Difference between revisions of "Tragedies of Euripides"
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Euripides was an Athenian tragic poet/playwright who lived c. 485-406 BCE, making him the youngest of the three great Athenian tragedians – the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Little is known about his life, though we do know that he was interested in the human mind and therefore associated with sophists such as Anaxagoras, Socrates and Protagoras, disregarding the temptation of using his fame to become a prominent political player in Athens. Euripides won just four victories at the famous Dionysia theater competition, ranking him much lower than Aeschylus and Sophocles, with 13 and 18 victories respectively. However, more than twice of Euripides’ plays have survived to modern times than of Aeschylus or Sophocles. Euripides allegedly wrote 92 plays, 80 for which titles are known, and 19 of which are extant. Extreme emotions and unorthodox events are prevalent in Euripides’ writing (often shown through the use of the Chorus) as his characters battle societal pressures, torturous situations, and inner conflicts – highlighting “his awareness that personality is inherently a fragmented thing, different aspects being displayed at different times.” Though toward the end of his life, not only did Euripides leave plays unperformed, but his plays became less tragic offering audiences an easier experience without having to face painful reality as closely. Additionally, the importance of the Chorus and the prevalence of songs decreased in these later plays.
This particular collection of Euripides’ tragic plays is in two volumes containing all of his eighteen extant tragedies. The first volume includes The Bacchae, Ion, Alcestis, Medea, The Phoenician Virgins, Hippolytus, The Suppliants, Hercules, and The Heraclidae. The second volume includes Iphigenia in Aulis, Rhesus, The Trojan Dames (The Trojan Women), Hecuba, Helena, Electra, Orestes, Iphigenia in Tauris, and Andromache. The only extant work excluded is Cyclops, a satyr play.
|The Tragedies of Euripides|
Title page from The Tragedies of Euripides, volume one, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.
|Translator||dedication signed: "R. Potter."|
|Published||London: Printed for J. Dodsley, Pall-Mall|
|Volumes||2 volume set|
|Desc.||29 cm. (4to). Colophon in v.1: "Sold by Mr. Dodsley, Pall-Mall, and Mr. Evans, Pater-noster-Row."
Half-title in each volume. Each play has separate divisional title-page. Pagination: v.1: xvi, , 687,  p. -- v.2: vii, , 677,  p.,  leaf of plates. Engraved portrait of author on v.1 title-page, signed "I.K. Sherwin, sculp."; tail-pieces; engraved frontispiece illustration (plate). Includes list of subscribers. Includes errata. Publisher's advertisements on last page in v.1.
The Reverend Robert Potter (1721-1804) came to fame through his 1777 translation of Aeschylus, the first into English of that author. His obvious next step was to translate Euripides, but this project was delayed by a collaborative attempt at Pindar's Odes taken on for financial reasons. As a result, Potter's translation just missed being the first complete translation into English, an honour taken instead by Wodhull. Potter did, however, receive more favourable response from reviewers, and went on to translate Sophocles as well in 1788.
Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library
Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy
Bound in contemporary speckled calf with flat spines with red morocco lettering pieces. Purchased from Blackwell Rare Books.
View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.
- "Euri'pidēs” in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, ed. by M.C. Howatson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
- http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780192801463.001.0001/acref-9780192801463-e-853 "Euripidēs"] in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. by John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).