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Euripides’s Revolution under CoverAn Essay$
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Pietro Pucci

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700613

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700613.001.0001

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Political Philosophy: A Universal Program of Peace and Progress

Political Philosophy: A Universal Program of Peace and Progress

16. Political Philosophy: A Universal Program of Peace and Progress
Euripides’s Revolution under Cover

Pietro Pucci

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Euripides's political philosophy, reported under the name of Theseus, that envisions a universal program of peace and progress. At the beginning of Suppliant Women, Theseus presents a political theory, a serious analysis of human progress on the basis of which he rejects Adrastus's plea. He celebrates the universal process of diakosmesis, a process initiated by a god, and underscores as the first source of mankind's progress the effect of sunesis, “intelligence,” “consciousness,” “understanding.” This chapter discusses Theseus's idealistic politics, which envisioned peace, commerce, and intelligence. It considers the scholars' argument that the representation of Theseus as a sophist, setting forth a teleological view of the cosmos and its life, has no effect on the dramatic action that follows. It suggests that what makes Theseus's political theory idealistic is that it is not affected by any conflicts with otherness.

Keywords:   peace, Euripides, political philosophy, Theseus, progress, Suppliant Women, political theory, politics, commerce, intelligence

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