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Democratic Paideia in Aeschylus’ Suppliants

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image of Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought

The analysis of political language in Aeschylus’ Suppliants confirms the hypothesis that the form of government here represented is strongly influenced by contemporary Athens: prehistoric Argos turns out to be a sort of mirror of democratic Athens. It is no coincidence that the sequence running from the entrance of Pelasgus at l. 234 to the Danaids’ song of benediction (ll. 625-709) presents a dramatic pattern similar in several respects to that underlying in Eumenides 397-1002 (the scenes between the entrance of Athena and the Chorus’ prayer of blessing). Pelasgus (likewise Athena in Eumenides) imparts a sort of lesson on ‘democratic paideia’ to the Danaids, in view of their integration as metoikoi in the institutional structures of the polis.

Affiliations: 1: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore MilanoItaly


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