Theseus and Athens
This work explores what Theseus, the greatest Athenian hero, meant to the Athenians at the height of their city-state in the fifth century BC. Assembling material that has been scattered throughout the literature, the author examines the evidence for the development of the myth and cult of Theseus, explores the contradiction between the archaic, primitive Theseus and his refurbished image as a patron of democracy, and analyses his ambiguous nature as an outsider through his representations in the work of Bacchylides, Euripides, and Sophocles. The book 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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