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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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The Bacchants’ Gospel and the Greek City

The Bacchants’ Gospel and the Greek City

23. The Bacchants’ Gospel and the Greek City
Euripides’s Revolution under Cover

Pietro Pucci

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Bacchae's textual complexity to address the issue of which parts of the Dionysiac “gospel” and myth in the play are mythical or even invented, and which correspond to historical cult in the various Greek cities. It considers which religious features of Dionysism as presented in Bacchae's parodos would be accepted and integrated in the polis according to Teiresias's enlightened interpretation of Dionysus. It shows how the Chorus makes the charge of madness and folly regarding the intellectual arrogance of Pentheus and simultaneously presents the principles of their own “gospel.” It suggests that the sophia upheld by the Chorus is suitable to Teiresias's city, but is contradicted by the Bacchants at the end of the play.

Keywords:   gospel, myth, Greek cities, Dionysism, Bacchae, polis, Teiresias, Dionysus, sophia, Bacchants

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