The Theban Plays


Product Details

Cornell University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.66 pounds

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About the Author

Peter J. Ahrensdorf is James Sprunt Professor of Political Science and Affiliated Professor of Classics at Davidson College. He is the author of Homer on the Gods and Human Virtue: Creating the Foundations of Classical Civilization, Greek Tragedy and Political Philosophy: Rationalism and Religion in Sophocles' Theban Plays, and The Death of Socrates and the Life of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Platos Phaedo.Thomas L. Pangle is Joe R. Long Chair in Democratic Studies in the Department of Government and Co-Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of many books, most recently Aristotle's Teaching in The Politics, and editor of books including The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues, also from Cornell. Ahrensdorf and Pangle are coauthors of Justice among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peace.


In emphasizing the political elements of the plays, Professors Ahrensdorf and Pangle spur their readers -- our students -- to engage deeply with Sophocles' masterpieces....Their incisive reflections interrogate the texts in original and thought-provoking ways, particularly in regard to their political elements. Even where we disagree with them, their ideas merit serious consideration.... The translators situate Oedipus the Tyrant in its political context and ask probing questions about the nature of tyranny, guilt, and knowingness.... The introductions to Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone are similarly rich in ideas. Alternately considering matters of justice, allegiance and political legitimacy, Ahrensdorf and Pangle mine themes of timeless interest and application. In Antigone, they question Creon's injunction to obey -- son to father, young to old, ruled to ruler -- and his admonition that there is no greater evil than anarchy. In these two principles, one finds the root of arguments, both ancient and contemporary, over the nature of political legitimacy and stability.

--Michael Fontaine and Richard Fontaine "Bryn Mawr Classical Review"