Iphigenia’s Imperial Escapades

Edith Hall

in Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392890
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979257 | DOI:

Series: Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture

Iphigenia’s Imperial Escapades

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Iphigenia in Tauris made an impact on the Roman culture was through the broad cultural dissemination of the type of escape plot in which a young Greek woman and man are separated, face serial dangers at the hands of barbarians, before a joyful recognition and homecoming. Chapter VI argued that the ancient Greek ‘romantic’ novels of the imperial period sometimes explicitly acknowledge their debt to Euripides' escape tragedies, above all IT. Moreover, it is this debt which in the Second Sophistic inspired Lucian's commentary on the relationship between the Euripidean plot and the subject-matter of prose fiction constituted by his dialogue on friendship between a Greek and a Scythian, Toxaris. The popularity of the escape plot is also revealed in the unique fragmentary performance text of an imperial theatrical burlesque of IT, the ‘Chariton’ mime, discovered on a papyrus at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt (POxy 413).

Keywords: escape; ancient novel; Lucian; barbarians; romantic; Roman imperial; Second Sophistic; Oxyrhynchus; Chariton mime; papyrus

Chapter.  11123 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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