Aeschylus: Suppliant Maidens

(2734 words)
  • K. Paul Bednarowski (The University of Maryland)

Suppliant Women is an early, and the only surviving, play in a connected tetralogy that treated the myth of the Danaids, the daughters of Danaus who marry their cousins, the sons of Aegyptus, only to kill them on their wedding night. The fourth play, a comedic performance in which satyrs formed the chorus, dramatized how the god Poseidon saved the Danaid Amymone from rape and then seduced her. Suppliant Women was once thought to be the oldest extant Greek drama due to its preponderance of sung lyrics, archaic composition, and sparing use of its second speaking actor as compared to the three actors of later tragedy. A fragmentary notice published in 1952 (Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2256 fr. 3), however, p…

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.

Bednarowski, K. Paul. "Suppliant Maidens". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 June 2013
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]