Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the myths of the ancient Greek city of Thebes, as told by Athenian dramatists, and the times when Thebes dominated Greek history.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the myths and history of the ancient Greek city of Thebes and its depiction in Athenian drama. In myths it was said to be home to Heracles, Dionysus, Oedipus and Cadmus among others and, in history, was infamous for supporting Xerxes in the Persian War. Its prominence led to a struggle with the rising force of Macedon in which the Thebans were defeated at Chaironea in 338 BC, one of the most important battles in ancient history. The position of Thebes in Greek culture was enormously powerful. The strength of its myths and its proximity to Athens made it a source of stories for the Athenian theatre, and is the setting for more of the surviving plays than any other location.
The image, above, is of Oedipus answering questions of the sphinx in Thebes (cup 5th century BC).
Professor of Classics at King's College London
Lecturer in Ancient History at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
Emeritus Professor of Greek Culture and AG Leventis Senior Research Fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge
Producer: Simon Tillotson.
LINKS AND FURTHER READING
Vassilios Aravantinos, Τhe Archaeological Museum of Thebes (OLKOS, 2010)
Daniel W. Berman, Myth, Literature, and the Creation of the Topography of Thebes (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
R. J. Buck, A History of Boeotia (University of Alberta Press, 1987)
R. J. Buck, Boeotia and the Boeotian League 432-371 BC (University of Alberta Press, 1994)
John Buckler, The Theban Hegemony 371-362 BC (Harvard University Press, 1980)
Lowell Edmunds, Oedipus (Routledge, 2006)
J. Peter Euben (Ed.), Greek Drama and Political Theory (University of California Press, 1988), especially ‘Thebes: Theatre of self and society' by Froma Zeitlin
Mogens Herman Hansen and Thomas Heine Nielsen (eds.), An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis (Oxford University Press, 2004), especially 'Boiotia' by M. H. Hansen
Pindar (trans. Cecil Bowra) The Odes (Penguin, 1982)
Anne Pippin Burnett, Pindar (Bristol Classical Press, 2008)
Nicholas Rockwell, Thebes: A History (Routledge, 2017)
Sophocles (trans. Ruby Blondell, The Theban Plays: Antigone, King Oidipous and Oidipous at Colonus (Focus Classical Library, 2001)
Richard Stoneman, Pindar (I.B. Tauris, 2013)
|Interviewed Guest||Edith Hall|
|Interviewed Guest||Samuel Gartland|
|Interviewed Guest||Paul Cartledge|