The object of this research deals with the role played by the Erinyes in the Greek literature on Theban myth from the Odyssey to Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. These goddesses or daimones, who originally played an important role as punishers of blood crimes inside the family, extended greatly their prerogatives in the time: they intervene whenever they observe a violation in the natural order. In this way, they are connected with malediction (ara) and pollution (miasma). In the Theban myth, which presents family crimes in successive generations (Laius, Oedipus, Eteocles and Polyneikes), the Erinyes have to perform a great work. In this research texts as the Nekyia (Epikaste's Erinys), the Thebais, Pherekydes, Pindar's Olympian II, Aeschylus's Seven against Thebes and other ones are reexamined from this perspective. The comparison with the myth of Orestes (Aeschylus' Oresteia, Euripides' Orestes) will help to explain the ways of their intervention in Greek tragedy. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has some references to the Erinyes, but they don't play an important role. In fact, this tragedy is not focused on the history of a family and its crimes. Although it does not not entail a refusal of the curse extended to the whole genos, yet the action has a constant reference point on the protagonist. The leading role in the tragedy is played by the malediction and pollution. On one side, it is emphasized by the description of Thebes, prostrated by a pestilence, on the other, by the polluted protagonist invoked as the only one who can save the city. The focus on the main character doesn't allow to give much relevance to other aspects and figures of the Theban myth, as happened in previous versions. In this new perspective even the Erinyes are quite marginal. As a whole, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex describes an event reduced to its essential features, reconsidered in relation to the main character.

Brillante, C. (2014). Edipo e le Erinni: dall' Odissea all' Edipo Re. QUADERNI URBINATI DI CULTURA CLASSICA, n. s. 108(1), 11-45.

Edipo e le Erinni: dall' Odissea all' Edipo Re

BRILLANTE, CARLO
2014-01-01

Abstract

The object of this research deals with the role played by the Erinyes in the Greek literature on Theban myth from the Odyssey to Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. These goddesses or daimones, who originally played an important role as punishers of blood crimes inside the family, extended greatly their prerogatives in the time: they intervene whenever they observe a violation in the natural order. In this way, they are connected with malediction (ara) and pollution (miasma). In the Theban myth, which presents family crimes in successive generations (Laius, Oedipus, Eteocles and Polyneikes), the Erinyes have to perform a great work. In this research texts as the Nekyia (Epikaste's Erinys), the Thebais, Pherekydes, Pindar's Olympian II, Aeschylus's Seven against Thebes and other ones are reexamined from this perspective. The comparison with the myth of Orestes (Aeschylus' Oresteia, Euripides' Orestes) will help to explain the ways of their intervention in Greek tragedy. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has some references to the Erinyes, but they don't play an important role. In fact, this tragedy is not focused on the history of a family and its crimes. Although it does not not entail a refusal of the curse extended to the whole genos, yet the action has a constant reference point on the protagonist. The leading role in the tragedy is played by the malediction and pollution. On one side, it is emphasized by the description of Thebes, prostrated by a pestilence, on the other, by the polluted protagonist invoked as the only one who can save the city. The focus on the main character doesn't allow to give much relevance to other aspects and figures of the Theban myth, as happened in previous versions. In this new perspective even the Erinyes are quite marginal. As a whole, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex describes an event reduced to its essential features, reconsidered in relation to the main character.
Brillante, C. (2014). Edipo e le Erinni: dall' Odissea all' Edipo Re. QUADERNI URBINATI DI CULTURA CLASSICA, n. s. 108(1), 11-45.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11365/978653
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