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HorkosThe Oath in Greek Society$
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Alan Sommerstein and Judith Fletcher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781904675679

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781904675679.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Masters of Manipulation

Masters of Manipulation

Euripides' (and Medea's) Use of Oaths in Medea

Chapter:
(p.113) 10 Masters of Manipulation
Source:
Horkos
Author(s):

Arlene Allan

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781904675679.003.0011

This chapter analyses the use of oaths in Medea, a play by Euripides. It argues that a crucial feature of the prehistory to the action – the sworn pledge of loyalty which Medea claims that Jason gave her – ought to be perceived as a fabrication by Medea. The chapter shows that Jason did not give such an oath; if he did, his breach of faith would be unforgivable (and inevitably disastrous). It begins with a brief overview of the bond-making rituals used and/or assumed in Medea before turning to a discussion of two important scenes: the agōn between Jason and Medea; and Medea's supplication of Aigeus. Finally, the chapter considers whether Jason is an oath-breaker and raises the possibility that he may have defaulted on the terms of a pistis.

Keywords:   oaths, Medea, Euripides, loyalty, supplication, rituals, agōn, pistis, Aigeus

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