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Article

Заметки о прологе "Алкесты" Еврипида

Вестник древней истории. 2020. Т. 80. № 2. С. 340-353.

The article proposes new interpretations of three passages from Euripides’ Alcestis. All of these passages are linked to one of two main themes of the tragedy, i.e. the antithesis of retribution and grace, and the contrast between persuasion and force. First, it is argued that τέκτονες in the phrase τέκτονας Δίου πυρὸς (on the Cyclopes) in v. 5 should be understood as ‘carpenters’ in the narrow sense and not generally as ‘craftsmen’. This interpretation links the representation of the Cyclopes as carpenters to the image of lightnings they forge as spears. The choice of the word τέκτονες is also caused by its phonetic similarity to κτείνω repeatedly used in the same passage; the Cyclopes’ craft is thus incorporated into the line of murders through which the law of mutual retribution works. In the second note, the meaning of the epithet ὅσιος referred to both Apollo and Admetus in v. 10 is discussed. It is demonstrated that the epithet describes the favours done by Apollo and Admetus to each other; thus, this word points to mutual favours contrasted to mutual retribution. In the third note, the meaning of δίκη in Apollo’s words to Thanatos (δίκην τοι καὶ λόγους κεδνοὺς ἔχω) is discussed. It is argued that δίκη is used here in the sense of arguing a case in a lawsuit: Apollo is going to limit himself to verbal arguments just as in a trial. Apollo’s δίκη is contrasted to the behaviour of Heracles, who acts by force and thus achieves his victory over Death.