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Ion of Chios: Tragedy as commodity at the athenian exchange

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Chapter Summary

A recent focus of scholarly attention has been how far the "Athenian" tragedy had spread its wings through Greece already during the fifth century. Against this scholarly backdrop, the tragic success of Ion of Chios on the Athenian stage provides an opportunity to sound out these interpretative frameworks in a very specific way. A general dependence upon epic narrative as a source is evident from the scattered surviving titles of Ion's plays. In schematic terms, these plays deal with two sets of subject matter, both of which are familiar from epic sources, namely stories about Heracles and the story of the war at Troy. This chapter focuses on several fragments from six plays in detail for what light they may cast on Ion's activity as a tragic playwright. The six plays are Alcmene, Eurytidai, Agamemnon, Laertes, Teukros, and Phrouroi.

Keywords: Agamemnon; Alcmene; Athenian tragedy; Eurytidai; Greece; Heracles; Ion of Chios; Laertes; Phrouroi; Teukros



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