Classics and Religious Studies


Date of this Version



Published in THE JOURNAL OF HELLENIC STUDIES 128 (2009), pp. 192-193. Copyright (c) 2009 Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.


Duckworth's series, 'Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy', is an excellent resource for students as well as for their teachers. The overall quality of the volumes in the series is high. Many of the volumes, in addition to being valuable textbooks, offer much to interest scholars. On the whole, the volumes in the series are written in clear, accessible prose, with technical and theoretical terms defined. They are a suitable length (generally around 130 pages of text) for use alongside either a translation of the given play or the play's text in Greek. Most volumes begin with a chapter on the historical and performance context of the play in question, as well as a brief summary of the play's plot. The volumes then explore various issues, characters, themes, problems, or critical approaches in more detail. There is always a chapter on the play's reception (a welcome addition to the information usually presented in a handbook), usually at the end, and the volumes conclude with a guide to further reading, a glossary of terms, and a chronology of dates relating to the play's production, historical context and afterlife. A few volumes have illustrations. The series' editor, Thomas Harrison, is to be commended for achieving a high degree of both stylistic and formal consistency across the series, even as each author presents his or her position on important critical issues and interpretive questions.

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