Three plays by ancient Greece’s third great tragedian.
One of antiquity's greatest poets, Euripides has been prized in every age for the pathos, terror, and intellectual probing of his dramatic creations. The new Loeb Classical Library edition of his plays is in six volumes.
In Bacchae, one of the great masterpieces of the tragic genre, Euripides tells the story of king Pentheus' resistance to the worship of Dionysus and his horrific punishment by the god: dismemberment at the hands of Theban women. Iphigenia at Aulis, also in Volume VI, recounts the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter to Artemis, the price exacted by the goddess for favorable sailing winds. Rhesus dramatizes a pivotal incident in the Trojan War. This play is probably not by Euripides; but it does give a sample of what tragedy was like after the great fifth-century playwrights.
Kovacs’s translation is a tour de force… In general, the notes accompanying the translation, explaining such things as geographical and mythological names, are judiciously chosen, concise, and crystal clear… I have nothing but praise for [Kovacs’s] scholarship, and the lucidity of his writing, both as translator and commentator. [This volume] should be [the] standard translation for many years to come.
David Kovacs is Hugh H. Obear Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia.