The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


. Alcestis. b. c. 438. This play was brought out as the last of a tetralogy, and stood therefore in .the place of a satyric drama, to which indeed it jbears, in some parts, great similarity, particularly in the representation of Hercules in his cups. This circumstance obviates, of course, the objection against the scene alluded to, as a w lamentable in­terruption to our feelings of commiseration for the calamities of Admetus,"—an objection which, as. it seems to us, would even on other grounds be un­tenable. (See Herm. Dissert, de Eurip. Alcest., •prefixed to Monk's edition of 1837.) While, However, we recognize this satyric character in the Alcestis, we must confess that we cannot, as Miiller does, see anything farcical in the concluding scene.

Medea. b. c. 431. The four plays represented ?n this year by Euripides, who gained the third prize, were Medea, Philoctetis, Dictys, and Mes-sores or ©epurrai, a satyric drama. (See Hartung, Eur. Rest, pp. 332—374.)

Hippolytus Coronifer. b. c. 428. In this year Euripides gained the first prize. For the reason of the title Coronifer (ffrc(pavirj^>6pos), see vv. 72, &c. There was an older play, called the Veiled Hippo* lytus, no longer extant, on which the present tragedy was intended as an improvement, and in which the criminal love of Phaedra appears to have been represented in a more offensive manner, and as avowed by herself boldly and without restraint. For the conjectural reasons of the title Ka\vTrr6-pevos, applied to this former drama, see Wagner, Fragm. Eurip. p. 220, &c.; Valcken. Praef. in Hippol. pp. 19, 20 ; comp. Hartung. Eurip. Rest. pp. 41, &c., 401, &c.

Hecuba. This play must have been exhibited before B. c, 423, as Aristophanes parodies a pas­sage of it in the Clouds (1148), which he brought out in that year. Miiller says that the passage in the Hecuba (645, ed. Pors.), ffrtvei Se /cat ns k. t. A., " seems to refer to the misfortunes of the Spartans at Pylos in b. c. 425." This is certainly possible; and, if it is the case, we may fix the re­presentation of the play in b, c. 424.

Heracleidae. Miiller refers it, by conjecture, to B. c. 421.

Supplices. This also he refers, by conjecture, to about the same period.

Ion, of uncertain date.

Hercules Furens, of uncertain date*

Andromache, referred by Miiller, on conjecture, to the 90th Olympiad. (b; c. 420—417.)

Troades. B. c. 415.

Electra, assigned by Muller^ on conjecture and from internal evidence, to the period of the Sicilian expedition. (b.c. 415—413.)

Helena. b. c. 412, in the same year with the lost play of the Andromeda. (Schol, ad Arist. Tkesm. 1012.)

Iphigeneia at Tauri. Pate uncertain.

Orestes. B. c. 408.

Phoenissae. The exact date is not known ; but the play was one of the last exhibited at Athens by its author. (Schol, ad Arist. Ran. 53.)

Bacchae. This play was apparently written for representation in Macedonia, and therefore at a very late period of the life of Euripides. See above.

Iphigeneia at Aulis. This play, together with the Bacchae and the 'Alcmaeon, was brought out at Athens, after the poet's death, by the younger Euripides. [No. 3.]



Cyclops, of uncertain date. It is interesting a* the only extant specimen of the Greek satyrio drama, and its intrinsic merits seem to us to call for a less disparaging criticism than that which Miiller passes on it.

Besides the plays, there are extant five letters, purporting to have been written by Euripides. Three of them are addressed to king Archelaus, and the other two to Sophocles and Cephisophon respectively. Bentley, in a letter to Barnes (Bent* ley^s Correspondence, ed. Wordsw. vol. i. p. 64), mentions what he considers the internal proofs of their spuriousness, some of which, however, are drawn from some of the false or doubtful state­ments with respect to the life of Euripides. But we have no hesitation in setting them down as spurious, and as the composition of some later dp€ra\6yos, though Barnes, in his preface to them, published subsequently to Bentley's letter, declares that he who denies their genuineness must be either very impudent or deficient in judgment.

The editio princeps of Euripides contains the Medea, Hippolytus, Alcestis, and Andromache, in capital letters. It is without date or printer's name, but is supposed, with much probability, to have been edited by J. Lascaris, and printed by Pe Alopa, at Florence, towards the end of the 15th century. In 1503 an edition was published by Aldus at Venice: it contains 18 plays, including the Rhesus and omitting the Electra. Another, published at Heidelberg in 1597, contained the Latin version of Aemil. Portus and a fragment of the Danac, for the first time, from some ancient MSS. in the Palatine library. Another was pub­lished by P. Stephens, Geneva, 1602. In that of Barnes, Cambridge, 1694, whatever be the defects of Barnes as an editor, much was done towards the correction and illustration of the text. It contains also many fragments, and the spurious letters. Other editions are that of Musgrave, Oxford, 1778, of Beck, Leipzig, 1778—88, of Matthiae, Leipzig, 1813—29, in 9 vols. with the Scholia and frag-^ ments, and a variorum edition, published at Glasgow in 1821, in 9 vols. 8vo. The fragments have been recently edited in a separate form and very satis­factorily by Wagner, Wratislaw, 18 44. Of separate plays there have been many editions, e. g. by Por-son, Elmsley, Valckenaer, Monk, Pflugk, and Her-^ mann. There are also numerous translations of different plays in several languages, and the whole works have been translated into English verse by Potter, Oxford, 1814, and into German by Bothe, Berlin, 1800. The Jocasta, by Gascoigne and Kinwelmarsh, represented at Gray's Inn in 1566, is a very free translation from; the Phoenissae, much being added, omitted, and transposed.

3. The youngest of the three sons of the above, according to Suidas. After the death of his father he brought out three of his plays at the great Dio-nysia, viz. the Alcmaeon (no longer extant), the; Iphigeneia at Aulis, and the Bacchae. (Schol. ad Arist. Ran. 67.) Suidas mentions also a nephew of the great poet, of the same name, to whom he ascribes the authorship of three plays, Medea, Orestes, and Polyxena^ and who, he tells us,.gained a prize with one of his uncle's tragedies after the death of the latter,. It is probable that the son and. the nephew have been confounded, Aristo? phanes too (Eccles. 825, 826, 829) mentions a cer-^ tain Euripides who had shortly before proposed a property-tax of a fortieth. The proposal made him

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of