Euripides: The Children of Heracles


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The Children of Heracles is a powerful and challenging tragedy of exile and supplication. Driven from their homeland by Eurystheus, king of Argos, the children of Heracles flee as fugitives throughout Greece until they are granted protection in Athens. However, their acceptance as political refugees threatens to cause civil revolt among the Athenians and hostile invasion from the Argives. The self-sacrifice of Heracles' daughter ensures a victory for Athens and the Heraclidae, but Heracles’ mother Alcmene refuses to spare the life of Eurystheus, although he is a prisoner of war protected by Athenian law. The play shows the amorality of the powerful and the vulnerability of refugees in the most disturbing terms, making for a drama of continuing moral and political relevance to the modern world. Greek text with facing-page English translation, introduction and commentary.

“William Allan is rapidly establishing himself as a rising star in Euripidean studies.”
Ian C. Storey, Mouseion, 2004

Edition of Euripides’ The Children of Heracles. Greek text, with facing translation, introduction and commentary.

William Allan is Associate Professor of Classics at Oxford University and the author of The Andromache and Euripidean Tragedy (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Greek text © Oxford University Press 1984. Reprinted from Euripides: Fabulae Volume 1 edited by James Diggle (Oxford Classical Texts, 1984) by permission of Oxford University Press.

Author Information

William Allan is Associate Professor of Classics at Oxford University and the author of ‘The Andromache and Euripidean Tragedy’ (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Title Page5
Copyright Page6
General Editor S Foreword10
Abbreviations and Bibliography for The Children ofHerakles11
1. Myth25
2. Integrity and Structure of the Play38
3. Suppliant Tragedy42
4. Tragedy and History46
5. Setting and Staging49
6. The Heraclidae in Art55
7. The Date of the Play57
8. The Transmission of the Text59
Text and Translation62