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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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Travel Tragedy

Travel Tragedy

(p.47) III Travel Tragedy
Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris

Edith Hall

Oxford University Press

An exploration of the prominence of the themes of travel and the sea in the play suggests that it offered Euripides' audience ways of thinking about the connections between the Black Sea cult of Artemis and the cults of Artemis and her brother Apollo at Delphi, as well as their association with Delos where their mother Leto had given birth to them and Olympia where their father Zeus reigned supreme. It asks who the historical Taurians were, and argues that the play gave the Greeks a picture they found endlessly fascinating of non-Greek life on the shores of the frightening northern Black Sea, a territory full of opportunity but also menace and danger. It bolstered the Greeks' sense of ethnic identity and superiority, to be sure, but also raised some questions about the right way of conducting inter-ethnic encounters during the process of colonisation.

Keywords:   Taurians, Apollo, Artemis, Delphi, Delos, Black Sea, travel, colonisation, ethnicity, Greek identity

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