City of Suppliants: Tragedy and the Athenian Empire

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

After fending off Persia in the fifth century BCE, Athens assumed a leadership position in the Aegean world. Initially it led the Delian League, a military alliance against the Persians, but eventually the league evolved into an empire with Athens in control and exacting tribute from its former allies. Athenians justified this subjection of their allies by emphasizing their fairness and benevolence towards them, which gave Athens the moral right to lead. But Athenians also believed that the strong rule over the weak and that dominating others allowed them to maintain their own freedom. These conflicting views about Athens' imperial rule found expression in the theater, and this book probes how the three major playwrights dramatized Athenian imperial ideology.

Through close readings of Aeschylus'Eumenides, Euripides'Children of Heracles, and Sophocles'Oedipus at Colonus, as well as other suppliant dramas, Angeliki Tzanetou argues that Athenian tragedy performed an important ideological function by representing Athens as a benevolent and moral ruler that treated foreign suppliants compassionately. She shows how memorable and disenfranchised figures of tragedy, such as Orestes and Oedipus, or the homeless and tyrant-pursued children of Heracles were generously incorporated into the public body of Athens, thus reinforcing Athenians' sense of their civic magnanimity. This fresh reading of the Athenian suppliant plays deepens our understanding of how Athenians understood their political hegemony and reveals how core Athenian values such as justice, freedom, piety, and respect for the laws intersected with imperial ideology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
Number of pages206
ISBN (Print)9780292737167
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Fingerprint

Athens
Tragedy
Allies
Imperial Ideology
League
Heracles
Oedipus
Persia
Drama
Homeless
Alliances
Justice
Civics
Benevolence
Moral Rights
Tyrant
Subjection
Fairness
Hegemony
Playwright

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

City of Suppliants : Tragedy and the Athenian Empire. / Tzanetou, Angeliki.

University of Texas Press, 2012. 206 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Tzanetou A. City of Suppliants: Tragedy and the Athenian Empire. University of Texas Press, 2012. 206 p.
@book{12220f8e98194853887eebbde3fc772f,
title = "City of Suppliants: Tragedy and the Athenian Empire",
abstract = "After fending off Persia in the fifth century BCE, Athens assumed a leadership position in the Aegean world. Initially it led the Delian League, a military alliance against the Persians, but eventually the league evolved into an empire with Athens in control and exacting tribute from its former allies. Athenians justified this subjection of their allies by emphasizing their fairness and benevolence towards them, which gave Athens the moral right to lead. But Athenians also believed that the strong rule over the weak and that dominating others allowed them to maintain their own freedom. These conflicting views about Athens' imperial rule found expression in the theater, and this book probes how the three major playwrights dramatized Athenian imperial ideology.Through close readings of Aeschylus'Eumenides, Euripides'Children of Heracles, and Sophocles'Oedipus at Colonus, as well as other suppliant dramas, Angeliki Tzanetou argues that Athenian tragedy performed an important ideological function by representing Athens as a benevolent and moral ruler that treated foreign suppliants compassionately. She shows how memorable and disenfranchised figures of tragedy, such as Orestes and Oedipus, or the homeless and tyrant-pursued children of Heracles were generously incorporated into the public body of Athens, thus reinforcing Athenians' sense of their civic magnanimity. This fresh reading of the Athenian suppliant plays deepens our understanding of how Athenians understood their political hegemony and reveals how core Athenian values such as justice, freedom, piety, and respect for the laws intersected with imperial ideology.",
author = "Angeliki Tzanetou",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9780292737167",
publisher = "University of Texas Press",

}

TY - BOOK

T1 - City of Suppliants

T2 - Tragedy and the Athenian Empire

AU - Tzanetou, Angeliki

PY - 2012/12/1

Y1 - 2012/12/1

N2 - After fending off Persia in the fifth century BCE, Athens assumed a leadership position in the Aegean world. Initially it led the Delian League, a military alliance against the Persians, but eventually the league evolved into an empire with Athens in control and exacting tribute from its former allies. Athenians justified this subjection of their allies by emphasizing their fairness and benevolence towards them, which gave Athens the moral right to lead. But Athenians also believed that the strong rule over the weak and that dominating others allowed them to maintain their own freedom. These conflicting views about Athens' imperial rule found expression in the theater, and this book probes how the three major playwrights dramatized Athenian imperial ideology.Through close readings of Aeschylus'Eumenides, Euripides'Children of Heracles, and Sophocles'Oedipus at Colonus, as well as other suppliant dramas, Angeliki Tzanetou argues that Athenian tragedy performed an important ideological function by representing Athens as a benevolent and moral ruler that treated foreign suppliants compassionately. She shows how memorable and disenfranchised figures of tragedy, such as Orestes and Oedipus, or the homeless and tyrant-pursued children of Heracles were generously incorporated into the public body of Athens, thus reinforcing Athenians' sense of their civic magnanimity. This fresh reading of the Athenian suppliant plays deepens our understanding of how Athenians understood their political hegemony and reveals how core Athenian values such as justice, freedom, piety, and respect for the laws intersected with imperial ideology.

AB - After fending off Persia in the fifth century BCE, Athens assumed a leadership position in the Aegean world. Initially it led the Delian League, a military alliance against the Persians, but eventually the league evolved into an empire with Athens in control and exacting tribute from its former allies. Athenians justified this subjection of their allies by emphasizing their fairness and benevolence towards them, which gave Athens the moral right to lead. But Athenians also believed that the strong rule over the weak and that dominating others allowed them to maintain their own freedom. These conflicting views about Athens' imperial rule found expression in the theater, and this book probes how the three major playwrights dramatized Athenian imperial ideology.Through close readings of Aeschylus'Eumenides, Euripides'Children of Heracles, and Sophocles'Oedipus at Colonus, as well as other suppliant dramas, Angeliki Tzanetou argues that Athenian tragedy performed an important ideological function by representing Athens as a benevolent and moral ruler that treated foreign suppliants compassionately. She shows how memorable and disenfranchised figures of tragedy, such as Orestes and Oedipus, or the homeless and tyrant-pursued children of Heracles were generously incorporated into the public body of Athens, thus reinforcing Athenians' sense of their civic magnanimity. This fresh reading of the Athenian suppliant plays deepens our understanding of how Athenians understood their political hegemony and reveals how core Athenian values such as justice, freedom, piety, and respect for the laws intersected with imperial ideology.

UR - http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/ 761845040

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84905210082&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84905210082&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Book

AN - SCOPUS:84905210082

SN - 9780292737167

BT - City of Suppliants

PB - University of Texas Press

ER -