Sacred textiles in the late plays of Euripides

Lecture by Professor Judith Fletcher, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo Ontario.

The ancient Athenian playwright, Euripides, is notorious for his interest in the lived reality of ancient Greek women.  Although his plays are set in a mythical past, they often refer to rituals performed by women of his own time, most typically the dedication of textiles to the gods. These allusions, both direct and oblique, occur most frequently in a group of plays produced between 415-410 BCE, a traumatic period that included devastating naval defeats in Sicily. My research objective is to identify those ritual practices and contemplate how they resonated with a female audience during this turbulent period in the history of Athens.