Sophocles and Alcibiades: Athenian Politics in Ancient Greek Literature

Sophocles and Alcibiades: Athenian Politics in Ancient Greek Literature

by Michael Vickers

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Literary historians have long held the view that the plays of the Greek dramatist, Sophocles deal purely with archetypes of the heroic past and that any resemblance to contemporary events or individuals is purely coincidental. In this book, Michael Vickers challenges this view and argues that Sophocles makes regular and extensive allusion to Athenian politics in his plays, especially to Alcibiades, one of the most controversial Athenian politicians of his day.Vickers shows that Sophocles was no closeted intellectual but a man deeply involved in politics and he reminds us that Athenian politics was intensely personal. He argues cogently that classical writers employed hidden meanings and that consciously or sub-consciously, Sophocles was projecting onto his plays hints of contemporary events or incidents, mostly of a political nature, hoping that his audience's passion for politics would enhance the popularity of his plays. Vickers strengthens his case about Sophocles by discussing other authors - Thucydides, Plato and Euripides - in whom he also demonstrates a body of allusions to Alcibiades and others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781317492917
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/05/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Michael Vickers is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, Senior Research Fellow in Classical Studies at Jesus College, Oxford, and Curator of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. His books include Pericles on Stage: Political Comedy in Aristophanes' Early Plays.

Table of Contents

Preface 1. The mythologizing of history 2. Antigone, Pericles and Alcibiades 3. Oedipus Tyrannus, Alcibiades, Cleon and Aspasia 4. Ajax, Alcibiades and Andocides 5. Philoctetes, Alcibiades, Andocides and Pericles 6. Alcibiades in exile: Euripides' Cyclops 7. Oedipus at Colonus, Alcibiades and Critias 8. Critias and Alcibiades: Euripides' Bacchae 9. Alcibiades and Melos: Thucydides 5.84-116 10. Thucydides on tyrannicides: not a 'digression' 11. Alcibiades and Persia (and more Thucydidean 'digressions') 12. Alcibiades and Critias in the Gorgias: Plato's 'fine satire' Epilogue Bibliography Index locorum Index

What People are Saying About This

Gabriel Herman

"This book contains a very important finding, which is likely to inject an entirely new, hitherto by and large unsuspected, element into the study of Greek drama. Thoroughly original, this book constitutes an important landmark in the study of Greek tragedy."

Barry Strauss

"Michael Vickers has written an ingenious, original, and scholarly book on an important subject. It is an argument that students of period need to take into account. Vickers is doing truly seminal work."

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