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Lost Dramas of Classical AthensGreek Tragic Fragments$
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Fiona McHardy, James Robson, and David Harvey

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780859897525

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859897525.001.0001

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Tragic Fragments, Ancient Philosophers and the Fragmented Self†

Tragic Fragments, Ancient Philosophers and the Fragmented Self†

(p.151) 8 Tragic Fragments, Ancient Philosophers and the Fragmented Self
Lost Dramas of Classical Athens

Christopher Gill

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines connections between ancient philosophy and Greek tragic fragments. First, it considers how tragic fragments are typically cited and used by ancient thinkers in ethical philosophy. Second, it discusses an ancient debate about passion and self-division preserved in Galen. Although the key text in this debate is a surviving play (Euripides Medea), ancient philosophers also make suggestive comments about some tragic fragments on psychological division. Third, the chapter takes up a different aspect of the relationship between ancient philosophy and tragic fragments. It questions the view that we can make sense of the fragments of Euripides' first Hippolytus by relating them to Seneca's (surviving) Phaedra. It argues that that Seneca's picture of Phaedra' subjection to her love reflects a specifically Stoic conception of passion, and a different psychological pattern must be used to reconstruct the lost Euripidean drama.

Keywords:   ancient philosophy, Greek tragic fragments, ethical philosophy, passion, self-division, Euripedes, Medea, Hippolytus, Seneca, Phaedra

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