of these plays narrate one smaller episode within a larger narrative arc. This often occurs in plays which dramatize one family or group of characters as is the case with Electra, Helen, and Orestes. By using prophecy at the end of these plays Euripides is able to connect the action of the play to other episodes in the larger story and thus he can connect the episode which he dramatizes with other episodes in the larger myth. Moreover, he can use prophecy to connect to other myths either within his own corpus or to mythical episodes which appear in other playwrights and authors.

Plays with a great deal of prophecy are more than just plays which represent one small narrative in a larger arc. They are also plays in which Euripides deviates more widely from other versions of these myths. In the Electra, Euripides deviates from aspects of the traditional version of Electra and Orestes murdering Aegisthus and

Clytemnestra by introducing an Electra who is married as well as by changing the circumstances around Aegisthus’ and Clytemnestra’s deaths. In the Helen, Euripides devotes an entire play to the non-dominant mythical storyline that Helen did not go to

Troy but an eidolon went in her stead while she was in Egypt. While this tradition existed in Stesichorus and Herodotus, Euripides’ version contained many new elements


which added to the uniqueness of his version. Finally, in the Orestes, Euripides presents a play which deviates in fundamental ways from everything that was previously established about many characters, most prominently Orestes and Helen. Rather than being put on trial for his mother’s murder in Athens with a human jury but divine antagonist (Furies), defense (Apollo), and judge (Athena) who acquits him of his crimes as in Aeschylus’ Eumenides, Orestes is placed on trial in Argos and is convicted and sentenced to death by an entirely human court. Rather than submit to his death sentence,

Orestes, Pylades, and Electra come up with a plan to escape punishment by killing Helen and taking Menelaus’ daughter Hermione hostage. The play ends with a standoff between Menelaus and Orestes which threatens all of the characters’ traditional mythological roles before Apollo intervenes. These plays represent some of the most prominent departures from mythic tradition in Euripides’ corpus and they also all contain a great deal intertextuality which helps to reinforce more common mythic versions as well as DEM prophecies, which help to bring the wayward myths back into line with their more established versions.

Euripides reinforces his version of the myth by making allusions to other versions throughout these plays. In the Electra, Euripides uses references and allusions to

Aeschylus in order to reference more traditional myths. Intertextuality with Aeschylus is most prominent just prior to Euripides’ recognition scene where Electra rejects the recognition tokens which her counterpart in Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers accepts.595 In his Helen, Euripides uses references and combinations of other conflicting versions of

595 Torrance (2013), 20-28. Also see Richardson (2010), 532 and Denson (2011), 539-540. 316

Helen’s character (particularly differing versions of her birth and parentage)596 to connect his version of Helen with multiple other versions in order to accumulate more characteristics which the audience could use to link his version of Helen with other versions which the audience may be familiar with.597 In addition to this technique,

Euripides also connects his Helen to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey by using name and place name allusions,598 background, and similarities in the basic situation and storyline599 in both authors to add reinforcement to his non-dominant version of Helen even as he greatly differs from Homer’s version of Helen’s character. Finally, in spite of the drastic changes to the storyline of Orestes and Helen in the Orestes, Euripides uses intertextuality and similar storyline patterns600 to connect his deviant version with the more stable version presented in Aeschylus’ Oresteia (as well as with other texts)601.

These references are not enough to bring the myth back into line; this is accomplished primarily in the DEM prophecies which predict a future for the characters that lines up with versions of their stories from other more traditional or popular versions.

In the Electra prophecy, Euripides accomplishes this by reestablishing cohesion with

Aeschylus by relating that Orestes will go to Athens to stand trial just as occurs in

Aeschylus’ famous Eumenides. In his Helen, Euripides reconnects his play to a certain extent with the Homeric version of Helen by having the Dioscuri prophecy that Helen and Menelaus will successfully reach Greece and thus link them up to where they are

596 Dale (1967), lines 16ff, pg 70. Similarly, Burian (2007), at lines 17-18, pg 192 and at line 21, pg 192. Also Gantz (1993), 318-320. 597 Reicher (2010), 129, also see Johnston (2015b), 207. 598 Burian (2007), at line 4-5, pg 191-192; at line 9-10, pg 191; at line 11-13, pg 191. 599 Blondell (2013), 207, 218; Austin (1994), 140, 156; Eisner (1980). 600 Torrance (2013), 47-55; Zeitlin (2003), 320-321. 601 Zeitlin (2003), 314-315, 323-326, 334-336, and 340-341. 317

supposed to be in Homer’s Odyssey: recently returned from Egypt and back at Sparta where they will speak with Telemachus about Odysseus. In addition to ensuring that

Helen and Menelaus will return to Greece as in Homer, Euripides also includes the detail that Menelaus will go to the Isle of the Blest after he dies, a prophecy which also occurs in the Odyssey (4.561-569).

While there were deviations from the norm in Euripides’ use of myth in the

Electra and the Helen, in both of those plays the change was not severe enough to truly challenge the basic aspects of the traditions concerning these characters. Electra and

Orestes do succeed in killing Aegisthus and Clytemnestra and Menelaus and Helen are already on their way back to Greece before the Dioscuri arrive. The situation in the

Orestes, however, is quite different. In the Orestes several aspects of the mythic tradition are threatened and are only resolved through the DEM appearance by Apollo at the end of the play. Apollo reestablishes the traditional stories for many characters. Up until the

DEM it is unclear what precisely has happened to Helen,602 Orestes claims that she has disappeared so the threat of her death (which would be completely outside of the mythic tradition) is removed, but her disappearance is still troubling. Apollo reveals that she has been saved and that she will be deified, which is in keeping with her divine status for the

Greeks in general. Apollo’s intervention also brings Orestes’ fate back into agreement with the basic traditions surrounding his character. The deviations in the play for Orestes were rather severe, Apollo essentially undoes the human trial and condemnation at Argos and reestablishes the Aeschylean version that Orestes will be acquitted in Athens, as well

602 Mastronarde (2010), 185. 318

as including another tradition concerning Orestes founding a city in Arcadia. Finally,

Apollo also addresses the fates of Pylades, Electra, Menelaus, Neoptolemus and even references two different traditions concerning Hermione. Thus the primary use of the

DEM in the Orestes (and a major function of the DEM prophecy in the Electra and

Helen) is to reestablish mythical norms that Euripides’ version threatened to deviate from.603

Euripides does more than connect his plays with other versions of the myths he relates; he often uses prophecy to connect his plays to other plays of his in the same narrative arc. The second half of the Electra DEM prophecy does not connect to an established version in Aeschylus or Homer but instead marks another departure from more traditional myth when Euripides reveals that Helen did not go to Troy but an eidolon went in her stead, thus following a non-dominant mythical variant which appears in Stesichorus and Herodotus. He follows up on this mythical thread in his Helen.

Moreover, in the DEM prophecy at the end of the Helen Euripides not only connects his wayward version back to a more traditional Homeric one but also he simultaneously promises the fulfillment of the prophecy that Menelaus and (an innocent) Helen are about to return from Egypt which the Dioscuri predicted at the end of his Electra. The prophesied arrival of Helen and Menelaus is brought to pass in the beginning of the

Orestes. Although it is a more Homeric Helen who arrives rather than the innocent Helen predicted in the Electra and Helen, Euripides creates an allusion to his own when he has

Electra comment that she is ‘the same old Helen’.

603 On the Orestes and the threat to the tradition see Mastronarde (2010), 192; Dunn (1996), 38; West (1987), at lines 1549-1693, pg 287. 319

Moreover, the beginning of the Orestes essentially acts as a sequel to Euripides’

Electra. The Orestes picks up mere days after the events of the Electra. Although at the end of the Electra, the Dioscuri predict the traditional continuation of Orestes’ story by telling him to go to Athens to stand trial for his mother’s murder, the play ends with the

Furies arrival to torment Orestes. The Orestes opens with Electra and Orestes still in

Argos, contrary to what was predicted for them in the Electra DEM, however, there is an easy way to reconcile these two versions and to view the Orestes as a sequel to the

Electra. It is possible that, given the arrival of the Furies at the end of the Electra,

Orestes and Electra were unable to escape Argos and head to Athens due to Orestes falling into a fit of Fury caused madness. This is precisely how we find Orestes at the beginning of the Orestes, incapacitated by the madness caused by the Furies. Finally, the

DEM at the end of the Orestes has Apollo confirm the prophecy by the Dioscuri in the

Electra that Orestes will go to trial for his mother’s murder in Athens and emerge from his ordeal victorious.

Euripidean DEM scenes are more than a way to fix a play which has gotten out of control. DEM scenes rarely have a major impact on the plot of the play or the major characters, but this does not mean that DEM scenes are extraneous. While the function of a DEM is not primarily plot related, these scenes can serve important functions particularly through the use of cult aitia and prophecy. DEM scenes not only wrap up any loose ends which may exist, but they also serve as a point of connection between the world of the play and the world of the audience. Cult aitia refer to specific cults and general cult practices which the audience would be familiar with in their own lives and


experiences. By including aitia for these cults Euripides creates a sense of continuity between the events of his play and the audience’s lives which lends weight to Euripides’ versions since the aftereffects of the events he portrays can be seen in the Athenians’ own reality. Euripides uses prophecy to similar effect. By prophesying subsequent events in his character’s mythological resumes, Euripides connects his version of events to other versions of these characters and myths. Like cult aitia, these prophecies and their connection to other myths that the audience would be familiar with help to normalize

Euripides’ version of events. This is particularly important for plays which deviate from more traditional mythological versions. Euripides is able to deviate more widely from established mythological storylines in the course of his plays by returning to mythological orthodoxy at the end of his plays through DEM prophecy.

There is still a great deal of work which could be done to further examine this topic. Future studies on Euripidean DEM could incorporate evidence from existing fragments and summaries of lost plays to deepen our understanding of how Euripides used DEM, cult aitia, and prophecy. Moreover, an exploration of the function of other divine appearances in Euripides such as divine prologues, mid-play intervention in

Euripides’ Heracles, and more indirect divine influence may also prove fruitful. Cult aitia and prophecy outside of DEM scenes could also yield interesting results. A comparative study of Euripides’ use of DEM versus instances of divine intervention in other authors such as the DEM in Sophocles’ Philoctetes, the appearance of Athena in

Sophocles’ Ajax, divine appearances in Aeschylus’ Eumenides, and the role of gods in

Prometheus Bound would also be valuable. Finally, I hope that in following Johnston’s


footsteps by incorporating Media Studies in my project to illuminate how Euripides uses myths there can be continued progress by adapting Media Studies concepts to other classical works of literature.

In this dissertation I have explored how Euripides used DEM, cult aitia, and concluding prophecy in his plays, specifically what the function of these devices was as well as how they serve to connect Euripides’ work to the world of the audience through cult and myth. Euripides used these devices as more than a convenient , a record of ritual practice, or reference to other myths. He used DEM and its accompanying devices for complex narratological, religious, and mythological reasons as well as to promote his own unique literary innovations. The use of a DEM at the end of the play allowed for increased connection between his play and the audience’s reality as well as for a striking and creative way to end a play. References to genealogies and cults that the Athenians were familiar with served to glorify Athens and its place in the Greek world. References to other versions of myths which his audience was familiar with served as a way for Euripides to create his own place in the existing tradition while at the same time lending a sense of orthodoxy to some of his more daring mythical variants.

Perhaps most of all Euripidean DEM and its cult references, and mythological and literary allusions created entertaining and pleasurable experiences and connections for the audience, thus increasing the popularity and prestige of his plays.



Andújar, Rose. 2016. “Uncles Ex Machina: Familial Epiphany in Euripides’ Electra”. Ramus, Vol. 45. No. 2. pp. 165-191. Arrowsmith, William, David Grene, Richmond Lattimore, Frank Jones, and Charles R. Walker 1958. Euripides, Volume 4: Rhesus; Suppliant Women; Orestes; Iphigenia in Aulis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Austin, Norman. 1994. Helen of Troy and Her Shameless Phantom. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. Barrett, James. 2002. Staged Narrative: Poetics and the Messenger in Greek Tragedy. Berkeley: University of California Press. Barrett, W.S. 1964. Euripides: Hippolytos. New York: Oxford University Press. Bilde, Pia Gualdager. 2009. ‘Quantifying Black Sea Artemis,’ in From Artemis to : The Goddess of Man and Beast. ed. Tobias Fischer-Hansen and Birte Paulsen. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum, pp. 303-332. Blondell, . 2013. Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation. New York: Oxford University Press. Bond, Godfrey. 1974. “Euripides’ Parody of Aeschylus,” Hermathena. Vol. 118, pp. 1- 14. Burian, Peter. 2007. Euripides: Helen. Oxford: Aris & Phillips Ltd. Burkert, Walter. 1985. Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical. Trans. John Raffan, Malden, M.A.: Blackwell Publishing LTD. Burnett, Anne Pippin. 1971. Survived: Euripides’ Plays of Mixed Reversal. New York: Oxford University Press. Burnett, Anne Pippin. 1962. “Human Resistance and Divine Persuasion in Euripides’ “Ion”. Classical Philology. Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 89-103. Burnett, Anne Pippin. 1970. Euripides Ion. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.


Buxton, Richard. 2013. Myths and Tragedies in their Ancient Greek Contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Calame, Claude. 2009. Greek Mythology: Poetics, Pragmatics and Fiction. Trans. Janet Lloyd, New York: Cambridge University Press. Campbell, A.Y. 1950. Euripides Helena. Liverpool: University Press of Liverpool. Chapouthier, Fernand and Louis Méridier. 1959. Euripide . Paris: Les Belles Lettres. Collinge, N. E. 1962. “Medea ex Machina.” Classical Philology. Vol 57, No 3, pp. 170- 172. Conacher, D. J. 1967. Euripidean Drama; Myth, Theme and Structure. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Cropp, M. J. 1988. Euripides Electra. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips Ltd. Cropp, M. J. 2000. Euripides Iphigenia in Tauris. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips Ltd. Cropp, Martin, and Gordon Fick. 1985. Resolutions and Chronology in Euripides: The Fragmentary Tragedies. London: Institute of Classical Studies, University of London. Cunningham, Maurice P. 1954. Medea apo Mēchanēs. London: Cambridge University Press. Cunningham, Maurice P. 1994. “Thoughts on Aeschylus: The Satyr Play Proteus: The Ending of the Oresteia”. LCM, Vol. 19. pp. 67-68. Dale, A.M. 1967. Euripides Helen. Oxford: Oxford University Press. De Jong, Ireen J. F. 2014. Narratology and : A Practical Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press. De Jong, Irene J. F., Rene Nünlist, and Angus M. Bowie. 2004. Narrators, Narratees, and Narratives in . Leiden: Brill. Denniston, J.D. 1939. Euripides Electra. London: Oxford University Press. Denson, Shane. 2011. “Marvel Comics’ Frankenstein: A Case Study in the Media of Serial Figures.” Amerikastudien/American Studies, Vol. 56. No. 4. Pp. 531-553. Deubner, Ludwig. 1969. Attische Feste. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. Dickey, Eleanor. 2007. Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical treatises, from their beginnings to the Byzantine period. New York: Oxford University Press. 324

Dickin, Margaret. 2009. A Vehicle for Performance: Acting the Messenger in Greek Tragedy. Lanham, Md: University Press of America. Diggle, J. 1981. Studies on the Text of Euripides. New York: Oxford University Press. Dodds, E.R. 1960. Euripides Bacchae edited with Introduction and Commentary. New York: Oxford University Press. Donadi, Francesco. 1974. In Margine alle Follia di Oreste. Roma: L’erma di Bretschneider. Duncan, Thomas Shearer. 1935. The Deus ex Machina in Greek Tragedy. St. Louis: Washington University Press. Dunn, Francis M. 2000. “Euripidean Aetiologies” The Classical Bulletin. Vol. 76. No. 1, pp. 3-27. Dunn, Francis M. 1996. Tragedy’s End: Closure and Innovation in Euripidean Drama. New York: Oxford University Press. Eisner, R. 1980. “Echoes of the Odyssey in Euripides’ Helen” Maia Vol 32, pp. 31-37. Ekroth, Gunnel. 2003. “Inventing Iphigeneia? On Euripides and the Cultic Construction of Brauron.” Kernos Vol 16, pp. 59-118. Elliott, Alan. 1969. Euripides Medea. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Farnell, Lewis Richard. 1977. The Cults of the Greek States. Vol. II. New York: Caratzas Brothers Faraone, Christopher A. 2003. “Playing the Bear and Fawn for Artemis: Female Initiation or Substitute Sacrifice?” in Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives: New Critical Perspectives. ed. David B. Dodd and Christopher A. Faraone. London: Routledge, pp. 43-68. Fletcher, Judith. 2011. Performing Oaths in Classical Greek Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Foley, Helene P. 1985. Ritual Irony: Poetry and Sacrifice in Euripides. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. Ford, Andrew L. 2010. “‘A Song to Match my Song’: Lyric Doubling in Euripides’ Helen.” in Allusion, Authority, and Truth: Critical Perspectives on Greek Poetic and Rhetorical Praxis. ed. Phillip Mitsis and Christos Tsagalis. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 283-302. Fusillo, M. (1992). “Was ist eine romanhafte Tragödie? Überlegungen zu Euripides’ Experimentalismus,” Poetica Vol 24, pp. 270-298.


Gantz, Timothy. 1993. Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Goldhill, Simon. 1986. Reading Greek Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gould, Thomas. 1990. The Ancient Quarrel between Poetry and Philosophy. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press. Graf, Fritz. 1993. Greek Mythology: An Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Graf, Fritz. 1997. “Medea, the Enchantress from Afar: Remarks on a Well-Known Myth.” in Medea. ed. James J. Clauss and Sarah Iles Johnston. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, pp. 21-43. Greenberg, Nathan A. 1962. “Euripides’ Orestes: An Interpretation”. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. Vol 66, pp. 156-192. Gregory, Justina. 1991. Euripides and the Instruction of the Athenians. Anne Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Hall, Edith. 2013. Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris: A Cultural History of Euripides’ Black Sea Tragedy. New York: Oxford University Press. Halleran, R. 1995. Euripides Hippolytus. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips Ltd. Halliwell, Stephen. 2002. The of Mimesis: Ancient Texts and Modern Problems. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press. Hammond, N.G.L. 1984. “Spectacle and Parody in Euripides’ Electra”. GRBS. Vol. 25, pp. 373-387. Hartigan, Karelisa V. 1991. Ambiguity and Self-Deception: The Apollo and Artemis Plays of Euripides. Pfrankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Heilman, R.B. 1968. Tragedy and : Versions of Experience. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Hoffer, Stanley E. 1996. “Violence, Culture, and the Workings of in Euripides’ Ion”. Classical Antiquity. Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 289-318. Hollinshead, Mary B. 1985. “Against Iphigenia’s Adyton in Three Mainland Temples”. American Journal of Archaeology. Vol. 89, No. 3, pp. 419-440.


Hunter, Richard. 2015. “Sweet Stesichorus: Theocritus 18 and the Helen revisited”. Stesichorus in Context. Ed. Patrick Finglass and Adrian Kelly. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 145-163. Jerram, C. S. 1892. Eurpides Helena. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Johnston, Sarah Iles. 1997. “Corinthian Medea and the Cult of Hera Akraia.” in Medea. ed. James J. Clauss and Sarah Iles Johnston. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, pp. 44-70. Johnston, Sarah Iles. 2015a. “The Greek Mythic Story World.” Vol. 48. No. 3, pp. 283-311. Johnston, Sarah Iles. 2015b. “Narrating Myths: Story and Belief in .” Arethusa. Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 173-218. Johnston, Sarah Iles. 1999. Restless Dead: Encounters between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece. Berkeley: University of California Press. Kahil, Lilly. 1965. Autour de l’Aretemis attique. Olten: Urs Graf-Verlag. Kannicht, Richard. 1969. Euripides Helena. Heidelberg: C. Winter. Ketterer, Robert C. 2013. “Skene, Altar and Image in Euripides’ Iphigenia among the Taurians.” in Performance in Greek and Roman Theater. ed. George W.M. Harrison and Vayos Liapis. Leiden: Brill, pp. 217-234. Kitto, H. D. F. 1961. Greek Tragedy, a Literary Study. New York: Barnes & Noble. Kindt, Julia. 2007. “Apollo’s Oracle in Euripides’ ‘Ion’”. Barkhius. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/oaiart?condigo=2511967. Kirk, Geoffrey S. 1970. The Bacchae by Euripides: A Translation with Commentary. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Inc. Knox, B.M.W. 1970. “Euripidean ,” in The Rarer Action: Essays in Honor of Francis Fergusson, ed. A. Cheuse and R. Koffier. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, pp. 68-96. Knox, B.M.W. 1977. “The Medea of Euripides,” Yale Classical Studies. Vol 25, pp. 193- 225. Kovacs, David. 1987. The Heroic Muse: Studies in the ‘Hippolytus’ and ‘Hecuba’ of Euripides. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Krevans, Nita. 1997. “Medea as Foundation-Heroine.” in Medea. ed. James J. Clauss and Sarah Iles Johnston. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, pp. 71-82.


Kyriakou, Poulheria. 2006. A Commentary on Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Lefkowitz, Mary R. 2016. Euripides and the Gods. New York: Oxford University Press. Lefkowitz, Mary R. 1989. “‘Impiety’ and ‘Atheism’ in Euripides’ Dramas” The Classical Quarterly Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 70-82. Lesky, Albin. 1983. Greek Tragic Poetry. New Haven: Press. Liddell, Henry George, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones, Roderick McKenzie, and E.A. Barber. 1996. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Lloyd, Michael. 1994. Euripides Andromache. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips Ltd. Lloyd-Jones. 1983. “Artemis and Iphigeneia”. The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. Vol. 103. pp. 87-102. Lombard, Daniel. 1988. “Hippolytus’ πάθει μάθος – The Lesson Portrayed in the ‘Hippolytus’ of Euripides”. Antike und Abendland Vol. 34, pp. 17-27. Marshall, C.W. 2014. The Structure and Performance of Euripide’s Helen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mastronarde, Donald J. 1990. “Actors on High: The Skene Roof, the Crane, and the Gods in Attic Drama”. Classical Antiquity. Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 247-294. Mastronarde, Donald J. 2010. The Art of Euripides: Dramatic Technique and Social Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mastronarde, Donald J. 2002. Euripides Medea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Matthiessen, Kjeld. 1964. Elektra, Taurische Iphigenie und Helena. Göttingen: Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht. Michelini, Ann Norris. 1987. Euripides and the Tragic Tradition. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. Mitchell-Boyask, Robin. 2008. Plague and the Athenian Imagination: Drama, History, and the Cult of Asclepius. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mittell, Jason. 2010. Television and American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. Morwood, James. 2000. Euripides Hecuba, The Trojan Women, Andromache. New York: Oxford University Press. Morwood, James. 2007. Euripides Suppliant Women. Oxford: Oxbow. Mossman, Judith. 2011. Euripides Medea. Oxford: Aris & Phillips. 328

Munteanu, Dana. 2012. Tragic Pathos: Pity and Fear in Greek Philosophy and Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Murray, Gilbert. 1923. The Choephoroe (Libation-Bearers) of Aeschylus. London: G. Allen & Unwin. Nagy, Gregory. 2013. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge, M.A.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Nagy, Gregory. 1979. The Best of the Achaeans: Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry. Baltimore, M.D.: John Hopkins University Press. Newiger, H.-J. 1961. “Elektra in Aristophanes’ Wolken”. Hermes Vol. 89. pp. 422-430. Norwood, Gilbert. 1954. Essays on Euripidean Drama. Berkeley: University of California Press. Norwood, Gilbert. 1960. Greek Tragedy. New York: Hill and Wang. OED Online. “deus ex machina, n.”. March 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.comoproxy.lib.ohio- state.edu/view/Engry/51373?redirectedFrom=deus+ex+machina (accessed May 20, 2016). O’Sullivan, Sean. 2013. “Serials and Satisfaction,” in and Victorianism on the Net, http://ravon-journal.org/. Owen, A. S. 1939. Euripides Ion. Bristol: Oxford University Press. Page, Denys L. 1938. Euripides Medea. London: Oxford University Press. Panoussi, Vassiliki. 2009. Greek Tragedy in Vergil’s “Aeneid”: Ritual, Empire, and Intertext. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pearson, A.C. 1903. The Helena of Euripides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Platnauer, M. 1938. Euripides Iphigenia in Tauris. London: Oxford University Press. Poole, Adrian. 1987. Tragedy: Shakespeare and the Greek Example. New York: Blackwell Press. Pucci, Pietro. 2016. Euripides’s Revolution under Cover: An . New York: Cornell University Press. Rehm, Rush. 1994. Marriage to Death: the Conflation of Wedding and Funeral Rituals in Greek Tragedy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.


Reicher, Maria E. 2010. “The of Fictional Characters.” in Characters in Fictional Worlds: Understanding Imaginary Beings in Literature, , and Other Media. ed. Jans Eder, Fontis Jannidis, and Ralf Schneider. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 111-133. Revermann, M. 2006. Comic Business: Theatricality, Dramatic Technique and Performance Contexts of Aristophanic Comedy. New York: Oxford University Press. Richardson, Brian. 2010. “Transtextual Characters.” in Characters in Fictional Worlds: Understanding Imaginary Beings in Literature, Film, and Other Media. ed. Jans Eder, Fontis Jannidis, and Ralf Schneider. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 527-541. Roisman, Hanna and Luschnig, C.A.E. 2011. Euripides’ Electra: A Commentary. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Rosenmeyer, Thomas G. 1963. The of Tragedy: Essays in Six Greek Dramas. Austin: University of Texas Press. Rynearson, Nicolas. 2014. “Creusa’s Palinode: Gender, Genealogy, and Intertextuality in the Ion”. Arethusa Vol. 47, No. 1. pp. 39-69. Schenker, D.J. 1995. “The Victims of Aphrodite: ‘Hippolytus’, 1403-1405”. . Vol 48. No 1. pp. 1-10. Schlegel, Friedrich. 1979. Studien des klassischen Altertums. Kritische Friedrich- Schlegel-Ausgabe 1.1, ed. Ernst Behler. Paderborn: Schöningh. Scodel, Ruth. 1980. The Trojan Trilogy of Euripides. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht. Scullion, Scott. 1999. “Tradition and Invention in Euripidean Aitiology”. Illinois Classical Studies Vol 24/25, pp. 217-33. Seaford, Richard. 2009. “Aitiologies of Cult in Euripides: A Response to Scott Scullion”. in The Play of Texts and Fragments: Essays in Honour of Martin Cropp. Leiden: Brill. pp. 219-234. Seaford, Richard. 2001. Euripides’ Bacchae. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips Ltd. Seaford, Richard. 1994. Reciprocity and Ritual: Homer and Tragedy in the Developing City State. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seaford, Richard. 2005. “Tragedy and Dionysus.” in A Companion to Tragedy. ed. Rebecca Bushnell, Malden, : Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 25-38. Segal, Charles. 1982. Dionysiac Poetics and Euripides’ Bacchae. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.


Segal, Charles. 1970. “Euripides’ Hippolytus and Scheler’s ‘Phenomenon of the Tragic’”. Arethusa. Vol 3, pp. 129-46. Segal, Charles. 1999. “Lament and Recognition: A Reconsideration of the Ending of the “Bacchae”. Illinois Classical Studies. Vol. 24/25, pp. 273-291. Segal, Erich. 1983. “Euripides: Poet of Paradox”. Oxford Readings in Greek Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 244-253. Seidensticker, Bernd. 1982. Palintonos Harmonia Band 72 Studien zu komischen Elementen in der grieschischen Tragödie. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Sommerstein, Alan H. 2010. Aeschylean Tragedy. London: Duckworth. Sourvinou-Inwood, Christiane. 1997. “The Hesiodic Myth of the Five Races and the Tolerance of Plurality in Greek Mythology”. Greek Offerings: Essays on Greek Art in Honour of John Boardman. Ed. Olga Palagia. Oxford: Oxbow , pp.1-21. Sourvinou-Inwood, Christiane. 1988. Studies in Girls’ Transitions: Aspects of the arkteia and Age Representation in Attic Iconography. Athens: Kardamitsa. Sourvinou-Inwood, Christiane. 2003. Tragedy and Athenian Religion. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books. Spira, Andreas. 1960. Untersuchungen zum Deus ex machina bei Sophokles und Euripides. Kallmünz/Opf: M. Lassleben. Stevens, P.T. 1971. Euripides Andromache. New York: Oxford University Press. Swift, Laura. 2008. Euripides: Ion. London: Duckworth. Swift, Laura. 2015. “Stesichorus on Stage.” Stesichorus in Context. Ed. Patrick Finglass and Adrian Kelly. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 125-144. Taxidou, Olga. 2012. “Dionysus and Divine Violence: A Reading of ‘The Bacchae’”. Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies. Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 1-13. Themelis, Petros G. 1971. Brauron: Guide to the Site and Museum. Athens: Apollon Publishers. Torrance, Isabelle. 2013. Metapoetry in Euripides. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Tzanetou, Angeliki. 2012. City of Suppliants: Tragedy and the Athenian Empire. Austin: University of Texas Press. Vernant, Jean Pierre. 1991. Mortals and Immortals: Collected Essays. Ed. Froma I. Zeitlin. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.


Verrall, A. W. 1895. Euripides the Rationalist: A Study in the History of Art and Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Verrall, A. W. 1890. The Ion of Euripides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wassermann, Felix Martin. 1940. “Divine Violence and Providence in Euripides’ Ion”. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. Vol. 71, pp. 587-604. West, M. L. 1987. Euripides Orestes. Warminster England: Aris & Phillips Ltd. West, M. L. 1975. Immortal Helen. London: Bedford College. Wilamowitz, Ulrich von. 1904. Griechische Tragoedien. Bd. 2, Orestie. Berlin: Weidmann. Willink, C. W. 1986. Euripides Orestes. New York: Oxford University Press. Wolff, C. 1992. “Euripides’ Iphigenia Among the Taurians: Aetiology Ritual and Myth”. CA. Vol. 11, pp. 308-334. Wright, Matthew. 2005. Euripides’ Escape-Tragedies: A Study of Helen, Andromeda, and Iphigenia among the Taurians. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Zacharia, Katerina. 2003. Converging : Euripides’ Ion and the Athenian Quest for Self-Definition. Leiden: Brill. Zacharia, Katerina. 1995. “The Marriage of Tragedy and Comedy in Euripides’ Ion”. in Laughter Down the Centuries, vol. II. Annales Universitatis Turkuensis, ser. B, tom. 213. Turku, pp. 45-63. Zeitlin, Froma. 2003. “The Closet of Masks: Role-Playing and Myth-Making in the Orestes of Euripides”, in Oxford Readings in Classical Studies: Euripides. Ed. Judith Mossman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 309-341. Zeitlin, Froma. 1985. “The Power of Aphrodite: and the Boundaries of the Self in the ‘Hippolytus’”. in Directions in Euripidean Criticism: A Collection of Essays. Ed. Peter Burian Durham. N.J.: Duke University Press, pp. 52-110. Zuntz, Gunther. 1955. The Political Plays of Euripides. Manchester: Manchester University Press.