Published: Oct. 26, 2023
Detail from Cy Twombly’s “Bacchus”

Pentheus’ Myth Beyond Euripides

Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 p.m.
Eaton Humanities Building, #190

Speaker: Dr. Bartłomiej Bednarek
Humboldt Fellow, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich
Assistant Professor, University of Warsaw

Euripides’ Bacchae is the only well-preserved, relatively early text that presents, at substantial length, a disturbing but fascinating image of Dionysus, which suggested to several modern-era intellectuals (e.g., Nietzsche, Benedict, Dodds, Otto, Girard, Kott) that inquiry into the true nature of this divinity may shed light on some particularly important aspects of ancient civilization. Due to the state of preservation of the dossier of texts relevant to the study of Dionysus, quite inevitably we tend to extrapolate Euripides’ vision onto the whole of Greco-Roman culture, very often at the cost of downplaying the role of some other, oftentimes less-intriguing texts. This paper analyzes material to discuss the relative importance of Bacchae in different places and times. Before Euripides, Pentheus’ myth was one of the most widely known stories about Dionysus.

This is a free public lecture, sponsored by the Department of Classics. Everyone is welcome. | 303-492-6257