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Lectures 14 and 15: Euripides

A RECENT German investigator, who has done much to elucidate the philosophical element in Euripides, affirms that “there is hardly a single important problem that stirred his age, hardly a single theory in Greek philosophy before and during his lifetime, of which Euripides does not take account.”1 His men and women constantly speak the language of the period of “Enlightenment”; and it is chiefly as the poetical interpreter of the age of the Sophists that Euripides demands our attention in a survey of Greek religious thought.

Let us first attempt to answer the question: What position does Euripides usually take up with reference to the recognised Gods of Greece?

Perhaps the best way of approaching this subject is to consider the part played by the Gods in one or two of Euripides' most characteristic plays. The Hippolytus and the Mad Heracles will serve our purpose best. The first of these tragedies was put upon the stage in 429 B.C. The date of the second is uncertain; but scholars are agreed that it is considerably later than the Hippolytus, though not among the latest of the poet's dramas.

The subject of the Hippolytus is the vengeance which the Goddess Aphrodite exacts from the hero after whom the play is named. In the prologue, Aphrodite tells how the chaste Hippolytus has slighted her in word and deed, and declares her intention of revenging herself by a plot involving Phaedra's destruction as well as his. Presently Phaedra comes upon the stage, a great and noble character, torn with shame and remorse on account of the passion which by Aphrodite's designs she has involuntarily conceived for her stepson. The nurse, after eliciting her mistress' secret, proceeds to tempt her by appealing to the example of the Gods.

“Whoso have scrolls writ in the ancient days, And wander still themselves by paths of song, They know how Zeus of yore desired the embrace Of Semelê; they know how radiant Dawn Up to the Gods snatched Kephalus of yore, And all for love; yet these in Heaven their home Dwell, neither do they flee the face of Gods.”2

It is more than folly, she urges, it is positive sin (ὕβρις), for mortals to resist, where immortals yield.3 Phaedra remains firm; but her temptress, uttering a prayer to Aphrodite, quits the stage, and, having first pledged him to secrecy, betrays the truth to Hippolytus. Overcome with indignation and horror, the youth threatens at first to publish the scandal, regardless of the oath he has sworn;4 but in the sequel he submits to exile and death, without proving false to his plighted word. On hearing that her secret has been betrayed, Phaedra resolves to die. In the next act, Theseus, who has been on a pilgrimage to the seat of Apollo, the God of joy, arrives upon the scene, and is greeted with the news of his wife's suicide. Presently he espies a tablet in the hand of the dead Phaedra—it is part of the divine purpose that Phaedra should falsely accuse her stepson of disloyalty to his father's bed. He seizes it eagerly and reads. Beside himself with horror, Theseus appeals to the God Poseidon to fulfil upon the head of Hippolytus one of the three curses he had promised him of old. In the following scene, Hippolytus protests his innocence, but without avail; he is condemned to perpetual exile by his father. The end soon comes. Poseidon frightens the hero's steeds by a monster sent miraculously from the sea; and the mangled Hippolytus is carried home to die. Before his arrival, Artemis appears, the virgin Goddess to whom Hippolytus had consecrated his life; and the truth is made known to Theseus. The last two scenes are full of an infinite pathos. The dying Hippolytus forgives his father; to Artemis he is faithful unto death.

“Ah, perfume-breath celestial!—'mid my pains I feel thee, and mine anguish is assuaged.”5

But he is keenly conscious of the injustice of his fate.

“Lo, how am I thrust Unto Hades, to hide My life in the dust! All vainly I reverenced God, and in vain unto man was I just.”6

Whatever may be the leading idea of this powerful play, it will scarcely be denied that the author intends to represent the Gods in an unfavourable light. Towards the end, indeed, Euripides covertly impugns the principle on which he suggests that the entire Olympic pantheon is based. A great French critic has truly said that “the presence of Artemis by the side of the dying Hippolytus, desirous to weep and regretting that her divinity prevents her, gives to the closing scene a character of ideal nobility and religious elevation not elsewhere found.”7 The religious difficulty nevertheless remains. Why, if Artemis so loved Hippolytus, did she not interpose to save him? The point did not escape Euripides; and here is the answer he makes Artemis give:

“For Kypris willed that all this should befall To glut her spite. And this the Gods' wont is:—None doth presume to thwart the fixed design Willed by his fellow: still aloof we stand. Else be thou sure that, but for dread of Zeus, I never would have known this depth of shame, To suffer one, of all men best beloved Of me, to die.”8

If this is the principle on which Olympus is organised, little wonder that things go wrong. Such is the moral Euripides probably intended to suggest. There is a world of difference between the spirit of these lines and the ἔτι μϵ́γας οὐρανῳ̑ Ζϵύς of Sophocles: “Courage, my child, still great in heaven is Zeus, who sees and governs all! ”

In the Madness of Heracles, we have the story of Hera's persecution of her stepson. Before setting out for the underworld to bring up Cerberus, the hero had entrusted Amphitryon, his reputed father, as well as his wife and children, to the protection of his father-in-law, Creon, king of Thebes. During Heracles' absence, Lycus of Euboea invaded Thebes, slew Creon, and usurped the throne; after which, believing Heracles to be lost, and fearing lest the sons of Heracles should grow up to avenge the murder of their grandfather, he purposed to destroy them, together with Megara their mother, and Amphitryon. At this point the action of the play begins. Amphitryon and the others have taken refuge at the altar of Zeus Soter, relying on him to save the offspring of his son. It is unnecessary for us to dwell on the first half of the play, beyond referring to the characteristic passage in which Amphitryon expostulates with Zeus, after Megara and her children have left the altar to array themselves in the robes of death.9 The apparently providential arrival of Heracles shows, however, that these reproaches are either undeserved or premature. The usurper is slain; and the Chorus sing a song of thanksgiving for the deliverance wrought by Zeus. For one brief moment all seems well; but suddenly the dreadful spectre of Lyssa (Frenzy) appears above the palace, accompanied by Iris, the messenger of Heaven. Now that Heracles' labours are fulfilled, Zeus withdraws his protection, and Hera is permitted to work her will. In a paroxysm of homicidal madness, the father—so Iris explains—is to massacre the children he has just saved. It is in vain that Lyssa herself appeals for mercy: the only answer vouchsafed by Iris is

“Dare not with thine admonitions trammel Hera's schemes and mine!”10

In the messenger's speech describing Heracles' madness and the fate of his unhappy wife and children, the poet displays even more than his accustomed power; but for us the interest begins again at the point where the hero awakes out of the sleep into which he has been cast by the merciful intervention of Pallas—almost the only Goddess from whom Euripides refrains his sacrilegious hand. On hearing the full extent of his misfortune, Heracles has thoughts of suicide; but before there is time to execute his purpose, Theseus, king of Athens, arrives upon the scene. Overwhelmed by despair, and apprehensive of communicating pollution to his friend, Heracles sits cowering in silence amid the ruin he has caused. At last, with touching words of encouragement and consolation, he is gradually won from his purpose of self-destruction, and induced to accompany Theseus to the hospitable land of Athens, there to be purged of the stain of blood and honoured as a hero for all time to come.

Tantaene animis caelestibus irae? This is the reflection forced upon our minds throughout the play whose action I have summarised. The poet reminds us at every stage of the drama that it is the so-called Goddess Hera who is solely responsible for the unmerited sufferings of the great benefactor of humanity. There is no attempt to purify the legend, such as Pindar or Aeschylus might have made. It is set before us in all its naked foulness, and what is the inference we are expected to draw? Simply that the Hera of Greek mythology is no true God, and has no claim on the adoration of mankind.

“To such a Goddess Who shall pray now?—who, for a woman's sake Jealous of Zeus, from Hellas hath cut off Her benefactors, guiltless though they were!”11

It is equally impossible to acquit Zeus: nor does the poet attempt to do so: indeed, there are several passages in the play which reflect upon the King of Heaven.12 That the poet frankly disbelieved in the legendary Zeus as well as in the legendary Hera, and in short in the whole circle of legends imputing immorality and imperfection to the Gods, may be inferred from a memorable speech of Heracles in the dialogue with which the play ends. Theseus has been trying to restore the self-respect of his friend, by pointing out that even the Gods have sinned and suffered.13 But Heracles will have none of this consolation; and why? Because all these legends are wholly false.

“I deem not that the Gods for spousals crave Unhallowed: tales of Gods' hands manacled Ever I scorned, nor ever will believe, Nor that one God is born another's lord. For God hath need—if God indeed he be—Of nought: these be the minstrels' sorry tales.”14

No one will dispute that Euripides himself speaks here.

Although it is perhaps in these two plays that the poet brings home to us most forcibly by means of the dramatic situation the malevolence of the Gods, most (though not all) of the other dramas exhibit them from time to time in an obnoxious light. Apollo in the Ion appears as a liar and seducer, and is roundly rated for the example he sets to men.15 The Andromache relates a signal instance of Apollo's implacability. It was Apollo who guided the shaft that slew Achilles; and in an agony of grief and indignation Neoptolemus had gone to Delphi and demanded satisfaction for his father's death. Years afterwards, he visited the shrine again in order to seek forgiveness for his presumptuous sin; but Apollo suffers him to be murdered while in the very act of supplication.16 The comment of the Messenger who tells the story is in the usual Euripidean strain:

“Thus he that giveth oracles to the world, He that is judge to all men of the right, Hath wreaked revenge upon Achilles' son,—Yea, hath remembered, like some evil man, An old, old feud! How then shall he be wise!”17

In the Electra and still more in the Orestes, the entire responsibility for the murder of Clytemnestra and its consequences is laid at the door of Apollo.18 It is true that when the dramatic entanglement is complete, Apollo himself appears and cuts the knot; but neither here nor elsewhere does Euripides attempt by his favourite device of the deus ex machina to solve the moral and religious difficulties he so often raises in his plays. The God for the most part merely pronounces the epilogue of the piece by foretelling what awaits the characters in the future, just as the prologue generally narrates their previous history so far as is needful for the proper understanding of the action.19 If he happens to remark on the conduct of his fellow-Gods, the unfavourable judgment which the poet wishes us to form is usually upheld; or else we are presented with so perfunctory a defence that no one can suppose Euripides to have meant it seriously. Thus Artemis in the Hippolytus,20 and Castor and Pollux in the Electra,21 endorse the poet's condemnation, in the one case of Aphrodite, and in the other of Apollo: and Athena's professional apology for Apollo in the Ion has the effect of making Apollo seem ridiculous as well as base.22

It is unnecessary to illustrate at greater length the prevailing attitude of Euripides towards the Gods of Greek mythology; but we must endeavour to understand the full extent of his iconoclasm. He is not content, like Aeschylus and Sophocles, to ignore or minimise the grosser features of the Olympian religion, and develop its higher and purer elements: he maintains that Gods who do aught base are not Gods at all:ϵἰ θϵοί τι δρω̑σιν αἰσχρόν οὐκ ϵἰσιν̀ θϵοί.23 This notorious verse, as Nestle points out,24 contains the Grundgedanke of Euripides' whole attack upon Greek polytheism; and the contrast between him and his predecessor cannot be more vividly expressed than by setting over against this line the line of Sophoeles: αἰσχρὸν γὰρ οὐδϵ̀ν ὡ̑ν ὑϕηγου̑νται θϵοί, “nothing to which the Gods lead men is base.”25 “It is assumed by both poets,” says the German critic, “that God and sin are mutually exclusive terms. But from this assumption they draw opposite conclusions. Sophocles infers: ‘It follows that everything the Gods do is good’: and in order that there may be no remaining doubt, he adds: ‘even when they bid us go beyond what is right.’ Euripides' conclusion is different: ‘In that case the sinful Gods of Greek mythology are non-existent.'”26

Nothing that has hitherto been said is intended, of course, to suggest that Euripides invariably and systematically falls foul of the established religion. In some of his dramas there is little or nothing of a subversive tendency,—the Alcestis, for example, and particularly the Suppliants. Any one, moreover, who desired to make an anthology of ordinary Greek religious sentiments would find plenty of material even in the rest of the poet's plays and in the fragments. It is unnecessary to suppose that Euripides himself would always have disavowed these sentiments when spoken by the characters which he creates. There were doubtless moments when he fully recognised the purer aspects of Greek religion; nor have we in any case the right to attribute to a poet—least of all to a dramatic poet—consistency in matters of this kind. All that is now maintained is that the really distinctive feature of Euripidean drama—the feature which differentiates it in the religious point of view from the drama of Aeschylus and Sophocles—is just this iconoclastic spirit; and that for the dominant mood of the poet himself we should look not to what he has in common with the other dramatists, but to what distinguishes him from them. That the conservative section of the Athenians looked upon Euripides as a disbeliever, does not admit of doubt. Aristophanes represents him as a proselytising atheist. In an amusing scene of the Thesmophoriazusae, he brings upon the stage a widow who blames Euripides for having deprived her of her livelihood—she was a maker of sacrificial garlands—by persuading people in big tragedies that there are no Gods.27

For the purpose of these lectures, however, the important question is this: “What, if any, contributions towards a reformed theology do we find in Euripides?” In denying the Gods of Greece, does he deny the existence of divine powers altogether? Or is he merely an agnostic, like Protagoras? Or, finally, has he any positive suggestions to make on his own account?

There are passages in the plays and fragments of Euripides which appear to deny or call in question, not only the Gods of Greek mythology, but even the existence of any Deity at all. The most notorious of these is a passage quoted by Justin Martyr from the Bellerophon. We do not know the situation, but in themselves the words are sufficiently emphatic.

“Doth any say that there are Gods in heaven? Nay, there are none.”28

We are told that Diagoras of Melos, in the time of Euripides, became an atheist by reflecting on how the wicked prosper and calamities befall the righteous. The atheism of this fragment was prompted by similar reflections; and I have already pointed out that Theognis had long ago been troubled by the same difficulty, although he did not draw the same conclusion.29 Elsewhere we meet with many sentiments expressing perplexity and doubt, rather than positive disbelief. “Full many a time the thought has crossed my mind: is it Fortune or some power divine that sways man's lot?30 Like Protagoras, the poet confesses himself baffled by the obscurity that surrounds every question connected with the existence and nature of the Gods. The Chorus in the Helena complain that no one has ever discovered what is God, or what is not God, or that which lies between—ὅ τι θϵός ἢ μὴ θϵός ἢ τὸ μϵ́σον.31 A similar agnosticism betrays itself in the formula Ζϵύς, ὅστις ὁΖϵύς—“Zeus, whoever Zeus may be,”32—and in the highly characteristic line

“The Gods' thralls are we—whatsoe'er Gods be.”33

That God's ways are past finding out is a favourite Euripidean thought.34 Divination cannot reveal him:

“the lore of seers, How vain it is I see, how full of lies. Sheer folly this Even to dream that birds may help mankind.”35

Nor is there any other sure and certain means whereby we can discover the will of God.

Reflections of the type which I have thus briefly illustrated are incomparably more frequent in Euripides than in either of his two great predecessors on the tragic stage; and what is more important, they are in harmony with the general impression which is left upon our minds after reading some of his most powerful plays. Without doing violence to the canons of dramatic poetry, we may reasonably, I think, suppose that Euripides was sometimes disposed to doubt not merely the traditional Greek conception of the divine nature, but even, perhaps, the providential government of the world in any sense of the term. At all events, these and similar passages contain no positive suggestions capable of developing into something higher than the theology which Euripides attacked. Let us see whether any such ideas meet us elsewhere in his plays.

At the outset, then, we observe that Euripides' indictment of the Gods of Greece itself proceeds on certain assumptions as to the true nature of the Godhead. Of these by far the most important is that moral goodness must belong to the divine nature. An emphatic assertion of this principle has already been quoted from the Madness of Hercules;36 and in the Iphigeneia in Tauris, Iphigeneia, speaking of the Tauric Artemis, whose priestess she had perforce become, exclaims:

“It cannot be that Zeus' bride Leto bare Such folly. Nay, I hold unworthy credence The banquet given of Tantalus to the Gods,—As though the Gods could savour a child's flesh! Even so, this folk, themselves man-murderers, Charge on the Goddess their own sin, I ween; For I believe that none of Gods is vile.”37

The notion that men attribute their own vices to the Gods is carried still further in the Daughters of Troy, where it is more than hinted that Aphrodite is nothing but man's apotheosis of his own folly.38 But Euripides does not usually trouble about the origin of such degraded conceptions of the divine; what concerns him is to persuade his countrymen that they are false; and in this function he continues the work which Xenophanes began, and Plato carried to completion. In yet another respect he is the successor of Xenophanes; for he insists that the Gods must teach by example and not merely by precept.

“How were it just then that ye should enact For men laws, and yourselves work lawlessness? Unjust it were To call men vile, if we but imitate The sins of Gods:—they are vile which teach us this.”39

No one can fail to see that in requiring the Gods to furnish a moral standard for humanity, Euripides prepares the way for the Platonic doctrine of the ethical end—assimilation to God (ὁμοίωσις θϵῳ̑ κατὰ τὸ δυνατόν).40

Two other points are deserving of notice in the speech of Heracles.

“Tales of Gods' hands manacled Ever I scorned, nor ever will believe, Nor that one God is born another's lord. For God hath needif God indeed he beOf nought: these be the minstrels' sorry tales.”

In other words, there is no hegemony among the Gods; and the Divine nature is self-sufficient. The first of these two doctrines, as we have already seen, probably comes from Xenophanes.41 It clearly points in the direction of monotheism; for no one will suppose that Euripides, any more than Xenophanes, could have found fault with Greek polytheism on the ground that it was not pure and undiluted anarchy. The doctrine that God, if he is really God, has need of nothing, is one about which much might be said. It is almost a commonplace of Greek religious theory from this time onwards, and forms one of the numerous reminiscences of Hellenic thought in the speech of St. Paul before the Areopagus—a speech which in reality, perhaps, laid the foundation of the view that Greek literature prepared the way for Christianity. “Neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything.”42 It may here be noted that another interesting parallel to this speech occurs in a fragment quoted from Euripides by Clement of Alexandria.

“What manner of house by hands of craftsmen framed. May compass with its walls the form divine?”43

In the Acts we read: “He dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Nauck condemns the fragment as spurious: “Christianus poeta haec scribere potuit, non potuit Euripides.” In point of Greek and versification, the lines are free from fault; and that the sentiment is one which Euripides might well have expressed, will appear from the passages we shall presently discuss.44

So much for the positive contributions to religious thought which seem to be involved in Euripides' attack upon Greek polytheism. Browning, you will remember, makes Euripides say,

“I incline to poetize philosophy”;

and we have next to consider certain noteworthy examples of this tendency as it appears in connexion with the religious ideas of the poet. Let us take as the text of our discussion that “strange prayer”—so Menelaus calls it—which Euripides puts into the mouth of Hecuba in the Daughters of Troy. The words of the prayer are these:

“O Earth's Upbearer, thou whose throne is Earth, Whoe'er thou be, O past our finding out, Zeus, be thou Nature's Law, or mind of man, To thee I pray; for, treading soundless paths, In justice dost thou guide all mortal things!”45

Euripides' Hecuba has been at school in Athens; and if we examine what she says, we shall see that she has learned her lesson well. The whole of the prayer is steeped in the philosophy of Euripides' age. I will endeavour to expound and illustrate the several topics in the order in which they are mentioned.

We have first of all the identification of Zeus with that which at once upholds and rests upon the earth. Now, according to Anaximenes, “even as our soul, which is air, holds us together, so breath and air encompass the whole universe.”46 And, further, the Earth—so Anaximenes also maintained—is itself upborne by the air (ϵ̓ποχϵι ̑ται τῳ̑ ἀϵ́ρι).47 Presumably, then, by “Earth's Upbearer, throned upon the Earth,” Euripides means Air or Aether—it matters little which term we use, for the words were not always clearly distinguished about this time.48 It is not, however, to Anaximenes, but rather to Diogenes of Apollonia that the poet is here immediately indebted. We have already seen that Diogenes deified Air, and spoke of it as omnipresent—“just this,” he said, “appears to me God, and I believe that it reaches to everything and disposes all things and is present in everything.”49 Nor is this the only passage where Euripides gives a pantheistic interpretation to Zeus. Several of the fragments are to the same effect. It will suffice to quote the most celebrated of them all:

“Seest thou the boundless ether there on high, That folds the earth around with dewy arms? This deem thou Zeus, this reckon one with God.”50

It is not so clear that Euripides had any definite philosophical theory in view when he suggested that this Zeus or Aether is perhaps to be regarded as ἀνάγκ ηϕύσϵος—Nature's Necessity or Law. He may be thinking, perhaps, of the Atomists, who ascribed all the operations of Nature to the working of Necessity, although, of course, they did not for a moment dream of deifying that principle.51 But the second of the two clauses—“Zeus, be thou Nature's Law, or mind of man”—takes us back again to Diogenes. In the view of Diogenes, the element of Air, which he affirms to be God, constitutes the soul and mind—ψυχ ὴ καὶ νόησις—of living creatures:52 so that the “mind of man” is a “little portion of God.”53 I If we may suppose that the two apparently alternative suggestions—“be thou Nature's Law, or mind of man”—are not really intended to exclude one another (and in a passage of this kind it would be pedantic to suppose that the poet held them to be incompatible), we may perhaps express the general tenor of these speculations by saying that they represent the Deity as an infinite, all-embracing and all-pervading substance, revealing itself in Nature as Law, and in man as Mind. The Euripidean conception has affinities with the half-poetical, half-philosophical kind of pantheism of which we have already found a trace in Aeschylus,54 and may also be compared with Wordsworth's

“something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man, A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things.”55

Mr. Way does well to bring into connexion with these lines the beautiful fragment of Euripides in praise of the world-pervading reason.

“Thee, self-begotten, who, in ether rolled Ceaselessly round, by mystic links dost blend The nature of all things, whom veils enfold Of light, of dark night flecked with gleams of gold, Of star-hosts dancing round thee without end.”56

But the point upon which the Euripidean Hecuba lays most stress is this: Whatever Zeus may be, and however our faculties may fall short of comprehending him, we may at least be sure that he guides all mortal things in accordance with justice—κατὰ δίκην τὰ θνήτ̕ ἄγϵις.

It is accordingly in the concept of a world-ruling Justice that one of the ablest and most learned of recent writers on Euripides conceives himself to have discovered what the poet really believed about the Deity. In the opinion of Nestle,57 Euripides hypostasises Justice as a quasipersonal being, the Weltgeist or Weltvernunft, not transcendent but immanent, operating in the spiritual as well as in the material sphere, in man no less than in nature. Regarded on its physical side, the principle in question is nothing but the all-encompassing Aether; in respect of its spiritual attributes, it is, like the Air of Diogenes, omniscient and omnipotent: and here, if anywhere, we have the Euripidean Godhead. Let us consider for a little what is involved in this theory, and whether it deserves to be accepted.

The concept of Justice certainly plays an important part in the drama of Euripides. Among the many memorable sentiments about Justice scattered throughout the plays and fragments, none is, perhaps, more striking than the denial of the widely-spread belief that men's sins are written by some recording angel in the book of Zeus. The truth is rather, says Euripides, that Justice is present with us, here and now:

“Think you that deeds of wrong spring to the gods

On wings, and then some one, on Zeus' book,

Writes them, and Zeus beholding the record

Gives judgment? Nay, the whole expanse of heaven

Would not suffice if Zeus wrote there man's sins;

Nor could he send to each his punishment

From such review. Justice is on the earth,

Is here, is by us, if men will but see.”58

The eye of Justice, we are told, sees even in the dark; and though she may tarry long, in the end she never fails.59 A remarkable passage of the Hecuba seems at first sight to personify Law as the one supreme ruler, whom Gods and men alike obey:

“Yet are the Gods strong, and their ruler strong,

Even Law; for by this Law we know Gods are,

And live, and make division of wrong and right.”60

Here, however, it may be doubted whether the poet is not rather thinking of the Sophistic opposition of νόμος and ϕύσις—“convention” and “nature”: certainly the last line distinguishes between Justice and Nomos, and (after the fashion of certain Sophists61) derives the former from the latter. But whatever the explanation of this particular passage may be, Euripides, like the other tragic poets, has much to say on the working of Justice—especially punitive justice—in the life both of the individual and of the family.

On the other hand, the belief that “Justice guides all things to their goal” is not nearly so characteristic of Euripides as it is of Aeschylus, whether we have regard to his sententiae or to the dénouement of his plays. He was far too much of a realist, and had far too much sympathy with his fellow-creatures, to suppose for a moment that suffering is always a punishment for sin, and prosperity always the reward of virtue. Is it possible, then, to reconcile in any way the apparently unmerited sufferings of the individual with the existence of an all-knowing and all-powerful Justice directing the course of human destiny and of the world at large? To this question Nestle replies that Euripides was in reality a Heraclitean. In the view of Heraclitus, “the whole world, both material and moral, consists in the reciprocal play of opposites, which, however, for this very reason have no absolute value.”62 If we could survey things from the highest standpoint, we should see that what from our finite point of view we call evil contributes to the universal harmony, which is the Logos, or, as Euripides prefers to call it,—in this, too, following Heraclitus,—Dikê, “Justice.”

It would seem, therefore, if Nestle is right, that Euripides found a solution of life's riddle in the Heraclitean sentiment, “God accomplishes all things with a view to the harmony of the whole.” We have found reason to believe that some such conviction pervades the drama of Sophocles; but in reading Euripides we are much more sensible of the partial discords than of the universal harmony. Certain it is that in many of his plays—the Hippolytus, for instance, and the Madness of Heracles—he impugns the justice of the Gods in their treatment of the individual without suggesting any solution of this kind. For my own part, I cannot but think that the poet reveals himself more truly in the following passage from one of the choruses in the Hippolytus:

“When faith overfloweth my mind, God's providence all-embracing Banisheth griefs: but when doubt whispereth, ‘Ah but to know!’ No clue through the tangle I find of fate and of life for my tracing: There is ever a change and many a change, And the mutable fortune of men evermore sways to and fro Over limitless range.”63

Much has been written and said about the “humanism” of Euripides. It reveals itself in many ways—in sympathy for the poor and lowly, in his lofty ideal of womanhood, and in occasional suggestions of something like world-citizenship and the brotherhood of man.64 The humanism of the Stoics was based upon the half-philosophical, half-religious doctrine of the immanence in every human being of a portion of the divine mind:ϵ̓κ σου̑ γὰρ γϵ́νος ϵ̓σμϵ́ν, “for we are thine offspring,” as Cleanthes said,65 meaning that the human reason is a “fragment” of the divine. We have found some traces of a similar doctrine in Euripides; but nowhere, so far as I know, does he bring it into connexion with the sentiment of human brotherhood and human pity. In so far as this sentiment has any bearing on Euripides' religious standpoint, it rather serves as a weapon for attacking the Gods. There are not a few passages in which he appears deliberately to contrast the kindness of man with the malevolence of the Gods. Aphrodite in the Hippolytus is unforgiving, and Artemis cold; as a Goddess, she may not weep, or wait for the closing scene:

“Farewell: I may not gaze upon the dead, Nor may with dying gasps pollute my sight: And now I see that thou art near the end.”66

How different are the human actors in the tragedy!

Hipp. “More than myself I mourn thee for thine error.” Thes. “Would God I could but die for thee, my son!”67

In the Madness of Heracles, we have a not less vivid contrast between the callous indifference of the Gods and the brotherly love of man. When Heracles is forsaken by Zeus, it is a human friend who, with manly yet gentle words of consolation, alleviates his despair. Unlike Artemis in the Hippolytus, Theseus, the merely human friend, fears no pollution:

“No haunting curse can pass from friend to friend.”68

The truth is that Euripides would seem to have looked to humanity itself for the ideal which he could not find in the Gods. His dramas furnish from time to time ideal types of men, and still more frequently, perhaps, of women. The Euripidean Theseus is the type of chivalrous courage linked with courtesy and human kindness, Hippolytus of stainless purity, Alcestis of conjugal devotion and motherly love; while of patriotism and self-sacrifice consenting unto death we have a galaxy of illustrious examples, Menœceus, Macaria, Iphigeneia and Polyxena, besides others in the plays of which only fragments survive. Perhaps the poet rendered some service to religion by his new and deeper interpretation of humanity.

In the account which I have so far given of the religious teaching of Euripides, I have made no reference to the Bacchae. The explanation, of course, is that the play in question has often been supposed to occupy an altogether unique position among the poet's works. Written at the close of his life, in a totally different atmosphere from that of Athens, it seems to breathe a more religious spirit than most of the earlier dramas; and many scholars have interpreted it as a recantation of the sceptical opinions so freely uttered by the poet in the past. The apparently exceptional character of the Bacchae makes it desirable that we should briefly consider the religious teaching of that extraordinary drama by itself; but before proceeding to do so, let us first examine the different ideas about immortality with which we meet in Euripides.

Here, as elsewhere, the poet puts before us a number of constantly shifting and dissolving views. Sometimes he recognises that the problem is insoluble:

“If better life beyond be found, The darkness veils, clouds wrap it round; Therefore infatuate-fond to this We cling—this earth's poor sunshine-gleam: Nought know we of the life to come, There speak no voices from the tomb: We drift on fable's shadowy stream.”69

It is only our ignorance, Euripides says, that makes us fear death. “We know what life is, but of death we have had no experience; and that is why all men fear to leave the light of the sun.”70 Yet there is comfort in the thought that death, whatever it may be, is not a violation, but a fulfilment of Nature's law. “Why lament over that which Nature requires us to pass through? Nothing that men must suffer is really to be feared” (δϵινὸν γὰρ οὐδϵ̀ν τω̑ν ἀναγκαίων βροτοι̑ς).71 There is a touch of almost Sophoclean serenity and resignation about these words. Elsewhere we have the conventional view of death as a dreamless sleep, a return to the nothingness of the time before we were born.72 Regarded in this light, death, to the unhappy, is the physician who cures all ill.73 And yet we cannot rid ourselves of the fear that death may not be the end. How much better if it were! I doubt if anything in Greek tragedy is more pathetic than the speech in which the virgin-martyr Macaria gives expression to this thought:

“I have failed you nought, Have stood your champion, for mine house have died. My treasure this shall be, for babes unborn, Spousals foregone;—if in the grave aught be: But ah that nought might be!—for if there too We mortals who must die shall yet have cares, I know not whither one shall turn: since death For sorrows is accounted chiefest balm.”74

Like other Greek poets, again, Euripides sometimes paints the future world in the usual Homeric colours, as a joyless land of everlasting night.75 In other passages the spirits of the dead are supposed to sympathise and co-operate with their surviving kinsmen—a conception we have already found in the two older dramatists.76 Of somewhat greater interest is the well-known fragment: “Who knows whether life is death, and death in the world below is accounted life?”77 Here, of course, Euripides alludes to the Orphic doctrine that the soul lies buried in the body until death sets her free. It would have been strange if so suggestive a view of immortality had escaped the notice of the poet; but it is only one of his many reflections on the subject, and whatever Euripides may have been, he was certainly not a whole-hearted follower of Orpheus.78 To the Eleusinian mysteries Euripides seldom refers.79

So far, there is little or nothing in the eschatological ideas of Euripides to which parallels might not be adduced from earlier Greek poets. It remains to consider a small group of passages showing the characteristic Euripidean fusion of philosophy and poetry. One of these passages occurs in the most orthodox of Euripides' plays—I mean the Suppliants:

“Let now the dead be hidden in the earth,

And each part, whence it came forth to the light,

Thither return, the breath unto the air,

To earth the body; for we hold it not

In fee, but only to pass life therein.”80

Considered in and by themselves, no doubt, these verses merely reproduce the sentiment expressed in the fifth century epitaph over the Athenians who died fighting at Potidaea: “Aether received their souls, and earth their bodies: by the gates of Potidaea they were slain.”81 But when we remember that Euripides, in agreement, as we have seen, with Diogenes of Apollonia, sometimes identifies the all-pervading Air or Aether with the immanent and omnipresent Godhead, the words of the poet suggest to us something like the return of the human soul at death to the universal soul or mind from which it came. Such a doctrine is clearly affirmed in a remarkable passage of the Helena, the authenticity of which some critics have—unfairly, as I think—disputed:

“Albeit the, mind

Of the dead live not, deathless consciousness

Still hath it when in deathless aether merged.”82

The general conception underlying these lines may perhaps be expressed in some such way as this. The human soul, or rather, perhaps, the reason present in the soul,—for in the Helena νου̑ς, and not ψυχή, is the word employed,—the human reason, then, is a portion or fragment of the heavenly aether,83 and when death comes and the body returns to the earth from which it came, the reason is in like manner reunited with the aetherial element, which is its source and fountain. In this way the rational part of man is immortal, and after its separation from the body enjoys undying consciousness or knowledge;84 but it does not live, in the commonly accepted meaning of the word—that is, presumably, it has no individual existence, but only, we may suppose, a kind of cosmic immortality, such as we sometimes read of in Aristotle and the Stoics. I have elsewhere ventured to conjecture that one of the most extraordinary of the poet's fragments is inspired by the same thought of ultimate reunion with the divine: “Upon my back sprout golden wings: my feet are fitted with the winged sandals of the Sirens: and I shall soar to the aetherial firmament to unite with Zeus.”85 It is not unlikely that by Zeus Euripides here means the “immortal aether” with which he sometimes appears to identify the God.86

I have now enumerated the principal ideas on the subject of immortality contained in the plays and fragments of Euripides. The view with which the poet had himself most sympathy is probably that which we have just considered; but it would be an error to suppose that his eschatological opinions were ever fixed or definite. His reflections on immortality reveal the same spirit of openmindedness and vacillation which we have already witnessed in connexion with his theology. Neither in the one case nor in the other does he appear to have attained to any permanent and assured conviction, capable of satisfying not only his moral and religious aspirations, but also the demands of his intellect. And it is this consideration which explains, in part at least, the shadow of pessimism, sometimes bordering on despair, that darkens so many of his dramas—notably the Hecuba, the Andromache, the Daughters of Troy, and The Madness of Heracles. The all-pervading gloom is hardly relieved by a single ray of light, except the heroism and resignation of humanity in its unequal contest with the Gods and Fate. The sincerity and depth of Euripides' pessimism might be illustrated by a large number of those sententiae with which his dramas are studded. He reiterates again and again nearly all the conventional sentiments of Greek melancholy, and adds some others, which, if not altogether new in Greek literature, were new, at least, so far as one can see, upon the Attic stage. Herodotus relates that a certain Thracian tribe were in the habit of singing a dirge over the newly-born, but made merry at a funeral, reflecting on all the miseries from which death sets free.87 To the same effect we read in a fragment of Euripides:

“With tears in mournful throng the newborn babe ‘Tis meet we welcome to a life of woe: But him whom death releases from his toil, With songs of gladness speed upon his way.”88

We need not, however, multiply examples of a strain of thought so characteristic of the “most tragic” of Greek poets. I would only remark that the pessimism of Euripides cannot be entirely due to the political and social convulsions of the period in which he lived, which Thucydides, for example, paints in his reflections on the revolutions at Corcyra.89 Sophocles lived through the same events, and yet the iron never entered into his soul; and Socrates, too, was all through life an indomitable optimist. Each of these two thinkers was sustained by belief in a Providence that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we may. If Euripides had occasional glimpses of the thought that

“o'er falsehood, truth is surely sphered,

O'er ugliness beams beauty,”

it was not given to him permanently to continue at so high a level of religious faith; and, as I have already stated, the strong current of pessimism in Euripidean drama is partly due to this cause. It is at all events a noteworthy fact that the most genuinely optimistic of his plays—the play in which Theseus denies the old Greek saying that evil outnumbers good in human life by two to one90—is almost entirely free from sceptical and irreligious sentiments and insinuations.

It only remains for us to consider the problem presented by the Bacchae of Euripides. This wonderful tragedy, the latest, or almost the latest, of the poet's plays, written at the court of Archelaus, king of Macedon, and originally intended for production in that country, did not appear upon the Athenian stage until after its author's death. With its transcendent poetical merits we are not here concerned. The Bacchae is unique in classical Greek literature for a certain passionate enthusiasm of thought and language, born of an ecstatic sense of man's affinity with Nature. For the student of religious ideas, however, the interest of the drama centres in the much-debated question whether it represents a reaction towards orthodoxy, a sort of recantation, or, if not a recantation, at least an eirenicon, an attempt on the part of the poet to put himself right with public opinion before he died. There is a certain a priori attractiveness in the theory that the most speculative of ancient poets returned in his closing years to the faith from which he had departed: ϵ̓ν ϵὐϕημ ίᾳ χρὴ τϵλϵυτα̑ν—we should die, as Plato says, not in storm and tumult, but in calm.91 The subject is nevertheless one about which opposite views have been and still are held by writers of acknowledged authority. According to Mr. Pater, for example, “Euripides has said, or seemed to say, many things concerning Greek religion at variance with received opinion; and now, in the end of life, he desires to make his peace—what shall at any rate be peace with men. He is in the mood for acquiescence, or even for a palinode.”92 In the judgment of Mr. Gilbert Murray, on the other hand, to say that the Bacchae “is a reactionary manifesto in favour of orthodoxy, is a view which hardly merits refutation.”93 Let us briefly consider the religious significance of the play.

The theory which finds in the Bacchae a sort of retractation of the poet's heresies, is supported chiefly by the utterances of the chorus of Bacchanalian women who have left their homes to follow the new God Dionysus in his missionary progress through the world. The choral odes repeatedly inveigh against rationalism.

“'Tis the life of quiet breath, 'Tis the simple and the true, Storm nor earthquake shattereth, Nor shall aught the house undo Where they dwell. For, far away, Hidden from the eyes of day, Watchers are there in the skies, That can see man's life, and prize Deeds well done by things of clay. But the world's Wise are not wise, Claiming more than mortal may.”94

The moral teaching of these lines—and there are many other passages to the same effect95—is as characteristically Greek as anything in Pindar or Sophocles. In particular, the words τὸ σοϕὸν δ̕ οὐ σοϕία—“the world's Wise are not wise”—sound like a renunciation of speculative inquiry as something essentially irreligious and profane. It is also noticeable that in proportion as knowledge is depreciated, piety and unquestioning faith are praised:

“The simple nameless herd of Humanity Hath deeds and faith that are truth enough for me!”96

The development of the dramatic action to a certain extent conveys the same lesson. It is true that Pentheus gradually alienates our sympathies by his violence and self-will; but he is nevertheless the champion of reason and rationalism, not only in the stand which he makes against the Dionysiac cult, but also when he declines to admit that Dionysus is a God at all, maintaining that his mother deliberately sought to screen her frailty by fathering the offspring of an illicit amour upon Zeus.97 After Pentheus' destruction, the aged Cadmus points the moral in these words:

“If any man there be that scorns the Gods, This man's death let him note, and so believe.”98

On the other hand, in spite of the Chorus' protestations against τὸ σοϕόν, the poet's conception of Dionysus himself is frankly rationalistic. For who, or what, in the view of Euripides, is this new God, whom the Chorus so passionately extol? Is he a personal God, or only the personification of a principle? That Dionysus in the Bacchae was not really conceived by Euripides as a personal God at all, may be inferred, I think, from the lines which the poet puts into the mouth of the prophet Teiresias when trying to overcome the opposition of Pentheus.

“Two chiefest Powers, Prince, among men there are: divine Demeter—Earth is she, name her by which name thou wilt;—She upon dry food nurtureth mortal men: Then followeth Semelê's Son; to match her gift The cluster's flowing draught he found, and gave To mortals, which gives rest from grief to men. He is the Gods' libation, though a God, So that through him do men obtain good things.”99

Some writers have supposed that Euripides does not here express his own opinion; but Teiresias, in Greek drama, generally speaks with authority, and what is more important, the view represented in the prophet's speech appears to throw light upon the problem with which the whole play deals. The Sophist Prodicus, as we have already seen, maintained that Dionysus was only the apotheosis of wine, as Demeter of corn, Poseidon of water, and so forth.100 In the lines just quoted, Teiresias takes the same view; but from the rest of the speech, as well as from other indications in the play, it is clear that to the poet himself Dionysus is the embodiment not merely of alcoholic enthusiasm, but of the principle of enthusiasm in general, the principle which Plato has described so powerfully in the Phaedrus. The Platonic Socrates in that dialogue draws a distinction between two forms of madness—the salutary and the pernicious. Of the salutary madness he enumerates four varieties, namely, love, prophecy, the species of inspiration which through purifications and mysteries opens out a way of deliverance from sin, and, finally, the madness that “lays hold upon a tender and untrodden soul, and rousing it to bacchanalian frenzy”—ϵ̓κβακχϵύουσα—gives birth to lyrical and other measures.101 With the first of these—the enthusiasm of the lover, as portrayed by Plato in the Symposium—Euripides is not here concerned; but he recognises its connexion with Dionysus in the lines:

“When wine is no more found, then Love is not, Nor any joy beside is left to men.”102

To the other varieties of “salutary madness” the poet does full justice throughout the play. There is no Greek poem which illustrates so well as the Bacchae what Plato means by the poetical frenzy—none in which the writer is himself so truly “possessed.” Prophetic madness, again, is definitely associated by Teiresias with the God.103 As for the religious form of “possession,” that is represented by the chorus of Bacchanals, and constantly illustrated in the choral odes. Out of many possible examples, I will put before you Mr. Murray's exquisite rendering of part of the opening hymn:

“Oh, blessed he in all wise, Who hath drunk the Living Fountain, Whose life no folly staineth, And his soul is near to God; Whose sins are lifted, pall-wise, As he worships on the Mountain, And where Cybele ordaineth, Our Mother, he has trod: His head with ivy laden And his thyrsus tossing high, For our God he lifts his cry; ‘Up, O Bacchae, wife and maiden, Come, O ye Bacchae, come; Oh, bring the Joy-bestower, God-seed of God the Sower, Bring Bromios in his power From Phrygia's mountain dome; To street and town and tower, Oh, bring ye Bromios home!’”104

It would accordingly seem that Dionysus in the Bacchae is not, in the intention of the poet, a personal God, but stands for the spirit of enthusiasm in the ancient Greek meaning of the word. And if so, the main problem which the action of the play suggests is wider than it has sometimes been supposed to be. It is not so much a question of orthodoxy versus unbelief: it is rather a question of the relative value of reason and enthusiasm in human life. Euripides, when he wrote the Bacchae, was plainly on the side of enthusiasm. τὸ σοϕὸν δ̕ οὐ σοϕία—“Ah, not with knowledge is Wisdom bought”105—that is the principal lesson of the drama. There is something stronger and greater than reason in the life of man. No doubt some weight should be allowed to the special circumstances in which the play was composed. Macedonia was the home of the Dionysiac cult; and nothing could be more natural than that in a play intended for a Macedonian audience Euripides should have selected for poetic treatment the worship of Dionysus. But the poet writes throughout as if he felt profoundly what he so rapturously says. The greater part of the play is pervaded by the kind of joyous exaltation which accompanies a new discovery or illumination. Euripides had just escaped from the scene of his lifelong battle against Athenian conservatism in matters of religion and art, and he writes as if the spirit of the Macedonian mountains had taken possession of his soul. No other ancient poem shows so rapturous a feeling of the kinship between man and nature. The very hills are “thrilled with ecstasy” in sympathy with the frenzied votaries of the God.106 We feel that Dionysus has become a power pulsating throughout the whole of nature, both inorganic and organic, making the universe into a living, breathing whole; and we are stirred with a new sense of unification with the mystery that surrounds us. Professor James has said that “if religion is to mean anything definite for us,…we ought to take it as meaning this added dimension of emotion, this enthusiastic temper of espousal, in regions where morality strictly so called can at best but bow its head and acquiesce. It ought to mean nothing short of this new reach of freedom for us, with the struggle over, the keynote of the universe sounding in our ears, and everlasting possession spread before our eyes.”107 It seems to me that in the Bacchae of Euripides we have this “added dimension of emotion,” this “new reach of freedom”; and if religion really does mean this, we may fairly say that the Bacchae is a religious drama, though not a “reactionary manifesto in favour of orthodoxy.” We should remember, too, that the Athenian drama was ostensibly an act of homage rendered to the God Dionysus. It is fitting that the poet should close his career by giving us his own interpretation of the God in whose service he had spent so strenuous a life.

Our general conclusion, therefore, is that the leading motive of the Bacchae is praise of Dionysus, and that Dionysus represents the principle of enthusiasm or inspiration both in nature and in man. As compared with enthusiasm, reason and rationalism are relegated to a subordinate position. Whether the new impulse would have proved permanent, is another matter; but we have the less reason to suppose that it would, because even here Euripides, towards the close of the play, relapses again into the old iconoclastic manner. The colloquy between Agave and Dionysus is quite in the vein of that peculiarly Euripidean sort of rationalism which we have already met with in the Ion and elsewhere.

Ag. “Dionysus, we beseech thee!—we have sinned. D. Too late ye know me, who knew not in your hour. Ag. We know it: but thy vengeance passeth bounds. D. I am a God: ye did despite to me. Ag. It fits not that in wrath Gods be as men. D. Long since my father Zeus ordained this so.”108

If, in conclusion, we try to estimate the effect of Euripides on the development of religion and religious thought, we must distinguish between the negative and the positive aspects of his teaching. On its critical or destructive side, the drama of Euripides gave a most powerful impulse to that dissolution of the old Homeric faith which the attacks of Xenophanes had long ago foreshadowed, and which was now being rapidly effected by the many iconoclastic currents of thought at work in Athens during the latter part of the fifth century before Christ. No other Greek writer, Plato alone excepted, did so much in this direction. On the positive or reconstructive side, we find a multitude of suggestions, without, so far as I can see, any single dominating principle. As compared with Sophocles, we may say, I think, that Euripides never achieved a final and complete unification of his moral and intellectual nature. To borrow a Platonic expression, he was at no time altogether ϵἰ̑ς ϵ̓κ πολλω̑ν109 But it is just this peculiarity which renders the writings of Euripides of such pre-eminent value for the student of religious thought. He raises nearly all the fundamental questions which men will always ask and never fully answer. It was said of Pericles that his oratory always left a spur or sting behind in those who heard it. The same remark may be applied to Euripides. He is one of those who (in the phrase of Matthew Arnold) “seasonably disconcert mankind in their worship of machinery.”110 No one can read any of his more powerful dramas without being made to think; and it is as a stimulative or maieutic force, rather than on account of any positive doctrine, that this great thinker and still greater poet deserves to be reckoned among the religious teachers of Greece. No sooner had he died than Aristophanes declared that his poetry had died along with him. Never was there a more absurd miscalculation. In antiquity, he soon became the most widely known and loved of all the dramatists; and at the present day he is to many the object of an admiration so enthusiastic that it may almost be called a cult.

  • 1.

    Nestle, Untersuch. üb. d. philos. Quellen des Eur. p. 560.

  • 2.

    451ff., tr. Way.

  • 3.


  • 4.


  • 5.

    1391 f. Way.

  • 6.

    1366 ff. Way.

  • 7.

    Decharme, Euripide et son théâtre p. 388 f.

  • 8.

    1327 ff. Way.

  • 9.

    339 ff.

  • 10.

    855 Way.

  • 11.

    1307 Way.

  • 12.

    212 ff., 339 ff., 498 ff., 1127, 1265.

  • 13.

    1314 ff.

  • 14.

    1341 ff. Way.

  • 15.

    436 ff.

  • 16.

    1112 ff.

  • 17.

    1161 ff. Way.

  • 18.

    El. 1190 ff. et al.; Or. 591 ff.

  • 19.

    See Decharme, l.c. p. 384 ff.

  • 20.


  • 21.

    1302 al.

  • 22.

    1553 ff.

  • 23.

    fr. 292. 7.

  • 24.

    Euripides p. 126.

  • 25.

    See p. 180.

  • 26.

    Nestle, l.c.

  • 27.

    442 ff.

  • 28.

    fr. 286.

  • 29.

    See 1 f. p. 87. Cf. also Eur. El. 583 f., 434. 832.

  • 30.

    fr 901. Cf. Hec. 488 ff.

  • 31.

    1137 ff.

  • 32.

    H. F. 1263; cf. fr. 480.

  • 33.

    ὅ τι ποτ̕ ϵἰσὶν οἰ θϵοί. Or. 418. Way.

  • 34.

    e.g. H. F. 62, u. T. 476 ff.

  • 35.

    Hel. 744 ff. Way. Cf. I. A. 957, and fr. 795, 973.

  • 36.

    See p. 291.

  • 37.

    385 ff. Way.

  • 38.

    Troad. 987 ff. ̕Αϕροδίτη from ἀϕροσύνη, 989.

  • 39.

    Ion 442 ff. Way.

  • 40.

    Theaet. 176 B.

  • 41.

    See p. 204.

  • 42.

    Acts xvii. 25.

  • 43.

    fr. 1130, tr. Way.

  • 44.

    The fragment is treated as genuine by Way (ii. p. xxxvii), and also by Nestle, Euripides p. 118.

  • 45.

    884–888 Way.

  • 46.

    See p. 189.

  • 47.

    See Diels1562 i. p. 18, § 6.

  • 48.

    Cf. Rohde, Psyche1582 ii. p. 257 n. 2.

  • 49.

    See p. 266.

  • 50.

    fr. 941, tr. Way; Cf. also 877, 839, 487.

  • 51.

    Leucippus, fr. 2 Diels.

  • 52.

    fr. 4.

  • 53.

    See p. 267.

  • 54.

    See p. 144.

  • 55.

    Tintern Abbey.

  • 56.

    fr. 593, tr. Way. I agree with Nauck in attributing this fragment to Euripides, and not to Critias.

  • 57.

    Euripides p. 145 ff.

  • 58.

    fr. 506, tr. Westcott; cf. fr. 151, 255. On this belief as it appears among the Greeks and other ancient races, see Nestle, l.c. p. 452 n. 12.

  • 59.

    fr. 555, 223, 979, 835; El. 954 ff. et al

  • 60.

    799 ff. Way.

  • 61.

    See Plato, Rep. ii. 358E ff.

  • 62.

    Nestle, l.c. p. 151.

  • 63.

    1102 ff. Way.

  • 64.

    e.g. fr. 777, 902, 1047.

  • 65.

    Hymn of Cleanthes 4

  • 66.

    1437 ff. Way.

  • 67.

    1409 f. Way,

  • 68.

    1234 Way.

  • 69.

    Hipp. 192 ff. Way.

  • 70.

    fr. 816. 10 f.

  • 71.

    fr. 757. 7 f.

  • 72.

    Troad. 631. Cf. p. 264, above.

  • 73.

    fr. 833.

  • 74.

    Heracl. 588 ff. Way.

  • 75.

    e.g. fr. 533.

  • 76.

    El. 677, Or. 1231 al.

  • 77.

    fr. 638; cf. 833.

  • 78.

    See Nestle, l.c. p. 145.

  • 79.

    H. F. 613, Hipp. 25.

  • 80.

    531 ff. Way.

  • 81.

    C. I. A. i. 442. Cf. Epicharmus(?), fr. 245, 265 Kaibel.

  • 82.

    1014 ff. (Way's translation, substituting “mind” for “soul.”)

  • 83.

    See p. 99.

  • 84.

    γνώμην. The correction μνήμην introduces an idea to which Euripides would hardly have assented.

  • 85.

    fr. 911.

  • 86.

    Cambridge Praelections, 1906, p. 47.

  • 87.

    v. 4.

  • 88.

    fr. 449.

  • 89.

    iii. 82 ff.

  • 90.

    Suppl. 195 ff.

  • 91.

    Phaed. 117 E.

  • 92.

    See Tyrrell's edition p. lvi. Cf Gomperz, Greek Thinkers ii. p. 14.

  • 93.

    Greek Literature p. 272. See also Nestle, l.c. p. 74 ff.

  • 94.

    388 ff., tr. Murray.

  • 95.

    e.g. 427 ff., 883 ff., 1005 ff.

  • 96.

    430 f., tr. Murray.

  • 97.

    243 ff.

  • 98.

    1326 f. Way

  • 99.

    274 ff. Way.

  • 100.

    See p. 277.

  • 101.


  • 102.

    773 f. Way.

  • 103.

    298 ff.

  • 104.

    72 ff.

  • 105.

    395 Way.

  • 106.


  • 107.

    Varieties of Religious Experience p. 48.

  • 108.

    1345 ff. Way.

  • 109.

    Rep. iv. 443 E.

  • 110.

    Culture and Anarchy (1901 edition) p. 69.