Complete works of Euripides

February 23, 2019|
Complete works of Euripides by Anthony Martinez
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It is possible to reconstruct only the sketchiest biography of Euripides. His mother’s name was Cleito; his father’s name was Mnesarchus or Mnesarchides. One tradition states that his mother was a greengrocer who sold herbs in the marketplace. Aristophanes joked about this in comedy after comedy; but there is better indirect evidence that Euripides came of a well-off family. Euripides first received the honour of being chosen to compete in the dramatic festival in 455, and he won his first victory in 441. Euripides left Athens for good in 408, accepting an invitation from Archelaus, king of Macedonia. He died in Macedonia in 406.

Euripides’ only known public activity was his service on a diplomatic mission to Syracuse in Sicily. He was passionately interested in ideas, however, and owned a large library. He is said to have associated with Protagoras, Anaxagoras, and other Sophists and philosopher-scientists. His acquaintance with new ideas brought him restlessness rather than conviction, however, and his questioning attitude toward traditional Greek religion is reflected in some of his plays. Of Euripides’ private life, little can be said. Later tradition invented for him a spectacularly disastrous married life. It is known that he had a wife called Melito and produced three sons. One of these was something of a poet and produced the Bacchants after his father’s death. He may also have completed his father’s unfinished play Iphigenia at Aulis.


The ancients knew of 92 plays composed by Euripides. Nineteen plays are extant, if one of disputed authorship is included. At only four festivals was Euripides awarded the first prize—the fourth posthumously, for the tetralogy that included Bacchants and Iphigenia at Aulis. As Sophocles won perhaps as many as 24 victories, it is clear that Euripides was comparatively unsuccessful. More to the point is that on more than 20 occasions Euripides was chosen, out of all contestants, to be one of the three laureates of the year. Furthermore, the regularity with which Aristophanes parodied him is proof enough that Euripides’ work commanded attention. It is often said that disappointment at his plays’ reception in Athens was one of the reasons for his leaving his native city in his old age; but there are other reasons why an old poet might have left Athens in the 23rd year of the Peloponnesian War.

Title:Complete works of EuripidesFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 23, 2019Publisher:Lighthouse Books for Translation PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3593301261

ISBN - 13:9783593301266

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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