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Abstract

This paper re-examines the treatment of Athena in some passages of Aristophanes' Knights along the lines of a previous study by C.A. Anderson (1991 and 1995). Two topics will be considered: the dream-oracles of Athena (Eq. 1090-5), and some epithets characterizing the goddess during the food-serving contest (Eq. 1172-81). The Paphlagonian's and Sausage-Seller's portraits of Athena are self-referential images in that they are able both to play a significant 'dramatic' role in the contest for the steward-ship of Dêmos, by preparing for the final fate of each character within the comic plot (Eq. 1090-5), and to mirror, respectively, the war-mongering, grasping and violent nature of Cleon (Eq. 1172-81), and the poet's and Athenians' political ideal. By focusing on the self-referential nature of the Paphlagonian's portrait of Athena, I shall argue that Athena's image also resonates with a particular trait of Cleon, which is a constant object of Aristophanes' denunciation concerning the manipulative politics of the demagogue, i.e. his tendency to make people believe that the polis' welfare is his main concern; in other words, his pretense to be a good leader, sincerely interested in the citizens' well-being. This meaning of the Paphlagonian's portrait of Athena is corroborated by the characterization of the goddess through specific epithets in the food-serving contest.

In: Mnemosyne
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Euripides
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Euripides
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Euripides
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Euripides
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Sophocles
In: Portraits of Medea in Portugal during the 20th and 21st Centuries
In: Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought
Brill's Companion to the Reception of Sophocles offers a comprehensive account of the influence, reception and appropriation of all extant Sophoclean plays, as well as the fragmentary Satyr play The Trackers, from Antiquity to Modernity, across cultures and civilizations, encompassing multiple perspectives and within a broad range of cultural trends and manifestations: literature, intellectual history, visual arts, music, opera and dance, stage and cinematography. A concerted work by an international team of specialists in the field, the volume is addressed to a wide and multidisciplinary readership of classical reception studies, from experts to non-experts. Contributors engage in a vividly and lively interactive dialogue with the Ancient and the Modern, which, while illuminating aspects of ancient drama and highlighting their ever-lasting relevance, offers a thoughtful and layered guide of the human condition.
Brill's Companion to the Reception of Euripides provides a comprehensive account of the influence and appropriation of all extant Euripidean plays since their inception: from antiquity to modernity, across cultures and civilizations, from multiple perspectives and within a broad range of human experience and cultural trends, namely literature, intellectual history, visual arts, music, opera and dance, stage and cinematography. A concerted work by an international team of specialists in the field, the volume is addressed to a wide and multidisciplinary readership of classical reception studies, from experts to non-experts. Contributors engage in a vividly and lively interactive dialogue with the Ancient and the Modern which, while illuminating aspects of ancient drama and highlighting their ever-lasting relevance, offers a thoughtful and layered guide of the human condition.