Thebes I: Foundation (handout)

Thebes, in central Greece, had its own distinctive foundation myths, which combined divine origin, autochthony and immigrant stories. There are several myths of foundation: the walls were built by sons of Zeus, while the territory was laid out by Cadmus, a refugee fromAsia Minor, who peoples Thebes with the offspring of the Spartoi (‘the Sown Men’), warriors who grow from the ground when Cadmus plants the teeth of a monstrous snake. Featured in several Athenian tragedies, Thebes has been seen as a displaced location on which Athens enacts dangerous and confrontational ideas. This lecture investigates this idea by looking in detail at the anarchy wrought by Dionysus in Euripides’ Bacchae. Copyright 2013 Rhiannon Evans / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.

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