Euripides, Dramatic Fragments

LCL 504: 262-263

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(sorrows?)’; F 280 ‘he spent/wasted time’?; F 281 ‘fond of nurturing’ (the doe that suckled Telephus?). A verse identical with Eur. Electra 379, ‘It’s best to dismiss these things (i.e. uncertainties in assessing virtue) and leave them in confusion’, seems to be ascribed to Auge in Diogenes Laertius 2.33, and Wilamowitz therefore ascribed all of Electra 373–9 to Auge; but the case for denying these lines to Electra is much debated. Other proposed ascriptions: adesp. F 399 ‘to nurture this child in a way that is worthy of Heracles and of myself’; adesp. F 402 ‘Did you (i.e. Heracles) get your pleasure by force or by persuading the girl?’; adesp. F 570 ‘Wine, the highest of gods, persuaded me (i.e. Heracles?)’.

The metrical character of the fragments makes it almost certain that this was a very late play, probably from the last few years of Euripides’ life. It no doubt shared the sentimental and melodramatic features of such plays as Ion and Hypsipyle, including the threat to the heroine’s life, a baby on stage, the recognition, and a ‘human’ Heracles mending the consequences of his drunken crime.

Another tragic Auge was produced by Isocrates’ adoptive son Aphareus at the Dionysia of 341 (TrGF 73 F 1), and comic ones, perhaps burlesquing Euripides, by Philyllius (5th–4th c.: three fragments) and Eubulus (4th c.: one fragment). A Sicilian vase-painting of the 330s (LIMC no. 6) shows a comic play with Heracles accosting Auge in the sanctuary. Four murals from Pompeii (LIMC nos. 12–15) showing Heracles assaulting her as she washes the robe at the spring seem to reflect Euripides’ account (test. ii a with note 2). The influence of Auge is also evident in Menander’s Epitrepontes (‘Men at Arbitration’, which also drew on Euripides’ Alope), where a child born after a



rape at a nocturnal festival is recognized by means of a ring and its parents (married in the meantime but estranged) are reunited; F 265a is quoted explicitly at a critical moment in Menander’s play (vv. 1123–4). For discussions of Menander’s adaptation see J. R. Porter, ICS 24–25 (1999– 2000), 157–73; C. Cusset, Ménandre ou la comédie tragique (Paris, 2003), 158–62.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.euripides-dramatic_fragments.2008