Chapter

The Christian Conversion of Iphigenia

Edith Hall

in Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392890
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979257 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392890.003.0008

Series: Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture

The Christian Conversion of Iphigenia

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The Greek text of IT went underground in the Byzantine Empire, to be rediscovered in Thessaloniki in the early 14th century. The major feature of the versions and other manifestations of the play in the period between the first printing of the play in 1503 and the mid-18th century is the different strategies adopted to make the play speak to a Christian sensibility. This process was facilitated by the identification of the ancient Taurians with the Muslim Khans who ruled the Crimea as vassals of the Ottoman Empire from 1475 to 1783. The Christian perspective is a feature as much of Giovanni Rucellai's Roman Catholic Oreste (c. 1520), the Protestant John Milton's ode ‘On the morning of Christ's nativity’ (1621), Joost van den Vondel's Dutch version (1666), and Alain-René Lesage's harlequinade reading, complete with Sri Lankan Grand Viziers, in Arlequin roi de Serendib (1713) as of the Russian Orthodox taste for operas on the IT theme at the time of the annexation of the Crimea in 1783.

Keywords: Byzantine; printing; Christianity; Muslim; Crimean Khans; Ottoman Empire; Giovanni Rucellai; John Milton; Joost van den Vondel; Alain-René Lesage; Russian Orthodoxy

Chapter.  9598 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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