Title

Buying Babies in Euripides's Hippolytus

Abstract

When Hippolytus makes his proposal for buying babies in Euripides's drama, it is clear that he does not envisage a commercial exchange. Rather, he proposes dedicating lumps of pure precious metal (gold, bronze, and lead) at temples. His mode of exchange, then, is not to purchase babies with coins but to establish a reciprocal relationship of guest-friendship with the gods. This appeal to elite guest-exchange adds to the characterization of Hippolytus as an aloof aristocrat in the household of the Athenian democratic hero, Theseus, a tension of values that is played out through the rest of the drama.

Publisher

University of Illinois Press

Publication Date

Fall 1-1-2015

Publication Title

Illinois Classical Studies

Department

Classics

Document Type

Article

Language

English

Format

text

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