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The Tangled Ways of ZeusAnd Other Studies In and Around Greek Tragedy$
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Alan H. Sommerstein

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568314.001.0001

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Sleeping safe in our beds: stasis, assassination, and the Oresteia

Sleeping safe in our beds: stasis, assassination, and the Oresteia

Chapter:
(p.143) 8 Sleeping safe in our beds: stasis, assassination, and the Oresteia
Source:
The Tangled Ways of Zeus
Author(s):

Alan H. Sommerstein (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568314.003.0009

This chapter shows that killing by night is a major theme of Aeschylus' Oresteia, from the sack of Troy, through the storm that wrecked the returning Greek fleet, to the murder of Klytaimestra and Aigisthos and Athena's description of the functions of the Areopagos Council. It suggests a connection with the murder of Ephialtes, which according to Diodoros took place at night (and which, pace David Stockton, was murder, not natural death); evidence is adduced that this assassination was still a topic of current debate in 458 BC. Some of Athena's words can be read as criticism of the Areopagos Council for failing to punish (or even for having among its own members) those popularly believed to be responsible for Ephialtes' death.

Keywords:   Aeschylus, Oresteia, murder, night, Ephialtes, Athena, Areopagos, assassination

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