Drama

Seneca: Oedipus

IngresOdipusAndSphinxThe Oedipus of Seneca the Younger is a Latin adaptation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. As with many of Seneca's plays, the action is portrayed more directly than in the Greek model. Notably, in this instance, Jocasta's suicide takes place on stage, rather than being discovered after the fact as in Sophocles.

Oedipus at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Internet Archive: Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin with facing English translation by Frank Justus Miller.

Latin Library: Oedipus. Latin text. HTML format.

Loebulus: L062N - Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Theoi: Oedipus, translated by Frank Justus Miller. HTML format.

Continue reading "Seneca: Oedipus" »


Seneca: Phaedra or Hippolytus

Alexandre_Cabanel_PhèdrePhaedra or Hippolytus by Seneca the Younger is a Latin adaptation of Euripides' Hippolytus. Both plays tell the story of Phaedra, the wife of King Theseus and her passion for her step-son Hippolytus. Seneca's portrays the action more directly than Euripides, relying less on intermediaries and letters at key plot points.

Phaedra at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Internet Archive: Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin with facing English translation by Frank Justus Miller.

Latin Library: Phaedra. Latin text. HTML format.

Loebulus. L062N - Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. Public domain Loeb edition in Latin with facing English translation by Frank Justus Miller. Multiple formats.

Theoi: Phaedra, translated by Frank Justus Miller. HTML format.

Wikisource: Hippolytus or Phaedra, translated by Frank Justus Miller. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Seneca: Phaedra or Hippolytus" »


Menander: The Girl from Samos

Samia_(Girl_from_Samos)_Mytilene_3cADThe Girl from Samos (Ancient Greek: Σαμία) is a comedy by Menander, thought to have been produced between 317 and 307 BCE. As a result of modern papyrus finds, it is the second best preserved of his plays after Dyskolos.

The plot concerns events in the households of two neighbouring Athenian business partners, Demeas and Nikeratos. Demeas' mistress Chrysis and Nikeratos' daughter, Plangon, both fall pregnant. After suffering a miscarriage, Chrysis, the Samian girl of the title, nurses Plangon's child by Demeas' son Moschion. After gaining a hint of the child's true identity, Demeas assumes that his mistress has seduced his son. This prompts an escalating series of confrontations, which are ultimately resolved, paving the way for Moschion's marriage to Plangon.

The Girl from Samos at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Internet Archive: Menander - The Principal Fragments. Bilingual Loeb edition. Multiple formats.

Loebulus: L132 - Menander -- Principal Fragments: Arbitrants. Girl from Samos. Girl Who Gets Her Hair Cut Short. Hero. Fragments. Unidentified Comedy. Bilingual Loeb edition. PDF format.

University of Adelaide: The Girl from Samos, translated by Francis Greenleaf Allinson. PDF format.

Other Resources

Wikipedia: Menander - Samia

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Noteso

Menander: Dyskolos

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Girl from Samos is listed.


Menander: Dyskolos

Via Wikipedia, by Rennett Stowe. CC BY 2.0Dyskolos (Greek: Δύσκολος) or The Grouch is the most substantial surviving play by Menander, the key dramatist of the Greek New Comedy, which succeeded Aristophanes' Old Comedy and heavily influenced Roman comedy. It was originally performed at the Lenaia festival of 317 BC.

The play centres on Sostratus, a wealthy young man and his attempts to marry the daughter of Cnemon, the title character, in the face of the obstacles provided by the latter's boorish personality.

Dyskolos at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Fairfield University: Menander's Dyskolos (Grouch), translated by Vincent J. Rosivach. HTML format.

Poetry in Translation: Dyskolos, translated by George Theodoridis (2013). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Δύσκολος - Greek text.

Other Resources

Ancient-Literature.com: Dyskolos - synopsis and analysis.

Cornell College Classical Studies: The Comedies of Menander.

Literature and History: The New Comedy - Menander's Old Cantankerous. Podcast and transcript by Doug Metzger.

University College London: Menander's Dyskolos Study Guide - archived at the Internet Archive.

Wikipedia: Menander - Dyskolos

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Theophrastus: On Characters

Menander: The Girl from Samos

Aelian: Epistulae Rusticae - includes letters based on the plot of the Dyskolos.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Seneca: Medea

Medea, by Artemisia GentileschiMedea by Seneca is a Latin adaptation of Euripides' play of the same name. Seneca alters some details of the plot and makes Medea a more calculating figure than in Euripides' portrayal.

Medea at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts
Gutenberg: Two Tragedies of Seneca - Medea and The Daughters of Troy by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, verse translation by Ella Isabel Harris. Multiple formats. 

How To Be a Stoic: Seneca on anger: the Medea, by Massimo Pigliucci.

Internet Archive: Two tragedies of Seneca, Medea and The daughters of Troy, edited by Ella Isabel Harris (1899). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Medea. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L062N -  Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Theoi: Medea, translated by Frank Justus Miller. HTML format.

Wikisource: Multiple English translations. HTML format.

Continue reading "Seneca: Medea" »


Seneca: The Trojan Women

Marie-Lan Nguyen - Wikimedia CommonsThe Trojan Women (Latin: Troades) by Seneca is a Latin adaptation of Euripides' play of the same name, along with elements of the latter's Hecuba.

The Trojan Women at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Two Tragedies of Seneca - Medea and The Daughters of Troy by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, verse translation by Ella Isabel Harris. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Ten Tragedies of Seneca. Latin text with English translation by Watson Bradshaw (1902). Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L062N - Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Theoi: Troades, translated by Frank Justus Miller. HTML format.

Wikisource: The Trojan Women, English translation by Miller. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Seneca: The Trojan Women" »


Seneca: The Madness of Hercules

Picture by Marie-Lan Nguyen - Wikimedia CommonsThe Madness of Hercules (Latin: Hercules Furens) by Seneca the Younger is a Latin adaptation of Euripides' play of the same name. There are some differences in the plot. For example, instead of threatening to kill Hercules' children, the Theban usurper Lycus seeks to marry his wife Megara.

The Madness of Hercules at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Internet Archive:  Three tragedies of Seneca: Hercules furens, Troades, Medea, edited by H.M. Kingery (1908). Latin text, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Ten Tragedies of Seneca. Latin text with English translation by Watson Bradshaw (1902). Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L062N -  Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Perseus: Hercules Furens. Latin text. HTML and XML formats.

Theo.com: Herculens Furens, translated by Frank Justus Miller (1917). HTML format.

Wikisource: English translations. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Seneca: The Madness of Hercules" »


Aristophanes: Wealth

658px-Dionysos_Ploutos_BM_F68Wealth or Plutus (Greek: Πλοῦτος) is Aristophanes' last extant comedy, produced in 388 BC.

The play centres on Chremylus, an exasperated Athenian who asks the Delphic oracle if he should bring his son up to be good or bad in order to prosper in life. The oracle leads him to a blind man who turns out to be the god of wealth, Plutus. Chremylus arranges for his sight to be restored at the temple of Asclepius. As a result, Plutus is able to reward the good and impoverish the bad. The newly wealthy Chremylus then receives a stream of visitors to his home, whose various situations illustrate the way Athenian society has been turned up side down as a result.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Eleven Comedies, Volume 2 - The Wasps - The Birds - The Frogs - The Thesmophoriazusae - The Ecclesiazusae -- Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 179 - Aristophanes III - Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. 

Poetry in Translation: Wealth, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Wikipedia: Plutus (play).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Aristophanes: Ecclesiazusae

Ecclesiazusae (Greek: Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι} or Assemblywomen is a comedy by Aristophanes, probably first produced at Athens in 392 BC. Like the earlier Lysistrata, the play imagines women taking over the city. On this occasion, inspired by their ringleader Praxagora, they disguise themselves as men to pack the assembly, and vote to hand control over to themselves. they also enact a series of communistic measures, something which has been seen, probably anachronistically, as a satire on Plato's political program. 

Ecclesiazusae at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Eleven Comedies, Volume 2 - The Wasps - The Birds - The Frogs - The Thesmophoriazusae - The Ecclesiazusae -- Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 179 - Aristophanes III - Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. 

Poetry in Translation: Women in Parliament, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Ecclesiazusae. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Aristophanes: Ecclesiazusae" »


Aristophanes: Thesmophoriazusae

ThesmophoriasuzaeKraterThesmophoriazusae (Greek: Θεσμοφοριάζουσαι) or Women at the Thesmophoria is a comedy by Aristophanes, first produced at Athens in 411 BC, probably at the Dionysia. As with Lysistrata, thought to have been produced at the Lenaea in the same year, gender forms a significant theme of the work, which is set during the Thesmophoria, a festival attended solely by women.

The tragic poet Euripides features as a central character. who learns that the festival-goers intend to kill him because of the negative portrayal of women in his work. After failing to persuade his fellow tragedian Agathon to infiltrate the festival on his behalf, Euripides sends an elderly relative instead. After the infiltrator is discovered, attempts to rescue him devolve into a series of parodies of Euripides' plays.

Thesmophoriazusae at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Picture by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Eleven Comedies, Volume 2 - The Wasps - The Birds - The Frogs - The Thesmophoriazusae - The Ecclesiazusae -- Plutus. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 179 - Aristophanes III - Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus. Bilingual Greek-English Loeb edition. 

Internet Classics Archive: Thesmophoriazusae. English text in HTML and TXT format.

Poetry in Translation: Women at the Festival, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Thesmophoriazusae. English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: o54- Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Chorus of Women from Thesmophoriazusae. Public domain audiobook.

Stanford News: Gender-swapped play takes on the ‘men’s rights’ movement, by Hannah Leblanc, 11 May 2017.

Wikipedia: Thesmophoriazousai

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Aristophanes: Lysistrata, Ecclesiazusae - two other plays in which women play a prominent role. The Frogs - another play targeting the tragic poets.

Euripides: Medea - one of the plays which contributed to the author's reputation for an equivocal attitued towards women.

Plato: Symposium - also employs the poet Agathon as a character.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.