Rhesus

is one of the plays preserved as a selection of the works of Euripides, whose authorship will be discussed below. It is modeled on Book Ten of the

Iliad

, the so-called

Doloneia

; indeed this drama is the only surviving dramatization of a Homeric story, except for Euripides’ satyr-play C

yclops

.

The section of the Iliad known as the Doloneia is our earliest treatment of the legend of Rhesus, king of Thrace and owner of the best horses in the world after those of Achilles. Because the Trojans have advanced up to the Greek defensive moat, the Greeks have to take measures. They organize a reconnaissance mission by Diomedes and Odysseus that leads to the death of Dolon, a Trojan spy sent by Hector, and to the cruel slaughter of sleeping Rhesus and twelve of his companions, who have just

3252 words

Citation: Francisetti Brolin, Sonia. "Rhesus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 January 2018 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=38822, accessed 12 June 2024.]

38822 Rhesus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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