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The Prologue of Iphigenia Aulidensis Reconsidered

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Abstract The authenticity of the prologue of Iphigenia Aulidensis, as it is preserved in the MSS, has been questioned by many scholars. Apart from its metrical form and style (which are discussed only briefly here), the students of the play point out two crucial problems concerning the internal consistency of the plot. First, lines 124-32 become superfluous when they are confronted with lines 106-7. Secondly, there is an inconsistency between the passages implying that Calchas’ oracle and the plan of luring Iphigenia to Aulis was known only to Calchas, Odysseus, Menelaus and Agamemnon and those according to which the whole Greek army was aware of Agamemnon’s ruse. The present discussion aims to show that the simplest way to remove both inconsistencies is to exclude as interpolated lines 105-10, without the necessity either of deleting the subsequent passage (lines 111-14), suspected by many scholars, or of questioning the authenticity of the prologue as a whole. Additionally, it is suggested that the interpolator was probably thinking of E. IT 15-25 and 521-49.

Affiliations: 1: University of Warsaw, Institute of Classical Studies, Krakowskie Przedmieście 1, 00927 Warsaw Poland


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