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Adventures with Iphigenia in TaurisA Cultural History of Euripides' Black Sea Tragedy$
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Edith Hall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195392890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392890.001.0001

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Iphigenia, Quest Heroine

Iphigenia, Quest Heroine

Chapter:
(p.27) II Iphigenia, Quest Heroine
Source:
Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris
Author(s):

Edith Hall

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392890.003.0002

The play helped make sense of the cult of Artemis and her bloody sacrifices not only as practised by the Euripides' contemporary Athenians at Brauron, Halai Araphenides and on the Acropolis but by Greeks wherever they took their goddess of wild animals, marshlands, hunting, healing, initiation and the biological aspects of women's lives—menarche, childbirth and death. The Tauric Iphigenia was one of their most attractive heroines, a brave, reflective and intelligent priestess of Artemis who is herself worthy of being celebrated forever, after she dies, in cult alongside the goddess. The play also provided a model of an idealised set of family relationships—a loving and loyal sister and brother, along with their friend and brother-in-law—surviving against the odds through pluck and solidarity, even after traumatic childhoods and family histories that have been anything but ideal.

Keywords:   Artemis, cult, Brauron, heroine, quest, priestess, women, initiation

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