Prof. Jan N. Bremmer on Myth and Ritual in Euripides
The Classics seminar welcomes Professor Jan N. Bremmer (University of Groningen) who will speak on "Myth, Ritual and Salvation in Euripides’ Alcestis" on February 26.
The seminar is open to the public.
Jan N. Bremmer is the author and editor of many books on Greek religion and early Christianity, including Greek Religion (Cambridge,1999; 2001; new edition currently in preparation), The Rise and Fall of the Afterlife (London, 2002), and Maidens, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays I (Tübingen, 2017). His works have been translated into Chinese, Danish, French, German, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.
The myth of Alcestis is one of the more famous myths of ancient Greece It provided the plot for one of the best known of Euripides’ plays, which received its première in 438 BC. Yet most of the interest has been in the narratological, philological and dramaturgical aspects of the play, much less in its mythical material, location in time and religious aspects. It is therefore not so strange to take a fresh look at the play with an eye at precisely those more neglected aspects. I will first pay attention to the mythical material available to Euripides (§ 1), then speculate as to why he opted for this specific subject at this specific moment in time (§ 2), continue by looking at several ritual aspects (§ 3) and conclude with some considerations about the nature of salvation in the Alcestis (§ 4).