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29.11.2017

INVITATION TO THE RESEARCH SEMINAR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS

Professor Edward Μ. Harris Thursday, 30 November 2017, at 12.00 noon Room 433, School of Philosophy, 4th floor, Panepistimioupoli, Zografou, Athens

INVITATION TO THE RESEARCH SEMINAR

OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS

When: Thursday, 30 November 2017, at 12.00 noon

Where: Room 433, School of Philosophy, 4th floor, Panepistimioupoli, Zografou, Athens

The Department of Classics, Faculty of Philology, invites you to the lecture of

Professor Edward Μ. Harris

(Durham University / The University of Edinburgh)

entitled

‘Pollution and Purification in Athenian Law and in Attic Tragedy:

Parallels or Divergences?’

The lecture will be given in Modern Greek.


Professor Mary I. Yossi

Head of the Department

For further information please contact:

Dr Katerina Carvounis kcarvounis@phil.uoa.gr 210-7277613

Dr Sophia Papaioannou spapaioan@phil.uoa.gr 210-7277380


POLLUTION AND PURIFICATION IN ATHENIAN LAW AND IN ATTIC TRAGEDY:

PARALLELS OR DIVERGENCES?

EDWARD M. HARRIS

ABSTRACT

In the Odyssey Orestes kills Aegisthus in revenge for the death of his father Agamemnon. The murder does not create any pollution, and Orestes is held up as a positive moral example for Telemachus. In the Eumenides of Aeschylus, Orestes kills both his mother Clytemnestra and Aegisthus and is pursued by the Erinyes, who consider him polluted and believe that he deserves punishment even though Apollo claims that he has purified him. Orestes is also considered polluted in several plays of Euripides. What is the reason for the different treatment? This paper will explore the portrayal of pollution for homicide in Attic tragedy and draw on my recent essay published in C. Ando and G. Rüpke, eds., Public and Private in Ancient Mediterranean Law and Religion (Berlin, Munich, Boston 2015). It will also question the view of Meinel that Attic tragedy attempts to make pollution problematic and examine the relationship between law, religion, and tragedy.