The paper examines the surviving references to the setting of the rapes in New Comedy. It argues that the fact that rapes are commonly set in the course of nocturnal festival activities should not be seen merely as a convenient plot device. By using Menander's Epitrepontes as a case study, the paper suggests that there is a close relationship between the character of the festivals where rapes are set and a major theme in the plays themselves: namely, the maturation of the young protagonists and their transition into adulthood. The paper also offers a reassessment of the evidence we have for the Tauropoliaâthe Attic festival where the rape is set in the Epitrepontes.
Menander's Epitrepontes and the Festival of the Tauropolia
This paper started its life, in a different version, as part of my Cambridge doctoral dissertation (Bathrellou 2009). I am deeply indebted to the dissertation's supervisor, the late Professor Colin Austin, as well as to its examiners, Professors Richard Hunter and Christopher Carey, for their criticism and help. I am also grateful to Professors James Diggle, Pat Easterling, and Robin Osborne for corrections and comments on earlier drafts. The paper in its present form has much benefited from the comments and suggestions of Professors Angelos Chaniotis, Timothy Duff, and Mark Griffth, Drs Fotini Hadjittofi, Kyriaki Konstantinidou, Nikolaos Papazarkadas, and Kostas Vlassopoulos, and the anonymous referees of Classical Antiquity. The help of Stamatis Bathrellos has also been invaluable. Any mistakes and obscurities that remain are my own responsibility.
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Eftychia Bathrellou; Menander's Epitrepontes and the Festival of the Tauropolia. Classical Antiquity 1 October 2012; 31 (2): 151–192. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/CA.2012.31.2.151
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