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Title: Acts of Supplication in Ancient Greece
Contributor(s): McSweeney, Gaye (author); Stanton, Gregory  (supervisor); Horsley, Gregory (supervisor); Mitchell, Lynette (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1999
Copyright Date: 1997
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Scattered widely through Greek literature are references to the practice of supplication, a practice which modern readers find alien yet oddly familiar. Clearly this was a social phenomenon widely understood, and (for the most part) respected, at least in the abstract. Examples abound in both historical narrative and literature. A few cases will serve as examples of typical supplications. Odysseus, in his mendacious re ply to Eumaios' request for the story of his arrival on Ithake, describes how he came to Egypt after he had arrived home from Troy. There his companions attacked the Egyptians, and were defeated. Odysseus describes how the supposed Cretan, on recognising his own imminent death, threw away his helmet, shield and sword, and approaching the Egyptian king in his chariot clasped his knees and kissed them in supplication. Despite the unprovoked attack by the "Cretan" and his men, the Egyptian king rescued him, and took him to his home, even protecting him from the understandable anger of other Egyptians ('Odyssey' 14.240-84 et passim, esp. 276-84). Of course, according to the main narrative, this did not happen; but Eumaios, well-versed in his responsibilities to strangers (ibid., 14.56-58), accepts the story without comment, thus tacitly testifying to its credibility.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 1997 - Gaye McSweeney
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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