Theseus and Athens

Hardcover | December 1, 1990

byHenry John Walker

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Theseus is celebrated as the greatest of Athenian heroes. This work explores what he meant to the Athenians at the height of their city-state in the fifth century B.C. Assembling material that has been scattered in scholarly works, Henry Walker examines the evidence for the development of themyth and cult of Theseus in the archaic age. He then looks to major works of classical literature in which Theseus figures, exploring the contradictions between the archaic, primitive side of his character and his refurbished image as the patron of democracy. His ambiguous nature as outsider,flouting accepted standards of behavior, while at the same time being a hero-king and a representative of higher ideals, is analyzed through his representations in the work of Bacchylides, Euripides, and Sophocles. This is the only work of scholarship that examines the literary representation ofTheseus so thoroughly. It brings to life a literary character whose virtues, flaws, and contradictions belong in no less a degree to his creators, the people of Athens.

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Theseus is celebrated as the greatest of Athenian heroes. This work explores what he meant to the Athenians at the height of their city-state in the fifth century B.C. Assembling material that has been scattered in scholarly works, Henry Walker examines the evidence for the development of themyth and cult of Theseus in the archaic age....

Henry John Walker is at Bates College.

other books by Henry John Walker

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.53 × 6.18 × 0.91 inPublished:December 1, 1990Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195089081

ISBN - 13:9780195089080

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"Through the quality of its scholarship, through the thoroughness of its detailed analyses, through the clarity of its style, this work certainly deserves high marks."--The Journal of Indo-European Studies