A commentary of Euripides' Danae and Dictys
Euripides' Danae and Dictys belong to the Danae-myth, treating the earlier and subsequent phase of the legend, respectively. As far as the evidence allows, a cautious reconstruction of the plot of each play is attempted, based on interrogation of the fragmentary material and the testimonia. In this effort, Euripidean scene-construction, parallel thematic and structural patterns, parallel rhetoric and general rules of tragic practice are also taken into account as evidence for the dramatist's usage. As regards the generic affiliations of each play, the Danae may be paralleled to Euripides' Alope, Melanippe the Wise and Auge, all of which treated the clash of a royal daughter with her paternal oikos, due to the disclosure of her illicit motherhood resulting in most cases from her union with a god. The evidence for the Dictys indicates that it was probably built upon a central altar-scene (cf. E. Heraclidae, Andromache, Suppliant Women, Heracles, Helen) and that it had the features of a nostos-play, following the 'return- rescue-revenge' pattern (cf. the first part of the Heracles). The reception of both plays and their position in the transmission of Euripides are also explored, on the basis of the available evidence. This is the first commentary on Euripides' Danae and Dictys a detailed commentary on language, style, themes and values, aiming also to shed light on various aspects of Euripidean technique (e.g. his rhetoric, imagery, as well as staging directions, where possible). The exploration of issues raised by the fragmentary material seeks to complement our knowledge of Euripides' drama, as derived from surviving plays, which represent only a portion of the whole Euripidean oeuvre. Where appropriate, textual and philological matters are discussed, as well as questions of authenticity, such as a Danae 'hypothesis' and 'prologue' (the spurious fr. 1132 Kn.) transmitted in Euripides' manuscript P (Vaticanus Palatinus gr. 287, f 147v-148r).