Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound

BookAeschylus: Prometheus Bound

Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound

Aris & Phillips Classical Texts


October 25th, 2005





The play's title figure has long held a central place in the 'libertarian' stream of Western culture, but controversies continue to swirl about the work and its hero. What are we to make of Prometheus's extravagant claims? Was he, as he insists, the only force that stood between the human race and extinction? Can Zeus really have been as misanthropic as his adversary paints him? Are we, in short, to think of Prometheus as a genuine hero, or merely as a megalomaniac rebel without sufficient cause? As for the play itself, the present editor, flying in the face of current orthodoxy, takes the view that the case against Aeschylean authorship has not been established. But this lingering doubt should do nothing to diminish its stature as a masterpiece of ancient Greek drama. The volume presents the original Greek text with facing-page translation, commentary and notes.

"The Introduction is worth the price of the book on its own. But the Commentary too is superb...every school and University Classics Department should purchase at least one copy."
Robert Tatam, JACT Review, 2006
© A. J. Podlecki 2005

Author Information

Anthony J. Podlecki is a retired Professor of Classics at the University of British Columbia. He has written many books, with a major focus on the interaction between the literature and the history of ancient Greece of the archaic and classical periods. These include 'Perikles and his Circle' (Routledge) and 'The Political Background to Aeschylean Tragedy' (Bristol Classical Press).

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Editor's Preface
1. Prometheus, Bringer-of-fire
2. Prometheus in archaic Greece
3. Associated myths
4. Near Eastern parallels
5. Prometheus in fifth-century cult
6. Prometheus philanthropes: the fifth-century idea of progress
7. The Prometheus Bound in its trilogy; possible sequels
8. The "Problem" of Zeus
9. Prometheus in ancient Greek art
10. True Promethean fire
11. The Text of Prometheus Bound
Symbols in the Apparatus Criticus
Greek Text (with Apparatus) and facing Translation
1. The Authenticity of Prometheus Bound
2. The Geography of Prometheus Bound
Bibliography and Abbreviations