Tragedy Reading Group: Euripides’ Rhesus
The Tragedy Reading Group’s latest discussion was on Euripides’ Rhesus.The action takes place during the night, covering events familiar from Iliad Scroll X: the unsuccessful mission of Dolon who hopes to spy on the Achaean camp and capture Achilles’ immortal horses; and the successful raid by Odysseus and Diomedes who meet and kill Dolon on the way. However, the perspective in this play is from the Trojan camp, and the centerpiece is the arrival of Rhesus with his splendid chariot and beautiful white horses. Odysseus and Diomedes will kill him as he sleeps, and take his horses as spoils.
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Detail from ‘Munich Diomedes’, Roman copy after Greek original, attributed to Kresilas, Wikimedia Commons.
Lycurgus Painter: Odysseus (wearing the pilos hat) and Diomedes stealing the horses of Thracian king Rhesus they have just killed, Wikimedia Commons.