Lycurg. 'Leoc'. 97-101 e 'CEG' 594: la παιδεiα di un frammento euripideo (fr. 360 K. = 12 Sonnino) sulla scena giudiziaria e funebre

  • Andrea Giannotti Durham University
Parole chiave: Lycurgus, Euripides, Erechtheus, Civic poetry, Oath, Athens


In his Against Leocrates Lycurgus quoted a fragment from Euripides’ Erechtheus (360 K. = 12 Sonnino) in order to show the judges how Leocrates disobeyed a civic duty which, conversely, was rigorously observed by Euripides’ Praxithea. Indeed, in the monologue of Erechtheus’ wife, one could notice how a citizen — fanatically serving her homeland — could do: sacrificing a daughterfor Athens’ salvation was the right price to pay to protect the πόλις. In this paper, I focus on the reasons why Lycurgus quoted such a fragment, and I highlight the educational and civic value of Euripides’ passage in order to expand upon Peter Siewert’s hypothesis: he demonstrated that several Thucydidean, Aeschylean and Sophoclean passages included allusions to a somewhat mysterious ‘archaic Athenian civic oath’. I show that Euripides’ fragment seems indeed to referto a ‘text’ (perhaps unwritten) on civic duties, and that, being ‘staged’ on the legal scene, it counted as a real legal regulation that Leocrates ignored. Furthermore, I consider a fourth-century BC funerary inscription (CEG 594) whose text, by celebrating the dead’s sacrifice and integrity, clearly alludes to Euripides’ fragment. It appears, therefore, that — beyond the inscription, oration and play — a moral code, legally recognised through centuries, existed.