Euripides: Phoenissae

(1520 words)
  • Laura Swift (The Open University)

Euripides’ Phoenissae was one of the most popular Greek tragedies in the Byzantine period, but has fallen out of favour in more recent times, and is now rarely staged. The precise date of its original production is uncertain, but scholars tend to place it between 411 and 409 BC (see Mastronarde 1994: 11-14). Like all Greek tragedies, it was produced for the festival of the Great Dionysia, and would have been staged in conjunction with two other tragedies and a satyr-play (a lighter play featuring a chorus of satyrs: mythological creatures famed for their debauchery). Phoenissae is set in heroic-age Thebes, after the reign of Oedipus and during the war between his sons Eteocles and Polynices: a topic which also formed …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Swift, Laura. "Phoenissae". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 October 2009
[, accessed 10 February 2016.]